Refilling a zone


  #1  
Old 10-08-05, 03:08 PM
jasmil23
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Refilling a zone

I have a hydronic system w/ two zones, Weil McClain Gold boiler. What's the procedure for refilling a zone? I drained (shut off ball valves and opened drain/flush valve attached to hose) and added new baseboard. Is refilling as easy as shutting off the bibcock, opening the two ball valves and turning up the thermostat to activate the circulator?
 

Last edited by jasmil23; 10-08-05 at 03:36 PM. Reason: More info
  #2  
Old 10-08-05, 04:53 PM
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Refilling zone

If you get extremely lucky, just open the valves, give the system a few minutes to fill, & try it. In most cases, air has to be manually purged. There should be a shut off valve & a hose bib on the return piping. Close the valve, hook a hose to the hose bib & allow water to flow until you no longer get air. Pictures of your system would be a big help.
 
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Old 10-08-05, 09:02 PM
jasmil23
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The system is pretty basic, two zones, two circulators. four ball valves, two hosebib fittings along with the expansion tank and various relief valves, etc.

My problem is that when I open the valve on the supply side of this zone, although I hear the water rushing into the pipe and the pipe feels hot after the ball valve, further downstream (50' or so) the pipes aren't noticeably warmer!?! And even after an hour no water comes out the hose bib when that valve is open and the return ball valve is closed (I'm sure that I have the right pipes, supply/return, for this zone because I helped install the system).

I'm wondering if there is something that I'm missing. Should I have the return valve open when the system is filling. Can I open the supply, leave the return closed, and open the hose bib to let the loop fill and purge the air OR should I open the supply, open the return and leave the hose bib closed, turn on the circulator, then manually purge the system.

All I know is that there is a TON of air in the pipes right now and I want to replace that air with hot water.

As for luck, I am not an extremely lucky person so that is NOT an option. IF luck were on my side I'd have the dough to pay a plumber and would not engage in these otherwise interesting technical conversations!!!
 
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Old 10-09-05, 07:24 AM
jasmil23
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Thanks for the response grady. I have a good digital picture but my posting rules say that I cannot post attachments
 
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Old 10-09-05, 09:49 AM
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Maybe not lucky

But a sense of humor or maybe frustration . Anyway, back to the task at hand: Try opening the supply, closing the return, & opening the hose bib. This is the usual way to purge. Something real easy to overlook is making sure the valve to the feed valve is open.
As to the pics, you can host them on Yahoo or elsewhere & provide a link.
 
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Old 10-09-05, 03:53 PM
jasmil23
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Unhappy If luck were on my side

Frustration maybe... the supply is open, I (wait, I need to break up a fight between my two young girls trying to play beethoven's ninth on the piano . . . "both of you oughta here!" -wife steps in). I will try that again, it seems to me that the water in the boiler (which is under pressure right?) should flow through the pump and then find its way to the hose bib (w/ return valve closed) as you say. I hear the circulator working but will sit there having a cold one (honey, are you done down there??) and an hour goes by with no flow thru the bib. The loop is now ~200', give or take, but I figure with the pressure (60-70psi from the main) it ought to fill w/in 15 min. If I open the return valve and close the hosebib, wait for 15 min then open the bib I will get approx 1/2 gallon of water with some air mixed in. Is there pressure on the back end too to keep the loop static until the pump is turned on, so that I'm getting flow in both directions which would account for the water & air? Am getting a little desperate b/c the Norhteast winter is approaching fast and tempers will start to run short if the heat doesn't kick in and I'm outnumbered 6-3 (female to male), it won't be pretty! Thanks again for your time, I will try to post that picture...
 
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Old 10-09-05, 06:57 PM
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Lack of flow

The 6-3 odds ain't good. One unhappy female can make your life miserable, let alone 6. The fact you get a little bit of flow out of the bib after a while is an indication you are not feeding water, at least not very fast. Do you have a device that looks like this: http://taco-hvac.com/products.html?current_category=115
or this: http://www.amtrol.com/pdf/filltrol.pdf
If you have one which looks like the first except made by B&G, there is a nut on the bottom thru which you can access a screen that may be plugged. If you have either the Taco or Fill-Trol, I don't think there is a screen you can clean. The valve would have to be replaced.
 
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Old 10-10-05, 05:22 PM
jasmil23
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Odds? what odds!

No, you're right and from experience I know that the odds are NOT good, but the good almost always exceeds the bad I have the B&G expansion tank (brand new) and will try to access the screen if need be (or call my oil guy who does the yearly maintenance). I left the ball valves open last night and the living spaces were actually heated comfortably in the morning although the circulator was on continously. I purged the system twice today and got 2 gallons of burnt umber water which I've heard is good to get all of the tinning flux, etc out of the system. Hopefully things will proceed smoothly with zone #2. Thanks for the input I have learned a lot.
 
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Old 10-10-05, 06:35 PM
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Feed valve, not expansion tank

I meant the fill/feed valve not the expansion tank. B&G reducing valves are shown here: http://fhaspapp.ittind.com/literatur...cingValves.asp

These are shown in a brass or gold color but they could be red, black or about any other color.
 
  #10  
Old 10-10-05, 08:08 PM
jasmil23
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Feed Valve

The supply from the main tees to a backflow preventer then a Watts Regulator then to the expansion tank. The Watts Regulator doesn't appear to have a nut or anything serviceable.
 
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Old 10-10-05, 08:15 PM
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Watts

The Watts does not appear to have a screen. The lever on top is a fast fill or bypass. By lifting it you can feed water to the system a lot faster. Be careful not to allow the boiler pressure to go over about 25#.
 
  #12  
Old 10-10-05, 08:31 PM
jasmil23
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Just used the fast fill lever to fill the loop, (return valve closed, hosebib open). Lots of pressure, I'd say 5 gallons in 20 seconds. Boiler pressure stayed at 15-18 psi. A fair amount of air came thru w/ the water. Is this good?
 
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Old 10-10-05, 10:10 PM
JIM B.
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Grady, I have the amtrol in my system. That was what I tried to explain to you but I didn't do a very good job.

Now I think I'm on the right track.

THX JIM
 
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Old 10-11-05, 06:25 PM
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Right track

Please keep me up to speed on your progress.
 
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Old 10-15-05, 06:25 PM
jasmil23
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2nd zone progress

Completed the additional baseboard for the 2nd zone (1st floor) and filled using the bypass lever. When I filled the 2nd zone, H2O came out of the pressure relief valve on the boiler, I checked and the pressure was 30 psi so I let it alone. Both zones are working now. SWMBO is impressed. Thanks for the assistance.
 
  #16  
Old 10-16-05, 04:02 AM
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Thumbs up Working

Heat is good. Glad you got it going. Now there is peace, at least on that front. I guess the only thing left is to get the pressure down below 20# & keep an eye on things for a while. Good work & good luck.
 
 

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