Which direction should my circulator pump Flow?


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Old 11-21-13, 10:38 AM
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Which direction should my circulator pump Flow?

Should it flow into the boiler or away from the boiler?
Does it matter?
What happens if it pumps the wrong way?

I recently replaced the pump, I installed it the same direction as the one I replaced, but I am uncertain if it was flowing the right way to begin with.

Thanks
Eric
 
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Old 11-21-13, 11:37 AM
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Hi Eric,

Flow through the boiler needs to be IN on the RETURN or OUT on the SUPPLY.

The RETURN is always at (or near) the bottom of the boiler and the SUPPLY at (or near) the top.

Take a picture or two and we can probably tell you more easily.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 10:53 AM
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Thanks, and another question

Thanks, that makes sense.

but I do have another question for you NJ Trooper.
Of my 7 radiators 2 are not getting any heat at all.

I thought it might be air so I put some automatic bleed valves at the high point, but that didn't do anything.

I am now thinking of getting a stronger pump. I realize that the taco 007 I have should be sufficient for my bungalow, but it seems hot water just wont circulate into the line that has the 2 radiators that wont get warm. These 2 radiators look as though they were added after the fact and are put on through a branch on the supply run. My thinking is that if I put a stronger pump on it, then there will be more force and in turn the hot water will go into the 2 cool radiators.

Does that make sense to do?
 
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Old 12-01-13, 02:16 PM
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At this point I need to ask you what the pressure and temperature readings are on your boiler gauge.

Also suggest that you read this:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...ure-gauge.html

Is your bungalow one floor only?

I am now thinking of getting a stronger pump...

Does that make sense to do?
No, not at all.

The two radiators that aren't getting flow are likely air bound.

Take a picture or a bunch and we can probably tell you more easily.
I would like to see any and all valves around the boiler so that I can properly instruct how you might better be able to bleed, the water fill line between the domestic and the boiler, the expansion tank, and anything else that you think might be relevant... or not... pictures are cheap if you can do.

Make sure to take a few from a far enough distance that I can get a perspective of where the various parts in closer pictures fit into the big picture.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 02:20 PM
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I thought it might be air so I put some automatic bleed valves at the high point, but that didn't do anything.
Possibly because there isn't enough pressure in the system, thus verifying the gauge is important.
 
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Old 12-02-13, 04:32 PM
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Hi Again

I took a video of my system you can see it at:

DSCF6496 - YouTube

My place is 1 floor and a basement. The basement is an apartment and I spoke to the tenant and apparently neither of the radiators are working (there are 2). There are then 5 upstairs and 1 of them doesn't work. The one towards the back of the house.
The supply line that runs towards the back of the house doesn't seem to ever get hot.

The pressure gauge is presently reading at 20 PSI. I don't believe it is defective though because I have done some mucking around with it and actually over filled it in the past to the point were the pressure release goes and water shoots out. And the troubled radiators dont work.

I did actually have a plumber come look at the system and all he could figure was that bleeder valves would likely sort it out... it didn't. he thought possibly that a stronger pump could force the air through and that is where I am presently at.

The problem I feel with the idea of it being an air lock is that when I last refilled the system. I left the bleed valves on all the radiators open until water came out of them... Shouldn't that have forced all the air out?

You will notice in the video there is a diverter branch on the supply for my troubled radiators. I feel like it is this separation which is diluting the power with which the supply can flow. I dont know if that makes sense though.

I took some pics as well that I can add.
Let me know if you would like those as well as the video.

Thanks again.
Eric
 
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Old 12-02-13, 05:05 PM
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I took some pics as well that I can add.
Let me know if you would like those as well as the video.
Yes please. The video is OK but I had to strain to hear what you were saying and you hand was in the way much of the time. Due to the angle of the camera, couldn't really see much but the pipes in front of the lens... and then that light glaring in our face...

The forum does resize pics though, so if they are higher resolution I would prefer that they would be uploaded to someplace like Photo and image hosting, free photo galleries, photo editing so we can see the pics in full size.

I still think you have an air problem...
 
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Old 12-02-13, 06:27 PM
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You are probably right about the air lock.
It's pretty tough getting some pictures on this since there is such a mess of pipes and it is a small room. I hope these pictures are more helpful.

Library Slideshow by ericdouglasss | Photobucket

FYI there are 3 different kinds of pipes on my system there is copper (of varying size), steel and an orange plastic tube that doesn't exist anymore (or so I am told).

