Placement of Zone pumps in Alpine Boiler

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Old 03-21-13, 08:56 PM
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Placement of Zone pumps in Alpine Boiler

I have an Alpine 150 boiler in my home. It was installed late last Spring. There have been issues as it is way too large for my 2300 sq/ft home.
I just noticed that the zone pumps are located in the return lines not the supply lines as shown in the Alpine manual. It is piped P/S but the placement the zone pumps is of concern to me. Is this an issue or is this acceptable.

Thanks,

Tom
 

Last edited by NJT; 03-24-13 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 03-22-13, 06:21 PM
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I was told by a new plumber that was over today to fix the new water heater, that was plumbed wrong, that normally you try and pump away from the boiler. If thats the case then indeed it may be plumbed wrong. Can anyone tell me if plumbing this way has a detrimental effect on operation?

Thanks,

Tom
 
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Old 03-22-13, 06:46 PM
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i have zone valves on the return to the boiler. my circ also pumps into the boiler. it's a direct piping, no p/s. it's probably wrong and it was probably like that 32 years.
 
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Old 03-22-13, 06:50 PM
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I was told by a new plumber that was over today to fix the new water heater, that was plumbed wrong, that normally you try and pump away from the boiler.
The modern idea is to have the circulator pumping away from the expansion tank (not necessarily the boiler) - which keeps a constant suction pressure on the pump. That minimizes the possibility of damaging cavitation of the pump.

If you were experiencing pump cavitation, you'd know it - it sounds like you are pumping marbles. Hydronic pioneer, Bell & Gossett, long recommended that that the pump be on the boiler inlet and the expansion tank on the boiler discharge. Even though that doesn't comply with modern theoretical doctrine, millions of hot-water boilers were piped that way and are still operating successfully, including mine.

Rest easy.
 
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Old 03-22-13, 08:35 PM
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Zone Pump Placement

Thanks guys for the advice. My concern was that it might effect the way the P/S pumping worked.

Tom
 
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Old 03-23-13, 07:49 AM
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You need to check with the manufacturer (Burnham) for warranty coverage if it's not plumbed according to their install manual.

Mine was installed with the pump on the return side, and manufacturer told me the warranty would not apply. You may find a label on the side of the boiler that states that requirement as well. Installer switched it around after looking into it.
 
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Old 03-23-13, 05:31 PM
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The pump location changed when the wet rotor one piece pumps came out in the late fifties. In about sixty years you would think this conversation would not even be happening anymore. The pump should be pumping away from he expansion tank connect. The main reason is better air elimination. Adding pressure to the system by pumping away from the expansion tank breaks the air bubbles into smaller less buoyant air bubbles so they travel down the vertical pipe to the boiler. When the air gets into the boiler water gets heated the oxygen is pushed out of the water. As air and water goes to the air separator it encounters an agitation to complete separation and air expulsion from the system.
Will it affect p/s....no. In cast iron and steel boilers there will be excessive corrosion in the boiler. some systems are better than others and some will have less problems. Does this mean it will affect warranty, no it never will. If you are told it will that is not true. Nothing ever affects the manufacturers warranty. Now with that said, it does not mean you will get the warranty. The warranty covers manufacturers defects not installation issues.
Pumping away from the expansion tank does not always mean the pump will be on the supply side of the boiler. In a p/s system the pump can be on the return side of the boiler because most of the time the expansion tank connection is on the primary (system) piping. I would never install a new system without following the manufactures directions including pump manufactures as they all suggest pumping away from the expansion tank connection. When not installed to spec the installer or homeowner accepts responsibility for any and all part failures. When installed per spec at least there can be an argument for the failure. Not to spec no argument.
 
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Old 03-23-13, 09:24 PM
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My Burnham warranty reads:

---------------
5. This warranty does not cover the following:

f. Damage to the boiler... due to installation or operation of the boiler that is not in accordance with the boiler installation and operating instruction manual.


-----------------
The i/o instructions clearly show only pumping away from the boiler. How could potential internal corrosion issue possible by covered if it's pumped otherwise?

http://cdn.usboiler.net/assets/docs/...d-warranty.pdf
 
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Old 03-24-13, 04:35 AM
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As I stated earlier, the warranty only covers manufacturers defects not installation issues.
I might be reading something into your last question but it won't be covered. Depending on boiler of choice like the Alpine stainless steel shows the boiler pump on the return side of the boiler pumping into the boiler. If you sturdy the diagram the pump is still pumping away from the expansion tank connection.
I suggest as homeowners you hold the contractors feet to the fire to do the job properly.
 
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