New Boiler not producing enough heat

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  #41  
Old 11-23-08, 01:19 PM
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Well, darn! I'm sorry but now I'm fresh out of ideas to do this inexpensively. I've never seen an autovent that wasn't the same thread as a tire valve.
 
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  #42  
Old 11-23-08, 01:55 PM
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air venting

The air venting is a good idea but page 17 of the manual states an air eliminator is to be installed... Show it to him, I have a cheap cast iron taco air scoop on mine that does a great job. I'd call the Gas company and give them hell and have them come out an see the job he did... Also, Why is the town inspector being kept out of this? If you have no inspection tag and the place burns down, or floods out, the first thing the insurance adjusters do is to find a reason why they don'y have to pay... like an install that wasn't inspected.
This shouldn't be costing you a dime ... he failed to follow the install instructions by the manufacturer... small claims court resolves these problems quickly...no lawyers are involved.
 
  #43  
Old 11-23-08, 02:09 PM
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Hi HVAC,

The town approved everything (if you look at the photos - you'll see the inspector approval tags still hanging from 3 different required inspections - chimney, gas, boiler)

I also got hung up on page 17 for awhile. However, if you read the title of the page, it says "Equipment & Optional Accessories" (Unfortunately, it doesn't detail what is required and what is optional).

Even under the "Diaphragm Type Expansion Tank" it says it can (not must) be mounted on air purger.

While the page does discuss air purger, it doesn't say it's required.

HOWEVER, I am going to do my best to try to get him to install Air Purger at his expense. But I'm not going to hold my breath.
 
  #44  
Old 11-23-08, 03:48 PM
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try to get him to install Air Purger
I know I sound like a broken record, but in addition to the air elimintor, you need that ball valve on the supply and purge valve on the return. Without them, you have no way of manually forcing water throughout the system in order to properly fill ... I'd be willing to bet that the old boiler had this ...

The one on the return side would commonly be known as a "Purge Station" ... A drain above, and a valve below...

And actually, you don't even NEED the ball valve on the supply ... if you had the purge on the return, you would close one of the circulator valves, hook up a hose, open the drain, and operate the fast fill on the boiler ... putting a hose on the boiler drain itself is NOT the same thing... all you would do with that is push water down the supply, through the boiler and out the drain. Without that added drain, you have NO WAY of forcing water through the system ... and removing the air ... water is going to follow the path of least resistance, that's why you need to close one of those valves, put up a 'roadblock', and FORCE it to go through the system. Once the air is out, it will work fine.
 
  #45  
Old 11-23-08, 04:47 PM
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Anybody got a copy of the the figure from Holohan's "Pumping Away" that shows how a monoflow system should be piped?

I can post one tomorrow, I think. It's as simple as they come and it's absolutely how this ought to be done.
 
  #46  
Old 11-23-08, 05:20 PM
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Cindy, when the circulator is running does it sound like a water fall, or gurgling, or bubbling running through the basebases? Or is the sound the same as it did before the install, where at the most you maybe can hear a slight running sound?

You have checked the temperature gauge and it shows that the boiler is heating the water to the proper temperauture. As I previously posted it now comes down to finding out why that heat isn't reaching the radiators.

If you can hear a bubbling, gurgling, or water fall sound in the baseboards that is a sign of air in the system. In this case it just needs to be bled out.

If the baseboards sound normal, then there is something else going on.

Try this, next time the boiler is heating for set back recovery. Wait until the water temperature at the boiler is above 170 F. Then go around and touch the radiators with your hand. Feel how hot they are getting. At 170, they will definately feel hot.

If you have a metal cooking thermometer, such as used to stick into a turkey, can place that into the baseboard and get a reading (these things are handy for A/C systems too).

If the radiators are gettig up to the 160 - 170 F area, that is going to be about the best it gets. After enough time they should reach the temperature of the boiler water (175 - 180 F).

However, if the radiators don't get all that hot, then we need to find out why the water isn't flowing to them.

It could be a number of items: circulator installed backwards (water going the wrong way), weak circulator or speed too low (if multi-speed), or a restriction in the piping.

