no heat upstairs, bleed the system?

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Old 11-16-14, 05:23 PM
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no heat upstairs, bleed the system?

I had no heat coming to my upstairs zone, I noticed the thermostat was odd looking and would not let me move the temp up or down. Then the screen would only show me the time. I changed the batteries but no help there, so I replaced it with a new thermostat today. It seems to work except that when I raise the temperature the baseboard does not warm up. The heat in the downstairs zone seems to work fine. Does this mean I need to bleed the system?

I tried opening some of the valves in the cellar and got water out of all of them, but not with much pressure. One of them the water comes very slowly and then stops and starts again. I'm not sure exactly how to bleed the system out.

This is what the boiler looks like:

2 images - Ge.tt

Thanks,

Brian
 
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Old 11-16-14, 06:03 PM
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What are the readings on the temperature and pressure gauge on the boiler?
 
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Old 11-16-14, 06:09 PM
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Looking at pics now... I have an unrelated suggestion that will save you trouble later on...

The pipe that runs from your domestic water to the boiler, with the backflow preventer and pressure reducing valve on it... that vent on the bottom of the backflow prevent WILL eventually drip, leak, and when it does, it looks like it's directly above the oil burner.

You should run a pipe over and down so that when it does leak you don't trash the controls on the burner.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 06:14 PM
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What is your boiler pressure? It should be at minimum 12 psi.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 08:21 PM
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I added a photo of the temp and the pressure gauge:

3 images - Ge.tt

It looks like there's a pressure issue. How do I increase the pressure? This might explain why the heat isn't getting to the upstairs.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 08:51 PM
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You need to get the pressure up to a minimum of 12 psi (you are at zero). Trooper can help you with this.

I'm going to the hospital.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 09:07 PM
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Furd, don't scare me!

Yes Brian, you've either got a broken pressure gauge, or no pressure in the system and this will definitely mess with the heat to higher floors.

You've probably also got a lot of air in the system too at this point.

The valves appear open on the water feed line, so this tells us that your pressure reducing valve isn't feeding water.

Start by verifying the gauge accuracy:

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

While your pressure is down is a good time to charge the expansion tank. Follow step by step to the letter.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html

That lever on the top of the pressure reducing valve is called a 'fast fill' lever and bypasses the regulation part of the valve. Lifting it while monitoring the pressure gauge should allow you to get some pressure into the system. Wait until boiler is 100F or less and see if you can get some pressure in the system. Stop at 12 PSI.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 06:16 AM
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The lines are the way they have always been. I wonder why they would have left it that way last time they serviced it. I can see why it makes sense to test the pressure gauge first. If it's broken and there really is pressure I certainly don't want to try adding any. I think there definitely is some kind of air in the lines and obviously a pressure issue maybe these are related?

My wife did hear water sounds upstairs when I bled the bottom valve on the boiler, like water is trying to make its way up.

I think It may be best for me to call in for service.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 08:13 AM
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I wonder why they would have left it that way last time they serviced it.
Left what what way?.........................
 
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Old 11-17-14, 09:18 AM
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The open valves on the water feed line.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 09:28 AM
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Nothing really wrong with leaving them open. Nothing wrong with closing them either.

There's pros and cons to both schools of thought. It's been debated here in the past. Even different manufacturers of the reducing valves don't agree. B&G says to pressurize the system, then close the manual valve and only open it when you need to feed water. Watts doesn't say one way or the other. I thought I saw at least one manf that says to leave the manual valve open.
 
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Old 11-18-14, 01:10 PM
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I've got the heating company here now. I'm sure they will figure it out, but thanks for the help. The boiler was definitely due for it's service anyhow.
It was just a lot of air in the line that was blocking all the heat to the top floor. It seems like every 3 years or so this happens, but now it's all cleaned out with a new nozzle and no air in the lines.

Brian
 
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Old 11-18-14, 01:28 PM
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It was just a lot of air in the line that was blocking all the heat to the top floor.
Yes... we knew that... but the ROOT CAUSE of the air in the lines is the fact that you had zero pressure in the system.

So what did the guys do to address the zero pressure issue?
 
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Old 11-19-14, 09:37 AM
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According to the tech that came out this can happen over time (air in the zone) because of small amounts of air in the incoming water that accumulate. I did have a similar issue with air in the second zone about 3 years ago. I can just purge the system every 3 years. I've heard of people purging the system every year as part of the routine maintenance.

He says it is not uncommon for air to build up in the system and there is no way to prevent any air from ever getting in there. He checked all the valves and the pressure reducer and he said they look ok.
 
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Old 11-19-14, 10:27 AM
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small amounts of air in the incoming water that accumulate.
If there are no leaks in the system, there should not be ANY incoming water.

He says it is not uncommon for air to build up in the system and there is no way to prevent any air from ever getting in there. He checked all the valves and the pressure reducer and he said they look ok.
No, it's not uncommon, yes, it does happen. I suppose that no system is 'perfect', but there are probably millions of systems out there that do NOT have chronic problems with air in the system.

So they had no explanation as to why there was only 8 PSI in the system then?

I mean if the pressure valve 'looked' good... yeah, it looked good in the pictures I saw too... then why didn't it WORK PROPERLY?
 
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Old 11-19-14, 03:12 PM
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I've heard of people purging the system every year as part of the routine maintenance.
There is something wrong with those people's systems.

A leak-tight system would be able to run indefinitely, certainly for years, without having to purge air. How could air get into a system that is continuously pressurized?

And how could your system pressure have gotten to zero?
 
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Old 11-19-14, 07:05 PM
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I am not qualified to answer, but the Tech seems to think it will be ok now. I've been checking and pressure is about 18 now which is about right for a 2 floor system as I've read. I will keep an eye on it and see if it drops at all.

If the system is not air tight I would see water leaking out somewhere, right? I will keep an eye on it, for now it is working which is what I needed.
 
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Old 11-20-14, 09:41 AM
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A leak-tight system would be able to run indefinitely, certainly for years, without having to purge air. How could air get into a system that is continuously pressurized?
My makeup water has been OFF for the 12 years Iíve lived here and who knows how long before. I have the old steel non-diaphragm type expansion tank. So at least in my case here is a system that hasnít had any water added for at least 12 years.
 
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