Help me understand my hot water heating system and how to drain the water

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  #1  
Old 03-02-14, 05:22 PM
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Help me understand my hot water heating system and how to drain the water

So, I'd like to carry out the Bladder-type expansion tank servicing and Boiler pressure gauge verification, but I'm a noob when it comes to plumbing, and i'm not 100% sure which valves I need to close before I drain the water. I figure it's also a good time to learn about my system.

Here is a link to a Flickr photo set that shows a a few annotated diagrams and photos of my system.

So i've guessed a few things, and other things I have no clue about.

Can you confirm or correct my guesses and fill me in on the things I am clueless about?

Thanks!

From the diagrams
  • Blue arrow: incoming water from outside/municipal
  • Yellow arrow: incoming recirculated water
  • Red arrow: outgoing water
  • 1: Expansion tank
  • 2: Hot water furnace
  • 3: Circulator
  • 4: Pressure release valve
  • 5: Pressure release valve
  • 6: Pressure reducing valve - why are there two valves side by side?
  • 7: Water release valve
  • 8: Isolation valve?
  • 9: Isolation valve?
  • 10: Isolation valve?
  • 11: Isolation valve?
  • 12: Taco flow control?
  • 13: Bleeder
 
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  #2  
Old 03-02-14, 05:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The pros will be along to help you soon but just one word of advice. Whenever draining that system.... make sure the electric is shut off to your electric boiler.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 05:26 PM
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btw, valve clipart taken from here
 
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Old 03-02-14, 05:29 PM
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thanks for the welcome and for the tip!
 
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Old 03-02-14, 07:04 PM
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Yes... absolutely shut the power off before doing anything! There most likely are more than one circuit breaker for the boiler. (not a FURNACE by the way, it's an ELECTRIC BOILER).
  • Blue arrow: incoming water from outside/municipal - CORRECT
  • Yellow arrow: incoming recirculated water - AKA "RETURN WATER"
  • Red arrow: outgoing water - AKA "SUPPLY WATER"
  • 1: Expansion tank -CORRECT
  • 2: Hot water furnace - CORRECT, but call it a boiler.
  • 3: Circulator - CORRECT
  • 4: Pressure release valve - CORRECT, but call it a RELIEF valve.
  • 5: Pressure release valve - CORRECT, ditto, there really is no need for this second redundant valve, but it isn't hurting anything to have two
  • 6: Pressure reducing valve - why are there two valves side by side? - CORRECT, whomever installed this probably just replaced a defective old valve with a similar model. The pressure relief valve in this combo is not ASME rated, as it should be, and the one on the side of the boiler probably is.
  • 7: Water release valve - CORRECT, this and the valve next to it could collectively be called a 'purge station' and would be useful in 'purging' air from the system.
  • 8: Isolation valve? - CORRECT, see above.
  • 9: Isolation valve? - Not exactly, this is your 'manual water shut off'
  • 10: Isolation valve? - CORRECT
  • 11: Isolation valve? - CORRECT
  • 12: Taco flow control? - CORRECT, this device prevents 'gravity flow' of hot water into the home when there is no heat needed. This is a 'legacy' part, left from the original boiler install.
  • 13: Bleeder - You can call it a bleeder, but technically is is an 'automatic float type air vent', and the small cap on top needs to be loose so that air can escape. If it's tight and leaks when you loose it, that part needs replaced.

It doesn't seem that you are 'clueless' about any of it!

So basically, to check the tank, all you need to do is close valve 9, open valve 7 until pressure gauge drops to zero, then close it again... following the instructions in the post that you read.

If I were you, I would wait until the weather warms up before doing anything... unexpected things can happen and you don't need to be without heat! As long as the system is heating the home, your relief valve isn't leaking, then leave it alone for now.
 
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Old 03-03-14, 06:40 AM
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Hi,

Thanks a lot for the confirmation and clarifications!
All credit for what I know goes to you and this Website! I've spent a lot of time on this forum and it's been a real great learning experience.

I'll definitely wait until it warms up. But at least now I have the correct information to plan appropriately.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 03-03-14, 03:19 PM
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Good deal Jeffrey, come on back any time! Stay warm!
 
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