Gas powered hot water baseboard heater problem! 2 zones out of 3 not heating!


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Old 01-13-14, 01:49 AM
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Question Gas powered hot water baseboard heater problem! 2 zones out of 3 not heating!

Hello, I have a gas powered three zone hot water heating system that suddenly stopped heating two of the three zones.
How likely is it that the problem might be the Circulator Pump instead of the individual Zone Valves?
The zone that is working heats the second floor of the house, the two zones not working heat the first floor of the house.
I was told it was the Circulator Pump that is bad, and the second floor zone is receiving heat only because "heat rises" . I don't understand how could the pump could be bad and still have one of the three zones work?
When the other zone's thermostat call for heat, there is a clicking like sound, but pilot doesn't click on. When 2nd floor thermostat calls for heat, heater does what is supposed to do.
Wouldn't the Zone Valves be the first thing to check? :
 
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Old 01-13-14, 07:42 AM
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I was told it was the Circulator Pump that is bad, and the second floor zone is receiving heat only because "heat rises" . I don't understand how could the pump could be bad and still have one of the three zones work?
Heat doesn't 'rise'. Heat radiates in any and all directions toward cooler spaces/objects.

HEATED WATER is not as 'dense' as cooler water and will 'float' up to the top of a system. It is possible for 'gravity flow' to occur. Early hot water heating systems did not even have pumps, they relied on this principle to heat the home.

HOWEVER, whoever told you that may not have been considering all of the facts...

When the other zone's thermostat call for heat, there is a clicking like sound, but pilot doesn't click on. When 2nd floor thermostat calls for heat, heater does what is supposed to do.
Wouldn't the Zone Valves be the first thing to check?
Yes... of course check the zone valves before changing a pump!

Where from are you hearing this 'clicking like sound' ?

What make and model of zone valves do you have?

Are they connected to a zone control panel? or wired directly with a "rat's nest" of wiring directly to the boiler?

Do you own and know how to use a multimeter?
 
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Old 01-18-14, 04:43 PM
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Question

Hello! Thank you for replying to me NJTrooper, Until now, I was unable to get on to reply. The zone valves are Taco 24v .9amps.
Update: Repair guy (home has home warranty so we decided to use it) returned and replaced circulator pump.
Now there is another problem! the third zone still doesn't heat! Well sometimes there is some warmth but doesn't reach the set temp on thermostat. Here is the crazy part. When 3rd zone calls for heat, there is a loud water rushing sound in pipes near boiler ( sounds as if a spikes was opened full blast). At first we thought water was gushing out somewhere, but there was no visible water. Then the exhaust cover to exhaust would open......the sound of something on (brrrrrr), the feel ( to the touch) of something on, but the boiler did not fire up, then the exhaust cover would close and all became silent.

Other two zones (one is 2nd fl., other is front of 1st.fl) seem to go on fine.

I noticed water slowly dripping out of the bleed valve of the 3rd zone. I tried tightening it, but there was no give left.
I have many photos of the boiler but am "challenged" on how to place them here.
The boiler is a Bryant Gas Broiler: PWB-4d series; BW2AAN000; Model 105ABAA: 2403v03047
 
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Old 01-18-14, 05:37 PM
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Here is my theory: when he replaced the pump and possibly drained the system, the serviceperson didn't bleed the air out of the zone in question. Call him back.

For the time being, try this with the dripping bleed valve: crack it open and then shut it again - maybe there some debris caught in it. If that doesn't work, replace the valve. Even if it does fix it, replace the valve come spring.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 05:50 PM
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Hi, I am having similar problem in only one zone (1 of 3). But pressure doesn't read that high, it reads about 15. Temp seems lower than it showed last week, it's at 168f from 174F . I don't know what is causing this, but everything I've read seems to point to air in the lines. I don't know how to purge the air, repair person "purged" three times before giving up and leaving.
Hopefully somebody here will know how to help you.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 05:58 PM
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Thanks Gil, Did call him back, it's a weekend so I won't get a call back until next week. I am not confident he knows this type of system well. After installing the circ. Pump and we heard rushing water and3rd zone not heating ( while he was still here), he "purged" line three times. I am not sure it was done correctly, so I am not sure calling him back is going to solve the problem. (I will anyway since he was paid for work)
Thanks for suggestion on leak, I will try that and still plan to replace valve in Spring.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 06:11 PM
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Photos of boiler system

Some photos of my hot water baseboard boiler system.
 
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Last edited by RobBarr; 01-18-14 at 06:16 PM. Reason: Oops!
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Old 01-18-14, 06:58 PM
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According to your gauge, your pressure is too low - less than 10 psi. Jack it up with the fast-fill lever on the pressure reducing valve which I can't see in your photos - back up and take wider-angle pix that show the whole she-bang.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 07:03 PM
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Where might that be ? Have no Idea where that is or what it might look like. Sorry!
Will try to take picture again, back in a few .
Thanks!
 

