NEW boiler noise and not heating properly, installer won't come back

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  #1  
Old 01-07-14, 01:04 PM
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New boiler: Noise and not heating properly

NEW:
Weil McClain Gold CGi Boiler
Taco 007-F5 Circulator Pump
Baseboard on 3 (small) Floors, 1-1.5 rooms each
3 Zone Valves - Honeywell 4004850-001, none backwards
B&G air separator*

Fires at 170F (temp drops to 160F when it first fires) and stays on for approximately 2.5 minutes and stops firing at 190F (temp goes up to 215F when fire stops.) Fire stays off for approximately 12 minutes.

Pressure is pretty consistant at 24psi

Right now:
Ground Floor thermostat set on 76F, temp reading 63F
Middle Floor termostate set on 76F, temp reading 65F
Top Floor thermostat set on 76F, temp reading 66F - top floor pipes consistently banging.

For 15 years I lived here with an old boiler that kept the entire home toasty warm, with no drastic fluctuations, and NO NOISE. I set the thermostats between 68F-71F at the beginning of the heating season and it stayed between those temperatures no matter if it was 0F or 60F, windy or still.

Now, on a cold night (below 20F) I am freezing and woken up by noise in/around every part of top floor. (Middle floor is silent but always chilly. Ground floor only has fin noise and is cold.) The noise was so bad when the top floor zone valve was closing that I thought someone was breaking in. Plumber cut one spring and closing noise gone, but "expansion" noise is repetative and loud, and doesn't seem to stop even when pipes if pipes are under constant circulation.

On milder days/nights (above 30F) top floor fluctuates from boiling hot, to normal, to boiling, to normal, all night and I am woken up by same noises. Middle floor fluctuates perfect, to chilly. Ground floor is chilly.

I paid a fortune for this new system and was already broke from medical bills and other Superstorm Sandy repairs. Nothing was changed on middle and top floor. Only the system and baseboard on ground floor (slab) was changed after hurricane sea surge. My health is poor and I am willing to try ANYTHING to have a comfortable, consistant, quiet environment.

Please, can you help me to get the house to at least 69F and stop the noise? Installer will not return.**

*Note: Banging noise on top floor got worse after air separator went in. Air separator solved "babbling brook and drain" sounds.






(**First call: No heat whatsoever on middle floor. Middle floor ice cold. Second call: Now middle floor thermostat is turning on both middle and ground floor. Middle floor chilly. Third call: Entire system sounds like babbling brook and/or water going down drains. Not heating home properly. Fourth call: Still feel cold, asking why he cut out a small section of copper pipe and replaced/re-routed it with PEX and I realized for first time that new system had no air separator. I paid for the small section of metal pipes to be put back (he never explained why PEX re-route was done) and paid for an air separator to be installed. Fifth call: Because of top floor noise keeps waking me up, and house still not heating properly. The last time he came he yelled at me, that everything was working perfectly, that expansion noise is normal, and that house can't be 70F when it's cold outside, and stormed out of house. He will not come back.)
 
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  #2  
Old 01-07-14, 01:21 PM
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It sounds like you had a contractor that graduated from BONEHEAD U. My condolences.
The statement that you can't get to 70 because it's cold out must have got him extra credit. I've never heard such a rediculous statement.

Water temp that hot, and air temps that cool are an indication that the water is not circulating or at least not well. Do any of the floors heat at all.
Your boiler seems to reach temp very quickly and take a long time to lose it. Again it sounds like a circ problem.

How do you get your hot water.

Is it possible to get pics of the boiler and and controls and piping.
 

Last edited by spott; 01-07-14 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 01-07-14, 02:01 PM
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You must be having fun today. I'm up in north jersey and its 1* here today. Boiler sizing is based on 3 things. The building heat loss, outdoor design temperature which is probably around 0 degrees for you, give or take a few degrees. And indoor design, typically for heating its 70 degrees. What this means is that on a zero degree day, if sized perfectly your boiler will supply you with enough heat to keep your house at roughly 70 degrees. Thats with the boiler running NONSTOP. So when he tries to tell you that you can't get it to 70 because its cold out, and your telling us that the NEW unit is running roughly 25% of the time, he's BSing you. It definitely seems like you have some sort of flow issue. I'm running roughly 150 degree water through my house today and its only running about 25% of the time. My boiler is also nearly 30 years old and well oversized. I did however repipe all of my near boiler piping and put in a tekmar when I bought the house 5 years ago. Sorry for the rambling about my house, it just aggravates the hell out of me when "professionals" say such stupid things. Customer service is number one for my business, unfortunately not many are like that.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 03:26 PM
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Wow... this report make me sick to my stomach. Someone should set that guy on a curb and jump on his legs.

Are there any agencies that you can contact to help settle disputes with contractors?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 04:42 PM
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The hot water is just a tank. I've had to turn the temperature up quite a bit to get a hot shower on the top floor-- and the hot water takes forever to get to top floor sink-- but other than that, seems ok.

Yes, it is freezing here right now and I am very upset and cold. I hope these pictures are ok. It's a tiny room and I can't pan out anymore so tried to stack the bottom 3 pics as they would all fit together. I can zoom in on, and repost, anything you need to see close up.

Again, I am willing to try anything, just please walk me through it.







 

Last edited by nycsmile; 01-07-14 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 01-07-14, 05:16 PM
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I think I have a similar problem with my EK-1. I suspect the new circulator is undersized and will not push water thru my old valves that were mostly closed with the original stronger circulator (one large zone). I am just afraid to touch those old corroded valves for fear of them breaking.
Do you have valves to control water flow in each zone that you can open by any chance?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 05:19 PM
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Is that the expansion tank on the floor next to the boiler?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 05:19 PM
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Just to get a baseline....


What does the pressure and temp gauge read on the boiler? (psi specifically)

Look at the circulator... Is it running? Can you hear or feel it humming? Look on the circ and look for an arrow... Which way is it pointing...

That indirect heater.. Is there a circulator for that???Where is it and take pics of how and where the piping is hooked to the boiler...

Last how are the zone valves wired? Is there a control panel? If so take the cover off and take a pic..

Oh also when there is a call for heat at any zone, the zone valves open as they should right?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 05:27 PM
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OK NY.. Once you get 6 posts the site will stop moderating you posts that are not showing up... I have been approving them as we go...

Bare with us...
 
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Old 01-07-14, 05:47 PM
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That obviously wasn't inspected. Where's the LWCO? Looks like a lot of unnecessary piping as well. I'd hate to find out what you actually paid for this job.
They should've put the pump on the supply right after the spirovent. Ive always installed my pumps on the supply and don't know what type of restriction there is trying to pump through a boiler AND a spirovent to go along with the rest of the system. You probably need a good purging and that should help a lot.

The zone valves are on the supply as well. Thats a lot of restriction for a 007.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 05:58 PM
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Spott: There are now pictures. I had an old water storage tank where I never had to adjust the temperature. I have this new one up pretty high just to get a hot shower and hot water to top sink is very, very, slow but otherwise hot water is working fine.

ThomasDB: I have a shut off valve for each zone. They are hard to see at the very top of return side pipes, top right. I used to have older valves on the supply side. Also, the zone valves used to be horizontal and on the return side. They are facing the correct way for being supply. Arrow facing up toward ceiling.

ThomasDB: Yes, the expansion tank is now on the floor. It used to be up high, sort of above, and in between, the boiler and storage tank.

Lawrosa: PSI is 24. (3 story small home, basically 3 small rooms stacked on top of each other.) Temp fluctuates from a high of 215F to a low of 160F. I believe it is set to turn on at 170F and turn off at 190F.

Lawrosa: The circulator pump is what I first asked the plumber about because of the drastic variations of heat in the house. He said it's working exactly right. Sometimes I hear a faint buzz to know that it's on. Other times I hear nothing at all yet will feel heat in the return pipes, so I really can't tell.

Lawrosa: I don't know what an indirect heater is or where you see that in the the picture. My reply to spott, above, talks about the water tank if that's what is meant.

I will get a picture of the zone valve wiring and how the piping goes into boiler for you.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 06:03 PM
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Set that boiler to shut off at 180. 190 is too high for a system that doesn't run a pump delay at all, that boiler water will heat up well over 200 and that's not the greatest thing.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 06:05 PM
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Is that the circuit breaker panel for the home up there on the wall behind all that piping?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 06:10 PM
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Good eye troop. Looks like there's room to open the panel, but I'm sure someone will have a fit when they need to work on that.....how hard is it for people to do a good job when they get paid a lot of money? Makes me sick.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 06:55 PM
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RD: I am willing to try turning down the temperature, if someone can walk me through it, but I'm freezing in here right now. Is it to make the boiler come on again faster? I know that it gets up to 215F really fast and then takes forever to come back on... but I also think the circulator pump, like some of you have suggested, is not able to keep up.

The zone valves used to be on the return side and there was no spirovent in between the pump and zone valves. It's all changed.

This is a highly respected plumber whose name came to me 3 different ways from a neighbor next door who used him for decades, from a contractor who works with him in 3 of the 5 nyc boroughs, to an architect from my borough. I shudder to think how much it will cost me, and what else will go wrong, if I have to call someone out of the phone book to fix this.

NJTrooper: Yes that is the circuit panel for entire house. It was never blocked before the hurricane. I did have to stand on a chair and reach over the top of the water tank to get inside, but nothing else was in the way, no pipes and no vent to outside.
 

Last edited by nycsmile; 01-07-14 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 01-07-14, 07:21 PM
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I understand that he may come in high regards but that job is not up to par at all. We're going to work with you the best we can but there's quite a few problems.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 07:43 PM
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Its hard to help from my end as the question need to be answered... Im not there...

This is something your not going to fix yourself... Its cold...

First thing is to call the local code office and dime this guy out... Tell them you have not heat and the guy probably did not take a permit out...

You have his name? Is he licenced plumber? You can get your money back Im sure in small claims court...

Call someone else to come take a look and give you an estimate...

In the mean time if you think its the circ turn all t stats off but one. See it that zone gets hot... Untill you get help you may need to run one zone at a time if it is the circ...

You have many things wrong there...

Could be combination of things... Circ could be backwards... ( You never stated the arrow direction)
The water tank... How is it heater? From the boiler? Is it electric? If its indirect it may be piped wrong. May be robbing the heat from the boiler?
You may have a whole wiring issue?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 08:14 PM
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Left side of boiler


Right side of boiler


These have covers, I took them off for photo.


This is "as is" I haven't removed any covers. If you want me to unscrew the front panel I have to wait until tomorrow.


Upstairs thermostat


This is at the bottom right of room. It used to just be two straight lines supply in/out of ground floor baseboard. He cut those. Now, the loop closest to far wall is part of middle floor zone. The vertical pipes are brand new, the ones blocking circuit box. This was done after install at one of the service calls.

 

Last edited by nycsmile; 01-07-14 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:26 PM
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Are you trying to heat your house or brew beer. You could probably scrap half that pipe and get a good amount of cash towards the job or get your money back from the job. The guy ought to build roller coasters.

Where is your circulator pump and do you have the valves and drain valves to bleed the zones.

Did the contractor try bleeding the system and if he did, did it heat up at all when he was there.
Are you able to hold the pipes on the baseboard heaters. With the water temp that high, with good circulation you shouldn't be able to touch them for long. If you can hold them, you're not getting the good circulation which is why it takes so long for the boiler to come back on.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 08:31 PM
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Follow lawrosa's advice. Report this guy to your town, there's no way he pulled permits for this. There's no LWCO.....immediate fail upon inspection.

The pump is in the correct direction, you can tell by the size of the volute towards the top side of the pump. There's definitely several problems here that need to be redone. If you can't get this guy back, then you should definitely get your money back.

On another side note, what's the point of putting in a valved flange if you don't install one or another shut off valve after the pump?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 09:36 PM
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Yes, the system was bled by him, but then by me-- methodically, one zone at a time, according to instructions here and in a video guide. The noise is also only top floor and only since spirovent went in.

I read in other posts of people trying to close the shut off valve for a noisy zone a little bit to see if restricted water flow helps? Is this safe to try?

Can lowering the pressure reduce the noise?

Can lowering the temperature help?

Please can you tell me how to do that on this system.

Also, I will try running one zone at a time.

_______________________________________________________________

I understand that this will not make me warmer but a night of uninterrupted sleep will help tremendously.

I'd love to just call someone to fix this and take the other person to court but other than the missing LWCO I still don't understand what he did wrong so I don't know how to make a case in small claims court and get my money back. I'm sitting here behind stacks and stacks of medical bills and hurricane bills that are underpaid by overpriced insurance plans. I can't afford to make anymore mistakes or even front the money on another roll of the dice. ANY suggestions I can try on my own or facts or guesses as to what he did wrong will be greatly appreciated. Maybe, if I know what to tell him is wrong, he will do the right thing?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 04:09 AM
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We need some baseline info like I stated many times to even guess whats wrong... You have not given us this info....

What way is the arrow facing on the pump???
How is that water tank heated?
Which way are the arrows pointing on the zone valves?
Same for the spirovent?
What is the pump model #?
How big is that boiler?
How many feet of baseboard on each zone?
Was the installer a licensed plumber?

There is something wrong. That boiler should heat the home... Its a bad install. The installer tried to raise the temp in the boiler to compenstae for a mistake that he cant figure out. Hence why he told you the boiler cant heat the home to 70F when its cold.. That a lot of bolongna!!!!!

There is no magic button that we can tell you to switch and you will have heat and all will be fine...The system most likely needs repiping of some sort but we cant determine without info...
 
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Old 01-08-14, 11:37 AM
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From the pics I see:

What way is the arrow facing on the pump???
A: Volute to upper flange (see pic "Right side of boiler") Post #18

How is that water tank heated?
A: As zone 4, I see a zone valve (hiding) behind the B&G air sep.

Same for the spirovent?
A: EAS Jr. Air Eliminator "The air separator is bi-directional so that water can flow in either direction."

** Edit 1) Taco 007-F5 Circulator Pump Post #1. **
 

Last edited by HeatWorm; 01-08-14 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 01-08-14, 11:52 AM
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How is that water tank heated?
A: As zone 4, I see a zone valve (hiding) behind the B&G air sep.
Yes and there probably is no check valve and the indirect is taking all the heat I would assume..??????
 
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Old 01-08-14, 12:31 PM
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What way is the arrow facing on the pump??? I could not find an arrow. RDSteam said: "The pump is in the correct direction, you can tell by the size of the volute towards the top side of the pump."

Which way are the arrows pointing on the zone valves? Up, in direction of water flow.

Same for the spirovent? Took picture of it from every angle. Don't see an arrow.

What is the pump model #? Taco 007-F5, hp 1/25, amp .71, 60hz, 115v, 3250rpm

How big is that boiler? CGi-4E PIN Series 2, Input 90,000 btu/hr D.O.E. Heating capacity 76,000 btu/hr

How many feet of baseboard on each zone?
Top floor baseboard: approx 20 feet
Middle floor baseboard: approx 27.5 feet
Ground floor baseboard: 18 ft in ground floor loop, another 2.5 feet is part of the middle floor loop and not counted as middle floor baseboard, above.

Was the installer a licensed plumber? NYC Dept of buildings website shows a current master plumber liscence and current insurance.

