One zone for heat kicks in, airplane landing noise from boiler

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-16-10, 12:36 AM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One zone for heat kicks in, airplane landing noise from boiler

So here's our story, I'm hoping someone can shed some light on a way to fix this ourselves:

Laars MiniTherm installed in 10/06, first winter all is fine.

Second winter a horrid noise like a whining plane is landing starts to happen when the heat kicks in, mostly at night. We call the folks who installed it, they do *something* in under an hour, all is fine for the rest of the season.

2008, the awful noise starts up again as soon as we need the heat, seems to be worse when only one of the house's two zones is calling for heat. Call in the installers, they fix it and explain it needs to be 'adjusted' every year but won't show us what needs to be done...

2009 call in someone else, 'cause who really wants those first guys back at this point. The new person can't explain the bizarre noise, but thinks it sounds dangerous. Call in the inspector and he said something wasn't installed right & needs correcting--a second actuator I think--but the inspector doesn't know what the noise is either.

Call the installers back, they correct whatever the inspector said was wrong, adjust the system so it's nice and quite.

2010, the noise is eating at my soul and I soooo don't want to call the installers back again.

Any ideas you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-16-10, 12:42 AM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Additional info:
PSI appears to be about 38 (half way between the 25 & 50 line)
Temp at 165 F seems to be when the noise starts to kick in, I watched it go up to 170 F and it got pretty loud.
Taco Cartridge Circulator
Mizer Automatic Dampener
Erie Pop Top Actuators (x2)
 
  #3  
Old 12-16-10, 11:56 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Hi Katie, with the type of boiler that you have, it is absolutely imperative that it be installed and piped 'by the book'. This type of boiler is VERY SENSITIVE to having proper flow across the heat exchanger ... and this means usually that there MUST be a proper BYPASS VALVE installed. The noise that you are hearing is absolutely typical of improper flow across the boiler.

Did the installers leave the manual for you? or was it too messed up to keep after they used it to kneel on and keep their jeans clean?

Here's a link to the PDF manual for your boiler:

http://www.laars.com/LinkClick.aspx?...=1999&mid=6888

Take some pictures of the boiler installation and we'll take a look to see what we can see. Set up a free account at Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket and upload the pics there. Come back here and drop a link to your album so we can view the pics...
 
  #4  
Old 12-16-10, 12:42 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the quick reply & handy link! Somehow, with less than an hour's work, each winter the installer has stopped the noise, so I'm hoping it's just something that I can adjust.

I'm not sure if you can see what you need, but here's a pic:



If you need a different angle let me know.
 

Last edited by Katie7; 12-16-10 at 12:44 PM. Reason: fixed image link
  #5  
Old 12-16-10, 02:30 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
That's pretty funny... and smart to cover it! "Installer's Giant Business Sticker" !

In that boiler manual, section 5.1.1 ( if I remember right ) covers the BYPASS issue.

I do NOT see a SYSTEM BYPASS in this photo, but I can't really make out where all the pipes go... can you take another from the side angle? Take some shots of the piping above also... I wanna see everything that's connected to the boiler. Also, get far enough back to try and get the whole system in one shot so I can relate the various individual photos. The more the better.

Let me try to describe what I'm looking for... (refer to the manual piping diagrams if it helps to understand) ... take a look at the top two diagrams on page 14. The bypass valve and pipe are labeled.

There are two main water pipes into and out of the boiler. The one out of the boiler is in the front, with the pressure gauge on it... it is going up to the top of the photo...

There should be a pipe BETWEEN that one, and the one leading back into the boiler. I don't think it's installed correctly.

I GUARANTEE that if a SYSTEM BYPASS were installed on that system, not only would that noise go away, but the boiler would last a lot longer.
 
  #6  
Old 12-16-10, 02:36 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
By the way, I have no idea what it is that they 'adjusted'... but whatever they did, it was not the right thing to do if you do NOT have the bypass piping installed. What they should have done was recognize the problem immediately, and suggest that some piping changes be made.
 
  #7  
Old 12-16-10, 02:40 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
One more thing... you may have some recourse, even after 4 years to have the installer correct any errors... it's going to be a battle... but, print out the manual, show that to them, ask why it was not piped that way... and then call LAARS ... cuz they aren't going to believe some joker on the internet... or you ... but they might believe the manufacturer.
 
  #8  
Old 12-17-10, 09:24 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Not what you wanted to hear?
 
  #9  
Old 12-21-10, 10:55 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry for the delay--injured back plus a small home-based retail business in December means a lot of last minute orders while moving very slow. (I also got locked out of this site for the past two days--don't know why it let me back in today, I haven't heard back from support yet.) Anyhow...


I'll gladly push for them to correct whatever issue there is without charge if it is their fault--I'm wondering if the bypass is what they installed when we called them back about the noise in 2008.


I hope these show what you need--they are the furthest back I could get the camera & I stitched a few shots together to try and give you the full view. Because the diagrams in the manual are very simple, I'm afraid I didn't know if I was seeing what was in the diagrams or not when comparing it to the installation.

Front--click for a larger view:




I stepped to the right of the boiler to take this one:




and this shot is from above it:




Thanks again for taking the time to review my problem--I greatly appreciate it.
 

Last edited by Katie7; 12-21-10 at 10:57 PM. Reason: English 101 errors...
  #10  
Old 12-22-10, 10:16 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Hi Katie, no prob... hope yer back feels better soon!

