Circulator Pump Makes Loud Buzz

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  #1  
Old 02-11-09, 06:20 AM
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Question Circulator Pump Makes Loud Buzz

My Taco 007-F3 circulator pump is making a loud high pitched buzzing noise when on. It can be heard through the pipes in every room of the house. Is this a sign of impending failure and should it be swapped out?????
House has 3 zones and rear section of middle floor zone is not heating. I suspect air bubbles and need to bleed pipes although there are no bleed valves installed on any baseboard. Other zones are heating well. Was it normal to not install air bleeds in houses built in the 70's. I am slowly installing them in parts of the house as I go but it is a pain.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-11-09, 01:38 PM
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I certainly would change the pump. There should be some way to bleed the system on the return line.
 
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Old 02-11-09, 06:39 PM
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First I would check your water pressure on the temp pressure guage on boiler. it should read 10 to 20 psi. if pressure is low ths can cause pump to go bad also air sound in raidators. as for air bleeds on raidators i never install them. well placed shutoffs and boiler drains on return lines make for fast bleeding. apro can do this real easy. change pump if pressure normal
 
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Old 02-14-09, 07:24 AM
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Pressure is steady at 15 psi and temp is 200

Taco tech support said that it is probably not pump and that there is too high of flow rate through system. Basement zone is 1/2" and other 2 zones are 3/4". When I shut down 1/2" zone buzzing stopped but then resumed again later in day on the other 2 zones. I will try bleeding other zones and see if it cures problem. If no cure then will replace cartridge. Only question is can I use a 007-F5 when there is a 007-F3 installed now.
Thanks to all who reply, greatly appreciated
JOhn
 
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Old 02-14-09, 08:40 AM
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John, if your pressure is 15 PSI at 200F, there's a VERY good chance that the pressure is low in your system. If you say that the pressure is STEADY at 15, meaning it doesn't change from cold to hot boiler, then there's also a very good chance that your gauge is NFG... before chasing this any further the best advice might be to VERIFY the pressure in the system!

If the pressure is too low, there's a possibility that the sounds you are hearing are from the pump cavitating... which will destroy the pump if allowed to continue.

Also, tell us what boiler you have...
and something about the system it's heating...
 
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Old 02-14-09, 09:37 AM
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Thanks for your help as I always enjoy reading your posts!!!!

Burnham boiler heating 3 zones. Taco 007-F3 cartridge. Moderate condensate around flanges of cartridge conections. I should take a pic and post later.

1. Downstairs finished basement which has 1/2" supply.
2. Main floor w/ 2 loops (front and rear of house) 3/4" supply
3. 2nd floor w/ 2 loops 3/4" supply

rear loop on Main floor is not heating fully and the baseboards for part of the loop dont get warm. I'm suspecting a air bubble block and the lack of heat to this part of the loop is coincidental w/ the noise starting from the circulator cartridge.

I have'nt looked to see if the pressure is the same when system is cool and also hot. I will look more closely in a few hours when I get home. Pressure this AM was steady at 15 psi when hot. Of note I manually opened the pressure fill valve to allow some new flow into the system and the noise from the cartridge ceased for a few seconds then returned. I am curious as to how a pro would get the air out of the system with no bleed valves on the baseboards. I'm guessing just high flow rate through loops to blast out the air. There is a drain valve on the return main right before the circulator cartridge that I could open when the system is cool. I could connect a hose and run it out the window and allow it to go full tilt.
Hope this helps BTW where or what is the yellow zone in NJ ????? Lived here my whole life and wouldn't trade Jersey for anything. It's not what people think it is so I try not to correct them and keep the secret intact.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 05:19 PM
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John, is there a drain valve and then a shutoff on EACH return? or just the one drain...

Some pics would be a big help I think in explaining how to purge the air from your system... free account / Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket / upload there / drop link here... show us everything around the boiler. Take a few wider shots so we can relate all the piping.

Some maps show 'population density'... and the 'yellow zone' is the heavier pop density, north of the Driscoll on the GSP... I'm in a part of NJ where there are chickens running around my neighbors yard... I don't mind NJ, except the property taxes... but at least it ain't MA!
 
