Boiler hissing and circulator noise


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Old 02-24-12, 10:36 AM
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Boiler hissing and circulator noise

Hello all,
I have found some very helpful info here, so I decided to try to get some answers for myself. First off I am running a Weil Mclane cg4 boiler (mid 80"s i assume) a taco ta60 cartridge circulater(which i cannot find any info on) 3 zones one being DHW.
Ok with that out of the way here we go. Recently the boiler sounds like its hissing when it reaches 155 , pressure is fine only ranges from 12 to about 18. I noticed when it cycles it will kick in @ 140 and hit the limit @180 and its good, but every once in a while it will kick off @180 but the temp will climb to about 210 after it shuts the burner down. That is when the circulater pump makes a humming noise. Just for clarity I just replaced the T&P gauge and the pressure releaf valve. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 02-24-12, 03:31 PM
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Picture of pump? Is TA-60 the ONLY numbers or identification on the pump?

pressure is fine only ranges from 12 to about 18.
If you believe the gauge that is.

Read this:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...ure-gauge.html

[ooops, I just noticed that you replaced the gauge! so never mind... ah, read it anyway]

the temp will climb to about 210 after it shuts the burner down
This would be sorta typical if a heat call ended and the circulator stopped just as the boiler reached the high limit. If this were the case the temp rise would be due to 'heat soak' where the heat in the cast iron transferred to the non-circulating water in the boiler.

It sounds though as if the heat call has not ended if the pump is still making noise though.

Is the home heating properly? I ask because it sounds as if the water isn't circulating.

What model AQUASTAT is installed on the boiler, and what are the settings?
 
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Old 02-24-12, 03:35 PM
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Please tell me you don't have one of these on a residential system!

http://www.taco-hvac.com/uploads/Fil...ry/300-3.1.pdf
 
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Old 02-24-12, 04:34 PM
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Please tell me you don't have one of these on a residential system!
I can just picture a pump bigger than the boiler.
 
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Old 02-24-12, 04:37 PM
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That pump would suck the whole dang boiler into it!

[ inside note to Grady... Hmmmm... 11,562 to 11,366 ... no, 11,367 ... catchin' up on ya son! ]
 
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Old 02-24-12, 04:43 PM
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Yeah Troop, I'm hearin' the footsteps. At the rate your a goin' it'll be next week. You have too much time on your hands but my hat's off to ya.
 
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Old 02-24-12, 04:56 PM
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Please tell me you don't have one of these on a residential system!
Oh my aching electric bill.
Not sure if a boiler is needed with one of those, the heat from the motor could almost heat a small house.


Petter
 
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Old 02-24-12, 05:27 PM
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Prior to the current line of '00' circulators Taco had an early cartridge circ. I wonder if that's what Toph2u has. Pix would be nice.
 
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Old 02-24-12, 05:56 PM
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Taco has a 'historical archive' now, and I looked through a number of them with no luck. The early cartridge pumps were cool bullet shaped thingys. Real 'art deco'!
 
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Old 02-25-12, 06:59 AM
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Troop, sorry to have you wasted time in the archive! Upon putting more light on the situation the end of the pump reads TACO not TA60 sorry. Its a 007. As far as the system goes it works well over all, all the slant fin downstairs in new, we had it converted into a single loop due to a leak under the slab, upstairs is base -ray cast iron . My house is not very tight though, its an old cape cod style home I'm never comfortable.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 07:14 AM
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The water is circulating no doubt about that, but is it circulating properly? I know the cartridge is replaceable, now that I know it's a 007 and that wouldn't be a problem for me to do. But I'm a little more concerned about the hissing noise . If the boiler is on its way out why invest anything into it? It is holding its pressure , I know because there is NOT a pressure reducing valve on the supply line so I constantly keep an eye on it since it has issues.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 07:30 AM
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Top, it's never a waste of time to study history! Those who forget are bound to repeat!

What concerns me is that 'heat soak' issue... if the circ is still pumping, as you believe that it is, then there should be no reason at all for the temp to shoot up to 210 after the burner cuts off on high limit. It would only do that if there was inadequate flow.

IF there is inadequate flow, then I can picture a scenario where there might be localized 'hot spots' on the cast iron that could potentially (along with some sediment buildup in the boiler) cause noises...

What about the return temps to the boiler? When there is a heat call and the boiler is approaching the high limit, are ALL the baseboards hot? Feel the return piping; would you estimate by 'feel' that those return pipes are only say 20 cooler than the supply piping? (an actual temp measurement would be best, but if the 'ouch test' is all there is...) If they are significantly cooler, say 30-50 or so, then you may not actually have a proper flow through the boiler. For reference, one can usually hold onto a 130 pipe for a few seconds. You will barely be able to touch a 180 pipe without recoiling immediately.

