In Floor Heating Issue - Doesn't seem to get hot enough

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Old 09-26-12, 09:18 AM
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Unhappy In Floor Heating Issue - Doesn't seem to get hot enough

Hello,

Just some background first...

I'm having some issues where the floors used to be warm to the touch, but after the in floor heating was turned off for the summer then recently turned back on it does not seem to heat up the floors anymore and winter is coming. I had 3 different plumber friends come over to see what happened they couldn't figure it out. They did fiddle around with the valves and different combinations but I don't recall what position each valve should be at before the first guy starting messing with it (open or closed). I know the first guy did crank of the gas heater too high once and the emergency release valve blew draining alot of water into the garage floor (1 storey townhouse, garage below).

Anyways this diagram 1 will show how i have setup the system right now where i can get the temperature gauge reading 105 (in diagram), but the floors are still not warm to my bare feet like it used to be. The thermostat is cranked to max (5), and the gas heater temp gauge reads as high as 210 when its on.

Red Valves = Closed
Green Valves = Open

[edit - making diagram larger to see]
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The pipe between the 2nd pump and the temp gauge is hot when I touch it but the lines after the zone controls are luke warm.

Also the gas heater zone control lights are always yellow while the boiler light stays green if that means anything.

Hoping for some help before I have to go to a 4th plumber!

Please and Thank you!
 

Last edited by John8; 09-26-12 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 09-26-12, 09:23 AM
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This diagram shows the lines that are hot to touch (in red). Everything else is luke warm.

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I have also tried closing valves E, F, G, H (lines going upstairs) and forcing the water through one line at a time to get the air out as well.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 10:06 AM
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I am not fimiliar with infloor heating (would love to add some to my system someday), but am pretty fimilar now with hot water heating as I had to learn about my system pretty quickly after moving in.
For your infloor heating, does the floor heating section contain an air bleed valve?
With my rads, after sitting cold all summer, some air sneaks into the system and the rads need to have the air removed.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 11:15 AM
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There is no air bleed valve at all on the main floor where the floors should be heated... I know my plumber friends asked as well and we all looked everywhere and nothing. They say it should be at the highest point of the system but nothing. The only air bleeding valve there is, is on the basement where the system diagram is. I was even pulling baseboards to see if it was hidden and nothing.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 05:16 PM
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Sounds like you have air in your lines. Have you made sure the zone valves are open? If the pipes are lukewarm on the other side of the zone valves, then it means water is not circulating. So if the pump is on and the zone valve is open, it's going to be air trapped in that zone. Are there are shut off valves near the zone valves so you can isolate those loops?
 
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Old 09-26-12, 07:44 PM
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Just got home and thought i would post some pics if my diagram isnt clear.

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Old 09-26-12, 07:47 PM
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Thanks for the reply drooplug, how do i make sure the zone valves are open? the zone valve lights on the furnace (see pic) are yellow and stays that color
 
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Old 09-26-12, 07:54 PM
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Ok. You don't have zone valves. Your zones are controlled by pumps. What is the current pressure and temperature?
 
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Old 09-26-12, 08:00 PM
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Just got home and thought i would post some pics if my diagram isnt clear.

Attachment 3741Attachment 3742Attachment 3743Attachment 3744Attachment 3745
FYI cant see the attachments.


 
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Old 09-26-12, 08:04 PM
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are those white cylinders by the temperature gauge not zone valves?

on the furnace the pressure reads anywhere from 25psi - 50psi (when its on) then drops back. Temp on the furnace goes as low as 140 as high as 210
Temp on the "temp gauge" (on the pipe) holds steady at 95-110

edit
Those red pumps are always on btw
 

Last edited by John8; 09-26-12 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 09-26-12, 08:07 PM
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can you see it now lawrosa? i reloaded the pics to get them abit bigger.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 08:23 PM
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Yes I see them now........................................
 
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Old 09-27-12, 09:47 AM
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Looks like a mess. I see a yellow valve shut on the back wall here in this pic. Looks like the main return/feed?????

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3771[/ATTACH]

Also there is a boiler drain on the right. You could try bleeding the 4 pex lines one at a time.

Note floor heating should not reach temps above 140F. You said you have baseboard also? I dont see a mixing valve so cant tell you much. It looks all hodge podge to me.
 
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Last edited by lawrosa; 09-27-12 at 11:54 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-27-12, 11:30 AM
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Hate to say it, but those pictures make my retrofit on top of retrofit look clean.

Your ball valves all look to be open. Would any of those gate valves leading to or from the PEX be closed?
 
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Old 09-27-12, 01:35 PM
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yes I totally agree this setup is a total disaster. I bought the place like this and whomever built this setup should be shot.

The yellow valve is closed and every other valve is open. This is the only valve(s) configuration I could do that even brought the temperature up to 70F
Here is the direction of water flow i think is happening.

Red Arrow - Is not the mixing valve? The dial shows 1-5 with 5 being the hottest temp. Its currently set to 5

Green Arrow - Is return (closed atm) but as soon as i open it the temp drops down to 60F

Blue Arrow - Is another valve which is opened atm
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Old 09-27-12, 01:42 PM
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I know it looks like a total mess with the hot water tank lines for the showers etc overlapping but the diagram i drew on the original post is what the setup is. I just need to know which valves should be opened and which ones should be closed.

Also i have tried using the drain line to bleed each line out by itself with no success....
 
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Old 09-27-12, 01:43 PM
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on the furnace the pressure reads anywhere from 25psi - 50psi (when its on) then drops back. Temp on the furnace goes as low as 140 as high as 210
Temp on the "temp gauge" (on the pipe) holds steady at 95-110
Something is wacky with your pressure gauge. It is probably toast. At 30 psi, your boiler would start dumping water out of the pressure relief valve. Go here to learn how to trouble shoot that gauge: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...ure-gauge.html

Typically your system should read a min. of 12 psi when cold and a few more psi when hot. A high temp of 210 seems way too high as well. Most systems won't use more than 180 for baseboards. Going that high for floor heating is insane because you want way low temps for that.

It is entirely possible that your system does not have enough pressure in it. So get that gauge figured out so we know what you have for pressure. You should also check the air charge in your expansion tank. You will need to drop system pressure to zero and put a tire gauge on the schrader valve on the bottom of the tank. It should read about 12 psi. If not, use a bicycle pump to recharge.
 
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Old 09-28-12, 10:23 AM
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So last night i tried to bleed one of the lines using the drain valve and the relief valve blew on the boiler as i closed valve E and open valve D. Im trying to bleed all the lines 1 at a time again. Is 8hrs of waiting per line sufficient? Since the pressure keeps slowing dropping to 2-3psi as the air is bleeding out ill check the expansion tank psi when i get home. should be close to or at zero psi if there is more air in the system.

The pressure gauge is on the boiler itself and not on a line so i cant replace it. I also turned down the High and Low temp on the boiler until the lines are done bleeding. What would you recommend the boilers high and low setting be at? I was thinking 130 low 160 high?
 
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Old 09-28-12, 04:50 PM
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Nothing can be done successfully until you know what pressure your boiler is. If for some reason the gauge on the boiler can't be replaced, add a new one elsewhere. Did you even look at the link I provided? That would be a perfect solution to your problem.
 
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