I believe the best bet is to first find out what is wrong, then fix that. Otherwise you can run yourself ragged going in circles.

Let us know what you find with the baseboard sound and how hot the radiators (baseboard) is getting.

Al.
 
  #47  
Old 11-23-08, 07:06 PM
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Furd's Idea

I was going to stay out of this one but Furd had such a great idea & when it didn't work it got me thinking how to do it.
How about one of the clamp on air chucks? They seem to be a bit sloppier in fitting. Maybe just enough to work? Most chucks are 1/4" FPT so a barbed adaptor & piece of hose should work well & be readily available.
 
  #48  
Old 11-23-08, 08:03 PM
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Al, I think this system is ALL convectors on diverter tees. I'm not sure she would hear anything... if the convectors were air bound. At least that's the case with mine... when an air bubble gets in them, they are silent, and cool/cold. Not like fin tube baseboard ... my cat hears air bubbles in them, and chases them from room to room ...

Cindy, I gotta ask this ... even though I know the answer is yes already ... but ... there are valves on all the convectors, yes ? They are all open, right ?
 
  #49  
Old 11-23-08, 09:48 PM
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I got another brilliant flash. It may be that these new autovents have a male 1/4 inch flare connection with the schrader valve inside, just like some refrigeration gauge connections. If so then all that would be needed is a refrigeration charging hose that has the valve depressor on one connection.

The valve on the autovent would like this:

(Image courtesy of DrillSpot.com)

I haven't checked but I think you can get a single charging hose from Grainger for about ten or fifteen dollars.

Some Monoflo links:

http://www.bellgossett.com/Press/BG-monoflo.asp

http://www.bellgossett.com/literature/files/602.pdf
 

Last edited by Furd; 11-23-08 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Add Monoflow links.
  #50  
Old 11-24-08, 04:17 AM
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Hi everyone,

NJ TROOPER I spend yesterday morning vacuuming all the convectors and removed years of dust bunnies, cat fur, etc. I really think it helped - Rooms seem to get warmer much faster! Last week it took 7 hrs for temp to increase 8 degrees. Today is only 3.5 hours

Also - Yes, valves are open on all convectors (that was one of the first things I checked last week!) But good question sometimes its the most obvious that we miss.


OLD BOILER (Al) I cant hear any gurgling, bubbling, etc. anywhere upstairs (where the convectors are) nor in the basement where the main pipes are. The convectors feel hot. I dont have a thermometer but will buy one so I can test to see how hot they actually are getting.

FURD Im glad to see you havent given up! The new air vents that were installed are Amtrol Model 700-30 (Float Type Air Vent). The plumber accidentally left new one still in box, so Im able to compare it up-close with old one that I found in the trash. The valves look almost identical, but the new valve is a tiny bit bigger.

If I would take the actual vent to a hardware or plumbing supply store do you think they could help me?

FYI Plumber is coming today! Keep your fingers crossed! Will report back tonight.

Cindy
 
  #51  
Old 11-24-08, 10:46 AM
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Cindy, you like cats? I hear NJ_T is sending one your way for a bit of troubleshooting.

Good deal on the clean convectors , made a big difference.

For the circulator, looking at your picture(s) along with one from TACO's site, I would say that it is installed correctly (flowing toward the boiler).

Checking the convector temperature will be helpful. Another thought I had was if the boiler supply was re-connected to the line supply. And boiler return to line return. If reversed the system would still work, just not that well.

Al.
 
  #52  
Old 11-24-08, 11:53 AM
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Cindy, you like cats? I hear NJ_T is sending one your way for a bit of troubleshooting.
Bailey doesn't need any troubleshooting, he's a good cat and keeps his teeth well flossed.


I did a Google search for the autovents you have and found that they are manufactured in Italy. They are also listed as having an 1/8 inch pipe thread outlet so maybe Grady's idea of using a clamp-on tire valve would work. Heck, if he's willing, have the plumber replace the autovents with manual vents that have a means of temporarily attaching a rubber hose. That is, if he is willing to do so at no charge.

Here's a picture of my best friend. His name is Douglas.
 
