Noisey water circulating pump

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Old 02-25-10, 10:59 AM
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Noisey water circulating pump

Water circulating pump making noise. Had the house for four years now. Never done anything to the boiler. Sometimes the "system" makes some gurgling and banging noises upon start up. That has been going off and on for a while now. This is new though. The circulating pump (Taco 007-BF5-JW) is making a motor noise (loud hummm) that radiates through the pipes and is very noticable in the house. The noise gets louder (worse) when the temp gets to 180F. I found a replacment cartridge online (007-045RP) and have read several posts on this site and feel confient enough to change it out and purge the system the best I can. My question is am I right in thinking it's the pump? Anything I'm not thinking of or do not know? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I think the pump is on the way out and I would like to have the replacement handy when it goes. (or before!) But, of course, I do not want to spend money I don't have to. Out of work right now and will be for a while.
Also, I'm trying to check the pressure of my boiler system and my gauge has got "crud" on the pressure needle. The needle is at 25 psi and never moves whether the temp needle is at room temp or operating temp (just over 180F) Is this ok? Isn't the pressure supposed to change somwhat? Should I get a new gauge too while I'm at it?

Thanks in advance for any help

Jim
 
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Old 02-25-10, 04:44 PM
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Maybe them Duke boys will come over and help you!

For the price of the cartridge, you can durn near get a whole new pump ya know...

Taco 007-F5 - Taco - 007 Cast Iron Circulator, 1/25 HP

Without hearing the noise, hard to say if it's the pump or not, but my guess would be yes it is.

It also sounds like you have air in the system... that's the gurgling you hear. The 'banging' might be expansion noises from the baseboard piping.

Yes, it sounds like your gauge is pooched. Gauges are evil. When you take it out, use it for target practice and post a pic with a 308 hole through it.

I dunno if you can do it this way cheaper or not, but you can pick up a regular 0-30 or 0-50 PSI gauge, and get some adapter fittings that fit on one of the boiler drains. Screw the gauge with adapters onto the drain and open the valve ... might be easier than trying to find a replacement gauge for your boiler... won't tell you temperature though.

Yes, the pressure will increase from a cool boiler to a hot one. Cool should usually be around 12-15 PSI, and hot might be as much as the low 20's.

While you've got the pressure off the system, you might do yourself a favor and service your expansion tank. Let us know what type tank you have... the kind that looks like a propane tank from a gas grill? or the big ole steel tank strapped into the joists above the boiler?

If you see Daisy, give her a pinch you know where for me...
 
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Old 02-25-10, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for the response. I have a big ole steel expansion tank up in the ceiling joists. Honestly, I have no idea what you mean by servicing the expansion tank. If you could enlighten me that would be great. I will check out getting the whole pump and retro-fitting my boiler drain with a psi gauge. I could still tell the temp from the old gauge that's in there now. That's a really good idea. Thanks a ton. You've already helped me a bunch

By the way, Daisy loved the pinch

Jim
 
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Old 02-25-10, 08:34 PM
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You told Daisy that was from me, right?

Jim, expansion tanks are supposed to have a 'bubble' of air trapped in the top of the tank to allow the expanding water as it's heated to push against. This is what controls the maximum pressure in the system. If that bubble of air wasn't there, the system pressure would skyrocket everytime you heated it up, because you can't compress water.

What happens over time is that the air in the tank dissolves into the water and travels out to the far points of the system. That's the gurgling that you hear.

So every now and then (usually when the pressure relief valve opens and spews water all over the place because the tank has become 'waterlogged') the expansion tank should be drained of all water, and then refilled.

There should be a valve on the line from the boiler to the tank, and there should be a drain valve on the bottom of the tank.

What you would do is (after shutting the boiler off) close the valve on the line to the tank, hook up a hose to the drain, and open the drain.

Where folks usually go wrong though is when the water stops flowing, they close the drain and open the valve and find out the boiler still spews from the valve...

This is because of the 'drinking straw analogy'. When you put a finger over the end of a drinking straw and lift it out of the drink, the drink stays in the straw.

Same thing happens with the expansion tank, so you need a way to 'break' the vacuum that forms when you partially drain the tank. Some people blow into the end of the drain hose (YUCK!) , some use a small air compressor... sometimes all you need to do is slightly loosen the hose from the drain valve and let air go in... but whatever, you need to make sure the tank is empty before you close the drain and open the shutoff valve, or you'll be right back where you started.

But, do the gauge thing first, because if the pressure is OK, then there is no need to touch the tank.
 
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Old 02-28-10, 08:12 PM
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Well I got a gauge on. The pressure when off is zero and at 185 F is almost 25. I had to let some presure off when it was running though because it was getting close to 35. My new pump is in the mail so I should get it this week. I'll do the expansion tank then I think. Is that why there's no pressure when it's not pumping? Because my expansion tank has no air in it? I think I'm figuring this out but it's slow going.