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Old 02-15-09, 08:09 AM
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Hello NJ Trooper,

here are pics on photobucket. Hope I did it correctly.

As you will see in the pic of the press/temp guage the pressure isn't moving despite the reduction in temp. Guess this is one reason why you hate guages. There is a lot of corrosion/residue build up on the pressure relief valve and around the circulator cartridge. Is this normal for the circulator???? Cant imagine it is a good thing to have the pressure relief valve so corroded and mucked. I am hopeful that I can bleed air without having to add air bleeds to all baseboards. I added some to the 2nd floor baseboards before Xmas and it was fairly easy so will do so again if necc.

Home depot has a Taco 007 F5 on the shelf if I need to swap the circulator cartridge but am hoping to avoid that can of worms unless absolutely necc. Would the 007 F5 work in place of the F3????

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...adiantheat.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...urecontrol.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...eedshutoff.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...alvemucked.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...-tempguage.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...iewcloseup.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...ansiontank.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...onecontrol.jpg

Hope this helps explain what I have.

My inlaws live in Manahawkin so we are familiar w/ the bottom half of NJ. We are in Morris county smack dab in the middle of Yellow. Oh well cant have everything in life.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 09:13 AM
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Good pics! thanks...

A few 'issues' first, then the purge routine.

I believe the part you are calling the 'pressure relief' is actually a float type automatic air vent... and it's damn near broken off! The relief valve is the thing next to that, with the lever on top and the green tag wired to it. Those air vents must be vertical to work properly... it's like a float in a carburetor, when air collects in that can, the float drops, the little valve on top opens, and the air escapes, water comes in, float raises, valve closes. Bottom line is that part needs to be replaced. And when you replace it, the cap on the tire valve on top needs to be loose to allow any collected air to escape. They aren't supposed to leak water.

Circ pump ... that's not 'condensation' as you called it previously... that's a LEAK... and it appears that it's coming from the joint where the copper pipe meets the threaded adapter that the top flange is screwed onto. Water has been leaking from there and dripping down on the whole works for quite a while.

There a plug in the 'vent' port on the bottom of the backflow preventer. If that was put in to stop dripping from that port, instead what should have been done is the valve removed and cleaned or replaced... then, that port should be piped down and out toward the floor or a drain or a bucket...

So, what to do first? Well, the pump is the reason you came by...

Taco tech support said that it is probably not pump and that there is too high of flow rate
I'm not buying this at all. How long has it worked so far? Ten-fifteen years? why would you alla sudden have 'too much flow'?

If it were mine... I would try to wait until warm weather shutdown... then I would replace the pump. I'd replace the flanges with 'isolation flanges' (the ones with shutoff valves in them so you can change a pump without draining the system).

I would strongly consider moving the expansion tank connection to the system to the suction side of the pump. Google 'pumping away' for more info on why... ...or CLICK here and read this PDF...and install an 'air separator' at the same time. The tank should be tested while you've got the system down and either re-charged, or replaced as necessary.

Since the system is drained, now is the time to change the float vent... AND... if that relief valve is 5 or more years old (I'm sure it is) I would replace that too. The pressure gauge is most likely NFG, so that would get replaced too.

OK, how to purge...

Turn off boiler and let cool to 100F or less.

Connect drain hose to valve on return pipe.

CLOSE the valve below that drain.

Manually OPEN one of the zone valves.

OPEN the drain, and LIFT the fast fill lever on top of the pressure reducing valve to get fast flow through the system.

When water runs without bubbles, release fast fill lever, close drain, close valve and open next one and repeat above steps for each zone.

The key here is that the valve between the drain and the boiler return must be closed, otherwise the water will come in the fill, up and right out the drain without ever visiting the sytem. By closing that valve, you are forcing the water through the zones...
 

Last edited by NJT; 02-15-09 at 09:31 AM.
  #10  
Old 02-15-09, 09:51 AM
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Hello NJ Trooper,

Thanks for the review of the pics and the suggestions.
I am going to list out what you said to see if I missed anything. I agree with suggestion to purge air now and replace/rebuild after shutdown in spring.

