Please help. I have minimal heat and it's 10 degrees out


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Old 01-04-14, 09:57 PM
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Please help. I have minimal heat and it's 10 degrees out

I felt that my house was not heating sufficient enough so I took it upon myself (with no boiler experience whatsoever) to fix the problem. Ok now that we got that out of the way. My home wasn't heating pass 70 although thermostat was set for 75 all day. After talking to my friends I was advice to bleed the system because there might be air. I tried that but now made it completely worse. There's no bleeding valve on any of my baseboards so I tried and do it from the hose spigots on the boiler. My system is a slant fin galaxy gas boiler with 2 zones and theres no shut off on the return.

here's my system
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first thing i did was open the spigot all the way at the bottom below the circ pump. A small amount of blackish water came out but nothing else. I expected water to flow freely out of there. after closing that I attached the hose to the first zone and closed the rest of the yellow valves and opened the blue valve on the hose bib and also the corresponding yellow valve. Same thing happened. only a small gurgling trickle of water came out but. not flowing like i expected. after trying several times with the different valves opened and closed in a bunch of different configurations I decided to give up. Well now there's no heat. The return line into the boiler is piping hot but the feed coming out of boiler is slightly warm. There's only one baseboard in the zone thats hot everything else is cold. Any help will be appreciated. Also the only place I get free flowing water is from the pipe that comes out of top of boiler and makes a 90 degree turn down. And I cant find any bleeder valves on baseboards. Name:  get-attachment.jpg
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Old 01-04-14, 10:05 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I'm not the expert here and they'll be by but that valve you opened on top of the boiler is not for bleeding.

What is the temperature and pressure shown on the gauge ?
Your boiler sounds like it's low on water.

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Old 01-04-14, 10:11 PM
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The temp gague is 180 pressure gague is 5. Before all of this it was at 30. I pull the lever on the fill valve but I don't think is doing much
 
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Old 01-04-14, 10:17 PM
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You need to get at least 15 psi on the gauge. Right now you're low on water.

In the picture..... make sure the circled valve is on for water fill.

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Last edited by PJmax; 01-04-14 at 10:40 PM. Reason: added pic
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Old 01-04-14, 10:20 PM
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There is a shut off and is fully open. So I need to replace the water fill valve? Is that why I wasn't getting flowing water whenever I opened the valve below circ pump? When I lift the lever on it. Nothing happens doesn't even feel like anything is there
 
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Old 01-04-14, 10:23 PM
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When you hold the handle of the fill valve up....do you hear any water passing thru ?
Even if the valve was bad.... you can usually manually fill the system.

In looking at the pic where I circled the valve. Is that a shutoff or a drain valve?
Maybe there is another valve even before that one.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 10:27 PM
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I was holding handle up and nothing was happening. I took it apart and pressed it down with a screwdriver and got water flowing into boiler. Got the pressure up to 20 and it seems like water is flowing up the feed. It's getting warmer but the pipe is not hot like it is 5 feet before it.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 10:39 PM
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Don't put too much more in. Let what's in there get a chance to heat up.

I meant to tell you to add water VERY SLOWLY so as not to cause any problems in the hot boiler.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 11:04 PM
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Well my friend, it's too late. I didn't read your last post. So I took my wood clamp and pressed the pin in the bad valved and I was getting water in the system and bleeding the zone. Violent air bubbles where coming out and just when I thought I was getting some progress. The fill valves started leaking terribly. So it seems like I'll have no heat tonight and will have to replace valve in the morning. The system is drained so hopefully the depot will have it. Can you explain how I will bleed the air out of this system after replacing the valve. That's what started this whole mess
 
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Old 01-04-14, 11:42 PM
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You only needed to add a little bit of water...... several gallons !!

What does the pressure gauge say.... Obviously stop filling.

I'm not sure what you mean by fill valves leaking.
 
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Old 01-05-14, 10:36 AM
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I just replaced the water fill valve any ideas on how to bleed this system?
 
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Old 01-05-14, 10:52 AM
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Too lazy to read back thread.

Has anyone mentioned the expansion tank?

You should make sure it's also good and has the correct air charge while you have the system drained down.

See:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html

Follow the step-by-step instructions (exactly to the letter!) for servicing the tank.

When that is complete:

Connect hose to one of the drain valves above ball valves on the return.

CLOSE ALL THREE BALL VALVES.

