Circulator Pump will NOT shut off


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Old 10-30-07, 08:07 PM
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Exclamation Circulator Pump will NOT shut off

I have a B&G circulator pump that has never shut off unless I do it from the switch. I never knew that it wasn't suppost to be like this until I started reading this forum for another issue. I am a newbie to this stuff, but have learned alot here so far. I have a Honeywell L8148E Aquastat relay, which I have no idea if it works or not. The aquastat is connected to another box(of wires) but there are no markings, looks like they connect to the aquastat circulator wires C1 and C2. I do not even know where to start with this problem, can you help??

Another problem too, my reducing value must be bad because the pressure gets over 30psi and the regulator value kicks out the water from boiler. So what I have done thus far is shut off the water to the system at about 12-15psi. Is this okay? I read somewhere that if you have a leak, only the water in the system could leak out, and not a continuous amount by having the water shut off. I read here that there is a way to manually set the reducing valve with the bottom and top nut. I was confused on this. If I should have the water on continuously, please tell me how to set that again. THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE!
 
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Old 10-30-07, 09:05 PM
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It sounds to me as though your system has been "worked on" by inexperienced persons in the past and they've 'rigged it' whatever way they could just to get it working in some fashion.

It's hard to even think about trying to troubleshoot this one online, there are just too many variables and possibilities to deal with.

I stated in other threads that the danger to leaving the water fill valve closed is that if you do spring a leak, the boiler could be severly damaged by the low water condition, and the risk of fire is very high.

Honestly, if I were you, I would shop around for a good experienced repair person and have them look over your system and recommend repairs to get it working properly and safely. Ask friends/neighbors/co-workers who they use and if they have been satisfied with the work.

If the feedwater regulator is still functional, (it may well be defective) we can probably walk you through trying to set the pressure, but we would need to know the make and model of the regulator, or if you can post some pictures on photobucket.com and provide a link here, a picture can be worth a thousand words. Take some pictures of the wiring too, maybe something obvious will jump out at us, but don't count your chickens yet !
 
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Old 10-31-07, 06:19 AM
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hmmmm

I know it you might think that,(rigged)however nothing in this house so far that I have found has been rigged. The person I purchased this house from sparred no expense on anything he fixed. I believe its just old, and needs servicing. I will upload some picutres of everything as soon as I can get them. thanks for the reply but in the mean time the reducing valve is B&G reducing valve FB-8. Looks like a red bell. It has a approx 1" nut on bottom and a small approx 7/16" nut on top. Almost looks like the top nut is a bleeder valve or something. thanks
 
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Old 10-31-07, 06:41 AM
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pictures

I hope these help. I didn't know exactly what wires you wanted.

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/c...a/100_1876.jpg

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/c...a/100_1875.jpg

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/c...a/100_1874.jpg

thanks for the link to photobucket.com, that was easy!
 
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Old 10-31-07, 04:36 PM
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oh my Rita ! I've seen better wiring jobs... but that aside, I do see a gross wiring error in that picture that would cause the circulator to run continuously as long as the power is turned on to the boiler. How long has it been like this ?

Are you experienced with electrical wiring ? Would you feel comfortable wiring a new switch or outlet ? The change I'm going to recommend is actually pretty easy, but I want to know if you feel comfortable doing electrical work first. It should take all of about ten minutes or so to do.

How _do_ you feel about electrical ?

When you set the 12 PSI and closed the valve, and ran the boiler, how high did the pressure climb when it got hot ? You might need to adjust the air pressure in that tank also. There is a 'tire valve' on the end of it for that purpose. The expansion tank is the one stuck in the rafters above the boiler, it's green.

Before adjusting the regulator, it would be wise to check / adjust the pressure in the expansion tank. To do this, you will need a small air compressor, or if you have the room and the muscles, you can use a bicycle pump (it doesn't look like you do have the room up there, and it will be a workout with a hand pump!).

Turn off the boiler and wait for the temperature in the boiler to go down to 100*F or so.

Drain water from the boiler until the pressure on the gauge is ZERO. Using a good tire gauge, check the air pressure in that tank using the tire valve on the end. It should be at least 12 PSI. If it is not, use the compressor or pump to add air until you have 12 PSI. If there was a cap on the air valve, put it back on, if not, pick one up at the store and put one on.

When you've done that, open your feedwater valve to let water in and keep it open until the pressure reads 8-10 PSI on the gauge, and close the feed valve again.

The big nut on the bottom of the regulator is a strainer. Leave that be for now. The squarish handle is for your fast fill, it will bypass the regulator if you pull up on it and allow you to fill an empty boiler quickly. Also leave that be for now. The nut on top is there to lock the regulator setting. The regulator is adjusted by turning the screw in the top. Clockwise is increasing pressure, and CCW is decreasing pressure.

To the left (in the pics) of the regulator, there is a 'check valve' that prevents boiler water from getting into your domestic water pipes. I can't see it in the pics, but I'm assuming that your feed valve is on the copper pipe leading to that ? And that's the one you are turning off to keep the pressure from climbing ?