I understand purge so wont review that section.

Spring Rebuild as follows

1. replace air float vent and pressure relief valve.
2. remove plug on backflow preventer and plumb drain to allow overflow (drain to side w/ bucket under for any drips)
3. Resweat the connection of 3/4" pipe to thread adapter that is leaking. I agree that it is leaking. What I was calling condensation I should have called mineral deposit. The water is leaking and evaporating immed. and leaving behind mineral deposit.
4. replace (I'm sure its old) expansion tank and reposition on suction side of pump. I have no way to test and would feel safer w/ new one anyway. I think I've seen discussion about horizontal vs vertical installation. Any comments on that.
5. Replace Circulator cartridge and install Isolation flanges to allow future change if necc. Can I use the Taco F5???? Agree w/ you re: Taco rep. Why noise all of a sudden when its been fine for years. Sounds like BS excuse but what do I know.
6. New pressure/temp guage

Think thats it

Thanks again, It's after Noon so time to purge then knock off for a beer and watch the Devils play!!!! Beer 4U2

John
 
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Old 02-15-09, 10:42 AM
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3. I doubt you will be able to get the end of the pipe clean enough to re-sweat... yer gonna have to cut it back a few inches and use a coupler with a short length of pipe.

4. Testing requires a tire pressure gauge and a bicycle pump (or an air compressor). When the tank is removed, pump up the air side to 15 PSI or so, and let it sit while you do the rest of the work. When ready to re-install, check pressure again and if it held, tank is probably OK... but still, if it's original, maybe best to just replace. Also, when the tank is removed, if there's any water inside still, it's time to replace it.

Problem with horizontal installation is that the connection is 'torqued' by the weight of the tank and any water in it. If the bladder fails and it's FULL of water, it's gonna get heavy. I prefer the vertical installation with the tank hanging. One advantage to this is that if the bladder does leak, you will know it if you get water out the air valve. Mounted horizontally, you can't really be sure unless you remove the tank cuz the water is laying on the side and won't come out the air valve.

5. Yes, the F5 will directly replace the F3 ... and I'm pretty sure the cartridges are also interchangeable, but honestly, a cartridge costs damn near as much as a whole pump, so I'd just replace the whole tham ding.

Can you post another pic that shows the piping of the returns up at the ceiling? I'm trying to think of the easiest way to add an air separator and reposition the tank...
 
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Old 02-15-09, 10:56 AM
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Hello NJ Trooper,

Oh well cancel that idea for a beer and the Devils game.
Purging the system didn't help. Buzzing is still happening and the 3 baseboards on main floor rear loop still aren't heating. Rest of house is heating well. Front loop on main floor is heating well. Rear loop seems to be problem.

Pressure reading on guage hasn't moved whether cold or as temp increases to 200 so I completely believe that pressure part of guage is broken.

Any ideas on how to purge a loop that may be blocked?????

Flange by circulator is now dripping. Suspect that as system heated it expanded flanges and stopped leak. Now that system was "cold" it allowed drip to start.

Forgot to add in my list to install an air separator. I googled pumping away and understand concept of location of ET. How far from circulator can it be. I ask b/c in order to install vertically it will need to be a few feet from circulator. Does this matter???

Well I guess I'm lucky it's warm in NJ now and we can handle a day or 2 w/ no heat. It will take me a bit to get this all done.

I'll post pics when done to let all see and comment.

Am I missing anything?????

John
 
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Old 02-15-09, 11:30 AM
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NJ Trooper,

Here are pics you asked for

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...atfullheat.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...sandSupply.jpg

I suggest moving T on main return to right about a foot and then hanging ET on the line after the T and before it descends. Would that work???? Is is too far from circulator cartridge???

Not sure where to place Air separator????

How far up on return main can I place circulator cartridge before entering into boiler. I will need some space for the isolator flanges. More than is there currently. I am not talking about feet but inches. Flanges dont show leaks now but it could just be evaporating as it is hot (220 F)
 
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Old 02-15-09, 12:20 PM
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That tank connection can be a ways away and still be fine...

Not sure which TEE you are talking about moving? The one up by the ceiling? (how did footprints get on the ceiling?... only in NJ I guess!)

I don't see a handy place to add an air separator...

I've gotta run out for a while... I'll get back to ya later.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 05:03 PM
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John, the circ can pretty much be anywhere on the common piping... there's no rule that it has to be _right there_ at the boiler. You might want to keep in mind that say a foot or so of straight pipe should be used on the suction side, heading into the pump.

Any ideas on how to purge a loop that may be blocked?????
Blocked? with what? an old potato chip bag? (ask Mark about that one!)... or maybe ice? why you think it's blocked? Did you not get any flow through that loop when you purged? If you mean blocked with air, that should come right out when you purge.

Obviously you need to do some work on that pump, but before you go much farther, you really need to verify the pressure in the system. Have you seen this thing?:



Screws onto a drain valve ... open drain, read pressure. For $10 or so, you can pick up a gadget at HD or Lowes that sprinkler dudes use that screws onto a hose bib and has a 0-200 PSI gauge on it. Obviously the gauge won't give you the resolution you need to be of any use, but for another $10 you can pick up a suitable gauge and just use the fitting... or hack one together from junque like I did.

As for adding the separator, you need a horizontal run of pipe to install that, and it looks like those are in short supply in your system. You could elbow off the return riser, above the drain valve, travel left, install separator there, then out of separator and elbow up, and right, and back to the original pipe... kinda kludgey, but it would do the trick...

The tank and separator don't have to be in the same place. You could just tee off the return pipe and hang the tank there. You would want to use some support to structure if you did that, cuz the same problem with the 'torque' on the fitting.

Also, doing this:



makes it real easy to service tank...
 
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Old 02-16-09, 05:37 AM
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Hello and good morning NJ Trooper,

Here are the pics I took this am. I used my El Cheapo pressure guage and got a reading of 20psi on the return side drain. 5psi differential from guage on boiler. This was at almost full temp and pressure needle hasn't budged in days.

I picked up an Air separator and took a pic of it. Is this the correct device???? I can hang the ET from the bottom threaded opening and place a float type auto air vent on the top.

I will have to do some finageling to get clearance for the air vent on top but should be able to reroute the descending main to allow for clearance and hang the ET. Agree that I will need some braces/hangers. I think you called it "kludgey".

As for the purge issue I did get full flow from each zone and my helper/son reported no real sputtering or gurgling air on each zone. Just a small reduction in flow as I switched to each zone. Not sure how reliable a 14 yr old dissinterested helper is but he was pretty sure there was no sputtering of air, just solid water flow. I ran the purge heavy and hard for a good couple of min. on each zone. I could hear the water flowing well.
I am leaning towards a potato chip bag as the culprit. Cant understand why there is no heat from these 3 baseboards and all other areas are great. I think that even though I flushed it didn't blast the air out of these.
I am going to try shutting off the front loop and directing all flow through the back loop and see if that works. Should have done that yesterday but forgot.

Wed. is rebuild day as I work today and tomorrow. Will let you know how it all goes.

John
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...rseparator.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...paratorbox.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...ssureguage.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...otherguage.jpg
 
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Old 02-16-09, 02:51 PM
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Good Evening now!

This was at almost full temp and pressure needle hasn't budged in days.
Which needle? the old one? or elcheapo? (which btw, I don't think you can buy the fittings to make your own for what those sell for!) Remember that if you want more accuracy, just get like a 0-30 or 0-50 gauge and replace that one... 1/4" NPT I believe is the thread...

You should see elcheapo change as the water heats and cools? Try letting the boiler cool real well and tell me what the pressure reads then?

Is this the correct device???? I can hang the ET from the bottom threaded opening and place a float type auto air vent on the top.
It'll do the job... is the copper pipe 1" ? use bronze threaded adapters between the cast iron and the copper... always easier to sweat the adapter to the pipe first let it cool and then thread it into the AS... if you thread it in and then try to solder, it's gonna take lots more heat...

