No water circulating

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  #1  
Old 10-03-14, 07:01 AM
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No water circulating

Thanks for your advice in advance.

I have a smith hot water boiler. Hot water baseboard. 4 zone.

Boiler reaches proper temperature. Gives hot water for bath, sink, etc.

But nothing is circulating through the zones.

I have electric to all 4 circulators. I replaced one in the thought that something was "broken". I have purged the system and no air. the expansion tank had a little spurt of water...but then air.

The taco box is calling for water and the circulators are turning....but nothing is going through the system to the rooms.

So....what to do??? Thanks Bill
 
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  #2  
Old 10-03-14, 08:20 AM
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Hi Bill,

What is the reading on the pressure gauge on the boiler? Tell us the pressure and temperature.

Pictures of the system might be helpful in diagnosing and instructing what to do...
 
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Old 10-03-14, 03:13 PM
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I have purged the system and no air.
Describe the steps you took and the valves you operated to do so.

expansion tank had a little spurt of water...but then air.
MAYBE ok, but you should do a more thorough diagnostic on the tank. Did you check and charge the air pressure in the tank using the procedure in the following thread?

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html
 
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Old 10-07-14, 12:29 PM
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thanks for the replies. I thought I had this set to notify me....but apparently not...and just checked on a fluke.

Still having issues. Attached are pictures. hope they come through.

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Replaced Circulator as well thinking that was issue...but NO circulator is pushing water through the boiler to the zones.
 

Last edited by NJT; 10-07-14 at 04:10 PM.
  #5  
Old 10-07-14, 04:41 PM
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First, I have to say again how much I hate pressure gauges...

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

Have you ever seen the gauge move? for example, it should be say five PSI lower when the boiler is cold... but you said you get hot water from the boiler so it might never go cold? TRUE?

We need some 'wide angle' shots to see the big picture... all the piping around the boiler.

Where does the boiler feed water come into the system? Look for a line coming from a domestic water pipe with a bell shaped 'pressure reducing valve' on it.

Where is that valve you are purging from located in relation to the piping of the system? Is it on the supply? on the return? is there also a shutoff valve next to it?
 
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Old 10-07-14, 06:08 PM
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ok...all good stuff.

I replaced the reducer last year. When I purge the pressure goes down...and then restores. so I am guessing that the reducer is letting water in.

I have a hose "purge" outlet a few inches from each circulator

The gauge does in fact move. When it is off...the temp goes down...or when the water cools down the gauge shows that..burner kicks on and heats back up.

I am getting hot water in the sink. tub...etc.

But NONE through to any zone.

First year this is happening.....

The purgers are on the returns of each line. I let that water flow through the system for 2-5 minutes....good pressure.....no air

I am not a wiz..but stumped.
 
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Old 10-07-14, 06:17 PM
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I'd still like to see more pics Bill... because I'm trying to determine if the purge you did actually drove water through the zones, or if the water took the shortest path into the boiler and out the drain... without ever traversing the zones.

That's why I asked about the shutoff next to the drain:

Where is that valve you are purging from located in relation to the piping of the system? Is it on the supply? on the return? is there also a shutoff valve next to it?
The purgers are on the returns of each line. I let that water flow through the system for 2-5 minutes....good pressure.....no air
You see, water, like electricity, is going to take the shortest route it can from higher pressure to lower pressure.

The higher pressure would be at the water inlet to the boiler, and the lower pressure would be the drain valve you had open.

Unless there is a 'roadblock' on the shortest route, you won't get any flow through the zones.

That 'roadblock' would be a shutoff valve in each of the lines.

Show me all the piping around the boiler.
 
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Old 10-07-14, 06:19 PM
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By the way, that car mirror is a great idea!
 
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Old 10-07-14, 06:52 PM
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I took more pix...I will post with notations.. Working on them now
 
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Old 10-07-14, 06:56 PM
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#1 and 2 are shut offs on either side of the circulator. I put an old circulator in to see if that was the difference. no change.

#3 is the purge that I put a hose on.

The arrow on the circulator is in the direction of the arrow I have indicated.

Are you suggesting that I turn one shut off valve and then purge...?

Also....just found out this system says I need to wait 180 seconds between posts.

and counting......

Thanks Bill
 
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Old 10-07-14, 07:04 PM
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another circulator....the purge valve is about 4 inches in the direction of the arrow out of the pictureName:  boiler 10.jpg
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Old 10-07-14, 08:10 PM
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When trying to purge, you need to shut off a valve between the boiler & the purge valve. Failure to do so will allow the water to "back out" of the boiler instead of going thru the loop. In your first picture, you would need to shut off valve #2.
 