There are 3 drain points (or taps) the first is below the pump on the return, the 2nd is on the return from the back end of the house (there is a black hose attached in the picture) and one on the supply in the backend of the house.
 
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Old 12-02-13, 08:38 PM
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an orange plastic tube that doesn't exist anymore (or so I am told).
It looked like PEX tubing to me. It still does most definitely still exist. Perhaps not that BRAND, but PEX is being used MORE AND MORE in the heating industry.

Read the printing on the tubing and tell us what it says... all those codes and mumbo-jumbo that is printed on the tubing... all of it.

Going to look at pics now... more tomorrow...
 
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Old 12-02-13, 08:53 PM
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Before you proceed with this process, shut off the boiler and allow to cool to 100F or less.

In this pic:



You see that ball valve to the left of the drain that you have the hose on?

When you were bleeding / purging those radiators, did you CLOSE THAT BALL VALVE?

If not, do it again with the ball valve closed. If you don't close that ball valve, the water will never be persuaded to travel through the zone. It will take the shortcut through the boiler and right out the drain.

With that ball valve CLOSED, and the drain OPEN, LIFT THE LEVER on the pressure reducing valve in this picture:



It's the bell shaped valve at the lower right center. When you lift that lever water will travel FASTER and push the air out ahead.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 12:23 PM
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Hi NJ Trooper
I will give this a shot.
Just to make certain though, is the ball valve you are reffering to the one that is on the same pipe as the drain? Or are you referring to the red valve which is up higher?

Also, what is the best way to bleed/purge the rads?
After closing the valve and getting more water in from the pressure reducing valve, should I then go to the radiators and bleed them through the bleeder valves that are on them? Or is there another way that might make more sense?

Thanks for all your time on this.
Eric
 
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Old 12-03-13, 01:02 PM
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Just to make certain though, is the ball valve you are reffering to the one that is on the same pipe as the drain? Or are you referring to the red valve which is up higher?
Yes, the one on the return pipe just to the left of the drain, yellowy-orange handle, not the red one.

Also, what is the best way to bleed/purge the rads?
After this, you may not have to bleed them. Should work 'out of the box'.

After closing the valve and getting more water in from the pressure reducing valve, should I then go to the radiators and bleed them through the bleeder valves that are on them? Or is there another way that might make more sense?
I might not have explained myself well enough...

When you close that yellow handle ball valve, and open the drain with the hose on it, and lift the fast fill lever on the pressure reducing valve, you will be forcing water through that zone and any air in the zone should be pushed out ahead of the water.

This is a PURGE, rather than a BLEED, there's a fine semantic difference.

PURGE is BLOWING OUT THE ZONE with fresh water, BLEED is a little piddle out of air bleed valves.

After you PURGE the system and it heats up HOT again, you may get some air out of the bleeders since heating the fresh water in the system will force the dissolved air out, so for a day/week/month after doing this you may want to vent the bleeders a few times. This should restore heat to the non-heating rads though.

This won't help the other non-heating rad, but should take care of the two at the rear of the house.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 01:20 PM
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Ok I've got it now purge from the drain on the return pipe .

Any ideas about the radiator in the front, basement of the house that isn't getting warm?
 
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Old 12-03-13, 03:30 PM
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Any ideas about the radiator in the front, basement of the house that isn't getting warm?
Is there a similar arrangement on that radiator where you have a ball valve next to a drain? (that arrangement of the two valves together is referred to as a 'purge station', FYI)

If there is, you can do the same thing there. If not, we'll have to think of something else.

I saw LOTS of ball valves on your piping, but most of them that I saw did NOT include the drain next to them.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 03:38 PM
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Hi, so purging worked!

I purged for about 20 minutes and now the 2 radiators toward the back of the house are kicking out heat. Thank you!!

Unfortunately though it's about a 1/3 the heat the other radiators are putting out.

I think that might be because the other rads are supplied by 3/4" copper or even bigger threaded steel, and because those radiators are further away. Does that make sense?

For the other radiator there is no other purge station. The only other one is at the supply for 2 rads at the back of the house.

Let me know if you come up with anymore ideas!

Thanks
 
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Old 12-03-13, 07:10 PM
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All those ball valves...

Would you be able to shut down ALL the other rads with those valves and allow the full force of the pump to go just through that one radiator? This might bust the air bubble loose.

