3rd floor not getting heat!

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  #1  
Old 03-02-15, 09:59 PM
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3rd floor not getting heat!

So I had to have my circulating pump changed!
By couldn't it wait a few more weeks til spring?!?!
Well, at least I was able to get a "problem" fixed!
But now there no heat going to the 3rd floor!
There are three supply lines & three return lines.
All return lines are "hot"! Can barely put your hand on them. But only two of the supply lines are hot! Bled the system & still the same thing.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciate!
 

Last edited by NJT; 03-04-15 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 03-02-15, 10:32 PM
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What is the boiler pressure?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 05:09 AM
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All return lines are "hot"!
You're sure it's the return and not the supply that all three are hot?

Yes, read the gauge, tell us pressure AND temperature please.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 06:38 AM
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Old 03-03-15, 06:49 AM
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You're sure it's the return and not the supply that all three are hot?

For a three story home, that pressure may be a bit low.

Have you ever observed the pressure when the boiler is COOL?

What you should see is something aroung 16-17 PSI when the boiler is COOL, and maybe 3-8 PSI higher when it's HOT.

Do you have 'purge stations' on each of the three zones?

Can you show us the piping around the boiler?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 07:22 AM
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This is my returns/purge...



This is my supply side..

 
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Old 03-03-15, 07:49 AM
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Should I just add some water to the system?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 10:38 AM
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The picture of the returns pipes is kinda dark, and I can't really tell what you've got there.

I presume that those three valves are DRAINS. Is there ALSO a SHUTOFF valve between the boiler and those drains? You would need that in order to purge the zones, otherwise the water goes right through the boiler and out the drain without going through the zone.

See if you can get some better light down there and stand back a bit with the camera so we can see everything.

You could try slowly adding some water to bring the pressure up to about 20 PSI and see what happens, but you may in fact have air also... because the pressure was low...
 
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Old 03-03-15, 12:38 PM
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I will take some better pics!
Yes there are shut off valves on the returns. They are directly behind the purge valves.
When purging, should I turn off the boiler?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 01:00 PM
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Yes there are shut off valves on the returns
And you'll close those when trying to purge a zone.

When purging, should I turn off the boiler?
Yes, it's recommended, and let the boiler cool to 100F or less. The water feeding into the system will first go into the boiler. If boiler is hot, introducing lots of cold can crack it.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 01:16 PM
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here we go.

Purging valves...


side view showing cutoff valves...



Now when purging, should I shut all of the returns off?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 01:19 PM
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is it just a convience or should the supply side have cutoff valves also?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 01:34 PM
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What could it mean if I hear "water running" in the baseboard radiator? Air in the line?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 02:33 PM
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is it just a convience or should the supply side have cutoff valves also?
No, you don't need (or want) them there for the purposes of purging a zone.

Think about it, if you closed both sides of the loop when you purge, how is any water going to get there?

Many systems DO have a shut off valve on the supply though, but not for purging... that would be used when you need to drain the boiler for service. It would allow you to keep all the 'good' water up in the pipes. 'Good' water is the water that has been in the system forever and has little to no dissolved air in it, as fresh water DOES.

What could it mean if I hear "water running" in the baseboard radiator? Air in the line?
Yes, usually...

Now when purging, should I shut all of the returns off?
Let's call that 'best practice'. But just shutting the zone you are purging will do the same thing.

OK, better pics... I can SEE!

When you purge the zone, you CLOSE the shutoff valves, and OPEN the drain. Then you feed water into the system and it has nowhere to go but up through the zone. Is that what you've been doing?
 
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Old 03-03-15, 03:26 PM
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The question about the shut off on the supply side is me thinking "ahead of myself"! I understand that the water needs to flow thru when purging.

I actually haven't purged the system myself since the pump was changed. I called someone in. But my system is screwy & for some reason he could not get the heat going on the top floor. I think one of the cutoff valves might be bad. The cut offs are usually ball valves, right?

I'm really hoping to get it to work for the remainder of the winter & then I'm planning on having the whole system analyzed/upgraded over the summer.

I'm on my way back home to see if I can get this straight. I'll post up shortly.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 03:45 PM
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The cut offs are usually ball valves, right?
Welllll... yes, on NEWER systems, but yours do not appear to be ball valves.

They MAY be 'butterfly' valves judging from the look of them. Do the handles only turn 1/4 turn?

Those valves don't have to seal 100% tight in order to work for purging the air.

Can you show us a pic of where the water feeds into the boiler as well?