I'm grasping at guesses here, but it's all we got at this point.

Is this all one zone ? In general, since baseray and copper fin tube emit heat at different rates, I could understand if there were issues with 'balance' in the system. i.e. the upstairs possibly being warmer than the downstairs... stuff like that.

If it is all one zone, and there is no 'flow check' valve on the system, it's possible that the home is being heated by 'gravity flow' whereby the heated water rises into the system due to the hot water being more buoyant than the cool water. Possible? maybe!
 
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Old 02-25-12, 08:51 AM
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I can get my hands on a temp scanner this week but i would estimate about 30 to 40 degrees difference just a guess though. I have 3 zone valves 1 being for DHW and one each for upper and lower level.And yes all baseboard gets hot when there is a call for heat.The first floor loop is pretty big, as I have a 24x24 addition on the back of my house which is tapped into the system adding an additional 38 ft of slant fin. Could the 007 be undersized and overworked? Do the pumps usually fail completely or gradually.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 12:22 PM
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Maybe hissing wasn't the right word to describe the noise. Sound is more like a tea kettle boiling.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 03:09 PM
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temp scanner
If your temp scanner happens to be a hand held IR thermometer, understand that in order to compare 'apples to apples' with one of those, you must be taking the temperature of apples both times.

Since different materials emit IR at different rates despite being the same temperature, you will get differing readings even at the same temp. These guns don't actually measure the temperature, they translate the IR emissions into temperature.

There's an easy fix. Grab a roll of black electrical tape and stick a piece tightly to the surface you wish to measure. Flat black paint is a little better, but the tape is easier. If you measure the surface of the tape, it doesn't matter what is underneath. This method will be fairly accurate for the temperature DIFFERENCES, but may not be 100% accurate for the actual temp. It's the DIFFERENCE we are interested in anyway.

There is also a 'spread' to the beam, so try to get fairly close to the measurement point.

The first floor loop is pretty big,
How many feet of pipe would you estimate? and how many feet of that pipe has the actual fins on the tubing? This would be good to know to determine if the pump size is OK.

Sound is more like a tea kettle boiling.
This can be due to sediment in the bottom of the boiler, and inadequate flow... although, if the sediment is thick enough you can get this noise even with proper flow.


WHAT AQUASTAT IS FITTED TO THE BOILER?
 
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Old 02-25-12, 03:15 PM
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I also want to ask:

How long have you lived with this system? Enough history with it to know that this is something new and hasn't been doing this for a long time?
 
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Old 02-26-12, 06:18 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts so far. I have been here since 02 , and pretty much every winter I have had some kind of issue with this thing. The pump noise i have heard for a while but it used to only do it when i would loose a little pressure due to the leak under the slab. But the other noise is new. As far as the amount of base board the first floor 128 ft ,upstairs 24 ft of base ray cast iron baseboard.Approx 50 ft of copper to complete the loop on the first floor and 120 ft for the second floor.The first floor is 1/2 in supply to 3/4 slant fin and 2nd floor is all 1/2 in.As far as i can tell.
 
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Old 02-26-12, 07:32 AM
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The leak under the slab could be a contributing factor to sediment build up in the boiler. If it had been going on for a long time before being discovered and resulted in the addition of a lot of fresh water to keep the pressure up, those minerals in all that extra feedwater could have precipitated from the water. Not saying this is an absolute, it's just a theory...

the amount of base board the first floor 128 ft
Wow... that is a LOT of baseboard for a single loop!

I'm going to rant a bit about this, but promise I'll get back to your tea kettle in a bit.

Approx 50 ft of copper to complete the loop on the first floor...The first floor is 1/2 in supply to 3/4 slant fin
So there's 128' of 3/4", fed and returned with 50' of 1/2" ?

I'd say you've got 'issues' there.

Here's some basics that will help to explain why.

In general, the VELOCITY of the water flow in a heating system should be limited to 4 feet per second. With 3/4" pipe, this is approximately 4 GPM, and 1/2" pipe this is appx 1.5 GPM.

If the flow is slower, you won't get proper heat output at the end of the loop because the water will have given up it's heat early and be too cool at the end.

If the flow is faster, you get noises, and possible premature failure of the pipes due to the water 'scouring' the inside of the pipe (leaks).

Heating system loops are typically designed for a 20 difference in temp from start to finish. In order for this to be true, the amount of heat emitters on a 3/4" loop would have to total about 40K BTU with a flow rate of 4 GPM.

Typical fin tube baseboard is rated around 550 BTU per foot of element.

