Oil fired boiler pressure low and valve blowing out air

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Old 03-06-14, 03:59 AM
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Oil fired boiler pressure low and valve blowing out air

Hello all

I recently moved into a new house with an oil fired boiler system with baseboard heat. It is a two zone system, one upstairs and one lower level. Just recently I noticed that the pressure gauge is reading between 5-10 PSI (it was around 10-15 PSI). I noticed this because the gold cylinder on top if the system in my pic is blowing off air every time the system runs (it is the one I'm pointing at). I am not too familiar with these systems as I have always had gas forced air (don't get me started on how much I hate oil now).

In any event I am curious as to what is causing it without having to call the tech for what I'm sure will amount to an insane bill. Overall I have good hot and cold water pressure in the house, so there isn't any noticeable drop in pressure. I will admit that since I have been here the past five months the water pressure isn't the highest but I assumed it was just the area.

I've been researching on here and online and looks like I have a few ideas of what it could be but at this point they are just guesses:

1) Faulty valve(if as I mentioned that is what that piece is)
2) Faulty expansion tank
3) Air in the system causing drop in pressure but not sure how that affects the valve
4) Leaky hot water coil in boiler (I have the coils in the boiler and it seems like it is always cycling off/on to keep water warm

As I said I am not familiar with these systems otherwise I would try to bleed. I have an idea of how to do it but was hoping for some advice. Part of the reason I am looking at this is because I recently had a heating company drain the upper level and move a baseboard when I was redoing my kitchen. I am noticing now that when I hear the upper level run it appears that sometimes I can hear water trickling/sloshing through the system, whereas before I didn't.

So as you can see I am lost with multiple possibilities. Perhaps it is a combo of some I listed? Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-06-14, 04:31 AM
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if that is hissing out air, then you need to make sure the fill pressure reg is on and working first off.

Sounds like a leak somewhere, because air is getting into the system somewhere.

First off find out where the valve is for the make up water and ensure its on.
Operate the fast fill lever, this will often get the fill pressure reg to work again, if only for a short time.

I will look more at your pics.

Fill looks off after the reg, where it enters the return of the boiler.
Pump is on the return side of the boiler and the expansion tank is on the supply side, esentially your pumping into the point of no pressure change.
This will cause air problems in the system especially if someone has put auto air vents on the system to control air problems (likely the case due to pumping into the expansion tank).

You have a few things to correct.
First things first is to locate that yellow handled ball valve (1/2" pipe sized) near the taco circulator on the return.
 
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Old 03-06-14, 06:49 AM
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Thanks TOHeating

To confirm, the only ball valve that I can find that is off, would be the one in my first pic, on the left hand side of the image. It is about half way up the cinder block chimney stack.

Is that the valve I should open? If so, should it remain open?
 
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Old 03-17-14, 01:59 PM
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did you sort this out ?
Let me know if you still need help
 
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Old 03-17-14, 02:37 PM
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Hey TOH

I did sort it out. Opened that valve by the taco circulator and then fast fill for another mount. Got pressure back up to where it is supposed to be. I believe the air is getting in the one ball valve fitting as the packing nut is missing and it appears leaking. I am fine with soldering in a new one but am not sure how to bleed the system once I do so.

I've done lots of plumbing but never something like this. Is it difficult to bleed a two zone system? Any tips?
 
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