redirecting water for baseboard

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Old 01-11-09, 04:31 PM
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redirecting water for baseboard

my wife and i just bought a house and are experiencing the heating for the first time. it has a boiler and a mix of baseboards (newer installs) and convectors running on a divertor tee system. The baseboards don't get very hot and i've bled the system till the cows come home. after researching, i am told that the baseboards need to be mainlined into the system by using rt angle in place of the Tees....ok here is my problem.

The Tees are original (60 yrs old) on threaded steel? pipe. i am afraid of opening up a huge can of worms in the middle of winter. i figure if i tackled it, i would clearly need to heat the tee to help loosen it. are these known to crack when heated and forced apart? i am a high level doi-it-myselfer, but should this be left to a pro? any idea on what it would cost to do this work?

thanks
birch
 
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Old 01-11-09, 06:01 PM
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A monoflo system (with diverter tees) should work. My monoflo system was installed nearly 60 years ago, and works fine. What is the temperature of your hot water? Is your house keeping warm? Does your circulator pump and/or burner run continously or do they cycle on and off?

I agree, tearing into your system in the middle of winter may be asking for trouble.
Doug
 
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Old 01-12-09, 01:38 PM
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thanks for the reply. boiler works fine, circulates fine, temp fine (around 190 i think). i have 1 section of baseboard that is clearly a newer install, but no water is running through it. the water is not diverting at the tee, it is going straight through the "less resistant" path to the other heaters. i figure it is air locked but there are not any bleed valves on the baseboard.

today i am going to open the far end of the baseboard loop and run the circulator to try to push the air out and reconnect it when or if i get water. hopefully this will get water moving through the baseboard to get some heat until springtime at least.

if there are any other ideas, please let me know.
 
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Old 01-12-09, 06:46 PM
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One trick that sometimes works is to temporarily increase the system pressure to around 25 PSI. The theory is that this will compress the air bubbles trapped in the pipe and allow the water to start moving...

open the far end of the baseboard loop
You mean cut the pipe? ummm, you don't wanna do that. How ya gonna reconnect it? Can't solder the pipe with water in it, no way. Oh wait, yer talking about iron threaded fittings? No, I don't think I would try that either.

When you install the bleeder, put it at the downstream end, and bleed with the circ running.

Now, you guys are all gonna think I'm crazy for suggesting this, and you are probably correct. But... ya know what a 'saddle valve' is? The kind they use to hook up water connections to refrigerators and humidifiers? This is offered for discussion ONLY! What if... you used one of those to vent the pipe? and then closed it again? ... and then in the spring remove it and install a proper bleed valve... just a thought... I personally would not do it, but desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.
 
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Old 01-13-09, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
You mean cut the pipe? ummm, you don't wanna do that. How ya gonna reconnect it? Can't solder the pipe with water in it, no way.
thanks for the advice! i DID cut the pipe (copper) on far end of loop. good news...although not working to its fullest potential, i got water to flow and is now producing heat!

NJ--HD sells theses coupling called "shark bites" that connect any type of pipes w/o needing solder...expensive ($6.50), but no need to drain system and idiot-proof install...HIGHLY RECOMMEND
 
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Old 01-13-09, 05:37 PM
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Yeah, I've seen the shark bites... never used them... my old school 'gut' won't let me! Something keeps telling me they can't work reliably for years of service... I know, they guarantee they will ... and are even approved for use inside walls and stuff... just some kind of mental block against them...

That said: I AM going to try them out on an upcoming project that I can keep my eye on...

Glad it worked out for ya birch!

If you think you aren't getting enough flow after all the air is supposedly out, you could consider using diverter tees on BOTH the supply AND return... you will get more flow...
 
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