NEED HELP desperately with my baseboard hotwater system?

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Old 11-22-05, 08:22 PM
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NEED HELP desperately with my baseboard hotwater system?

I live in NJ, tonight I came home to a very cold house, I have 3 zones of baseboard hotwater, my downstairs zone where my boiler is located, and two upstairs zones. I have a Well McClain Gold GV Series 4 boiler (about 3 years old) Well the boiler was running fine and all, but when I looked at the pressure and temp guage, the temp was fine around 150 degrees but the pressure is all the way down to like 2 psi. Therefore, I don't think there is enough pressure in my system to move the hot water through the piping for my upstairs zones. My downstairs is still sort of warm, I can feel heat in the baseboard heaters, but upstairs, the baseboard heaters are stone cold. In fact if I put my ear next to them, I can even hear water gurgling in them, not sure why that is. Anyhow, is there anything I can do to fix this pressure issue? Is it safe to keep my system running with this low pressure?

by the way, the air valve attached to the top of my relief tank on the boiler has been hissing with dirty drops of water coming out of it very slowly, don't know why this is.

Thanks
 
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Old 11-23-05, 02:19 PM
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The air scoop

vent is what I think you are hearing. Your makeup water supply or the PRV is not adding water to the system as needed. If you know what this is you can remove and replace it yourself for about $35.00 or try take it apart and clean the strainer and see if that takes care of it for you. You shold read 12PSI on a cold fill, on a hot fill it won't hurt to do the same and see how things run, if after you run the boiler the pressure goes way up and water dumps out of the overflow, then the air cushion tank is in need of being pressurized or replaced,./.. again. 12PSI for the tank as well.
 
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Old 11-23-05, 02:41 PM
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Low pressure

If your system has one of these: http://www.amtrol.com/filltrol.htm
You need to make sure the tank has 12-15# of pressure in it. You can use a tire gauge to check & a bicycle pump to add air if needed.
 
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Old 11-24-05, 05:38 AM
rfhughes
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I am having the same problem

I am having the same problem. I have an Extrol model 30 expansion tank with automatic air vent on the top. I see where you mentioned you could get a pressure reading from the tank. I sthis done thru the auto air vent or from the bottom capped vent. I addition I have a Watts( brand) regulator in line, cannot find a model nummer on it, but it is bell shaped etc so I assume this is my PRV.......pressure relief valve mine( this is an older system has and on off lever but no adjustment knob etc. Mt furnace is only reading 2-4 PSI and we have no hot water faucet P anywher in the house. Thanks In advance for any help You can provide me
 
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Old 11-24-05, 07:08 AM
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RFHughes

You do not have a Fill-Trol but separate expansion tank & PRV.
While the pressure is down it is an excellent time to check the tank pressure.
It is checked via the capped vent on the bottom of the tank.
After you get the tank pressure to around 12#, make sure any valves in the line to or from the PRV are open. If you still don't hear water going into the system, loosen the lock nut on the top of the PRV & turn the screw in 1-2 turns. If water now starts to go into the boiler, watch the pressure gauge & when it gets to about 12#, back off the PRV screw.
On many PRV's there is a lever on top. This is a by-pass or fast fill.
If the screw does not work, try the lever. When using the lever you need to watch the gauge closely.
 
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Old 11-25-05, 03:23 AM
rfhughes
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this gets interesting..... :coffee:

First Thank you for responding. Ok here goes.LOL...I have a pressure relief valve on top of my old furnace,in addition they had installed a PRV, Watts model 1156 off of the main cold water into the furnace( we are on a well so no worry about excess water P from municipal water), I guess that this PRV was for fast filling the systemit feeds off old cold water inlet over to the hot water tree. The line that goes off the main inlet cold pipe then feeds into ,if the valve is open to the Tree like setup, for distrubution thru-out the house.The valve off the cold water pipe to this fast fill PRV was closed. Prior to me adjusting the PRV I decided to open up the valve off of the cold water line to the(upstream) PRV when I did this I noticed a couple of things happening: #1. my furnance P started to rise, it had been down at just 2-4 PSI . I reclosed the valve and am now running at about 20-21 PSI. We had been having major hot water P problems with all our fauctes in the house, cold water P was fine. #2) my circulator pump( taco Model 007-F4 was Making noise ( sounded like someone softly sanding paper),,that noise is gone and only a very soft Hmmmmmm sound from circulator. I am now believing that there was not enough water in system and that the Extrol model 30 tank is probably flooded( The aka Culprit to my problems... , I will test in a while. Interestingly when I tap it( the Extrol) I don't get the thud sound I expected. I have to await auto store to open to get a new tire P guage, I have a air tank so if thats it ,,,,,,I will fill to 12PSI and let U know. I am down her watching the P on furnace to keep an eye on IT.....since I was getting nervous just watching it rise and rise and the guage must be a little sticky since it also jumped from about 15 right upto 20 ,got pretty nervous then ,appears to be pretty steady now around 20-22 PSI/Thanks will keep You updated,as this adventure continues......
 
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Old 11-25-05, 07:44 AM
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Extrol Pressure

To accurately check the tank pressure, the tank must be disconnected from the system or the system pressure must be dropped to zero. As long as the system is holding 20-22 Psig, don't worry about it. If the pressure goes up, it might be worth checking the tank but at this point it will be more trouble than it is worth.
Regarding the domestic hot water pressure: It is not uncommon for the domestic coil to get plugged if your boiler is so equipped.
 
