Upstairs Zone - No Heat


Old 01-26-13, 04:01 PM
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Upstairs Zone - No Heat

I've ruled out the thermostat being faulty as I swapped a thermostat from a working zone and it didn't alleviate the issue. Burnham brand oil fired boiler. 3 zones + hot water heater. All other zones working fine except the upstairs zone. I can hear the circulator pump on the upstairs zone working, albeit with a bit of a tick sound, and it is very hot. Just above the circulator the pipe isn't as hot as the other zones when they are being called for heat. With all other zones turned off and the upstairs zone left on, the upstairs zone doesn't seem to activate the boiler even though the circulator is running. I'm speculating that I have some frozen pipes as it has been 0-20 deg F all week in the northeast. The upstairs is approximately 30 feet in elevation from the boiler. Any ideas? Please see my attached photos:
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Old 01-26-13, 07:23 PM
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Where are the controls that operate the pumps? You must have some relays or a switching panel to do so, no?

Yes, it could be froze up...

On the other hand, your gauge (IF it is to be believed, and I don't trust a single one of them) is showing that you have approximately 15-16 PSI in the system 'at temperature'.


If the upstairs zone is in fact 30' above the boiler, then you will need more pressure than that in the system to get the water to the top.

You would need SEVENTEEN PSI when the boiler is COLD in order to get the water 'over the hill' in that topmost zone.

Before raising the pressure, I would strongly advise checking and charging the air in the expansion tank. If you don't, and it is low, and you raise the pressure, you will have the pressure relief valve opening and making a mess...


There are step by step instructions for charging your tank.

You can verify if the zone is frozen by putting a hose (or use a bucket) on the drain valve above the pump for the upper zone and CLOSING THE YELLOW BALL VALVE below it.

If you have flow when you open that drain the zone is not frozen. If you only get a 'trickle' of water just blub blub blubbing from the drain, it may be frozen.

I do suspect low pressure is your problem though...

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