The bottom pic in your post, the aerial view, does show what appears to be a Taco 'circuit setter' valve... and from what I can see it does appear to be acting as a bypass as required by the manufacturer... that's good news...

They really did not need to use an expensive calibrated valve such as that though... all they really needed was a good quality hand operated globe valve in that line. There is no need for the 'precision' that expensive valve provides, but it will work.

You need to open that valve up some more. That's the bottom line. You should be able to look at it and see what needs to be done, and which way to turn it... ( I think the dial is labeled open and close and has a needle pointer on it)... there are "stops" that are moveable, so before you try to open in further, you may need to loosen those set stops so you can open it wider...

I'm making it sound harder than it is, but it's really easy and one close look at that valve and you will know what to do.

Again, there is NO REASON for the accuracy that this valve provides, it only needs to be opened to the point that the flow is great enough through it that you don't get the noise, and then A BIT MORE... you want some extra 'wiggle room' ...

The boiler manufacturer demands that the difference in temperature between the hot water leaving the boiler and the cooler water returning is no more than 30F ... if you wanted to do anything to more accurately set this valve you would install a clip on pipe thermometer on the return pipe and open the valve until the difference between the gauge on the boiler and the clip on on the return was around 20F...

Or just open it until the noise stops... and a bit more...
 
  #11  
Old 12-23-10, 10:31 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
That sounds do-able, thanks! I'll have my husband get up on a ladder to see that part & the settings so we understand what to adjust (since it's about 4.5 feet from the ground and awkwardly behind the pipes/little silver box).
 
  #12  
Old 12-24-10, 07:23 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Please let us know what happens! Looking at the photo, I fear that it's already wide open... but can't tell for sure. If it IS fully open, then there's something else going on...
 
  #13  
Old 12-26-10, 01:25 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sadly it seems it's as open as it gets...
 
  #14  
Old 12-26-10, 01:29 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
(any chance it's too open...?)
 
  #15  
Old 12-26-10, 01:36 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
(any chance it's too open...?)
No... unfortunately not...

PSI appears to be about 38 (half way between the 25 & 50 line)
Temp at 165 F seems to be when the noise starts to kick in, I watched it go up to 170 F and it got pretty loud.
Katie, would you double check the pressure and temperature gauge please?

Temp is probably correct, but the pressure you state is probably not... there may be two scales on that gauge, one in FEET, and the other in PSI. See if you weren't reading the FEET instead of PSI.
 
  #16  
Old 12-26-10, 01:57 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Katie, how is the water quality where you live? Do you know if there is excessive 'hardness' in the water?
 
  #17  
Old 12-26-10, 02:07 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Rats.

We have hard water & very good water pressure, the last furnace lasted 40 years without issue. Here's a pic of the current gauge:

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m...g?t=1293400850

I must admit I wonder if this corrosion is part of the issue:

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m...g?t=1293401175
 
  #18  
Old 12-26-10, 02:49 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Here's a pic of the current gauge
OK, you were reading the FEET scale... the PSI scale is on the inner radius of the scale and it shows just under 20 PSI, which is fine. I asked about that because sometimes low pressure can be a factor in noise.

the last furnace lasted 40 years
But maybe not this 'type' of boiler... your current boiler has what is called a 'copper tube heat exchanger'. In addition to being sensitive to flow, they are also somewhat prone to issues with hard water... the heat exchange surfaces get 'limed' up... and that can cause this noise problem... I suspect that yours may be so...

I think at this point, you should place a telephone call to Laars ... and see what they recommend. I think the first thing that they will ask you is if there is a bypass, and you can confidently tell them YES. They may suggest some remedial action, or may not want to talk to the homeowner. If that happens, insist that your repair people get in touch with them.

I wonder if this corrosion is part of the issue
It is 'an' issue, you do have a slow leak at that connection, but it is not 'the' issue with the noise.
 
  #19  
Old 12-26-10, 03:45 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: U.S. Midwest
Posts: 1,340
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Katie7 View Post
We have hard water & very good water pressure,
If you have a water softener, use softened water for the makeup to the boiler.

Re: the photo of the leakage at the pump flange. Whenever a relatively ductile copper fitting is threaded into a steel or malleable iron fitting, it takes extra torque to make it leak tight. And plenty of pipe dope. Brass fittings connected to steel/iron fittings don't seem to have that problem.
 
  #20  
Old 12-26-10, 03:57 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
One thing that might help ... turn down the temp setting on the high limit control... you say the plane starts final approach at about 165... turn the high limit down to 165 and see what happens...

This is just a 'band-aid'... I suspect that the first couple years that the system ran without the landing gear down (I mean the system bypass) contributed to the heat exchanger liming up. They closed the hanger door after the plane was in the sky... too late, damage done.
 
  #21  
Old 12-10-11, 07:47 AM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Smile Just stopping back...

Just stopping back in to say thank you and supply a little more info. (My health last winter was just horrid--sorry for not replying sooner.)

So they got the boiler to stop making that noise last year again & all was smooth sailing, I still don't know what they did (there seemed to be no replacement of parts, so I guess they just adjusted something), but this year it started again...

New repairman replaced the aquastat and the boiler is just lovely now.

Here's hoping that's the last of it!


(PS--thanks for keeping the airplane theme in the air--it was fun & humor helps reduce the stress!)
 

Last edited by Katie7; 12-10-11 at 07:50 AM. Reason: additional coment (PS)
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: