Spriovent not working


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Old 12-10-09, 08:10 PM
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Spriovent not working

Greetings,

I have a hot water monoflow system that has a new Extrol tank and junior Spirovent. When the contractor left, the Extrol and Spirovent were not perfectly level. They say that is ok. I am not so sure.

None the less, air is no longer being purged from the system; there was room to elevate the Extrol and Spirovent to get it near level. Still no luck on purging air. I noticed that there is not a cap on the threaded portion of the Spriovent nozzle. When I mildly strike the body of the Spirovent with the insulated handle on a Channel Lock, I can observe a good deal of water splashing from the top of the nozzle.

As the system is running, I can hear air pass between the Spriovent and the Extrol and on into the monoflow pipe. Do I have a Spriovent that is bad or perhaps water has gotten above the float and is preventing air from escaping?

Thanks,

Lou
 
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Old 12-11-09, 11:41 AM
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That sounds pretty strange. Did the contractor install this spirovent? If so they should come back and check it out ...

I just installed a spirovent and extrol about 2 months ago. I can't say my work is perfect, but my device here is working extremely well. I've drained my boiler several times to fix issues, and have had no trouble purging air.

I wouldn't hit the spirovent. Mine has exposed threads at top just as you describe. The spirovent does need to be level, that is, it is a tall unit where the outlet sits level up above the pipe it is connected to, similar to the picture on the box & web site.

Since the 'vent is basically a wire mesh cage inside, I would expect it to be subject to trapping any junk that might be floating around in your pipes, including excessive pipe dope.

If I drain my boiler down below the 'vent, and then put the freshwater supply back on, I can definitely hear a massive amount of air escaping from it. I'm not sure if it makes sense for you to do that as a test .....

Hope some of that helps
 
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Old 12-11-09, 04:27 PM
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The tank doesn't care what position it's in, but I would sure recommend that the Spirovent be level.

The threads are for attaching an optional drain hose that would direct any water that might escape from a 'stuck open' vent to a safe place (floor drain, laundry tub, etc).

Where in the system is the vent and tank located? Especially in relation to the circ pump?

Ideally these things work best when they are installed at the hot supply out of the boiler, and the pump is pumping away from the device. They will still work otherwise, but that's the best setup for them.

How long has it been installed? It does take some time for them to scrub all the air from the system.

James could be right... might be 'junk in your trunk'.
 
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Old 12-11-09, 06:19 PM
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Thanks fellas for the help.

The spirovent is certainly not venting, it originally did vent. I have drained the system several times and found what I consider to be a considerable amount of trash in the water.

This is the Junior Spirovent and appears to have a two piece body. Can I unscrew those two pieces and then clean out the interior of the Spirovent?

I am about to drain the system and place two B&G No. 67 automatic bleeders, one on each side of the split. This will be right before the water enters the first finned convector on the left of the split and the first finned convector on the right of the split.

NJ Trooper ... the system has been installed for several months, the not venting air has just recently occured. The vendor has been out twice but, I have given up on them. Very difficult to find qualified tradesmen when you live in a small town.

Forgot to add: the Spriovent and Extrol are on the supply side of the boiler, the TACO circulator is on the other side.

I just drained the boiler, opened the valve on the boiler and no water came out. I then operated the pressure valve for the boiler and the water began to flow. I could also hear the Spirovent purge air and the water drained. I presume it was purging and not drawing in air.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 07:04 AM
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According to Spirotherm the vent needs to be installed perfectly upright. It can also be opened for cleaning and service.

http://www.spirotherm.com/docs/installation/JrIOM-A.pdf

As for putting the auto vents on the pipes, there needs to be a separator of some nature. If the convectors are an upright type with bleeders at the high point, an auto vent can be placed there.

Al.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 08:45 AM
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OldBoiler,

Thanks for the pdf. I had seen that on their site and I presume that by vent head they are talking about the upper half of the body.

I placeed 2 of the auto vents on the finned converctors last night. The convectors had the elbow that has the threaded throat that will accept a manual or auto vent. Using teflon tape, I placed those at the first two conectors that the supply side goes to. One on the left side of the split and one on the right side of the split. The system is much quiter today and I seldom hear air in the system.

I now have he spirovent is almost, almost perfectly level and I can hear it vent air from time to time. I am still getting some vibrational noise and I can hear a low pulsing noise in the pipes. I am wondering if the circulator, a TACO 007 is marginal but I am uncertain of any tests that can prove or disprove the quality of the ciruclator. The circualtor is 8 years old.
 

Last edited by LouInVA; 12-12-09 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 12-12-09, 09:06 AM
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I just drained the boiler, opened the valve on the boiler and no water came out. I then operated the pressure valve for the boiler and the water began to flow. I could also hear the Spirovent purge air and the water drained. I presume it was purging and not drawing in air.
Lou, something ain't right. You opened the boiler drain and NOTHING CAME OUT? That's just not possible... You had to have had at least 12 PSI in the system, and gotten water out of the boiler under 12 PSI pressure...

If you heard the Spiro hissing while you were draining, it was drawing in air as the boiler drained.

What is the pressure in your system? If there's a problem with that, it certainly could explain why you have air in your system that is not venting. Check the gauge and let us know.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 09:16 AM
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NJTrooper,

At present the system is resting, circulator not running and the pressure is 15 psi, per the gauge on the top of the boiler.

I failed to mention in my previous post that last night after I added the two auto vents and refilled the system, I noticed that the pressure gauge was at ~6 psi. That was with the system running and attempting to heat the house. I then increased the pressure until the psi was at ~12, which I understand is also the psi for the Extrol.

