boiler service & link to pics


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Old 09-21-09, 09:53 AM
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boiler service & link to pics

I have have posted to this site in the past. Here is my question: I own a brick ranch in the Norfolk, VA area. I have a HYTECH HT-14 gas fired wall hung boiler. The unit has worked ok in the past, but when the system is ready to shut off, there is a lot of noise from the pipes, like rushing water and air, and when the unit shuts off the pipes at the end of the house bang very loud. I have gone under the house and made sure the pipes were supported and not loose. I have the Fill-trol system with tank, and two honeywell zone valves. I know that Hytech is long out of business, but I would like to get some help before the heat season starts. any suggestions? I may just have to hire a local plumber to check out the system. Thanks, Bob
 

Last edited by NJT; 09-22-09 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 09-21-09, 05:02 PM
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Bob, if you are hearing noises like that, it's a pretty good bet that you've got air in the system. You may have issues with your filltrol valve, or the expansion tank... and possibly with your 'air scoop', and automatic air vent.

These are probably some things that you can handle diy...

Got a digital cam? Take a bunch of pics of the system, show us all the valves, etc... make sure to stand back and take a few of the whole thing for perspective. Set up a free account at Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket, upload the pics there, and drop a link to the album here so we can view.

There is a pressure/temperature gauge on the boiler, what is it reading?
 
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Old 09-22-09, 11:44 AM
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Thanks, I will look into getting pics for people to see
 
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Old 09-22-09, 01:23 PM
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Hytech Boiler pics

I hope this works, never been too good at this. link is

Bob's Boiler Pics

I will check back to see if you got them. Thanks, Bob
 

Last edited by NJT; 09-22-09 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 09-22-09, 04:27 PM
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Bob, I 'merged' your picture post into your original post... helps with continuity. Also, I fixed up the link to your pics to make it 'clickable'...

In picture 1 & 4 there is a gauge at the lower left of the boiler, tell us what that is reading... pressure and temperature.

Picture 2 shows the expansion tank at the upper left of the boiler. On top of the part that it is attached to is a brass 'can' with what looks like a 'tire cap' on top. That 'can' is your automatic air vent. The cap on top should be left loose in order for the air it catches to be vented. If loosening the cap causes water to leak out, that air vent is defective and should be replaced. (inexpensive part).

In picture 3, upper left are two 'zone valves', one labeled "bedrooms". To the right of that is a red bell shaped device, that is your 'pressure reducing valve' or 'feed valve' or 'pressure regulator' ... it has lots of names. That device drops the pressure of your domestic water system down to the pressure needed by your boiler system, typically 12-15 PSI.

Below that are two blue handled valves. The one on the left in the pic should normally be left in the CLOSED position, and the one on the right would generally be left OPEN.

DON'T open the one on the left... I'm sure it's already closed, and if it hasn't been opened in some time, you might not get it to close all the way... and then your plumber would have to replace that valve... leave sleeping dogs...

After you let us know what the gauge reads, we can go from there...
 
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Old 09-22-09, 07:35 PM
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Thanks for cleaning up my pics. I told you I am not the best at downloading. I have not started the boiler since last spring. I did make sure the air vent was slightly open and a little bit of water came out at first but it stopped. I guess it is working properly? The temp/psi gauge is showing approx 8psi, and 80 degrees but the boiler is not on since it is still warm in Virginia.I guess a better reading would be when the system is on. I will have to let you know those readings when I turn on the system.
 
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Old 09-23-09, 04:09 PM
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No problem with the pics...

First, you mentioned in the first post that you have a "Fill-Trol" valve, which I don't see in your pictures. Which part are you calling the "Fill-Trol" ?

The automatic air vent may or may not be working properly. If you are familiar with the way a float valve works in a conventional old carburetor, you will understand how that thing works. Inside there is a float and a valve. When it 'catches' air from the water, the float drops, opens the valve, let's the air out. Water comes in then, and pushes the float valve closed.

