Low heat

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  #1  
Old 01-22-05, 12:12 AM
eaugie
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Low heat

I have a New Yorker, 20+ years with ABC burner. Serviced every year, runs fine. Ranch house with second zone in basement. R8182D aquastat and Taco circulator. Aquastat and zone valve changed recently. I have heat, but it's pretty lame. I think it is substantially less than I remember. All baseboards are warm, but no "oomph" to air coming out, just kinda drools out of baseboards. My boiler runs almost constantly between low/high limit to keep house at 70 deg. I used to be able to get this place so hot I would have to turn on air conditioner (joking but you get the idea). Everything seems to be working ok, limits set at 190/160.

Now I can hear the circulator pump upstairs (sounds like someone has the faucet on). I have asked 2 diff techs during servicing, and they say it's "normal". BUT, I don't EVER remember hearing the circulator for last 10 years until this year. I thought maybe pump was bad, but they say "no way, they never go bad". They also say if I had a bad pump, I would have no heat at all.

One tech opened my return line just ahead of circulator ( I have no convector bleed valves) for less than 1 minute, and said there was no air. SO, if I have no air, and pump is good, and water is 190 deg, how come no heat?

Driving me nuts, cause my heater is cycling every couple minutes (in PA, so it's cold now). This system was capable of getting house to at least 76 in past. Now I'm lucky to get 70. I have to get unit servived twice a year now cause it runs so much. Appreciate any help.

Should I just try replacing circ pump?
If you replace cartridge, does this change impeller also? (tech says no, I doubt he is correct, seems foolish to not include impeller)

Is it possible the circ pump is running backwards (was disconnected during new aqua install), or is this fixed (pump housing hasn't been removed).

Thanks in advance,

Ed
 
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  #2  
Old 01-22-05, 10:28 PM
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If you have the sound of water running in the heating pipes, you have air. No two ways about it. I noticed you said you have convectors. Nearly every convector system I've seen is on a Mono-Flow tee loop. If your system is Mono-Flow, the only way to purge the air is at each convector. Every convector I've seen, even if it has no bleed valve, has a 1/8" pipe plug at one or both ends. Air can be bled from these, preferably from the outlet end of the convector.
 
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Old 01-23-05, 12:07 PM
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Wink

Have you looked at are tried to clean under all the baseboard fins. Have found on lot of homes where you get a build up of dust and lint on the under side of the fins. this dont let the air get to the hot copper pipe amd get out into the room/.So its like no heat and the boiler and pumps are just fine.

ED
 
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Old 01-23-05, 10:22 PM
eaugie
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Ok, I tried to purge system, but I do NOT have bleeders (that I can see), looks like only copper sweat type elbows into end of convector.

I DO have a drain valve with hose connection on lower zone, but unfortunately, that's not the one I'm concerned with (basement only).
The upstairs zone has a WIERD fitting just before circ pump on return side.
It is inline sweated fitting, with a hose connection on one side, a pipe plug on same side as hose outlet, and on opposite side has a slotted adj screw.

From what I've seen, this looks like it COULD (hope) be a balancing valve? If so, the screw would adjust the butterfly. Now, I have NO IDEA how you get the hose connection to open up. Could this pipe plug be a valve? Never seen a fitting like this, and all balancing valves I've seen in books don't have a hose (drain) connection. SO:

Is the screw slot a valve open for the hose connection, which would make this a drain valve without a petcock (and pipe plug is just for ext device?)

OR

Is this a combo balancing valve, and screw IS for balance, but also has a seperate valve (albeit manual only since no handle) to open the hose drain connection (this would be the pipe plug?).

Got me confused!

Thanks,

Ed
 
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Old 01-24-05, 05:04 PM
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Eaugie

The valve you describe sounds like a purge & balancing valve. The screw is for a butterfly valve & the "pipe plug" is to open the purge hose connection. The 1/8" pipe plugs I was refering to are on the header of the convector. They could also be 1/4" or plugged with an allen screw but usually a square head pipe plug. You do have convectors, not baseboard, is that correct?
 
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Old 01-24-05, 11:16 PM
eaugie
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oops! Sorry, I have baseboard heat. Just assumed they were called convectors (after all, they work by convection, so why not?).

In meantime, I found a "similiar" valve at home depot, but it looked much different. So I figured the "pipe plug" MUST be a valve, not a plug, so I whaled on it some and lo-and-behold, water! So, I decided to try to purge air (if any). Here' s what I did:

Closed both zone valves
Closed basement zone ball valve
Opened water valve for fast fill (was already open)
Opened purge valve for upstairs zone (just small stream of water)
Let it run for a few minutes (1-2 gallons)

Hot water comes out, but I don't see any appreciable spurting or spitting. Water comes out pretty steady, and after a little while the pressure on boiler starts to drop, so I nudged the fast fill a little to add water. When I force water in via fast fill (not very much, just so I can hear it a little), the water coming out of drain starts to come out faster, and a LITTLE sputtering (few drops spray out). I assume this is cause the pressure from the fast fill is higher than the boiler pressure? But I don't see any spitting or anything. After a few gallons, I shut valves and shut off fast fill at about 13 PSI. Closed everything up and tried.

Not a world shattering difference IMO. MAYBE a little more heat, but can't even say that's not pshycological (plus it's a little warmer and less windy today).

This sound ok? Did I do it right?

Also, COULD it be a bad circ pump causing the noise (and lack of heat)? I assume that with the pressure in the boiler at 13 psi, even if the circ pump is bad I would force SOME water thru system. So having water flow proves nothing in my humble opinion.

If circ pump COULD be bad, here's a good one. I have a Taco 007-BF4 -JW pump. It is not listed anywhere. They have a BF5, but no BF4. Is the cartridge the same? What does the "5" mean?

Thanks for your help. This is getting personal. I WILL find out what this is.

BTW: I also bought a blower nozzle attach for my shop vac, and hit the baseboards with 150mph air nozzled down to 1/4in. Damn near blew them off the wall - LOL - so I don;t think there is ANYTHING in terms of dust on them anymore (might not even be plating - LOL)
 
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Old 01-25-05, 05:21 PM
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Frustrated Much?

OK, Now that we know you have bsbd...When trying to purge, the zone valve for the zone you are trying to purge must be open. One zone at a time. Good luck.
 
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Old 01-25-05, 07:20 PM
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A good way to actually know if you are getting any air is to put the end of your drain hose in a bucket and let the water fill it up. If the end of the hose is submerged, you can see any air that comes out.

Ken
 
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Old 01-26-05, 12:12 AM
eaugie
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Sorry, I did have the zone valve open for the upstairs when purging, I just left that out of my procedure description. Did not see any air, but I will try again using the hose under water trick. Don't really know what to look for, so it's possible I do have air and I am missing it thinking it should do soemthing more.

Thanks,

Ed
 
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