OPEN drain valve.

Turn on water supply and LIFT THE FAST FILL LEVER on the fill valve to get fast flow of water through system. WATCH SYSTEM PRESSURE GAUGE while doing this and 'modulate' the fast fill lever to keep system pressure around 25 PSI while purging.

When bubbles stop coming from hose, release fast fill lever, close drain, in that order.

Move hose to next drain valve and repeat...
 
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Old 01-05-14, 10:54 AM
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You have 3 yellow ball valves on your return lines.
Close those valves.
With your fast fill lever, fill the boiler to about 25 psi. being careful no to get to 30 where relief valve will blow.
Put a hose on your draw off, one at a time, and while maintaining that 25 psi, open the draw off until straight stream of water comes out.
Close drawoff and repeat with other lines.
Close fast fill when done.

When done bleeding drain extra water to 15 psi.
When everything is bled open ball valves.
Start boiler and turn on heat.

DO THIS PROCEDURE WITH BOILER OFF.
 
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Old 01-05-14, 11:01 AM
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Tank is good. Should I let water heat up before bleeding or it doesn't matter?
 
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Old 01-05-14, 12:06 PM
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Heat is back on! Thank you so much for all your help.
 
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Old 01-05-14, 12:29 PM
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The temp gague is 180 pressure gague is 5. Before all of this it was at 30
Tank is good
A pressure of 30 PSI in your system "before all of this" leads me to believe that the tank is NOT good...

How did you determine that the "tank is good"? You measured with accurate tire gauge and ZERO PRESSURE on the boiler? And what did you measure? How many PSI?
 
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Old 01-05-14, 12:34 PM
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I didn't check tank pressure I hit it with my fingers and there's only water on the top and the rest is air. I assumed that was good
 
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Old 01-05-14, 12:46 PM
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I didn't check tank pressure I hit it with my fingers and there's only water on the top and the rest is air. I assumed that was good
EEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Sorry, wrong answer.

Did you read the thread that I posted earlier?

If you did you will have learned that those tanks lose about 1-2 PSI PER YEAR normally.

You need to service that tank otherwise you will be back asking how come your pressure relief valve is spewing...

DON'T ASSUME ANYTHING when it comes to your boiler system.

Please read:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html
 
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Old 01-05-14, 01:04 PM
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Ugh just when I thought I was done!! Thank you. I'll check it now
 
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Old 01-05-14, 01:29 PM
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Troop, you forgot to mention that his gauge may be bad as well. At 30 PSI, his boiler should have been spilling water out of the pressure relief valve.
 
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Old 01-05-14, 01:40 PM
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Actually I didn't forget... Ed had enough on his plate at the time...

One thing that I've been thinking about regarding pressure gauges and expansion tanks:

AFTER the expansion tank is properly charged and the system is back in operation, the SYSTEM pressure can be read from the expansion tank air valve with an ACCURATE tire pressure gauge, AS LONG AS the system pressure is HIGHER than the air charge in the tank.

Note that this does NOT HOLD TRUE if there is ANY question as to the integrity of the tank's bladder, OR if the air charge in the tank is 'unknown'.

It ONLY holds true if one is 100% confident that the tank's bladder is GOOD, and the air charge is correct.

I've recently tested this theory... it works because with the proper charge in the tank, say 12 PSI of air, the moment that the boiler water pressure rises above this point it will begin to compress the air in the tank. The air pressure at the air valve will match the system pressure as long as it is above the air charge of the tank.
 
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Old 01-05-14, 01:43 PM
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EDROD,

AFTER you've properly charged the tank air pressure with an ACCURATE tire pressure gauge, run the boiler and let it get HOT.

When the boiler gauge is reading something ABOVE what you charged the tank to, carefully... without letting any air out of the tank when measuring... measure the pressure on the tank again.

It should match the boiler gauge.

If it does NOT, then your boiler gauge is not accurate... or your tire pressure gauge isn't as accurate as you thought.
 
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Old 01-05-14, 02:02 PM
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I'm going to put the pressure tank on hold until tomorrow because I don't have an accurate pressure gauge. The boiler was running at 30 psi before all this happened and I never had water out of the pressure relief valve. The heat is running good except the one zone that piggy backs of the other zone is slightly colder. I feel the pipes and it's definitely not as hot. I can hold my hand on it for a long time while the others are scalding.
 
 

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