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Old 10-07-14, 08:15 PM
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hmm....I just tried that...no water....coming out. (turning off number 2) let me try it again. How long do you think I should wait for water to come through
 
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Old 10-08-14, 05:18 AM
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How long do you think I should wait for water to come through
Could you hear water feeding into the system?
 
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Old 10-08-14, 07:14 AM
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hmm...I hear something...I will head back to this now
 
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Old 10-08-14, 07:33 AM
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If for some reason the zone pipes are very empty it may take some time to fill the pipes and drive the air ahead of the water.

If you submerge the end of the drain hose in a bucket of water you can see if air is being pushed out.

Do you know where the water feeds into your system from the domestic water piping? there should be a 'bell shaped' valve on this line. That valve is called your 'pressure reducing valve' and drops the domestic water pressure down to 12 PSI for the boiler.

This valve feeds water rather slowly into the system, but the majority of them have a lever or handle that can be lifted to bypass the regulation and feed water at a faster rate. That lever is appropriately called the 'fast fill' lever.
 
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Old 10-08-14, 08:52 AM
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well...this was a good piece of advise. I went to all four zones and purged from the side with the valve closest to the burner shut off. Air..then water....that is good.

But the 4th zone...nothing. I did use flip the fill valve up. At least I know the pressure relief valve works....but no water.

I have one of these on each line...do you think this is the problem?

Thanks again

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  #18  
Old 10-08-14, 10:01 AM
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It is very unusual for a flow control valve to stick shut & not allow water to flow thru. If you know which flow control valve is for the zone in question, try tapping firmly with a hammer. DO NOT hit it like you are trying to break it, because you can. They are cast iron.
 
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Old 10-08-14, 10:15 AM
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I did use flip the fill valve up. At least I know the pressure relief valve works....but no water.
Ooops! that's my fault! I should have instructed to keep your eye on the boiler gauge when using the fast fill... that the relief valve would open if you did not! Sorry about that!


Yes, don't allow your 'inner gorilla' to emerge!

When all is said and done, one must wonder after the system has been operating normally all these years... where did all that water go? How did all the heating zones empty out?
 
  #20  
Old 10-08-14, 10:16 AM
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SUCCESS.....I did not tap the Bell and Gossett flow valve. I turned all the valves off to the other 3 zones...and did something I am not good at. Patiently watching the end of the hose.

Eventually...bubbles....then a load of junk, gunky water came out with a burst...and then flowed freely. Have no idea where it came from....but all zones are heating..

Great advice....great determination on your part....great outcome.

Phew...it is hot in here now.

Bill
 
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Old 10-08-14, 01:25 PM
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then a load of junk, gunky water came out with a burst
Possibly a bio-mass from a colony of 'iron reducing bacteria' living in the system?

Was it 'squishy' stuff? What color?

The question still should be pondered though; Where did the water go?
 
  #22  
Old 10-08-14, 01:53 PM
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not sure if the water evaporated over time....but color was redish brown...like rust. This almost came on in a "clump",,,so I am wondering if the my increasing the pressure...and purging from that side only dislodged it.

The system has been shut down since april. the chilly nights the wood stove handles what is needed and the electric hot water heater is engaged. So I am wondering if this was a buildup of sediment over time...and this was the blockage?

All I know is that I never would have purged in that direction if not for you. and I would still be having no heat.

Thanks again

Bill
 
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Old 10-08-14, 02:59 PM
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not sure if the water evaporated over time....but color was redish brown...like rust.
In a closed system where would the evaporated water go?

This almost came on in a "clump"
It does sound as if it could be a biomass.

See: Iron bacteria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

All I know is that I never would have purged in that direction if not for you
Don't forget our buddy Grady helped too!
 
  #24  
Old 10-08-14, 03:19 PM
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OH yeah...yuz guess are good. I learned from watching dad install his oil burner. And he only did it because he could not get coal anymore for the pot belly.

I am guessing....(amateur guess) that I have the system vented at the corners. Why? Dad did it that way.

I am guessing that whatever sediment was in there....built up....evaporation went through the vents...and since the system has been down for 6 months...the sediment solidified.

That is my guess.

yuz guys are good. I am guessing a lot of real time hands on knowledge.
 
  #25  
Old 10-08-14, 06:53 PM
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well....so far so good. yuz guys are on target.

BTW...I put that old car mirror up to watch the lights of which zone is calling for heat. I also put a web cam from D link that can pan so I can watch the burner from anywhere....see if it went into emergency..watch the gauge etc. $170 in staples....same one on amazon $99. Watch on my iphone through an app
 
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