Pump making noise

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Old 01-03-07, 08:50 AM
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Question Pump making noise

Hi All,

I have a 2 zone system. The first floor is steam heat. The second is hot water baseboard. They're both running off the same furnace. The second floor was new construction a couple of years ago. I didn't exaclty understand what they were doing back then. I think I kind of understand how it works, but still trying to fill in the gaps.

Recently, I added some pipe insulation that they sell at HD. Within a couple of weeks, the pump for the 2nd floor heat has started making some whinning noise that we've never heard before. It use to be quiet and only audible when I stand next to the furnace.

I know the setup in place isn't ideal. From what I understand, you should either have all steam or all baseboard heat...or have a furnace per system. I think they installed it that way to save money, but I don't want to speculate.

So is my pump about ready to go ? Did the pipe insulation cause this problem ? I will take the pipe insulation off to see if that changes anything, but I don't understand how it would. I was just guessing it was a coincidence.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Scott
 
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Old 01-03-07, 09:08 AM
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Circ - Make and Model?

What make and model is that circulating pump of yours?
 
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Old 01-03-07, 10:37 AM
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The pump and the box for the electrical are both green. The box has a "Taco" label on it. I'm not sure if the pump is the same brand. I'll have to look at it closer when I get home.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 11:10 AM
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Maybe it should have been bronze?

Your pump should be bronze or SS. If it is a cast iron Taco pump then that may be the reason. Cast Iron pumps are much cheaper to buy and very durable but they can only be used on closed hydronic systems.

Air + water + iron = Rust
 
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Old 01-03-07, 11:24 AM
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It is fairly common to pipe a hotwater loop off a steam boiler. So long as it's done right, no problem.

Green pump is most likely a Taco. Model would be helpful.

Not sure why the insulation would have impacted pump performance.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for the feedback !

The water in the glass tube on the side of the boiler is a brownish rusty color.

How often am I suppose to drain it ? And where do I drain it from ? I think
there are 3 valves. One at the bottom of the boiler (almost at the floor), one at exit side of the pump and one on the return side of the pump (both about 1 foot off the floor).

I will check the model later.

Thanks again,
Scott
 
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Old 01-03-07, 12:05 PM
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Scott...

You might want to venture over to heatinghelpdotcom and educate yourself about steam heating. They have some online resources and also some books for sale that are geared specifically for homeowners with steam systems.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 12:08 PM
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One thing I'm curious about...

I have never actually heard of a hot water loop being on the second floor. How can it be above the boiler's water line? Does it have a heat exchanger and a separate pressurized loop?
 
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Old 01-03-07, 02:03 PM
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Having never seen one, I am under the impression that the connection is made below the water line, and does include the basic elements of a hydronic system (pump, tank).

Our ignorance is showing. Second the suggestion for www dot heatinghelp dot com. Some of the best steam guys in the country, and a rich library of online and for-sale reading material. "We Got Steam Heat" is a classic.
 
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Old 01-03-07, 04:17 PM
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Hot water w/ steam boiler

There is an article on Bell & Gossett's web site on how to run a hot water heating loop off of a steam boiler & yes it does require a bronze circulator & bronze flow control valve.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 08:25 AM
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Here's the info on the label of the pump:
Cartridge Circulator
Model 007-F5
1/25 HP
3250 RPM

The Taco electric box is SR 501

.....so I'm guessing this is cast iron....which it shouldn't be ?
I know air does get into the hot water line. I asked the plumber who installed it and he said it will happen from time to time because the steam part of the system creates air gaps (or something like that). I also hear the water "slosh" around a little when the heat comes up on the 2nd floor.

Thanks,
Scott
 
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Old 01-04-07, 08:43 AM
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Scott

The F is for Fe/Iron... there are also bronze 007s - they have a B in them. They are typically more than twice the price - but needed for a steam system. The steam system isn't closed like a hot water system is. With a hot water system, all of the air is removed and kept out. If you have a small leak and the feed adds a bit of makeup water every day, the system will start to rust because of all the air that gets added from the regular water supply. In the case of steam, the whole top of the boiler water area is open. Because of that, you need bronze circs if you stay with steam. Since, this is DIY - I mujst add thatg changing a circ isn't that hard.

Is there just one circ and is it one floor below? This part intrigues me. I've read about added loops on the same floor as long as they are below the water line or adding an indirect with the same restriction. If the 007 is having to actually pump the water up one floor height or two above the water line - I'm amazed.

Is it a 2 pipe steam system? As much as all the steam purists would shoot me, I would actually think about switching the whole thing over to forced hot water. I would give this some thought before you go out and get a bronze pump and possibly bronze flanges.

A bronze pump is around $210 and iron is around $70 for comparison. Converting your system would be quite a bit.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 11:39 AM
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Wow Who ! Thanks for the thourough explaination.
Ok, I think I understand the basics of the open steam system vs. a closed hot water system a little better now.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "feed" that adds makeup water. There is some kind of box that does add water to the boiler. That box was there before they piggybacked this hot water system. When the water level gets low in the glass tube, it adds water.

The one circ (green taco) is located in the basement and pumps water up to the second floor and then around the perimeter of the 2nd floor (roughly 120 linear feet). That seems like a pretty big load for a motor of that size to push.

I'm not sure what a 2 pipe steam system is. I believe there is one main pipe that everything else branches off of. There are 5 steam radiators on the 1st floor (1 of them is about 1 foot long for a bathroom).

So to back up a little here, is it the rust build up that's causing the circ motor to make the whinning noise ?

Thanks,
Scott
 
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Old 01-04-07, 11:48 AM
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I'm only guessing, but if you are using an iron circ and it's whining then yes I would think that it is starting to corrode. Do you know the contractor that installed the hot water loop upstairs? If so and if this was done in the past 2 years, I'd call them up and say that the circ is making noises and also ask them why they didn't use a bronze circ like the should have?
 
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Old 01-04-07, 12:46 PM
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Agree with Who and will guess the same. Could be corroding.

If by chance you have isolation flanges on the ends of the circulator, it's a simple matter to close them and remove the pump for inspection. If not, then you probably need to close off the nearest valves, drain through the nearest drain, etc. etc. Perhaps more than you want to get into if unsure of how things work.

120 linear feet is nothing. The 007 is a mighty little pump. Probably the most common pump in hydronic heating.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 05:16 PM
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007-f5

Who is right about that pump being iron. There should be no iron or steel in that hot water system, including the circulator, flanges, flow control valve, & piping. All piping should be type L copper. You might get away with type M for quite a while but L is prefered.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 08:29 AM
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Thank you all for your responses !

I'm starting to dig on the sites recommended and learning this little by little.

Thanks Again,
Scott
 
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