How to bleed HB Smith one zone system

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Old 04-29-12, 07:02 AM
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Question How to bleed HB Smith one zone system

Hi everyone. New to boilers, but mechanically inclined. I have a one zone boiler with some cast iron radiators with bleeders and some baseboards without bleeders. I need to purge the air from the system as I can hear the water in at least one baseboard. I have bled the air from the cast irons, but still have air in the system. I want to do a whole system bleed from the boiler. I have been told how to do it, but forgot and I can not adapt all of the online results to my system due to lack of knowledge. Here are the pics...

http://i1263.photobucket.com/albums/...17/boiler3.jpg

http://i1263.photobucket.com/albums/...17/boiler2.jpg


I think I connect the hose all the way at the bottom in picture 2 below what I think is the circulation pump. That's the valve I think I open to drain. Not sure exactly what else to do here to bleed the darn thing. Little help please.
 
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Old 04-29-12, 07:55 AM
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Let's start with something a bit more basic first...

Tell us the reading on the PRESSURE and TEMPERATURE gauge on the boiler. There may be a REASON that there is air in the system (i.e. low system pressure)

If the readings on the gauge are 'suspicious', there is a way to verify that gauge accuracy:

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

Next, stand back with the camera and show us all of the valves and drains on the system. We need to 'be there', so take a bunch more pics.

I can tell you right off that the drain on the bottom below the circ is most likely not the correct move. You may in fact not have the proper valves and drains, many systems do not.

Last for now, doing a full 'purge' in order to remove air very often compounds the problem because the fresh water has TONS of air dissolved in it that is driven out of the water the first few times it gets heated. It will seem as though you have success at first, but a week later you're back where you started, or even worse.

Also, there is another 'sticky' at the top of the forum that has instructions for checking and charging your EXPANSION TANK. (the gray tank in one of the pics) This is sometimes related to having a problem with air in the system, so it should be checked. You don't just want to 'band-aid' the problem, you want to find the root cause and correct it so it doesn't come back again.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html

Get a ton of pics up there and we'll take it from there.
 
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Old 04-30-12, 12:46 AM
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Thanks

I appreciate the quick response. I failed to turn on notifications, so I just saw your reply. I will check the expansion tank when I get home from work today after work and take a bunch more pics.
 
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Old 04-30-12, 01:55 AM
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Pics

Here is the link to the photobucket albulm with more pics I was able to take before leaving for work

Pictures by JJTraxx17 - Photobucket

I'll check the expansion take about 4pm when I get home.
 
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Old 04-30-12, 03:21 PM
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In pics 1 and I think 5, there are drain valves next to a shut off valve. Those MAY be the ones that you would/could use to purge the system... but it appears that someone has 'force fit' standard pipe thread caps onto those valves. I hope they didn't bugger up the threads, because they aren't the same... they do make a part with the correct thread for that specific purpose. Find them in the garden section where they keep the hoses and such. They have plastic and brass. Brass is what you want, will hold up to the heat better but I've used the plastic ones with no problems for years.



On second look, the one in pic 5 looks to be a garden hose adapter with a pipe cap threaded on so that one may be OK.

The thing is though, if they were screwed on there because the valve leaks, the best solution ultimately is to replace the valve. This does mean having to drain most of the system usually, so the cap is a good choice. In the future, if the system needs drained, replace them at that time.

What I can't tell in the pics is if those are the right pipes though. There's no point of reference for me to follow the pipes back to the boiler.

Can you show how they are piped back to the system, or describe?
 
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Old 04-30-12, 03:23 PM
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By the way, IF your pressure gauge is to be believed, it looks like it may be OK. Perhaps a little on the low side considering that the system is hot.

Actually, I'm a bit surprised that with your system and those huge pipes with tons of water that the size expansion tank you have is even adequate...
 
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Old 04-30-12, 05:25 PM
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Resolved finally

Ok, so my expansion tank was only @ 6lbs. I followed the sticky instructions to recharge it fine, but guess what...? That spigot @ the bottom of thhe boiler was bad. I think my gauge is bad too. It never went all the way to zero, only about 3. I opened the bottom drain to get the gauge to zero, but it wouldn't seal closed again. So I went off to hd and got a new boiler drain. That problem solved. Re-pressurized the system and flushed through about 6 buckets of bubbly water through the bottom drain, since it was drained down anyway. Ran the boiler and notched the pressure from normal operating pressure of 12 to about 22 to bleed the individual lines. 2 had the hose adapters and bled out fine. One actually had a little cap nut next to a ball valve that unscrewed to bleed. I will probably have to re do the lines tomlrrow after thw new water settles out, but I think I'm in business. What a pain. At least I know how to do it now. The cast irons are all spewing water @ the bleeders too. Whew!
 
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