Zone Problem - Heat to 1 room within zone


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Old 12-15-10, 06:45 PM
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Zone Problem - Heat to 1 room within zone

Hi All:

1st time poster. Came home from work tonight, no heat to 2nd floor. Knight 105 btu gas boiler, 3 zones, 2nd floor is a single zone. The boiler responded to call for heat, but no heat upstairs.

I checked to zone head (tied to taco 571 zone valve), trying to move it from auto to open. VERY difficult to move, so clearly there is an issue there. I put it in the open position, and still no heat upstairs. Then, I walk into the only room upstairs that I dont use, and the baseboard is warm!!!! But it is not warm in any other room upstairs???? The warm room is closest to where the pipe comes up from boiler in cellar.

I am just trying to get through the night, it is about 10 degrees here, and I have 2 toddlers. I can move them downstairs, but didn't know if there was anything I could do tonight. Calling the heater man at night is going to impact Santa's visit...

Any advice gratefully accepted
 
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Old 12-15-10, 08:27 PM
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What is the reading on the PRESSURE/TEMPERATURE gauge on the boiler ?
 
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Old 12-16-10, 05:35 AM
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temp/pressure

PSI is 18, temp is 170, and that temp matched the digital readout on the boiler.

With zone open, pipe above the zone valve is hot, as if it was going to go up and heat the whole zone.
 
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Old 12-16-10, 02:56 PM
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IF (and that's a big IF) the gauge is to be trusted (they very often are not) then you should have enough pressure in the system...

Low pressure in the boiler is most often the cause of no heat in upper radiators...

Can you take some pics of the system so we can see what ya got? FREE account at Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket ... upload pics there, place link to your public album here and we'll take a look if there is something you can do ... there probably is...

Take a look at all the baseboards and see if you can find any 'air bleed' valves. They would usually be located at the end of the run... where the pipe goes back down into the floor.
 
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Old 12-16-10, 04:42 PM
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Pic Posted

Pictures by carstuff1 - Photobucket

The right most zone is the problem, I put it back on auto and the heat is still in just the one room. I remembered as I took the pics that the relief valve on top of the expansion tank was replaced in October, it was leaking and I was on a business trip, so my wife called a plumber. This zone/heat issue is a recent development. I knocked on the expansion tank, it sounds like there may be some water in it, but not much. I don't know if that is good or bad?

I traced the 2nd floor baseboard pipe around the 2nd floor to where it drops down, I can't find a valve or nipple. Where it drops into the floor has some insulation on it, which looks like it descends into the floor. Tried to peel it back, can't feel anything but pipe. House built in 1972, baseboard is copper pipe with fins.
 

Last edited by carstuff; 12-16-10 at 04:46 PM. Reason: link wrong
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Old 12-16-10, 07:06 PM
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OK Cars... that helps a lot...

trying to move it from auto to open. VERY difficult to move, so clearly there is an issue there.
Compare the manual open on that valve to the manual open on the other two valves. Do they feel the same?

There's two possibilities that I can see...

1. The zone valve IS NFG.

When the upstairs zone is calling for heat, does the boiler indicate that there is a heat call? ( when checking this, make sure that the other two zone valves are NOT calling for heat, turn those t'stats all the way down.)

Do the circulators run when the upstairs is calling for heat?

If NOT, we need to troubleshoot the zone valve.

2. There is air trapped in the upstairs loop.

If you can determine that the upstairs zone IS calling for heat, and the circs ARE running, it's a safe bet that air is the problem.

Your pressure gauge may be lying to you. You would need to verify that with a known good gauge.

If the pressure gauge is NOT lying to you, then in the absence of any air bleeders on the baseboards, you will have to do a 'power purge'.

We can tell ya how to do that once we are sure that it's not a zone valve problem.
 
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Old 12-16-10, 07:07 PM
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Do you own and know how to use a multimeter?
 
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Old 12-17-10, 06:27 AM
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Circulator Results

Checked the auto/open levers on all three powerheads. The bad zone, zone 3, was very difficult to move. Zone 2, middle powerhead, which heats 90% of first floor, moved easily. Zone 1, which heats 1 room that is set at 60, moved less easily, but I don"t *think* ihave a problem there, though zone 2 could be providing enough heat to make the thermostat happy.

I turned off the t-stats to all three zones. Boiler went into standby. Temp dropped on gauage and boiler readout to about 120, pressure went to 15. Turned on t-stat to Zone 3, the problem one. Boiler fired up. I put a screwdriver to the circulators (read that tip here!). Heard what I assume to be water moving, but it was cutting out for a few 10ths of a second every few seconds. It sounded like an outside water spigot when there is no hose attached. The noise was much more pronounced on the lower circulator (black), closest to the boiler.
 
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Old 12-17-10, 06:47 AM
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No to both. I can buy one and figure it out...
 
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Old 12-17-10, 05:15 PM
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I don't think you need to... sounds to me as if the zone valve is working in spite of it being hard to move manually. I mean, if it's firing up the boiler, it means that it's opening and the 'endswitch' is activating the boiler.

Let's see if we can do a power purge... don't cost nothin' but time.

Do you know which of these three red hand valves is the return from that zone?



See the screw slot valve below the hand valves? That's a 'stop' valve... when the screw slot is parallel to the pipe it's open, when perpendicular, it's closed.

In this pic, you see the 'bell shaped' valve feeding water into the boiler from the domestic side? There's a lever on top of it. That lever is a 'fast fill' lever and will bypass the regulator portion of the valve when you lift it.

1. TURN BOILER OFF AND ALLOW TO COOL TO 100F OR LESS! DO NOT FEED LARGE AMOUNT OF COLD WATER INTO HOT BOILER! (although you can isolate the boiler by closing those two GREEN valves). Still, TURN BOILER OFF!

2. Connect hose to red hand valve for the zone that isn't heating. Direct hose to laundry tub or out window. A small bucket will NOT do, you will be pushing a pretty fair amount of water.

3. Turn screw slot valve perpendicular to pipe.

3a. MANUALLY OPEN zone valve for the zone.

4. FULLY OPEN the red hand drain valve.

5. LIFT UP THE LEVER on the water feed valve to get full flow through the zone.

6. When no more air exits the hose, LOWER THE LEVER on the feed valve.

7. CLOSE the red handle valve.

8. Turn screw valve parallel to pipe.

8a. Return ZONE VALVE to AUTO

9. OPEN the green valves if you closed them.

Turn boiler back on and see what happens...
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-18-10 at 08:22 AM. Reason: added missed step 8a
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Old 12-18-10, 07:56 AM
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NJ Trooper - Thank YOU!

Followed your instuctions, though I dropped the boiler temp below 100 AND shut off water to the boiler. Everything went smoothly. During the restart procedure, I didn't see an instruction that the zone head control should be put back into auto, but I assumed it should.

I called for heat one zone at a time. The first call was for the problem zone. Room temp was 58. The call was answered by the boiler quickly, but initially only that one room heated up, so I cranked the t-stat to 85 (nothing to lose). The rest of the rooms started to heat up SLOWLY (that trick didn't work before). I set the t-stat back to 70, and went to sleep at about 12;30 a.m. It was 70 upstairs at 5 a.m. when I woke up. I then brought the rest of the house up, no problems.

I really appreciate the help you gave me. I see you are really busy, and patient, here.

I am so thankful I am not even going to make any Patriots/Jets cracks!
 
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Old 12-18-10, 08:24 AM
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Hey Cars! GREAT! I'm glad Santa will still be visiting your home!

I added the missed step to my previous post for future users, thanks!

And don't mess with my DEVILS either!
 
 

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