How is that water tank heated?
The hot water from boiler comes up through the spirovent, goes through the zone valve right behind that (left to right arrow) and continues into the back of water tank. (Best seen in the second to last picture of my first picture post.)

The return (from water tank to boiler) goes up from behind water tank, through pipe with green shut off valve underneath it and past the red handled outlet just above circulator pump. The expansion tank on the floor is on that return line from water tank to boiler-- on an offshoot between the green and red valves. (Hard to see as it is a very thin pipe and hidden behind gas line is most pictures.)

Some asked if I can hold onto the pipes in the baseboard. My answers would be all different depending on location. The middle floor ones are the least hot. To me it fells like the entire system is running in reverse. The baseboards that were the hottest before hurricane are now the coolest and vice versa.
 

Last edited by nycsmile; 01-08-14 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 01-08-14, 01:22 PM
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Yes and there probably is no check valve and the indirect is taking all the heat I would assume..??????
wouldn't closed zone valve on the indirect prevent that?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 05:40 PM
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Nycsmile,

You're probably right. He probably flip flopped the supplies and returns when he put the boiler in. This isn't a big deal if its a loop system, but a for a monoflow system you would seriously be screwed. What I'm wondering and maybe trooper could help out on this. Zone valves, from what I've done and seen are always on the return side. These are on the supply and along with spirovent, does anyone know what type of restriction all that is causing? I'll have to look at a pump curve for a 007, but I can't find any type of numbers on flow restrictions through zone valves and spirovents. The 007 circulator is currently trying to move water through a boiler, a web of piping, a spirovent, and zone valves. I honestly think moving the pump to the supply and moving the zone valves over to the return would help tremendously. I almost want to come fix this myself, where exactly in NY are you located?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 05:54 PM
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I can't find any type of numbers on flow restrictions through zone valves
RD, look for the Cv number on the valves... the number of GPM through the valve which will create 1 PSI of pressure drop.

I suspect that somewhere the data also exists on the air removal device... need to scour the 'submittals' to find it... I've never looked but don't imagine it's very restrictive.

where exactly in NY are you located?
Might wanna discuss that in private messages... hint... hint...
 
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Old 01-08-14, 06:44 PM
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Troop,

You think a bit of repiping would cure his ailment?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 07:27 PM
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EASB-JR Air Separator | Xylem Applied Water Systems - United States

A 333B Model EASB JR Enhanced Air Separator [PDF]

Drop in feet @ Max Recommended Flow

[table="width: 140"]
[tr]
[td]Dia "[/td]
[td]GPM[/td]
[td]ft drop @ GPM[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]3/4[/td]
[td]6[/td]
[td]0.30[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]1[/td]
[td]12[/td]
[td]0.40[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]1-1/4[/td]
[td]20[/td]
[td]>0.5[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]1-1/2[/td]
[td]30[/td]
[td]>0.5[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]2[/td]
[td]45[/td]
[td]0.5[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

The boiler needs 7.6 GPM for a Std. 20F deltaT
7.6 = 76,000/(500*20)


The Taco 007F5 Flows [email protected][SUB]2[/SUB]O and [email protected][SUB]2[/SUB]O.
 
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Old 01-08-14, 07:39 PM
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You think a bit of repiping would cure his ailment?
More than a little I'm afraid.
 
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Old 01-09-14, 12:06 PM
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Thank you all. I am still left wondering:

Re: Top floor expansion noise

1. Might partially closing the shut off valve for that top zone help reduce the noise up there, and is it safe to try?

2. Might lowering the pressure reduce the noise up there?

3. Might lowering the temperature help?

Re: "Many things wrong" "repiping" "bad install" and only being able to get to 64-67 on a cold day

1. What can I say/suggest is wrong with this piping to try and have this guy come back, or try to recover some of my money to hire someone else, RDsteam, or otherwise?

2. What can I say/suggest is wrong with the placement of or specs of, expansion tank, zone valves, circulator pump and spirovent to try and have this guy come back, or try to recover some of my money to hire someone else, RDsteam, or otherwise?