  #53  
Old 11-24-08, 03:35 PM
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His name is Douglas
[THREAD DRIFT]
That's "Inspector Douglas" to the rest of us... only furd can address him without his 'proper' title!

Yeah, Bailey's doc is quite impressed with his dentifrice!
(yes, he flosses... I'm working on the brush now ... hint: mint is the key! aka catnip toothpaste)
[/THREAD DRIFT]

I'm willing to betcha'all that the old boiler was turnt way up in temperature... maybe even two hunnert ... probably why it heated better.

Cindy, do you use a regular setback schedule on your t'stat ? You might consider not setting back as deeply ... I'm sure there is a point of diminishing returns, and you may have passed that ...
 
  #54  
Old 11-24-08, 06:45 PM
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On a cold start in the morning, stand next to the boiler and have someone turn up the thermost and time how long it takes for the return piping near the boiler to get hot. (Grab the copper pipe to the right of the circulator) I dont know how many floors your home is or how many linear feet of heating pipe you have but if the return pipe starts to get warm in a minute or so and you don't hear a gurgling or bubbling sound in the heat pipes, the system most likely isn't air bound.

I don't know what the boiler manufacturer calls for or what the tempature rating on those old convectors is but you might try turning up the high/low limits on the boiler to 200/190 or if possible 210/200 which obviously would flow hotter water through those convector rads. The raise in boiler temp. will also increase your boiler pressure so make sure you drain some water out of the system. If your house is a single story 10-12 psi is adequate.
 
  #55  
Old 11-24-08, 09:15 PM
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...if the return pipe starts to get warm in a minute or so and you don't hear a gurgling or bubbling sound in the heat pipes, the system most likely isn't air bound.
I disagree. We have already determined this is a Monoflo system. The convectors most certainly could be airbound while the main line circulates freely.
 
  #56  
Old 11-24-08, 09:31 PM
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Checking the convector temperature will be helpful. Another thought I had was if the boiler supply was re-connected to the line supply. And boiler return to line return. If reversed the system would still work, just not that well. Al.

looking at the photos Spy posted it appears that the installer reused the old green flow control valve that is installed on the supply line and the supply line from the new boiler is hooked up to this same flow control valve so it appears your installer did not mistakenly switch the supply and return lines. Also, if that flow control valve is still working correctly (And not in the manually opened position) it will only allow water to flow one way and if your installer reversed the supply and return lines you would have no heat.

Again, looking at the photos it appears that the radiator only has 1 tapping so moving the air vents to the other side of the radiator is not an option. The installer probably just unscrewed the old air vents and replaced them with new autovents. I would pull out those autovents and put back in the old reliable manual coin vents. Ideally you would want to elevate the vent so that you could lay down a pan to bleed the water into ( A cheap aluminum baking pan works great) I would suggest reinstalling them with a short nipple and a coupling and then screwing the coin vent into the coupling. You could probably bleed the radiator for a couple of minutes before the pan got full.
 
  #57  
Old 11-24-08, 09:43 PM
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The installer probably just unscrewed the old air vents and replaced them with new autovents. I would pull out those autovents and put back in the old reliable manual coin vents.
The old vents were also autovents. The homeowner recovered one of the old vents from the trash and it was almost identical to the new vents.
 
  #58  
Old 11-24-08, 09:58 PM
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"I disagree. We have already determined this is a Monoflo system. The convectors most certainly could be airbound while the main line circulates freely."

Sorry bout that, I was actually referring to the post where someone thought that there might be a big ol' air bubble somewhere in supply line. (Although once I had a big ol' air bubble trapped in the impeller chamber of the circulator and it took me a good hour to figure that one out! LOL) I agree that those convectors may still have some air bubbles in them and since they tend to be such a pain in the a$$ to bleed I prefer manual venting over auto. I missed the post about the old vents being auto as well.
 
  #59  
Old 11-25-08, 04:02 AM
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If this is an air problem, then the best way to cure it, IMHO, is to pipe this boiler correctly by

1) setting it up to pump away from the expansion tank,
2) connecting the fill-water at the expansion tank connection
3) adding an air elimination system
4) adding a couple valves and a drain to facilitate purging the entire system from the point of fill-water, around the system, through the boiler, and out a drain on the supply.