Thanks agin for all your help

Jim
 
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Old 02-28-10, 08:27 PM
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Stratch that. I just ran it again. No pressure at all during a full cycle. Last cycle the "float type automatic air vent" bubbled a little water out. If that helps.

I'm gonna let her lie for the night. Uncle Jesse HELP!!

Jim
 
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Old 03-01-10, 03:50 PM
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Jim, Uncle Jesse is sleepin' and nobody dares to wake him...

Something strange going on there... if your pressure was going up close to 35 PSI on a new gauge, and your relief valve didn't open, then something just ain't right.

If you have low water in the system, it could be why the pump is making noise too... or might have damaged the pump...

I think we need to see pictures. There's more going on there than just the pump.

Got a digital camera? Set up a free account at Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket and take a bunch of pics... all angles, showing all the piping around the boiler, and step back and take a couple showing the whole shebang.... please try to get them in focus and lighted well, and large enough so Uncle Jesse don't have to get out his looking glass. Upload them to photobucket and come back here and drop a link to the album.
 
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Old 03-03-10, 01:24 PM
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Here is the link to pictures. Never done this before. Hope it works!

Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket
 
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Old 03-03-10, 02:44 PM
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Well... it ain't the General Lee...

There's a few things I'm not crazy about... but we won't get into that yet...

This thing:



is a 'backflow preventer'. Why they installed a $500 part on a residential boiler is beyond me... but you see those two valves on either side of that? Those valves are CLOSED, and this is where the water feeds into the boiler. Opening those valves will bring the pressure back up in the system... but be careful and open them slowly while watching the gauge... Do this with the boiler COOL! under 100. Leave the valves open until you have around 15 PSI in the boiler, and then close them again.

It looks like you only have one zone? (i.e. one thermostat in the home)
 
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Old 03-03-10, 03:26 PM
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I should have posted this one first... might as well drain the tank before you pressurize the boiler.

Before you start, SHUT OFF THE BOILER, and let it cool to 100 or less.

This valve (the one with the metal tag on it):



is the one that you would temporarily CLOSE while you are draining the expansion tank.

and this:



is where you would hook up your drain hose.

I have NO IDEA what whoever was thinking when they added that gizmo mini bleeder in the bottom of that tee fitting... that's for what? I don't know! Ignore it. If it had a tire valve on it, you could use it to break the vacuum in the tank (see below) as you drain... but otherwise, I can't imagine what it's for. It MIGHT break the vacuum if you open it when the flow stops, but I doubt it... worth a try though.

Use as short a hose as possible because as you are draining the tank, air must make it's way up the hose into the tank. You want to get all the water out of the tank. Remember the 'drinking straw analogy'... put your finger over the end of a drinking straw and lift it from the glass... drink stay in straw... same thing happens as you drain the tank if air can't get in. A vacuum will develop in the tank and the water will stop draining... sometimes just loosening the hose from the fitting to allow it to suck air is enough to break the vacuum... some guys with good lungs will blow into the end of the hose, but I'm sure that ain't healthy... nobody wants a gulp of smelly nasty boiler water... if you have a small air compressor, you can blow that into the end of the hose... whatever method you use, you do want that tank empty.

When you are sure it's empty, close the drain, and re-open the red and white... water WILL go back into the tank, it's supposed to, but it will only fill about halfway... that's normal... then, you will have to open the valves on the backflow preventer to add more water into the system.

After all this is done, you will probably have to 'purge' the air from the system, but let's get this done first...
 
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Old 03-04-10, 06:26 AM
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Ok. I'm cool with draining the expansion tank and filling the system back up to 15 psi. Now, do I have to purge the system before I can run the boiler again or can I do that at a different time? Also, just the be sure, you are saying do all of this before I change out my motor to see if that quiets it down, right? If I do end up changing the motor, do I do all of these things again? Do I shut off the valve to the expansion tank while I change the motor out? Close all valves maybe?

Just to be sure, to purge I would shut off the red/white valve in pic #285, shut off the valve next to the motor, open the $500.00 water inlet, and open the "purge" valve.(which is now the thumb valve on the splitter I put in for installing the pressure gauge. Wait till no more air comes out, then shut the purge valve, shut the $500.00 inlet, and so on reverse order.

In your opinion, should I plan on changing out the motor for good measure, and also plan on doing all of these things in one day? I haven't received the motor yet so I am hoping it will be here by Sat so I can do this on Sat.

Thanks again man, you're the best!
 
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Old 03-04-10, 03:44 PM
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Sequencing... let's see...