Thanks, and much appreciation for your time and efforts to help me.
 
  #33  
Old 01-09-14, 02:12 PM
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NY,
If I were in your shoes I would have another company come in, somebody who doesn't know this guy or the situation, and have them assess your system and let them see the problems and find out what it would take for them to make it right.

I would think any reputable company, after seeing your predicament would be willing to give you an estimate to correct the job and put it in writing on a company letterhead, which would carry a lot more weight coming from another professional than a homeowner that's just not satisfied.

DOCUMENTATION. If you're going after this guy document everything from the calls you made to the times he's come and what he's done to correct the problem.

I wouldn't think you would have much of a problem once you get the opinion of another company. Who knows, it might be something simple. It's difficult sometimes to diagnose with just pics and not being there.

Even if you have to pay this company for their time I think it would be worth it in the long run.
It's not going to improve with age.

Good Luck
 
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Old 01-09-14, 04:48 PM
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NY, can you provide more accurate cycle times? (1)

Fires at 170F (temp drops to 160F when it first fires) and stays on for approximately 2.5 minutes and stops firing at 190F (temp goes up to 215F when fire stops.) Fire stays off for approximately 12 minutes.
1) Is this the building load with ALL heating zones calling (Minus the DHW)?
2) Can you record actual cycle times and Temp's?

If your boiler can only fire for 12.5 Minutes/Hour that's only 13,696 BTUH (2)

If this was a small heating zone I might expect: 1.37 gpm at a delta T of 20 degrees.

Looking up the pump curve for a Taco 007 I get 9.5 Ft-head (4.11 psi) @ 1.37-1.5 gpm.

That is 1/5 the load the boiler needs. 76,000BTUH/(500x1.37GPM) = 110.94F Delta T.
Ouch!

Any chance you were under estimating the run time?
---------

(1) Methodology is key here.
(2) Burner out = 76,000BTU x 0.20833 = 18,750BTU,
Dynamic Efficiency is: 73.0% and 13,696 BTU into water (w/3% as standby loss)
(EQ 4 Raypak Advantages of Modulation)
 
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Old 01-10-14, 07:15 AM
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HeatWorm, I rewatched videos and did have wrong cycle time.

BEFORE he turned up temperature it would only fire for 2min 30 sec.

Now: The fire stays on for 3min 20 sec and shuts off at 210F. With all three zones calling for heat it comes back on 7 minutes later.
 
  #36  
Old 01-10-14, 10:31 AM
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spott, ty, had called another plumber just before I posted here. He saw no issue with design just wanted to start breaking down walls. This is why I'm asking so many questions (and no I didn't let him break any walls.)
 
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Old 01-10-14, 01:30 PM
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He probably wasn't up to date with the new and proper way of doing things. After examining the pics REALLY closely, there's only two return pipes coming back from the system, while there is 3 zone valves feeding it. Seems like something got really screwed up. I hope you didn't pay that new plumber to come in and assess the damages. Wanting to tear open walls isn't an assessment.
 
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Old 01-10-14, 02:13 PM
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Take more pics from around the ceiling so we can see where all the zones are tied to...

This on I see a blue handle ball valve back by the wall... Middle of pic..

Looks like it goes from the indirect feed to a pipe that goes to a basement feed line... ( Looks like it dont go to a zone valve but ties in somewhere else..)



Close that valve...

( Can others confirm that the valve and pipe in question probably should not be there....???)))

 
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Old 01-10-14, 02:18 PM
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Can you tell us what these 3 pipes are again? The two on right according to the piping are returns.. The one going in the wall look like a feed ... Is this right?

 
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Old 01-10-14, 05:41 PM
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spott, ty, had called another plumber just before I posted here. He saw no issue with design just wanted to start breaking down walls. This is why I'm asking so many questions (and no I didn't let him break any walls.)
Another Man without a plan.

NASA has a saying: There's nothing so bad that you can't make it worse.
 
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