Natural gas Bryant heating oil instead of water?

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Old 10-28-08, 08:02 PM
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Natural gas Bryant heating oil instead of water?

Hello all,
I have a question about the Bryant boiler in my garage. Long story short, my house has forced air throughout with the exception of the family room which was converted over from a breezeway. This room if baseboard heated with a boiler in the garage. I was told that at one point in time the driveway approach was also heated by this boiler, I cannot confirm or deny that as there is only the supply and return coming out of the boiler and if it was spliced from the family room zone I cannot see it. Anyhow, I have exhaustively searched for info on how to fill and purge this system (The temp runs at 120 farenheit but the psi doesn't move off the peg. I cracked the return line bleeder and can hear air hissing. So I assume the system is full of air. My big question is, what kind of oil would I fill this with!? I assume it is oil and not water due to the disabled heated driveway approach? Please somebody help!
Thanks,
Darren
 
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Old 10-28-08, 10:02 PM
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No! don't put oil in there ! You'll ruin it ... if ya ain't already by running it dry ... cuz it does sound like you ran it dry ... someone probably drained it to keep from freezing... and not knowing that, you fired it up ... but maybe not ...

ALWAYS at the LEAST, "TAG OUT" a drained boiler if you are leaving it ...

Lots of possibilities here, ranging from a busted gauge, to no water in the system...

To keep boilers from freezing, usually anti-freeze is added. Do NOT -repeat- NOT use automotive anti-freeze... it MUST be boiler anti-freeze, and it must be monitored for PH levels periodically.

Best advice I think at this point is do NOT try to fire it again until it is determined that there is water (or water/antifreeze) in it, and maybe best to have a tech out to look at it before you fire it again.
 
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Old 10-28-08, 10:57 PM
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Perhaps I should elaborate a little bit here. I moved back into this house at the end of last winter. My (ex) wife and I lived here for years prior up until our divorce and I moved out. She was unable to keep the house after a few years elapsed, so I moved back in. The boiler worked perfectly up until I left, requiring no maintenance. It worked effiecently and reliably every year. I moved back in and low and behold, it doesn't work anymore. Along with lots of other things, ie. sprinkler system, dead lawn, yaddayadda. This was originally her grandfather's house he bought when it was built. He had the boiler installed when he converted the breezeway to a family room, and I do know that right or wrong this system was circulating some form of oil and had been for many years until he passed. So now I am in a bit of a quandry here, should I flush the system out several times and fill it with water? I was told by my ex's mom that he had to (very) periodically top it off with oil. I opened the drain valve and what came out what definitly not water, and every year when I would fire up the boiler prior to me moving out you could smell a distinct petrolium smell for the first few hours it ran. Whatcha think? Flush it out and fill it with water and see what happens from there?
Thanks,
Darren
 
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Old 10-29-08, 04:16 PM
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Not sure what to say about this. I do know that before anti-freeze was developed that some used oil in their car radiator. Other times they used a mix of alcohol and water.

I'd think that some additional research may be warranted. Type of boiler, and circulation pump first. Then what is on it for controls. If it is all standard hydronic parts then a drain, clean (TSP), flush, and a fill with water & boiler antifreeze should be OK.

The other side of the coin is if you can find or figure out what type of oil was used in it. Then re-fill with that.

What is puzzling is why it would need to be topped off on a regular basis. Does it have a standard expansion tank? Or maybe an open tank placed high in the garage?

Let us know what you find out.

Al.
 
 

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