Here's the basic procedure for adjusting that regulator, but it may be 'shot', so this might not work. I'm assuming that someone inexperienced improperly set that regulator too high. So, start by turning the regulator to MINIMUM pressure by loosening the nut on the threaded rod to allow you to turn the threaded rod. Turn that rod COUNTER-CLOCKWISE a bunch of turns, until it turns freely. Slowly open the feedwater valve while watching the gauge, and listening for water flow. If you see the pressure rise, and hear water flow, the regulator is shot and needs to be replaced. Continue to add water until the gauge reads 12 PSI and STOP here. If the gauge does NOT rise, the regulator may be OK. So, do this:

The pressure on the system is still 8-10 PSI from before. SLOWLY turn that screw CLOCKWISE until the pressure starts to rise. STOP and WAIT for the pressure to equalize, maybe a minute or three. If it's below 12 PSI still, turn another 1/4 turn of the screw. STOP and WAIT again. Continue 1/4 turn at a time until you get 12 PSI on the gauge, and wait about a half hour or so (don't run the heat during this time). When you are satisfied that the pressure is holding at 12 PSI with the feedwater valve open, snug the nut on the threaded shaft to prevent it from turning... just SNUG enough, don't HULK down on it.

Keep an eye on the gauge over the course of the next few days/weeks to be sure the pressure doesn't creep back up, you may still have a defective regulator which will slowly overpressurize the boiler.

Let me know how you feel about the electrical and we'll continue...
 
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Old 10-31-07, 05:19 PM
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Wow, I will have to read your post a few more times to take that all in. Do I have a problem with wiring?? NO not at all. I can wire just about anything, as long as there are your instructions. I am "Oh My Rita"s husband, by the way.

I want to check the reducing valve and try to get it working right but...., and I just got the entire system bleed....perfectly. No bubbles, girgles, etc. Is there a way I can isolate just the boiler? maybe shutting off the zones, etc. I hate to have to go through all the bleeding again...but if I must, I will!! I just want it right. Waiting for your reply, thanks
 
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Old 10-31-07, 06:50 PM
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My dear mother's name was Rita by the way...

Ok husband of Rita, there are two wires coming from the circulator. They are currently on L1 and L2. They belong on C1 and C2 . I'm not sure what that extra relay on the other side is for, it looks like it's controlling a zone valve or something, so just leave those other wires where they are.

[I'm curious though, can you take a few more pics that show the wiring on that relay, and where it goes ?]

After you make this change, check to make sure that the zone valves are operating properly (they should be) and that the circulator runs only when the thermostats are calling for heat.

Sorry for the delay in the reply, just had a visit from a skeleton, a ghost, and a princess.
 
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Old 10-31-07, 06:53 PM
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does anything go on L1 and L2?? and also leave the "extra" box wires hooked up to C1 and C2 as well?

Thanks
 
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Old 10-31-07, 06:56 PM
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By the way, you shouldn't have to drain the boiler enough that you let any air in the system, so your bleeding may not be for naught. When you drop to zero, if you leave say 1/2 PSI in the system, you will be OK reading that tank pressure. That way you'll still have some pressure, and not introduce any more air except for what's in the fresh water that you add afterward. (you may have to bleed a little, later)
 
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Old 10-31-07, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ohmyrita
does anything go on L1 and L2?? and also leave the "extra" box wires hooked up to C1 and C2 as well?

Thanks
dangit, I HATE the 180 second time delay for posting!

OH, SHUT OFF THE BREAKER TO THE BOILER FIRST!

The two wires coming in the top are 120 VAC ! and yes, they stay there ... only move the circulator wires !!!!
 
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Old 10-31-07, 07:00 PM
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after further investigation, the pump wires need to be unhooked and rehooked on C1 and C2, but leave the "switch" wires connected to L1 and L2. Correct??
 
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Old 10-31-07, 07:04 PM
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Yes, I will shut off breaker before I start mingling around with the wires I am going to get this problem fixed first, I hope, now before I tackle the valve problem. BRB Yes the 180 seconds is a drag!!
 
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Old 10-31-07, 07:04 PM
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Yes, the black and white 'switch' wires coming in the upper left of the aquastat (what it is, btw) box stay on L1 and L2, as do the other 2 wires that are on C1 and C2 (whatever they are). Only move the two wires from the circulator from L1 and L2 to C1 and C2
 
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Old 10-31-07, 07:18 PM
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Trooper, works fine. Cycled the boiler on and off, and the pump goes on and off too!!! EXCELLENT!!

Rigged huh??? Wondering why it was that way....unless the aquastat was bad, but its working.....okay anyways....

maybe on to the valve, but I have to drain the boiler first huh? ok
 
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Old 10-31-07, 08:08 PM
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You won't need to drain much...

only enough to drop the pressure so you can check the air charge in the tank. You see, there is a bladder in that tank that seperates the air from the water. On the air side is a 'pre-charge' that should be within a psi or two of the system pressure. But, the only way you can check the air charge is if there is NO (or very little) pressure on the other side. If you check the pressure when the system is pressurized, you will read the system pressure, NOT the air pre-charge.