If we take the 'standard' flow rate of 4 GPM for 3/4" tubing, you wouldn't want more than 40K BTU of emitters on one single loop. This means that a series 3/4" loop should be limited to no more than 60-70 FEET of finned element! You've got TWICE that amount, meaning that the water coming out the other end would be about FORTY degrees cooler.

This is made much worse by the fact that you've got 50' of 1/2" tubing connecting this loop!

Since you should only be flowing about 1.5 GPM through that tubing, it's clear that your system is being CHOKED.

Is the heat output of the emitters at the end of the loop significantly less than the ones at the beginning? Are the rooms at the end of the loop COLD? I bet that they are!

This could be why:

I'm never comfortable.
My recommendation would be to do some re-piping. Get rid of that 50' of 1/2" tubing. Maintain 3/4" all the way, EXCEPT:

That long loop should be SPLIT into TWO individual loops of approximately half and half in PARALLEL.

You can't feed BOTH of the split loops with 3/4" though, you would need to feed the pair of loops with ONE INCH in order to maintain appropriate flow velocity.

Alternately, you could split the big loop into two separate zones with zone valves, thermostat, etc for each half.

The upstairs is 'probably' OK. I doubt that you need much more than 15K BTU to heat that part of the house, and 1/2" tubing is fine for that.

... on to the kettling problem ...
 
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Old 02-26-12, 07:36 AM
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WHAT MAKE/MODEL AQUASTAT IS FITTED TO THE BOILER?
IF (and it isn't certain this is the problem!) there is a sediment buildup in the boiler, it would probably need to be flushed out.

I'm not familiar with this process though... so can't really give any advice on that. Hopefully some of the smarter guys can jump in and offer some tips.

Grady? rbeck? Do you guys think this sounds like a sediment problem in the boiler ? How would Tophat go about flushing a sediment buildup out ? any chemicals needed ?
 
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Old 02-26-12, 10:53 AM
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Troop , I agree with the thought that the added water over a period of time until the leak was discovered could be a major factor in build up .That being said, there really isn't any (cost efficient) way to zone that addition without chopping up a lot of slab! At least not that I can find, if anybody has any ideas I'm all ears.
The reason there is sooo much baseboard , was to minimize the amount of chopping out to run the loop, basically only under doors and a few spots into and out of the heater closet . The loop in the family room is just 1/2 in copper run atop the fin for about 3/4 of the run (28 ft)I know that isnt quite right but thats what was there when i moved in. Perhaps I can post a drawing , but i warn it would be very basic!
 
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Old 02-26-12, 11:59 AM
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Not sure of the make on aquastat, don't know how to post pics here. There is a number stamped on it but that's all I can find, 9743b its a single dial with a temp range up to 220.
 
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Old 02-26-12, 12:13 PM
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In a previous post Older W-M boilers used this:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/boilers-home-heating-steam-hot-water-systems/405452-wiring-weil-mclain-boiler.html

instead of an aquastat control, well this is what I have
 

Last edited by NJT; 02-26-12 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 02-26-12, 01:37 PM
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Bummer... well, I guess it is what it is then... and hope for the best!

Are you saying then that some of the 1/2" is buried in the slab?

The installers probably should have run 1" supply out from the boiler through the cabinets (and down into the troughs in the floor under the doors) to the midpoint of the loop, and then split and gone both directions back to the boiler, then the two returns joined at that point and back into the boiler. That 1/2" should never have been used.

OK on the controls. The reason I asked was something you wrote in your first post made me curious:

I noticed when it cycles it will kick in @ 140 and hit the limit @180
That made me wonder if someone had 'diddled' with the controls because it sounded like your boiler is running on a 40 differential (between cut in and cut out) and that's not normal. As long as all the controls are factory I think yer OK there. I probably misunderstood what you were saying.

Lemmee shake Grady's cage and see if I can wake him up, maybe get some ideas about the kettling noises and what to do about them.
 
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Old 02-26-12, 01:39 PM
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BTW, to post pics, you need to set up a FREE account at a photo-hosting site like Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket and upload them to a PUBLIC album there. Come back here and post a link to the album.

I wouldn't mind seeing pics... but there may be no real point... just for conversation sake.
 
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Old 02-26-12, 01:46 PM
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Huh? What? Who dat rattlin' my cage? Oh, I might have known.

I'm told that noise is caused by hot spots caused by deposits in the boiler but I've also been told something else & don't remember what it was. Honestly, rbeck would likely be your best bet. Try his cage. I'm goin' back to cookin' dinner.
 
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Old 02-26-12, 01:57 PM
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Dinner? What time should I be there? I might be late, keep a warm plate for me.

Thanks!
 
 

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