Baseboard Heater Ice Cold

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Old 11-24-07, 08:31 AM
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Baseboard Heater Ice Cold

Hello,

The baseboard heaters on the 2nd floor of my 1 1/2 story house is ice cold. Only the heaters on the 1st floor get hot. I have a 1983 Peerless Gas Boiler.

Any suggestions???

JerseyBoy27

P.S. The PSI reads 0 on the gauge and 180 F
 
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Old 11-24-07, 09:02 AM
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No heat upstairs

You need to add water to the boiler to get the pressure up to around 12#. If you search some of the other threads on this forum, there are pictures & descriptions on how to do this. The pressure reducing valve, (aka, water feed) is usually a device with a bell shaped top.
 
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Old 11-24-07, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JerseyBoy27 View Post
P.S. The PSI reads 0 on the gauge and 180 F
There's yer problem right there... 0 PSI ...

Where did the pressure go ? Maybe you've got a leak somewhere ... you need to pressure it up and then check for that.

Before you pressure it up, now is a good time to check your expansion tank, assuming you have a bladder type tank. Is there a tire valve on one end of your tank ? If so, put a good quality tire gauge on there and check that the pressure in the tank is 12-15 PSI. If it's not, add air with a small compressor, or if you feel strong today, a bicycle pump, until it does read 12-15. If you get any water out of that tire valve the tank is shot and should be replaced.

Next, you need to locate the 'pressure reducing valve' if you have one. It's a bell shaped thingy on a line coming from the house water to the boiler piping. There should also be a manual hand valve on this line. You may have a 'backflow preventer' on this line also. Check first that the manual hand valve is open.

If you can post some pics on www.photobucket.com (free) and provide a link here for us to look at it will help us help you... pictures are worth about 500 words (adjusted for inflation)
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-24-07 at 09:10 AM. Reason: mornin' Grady!
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Old 11-24-07, 09:50 AM
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Addendum: when you do pressure it back up, you will probably hear a lot of air gurgling around in the system. You may need to purge/bleed that air, but we'll deal with that after you get some water back in the system.
 
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Old 11-24-07, 10:21 AM
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just be careful when adding cold water to that 180* boiler with zero pressure. Nice and slow and watch the temp gauge so it doesn't drop real fast. add the water real slow or let the boiler cool first.
 
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Old 11-24-07, 10:28 AM
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Good point Brew! thanks for watchin' my back!
 
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Old 11-24-07, 04:10 PM
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Cold water/hot boiler

Originally Posted by brewaholic View Post
just be careful when adding cold water to that 180* boiler with zero pressure. Nice and slow and watch the temp gauge so it doesn't drop real fast. add the water real slow or let the boiler cool first.
That is exactly why I prefer to feed into the bottom. Saw a hot boiler once fed from the top. Customer replaced the reducing valve. As soon as he turned on the water, he heard the boiler crack.
 
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Old 11-25-07, 05:19 AM
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Thanks Guys for responding to my post it! I'll take some pictures and post them shortly.

P.S. The water feed valve is open.
 
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Old 11-25-07, 11:11 AM
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Boiler Pix

Guys,

Here you go... Let me know if you need additional pix and/or from another angle:

http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/f...t=100_0350.jpg

http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/f...t=100_0349.jpg

http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/f...t=100_0347.jpg

Please advise when you have a chance...

Much thanks!

JerseyBoy27
 
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Old 11-25-07, 02:09 PM
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On the bottom of that gray tank should be another tire valve, the one on the brass vent thing isn't for putting air it, it's for letting air out. That one should only let air out, if it drips constantly, it should be replaced.

So, since you have zero pressure in the system, on the bottom of the gray tank is a valve (maybe with a plastic cap on it). Unscrew the cap if it has one, and check that with a tire gauge to be sure you have the correct air charge of 12-15 PSI in the tank.

The bell shaped thing is your pressure reducing valve, ahead of that on the pipe, all greenish looking is a 'backflow preventer' which was/is leaking/weeping a bit, that's why it's green. And ahead of that of course is the manual valve for shutting off the water supply. That valve is indeed open, and if you aren't getting water into the system, either the backflow preventer or the reducing valve are plugged up or defective in some way.

So, what to do now ? hmmmm... OK, in lieu of fixing the reducing valve or backflow preventer, and just getting heat in the house, let's try to fill the system manually.

Shut the boiler off and let it cool to 100* or less before doing anything else!

Is there a washing machine nearby ? If so, you can disconnect one of the hoses (use the hot for now, since the boiler is probably still warm, less chance of shocking it with cold water) and connect a garden hose from the end of the washer hose to one of the drain valves on the boiler.

Open the washing machine valve, then go to the boiler and SLOWLY! open the drain valve that the hose is connected to. WATCH THE PRESSURE GAUGE! Don't let it go over 12-15 PSI ! When it gets there, close the drain valve, but leave the hose connected for now. (You can turn off the washing machine valve if the hose is leaking.)

