Boiler Heat - Moving/Changing copper water runs...

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Old 12-27-13, 10:06 AM
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Boiler Heat - Moving/Changing copper water runs...

Hey everyone, and I'm sorry in advance, this is long winded! Hopefully someone takes the time to read it!

I'm a new member here but I've read this forum quite frequently. A little backstory before my question....My wife and I recently bought an acreage, which is something that we've always wanted. We updated the main floor with new laminate floors in the kitchen, dining room, hallway, and bathroom, laid new carpert in the two bedrooms, found out that the shower was rotted so we torn it out, re-framed and put a new shower and tub with surround in, new countertops and sinks. Pretty much the whole 9 yard.

Well, we found out that we have our first kid on the way, which has put my shed project on hold and we've since moved to finishing the basement, which is where my question comes in.

We have boiler heat, baseboard registers that are currently attached directly to the foundation. Since we are going to stud the walls, insulate, and sheetrock, the runs need to be pulled off the wall, a new elbow installed to get the correct distance from the foundation wall out past where the sheetrock is going to be, and re-install the baseboard heat.

However, no one that has helped me with my projects thus far has much of any idea how to drain, reload, and bleed the system. We are on a pretty tight budget (see above...new kid coming!), and are trying to as much of this ourselves as possible.

Is it really that hard to do? Is there an additive that needs to get put back in with the water when we refill the system? We can shut the lines off and drain the system, that shouldn't be hard, but it's bleeding the air so the heat works properly that is our main concern. Obviously, the middle of winter isn't the best time to do projects that involve turning the heat off...

Also, there is one heat run, well two, that are combined to make one that we want to separate and move. One to stay in the current location and one to be moved to where the new basement living room is going to be. From what I can tell, we only have one hot water heat loop. Is this easy to tie back in on with a new copper line and moving that baseboard heat?

Anyways, sorry again for the long post and thanks in advance for taking the time to read it and supply me with any ideas, input, or instructions that you might have for me!
 
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Old 12-27-13, 10:54 AM
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Sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now.

Your best bet would be to take several pictures of the near-boiler piping, as well as the "heat runs" that you mention, and post them so the folks here can advise you better. Regarding draining and purging the system, shut-off and drain valve locations are important, so pay attention to those areas with your pics.

As you noted, the middle of winter is not an ideal time to make changes to the heating system.
 
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Old 12-27-13, 11:45 AM
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As you noted, the middle of winter is not an ideal time to make changes to the heating system.
No, not at all... especially if one is not clear on what to do in order to refill and purge...

I would postpone the project if I were in your shoes Herk...

But yes, please post a bunch of pictures.
 
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Old 12-27-13, 07:13 PM
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Murphy's Law... I would wait 4 months!
 
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Old 12-30-13, 07:43 AM
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I appreciate the responses, sorry it took so long to get back to you! I was expecting email notifications when someone responded, but I guess I shouldn't have! Anyways, there is only one shut off for the entire house, which is located just above the boiler where the hot water comes out on its way to the heat runs.

While I'd like to wait, I'm not sure if that's really an option. Once spring comes, that means planting season comes and I lose my help and some of my own availability to finish the basement. I might just have to buck up and hire a plumber to come and do the heat. I can't imagine it would take someone too long, but I've been wrong before.

I appreciate all the input guys, I really do. I'll keep everyone posted!
 
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Old 12-30-13, 04:39 PM
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I was expecting email notifications when someone responded, but I guess I shouldn't have!
Only get them if you 'subscribe' to your own thread.

There is a setting to subscribe automatically in your user profile settings, but it is OFF by default.

how to drain, reload, and bleed the system.
If you can, take a whole bunch of pics all around the boiler showing all the piping and valves. You will need to take a bunch from a distance back so we can see the 'big picture' as well. Since all systems are different, this is the only way we can tell you which valves to turn, etc...

Make sure they are clear, well lighted and high enough resolution to see the details.

You can upload them direct to the forum, but this will mean they get fuzzy and resized to fit, so it's not a good choice for this.

Set up a FREE account at Photo and image hosting, free photo galleries, photo editing and upload the pics to a PUBLIC album there. Come back here and post a link to the album so we can view the pics.

Is it really that hard to do?
No, but there are plenty of " GOTCHA!'s " that can trip you up. It ALWAYS happens... you go to do one thing and you end up having to fix six. Fair warning!

Is there an additive that needs to get put back in with the water when we refill the system?
No, in general just plain water. Some systems have anti-freeze in them for various reasons... you need to be able to identify if your system does or does not.

We can shut the lines off and drain the system, that shouldn't be hard, but it's bleeding the air so the heat works properly that is our main concern.
Rightly so. Like I said... plenty of 'fail points' in a job such as this.

From what I can tell, we only have one hot water heat loop. Is this easy to tie back in on with a new copper line and moving that baseboard heat?
Easy enough if one knows what they are doing! What are your skill levels? How much copper pipe have you soldered? Do you feel confident? Or lucky?

Clint Eastwood said: "A man's got to know his limitations..."
 
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