Since we don't actually know if the pump was noisy because of low water, etc, and whether or not the pump is damaged, I would say that since you are getting a new one, you might as well change it out... agree? You may or may not get new flange gaskets with the pump... be prepared to hit Home Depot for those. OH... and if the bolts on the pump flanges are really rusty, you might wanna pick up some when you are there.

Also, it's always possible that when you open that drain valve on the boiler that doesn't look as if it's ever been opened, you might find that when you close it, it drip drip drips... you can should maybe plan on changing it (if you do, get the BALL VALVE type of drain).

I (and furd) always advocate changing out relief valves that are more than five years old... up to you... but if you do, now is the time.

Boilers with standard compression type tanks such as yours should not have the automatic type of air vent that you have on yours near the relief valve. It can/will come in handy though when you refill the boiler, as it will allow the air out of the boiler as it fills. When the boiler is in normal operation, normally the cap on top of that vent would be left loose for air to escape. But not on your system... that air should go back to the expansion tank where it belongs, so after it's all up and running, close that cap. When draining the boiler, opening that cap will allow the boiler to suck air in while the water drains. After you read below procedures, you will see that the air is going to go out the expansion tank drain... so forget I just said that about the cap.

After you refill and heat the boiler up, a LOT of air is going to come out of the fresh water, so leave that cap open for a week or so and let it vent some of that excess air, then close it. If it leaks water out the valve, you might as well plan on changing that as well... they're pretty cheap... Home Depot should have them. Make sure you get the right thread.

With all that said...

When you change the pump, isolate as much of the system as possible so that you drain as little as possible. This does mean closing the red/white in 285 (that's the hot supply line to the house), and the green valve above the pump.

You can leave the red/white to the expansion tank open, and if you open the drain on the expansion tank while you are draining the boiler, that drain on the tank should suck air, and the expansion tank may well drain right along with the boiler, saving a step... easier is good! Better put a hose on that tank drain though, because at some point the tank may also drain some water from there... and again, a short hose with no loops and twists is best...

So, now the pump is changed, the tank is drained... what next?

I think if you CLOSE the boiler drain on the boiler, OPEN the GREEN valve above the pump, and LEAVE THE EXPANSION TANK DRAIN OPEN with the hose still on it, leaving the red/white 285 CLOSED, you should be able to purge the heating loop, AND fill the boiler in one step...

When you open the water feed valves, that water will flow through the system first because the red/white 285 is still closed, and push all the air ahead of the flow, down into the boiler... with me so far? ... as the boiler fills from the bottom, it will push the air up out the top (the supply pipe), and since the drain on the tank is still open, and 285 closed, that air will exit via the expansion tank drain, right? When the system is purged, and the boiler is full, you will hear water entering the expansion tank, and of course water will flow from the drain valve on the tank.

At this point, close the expansion tank drain valve! And get ready to close the water feed valve when you see the gauge pressure come up to 15 PSI. At this point, close the water feed valve.

Now all you need to do is OPEN R/W 285 and start the boiler up again.

Look this over real good and make sure it all makes sense, cuz I'm doing this from looking at your (excellent by the way!) pics and 'remote viewing' your system.

A little "Zen" always helps too... "become the water" and you will see!
 
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Old 03-06-10, 10:39 AM
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You are the man! Now if taht pump ever shows up I can get started. I think it's on a slow boat from china. been almost two weeks now. Anyway, should get to it next week. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 03-06-10, 07:01 PM
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Sorry, I got one more Q for ya. The pressure gauge I bought came with a thermo-well. I'm wondering how far to turn the gauge stem into it. The thermo-well "wet-end" has spring action that pulls it back to the gauge. It also has an O-ring that seats between the moveable stem and the thermowell itself. I hope I'm expaining it right. If you want I'll put up pics but I'm guessing you know what I'm saying

Seems to me if I don't turn it in tight enough it won't feel the pressure (cause of the spring and all) and if I turn it in too tight water will go past the o-ring. (assuming the o-ring is to prevent water from actually getting to the gauge, then I'm confused how tight to go)

If I had to commint to one or the other I would tighten it until I knew the gauge stem was pushing on the "wet" stem. this would compromise the o-ring seal.

I'll wait to hear from the expert

Thanks man

Jim
 
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Old 03-07-10, 07:53 AM
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That spring loaded 'stopper' is so that you can change the gauge without having to drain the boiler completely. You would still need to relieve the pressure though, they don't seal 100%... I think the O-ring you are talking about is on the gauge itself, yes? That's to prevent leakage from around the threaded part of the gauge.

So the gauge has to be screwed into the well far enough to open the stopper at the end of the well.

I should have explained myself a bit more when I suggested the 'external' pressure gauge to you... what I meant was to get a regular old pressure gauge, like this:



I made this one out of bits from my junque boxe... and old warshin' machine hose ... etc.

What you can do is install that new gauge on the boiler when you get it drained to do the other work.
 
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