Turn the boiler back on and see what happens. I'm sure you are going to have a lot of air going through the pipes and this will need to come out. When the air comes out, the pressure may drop again, which is why I said to leave the hose connected for now.

You may hear air venting out the top of the brass vent on the boiler. That's good... let it vent. If water starts streaming outta there, that's bad. It will need to be replaced, but hopefully there is a tire cap around that you can screw on there for the time being. (might wanna have one handy!)

Keep an eye on the pressure... let us know how this works, and we'll deal with the pressure reducing valve later.
 
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Old 11-29-07, 06:16 PM
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Thanks NJ Trooper! I'll give that a try over weekend when I have some spare time. I've very busy with work so I haven't had any time to troubleshoot this issue during the week. Luckly the weather has been in the upper 40's lower 50's so I've been able to get by for now.

I'll let you know how it goes....

Thanks again for the suggestion!!!

P.S. I see more sign of water on top of the 'backflow preventer' so I definately need to get it replaced. I pick one up at the pluming supply store just to have one handy when I refill the boiler on Saturday.
 
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Old 11-29-07, 07:03 PM
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You may not have to replace all those things... the backflow preventer I believe has flat washers under those union type couplings. It may be possible to just replace those if you can get a correct size.

The pressure reducing valve may have a clogged up filter screen. That big bolt on the bottom is removeable for cleaning.

You will still have to drain down the system though...

If you do replace the reducing valve and backflow preventer, if you can fit it into the piping scheme, you might want to install a ball valve in between the boiler piping and the pressure reducing valve. If you have future problems, you won't need to drain the system to replace the parts.
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-05-07 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 12-05-07, 04:58 PM
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Hi NJ Trooper,

Sorry for not responding sooner! I was doing some other work in my basement (weather stripping the door) and ended up cutting myself so I spent part of my day in the hospital getting stitches. I'm okay.

Anyhow, I was able to refill the system and bring the psi up to 15. I noticed that I got more heat from the radiators on the 1st fl. However, I'm still not able to get heat up to the 2nd fl. Any suggestion? Could it be my circulating pump possible?

Let me know...

JerseyBoy27

P.S. Thanks for the previous information!!! It's good to know... I have next week off so I'll have more time to spend on this.
 
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Old 12-05-07, 05:17 PM
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Keep bleeding it (pardon the pun) and ensuring the pressure stays proper. Every time you bleed the system you lose some pressure and every time you add extra water, you add air.

There should be an air scrubber on the feed valve...
 
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Old 12-05-07, 05:40 PM
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OUCH! I know the feeling... I sliced the end of my thumb off on a piece of 6" flue a little earlier this season... hope you mend well.

Were you able to find bleeders on the radiators or baseboards ? If so, when you open them on the 2nd floor, is water coming out ? or air coming out ? or air going IN ?

If air seems to be going in, you need slightly more pressure.
 
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Old 12-06-07, 05:14 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions guys!

When I try depressing the pin on the bleeder valve on the baseboard heater on the 2nd fl, nothing happens so I take it air is going in. I'll try adding more water into the systems once it cools down and try it again.

As always, thank you for your continued support!

JerseyBoy27
 
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Old 12-06-07, 02:40 PM
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15 PSI should be enough to get water up to the 2nd floor ...

You have the same type of bleeder on the baseboards upstairs as is shown in the boiler pictures ? Usually they are tiny little valves installed into a pipe elbow and are operated with a coin/screwdriver or a square 'clock key' ...
 
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Old 12-06-07, 05:44 PM
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Yes. I have the same bleeder valve on the upstairs baseboard heater as I do on the boiler. I have about 20 psi in the system trying to force the hot water to the upstairs heater but when I depress the valve upstairs I do not see and/or hear anything come out of the valve.

Now I'm stumped. Is there a way for me to either add water thru the valve upstairs or put a little hose on the valve to try can pump the air out of the systems from the top to help get the water upstairs as you would do when trying to get gas of a gas tank

I know it may sound crasy but I'm just trying to think outside of the box here
 
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Old 12-06-07, 07:38 PM
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If you've got 20 PSI in the system and nothing is coming out that vent then the only thing I can think of is that the vent device is clogged up, corroded, stuck ... 20 PSI should be enough to get water to like 40 feet !

I'd say pick up another of those vents, drop the boiler pressure to zero, grab a couple towels, and change out that vent.

And you are sure that there are no other small bleeder valves on any of the piping upstairs ?

That thing 'looks like' a tire valve, but it's not. No, I don't think I would try pumping through it...
 
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Old 12-07-07, 09:33 PM
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Test for water

Something you can do is let the boiler cool & slowly loosen the troubesome air vent. If you get water coming out around the threads, at least you know you have water. If you don't get water look for a valve shut off somewhere.
 
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