I think you called it "kludgey".
What I had in my mind was... I was thinking the easiest way to do changes would be to cut into the return riser, above the drain valve, and put a sideways "U" shape there. Wouldn't have to mess with the pipes at the ceiling that way... never fun soldering pipes over your head with limited clearance to flammables... but it's gonna look organic, and ... well, kludgey... but if that means not rippin' out a lot of pipes to reroute stuff... that's better I think.

SWMBO home, more later...
 
  #18  
Old 02-16-09, 04:27 PM
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Hello NJ Trooper,

Understand what you're thinkin and yea I would much rather solder at eye level than holdin these tired arms up above my melon. Old guage on boiler hasn't budged at all. El Cheapo went to 20 psi Hot. I will get a reading cold when I can. Main is 1" and I like your U loop idea. Organic, Kludgey, Finagled, as long as it works well I dont mind.

Shut down front loop of house and purged just rear loop
on 1st floor. No improvement and buzzing is louder although there is the faintest warmth in the pipe of the rear loop. My wife heard lots of water moving through rear loop but no gurgling so I tend to trust her more. She is getting cranky about the lack of heat in the main living area and I need to fix this before I'm (-) a wife who went to live in a hotel. Son was watching hose outside and reported no sputtering just solid flow of water.
To add insult to injury old gate valves for shut off of main floor loops are now leaking since I fiddled w/ them so I will swap them out for full bore ball valves once system is drained.
Why would rear loop not heat but Main floor front loop and upstairs 2 loops go very hot??? I am afraid that replacing cartridge and rebuilding system is missing the problem of rear loop not heating. I totally understand the immed. need to rebuild but am afraid I'm overlooking something.

Anyway I purchased Copper threaded adapters but will return them and will find bronze tomorrow in addition to a new pressure/temp guage for boiler. Understand sweat first thread 2nd.

BTW what does "SWMBO home" mean for slow minded northern NJ people.

John
 
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Old 02-16-09, 04:59 PM
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I am afraid that replacing cartridge and rebuilding system is missing the problem of rear loop not heating.
Yeah, me too...

To add insult to injury old gate valves for shut off of main floor loops are now leaking
If they are leaking from around the valve stem, you can often stop that by simply tightening the 'gland nut' just below the handle. This will compress the 'packing' around the stem... just enough to stop the leak, don't muscle 'em ...

Are you sure that the zone valve is opening? (maybe you already answered this? sorry if you did...)

SWMBO = She Who Must Be Obeyed ... and now it's time to eat... later!
 
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Old 02-19-09, 08:54 AM
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Hello NJ Trooper,

Well my rebuild day went well and system is up and running!!! HORAY!!!!
Cant thank you enough for your suggestions and guidance. If you're ever in the Yellow Zone again I would buy you a nice cold one. Beer 4U2 Beer 4U2

Few details to clarify and get your feedback.

1. Only drips/leaks are below circ. cartridge flange as ID on photo. I used small amount of pipe dope on female threads and good amount of PTFE tape on all Male. Only leaks are the ones shown. All solders and other treads are tight. Why just these??? I tightened them down in a vise on the bench top as I did others and used identical protocol. Very frustrating. Do you have any great tips for getting all Threaded joints perfect the first time????

2. Was unable to find new Pressure / Temp guage at different plumbing supply stores. Anyway we removed old guage cleaned it up and reinstalled and lo and behold it started working. Now shows close to 30 psi for pressure and temp doesn't go above 200*F. I blead a little air off of new ET and pressure dropped to 20 psi. What is good range/setting????

3. Zone that was cold is now heating well and SWMBO is very happy and impressed. I added a bleed valve in that zone while system was dry just to be on the safe side.

4. 2 new air bleed float valves are working well and a few drops came out of vent from backflow preventer. Is this normal???

