Normal? over an hour to heat from cold to 180 degrees

Old 12-09-09, 08:10 AM
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Normal? over an hour to heat from cold to 180 degrees

Hi all,

First, I've read many posts, and learned much from all of you. Thank you - what a wealth of information.

I got a pretty old Utica hot water system and I am trying to to know the ins and outs about it so I know how to service it.

Utica - M100AGB 1
Serial - JB 26087
Aquatstat - L8148E 1182 - 2 AT

The first issue is the pressure - over 30 psi and the PRV constantly drips. The system temp is usually at 150 degrees. I just replaced the temp/pressure gauge to ensure I got accurate readings. I've concluded that the expansion tank is faulty and will be replacing that. The PRV is about 2 years old - and always been dripping since newly replace.

Here's my question/concern - in testing the Aquastat's function, I left the system running until it hits the setting of 180 degrees. The Aquastat proved to be fine, BUT it took over an hour (like 1.5 hours) to get to 180 degrees then it shut off the burners. Is this normal? The temp of the boiler stayed at 140-150 for long time, then it probably took over 1/2 hour to get to 180. I am concern b/c the radiators are cold before the next call for heat, and burning continuously for about an hour each time is pretty expensive. Should I be concern that this system is no big/efficent enough?

I have a small 1400 sq/f house with the following radiators.
2 larger in-wall radiators - 9' wide X 2.5' height.
3 smaller in-wall radiators - 3' wide X 2.5' height
2 steam-type radiators - - 3' wide X 3' height

thanks in advance for your response.
Old 12-09-09, 09:11 AM
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How old is "pretty old"? Before you start to repair it, ask yourself if there is really any way to make it efficient?
Old 12-09-09, 09:13 AM
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With a 1400 sq ft home I cannot imagine the boiler is too small. I fell more like a piping issue due to large water volume systems. I doubt you require 180 water to heat the home. Check for a boiler bypass pipe. See link concerning boiler bypass piping.
May want to post pictures of your system.

What size and type of expansion tank do you have?
Old 12-09-09, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by esmug View Post
I've concluded that the expansion tank is faulty and will be replacing that.
How did you determine that the tank is faulty? Maybe it's just waterlogged.
Old 12-09-09, 01:09 PM
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Hi All,

thanks for all the response.

1. Pulpo - The boil is 1979 Utica (according to all docs). it has two gas tube burners, and it's rate for 100000 BTUH

2. rbeck- The Aquastat has 180 as the lowest "high limit" control. The house warms to desire temp before the boiler temp reaches 180 degrees. I.E. my programmable thermostat is set for 68 degrees, and "call for heat" stops, I checked the boil thermostat/pressure gauge, it always reads 140-150 degrees with around 32 PSI. I estimate, the boiler ran for good 45 mins continuously before the home is at 68. I've never seen this boiler go up to 180, except when I tested the aquastat by continuously run the boiler.

3. Mike Speed 30 - The expansion tank is a vent-trol 30F Diaphragm type. It can very well be waterlogged. There is a valve on top of the tank, i put a gauge on it, and shows no pressure. I press on the valve pin, nothing comes out. I try to pump pressure into the tank using a bicycle pump no air can get in. I tap the lower and upper sections of the tank using screwdriver, it sounds like there is fluid in there, as I was expecting a hollow echo. I figure, if it's waterlogged, then the diaphragm has stretched to point of non-functional, Hence my desire to replace it.

4. I read the Boiler Bypass, and it may be something that can help the overall efficiency of heating system. These radiators seem original since the house is the same as when it was built. I have not added to the system.

The good thing is that the radiators once hot stays hot for a while. I never timed it, but i notice that when boiler starts back up, the radiators are luke warm, and i estimate an hour have passed.

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