Please help: No heat, no psi

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  #1  
Old 01-03-14, 08:01 PM
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Please help: No heat, no psi

Hello,

I checked the forum for a similar issue and didn't find anything, so my apologies if this is a repost.

Our unit is a electric, 4 element, Hydra Evolution system.

Earlier today we heard a noise from the baseboards, similar to water being poured down a drain. We've heard knocking before, but never this noise.

I came across a suggestion online about purging the water from the boiler and followed the instructions in the owners manual (turned off the power, turned off inlet/outlet valves, drain water until it's clear and clean). I had also turned off all the thermostats just in case.

I let the water run for several minutes but it was never completely clear. I then opened the valves, turned on the power, then after a minute I went to a thermostat and turned up the heat.

I heard what sounded like a fair amount of air being vented, then everything seemed to settle back down to normal. The temperature gauge showed about 80C/180F but the water PSI was at 0.

I left the boiler, went upstairs and turned the rest of the heat in the house back on. After about an hour or so I noticed the baseboards weren't heating up, I went down to the boiler and the temp gauge had dropped to 30C/90F. I figured it was all the new, cold water in the system bringing down the temp and that it would need time to heat back up.

Fast forward several hours and the water temp has dropped to 20C/70F with no sign at all of heating up.

Any ideas? I've called several 24hr HVAC services but none seem to be familiar with this system.

Attached should be a pic of the system, the circuit board showing the lights that are currently on and the temp/psi gauge.

Thank you very much for reading this novel.
 
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Last edited by Jaylamar; 01-03-14 at 09:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-14, 08:07 PM
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That device right under the pump and to the right fills the boiler... Is there a valve closed on that blue line? If so open it. PSI should increase...

If not(no closed valve) lift the handle on that device until PSI reads 12 psi or so... Not more then 15 psi...

Then close /lower the handle and run the system...

Should run fine if so...

Let us know and we can guide you further...
 
  #3  
Old 01-03-14, 08:15 PM
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Hi lawrosa and thank you for your reply.

The valve is open, but there is no change in the psi.
 
  #4  
Old 01-03-14, 08:21 PM
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Have you looked around to see if there is a leak somewhere? If the system WAS full and is not currently, the water had to go somewhere..... Although that would not explain why an auto feeder would not keep the pressure up.

Patrick
 
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Old 01-03-14, 08:25 PM
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Lift the handle on the feed valve below the pump lower right to increse psi in the system. Only raise psi to 12 psi or so then lower the handle...
 
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Old 01-03-14, 08:29 PM
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Old 01-03-14, 08:36 PM
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This is what is currently open, but I will try the thing you circled as well
 
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Old 01-03-14, 08:39 PM
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Hi kayakingphotos,

Thank you for posting, I really hope there's not a leak but so far, no dark stains on my ceiling or drips anywhere I can find.
 
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Old 01-03-14, 08:51 PM
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Lift the handle on the feed valve below the pump lower right to increse psi in the system. Only raise psi to 12 psi or so then lower the handle...
Done, PSI now at 12. Fantastic. How long do you believe it will take for the water temp to rise?
 
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Old 01-03-14, 09:06 PM
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lawrosa,

What is just to the left of the auto feeder? Do my eyes deceive me or is that a back flow preventer? On my heating system, the back flow preventer is before the auto feeder. Which is the proper location?

Patrick
 
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Old 01-03-14, 09:16 PM
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Done, PSI now at 12. Fantastic. How long do you believe it will take for the water temp to rise?
IDK... Depends on how cold the house is...

You need a new fill valve since that seemed to be your issue... The device should maintain 12 psi by itself..

Keep an ey on the pressre to see if you lose any over time..

When the boiler heats the psi will increase some...



Do my eyes deceive me or is that a back flow preventer?
Yes it is... Yes preferred is the opposite... Is it critical? Probably/somewhat... I would need to think about it.
 
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Old 01-03-14, 09:17 PM
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What is just to the left of the auto feeder? Do my eyes deceive me or is that a back flow preventer?
Here are some pics if that helps:
 
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Old 01-03-14, 09:28 PM
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Thank you very much for your help lawrosa and kayakingphotos!
 
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Old 01-03-14, 09:38 PM
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Thank you very much for your help lawrosa and kayakingphotos!
Shoot. So after I turned my upstairs heat on, I can hear the water rushing up through the pipes, loud at first, then it stops. I go down to check the boiler and the PSI has dropped back to 0.

