Stumped -- hot water in pipe after I turn off the circulator pump

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Old 01-05-14, 08:26 AM
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Stumped -- hot water in pipe after I turn off the circulator pump

Hi everyone,

I am stumped on a problem with my baseboard hot water system. We have 6 zones and one of them is broken. I live in Massachusetts and we just went through several days of near 0 temperatures. The zone in question, the pipe is all interior to the house but it goes through a poorly enclosed porch, where I measured the temperature with my infrared thermometer of the floor as below freezing. Very bad indeed.

Clearly, that heating pipe must have been frozen. I bought a space heater and the temperature has warmed outside, and now in that room the temperature is a balmy 63 degrees.

However, I can't get the heating system to work again. When I turn the temp up, the boiler and the circulator pump go to work. When I open up the air release valve on that line, nothing comes out -- not even air.

The thing that really confuses me is that when I turn the circulator pump off for that zone, I hear water draining, and then about 4 seconds later, some air comes and then hot water. This happens without fail, I've done it several times now. What I also don't understand is that the return pipe for that zone is hot. In fact, all 6 return pipes are hots -- so it's not a mislabeled pipe.

I'm not an expert on the physics, but clearly I'm worried there's a leak in the system. However, visual inspection of the pipe, which I have visibility of about 95% of it in the basement and then in the room. I don't see any evidence of water going anywhere.

I kind of figure the next step might be draining the system? But, it seems like a very big undertaking and I want to make sure I do no harm here


Is there something I missing? is it time to call a professional?


thanks for your help,
m
 
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Old 01-05-14, 03:16 PM
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I kind of figure the next step might be draining the system?
How come? What would that accomplish?

Don't do it.

I'm worried there's a leak in the system
What is the PRESSURE gauge reading?

Clearly, that heating pipe must have been frozen. I bought a space heater and the temperature has warmed outside, and now in that room the temperature is a balmy 63 degrees.
Doesn't mean that the pipe has thawed out though... it was almost 50 here today, yet MOST of the snow from Friday is still out there...

Can you direct the space heaters directly at the pipe?
 
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