Last edited by RobBarr; 01-18-14 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Oops again
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Old 01-18-14, 07:20 PM
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More pictures

This is pretty much it, system is located in small area, water lines (some of them go into cement floor before re-emerging where baseboard lines begin for each zone.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 07:32 PM
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What a mess... whoever designed and installed that should be drawn and quartered.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 07:56 PM
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Don't know who first installed it, was here when I bought the house. Worked well until boiler went 10 yrs. ago, I had it replaced, and have not had any problems with it until now.
It is a tight space, making very difficult to see and access everything- true NJTROOPER !
 
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Old 01-27-14, 10:29 PM
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I'd really appreciate anybody who can help here. Technicians were back but did nothing. They said "water and air go together, what do you mean water in the pipes!" And " all zones are connected, the water flows to all of them together, they are not separate, so there can't be air and now heat from one zone if there is heat in the other zones" " it's because it's so cold outside!"
Here is the thing: temp. In non-working zone has been set to 85 F since zone stopped working properly, temp in that area doesn't go above 60f- and that is only because adjacent zone in rest of the house on same floor (first floor) is working and helps move some heat into that area of the house. Baseboards are warm to the touch, never hot like the rest of the house. One section of the baseboards in that zone is completely cold. I have two space heaters running in that section just to make sure the pipes don't freeze.
I viewed the video on how to bleed the lines, but my system doesn't seem to have all the 'gadgets' shown in the video, so I am not sure how to do it.
I'd really appreciate if somebody could guide me through this! Making sure the pressure is maintained is what concerns me the most.
Now that the outside temp. Is once again going to single digits, I am more concerned over freezing pipes!
Thanks!
 
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Old 01-28-14, 01:20 AM
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Now that the outside temp. Is once again going to single digits, I am more concerned over freezing pipes!
Thanks!
The zone valves have a Manual Open (Bypass) Lever that can be used to heat the building until you solve the riddle of the maze. Open only the problem zone valves.
 
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Old 01-28-14, 09:21 PM
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Thanks! When you say "open" you mean move the zone valve lever from "auto" to "on" ? I'm not gifted with much know how of this system, thanks for replying Heatworm.
 
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Old 01-28-14, 10:57 PM
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Unhappy Cold pipe next to very hot pipes

I just touched the coper pipes coming and going from boiler, they are all VERY hot, except part of one! That one is very cold and it runs right along the exhaust vent line, which is very hot.
I don't know how to label the picture to mark the pipe I am talking about. It's the horizontal section with the ball lever and runs to the vertical part running along the exhaust vent. That is all very cold.

Any help here is appreciated!
 
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Old 01-28-14, 11:41 PM
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When you say "open" you mean move the zone valve lever from "auto" to "on" ?
Yes On.

Check the Automatic Air vent (the bronze can on top of the air scoop/expansion tank.
The small 1/8" vent cap on top should be open 1 - 2 turns so air can escape.
Then watch your presure.
 
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Old 01-30-14, 12:10 AM
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Thanks for responding! I think I did that, unscrewed the little knob on top of the little "can" thing, the pressure didn't change.
 
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Old 01-30-14, 04:54 PM
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I'm not sure how the air vent cap being loose has any bearing on one zone not heating, but as a general principle, the cap should be loose to allow air to escape when it's collected.

I guess if it has been closed for a long time there could be air in the zone blocking the flow...

Rob we would really like to help you figure this out, but being the system is in such tight space, we can't (at least I can't) see enough in the pictures to figure out how it's set up and piped.

If you are able to get more light in there and somehow get a series of pictures that we can 'relate to' in order to understand the piping we might be able to assist further.

Get some lights in there, take HIGH RES pictures with minimum shadows if you can, and instead of posting them here, set up a FREE ACCOUNT at Photo and image hosting, free photo galleries, photo editing and upload the pics to a PUBLIC ALBUM there. Come back here and place a link to your album and we'll take a look-see.

By the way, the guys you had there and who probably charged too much money for nothing are a55hole5. Don't call them again unless they are the only game in town. Everything they said is total bu775h1t... but I think you figured that out on your own!
 
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Old 01-30-14, 08:29 PM
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Thanks NJTROOPER! I'll get better pictures and sign up to the photo site you suggested, I'll post here again once I get the new, better pictures up on that site. I figures out a way to get better lighting there for the pics.
Yup! Agree with you on the guys claiming to be 'expert heating' technicians! Live and learn!
 
 

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