They can get 'crud' under the valve, in which case they will drip, drip, drip... OR less often and less likely, the valve can stick shut and not let the air out. If it's not leaking now, don't push the pin down under the cap, because it probably WILL start leaking then. You might wanna think about just replacing it, cuz it's a cheap part you can find at HD or Lowes or Scotty's, etc... but we'll talk about that some more later, cuz you have other issues.

When the boiler is at room temp, you should have around 12-15 PSI in the system. Your 8 PSI is too low, and likely the cause of the air gushing around in your system. Your GAUGE may or may not be accurate! so keep this in mind...

Check the blue valve on the RIGHT side of your picture... the one that let's water into the right side of the red pressure reducing valve. Is that valve open or closed? Remember, don't mess with the one on the left side!

If that valve on the RIGHT is closed, open it up a tad and listen for water flowing into the system. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and see if it starts to climb up toward 12 PSI. If it does, leave it open until it hits 12, then close it again.

I said earlier that the valve on the right should normally be left open... but if you find it closed, assume that it's closed for a reason... that reason could be that the pressure reducing valve (the red one) isn't working properly.

So do this first, let's see if we can at least get you up to 12 PSI with the boiler at room temp. That's the first step.
 
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Old 09-23-09, 04:15 PM
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One other thing I forgot to mention... and we'll get to after this, is that your expansion tank may need service. I'll tell you how to check the air charge on that tank. That air charge is important because it will control how much pressure rise you get when the boiler is heated.

But see if you can get water into the boiler first.
 
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Old 09-23-09, 07:05 PM
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Hey, thanks for all the info. You are correct. I just have a Extrol tank with a air purger and vent on top. I checked the valves. the one on the left is closed and the one on the right is open.
 
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Old 09-23-09, 07:34 PM
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I forgot to mention that I ran the system today and looked at the gauge. When the system is running the psi is at 0 and the temp reached around 140 F. When I turned the system off, the psi read around 10. not sure what these numbers mean. As you said the gauge may not be reading correctly.
 
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Old 09-23-09, 08:07 PM
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Banging Noise

It sounds like your system pressure is low & you may (probably) have air in the heating loops. Feed some water into the cold system until the gauge reads 10-15# but before doing so, check the air pressure in the tank. It should be around 12#.

Trooper, didn't mean to hijack just thought it would be a good idea to check tank pressure first.
 
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Old 09-24-09, 02:38 PM
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Grady, don'tcha know that sometimes I post stuff designed to wake you up? I was hoping you would come on in! It worked!

Something I don't understand is why the pressure would drop to 0 when the system was running, and then back up again to around 10 when shut off... and I'm thinking that this could possibly be the pump messing with the gauge, and zero air charge in the expansion tank.

Since the right valve is open already, and you have low pressure in your system, it tells me that your 'pressure reducing valve' (the red bell) it pooched. It's probably plugged with crud and not passing water through as it should. We'll get back to this in a minute...

On the bottom of your expansion tank is a plastic screw on cap. Under that cap is a tire valve. Take that cap off and momentarily give the pin in that valve a push. You should get a bit of stanky air come out. You should NOT get any water. If any water comes out, you need to replace that tank. There is a rubber membrane inside that tank that separates the air and the water. If that membrane gets a hole, you will get water out the valve, and there is no choice but to replace.

If you get only a bit of air... or even nothing... put an ACCURATE tire pressure gauge on there and check the pressure in the tank. As Grady mentioned, you should have 12 PSI in the air side of the tank. Using a small compressor, or bicycle pump, put air in until you have 12-15 PSI on the air side.

If you DO get water and have to replace the tank, then this is the right time to also replace the automatic air vent above the tank, because you will have to partially drain the system anyway. It might also be a good time to replace the pressure reducing valve that isn't functioning.

Do you feel up to all this? Let me know and we can get more specific... I wouldn't blame ya if you wanted to call in the plumber!
 
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Old 09-24-09, 06:08 PM
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I again want to thank you for all the detailed info. I will check out the tire valve on the tank. If it is more than this simple fix I will be calling a plumber to give the whole system a check.
 
