Changing baseboard heater


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Old 10-27-13, 12:44 PM
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Changing baseboard heater

I am going to be changing one of my baseboard heaters this week to a slantfin High Output miltipak 83. My question is, what is the proper way to drain the baseboard system?

I know how to install the heater but not 100% sure on how to drain it then once installed recirculate the water into the system.

I have 2 zones with a peerless wbv03 but only need to change the baseboard on zone 1.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 01:18 PM
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Do you mean "drain" or "vent"? You should add a coin-style manual air vent at the high point - or power-purge valving. I don't know why you would need to have provision for draining the baseboard.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 01:23 PM
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To drain turn off power to boiler. Open zone valve manually for desired zone and drain from that zones drain which should be near the zone valve..

There probably are valves there too and you should close the one for the zone but not important when draining..

This is also the purge station where you will bleed the air out when done..

Pis of the zone valve area should help us help you better...

You should add a coin-style manual air vent at the high point
I do not think its needed on a loop piping strategy,,,



 
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Old 10-27-13, 07:08 PM
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This is my return on the boiler:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bg0tueegya...2021.45.08.jpg

The return is going to a shutoff valve shown here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hpl40dx9v2...2021.45.14.jpg

Above the shutoff valve is a drain valve (above that is a pressure relief valve):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xfx5vgpl7m...2021.45.19.jpg

In between the water drain valve and the pressure relief valve is a Copper tee that branches off to another shutoff valve and goes upstairs to zone 2
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kx8hom1waz...2018.54.50.jpg

I would only assume to change A baseboard heater on zone 1:

1. Shut the power to the boiler
2. Close the shutoff valve on the return for zone 2
3. Release all the water by opening the drain valve on zone 1 return
4. Remove baseboard
5. Install new baseboard

Let me know if my steps above are correct...
 
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Old 10-27-13, 08:25 PM
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This may be a little easier for you. It looks like you have shut off valves on both supply and return lines on your zones. Since your only working on zone 1 let's concentrate on that. Shut off both supply and return valves on that zone. Drain water below the point where you will be working. You do not have to drain all the water out. If you have a loop system which means one baseboard connects to another and so forth and loops back to the boiler you don't need to install any vents. On a loop the less vents the better. Cut out your baseboard, if you get water drain more out of zone until it stops. Install new board. At this point you can shut down your boiler. Shut off valves to zone 2 and open zone 1supply side. It looks like you have zone valves that will have to opened manually,just on Z1. Pressurize system to about 25 lbs and bleed zone 1. Run water through zone until steady stream of water and no air. Shut off drain and fill valve. Open all zones. Drain excess water if any to about 15 lbs. Put zone valve back to auto and turn on boiler. I know it's pretty long, faster when you just say it but this should work for you. If you can completely isolate your zone you can run the other zone while working on 1.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 08:28 PM
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How and where do I bleed zone1? I don't have any bleeders at the baseboard... Just direct copper to the baseboard.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 08:51 PM
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In the basement. You posted a pic of your return lines with a hose on the draw off valve. That's where you bleed your zone and also that's where you drain your zone. The water goes through the whole loop and out of the drain. Shut the isolation valve off under the drain so the water can't circulate and is forced out. Run water through until steady stream and no air.
 
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Old 10-27-13, 09:02 PM
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I did not post that picture...

I do not have a hose on the return line.

On the return line I have a drain valve and a shutoff valve.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 04:28 AM
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Yes my zone valves are on the supply side. What do you mean "I wouln't run the boiler" if the zone valves are on the supply side?
 
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Old 10-28-13, 06:21 AM
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You have a zone upstairs and one down? The upstairs is what you want to drain right?

Shut off the water feed to the boiler and power....

Close these two valves and drain from that hose bib. You may get a suction in the line and it all will not drain until you cut the line upstairs. So cut slowly


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Old 10-28-13, 08:57 AM
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Yes i have 2 zones but I want to change the baseboard on the zone downstairs which is zone 1.

So i need to shut the valve on return line right before it enters the boiler AND on the return for zone 1? Then drain?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g5ko2gnf6smw9nd/Returns.png
 
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Old 10-28-13, 09:13 AM
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Is the baseboard you will be replacing BELOW THE LEVEL of that drain valve?

Pipe going down makes it appear so... gonna be very difficult (impossible?) draining if it is.

Might need to find a creative use for the wet/dry shop vac!
 
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Old 10-28-13, 09:42 AM
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I am trying to change the baseboard on the 1st floor bathroom (zone 1). My house is on a slab so I do not have a basement. The supply for zone one goes into the slab and out to zone 1.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 09:45 AM
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Understood...