It appears that all the radiators are 'home runs', meaning that supply and return for each rad comes back to the boiler room individually. So if you shut the rest of them down with the respective valves, ALL the flow from the pump will go through that one rad... or am I not seeing things correctly in the pics?
 
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Old 12-03-13, 07:11 PM
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Unfortunately though it's about a 1/3 the heat the other radiators are putting out.
Give the cast iron time to get hot.

an orange plastic tube that doesn't exist anymore (or so I am told).
It looks like PEX tubing to me. It still does most definitely still exist. Perhaps not that BRAND, but PEX is being used MORE AND MORE in the heating industry.

Read the printing on the tubing and tell us what it says... all those codes and mumbo-jumbo that is printed on the tubing... all of it.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 07:31 PM
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Further to what I suggested about closing off the other rads so full flow can go to the one rad...

In this picture...



It appears that you can close that RED HANDLE BALL VALVE on the RETURN line and that this will give everything the pump has to that front radiator loop.

Run the system, get it hot, and while the pump is running, quickly open and close the yellow return valve from the front rad. This might cause the pressure surge when you open it to break the bubble loose... sorta like rocking a car stuck in the snow...

But something else I noticed... say you DO break that air loose... and it comes back to the boiler... what happens to it then?

I just looked at all the pictures again, and I saw no sign of ANY kind of an AIR SCOOP, or AUTOMATIC AIR VENT anywhere... is there any such thing on your system?

If not, then even if you bust that air loose in the front radiator, it will travel around the system and get stuck somewhere else.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 07:34 PM
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One more question about the previous pic.

See that round red handle valve? What position is that valve in? Open? Closed? Part way between?

That's a 'system bypass' valve and if it's open, while you are trying to get flow in that rad, close it, but count the number of turns it's open and return it to that when you are done.

I'll explain that valve's purpose at another time.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 07:36 PM
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Last one for the night:

I think you had this concern early on?

You may find that little pump is actually outmatched by this system. The 15-58 is not a bad pump, but this system may in fact be asking a bit much of it's capabilities.

We can talk about this some more later.
 
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Old 12-03-13, 08:38 PM
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The pumps location

If the near boiler piping were as shown in the install manual, I'm sure it would have an air scoop, vent, expansion tank, and makeup water supply with PRV and back flow preventer,connected between the air scoop and the expansion tank PONPC ( point of no pressure change)
If not, you have too much for a DIY to tackle. Pumps should also be moved to the supply side and the pump pressure might be about 10PSI higher and likely see no air. Hard to see anything from those pics. Trooper must have been in alot of residential basements...what a mess....where do you start? Nothing is manifolded...
 
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Old 12-05-13, 07:26 AM
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Hi again,

Sorry I didn't get back in here yesterday, I had kind of a crazy day at work.

So the radiators at the back of the house I thought were working, turns out they aren't anymore.

Regarding the bypass valve, it is all the way open.

In response to your question about the air vent I am not 100% sure what I am looking for. Would that look like an automatic bleeder valve?

Like one of these guys?
Caleffi - Catalogue - the widest range

Where should that go on the system?

Going forward I think I am going to try a stronger pump.

And maybe put in an air vent...

Eric
 

Last edited by edouglas; 12-05-13 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 12-05-13, 01:40 PM
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what should I do?

The clearest picture of understanding your system is in a paperback book valle"Pumping Away". This is likely the easiest plain English written book, with diagrams you will ever read. You can find it at heatinghelp.com There is simply too much info to explain I think. This book will cut to the chase and save you alot of money.
 
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Old 12-05-13, 05:11 PM
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Regarding the bypass valve, it is all the way open.
For the time being, close it. See if you start to get heat in the cool rads.

Did you try the tricks with the front radiator yet?

This is a 'SpiroVent' brand combined air scoop and eliminator.

VJR100 - Spirotherm VJR100 - 1" Spirovent Jr. Air Eliminator (Threaded)

A cheaper alternative is this:

431-6 - Taco 431-6 - 1" Air Scoop

On top you would mount one of these:

MO67 - Jacobus - Maid O Mist MO67 - #67, 1/8" Auto-Vent

There is simply too much info to explain I think
Yes... it's a lot. What really needs to happen down there is to let someone loose with a Sawzall, cut out that jungle of piping, and repipe it all in a sensible manner that works. It's just way too 'organic', like someone threw some pipe and tubing seeds down there and they sprouted and grew every which way...

I was hoping that it would at least WORK after it was purged... maybe not perfect, but at least work... but I'm losing hope.
 
 

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