5. Last night after house had warmed to normal temp 68* and before setback time @ 10:30 I was monitoring system.
Pressure was holding steady @ 20 psi and temp was @ 190. Boiler would fire for approx. 2-3 mins then shut off. Temp would drop to 160-170 and system would kick on again for a few mins. Repeat. Is this short cycle????


http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t.../Airsep-ET.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...uild/DripI.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...onecontrol.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e-tempcold.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...re-temphot.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...ldMainview.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...iewrebuild.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...mainreturn.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...ventdrain2.jpg
http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t.../ventdrain.jpg

Thanks a million

John

Ps: aint nothin wrong wit organic Kludge
 
  #21  
Old 02-19-09, 02:24 PM
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Glad everything went 'basically' well!

1. I believe that more than 1 wrap... 2 at most... of the teftape is enough. The 'seal' is supposed to be made by the interference fit of the tapered pipe threads themselves... metal to metal. The tape is really just a 'lubricant', and shouldn't be relied on as a 'sealant'. Too much tape can prevent the threads from mating... more is not always better! If you do take it apart again to fix the leaks, I would recommend not using galvanized fittings... use black iron. In any case though, I would use new nipples. Make sure there are no chips or dirt in the threads... use a wire brush to clean.

2.
I blead a little air off of new ET and pressure dropped to 20 psi.
Absolutely the wrong thing to do... you shouldn't attempt to adjust the system pressure by messing with the air charge in the expansion tank. That air charge must equal the system pressure when the system is cold. If the pressure is in fact 30 PSI, either the gauge is STILL reading wrong, or your pressure reducing valve is leaking through, or adjusted wrong.

You need to drop the system pressure to zero again (do this by shutting off the feed, and draining ONLY ENOUGH WATER to drop to zero... do NOT drain the boiler for this!) and put the air back in the expansion tank. It should be 12-15 PSI when the boiler pressure is ZERO. I see that you didn't add the recommended valve and drain in the line to the expansion tank... and now you see why it was recommended!

If the pressure is really 30 PSI, I'm very surprised that you haven't told us that the relief valve is dripping... there IS a bucket there... why?

What is good range/setting????
After you refilled the system, your pressure reducing valve should have brought the pressure to 12-15 before it was heated. Did it? wait... you don't know... no 'known good' pressure gauge... then, as the system heated, the pressure should have risen maybe 5-8 PSI or so...

I still suspect the pressure gauge... you still need to verify it's accuracy.

4.
a few drops came out of vent from backflow preventer. Is this normal???
Yeah, sorta... a few drops and then no more, right? If it continues to leak, there's something (dirt, crud, etc) hanging one of the check valves open, and it should either be taken apart and cleaned, or replaced.

5.
Last night after house had warmed to normal temp 68* and before setback time @ 10:30 I was monitoring system. Pressure was holding steady @ 20 psi and temp was @ 190. Boiler would fire for approx. 2-3 mins then shut off. Temp would drop to 160-170 and system would kick on again for a few mins. Repeat. Is this short cycle????
The thermostat had to still calling for heat, the burner fired and heated the water to the high limit setting, burner shut off, circulator still running, zone valve still open... water cooled... that's a 'normal' sequence, but a 2-3 minute burn is kinda short. You have three zones... if only one zone was calling this is more or less what you might expect.

How long did it do this before the thermostat satisfied and shut down the boiler?

How long has it been since the baseboard covers were removed and the fins brushed out and vacuumed? You would be surprised how little dust it takes to cut down the heat output of them baseboards...

p.s. What is that 'grain hopper' at the ceiling above your water heater? part of an old whiskey still?
 
  #22  
Old 02-19-09, 03:03 PM
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To add to what Trooper wrote about using Teflon tape and your galvanized nipples...Your pipe nipples are probably imported from some Asian country and there have been lots of problems with quality control. Unfortunately it is getting to be more and more difficult to purchase American made pipe fittings and the cost difference, well, it is substantial. What this means is that it is necessary to very carefully examine each and every pipe fitting you purchase. Look for clean threads with sharp crests and valleys. Be sure that the pipe ends are round and not oval and the same is true of the fittings. There are acceptable fittings made overseas but you may have to look through the entire bin at the home center before you find them.