So, if the baseboards you want to drain are at a lower 'altitude' than the drain valve that is being suggested for use, you won't be able to drain them with that valve... water won't run uphill...
 
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Old 10-28-13, 10:04 AM
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Ok... So what would be the best way to change the baseboard?

Cut the baseboard out and let the water drain out?
 
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Old 10-28-13, 10:13 AM
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Creative use of a wet/dry shop vac.

If you can't drain it because it's below the levels of the drain, then you'll have to cut the pipe with the vac running and suck up the water as it leaks out.

If you have an air compressor and can come up with a way to BLOW the water out... that would work too. You would need a valve at BOTH ends of the loop to do this though.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 10:16 AM
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Ok so say I just cut the pipe and vacuum the water out, when I solder the new baseboard in and turn the water back on, do I have to worry about air being in the lines? If yes, how do I bleed out the air?
 
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Old 10-28-13, 10:40 AM
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do I have to worry about air being in the lines? If yes, how do I bleed out the air?
I don't know about 'worry'... but you do want to purge the air out.

You would do this by closing the valve below the drain valve, hooking a hose to the drain valve, manually opening the zone valve for zone 1, and operating the 'fast fill' on your pressure regulator to feed water through the zone and push the air out the drain.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 10:48 AM
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Sorry for my ignorance but where would my pressure regulator be and what does it look like?
 
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Old 10-28-13, 11:19 AM
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The change

While you are putting in the new baseboard. install one of those elbows with the vent cap on it so later you can at least vent the air out in that area, or maybe all of it, if you don't have a second floor.
Sid
 
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Old 10-29-13, 07:41 AM
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Use Tubing Cutter

Ok so say I just cut the pipe and vacuum the water out
Best to use a tubing cutter - which will make a nice cut suitable for soldering a connector or other copper fitting. If you use a hacksaw or sawzall, the end will be boogered and you'll have to use a tubing cutter anyway.
 
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Old 10-29-13, 08:32 AM
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Or even drill a hole in the part of pipe that you won't re-use in order to drain. This way you can get water out before using tubing cutter and having it spill all over floor...
 
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Old 10-29-13, 09:22 AM
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Or even drill a hole in the part of pipe that you won't re-use in order to drain.
With the drilled hole idea, you could mount a saddle valve like used for installing ice-makers. Rig up a temporary length of plastic tubing, and drain into a bucket or pan.

I interpreted your original post to mean you were asking about installing a permanent provision for draining the new baseboard unit after it is installed:
I know how to install the heater but not 100% sure on how to drain it then once installed
 
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Old 10-29-13, 09:25 AM
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Often on basement loops we usually install a boiler drain somewhere in the loop....This may be a good time to add one....
 
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Old 10-29-13, 11:03 AM
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He doesn't have a basement - the house is on a slab.
 
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Old 10-29-13, 02:20 PM
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mount a saddle valve like used for installing ice-makers. Rig up a temporary length of plastic tubing, and drain into a bucket or pan.
Gil, you must have some time to kill! That would take like... forever!

You could shut the valve below the drain by the boiler, and the valve for the other zone, duct tape the shop vac to the drain, and drill the hole in the baseboard pipe...
 
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Old 10-29-13, 04:00 PM
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Gil, you must have some time to kill!
Well, I guess I do, because I've since been thinking how long it would take to drain that baseboard through a saddle valve and a short length of tubing.

I don't know how much water is in the existing baseboard. But, if it's 10' of 3/4" copper tubing, that would be about 0.3 gal, plus whatever connections that may need to be drained.

Just for grins, I considered my icemaker, fed from a saddle valve through about 30' of 1/4" (o.d.) copper tubing. It takes about 10 seconds for the icemaker to fill for making eight cubes. That equates to a water flow rate of 0.14 gal/min. At that rate, the baseboard could be drained in two minutes or so.

BUT: my icemaker water line is fed from city water pressure, about 55 psi (much higher than for gravity flow through my proposed scheme). However, the tubing needed to drain the baseboard might only need to be a ft or so long, not 30'. If an air compressor were used, as has been suggested, that would make a significant difference.

I really don't have enough info to really calculate the drain time required with a saddle valve, but I think that, in any case, it might be much less than what I have spent thinking about the problem
 
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Old 10-29-13, 04:18 PM
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in any case, it might be much less than what I have spent thinking about the problem



I prefer the air compressor for applications such as this. I've got a fitting made up that screws onto hose bib and accepts air hose. Works great for draining water heaters and overhead expansion tanks! Used in conjunction with a hose 'wye' adapter, one can hook the drain hose to one leg of the wye, the compressor to the other leg of the 'wye' and alternately pressurize and drain, pressurize and drain... much faster than gravity!
 
 

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