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Old 09-24-09, 06:26 PM
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ok I just checked the tank, you were right, stinky air, and no water. checked psi with gauge, very low. pumped up untill 12to 15 approx. turned system on and psi on gauge fell to almost zero again, but it is fluxing around zero to 5 psi.
 
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Old 09-24-09, 06:30 PM
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oh I forgot to mention, I let system run for a while and then turned it off. Psi went back up to 12/15 on gauge.
 
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Old 09-24-09, 06:53 PM
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Pressure

Allow the system to cool then add water to 12-15 psi. Unless there is a drain valve somewhere thru which you could add water via a double female ended garden hose, you are going to have to replace the reducing valve (needs to be done anyway).
 
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Old 09-24-09, 07:10 PM
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Bob, if you are adventurous, you could try opening the left valve just a wee bit, and watch the pressure gauge. After the boiler is cold, you can let water in with that valve... open it just a wee bit, cuz the pressure will go up fast when you do... close it when it gets to 12... and just remember that if it doesn't close all the way, you will be calling the plumber sooner than later!

Grady, there's a 'fast fill' bypass ... think he should risk trying that ? and hope that it closes again 100% ?
 
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Old 09-24-09, 07:45 PM
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Fast Fill By-Pass

If flybob's a gambler, he can roll the dice on that by-pass. I would but every valve in my house has a back up & believe me, I have lots of valves. Gee I wonder why??
 
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Old 09-25-09, 10:46 AM
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I believe that since after adding air to the tank and gauge still showing around zero when system is on, I have more problems going on than a simple fix.The B&G model B8 red pressure reducing valve is probably bad. I will be calling in a plumber to check out the whole system. I will keep everyone updated when I finally get it fixed. The system was installed around 1983 or 1984. I would think so because on the side of the boiler 1983 is printed on the data plate. I guess with the age of the system, things will break and need fixing.
 
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Old 09-25-09, 10:50 AM
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oh, one more thing. i would like to keep the system working for a while . I have never seen another Hytech wall hung natural draft gas boiler. I know the company is out of business. The boiler is installed in the garage, and those newer condensing boiler would be a hard install. I love the idea of the wall hung unit, saves a lot of space
 
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Old 09-25-09, 01:15 PM
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I can't tell which direction the flow is but more causes of banging are:

1. Zone valves pipe backwards (they should close against the flow not with)

2. End switches of zone valves not working or not used causing last one to close to fight flow of operating circ.

3. Circ too large for system & over-pumpng and a water hammer is created while closing even if circ has stopped, flow has continued.
 
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Old 09-25-09, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by flybob View Post
I love the idea of the wall hung unit, saves a lot of space
Whole bunch of gas condensers come in wall hung config

Munchkin Contender
Burnham Alpine
Triangle Tube Prestige

are just a couple off the top of my head. Some smaller than what's there now.
 
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Old 09-25-09, 05:47 PM
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I am aware of these boilers. With my set up I think it would difficult to install the newer condensing unit . I would not like to knock any more holes in my brick ranch for a vent. I already have a chimney for the boiler. Maybe it could be used but i doubt it.
 
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Old 09-26-09, 03:34 AM
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What size chimney? These can generally have intake and exhaust piped up the chimney using it as a chase. Just tossing out ideas here....
 
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Old 11-01-09, 01:48 PM
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I am still getting more info on my HYTECH gas boiler. I was able to get a copy of the service manual for these units. It is somewhat helpful. If anyone needs a copy, just let me know. The pilot light stays on even with both thermostats turned down. It may be the white rodgers model 3049-115 mercury flame sensor? Bad thermostats? bad honeywell zone valve end switches? The water hammer sounds in the pipes when the boiler shuts off could be a lot of things. The zero psi on the gauge when the boiler is running has been talked about too. maybe the pressure reducing valve, extrol tank, again it could be a lot of things. I have made a list of things and will be calling a professional to look at these problems. I know it may cost some money, but I need some piece of mind
 
 

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