Manual bleeders at the convectors would be my preference.

A union on either side of the boiler wouldn't hurt, either....

The aspect of this installation that bothers me most is the extreme short-cycling. 3 minutes on, 3 minutes off is no good. Maybe a result of air issues, maybe oversizing, maybe flow rate, maybe all of the above.
 
  #60  
Old 11-25-08, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by lightsout06810 View Post
Checking the convector temperature will be helpful. Another thought I had was if the boiler supply was re-connected to the line supply. And boiler return to line return. If reversed the system would still work, just not that well. Al.

looking at the photos Spy posted it appears that the installer reused the old green flow control valve that is installed on the supply line and the supply line from the new boiler is hooked up to this same flow control valve so it appears your installer did not mistakenly switch the supply and return lines. Also, if that flow control valve is still working correctly (And not in the manually opened position) it will only allow water to flow one way and if your installer reversed the supply and return lines you would have no heat.

However, we don't know if the flo-check valve was R&R'd or just left in place. We also don't know if the lever has been flipped to the open position, or is in the closed position.

One thing I learned over the years about troubleshooting is: never assume anything and suspect everything. Not until it has been proven to be correct is an item eliminated as a possibility.

Note the information I felt was required:

First was the boiler temperature
Second was the temperature at the convectors

For the issue at hand the first item being OK leads to the second item. Once the second item is a known then a decision can be made based on that. This may lead to checking another item, or, that the system is operational as designed.

Al.
 
  #61  
Old 11-26-08, 06:43 AM
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Am I in love with Inspector Bailey or Mr. Douglas?? Either way its head over heels.

Back to business - my original plumber/installer called me Monday to say he replaced both the aquastat and "module" (I may have misunderstood the last piece.)

Anyway - nothing changed. Same 4/5 minutes on, then 4/5 min off. I suspect the system is just too big for my tiny, 1,200 sq house.

BUT - the cleaning of the radiators NJ Trooper suggested last week went a long way to improving the time it takes to heat my house. In spite of the rapid cycling, etc., I can now increase the heat 8 degrees in TWO hours (at one time, it was taking 4-6 hrs to move that much).

I'm still intrigued by Furd's suggestions to bleed the radiators with the hose - if only I can find a valve connection...

ANYWAY - thank you all so very, very much. You've spent so much time on my problem and will never know how much your input and advice meant to me. Really helped pull me back from the ledge!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE.
 
  #62  
Old 11-26-08, 08:03 AM
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If this is it for you, then you should probably consider one last thing that might help with the rampant short-cycling. This short-cycling is not good for the efficiency (and thus cost to you who pays the gas bill), nor is it good for the boiler.

Normally, I am loathe to suggest the gizmo below, but it's relatively cheap and in your specific case might help a lot.

intelliCon-HW

This is pretty simple to install and wire. Ask your plumber.
 
  #63  
Old 11-26-08, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Spy10021 View Post
Hi Xiphias - no, during the cyclings the temp low is 168-170 and it shuts off at 180. The only time I saw it lower was this morning when I woke up - I turned the thermostat up then went downstairs to watch what happens.

...)
Sure looks she is cycling on the high limit because no heat is getting into the system! I also add a vote for an airlock in the system inhibiting delivery to the radiation.

As Furd noted, it worked before, and there is no reason it shouldn't be working now. I wouldn't be too quick to cut the installer a lot of slack if he doesn't fix this on his dime. Calling in the inspector and the State would be a start. And I also think that LWCO Guard Dog should be above the boiler vessel.

There are a lot of benefits to pumping away, I wouldn't be too quick to diss the physics behind it. Thousands of poor installations don't change the laws of nature. A Spirovent would eventually get a of the air out, if one was installed correctly in a pumping away system...

Pete
 
  #64  
Old 11-26-08, 03:00 PM
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Interesting read with lots of techno info to get lost in.

