Air Lock? How to purge HW circulator?

Old 10-17-06, 07:41 PM
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Unhappy Air Lock? How to purge HW circulator?

We had a radiator removed this summer as part of remodeling, now have no heat upstairs. Downstairs has normal heat. There does not appear to be any leaks, obvious problems, etc. with the radiator removal. Used "specialty" plumber recommended by HVAC guy we have always used. the plumber replaced the section of copper pipe with a white flex line.

We think the trouble is air. the plumber doesn't return calls, and HVAC guy is away for a week. we would sure like to fix this problem ourselves and save the budget..........don't know where to start.

Two story house, crawlspace. We can access nearly everything in the system; but are very unfamiliar with it. We have a 1966ish American Standard NG HW boiler/circulator. Small box looking boiler sitting in kitchen closet.

No bleeder valves anywhere, baseboard radiators copper pipe with fins. We thought the system was one loop, but there is one pipe leaving the boiler on the backside of the box that splits. There are no valves visible on that split. There are also no pressure gauges visible.

On the front on the boiler where we can easily see everything, there is what looks like the water supply line with a red bell shaped valve that says 'anti-syphon reducing valve' midway on the line with a red faucet type valve located before it and after it. Each faucet type valve has a square peg type thing on top. Where this probable water line enters the closet there is an open threaded valve that looks like a hose hook up with no faucet handle on it, just a square peg.

On the wall above and beside the boiler box is a small expansion tank. The tank has an open threaded connection near the bottom that looks like a hose hook up. We don't see anything else threaded anywhere.

Would it be possible that the plumber needed to shut off water flow in order to remove the first floor radiator; and having turned off any shut offs he saw, there could be one he forgot to turn back on?

Or do we need to purge some air, and how to try? We would love to try to be a little more self-reliant here! We truly appreciate any advice, and appreciate those here on the forum taking the time to help strangers.........

As another issue, speaking as homemaker perpetually seeking storage space, that boiler and separate NG HW tank are occupying prime kitchen real estate! I could have a fine pantry at my fingertips! Could a combined system located maybe under the house save us any significant money? The outlay would sure pinch!
Old 10-18-06, 02:05 PM
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You really need to get your plumber back. He did not finish the job. If you want to do it yourself, some photos would help.

Don't even think about putting the boiler under the house.
Old 10-18-06, 06:07 PM
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Air Lock & getting plumber back

thanks so much for your reply....

yep, we know the plumber didn't finish the job, but he does not return calls (mostly likely because i very nicely told his receptionist we would like him to finish the job at no charge or a nominal fee for materials, etc, we did not want to pay another trip charge). So we pay him as a new job, or wait for the HVAC guy to return and pay him (of course).

The radiator removal itself took the young guy four hours at it and a trip to Lowes to do. The experienced guy recommended by our HVAC guy is the owner of the plumbing company and is the fellow who came and looked at the job, knew what to do, said it would be done, and was supposed to do the job himself. I should not have to have paid an hour and half for the trip to Lowes (one mile from the house) when the owner had looked at the job. And the young fellow left the cut off radiator in the floor, which took my husband quite a while to lever out with a bar and block.

Additional work that day was to hard pipe the dryer exhaust run because it was in sorry shape. Today the natural gas company connected a new gas dryer for me and told me the dryer exhaust ought to be redone very soon. Seemed shocked when i told him the exhaust was redone by a plumber this summer.

we feel that we have paid enough for the young guy's learning curve, and don't want to have him back for boiler work.

So we'll have to do the job ourselves, and we'd like to learn it; or pay our HVAC guy or another experienced plumber to purge this thing and get some heat back.

I will try to take some digital pics, may have some trouble there with uploading, but might could do at my neighbor's.

thanks for your post.

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