No flow in radiant floor, no pressure at the boiler, no spring in WI.....

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  #41  
Old 03-28-11, 11:01 AM
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hi guys –

This has nothing to do with the original problem, but I thought it would be OK to ask a question about the gauge pictured in Trooper’s post #21.

I need to add gauges in my house and I’m going to save that picture. Is that a reducing coupling connected to the vertical part of the tee? How does the tee connect into that coupling?

Any help would be much appreciated!
 
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  #42  
Old 03-28-11, 12:54 PM
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Most pressure gauges have a 1/4 inch male tapered pipe thread connection although 1/8 inch male tapered pipe is not too uncommon. You just use whatever is necessary to pipe the gauge into the system. In Trooper's picture I suspect it is a 1/2 inch copper sweat-to-1/4 inch female pipe adapter he had lying around. As he stated, the picture was a retrofit of a previous connection he had made.

So just get the fittings that work best in your particular situation. The important things are to be able to valve off the expansion tank from the system and also be able to vent the expansion tank to atmosphere after isolation.

Understand also that some local plumbing codes will prohibit any isolation valves between an expansion tank and the system. I strongly suggest using only a ball valve and using a heavy "ty-wrap" to "lock" the handle in the open position except when actually doing the testing and maintenance on the expansion tank. Some people advocate removing the handle and hanging it on a nearby nail but I like the positive indication from leaving the handle in place. If you want to spend some more money they do make safety "lockshields" that can be used over the valve and padlocked in place.
 
  #43  
Old 03-28-11, 04:42 PM
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Furd suspicion is correct... 1/4" FNPT to 1/2" CC adapter. I wanted to add a gauge where I could see it every time I walked past the boiler, so I just pulled a few bits out of my rather well stocked junque box and melted some solder.

My AHJ does not forbid a valve between the tank and system, but I have seen systems around here that have a big red tag hanging on the valve handle that says to the effect:

"WARNING! VALVE MUST BE OPEN WHEN SYSTEM IS IN OPERATION!"

Between that, and the ty-rap, or removing the handle, I'd think there would be no problem.

Before you go to town with the torch though, be aware that Watts makes a combo valve for this exact purpose... a nifty little device they call the RBFF ($40-50):

Model RBFF Residential Boiler Fill Fitting - New Products - Watts
Hey Watts! I'm still waiting for my royalty checks!

Webstone has one also, not as fancy (OR PRICEY! $20) as the Watts unit, but will do the job just fine:

Webstone Company, Inc.
 
  #44  
Old 03-28-11, 07:02 PM
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Gotcha guys! Thanks for your time and the good information. I'm getting smarter every day (well… I guess that's debatable).
 
  #45  
Old 04-03-11, 12:51 AM
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"Final Answer" on my problem.

All - returned home from business trip Friday and got the verdict from my hvac professional who makes a lot of money off of me!

The pressure reducer valve was indeed bad, and the water feed going into it being turned off didn't help anything. Once this was restored, everything worked fine and there was no leak in the system.

A couple of lessons for other readers of this...

1) The radiant flooring heating system isn't as "fire and forget" as the brochures would have you believe. While I wouldn't do it every week, periodic check of the pressure would be good. Mine being tucked away in the corner of the crawlspace was discouraging it. However, would've caught this problem sooner.

2) There are a couple of items in the system that would probably be best keeping a spare of - Motorized valve adaptor, pressure reducer, etc. that are pretty cheap when you don't need them.

3) A reasonable proxy for detecting the problem besides going to the pressure gage is the electric bill. If you see it going up, you may be pumping a whole lot of nothing all the time as the control board isn't sophisticated enough to shut down without flow.

Many thanks to the contributors, particularly NJ Trooper and Lawson (sp?)...keep up the great work and helping to demistify some of the last fontiers of innerspace!!
 
  #46  
Old 04-03-11, 05:58 AM
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Many thanks to the contributors, particularly NJ Trooper and Lawson (sp?)...keep up the great work and helping to demistify some of the last fontiers of innerspace!!
I have been called worse...LOL. I am glad it was an easy fix.

" Live long and prosper "

Mike NJ
 
  #47  
Old 04-03-11, 09:27 AM
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If there is any place that a heat pipe is exposed and visible you could ask your guy to install a gauge at that point to make it easier to monitor the pressure... just a thought.

Glad ya got it all worked out, stay warm! Spring will come to Madison... eventually!
 
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