I had been told that the Extrol manages the pressure of the system and not the cold water feed pressure regulator, I am curious why I now have 15 psi on the gauge and the Extrol should be 12 psi. Of course the gauge on the boiler may not be accurate, that is always a possibility.

This has been an increasingly interesting experience to say the least. Probably would have been better to learn this though, when the weather is warm.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
Lou, something ain't right. You opened the boiler drain and NOTHING CAME OUT? That's just not possible... You had to have had at least 12 PSI in the system, and gotten water out of the boiler under 12 PSI pressure...

If you heard the Spiro hissing while you were draining, it was drawing in air as the boiler drained.

What is the pressure in your system? If there's a problem with that, it certainly could explain why you have air in your system that is not venting. Check the gauge and let us know.
My highly uneducated guess is that when the Spriovent and Extrol were angled downward that a vacume formed. I then leveled the Spriovent/Extrol and let the system run 2 days. I could constantly hear air in the system.

It was after I opened the pressure relief valve for the boiler that the water began to drain from the boiler and the overhead piping. I believe that you are correct that the hissing I heard was air being drawn into the system via the Spriovent vent.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 10:04 AM
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Lou, let's go over a few points in your previous posts...

First, there should be no way that a vacuum can form in what is supposed to be a pressurized system. The MINIMUM pressure should be 12 PSI. If you have a 'pressure reducing valve' on the system, it will feed water to the system until there is 12 PSI. If there is a MANUAL fill valve, that job is yours... when the system is COLD the pressure should be 12 PSI. When the system gets HOT, the pressure will increase, usually 5-8 PSI, but depending on the size and condition of the expansion tank, maybe more or less.

Expansion tank next:

Take a look at the Amtrol brochure for the how's and why's of what the tank does, and how it's constructed.

Amtrol EXTROL brochure

The expansion tank AIR CHARGE has to match the MINIMUM pressure in the system. In this case 12 PSI... BUT, you can only check or charge this pressure when there is ZERO pressure on the water side of the bladder. You will not get accurate readings/results if there is any pressure on the boiler side. When you had the system drained was an excellent time to check the air charge in the tank and top it off with a bicycle pump or small compressor.

Since water expands when it is heated, there has to be a place for that expansion to go. Water can not be compressed, but air can. So that 'bubble' of air inside the tank is acting as a 'pillow' to take up the expanded water volume. The tank has to be big enough to allow the water to expand without the pressure exceeding the setting of the pressure relief valve.

How new is the tank? how long do you suppose it's been since the air charge in the tank was checked properly?

Watch the pressure gauge when the system is firing... if it goes over 20 PSI when it is HOT (say 180) it might be a good idea to check the air charge in the expansion tank.

more...
 
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Old 12-12-09, 10:10 AM
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I had been told that the Extrol manages the pressure of the system and not the cold water feed pressure regulator,
Just to expand on this a bit... the pressure regulator manages the MINIMUM pressure in the system. If the pressure drops below it's setting, it will automagically add water until the pressure is at it's setting.

The Expansion tank manages the HIGHEST pressure in the system, by giving the expanded water a place to go, and a 'cushion' to push against (the trapped air in the tank).
 
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Old 12-12-09, 10:14 AM
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I am still getting some vibrational noise and I can hear a low pulsing noise in the pipes. I am wondering if the circulator, a TACO 007 is marginal but I am uncertain of any tests that can prove or disprove the quality of the ciruclator. The circualtor is 8 years old.
The pump is probably fine... if it's running.

The noises you hear are probably normal. Where the piping is in contact with framing and whatever, it will transmit some of it's vibration to the framing and you will hear it. It shouldn't be loud enough that it's annoying though.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by LouInVA View Post
OldBoiler,

Thanks for the pdf. I had seen that on their site and I presume that by vent head they are talking about the upper half of the body.
That is my understanding too. As they mention that the coalescing medium can be R&R'd once the top half is removed.

Al.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 10:30 AM
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NJTrooper,

Thanks for your help! This is all becoming clearer to me. The system is currently firing and the psi is steady at 15.

While observing the system this morning, I did observe the pressure, with the system at rest, to drop from 15 to 14 psi.

The Extrol is reasonably new, two months old. I have not checked the pressure myself. It does make sense to releave the system pressure before checking the Extrol.

Presently with the system running at 15 psi, I have checked for air at each of the manual bleed valves at the finned convectors and no air is being expelled. The auto valves seem to be doing their job. The top ~1/3 of the Extrol tank is hot to the touch, I presume it is doing its job.

What I can do is turn the system down and let it go cold and see what the pressure drops to. Prior to last nights adjusting of the pressure reducing valve, the cold pressure was ~6 psi.

Today in my travels, I am going to look for a bicycle pump and guage.
 
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Old 12-12-09, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by OldBoiler View Post
That is my understanding too. As they mention that the coalescing medium can be R&R'd once the top half is removed.

Al.
Thanks Al,

That is what I thougt. I did look at a new in the box Spirovent at a plumbing supply outfit yesterday. From looking at the bottom opening, the unit looks reasonably simple in technology and function.

It will be interesting to see if there are trash in the mesh of the unit.

Lou
 
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Old 12-12-09, 11:14 AM
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Prior to last nights adjusting of the pressure reducing valve, the cold pressure was ~6 psi.
And that was most likely the majority of the problem. Without enough pressure you will have problems with air in the system. The fact that the Spiro was caddy wompus didn't help, but I doubt it was root cause.

If it's a new tank, you probably don't have to do anything to it yet. In normal operation those tanks will lose like 1-2 PSI / year, so if you check and adjust every year or two you will be fine. Most tanks NEVER get checked until they have lost all their air, and the relief valve spews water.
 
 

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