If there is any rust on the threads use a wire brush to remove ALL the rust before using the pipe or fitting.

NEVER use any pipe sealant on female threads. All that happens is that the pipe being screwed into the female thread pushes the sealant ahead and it contaminates the system. As Trooper wrote, two wraps of Teflon tape on the male threads and try not to cover the first two threads as it will be cut off when you screw the pieces together and contaminate the system. You may add a SMALL amount of Teflon paste or some other non-hardening sealant to the male thread over the tape. You need no more than to partially fill the "valley" between the crests of the thread, any more will just be pushed out and make a mess or need to be wiped off after tightening the fitting.

And please heed his information concerning pressurizing the diaphragm expansion tank, he knows what he is talking about.
 
  #23  
Old 02-19-09, 03:42 PM
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furd sed:
he knows what he is talking about
I had good teachers!

Not to belabor a point... but just a little more on the teflon tape subject, then I'll shut my yap... furd said "non-hardening"... made me remember something else...

Since the tape itself never hardens, and it is 'theroetically' still a liquid by definition, it will 'cold flow'. This means that if there is any thickness of tape _between_ the threads after you've tightened the joint, that tape will continue to 'flow' over time and under the pressure of the tightening into any voids that remain. The net result of this is that the joint will actually LOOSEN over time and may actually leak more...
 
  #24  
Old 02-19-09, 05:16 PM
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Hello NJ Trooper & Furd,

Thanks for your responses and help.

Guess I'm feelin down about my shortcomings and mistakes. Worked my tail off to do things properly and still came up short. Frustrating.

I will address the following and if you see something out of sorts please let me know.

The nipples will be replaced w/ "good" black pipe and I will pay special attention to the details mentioned by both of you when connecting.

As for the shut off and drain on the ET I just plain forgot. Was so busy/stressed w/ getting the rest done that I overlooked it. As I am going to drain system to fix leaks I will add in drain/shutoff. Then I will check pressure on ET and make sure 12-15 psi. After that I'm kinda confused cause if the pressure at fill goes up to 30psi again how do I adjust it down. How does one adjust it or confirm that PRV is "leaking through". Auto fill valve shows on tag that it is set to 12-15psi. Do I manually open the PRV when system is cold until it drops to 12-15psi??? That seems logical but...... Is it possible that air in system is causing pressure to be high until blead out

Pressure when I got home tonight was 16.5 psi -Temp 205*F.
I did get a 0-30psi guage (retired el cheapo) and put it on the drain but forgot to mention last night. Too tired. It gave the same reading as on the cleaned guage that we reinstalled. I am beginning to trust the cleaned and reinstalled boiler guage just a smidge as it is corresponding to the new accurate test guage. Will continue to double check w/ test guage. Not sure about temp at all.

The bucket on the floor is there.....to quote one of the people who didn't leave New Orleans before Katrina and was asked Why didn't you leave when warned... "Cause..... I dont know".
It's just been there. Never been used or wet until I started messing w/ things. There was no draining out of the pressure relief valve unless I manually opened the auto fill valve. It did drain then and hard so I am "guessing" it works???? Should I replace just to be sure. Pressure last night didn't go above 30 psi although did get close.

Backflow preventer is dripping more than just a few drops. When system is dry I will take off and "Clean". OK how does one clean this??? Should I just get a new one??? Seems like it's easier to just put in new parts when in doubt. Is gettin somewhat expensive but dont want to be penny wise-dollar foolish.

Baseboard covers have never been removed or vacuumed since w bought house 2 yrs ago. Will put on my ever lengthening list.

The way I feel now I wish that hopper was part of a wiskey still but it's just some type of an old fire extinguisher that was there when I bought the house and as the charge reads full I decided to leave it there. Not counting on it to work so I have a modern one over to the side out of view.

This whole saga confirms what I do know and that is that "You dont know, what you dont Know!!!!!!"

Thanks again guys and Trooper I hope you're feelin better as I read about your battle w/ Flu. Rest up and hydrate.

