How to purge air in closed baseboard system??

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Old 12-10-09, 07:32 AM
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How to purge air in closed baseboard system??

Sorry for the probably 50th post on this subject, but having a VERY rough day and need advice!

I am running a gas fired hot water baseboard heating system in my house. 3 zones, each with it's own thermostat. The lowest level (same as boiler) is not heating. I can hear the thermostat activate the switch on the line, so I know it is calling for heat.

Have heard "gurgling" in the upper zones lately, but there is still warm heat from the upstairs baseboards, and have had to continually add water to keep the pressure in the boiler at the 15-20 psi range.

Believe I need to purge the system of air, but not exactly sure how considering there is no valve on the baseboards to do this. I know it can probably be done at the boiler, but not sure the proper steps. Cannot post pictures at this time as I am at work (but my wife is CONTINUOUSLY reminding me that the heat is not working in the basement). The temperature is in the low 60's in the rooms.

I am using a lennox conservator, but believe it is a Dunkirk XEB-3 with a standard air tank connected. The person who owned this house really did a number on things here, so I have been having to figure things out as I go...

Help!!
 
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Old 12-10-09, 03:34 PM
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Sounds like you've got some problems there!

The bad news is that if you have to constantly add water to the system to keep it at 15 PSI, you most likely have a leak somewhere. Before you can think about purging air, you have to determine why (and where) you are losing water.

What type of heat emitters are in the home? i.e. fin-tube baseboard, in-floor radiant, cast iron radiators?
 
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Old 12-11-09, 05:37 AM
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Well, found the leak (and the corresponding damaged dry wall, floor, so on...). Got that patched up and the system held 18 psi all night! So good news there. BTW - it is baseboard radiant heat (the pipes with many thin metal fins).

Bad news - still no hot water in the basement zone. Upper floors 2 zones have heat (not alot, but at least warm). When I purged the air from the lines, I was able to get water flowing through zone B (for basement), so I know that they are not frozen shut. And when I purged using the heated water from the tank I could feel that pass through.

So now I have:
** A boiler showing 18 psi, and 180 (ish) degree water (and it is hot... found out the fun way...)
** Upper 2 zones with warm pipes at every register (some hotter than others)
** Zone B not hot or warm at all (almost all piping below level of boiler).

I am wondering if it might be the circulating pump? I have a Taco 007 F5. It is REALLY hot to the touch, but I dont hear anything. I know they are quiet, but that quiet? I opened the wiring cover, and saw that there was a white wire hanging free, and another white wire with a nut on it connected to nothing. Anyone know the proper wiring sequence for the Taco 007 F5?
 
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Old 12-11-09, 06:04 AM
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Also, even though I get flow through the pipes, is it possible they are frozen? They are in the concrete floor with insulation around them, so getting to them would be... difficult... Is there any way to unfreeze them otherwise? Just checking, but don't think they are frozen since I get flow.
 
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Old 12-11-09, 02:33 PM
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It is beginning to sound as though the circ might not be circing...

You should have 120VAC power into the Taco... black (hot), white (neutral) , and green or bare copper (ground). If you have a multimeter and know how to use it, check to see that power is getting to the pump when it should be.

The ground should go to a screw inside the box, the black and white coming in should be connected.

Are either of the white wires you mentioned one of these coming in to power the pump?

I wouldn't want to speculate what the loose wires are without seeing them. You could do a little investigation though... with the power to the boiler OFF! remove the wire nut from the white wire and see if there are TWO wires twisted inside the wire nut... then, look at the other wire that is hanging loose and see if it appears as if the end of the wire is broken, or cut... you might be able to determine if the two wires were at one time together and need to be reconnected... but DON'T EXPERIMENT if you are not absolutely sure!

If you have a digital camera, snap some pics and set up a free account at Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket and upload them there. Drop a link here to view.
 
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Old 12-11-09, 08:08 PM
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is your taco as hot as the pipes? if so, it might just be heated by the hot water.
If the taco is hotter than the pipe, you can presume electricity is flowing thru it.
but then, what are those loose wires for?
my taco pump is so quiet that it is difficult to tell if it's on, the vibration of it is easier to use to tell on or off.
 
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