However, in previous post, I asked how much the pressure went up from when the boiler was cold, to when it was hot. If that difference is only like 5 PSI or so, you may just have enough air in the tank... your call ... if it hasn't been checked/serviced in a while, I guarantee it's low, and it's only a matter of time before it's _too_ low.

You still do have to drop the pressure to at least 8-10 PSI to adjust the valve, because you need to get the system pressure _below_ the operating point of the regulator in order to adjust it.
 
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Old 10-31-07, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ohmyrita
Rigged huh??? Wondering why it was that way....unless the aquastat was bad, but its working.....
My guess would be that at some point, someone worked on the system, perhaps they changed that aquastat... they didn't take notes as to where the wires were, and put them on the wrong lugs, given the close proximity.

And that extra relay ... still not sure what _that's_ all about, but it's obvious it's some kind of zone control device or some such. That extra relay does click when the system turns on, doesn't it ?

Can you tell where the wires are going ? I really am curious about that.
 
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Old 10-31-07, 08:24 PM
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What zone valves are those ? make/model

Where do the black and brown wires that come out of the extra relay box go ? Is there another transformer mounted somewhere that doesn't show in the pictures ?
 
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Old 10-31-07, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper
What zone valves are those ? make/model

Where do the black and brown wires that come out of the extra relay box go ? Is there another transformer mounted somewhere that doesn't show in the pictures ?
the black wire leads to the humidifier, forgot about that, and the brown go to the stat for the humidifier. Box figured out, must be like an aquastat. sort of.

anyways, the zone valves are b&g M1.
 
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Old 10-31-07, 08:44 PM
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The feed valve looks like a B&G. Their directions say to close the hand valve after system is filled and vented. The request the valve be kept closed.
 
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Old 10-31-07, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper



However, in previous post, I asked how much the pressure went up from when the boiler was cold, to when it was hot. If that difference is only like 5 PSI or so, you may just have enough air in the tank... your call ... if it hasn't been checked/serviced in a while, I guarantee it's low, and it's only a matter of time before it's _too_ low.
Right now the current pressure is 12-15 psi in system (assuming the guage is accurate) and the most the system goes to is approx 20psi when hot. I will check to make sure the green tank is at 12 psi's, but from what you say it should be good. However, this is my second winter here and its the first time I have messed with it. I will be trying this tomorrow evening when I get home from work, I want to go on fresh legs when I tackle a new spin to the same project. Thanks for everything so far.
 
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Old 10-31-07, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rbeck
The feed valve looks like a B&G. Their directions say to close the hand valve after system is filled and vented. The request the valve be kept closed.
I assume the reducing valve is the one your questioning about?? if so
B&G is correct, the model is ......hang on running 2 flights down........:::whew::: FB-8
 
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Old 10-31-07, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ohmyrita
the black wire leads to the humidifier, forgot about that, and the brown go to the stat for the humidifier. Box figured out, must be like an aquastat. sort of.

anyways, the zone valves are b&g M1.
Yep, that settles that question. The humidifier is turned on and off with the circulator. That's fine... so, don't worry about the zone valves then, I thought that's where those wires might be going...

As for closing the hand valve... no matter what B&G says ... here's my take on that. If you close the feed valve, and you spring a leak in the system, and the boiler keeps on chugging along, runs low on water... dry firing the boiler will most certainly damage it, and drastically increase the risk of fire.

If you leave the feed valve OPEN, and you spring a leak, the regulator will feed water to maintain. Yes, you run the risk of water damage, but which would you rather have ?

Water damage

FIRE!

check one, then act accordingly.

There are lots of pipes in our homes, most of them at much higher pressure than the boiler system. When was the last time you turned off the main water supply when you finished using the water ? What happens if a pipe bursts under your sink or your water heater springs a leak ? No, I don't know anyone who turns off the main water supply.

(besides, I'm not sure B&G is actually saying that, rbeck, can you cite a reference for me please ?)
 
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Old 10-31-07, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper
(besides, I'm not sure B&G is actually saying that, rbeck, can you cite a reference for me please ?)
never mind, I just read the I&O at the B&G site.

B&G pressure reducing valve I&O PDF

Yes, they do seem adamant that the cold water fill valve should be closed after filling the boiler. BUT...

they also caution that the boiler should be equipped with a Low Water Cut Off . Millions, maybe billions of older boilers are in operation that do NOT have LWCO installed.

I'm going to re-state what I said:

If you have a properly installed LWCO, go ahead and close the fill valve. If not... well, the choice is yours: water damage / fire / water damage / fire ... it's easy.
 
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Old 10-31-07, 09:46 PM
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On the other hand, Watts is adamant that the valve must remain open:

Watts 1156 Regulator valve I&O PDF
 
 

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