John
 
  #25  
Old 02-19-09, 07:55 PM
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John, don't get 'down' about it... it's all part of the learning process... yer doin' just FINE!

Thanks for the well wishes... I feel MUCH better today...

if the pressure at fill goes up to 30psi again how do I adjust it down. How does one adjust it or confirm that PRV is "leaking through".
There is an adjustment on the pressure reducing valve... first, a little about how it works... that valve sets the MINIMUM pressure in the system. Once the pressure is above that minimum, it can not reduce it. That minimum pressure is when the boiler is room temperature, and it should be 12-15 PSI (for a normal height home, say 2 stories, maybe a tad higher for taller homes).

If, when you were done with the work and opened the valve to fill the system, the pressure did not level off between 12-15 and kept rising, then the valve is either adjusted wrong, or leaking. If it came up to 12-15 rather quickly, and then SLOWLY kept creeping up... it is probably leaking. If it went right up to 30 and leveled off, it may be adjusted wrong.

Because it sets a MINIMUM pressure, you can't adjust it down and watch the pressure drop in the system. You have to let some water out and watch it come BACK UP to it's setpoint.

The 'lever' cap unscrews from the valve.

Below that is a threaded tube with two 'notches' in it for a coin or screwdriver.

Inside the tube is a loose metal rod.

Where the tube meets the body is a 'jam nut'.

You need to remove the lever cap.
Remove the metal rod and DON'T LOSE IT!
Loosen the jam nut.
Turn the threaded tube ... start with 2 turns COUNTER clockwise.
Drain some water off the boiler to drop the pressure to say 12 PSI and close the drain.
Watch the pressure come back up.

It should be less than previous.

If so, then continue counter-clockwise and try to get it to 12 PSI ...

It seems very strange to me that someone would intentionally adjust the regulator to that high a pressure, so I'm leaning toward a defective valve... but do try to adjust first... it's possible that a previous owner did go crazy on it.

When/if you get it adjusted to 12-15 PSI, let it sit for a while and note if the pressure stays where it's set.

If you find the pressure still increasing, chances are the valve is leaking... so CLOSE the manual feed valve and drop the pressure back to 12-15 PSI and let it sit for a while... with the manual valve closed, it should not increase.

Remember this has to be done with the boiler cold... if it's a slow leak, it could take hours... so be patient... once you heat the water, all bets are off.

If you are satisfied that the adjustment took care of the problem, snug the jam nut, replace the rod and lever cap.

Do I manually open the PRV when system is cold until it drops to 12-15psi??? That seems logical but...... Is it possible that air in system is causing pressure to be high until blead out
Yes, you can open the relief valve, or any drain valve.

No, air in the system will not cause high pressure.

Pressure when I got home tonight was 16.5 psi -Temp 205*F.
205 is on the high side... but 16.5 is fine... the pics showed the pressure much higher than that... I'm now.

You have the high limit set at 180? and when you read 205, the boiler was OFF? and the circulator NOT running? that MAY be OK ... it is normal for the temperature to rise above the setpoint after the boiler has fired and the circ has stopped running.

"Cause..... I dont know"
I use that one a lot... and it's as good as any... I have a bucket under mine too, but it's there for Justin... "Justin Case"... you must know him...

Backflow preventer is dripping more than just a few drops. When system is dry I will take off and "Clean". OK how does one clean this??? Should I just get a new one???
That explains why the vent was plugged I guess! They are easy enough to change... unions on both ends... I would say to pick one up... you can return it if you don't need it... take the old one off, and see what you can see... I personally have always replaced them... I'm on a well water system and there's lots of crud in my water... but I understand that they can be disassembled and cleaned... if you have a replacement on hand, and wanna save a few bux, go ahead and disassemble and see what you find...

some type of an old fire extinguisher
Interesting! Too much to ask to take a closer pic of it?

"You dont know, what you dont Know!!!!!!"
True that! but don't let it put you off your quest for knowing!
"push the envelope, watch it bend... spiral out, keep going"
 
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