But has it been established what kind of radiator temps she has thoughout the house so one knows if her problem is from high limiting? (Pointing an infrared thermometer at them could be interesting, when also recording what the boiler temp gauge says at same time)

Because that seems like that is has become the drum beat of this long thread, IF there is any of the malfunctions in design or water flow in and out of the radiators(as discussed by others here) that are causing low radiator temps.

Or it could be a stat issue due to the stat- swing temp setting, anticipator, dip witches not right or location of stat due to heat from radiator nearby, etc., IF the radiators were putting out good heat (especially from radiators in room with the stat).

Her answer will lie in one of those two causes.

You see, if there is a water flow/quality/low temp problem, how else could her cycling be so short unless it IS from high-limiting? But if there is NOT a water flow/temp problem at the radiators, it have to be stat related (with specifics listed above).

Came back because I thought of soemthing else: Not knowing what bells and whistles, as far as maybe safety equip. on this boiler might be, she could have a flame-out situation that may be occuring, during the cycle, that is not high limit or stat related, as another possibility. But each one of these 3 basic possible causes should be able to be readily tested for.
 
  #65  
Old 11-27-08, 01:22 AM
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Okay, this will be my last post on this thread.

I am 99% sure the problem is because of inadequate flow through the convectors. It may also be inadequate flow through the boiler and main piping due to a faulty flow control valve but right now I am leaning to air bubbles in the convectors.

The original boiler probably had several times as much water contained and that would allow a lesser flow rate without going out on high limit in such a short time. Regardless, if the flow through the main piping and individual convectors was anywhere near what it should be the boiler would not short cycle UNLESS it is vastly oversized, which it could be since Spy has never stated what size boiler was installed vs. original boiler. However, even if the boiler BTU rating is the same as the original boiler (likely) the burner likely would not short cycle IF the flow rate was the same as when the old boiler was working.

All the suggestions regarding the necessity of hangers, proper gas shut-off valves, air eliminators, purging valves, isolation valves, moving low-water cutoffs and the like have merit. They also add to the cost of the installation. The plain fact, however, is that this system did indeed work satisfactorily without all the add-ons that have been suggested. That doesn't mean the add-ons are "frosting on the cake" but it does mean that this particular system does not NEED the add-ons to be able to adequately heat this house.

It's too bad the autovents have a screwball thread on the outlets. The idea of using the tire connector hose would have made manual bleeding fairly easy. If it were my system to make work I would at this time procure some 1/4 inch inside diameter rubber (or vinyl) hose and a couple of buckets, lots of rags (toweling) and a valve core removal tool. I would pack a bunch of rags around the autovent and remove the valve core, slip my thumb over the opening until I could get the hose shoved on the valve stem. I would bleed at least a quart or two from the convector and then remove the hose and re-install the valve core. Clean up the mess and go on to the next convector.

If none of this worked then I would plan on changing the flow control valve and THEN do many of the add-ons.
 
  #66  
Old 12-03-08, 06:05 AM
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Flow-control

There is no need for a flo-control on a coldstart on/off boiler with a switched circulator. I had advised Cindy on another forum to remove this item, reducing the additional head, friction and possibilty of it being stuck.

With regards to the vents, just lay a towel on the floor and use a good wet/dry shop vac placing the nozzle next to the outlet while depreesing plunger with a small phllips screwdriver and the vac will suck the water off as it is expelled.
 
  #67  
Old 12-03-08, 02:18 PM
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There is no need for a flo-control on a coldstart on/off boiler with a switched circulator.
Not always, and entirely, a true statement...

One of the functions of the flow control valve is to prevent gravity circulation of the water during the off time ... and a single zone, cold start boiler is just as prone to this as any other system. Water will flow right through the pump, UNLESS it is of the IFC (Internal Flow Check) variety, and continue to heat the home and cool the boiler after the t'stat is satisfied...

In _some_ cases, you may not _need_ one though...
 
  #68  
Old 12-03-08, 02:57 PM
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Thats true, but this is a fairly low mass boiler, whether it looses it's heat in the piping or off the jacket and up the flue, I'd take the first and benefit from more efficient circulation and lower wattage of free flowing circ
 
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