circulators keep failing?

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-30-11, 09:23 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
circulators keep failing?

I have a seven zone forced hot water oil burner with superstore. I have had to replace 4 Taco 007-F5 Cast Iron Circulator Pumps in the last three years. This is for the same zone, zone 1 that goes to the hot water tank. This is not set up as priority (or at least that's what they tell me). What happens is the unit overheats, and the burner turns off and will not come back on. We have no hot water AND we can not get heat to the other zones. If I shut down the system and let it cool, it will work again until it overheats. So, I keep changing circulators but no one can tell me why this is happening. THe system was purged for air before install of the latest pump. One pump failed in a week, most lat up to one year. Any thoughts on this?

thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-30-11, 09:49 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
What happens is the unit overheats, and the burner turns off and will not come back on.
What unit overheats? The water heater or the boiler ?

Make model of the boiler please?
 
  #3  
Old 12-30-11, 10:10 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry, the circulator pump overheats and from there makes noise and the oil burner will not kick back on. This takes some time to happen. I have a Burnham Pv74wc-tbwn Burner and a Superstore sf-40 tank.

thanks
 
  #4  
Old 12-30-11, 10:31 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Jitter... can you take some photos and show us the piping between the boiler and the superstore?

If so, please make sure they are in focus, well lighted, and large enough for old dudes to see the details. 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 PUBLIC photo album.
 
  #5  
Old 12-30-11, 12:24 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok, thank you. Here are the links to the photos:

Pictures by jstilwell5 - Photobucket
 
  #6  
Old 12-30-11, 12:53 PM
rbeck's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,466
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Don't take this to the bank but my guess is air is accumulating in that circuit as it is the first off and the air scoop will never get all the air out on the first pass. than the pump is trying to push the air down and it is having a hard time. I would try turning that zone either down or horizontal instead of having an inverted trap.
 
  #7  
Old 12-30-11, 01:02 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Nothing jumps right out as being terribly problematic... pumps are mounted properly...

I presume that the first one on the left is the water heater zone?

I see that it might not be a bad idea to replace that leaking air vent on top of the scoop...

Is the expansion tank mounted on the bottom of the scoop?

The only possible explanation I can come up with is that somehow the water heater zone is becoming 'air bound' and the pump ends up running dry ... overheating and destroying itself.

How is this system being controlled? Is there a switching relay panel ?

I don't see any wiring on the aquastat control on the water heater... how does the water heater call the boiler to fire?
 
  #8  
Old 12-30-11, 01:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 769
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
where the failures impeller or electrical burn outs on the motors....they are 115V how is the actual voltage at the motor.what is your boiler set point TEMP.on the hot water out to the pumps?
 
  #9  
Old 12-30-11, 01:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Gentlemen:

thank you. There is an Erie Boss SR06 Zone Trac Relay box. There is a control box on the side of the superstore. Yes the first one is the water heater zone. Yes the expansion tank is mounted on the bottom of the scoop. IT seems that an air issue is the most logical explanation. Rbeck, your situation might be a good idea. Can you elaborate on how you would do that? Sorry, not the handiest of do it youreslfers. There seems to be some debate on whether or not the water heater has PRIORITY or not, as no one including myself is all that familiar with this relay box. I should have unplugged the water heater last night when we had no heat to see if the other zones would heat up. But priority or no priority these circulators shouldn't keep going, so air seems to be the issue. I have heard there are German made ciruclators with air vents in them? might that help? Does purging the system of air help? Or is this different? Appreciate all the thoughts gents!
 
  #10  
Old 12-30-11, 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
I think the consensus is that air is the most likely culprit... because of the way it appears to be piped, where the pump goes up, elbows back and then to the right toward the heater, then presumably over and down again. I think I also see a flow check valve up near the ceiling? (not that it's part of the problem, just that it's there).

So, if any air comes along and scoots up that first take-off for the heater, each time a bubble comes along it will collect more and more air in that horizontal section of pipe leading to the heater... eventually filling it with air. Once that pipe is filled with air, there is no water around the pump itself, and it can't push air... centrifugal pumps don't create much 'suction' when it's only air... so it sits there doing nothing, running dry, and burning itself out.

sminker had a good question, which might tell us something:

were the failures impeller [mechanical] or electrical burn outs on the motors?
SR06
Is that the correct model number? doesn't look right... maybe SR601 ?

If so, that panel DOES have ability to do priority, BUT... it's only SIX channels! And you've got SEVEN zones... something not adding up.

Can you slide the cover off the Boss panel and get a clear shot of the innards?

Follow the wiring from the water heater control and see if it ends up somewhere other than the Boss panel.
 
  #11  
Old 12-30-11, 02:54 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
In case you do not have, here is a link to the PDF for the SR series Erie panels.

http://www.tac.com/data/internal/dat.../F_27019_1.pdf

Read the 'theory of operation' on pages 9-10 for more info on the priority feature.

It sounds as if you DO have it set up for priority, and when the heater zone gets air bound, you get no hot water, the heater calls and calls, and if priority, there is no heat allowed to the home during this time either... fits the symptoms I think!
 
  #12  
Old 12-30-11, 03:47 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,925
Received 8 Votes on 8 Posts
I noticed one concern with the pumps' installation. To help avoid suction problems and air entrainment, it is recommended that the suction line be a straight section of pipe, at least 5-10 pipe diameters in length. Yours look marginal, at best. And, a tee right at the suction is not good practice, since it can cause excessive turbulence at the eye of the impeller. Elbows are bad, but a tee would be worse because of the sharp corners.
 
  #13  
Old 12-30-11, 03:50 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Seeing how its all threaded pipe on the manifold, it may be easier to add an air vent on the indirect zone instead of trying to swing that one tee around.

By the way, where is all that water coming from that is rusting your supply manifold?
 
  #14  
Old 12-30-11, 04:00 PM
ItsTim's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: God Bless America
Posts: 122
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Is that a swing check installed between the circulator and the SuperStor? Which way is the arrow pointing?
 

Last edited by ItsTim; 12-30-11 at 04:01 PM. Reason: got my F5 and 005 confused
  #15  
Old 12-30-11, 04:06 PM
ItsTim's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: God Bless America
Posts: 122
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Maybe cut out that swing check and replace with a spirovent (or at least a Hy-vent).. use a circulator with an IFC.

If the arrow on the swing check is indeed facing the right way, perhaps something is jammed in there.

If it happens to be an air issue.. well you solved that too

EDIT: What happens if you close the ball valve on the indirect return and open the drain valve, do you get full flow coming out?
 

Last edited by ItsTim; 12-30-11 at 04:08 PM. Reason: ADHD
  #16  
Old 12-30-11, 04:25 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
use a circulator with an IFC.
If it IS an air problem, going to a pump with the internal flow check would probably spell certain doom for the pump... with it oriented vertically that is... it might make the problem occur sooner at the least.

Any air that scoots up that take-off will collect under the flow check and when enough collects, it won't pump. I don't like IFC pumps mounted vertically for that reason. I think I read something at Taco's site about this problem...

It's especially troublesome when first filling a system. Tech scratches head... "why can't I get these pumps to flow?"
 
  #17  
Old 12-30-11, 05:01 PM
ItsTim's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: God Bless America
Posts: 122
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Point taken.. perhaps replace the Hy-vent on the air scoop. I am having a hard time believing it is air, but we won't know until we do some more troubleshooting.

If it there is repeatedly an air problem, I think something else is wrong. How many times have we seen this exact setup work flawlessly for a decade. If it is an air problem, where is the air coming from? With all those circs is their radiant somewhere? What tubing did they use?
 
  #18  
Old 12-30-11, 05:22 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
perhaps replace the Hy-vent on the air scoop.
Yes... absolutely replace that. It has been leaking for a long time, and I'm willing to bet that the cap is screwed down tight now to stop the leaking. So, any air that DOES get caught by the scoop will eventually spill over into the zones when there's enough air in there.

If it is an air problem, where is the air coming from?
Excellent question, bears investigation!

Droo - By the way, where is all that water coming from that is rusting your supply manifold?
Ditto that.
 
  #19  
Old 12-31-11, 11:06 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
OK alot to respond to here. First of all, thanks for all this input. I have a lot to consider, alot to learn, and perhaps a good number of things to try to remedy this problem which appears to be air related.

Yes, the Box as you correctly noted is sr601, sorry for that. Yes, we have 7 zones, but the 7th zone was never fully piped and is not utilized.

How would I tell if the failure was the impeller or if it is electrical? When it overheats, I can hear it rattling away on the inside. Is that diagnostic? When this first happened, I think I recall the oil tech saying it was the impeller. My boiler temp is set to 120.

NJ Trooper your theory about the air sounds spot on, but where is the air coming from? Any thoughts? Thank you for the erie panel info. I will look into that, but again priority or not, it shouldn't burn out the circulator, right? Or is priority set up harder on the pump?

I need to investigate where the rust is coming from. I suspect a small leak in the ceiling. Shouldn't be related to this though, right?

as I read the exchange between ItsTim and NJ, I think I am getting a little lost. I am going to have my plumber friend come over and check this out. There is a lot of valuable info in this thread. Hopefully my friend can help me explore some of these thoughts.