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Old 11-25-05, 03:33 PM
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side tracked on pressure tanks

Think of the purpose of the expansion tank. Its to allow the heated water to fill a volume of space without a significant increase in pressure. basically (a place to go)...if pressure is low, thats the opposite...lets say the air bladder burst, what would happen? The auto fill valve would add water till it reached 12psi...STILL NOT A LOW PRESSURE PROBLEM, but then it would heat up and the same amount of water would take up a lager space to occupy, with no gas medium to compress(air) it excerts pressure in the piping and boiler and the pressure rises quickly and the pressure safety valve pops dumping water on the floor. In perspective, if the diaphragm was over filled...the pressure would be high and pop the pressure safety valve again. The PRESSURE REDUCING VALVE is junk! Its about $30-35 at HD
 
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Old 11-26-05, 07:46 AM
rfhughes
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well I am a Duhhh :wall:

ok your last post explained why I cannot get a P reading of the air port at the bottom of the tank. Even went and checked my tire guage on a tire. Plus I hace been trying to recharge the tank with my air tank no success........Duh.....Sorry this posting keeps going on and on,LOl....any suggestions as to how to increase my system water pressure .I am on a well is this a well pump pressure issue now?? Hope you had a great Holiday with yours....Thanks
 
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Old 11-26-05, 09:50 AM
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well water

the well pump has a much larger air cushion tank that is about 28PSI because the pressure in the domestic water supply is 30-55PSI The well pump pressurizes the water till it reaches 55PSI then shuts off. This volume of water has compressed the water into the reserve tank with 5 or 10 gallons of water so that you don't have the pump turning on every time you flush a toilet. This helps extend the life of the pump. To check the air cushion tank for sure you'll need to remove it and pressurize it and see if the air is just squirting out the innertube inside the tank. The plastic cap removed, and a bicycle pump should do fine. Try inflate the tube to 12PSI, if you can't, buy a new one at HD, check the pressure on it because they don't come inflated most times. When the regulating valve takes over the pressure will rise in the boiler to 12PSI and stop. When you find that this still doesn't happen, replase the pressure regulating valve because the tank wasn't the problem to begin with because if it was, there would be water all over the floor.If you have only 2PSI in the boiler you don't have enough water in the boiler.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 10:08 AM
rfhughes
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this is a never ending posting...LOL

I went into the well, and it actually reading is about 55-58, then if I released water when it went down to about 40psi it recharged itself back to about 58 so I have plenty of incoming water P. I appreciate your patience on this project. What if anyhting can I do to increase the water P/flow volume on the hot water side?? You were right about not enough water disecovered that by accident the other day, and opened upo the fast fill PRV that is installed on my sysdtem. That caused my furnace P to rise alot now at about 18-20PSI. Heres a secondary question how do you know when you have added enough( by opening the valve) water to the system.?

Again Thanks for the assisitance. Almost as frustrating as watching the Eagles play football/LOL.or dealing with T.O............ ,well maybe not that bad
 
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Old 11-26-05, 10:28 AM
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Simply put, you can't

this is done by the pressure regulating valve by automatically adding water as the pressure drops through any loss of water in the boiler system, because it has a built in check valve that prevents water from the boiler to mix with the drinking water.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 01:34 PM
rfhughes
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lets see I also just checked water flow I get about 0.5 GPM Hot and 1 1/2 GPM -cold. Mt low hot water flow is systemic throughout the house. You have been very patient with me....I am so frustrated by this whole thing,,,,,,LOL........
 
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Old 11-26-05, 04:04 PM
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RFHughes

Your lack of hot water flow is likely due to the domestic coil in the boiler being plugged. These can usually be acid cleaned to restore the flow to near new conditions. This is not a DIY job since it involves the use of some pretty nasty acid. Sometimes the coil can't be cleaned & must be replaced.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 08:38 AM
rfhughes
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well Thank you for all your assistance sounds like its time to call Dudley the local plumer,,,,,,,,if I do have to replace this domestic coil any ballpark firgures on cost just an estimate for parts + labor?? Thanks
 
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Old 11-27-05, 09:41 AM
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Domestic coil

I won't even quote a price when actually looking at a system. Some are super easy (1/2 hr. start to finish) & others can go downhill in a heartbeat. On average, I would say 1 1/2 to 2 hours to change out the coil.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 07:03 PM
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pressure

you need to see where the pressure is good (30-55) then see where its below 30 then the obstruction is between the two.....This is the incomming whole house pressure it sounds like, so the pressure may be too low before it gets into the house, you need to check that first. You have a well so the well pump may be shot if it isn't pumping up to pressure. You usually have a gauge showing this near the well air cushion tank and relay. I'll bet your well pump is shot.
 
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Old 11-28-05, 05:53 PM
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Well pump, no way

If the well pump were bad he would not have good cold pressure either. Experience says 99%+ probability the problem is in the domestic coil.
 
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Old 11-30-05, 07:57 PM
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pressure

I would not call 1.5 PSI water pressure! You basically have no water pressure.
OOps... I misread the post,... that was GPM, not PSI... nevermind!
 

Last edited by hvac01453; 12-01-05 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Misread
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