Did bleeding wrong -what now?


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Old 02-06-07, 11:32 PM
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Talking Did bleeding wrong -what now?

Having now read instructions here, I find that my husband's instructions on bleeding the radiator was perhaps all wrong. We didn't seem to be getting much heat on this very cold day, especially from the upstairs radiators. We have old-fashioned wall radiators on our two floors and a heat pump and water heater on the first floor. We didn't turn anything off, and on the radiators in two bedrooms, we turned the key around several times. Enough for plenty of water to come out, and there was very little hissing, if any, to begin with. He said to let the water come out UNTIL you hear the hissing, but after we emptied more than a quart of water from each, we turned the key back tight. SO, obviously, now that I've read a bit on this site, I understand that instead of letting air out, we've let probably most of the water out! And guess what, hardly any heat is now coming out of each of the radiators.

Have you stopped rolling over laughing yet? I'd never learned anything about any of this stuff (can you tell?), but thought my husband knew what he was doing (ok, TRY to stop laughing). Anyway, he's asleep now, and I read enough to know we messed up. Question is, how badly?

From what I could read on a gage on a big unit downstairs, the arrows point at about 2.5 pounds/10 feet of pressure, and the temp is 125 degrees. I can hear it working, but I'm not sure if we are going to be in trouble -- have we let all/most of the water out? Do we need to put water in to something to get heat soon or to not ruin the equipment? If so, where do we (I) put the water in?

THANK YOU, anyone who can help!
 
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Old 02-07-07, 01:22 AM
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I'm not laughing, what you did was understandable.

Your pressure is now too low and you need to add water to the system. You didn't bleed all, or even most of the water from the radiators...not by a long shot. You have created a situation where the possibility exists that you could make steam with the boiler and that is a no-no.

Without being able to see the boiler installation I have no idea of where your "make-up" water enters the system. It is possible that you do not even have a "pressure reducing valve" (PRV) installed for "automatic" water make-up.

You need to first turn off the power to the burner/boiler to prevent it from coming on and also to keep the circulator pump from running without sufficient water, Then you need to search until you find the domestic cold water pipe that connects to the system. Quite likely you will find there is a valve closed OR if it is open then you will find a PRV (it looks a little bit like a bell) that is not operating for any numbedr of reasons.

If you can take some pictures and post them to a photo hosting site and then post the URL here I (or someone else) can offer some more help.
 
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Old 02-07-07, 05:28 AM
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Thank you, now more questions - are we at risk?

It's now about 10 hrs since we bled the radiators (wrongly, as I said in first post, written in the early morning, when I realized no heat was coming out). As soon as my husband got up this morning, I told him what I discovered from reading this site -- that we didn't turn off the heating system and bled too much water out, and then your (Furl's) information.

He turned the thermostat down as far as it would go, and we found the PRV (obvious from bell shape). Actually, there are two similarly shaped mechanisms right next to each other. He turned a valve further to the left on a pipe that crosses the pipe coming out of the PRV. He's guessing that by turning that valve to the left, although it was not tight, that it will let more water in. He says it will be fine, it's happened before - it will just take time. He turned the thermostat back up after about 20 minutes, and then I could hear the humming sound (the pump? the heater?), and although I couldn't feel any warm air coming from the radiator, it still felt comfortable in the room, the same as it had been all night, before and after bleeding actually, although I felt no air coming out for many hours. He turned the thermostat all the way down , and right away I could feel myself getting cold. Now he's turned the thermostat back up to see what will happen. I'm still nervous!

The gage readings that I gave last night (2.5 pounds, 125 degrees) were from a gage right on the heater itself. There's also a gage attached to a pipe coming out of the heater and it has numbers above and below an arched line. I didn't notice that one last night, but it now reads 150 above the line and 62 below the line.

No way to do the photos, but can you tell anything from what I've written? If there was too much pressure, would we have exploded something by now (10 hours after taking so much water out)? Might we still be at risk for causing damage? Should I bite the bullet and call a HVAC person?

THANKS so much!
 
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Old 02-07-07, 05:35 PM
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There are so many different piping configurations and other variables that I cannot offer much more without seeing some pictures of the boiler and piping arrangement. You should have about 12 psi (10 to 14) on the pressure guage when the system is cold and about 15 to 22 psi when it is hot.

I'd like to help but...

You may be best off to call a serviceperson. Watch what they do and ask lots of questions.
 
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Old 02-07-07, 06:08 PM
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Pressure

One of the devices next to each other is the reducing valve & the other is a relief valve. The relief is the one closest to the boiler. You need to adjust the other one. On the top, there is usually a threaded stem with a lock nut. Loosen the lock nut & turn the screw in (clockwise) one turn. Use a scewdriver with the blade end firmly against the pipe & the handle firmly against your ear to listen for the sound of running water. If you hear water, watch the pressure gauge & allow it to stabilize before any further adjustments. For up to a two story house, 15# should be enough. If you don't hear the water, try turning the screw another turn. If after aprox. 3 turns you don't hear water flowing, you need to replace the reducing valve. Obviously, this presumes any valves in the line between the house pressure & the boiler are open.
 
 

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