HVAC guys help a girl out???

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Old 11-21-12, 07:45 AM
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HVAC guys help a girl out???

My boyfriend is convinced that he can fix this, but I want to get some real HVAC men on the job Please help me?

We bought a house in October and it has an oil hot water boiler heating system. It was serviced right before we bought the house as well. Last month we started hearing a loud clicking/tapping sound coming from the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] and second floor radiators. It would stop when the furnace was running, but when the water was circulating and afterwards. It would last for hours sometimes. We traced the sound down to the piping above the furnace itself. It sounds like it is coming from one of the valves or pipes. I took a video of it and put it on youtube. There are some still snapshots of the whole system at the end.

Link to video with audio: Oil Hot Water Boiler - YouTube

1 - Can you tell me where the loud tapping or clicking sound in the first part of the video is coming from? I think it might be the flow check valve. They are both a Taco 220 or something like that. He thinks it is coming from the bleeder or something. Is this bad? He says the one elbow is too close to the valve too? Has anyone heard this sound before?

2 - Will draining/refilling the system fix this?

3 – If yes, how do we drain and refill this system? We don’t have the money to hire someone.

4 – Why does it sound like someone is dumping gallons of water down our walls after the furnace is done running. It sounds like draining water but everywhere. Is that air in the lines? Is there supposed to be that much air in the lines?

Please help : ( It is so annoying to hear this at night!!
 

Last edited by NJT; 11-21-12 at 02:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-21-12, 08:29 AM
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I'm not sure about the noise, but I do think your system is not filled properly. What is the pressure and at what temperature? See this link: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...ure-gauge.html
 
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Old 11-21-12, 02:30 PM
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1 - Can you tell me where the loud tapping or clicking sound in the first part of the video is coming from? I think it might be the flow check valve. They are both a Taco 220 or something like that. He thinks it is coming from the bleeder or something. Is this bad? He says the one elbow is too close to the valve too? Has anyone heard this sound before?
It does sound like the disk in the check valve flapping around, probably due to turbulence from being too close to the elbow.

BUT, it might be related to a lot of air bubbling through the system as well.

Something you can do to test the theory of the valve making the noise:

See those knobs on top of the valves? I believe that the 'normal' position is fully counter clockwise (I can never remember which way is open and which is closed!). This allows the check valve to do it's job. They can be manually opened though by turning the knob completely the other direction. This will physically lift the disk inside the valve from it's seat. If it's the valve that is making the noise, it should stop. At least you would know the cause... if you leave it like that, the zone will get heat whenever the OTHER zone is running... so you will probably want to close it again. Maybe you can leave it open a turn or two to minimize the noise while not overheating the zone too badly? Experiment a little and see what happens.

2 - Will draining/refilling the system fix this?
Absolutely NOT! 100% COUNTER productive. Don't do it.

4 – Why does it sound like someone is dumping gallons of water down our walls after the furnace is done running. It sounds like draining water but everywhere. Is that air in the lines? Is there supposed to be that much air in the lines?
It does sound like air in the system.

It's possible that this may be aggravating the noise from the check valve... maybe...

As Droo has said, tell us the pressure / temp reading. MOST complaints of this sort are traced to low pressure in the system.

DO read the info post that Droo linked to.

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

And also this one, even though you aren't complaining of the relief valve leaking... YET ... those gray expansion tanks should be checked a minimum of every two years:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html
 
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Old 11-21-12, 02:40 PM
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There is something that you can do to improve the operation of the system... it involves a bit of re-piping and some re-wiring. Throwing it out here as a possible future project (NOT a winter heating season project... spring/summer work)

MOVE THE PUMPS from where they are on the return side to the location of where the check valves are now.

When re-installing the pumps, use ISOLATION FLANGES to install them. These flanges have valves built into them that allow replacement of the pump without having to drain the system. Just close the valves on each end, unbolt pump, slap new pump in, wire, open valves, done. Fifteen minute job versus having to drain and refill the system.

USE NEW PUMPS with a BUILT IN check valve. The pumps should also be moved away from that manifold about 12" or so, but there's room there to do so. This is for the same reason, TURBULENCE. Pumps and valves like a nice smooth flow in and out. If the water has to turn a corner just before entering the pump or valve, either may make noise... as you well have learned!

Throw the check valves in the recycle.

Splice the old pump locations back together with pipe.

Run new wires to the pumps.

Not only will the alternate pump location be quieter, the entire air removal process in the system will go much smoother. It's a win-win.
 
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Old 11-22-12, 10:12 AM
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That noise certainly sounds like a flow check to me. Dollars to donuts there isn't enough water in the system.
 
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Old 11-22-12, 01:24 PM
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C'mon Jenn, say something! I know you been looking...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
 
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Old 11-22-12, 05:35 PM
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The easiest thing to do is play loud music and it won't bother you, lol.

I like the pump relocation idea
 
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Old 11-24-12, 04:28 PM
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:( ugh!

Blah thank you all for the suggestions. Thank you NJ Trooper so much for all of the extra info! I have been reading a lot of your other posts helping people. You are a great guy to volunteer your time like that! I am sorry it took me so long to respond. With Thanksgiving and everything and making food i have been so busy. This sound is so obnoxious though. We could barely watch the game in the living room. The guage is reading 12 psi at 180 degrees. I did what you suggested with turning the check valve temporarily and it did stop the sound but i want to fix this thing the right way. So you guys think there is air in the system but you dont think I should drain it? What should I do then? The baseboard radiators dont have bleeder screws by the way. I researched and checked that i feel like super handy girl!
 
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Old 11-24-12, 04:38 PM
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With Thanksgiving and everything and making food i have been so busy.
I know! and the Turkey was delicious, THANKS!

First things first:

You need to know if your gauge is correct or not.

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

I can tell you that if it IS correct, your system pressure is LOW.

You should only be reading 12 PSI on a COLD boiler. At 180 you should be seeing more like 15-18 PSI, perhaps even more.

Only IF the gauge is correct, and you cooled that boiler to room temp, you would most likely see maybe 5 PSI on that gauge... WAY low!

you dont think I should drain it?
That would only make matters worse, trust us!

Can you take some regular still pics and post them to a free account at Photo and image hosting, free photo galleries, photo editing | Photobucket ? Please make sure well lighted, in focus, large enough for Vivi the Mage to see without his glasses... take pics of EVERYTHING because in order for us to tell you how to fix it we need to be able to see the whole thing... after putting pics up there, place a link to the PUBLIC album for us to view.

But first, VERIFY THE GAUGE!

I also want you to check the expansion tank, but let's get the pressure problem sorted out first.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 04:24 AM
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Here are the pictures:

Furnace Photos by JennL2 | Photobucket

I hope that these are good enough! : ( They are the best I can do with my camera.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 04:34 AM
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Update

Thank you again NJ Trooper and co. for helping me!! : - )

See anything odd setup wise with our system with the new pictures or does it look normal?

I didn’t drain it as you advised. I am still working on making the pressure gauge. Is there any place that I can just buy it pre-assembled? Is the hose part necessary?
 
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Old 11-29-12, 02:33 PM
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I'll go look at the pics in a few minutes...

Is there any place that I can just buy it pre-assembled? Is the hose part necessary?
You can buy a pre-assembled gauge... but the 200 or 300 PSI gauge that comes with the pre-assembled ones (which are intended for domestic systems which run higher pressure) is much to high to be of any use with a low pressure boiler system.

Yes, the hose part is needed because this is intended to screw onto one of the hose drains on the boiler piping. The idea is that it's not a PERMANENT solution, only to TEST the system and verify that the gauge is or is not accurate.

You CAN leave it on the drain permanently if you wish of course, but I would recommend closing the drain valve when you aren't reading pressure.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 02:41 PM
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I hope that these are good enough! : ( They are the best I can do with my camera.
Well, I can make out a boiler... and pipes and stuff... but they are all out of focus.

What kind of camera? I want to know so I don't buy one!

Seriously though, I think you have a setting wrong on the camera. My guess is that you have it set for 'macro' and the camera can't focus properly far away. Macro is for CLOSE UP work.
 
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Old 12-01-12, 10:07 AM
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Ok I think I fixed it :(

I think I fixed it! I re-took the pictures. Here is the new link. Do you see anything wrong or piped weird or something with my system?

Furnace Photos by JennL2 | Photobucket
 
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Old 12-05-12, 06:52 PM
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Hello??

Anybody out there?? Hello?
 
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Old 12-05-12, 07:02 PM
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we're here, are you there?

How did you make out with the pressure gauge?
 
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Old 12-05-12, 07:07 PM
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There are some piping issues but nothing I'd loose any sleep over. Ideally the circulators should be on the supply side & downstream of the tank but that would involve major repiping. If it were mine, unless it gave me trouble, I'd leave it alone.

The wiring with ordinary house wire being that close to hot sufaces does bother me. The boiler wiring should all be done in type MC (flexible metal conduit).
 
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