Confused - 2nd Zone Heats up but no pressure reading on external pressure gauge

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Old 10-19-13, 01:43 PM
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No water in 2nd zone pipes (2nd Floor)

Burnham hydronic boiler:
Was purging system of air after I replaced the pump.
Here are some pictures
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1. I manually opened 1 zone valve and closed the 2nd zone. Purged the system and refilled the 1st system. Used an external pressure guage to check the pressure through the hose faucet. Pressurized the system to 15 psi.

2. Shutoff the 1st zone and opened the 2nd zone. No water drains from the system. Adding water just increases the pressure reading from the boiler. I didn't go above 20 because I feared the pressure relief valve would open. (I'm assuming most of them open around 30 psi). I had some heat issued on the 2nd floor last winter.

Why is there no water in the 2nd loop?
 
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Old 10-19-13, 03:26 PM
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I need to understand a little bit more about the piping.

I think that what you were doing is pushing the water through the boiler, up through the open zone valve, and out the drain. It had no reason to go up and through the zone... it followed the path of least resistance.

Where does the water enter the boiler from the domestic piping? Is it the pipe with the yellow tag on it? And that comes down and feeds into where? (not clear in photos)

It appears to me as if the installer has those two valves, the shutoff and the drain, reversed in position on each of the returns.

Based on what I THINK I can see in the photos, the water goes into the boiler on that pipe that goes to the relief valve and the expansion tank, and into the top of the boiler.

MAKE CERTAIN that the boiler is COOL... below 100F ... before you purge! You'll possibly crack the boiler if you don't... you don't want your boiler on crack... let alone m3th.

Hook up the drain hose to the drain valve for the zone ... but LEAVE THE ZONE VALVE CLOSED.

The water will go up and through the zone and out the drain.

Opening the zone valve allows the water to take the 'shortcut'.

Open the drain and feed water in to push the air out of the pipe and fill with water. You might want to repeat this for each of the zones.
 
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Old 10-19-13, 06:03 PM
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Yeah, the piping has a lot to be desired. The air vent is located right above where the water enters the boiler. The basement and 1st fl are on the same zone, so you can imagine the heat loss from an unfinished basement.

I've edited the pictures to make it more clear - at least I hope so.

Btw, it's m3ath3ad not m3thead, ( some jerk took "meathead") although I might have to "break bad" to pay for the system to re-zoned and re-piped

Is it normal to have the pump flow into the boiler and not away from the boiler?


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Old 10-19-13, 06:48 PM
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you can imagine the heat loss from an unfinished basement.
Most of it underground though, so probably not as bad as you might think.

Btw, it's m3ath3ad not m3thead
Oh jeeze! so it is! I need new glasses! sorry 'bout dat. I was kinda puzzled as to why someone might 'advertise' that!

I've edited the pictures to make it more clear - at least I hope so.
Yep... it worked. It is as I thought. The drain valves for the zones should have been ABOVE the shutoff valves.

So then, as I said, leave both of the zone valves CLOSED. This will 'detour' the water up through the zone and out the drain.

Is it normal to have the pump flow into the boiler and not away from the boiler?
It's been done that way for years and years... and given the age of your system, perfectly normal. The 'pumping away' theory has been around for a while, but it's hard to teach old dogs new tricks so has been slow to be accepted.
 
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Old 10-25-13, 03:37 PM
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Confused - 2nd Zone Heats up but no pressure reading on external pressure gauge

I'm the guy who had thought he had no flow on his 2nd zone. I never got water to flow out of my 2nd zone drain valve or had any pressure. So I wanted to see if the zone would get hot anyways. I turned on the thermostat and all the baseboards are getting hot, I can hear the pump circulating. So the first baseboard gets hot, the last baseboard gets hot, the return pipe gets hot.

Could the shutoff to the drain be broken and staying closed even though the handle turns?

Are the the little handles on the zone valve supposed to move left when the zone calls for heat or is that just for manual manipulation?

This zone is the farthest left in picture


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Old 10-25-13, 03:49 PM
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Hi M3at!

I might tack this onto the end of your other thread.

Could the shutoff to the drain be broken and staying closed even though the handle turns?
I suppose anything is possible...

Are the the little handles on the zone valve supposed to move left when the zone calls for heat or is that just for manual manipulation?
No, they won't move when the valve automatically opens/closes, but you CAN use them to tell if the valve is actually open or closed.

If the handle moves freely with no resistance at all... just flopping in the breeze, the valve is OPEN.

If it takes pressure to move the handle and you hear the gears 'whirring', the valve is CLOSED.

Your title says 'external gauge shows no pressure'... but there's nothing in your message to explain that. Tell us where you had the gauge connected.

I can hear the pump circulating
Should be darn near silent... do you mean that you hear the water gushing and gurgling through the pipes? If so, that ain't right.
 
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Old 10-25-13, 03:54 PM
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Were you successful in purging the zone with the zone valve closed? or did you not try?
 
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Old 10-25-13, 04:24 PM
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I tried purging but nothing came out the pressure just climbed.

I attached the external gauge to the other zone drain and the boiler drain to double check the boiler gauges.

The pump was near silent the sound was whisper quiet not the sound of water rushing through.
 
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Old 10-25-13, 04:31 PM
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I tried purging but nothing came out the pressure just climbed.
That's why you asked if possible the drain is stuck shut... would be very weird thing to happen, but like I said, anything is possible.

You have the valve handle ABOVE the drain OPEN, correct?

I attached the external gauge to the other zone drain and the boiler drain to double check the boiler gauges.
And it was reading zero? and what did the boiler gauge read? also zero?
 
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