Newbie questions

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Old 12-29-04, 05:33 AM
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Newbie questions

All, I recently purchased a house with a single zone hot water heating system. Unfortunately, I have only owned homes with forced air systems until now. So, time to learn something new. With help from this forum I have been able to bleed the system of air, remove the air from the expansion tank (the previous owner told me to bleed the system from there!) and get the water fill valve adjusted. I have several more questions.

1) I have a B&G 100 circulator. What type of oil should I use on it and how often does it need oiling?

2) How often should you bleed air from the system? When you hear noise? A few times a year?

3) The boiler is located at one end of my house. The end of the house farthest from the boiler is colder than the end of the house where the boiler is. Can I partially close off some radiator valves to force more water to the far end? (This system has 1/4 turn valves)

4) Does using pipe insulation on all the lines running to the radiators help with system efficiency or is it one of those things that will take you 30 years to get your money and effort out of?

5) I have one radiator that will not heat up. I've bled several gallons of water from it, still cold. It appears to have been worked on in the past. There is flexible copper tubing off the venturi tee to the feed line of this radiator (there are only 2 lines with this flexible tubing in the house). Could a problem have been introduced with this flexible line? Is there anything else besides bleeding that I can do to try and force water through this radiator?

Tony
 
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Old 12-29-04, 12:02 PM
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Lets go by the numbers:
1. You should use SAE20 non-detergent oil in the pump and the motor. Don't overoil the motor. If you overoil the pump it will run out so no harm will come.

2. Bleed air when you hear it. At least, that's my opinion.

3. Closing some of the radiator valves closest to the boiler is a very good way to balance flow. It can take some time but you will not have to pay a service tech to do it. Make gradual changes and don't be surprised if you have to turn the valves almost off to make a difference.

4. Forget pipe insulation. 30 years would be an optomistic estimate. The heat that comes off of the pipes goes up to the floor above and heats it up. If you have an insulated floor above, it may help a little but I still wouldn't recommend it.

5. Hopefully the venturi tee is in there. If the radiator was added it is ossible that the installer didn't use a venturi tee. You should be able to tell if you look closely. Be sure the lines leading to the radiator don't have any shape that could trap air in there. Like going up and down by the diameter of the pipe. It doesn't take much. And you will get water out when you bleed it but you won't have flow.

Post back with any other questions.

Ken
 
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Old 01-06-05, 11:44 AM
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Ken,

Thanks for the information. I am working on the balance now. The house is getting a bit more consistent but the weather has been a bit warm here in the east so I won't know for sure until it gets cold again.

Regarding the cold radiator, it is an original. It just looks like the plumbing was messed with at some point. There is a venturi tee in the line, at least that's what I think it is (has an arrow with supply in one direction and return in the other). There doesn't seem to be any place in the lines where air would get trapped. There is nothing grossly different in this radiators plumbing than the rest. I've bled it more, still cold. It seems that while I am bleeding the radiator, I am getting flow from the return line, not the supply line. Someone suggested that I put a saddle valve in the supply line just before the radiator so that I could possibly bleed off any trapped air from that line. Sounds like it would work to me. Any thoughts?

Tony
 
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Old 01-06-05, 12:37 PM
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I would avoid punching a hole in the pipe with the saddle valve idea. If you knew that air was there and there was no other way, maybe. But not at the radiator. After all, if there was air there, it would make it into the radiator and get vented there. Is there a valve on the problematic pirce of radiation? If so, maybe it isn't open even though it looks like it is.

Ken
 
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Old 01-06-05, 12:58 PM
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Ken,

Thanks again for your help. There is a valve at the problematic radiator (the valve is on the supply side and the bleeder is on the return side). It turns and appears to operate but I can't tell for sure. Some of the valves in the system are stuck, some operate fine. I guess at some point I will have to relieve the pressure in the system and take the valve appart to see if it is operating.

Tony
 
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Old 01-06-05, 01:30 PM
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Just take the handle off and look at it closely. I remember a thread here from a year ago or so that we talked about Those quarter turn valves. When someone takes the handle off and gets it back on wrong, it feels like it is open and yet it is closed. If you remove the handle and look closely at the valve stem and the stops that are part of the small plate under the handle, you will see exactlyt how it works. If that plate gets put on wrong, the valve will turn 270 degrees instead of 90 and it will be off at either end of that travel. That may sound confusing but take a look anyway and if you need to do it manually, align the flat side on the valve stem with the radiator itself and the valve will be open in that position.

Ken
 
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Old 01-06-05, 04:33 PM
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Well I took the valve apart before I read your post. This particular valve has stops built into the valve body itself and a key that goes over the valve shaft. There is no flat side to it (just square at the top where the key and knob attach and round under that). I turned the valve to every position throughout 360 degrees with the system running, still cold. I then went around and turned off all the other radiators at that end of the house to see if I could force water through the cold radiator, still nothing.

Tony
 
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Old 01-06-05, 06:11 PM
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I think that the valve has something to do with the problem but I don't know what to try next. There should have been a stop on the square part under the handle. Someone probabky turned the valve too hard once and broke it off. You will have a hard time now determining which way is on or off but if you tried every position, I would have thought you would have noticed some heat at one position. I will keep thinking about it until I have more suggestions.

Ken
 
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Old 01-07-05, 07:34 AM
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Thanks! I do appreciate the help.

Tony
 
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