Is there an easy way to determine which return line is for which zone?

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  #1  
Old 01-06-14, 07:42 AM
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Is there an easy way to determine which return line is for which zone?

My upstairs heat has stopped working. The other floors are fine, I have 4 zones total. I want to try to bleed any air from that zone but I'm not sure which return (they each have a drain and shutoff) is for that zone. I checked the thermostat and changed it with one from a different zone. The voltage at the send valve is 24VAC when calling for heat. For this reason, I want to try to bleed it. Is there an easy way to determine which return line is for which zone? Can I leave them all open with the exception of one to drain each one?

Thanks,
--Jim
 
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Old 01-06-14, 08:36 AM
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Hello....

Why do you think the zone needs bleeding?

Whats is the make and model of the boiler?

What does the pressure and temp gauge read on the boiler?

Lets start there and if you can take several pics of your system we can help you further............
 
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Old 01-06-14, 10:09 AM
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Could be a pressure problem, air problem, zone valve, tstat. We need pressure and temp readings for starters.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 08:08 AM
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Thanks

Thanks you for your replies. So here goes.
Why do you think the zone needs bleeding?
In the past month or so, it seems like different zones sometimes didnít come up to temp. In the past week, itís now the top floor that doesnít get heat or at least very rarely. Yesterday was very warm for our area (NH 53 degrees) this time of year and when I got home from work the pipes upstairs were warm and the temp was 69. The thermostat was set to 71 and has a .5 temp swing. However I checked an hour later and the pipes upstairs were cold again. So I do think there is flow there, but not very good. About 6 years ago the circulator was replaced along with the air bleeder on top of the expansion tank. The plumber at the time told me that every now and then I should open the air bleeder cap to let some of the air out. From what Iíve read lately, itís supposed to be open all the time to let air out. So I opened it but water keeps leaking out of it so I closed it up again. I thought bleeding the zone might be the cheapest and easiest thing that I could try (since Iím not exactly handy with plumbing) to get this going without calling a plumber. Iíve swapped a thermostat from a working zone with the thermostat upstairs with no luck. I checked the voltage at the zone valve with all the other zones off and get 24VAC when its calling for heat.

Whats is the make and model of the boiler?
Weil Mclain HE-4

What does the pressure and temp gauge read on the boiler?
Temp and pressure Ė 8PSI @160 and about 12 at 190


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Old 01-07-14, 08:39 AM
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What does the pressure and temp gauge read on the boiler?
Temp and pressure Ė 8PSI @160 and about 12 at 190
And there it is.....................................

You have not got enough pressure in your system, PRESUMING that your pressure gauge is true.

You should have a MINIMUM of 12 PSI for a typical 2 story home when the boiler is COLD! This pressure will rise when the boiler is heated.

If you have less pressure than that, the upper floors will be operating at LOWER pressure due to the physical fact that pressure decreases with altitude at a rate of 0.432 PSI per foot.

You need to get more pressure into your system, forget about the bleeding for now.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 08:46 AM
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Read this:

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

and this, because when you raise the pressure you will be back complaining that now your pressure relief valve is spewing... and this would be because the air charge in the expansion tank is low.

So, you need to do a few things BEFORE you raise up the pressure or you will have further problems AFTER you do.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html
 
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Old 01-07-14, 08:51 AM
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In the 6th picture down, we see your 'pressure reducing valve, the bell shaped one with the lever on top, to the left of that is a 'backflow preventer'. On either side of these two devices are two black handled valves. Are both those valves OPEN?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 09:04 AM
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On either side of these two devices are two black handled valves. Are both those valves OPEN?
And I have to state the closer one in the pic may be closed... That is a gate valve and I would take care in opening it... The other valve looks like a regular stop valve but not sure... If so thats the valve we want to use...

What I mean is the water feed may be closed for a reason... possibly the fill valve overfills the system or it could be someone just chose to keep the valve closed which is acceptable...

So take a pic of the other valve... If you open the gate valve and the boiler continues to fill at a higher pressure use the stop valve to close that line and not that gate valve...

Hope this makes sense.......
 
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Old 01-07-14, 09:07 AM
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Why is the system low on water pressure should also be a concern.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 09:09 AM
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Additionally if the boiler does not fill when that valve is open then you will need to lift the handle on that fill valve inbetween those two black handles valves... Increase psi a little at a time.

Once you raise it then you should have heat...

But you may hear noise... You should not worry about that in this cold weather now... That air vent will need to be serviced as well as the expansion tank as trooper stated... Possibly the fill valve too...

This is a warmer weather job... Worse comes the worse call in a pro at this point if you lose heat in that zone..........
 
  #11  
Old 01-08-14, 08:34 AM
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Thanks again to everyone. The plumber came out and yes, that valve was closed. He opened it, replaced the air bleeder and purged the air out (not necessarily in that order) and it appears we have heat everywhere now.

So to summarize,
1) The system didn't have enough water (causing the low pressure)
2) The air bleeder valve needed replacement
3) Air was purged from the system, especially the top floor.

I gain a little more knowledge every time.
Thanks again to everyone.
 
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Old 01-08-14, 08:44 AM
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Did he at any time check and adjust the air charge in the expansion tank? If not, why not?
 
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