Thanks
 
  #20  
Old 12-31-11, 12:19 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
I will look into that, but again priority or not, it shouldn't burn out the circulator, right? Or is priority set up harder on the pump?
No, priority has nothing to do with the pump destruction.

It's just that if the panel is set for priority, then the problem description would fit that fact.

IF it's an air blockage, then when the DHW calls for heat and gets none, it just keeps calling and calling .... the pump keeps running and running... and in the meantime, the priority will prevent the heat from working as well.

The PROBLEM seems to be air related, but the SYMPTOMS fit the fact that it may be set for priority. You can easily determine this by looking inside the panel...

My boiler temp is set to 120.
Say what? How so? Please explain...

What type of heat emitters do you have in the home?
 
  #21  
Old 12-31-11, 12:42 PM
rbeck's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,466
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
The air is from the system and not venting properly. I bet that air vent is leaking and not working well if at all. There is not 18" of pipe prior to the air separator for laminar flow. The tee after the air separator is also getting turbulent water as it is too close. Changed the pump 4 times, added lots of water to purge. When we purge we purge with water, oxygen, minerals and chemicals. No laminar flow before the air separator not as much air comes out and air comes out of the water to the first vertical pipe. If in fact the boiler is running at 120f, which it should not be as this is a cast iron boiler, air is even harder to get rid of. I am a firm believer that as we drop supply water temperature we should step up the air eliminator to a micro-bubbler.
Many years ago the industry tried to convert from coming off the supply straight up. They wanted the tee on the supply to go down or at a right angle. It never caught on.
Turn the off the boiler and all other zones. Run just the indirect zone. Do you hear air in the pipes, a water running sound. It should not be making any noises.
 
  #22  
Old 12-31-11, 01:02 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
nj I was told it was 120, how do I check? I'm also not sure about the heat emitters
 
  #23  
Old 12-31-11, 01:37 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northeastern, MN
Posts: 175
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
nj trooper wanted to now your heat emitters............?

You have to know what you have !!!

Castiron rads?
castiron baseboards?
fintube baseboards?
underfloor radiant?
infloor radiant?
Just to name a few.
 
  #24  
Old 12-31-11, 01:42 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
oh ok we have fintube baseboards
 
  #25  
Old 12-31-11, 07:24 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
If you've got fin-tube baseboard, no way is the boiler temperature 120... and there should be a gauge on the boiler so you can verify this.

I believe the front cover of that boiler is easily removable and behind it is the wiring and controls and burners and such. I think at the upper right, behind this panel you should see a gray Honeywell box. The cover on that box slides straight off. There should be a screw securing that cover which you may have to loosen. There will be a temperature dial in that box which should be set on 180F.
 
  #26  
Old 01-02-12, 08:58 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northeastern, MN
Posts: 175
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Twenty five replies to this thead, and he drops it like a hot potatoe!!

 
  #27  
Old 01-02-12, 10:37 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
He'll be back... maybe... happens all the time!
 
  #28  
Old 01-03-12, 06:47 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Again would like to thank everyone for all of the thoughts. I have a plumber friend coming over in the next week to look it over with me. We plan to switch out the air purger which is obviously not working correctly, and add another air purger on the out.

BTW that is a swing check and the arrow is pointing the right way.

I'm amazed by all of the thoughtful responses, and I'm even more amazed that none of "oil burner" techs have suggested some of these ideas. I guess they are simply "part changers" for the most part.

Appreciate the time and answers here!

JJ
 
  #29  
Old 01-03-12, 03:43 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Keep us posted!

You might ask your fried to check and make sure that the existing pump body does NOT have the internal flow check valve installed, and if it does, remove it.
 
  #30  
Old 03-17-12, 12:43 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 9
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
back again

ok, so Im back again. I figured it was easier to continue this thread because I have pictures and facts about my system here. Ever since adding a 2nd air purger to the system, the circulator seems fine. In the meantime, I have had to swap out the aquastat box which failed. And now...down again:

Power Vent comes on, burner does not fire. There is a 1/4 aluminum tube that runs to the control box from the powervent. I disconnected the thermoformer in this box and jumped it. The burner fires immediately. I disconnected the tube and blew it out and ran hot water through it, put it back, still nothing.

What are the possibilities here? Something in the power vent itself? The thermoformer in the control box? Other thoughts?

thanks again,

JJ
 
  #31  
Old 03-18-12, 08:55 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 jitterz, please give us a make/model of the venter...
 
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: