1 Zone not heating (out of 3 zones)


Old 01-25-13, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
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1 Zone not heating (out of 3 zones)

As many of you in the Northeast know, it has been brutally cold for the past week.
I came home yesterday to our Kitchen/Dining Room/Living Room at 39 degrees F. The upstairs zone was heating fine, as well as the zone that includes our downstairs bedroom/office.
We have an oil boiler with hot water baseboard heat.

We will call the Kitchen/Dining Room/Living Room zone 1. Zone 1 stopped heating yesterday.

Zone 1 is downstairs and is the original house structure from the 1800's, which means it does not have a basement. There is a tiny crawl space underneath, but I wouldn't even call it that because a human could not fit under it.

The other zone is a above a basement, and the other is a second floor.

I am saying all this to ask - is it possible for the pipes that carry the water through the heating system to freeze? It seems VERY coincidental that the night before it stopped working that the temperature dipped to -12 F. It also seems coindental that the zone that is the least insulated would stop working.

If so - how does one check for frozen pipes in a heating system? Is it possible to crank up the thermostats on the other zones to try and thaw the zone 1 pipes? We also have a wood stove in zone 1 that we ran all evening yesterday and the room got up to about 65 F.

I realllly don't want to call a repairman if it's not necessary.If it is possible for pipes to freeze like that, I have no problem riding the cold weather out with the help of the woodstove and seeing if the boiler starts to work again when we get into the 40's next week.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-25-13, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,542
Welcome to the forum.
So my understanding from your post is you have 3 zones, each with it's own thermostat?
If my above question is correct, is each zone controlled by it's own pump or by it's own valve?
Also, is the thermostat digital or manual? Try changing the batteries if digital.

If your system is calling for heat regularly enough in that zone, I can't see it freezing. It would take a good length of time for water to go from around 180'F to below freezing. If it sits long enough and is a small diameter pipe, it could however.
Old 01-25-13, 01:13 PM
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If your system is calling for heat regularly enough in that zone, I can't see it freezing
Yes... one would believe this... but then, how about that woodstove? Rooms didn't need heat, zone not operating...

Those pipes run into that 'crawlspace'?

Yeah, I'm betting on the freeze.

Big problem with frozen copper pipes is bursting of the pipes... better hope that didn't happen.

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