So when I had just the basement zone on the psi stayed at 12, but when I turned the upstairs zone on it dropped back to 0.

Should I have all 4 zones turned on when I'm adding water via the feed valve?
 
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Old 01-04-14, 04:31 AM
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You probably figured it out already, but let us know...
 
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Old 01-04-14, 05:01 AM
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You probably figured it out already, but let us know...
No luck.

I turned on 2 of the 4 zones while I had the feed valve open and it stayed at 10 PSI, there were lots of loud bubbling noises. I left it overnight, the boiler was on, the pump was running, but the water did not heat up. The 2 zones I left off were the ones that first made the gushing noise.

My walls aren't showing any sign of a leak but maybe it's taking its sweet time soaking through the gyprock...

My proudest DIY moment was installing my own dishwasher, haha, so trouble shooting something like this is beyond me.
 

Last edited by Jaylamar; 01-04-14 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 01-04-14, 06:02 AM
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Do you have heat to any zones???

Are the caps on the two airvents I see loose?

You may need to bleed the zones that are not working...
 
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Old 01-04-14, 06:23 AM
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Do you have heat to any zones???
All four zones are requesting heat and the psi is holding at 10. The water temp has not gone up and there's no heat coming from the baseboards.

Are the caps on the two airvents I see loose?
Yes. When turned on all 4 zones then added more water to increase psi, I could hear air escaping from the vents.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 06:38 AM
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Increase psi to 15...

What does the temp gauge say on the boiler? Is the boiler heating up?

Are there any purge valves on your system? ( Boiler drains?) You should or may have 4 of them.. One for each zone.

After you increase the psi to 15... Open one zone at a time.... Try to get water flowing and heat one zone at a time...

Additionally do you here the circ running? I would think it is if you hear gurgling...
 
  #20  
Old 01-04-14, 06:47 AM
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What does the temp gauge say on the boiler? Is the boiler heating up?
It is below 20C, it does not appear to be heating up at all. I left it on all night.

Are there any purge valves on your system? ( Boiler drains?) You should or may have 4 of them.. One for each zone.
I did purge sediment from the system yesterday, is that the same valve? I'll post more photos.

Additionally do you here the circ running? I would think it is if you hear gurgling...
It is running.


I will try what you suggested and get back to you asap
 
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Old 01-04-14, 06:52 AM
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So your circulating you seem to have no power to the elemnets.... Did you check the circut breakers?

Whats the make and model of the boiler?

Possibly the elements burnt out because of lack of water?

Im not too familiar with electric boilers. I have worked on tankless electric heaters...You should have some 40 amp breakers or something for the unit...
 
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Old 01-04-14, 07:17 AM
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So your circulating you seem to have no power to the elemnets.... Did you check the circut breakers?
Are there breakers on the unit? pic below. The breaker at my fuse box is definitely on.

Whats the make and model of the boiler?
Hydra Evolution model#HYDRA18-E2401M

Possibly the elements burnt out because of lack of water?
Hope not, but probably cheaper than a leak to fix?
 
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Old 01-04-14, 07:25 AM
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I have one zone on and PSI holding steady at 15. Water temp on the gauge is not rising. I didn't purge anything but there's more pics of the unit below.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 07:47 AM
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Hi voltage under there so be careful...You can be killed!!!!!!

If your not comfortable call in a pro..

Do you have a multi meter to check voltage?

There is a main breaker in the main panel? What amp is it? Did you flip off then back on? Sometimes they look like they are not tripped but they are...

You want to test the big black and red hot wires coming into the unit for voltage...

Then check the individual elements...

I will find your manual...
 

Last edited by NJT; 01-04-14 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 01-04-14, 07:49 AM
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Whats those red lights on the board? Kill power to reset possibly... Are they error codes?
 
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Old 01-04-14, 07:58 AM
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Here is the electrical schematic for reference...


http://www.dettson.ca/wp-content/upl...amme-Hydra.pdf
 
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Old 01-04-14, 08:19 AM
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Sorry, GF is using the computer so I'm stuck posting with my phone for now.

Electrical is above me. The only time I used a multimeter was for testing a bike battery so I'm going to let a pro handle it from here.

I'm pretty the lights are for the elements and the circulator, I think there's a pic of them up close from the first post.

If it is the elements any idea what they cost to replace? A quick Google search turned up nothing.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 08:41 AM
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It takes 3 different types and has 6 of them... About $800 bucks for all 6... Then labor...??? If it is the elements... I would think there has to be a low water cut off feature to that boiler to somewhat protect them..

Yes.. This cold out it may be best calling a pro in...

Please let us know how you make out....

Heil Part Number L99H001: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

Amazon.com: Heil Part Number L99H002: Industrial & Scientific

Amazon.com: Heil Part Number L99H003: Industrial & Scientific
 
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Old 01-04-14, 08:43 AM
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Here is your manual.. May have troubleshooting guide... I dont read french so cant help with that...

http://www.dettson.ca/wp-content/upl...tion-Hydra.pdf
 
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Old 01-04-14, 03:49 PM
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Someone came by tonight, had a look, and all the elements are burnt out. He couldn't believe it. Kept telling me he's never seen it before. No final word on the cost but he ball parked $800 all said and done.

Thanks again for all your help!
 
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Old 01-04-14, 03:57 PM
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Well I am sorry to hear that...

Make sure you replace the fill valve as stated... This was probably the cause of the issue as the boiler basicall ran dry ....

This cost will make you be ,more diligent on boiler inspection to make sure its operating correctly...

Let us know the final outcome...

Cheers..
 
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Old 01-04-14, 04:05 PM
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The elements burnt out would explain the no heat part of the problem. You need to find out WHY there was no pressure/water in the system. You should be able to bring the pressure up and hold it steady even with the elements burnt out......

lawrosa, looking at the manual (second half is English) it appears that there is no low pressure cut out. Does somebody make them and do you think it would be advantageous to add one?

Patrick
 
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Old 01-04-14, 04:13 PM
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Old 01-06-14, 06:53 AM
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Sure I would add a gaurd dog IMO...
Quick update. A friend works with HVAC contractors and got me a great price on all four elements ($153 tax in), I just read your suggestion and called her back, she's going to confirm if I can add a low water cut off to the order as well.

I'm confident I can replace the elements on my own but I'm not so sure about turning the system back on, i.e., filling it back up with water. I was told if I don't fill it back up properly and there's air in the system I'll burn the elements out again. Should I leave that to a pro? the manual doesnt really give a step by step guide to filling the system.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 06:59 AM
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Make sure you replace the fill valve as stated... This was probably the cause of the issue as the boiler basicall ran dry ....
Any chance having the backflow preventer and the filler in reverse caused this issue? If the water isn't getting to the filler how does it know what the systems psi is?
 
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Old 01-06-14, 07:00 AM
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If you try to fill it yourself you want to run the system with the elemnts disconnected some how.. Probably a breaker?

Insure all the air is out psi up and water circulating...Dont know if you need power there to run the circulator that its on a different circuit....

You could change the elements and not connect the wires possibly..Wire nut each one of course for saftey.... But High voltage and you can be killed... We dont know your skill set... Call a pro if you are not comfortable.....
 
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Old 01-06-14, 07:05 AM
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Any chance having the backflow preventer and the filler in reverse caused this issue? If the water isn't getting to the filler how does it know what the systems psi is?
I dont think that was the cause...The fill valve should of maintained 12 psi in the boiler...Instructions suggest for best performance install the opposite way...

http://media.wattswater.com/1910237.pdf
 
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Old 01-16-14, 08:26 AM
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Hey Guys, just wanted to give you a final update on how things worked out.

Short story, my heat is back on and I'm keeping a very close eye on my system!

Diagnosing the problem was $100.

I was able to order the elements through a friend for $150 and changed them over myself with the help of another friends massive socket set. He got some beer for his trouble

Getting the system turned on was done by a pro and cost me a case of beer.

I was able to return the extra space heaters I bought and got $120 back.

All said and done it was a $320 lesson in electric boilers.

I asked about a low flow cut off and was told it was $280 plus install. That price was through the same person who ordered the elements for me.

The filler and the backflow preventer were left alone. The system is holding steady at 15 psi and I check it twice a day. I'm also keeping an eye on how many elements are on at any given time in case the burn outs were an eletrical issue.

If anything changes I'll let you guys know but for now it seems to be running fine.

Thanks again for all of your help and advice!

Jay
 
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Old 01-16-14, 10:21 AM
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Cool jay that is great...

Yes let us know as time goes on how its working...

What was the final say on the temp setting?

I was able to return the extra space heaters I bought and got $120 back.
You can buy a lot of Molson with that....


 
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