There may be something you can do with that in order to get a better purge going.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 04:07 PM
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Welllll... yes, on NEWER systems, but yours do not appear to be ball valves.

They MAY be 'butterfly' valves judging from the look of them. Do the handles only turn 1/4 turn?

Those valves don't have to seal 100% tight in order to work for purging the air.

Can you show us a pic of where the water feeds into the boiler as well?

There may be something you can do with that in order to get a better purge going.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...#ixzz3TN2KH1ba
Yes they only go a 1/4 turn. But the one in the middle just keeps turning. That's what makes me think it's bad. The "stop bar" is bent, thus not stopping it.

When I get back home I will get a pic of the water feed.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 04:13 PM
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the one in the middle just keeps turning
Ohhh... then they are almost certainly 'butterfly' valves.

Imagine a flat round plate inside the valve. Like a throttle valve in a lawnmower carburetor...

When the plate is parallel to the pipe and flow of water, it's open, when turned perpendicular, it's closed.

Can you maybe tell what position it's in by where it's supposed to be stopping, and comparing the handle position to the other valves?

You need to know if it's open or closed...

I hope you're on the train and not texting and driving! :NO NO NO:
 
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Old 03-03-15, 04:24 PM
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Can you maybe tell what position it's in by where it's supposed to be stopping, and comparing the handle position to the other valves?
I will do that!

I hope you're on the train and not texting and driving!
No Sir! No texting & driving for me! Headed to the train.
 
  #20  
Old 03-04-15, 06:43 AM
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Good morning!
I didn't do anything last night. Too late when I got home.

Just now, I just turned off the boiler to let it cool.
While I'm waiting I checked the shut off valve that just turns instead of making the 1/4 stop. I can eyeball it so that it will be in proper position (off/on as needed).
Here are some additional pics if they make any difference.
And oh yeah, I am hearing like running water on the 3rd floor from time to time, so I'm hoping that a good purge will fix the problem.

This is my pressure relief valve & specs


This is the vent



This is where they are set up



This is my water fill



When the boiler cools off I'm going to purge the lines and hopefully be able to report back that I have heat throughout the house.

@nj trooper
Thanks for all your help thus far. Keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out.
 

Last edited by FixerB; 03-04-15 at 07:53 AM.
  #21  
Old 03-04-15, 08:02 AM
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OK, a couple things...

When you perform the purge, you may lift the lever on the top of the water feed valve to increase the flow rate of the water. If you don't do this you may not have a fast enough flow to push the air bubbles out.

After you do the purge, since you have a tall system (3 floors) , you need to make sure that the pressure in the boiler when COLD is at least 17 PSI.

If the pressure in the system is not maintained high enough you will ALWAYS have air up in that top zone.

That pressure RELIEF valve with no pipe on it is DANGEROUS! If anyone happened to be standing in front of that when it opens and starts spewing 180F water and steam, they are going to the hospital, or possibly the morgue. Please pipe that out and down to within 6" of the floor.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 08:14 AM
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When you perform the purge, you may lift the lever on the top of the water feed valve to increase the flow rate of the water. If you don't do this you may not have a fast enough flow to push the air bubbles out.
Got it.

After you do the purge, since you have a tall system (3 floors) , you need to make sure that the pressure in the boiler when COLD is at least 17 PSI.
ok

If the pressure in the system is not maintained high enough you will ALWAYS have air up in that top zone.
Is there any way to increase/maintain pressure? Or should the system maintain proper pressure if system is properly "closed"?
In the past when the system was working & sending heat to the top floor, I would hear a "drip" when heat is coming up.

That pressure RELIEF valve with no pipe on it is DANGEROUS! If anyone happened to be standing in front of that when it opens and starts spewing 180F water and steam, they are going to the hospital, or possibly the morgue. Please pipe that out and down to within 6" of the floor.
I will take care of that. Thank you!

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...#ixzz3TQxqrn3T
 
  #23  
Old 03-04-15, 08:56 AM
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OK
So I purged all three lines and this is the temp/pressure gauge when I turned the system back on...



ALL three returns got hot, but only two supply lines!

Any ideas?
 
  #24  
Old 03-04-15, 09:04 AM
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Now I checked the lines and there is only ONE bleed valve...



It is on the 3rd floor.

Should/could I try bleeding it thru here?
 
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Old 03-04-15, 10:34 AM
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Question.
If I setup to purge, but instead of purging at the boiler, purged from the bleed valve would that work?
 
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Old 03-04-15, 10:48 AM
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Purge isn't technically the same thing as bleed...

From that little pizzer you could BLEED small amounts of air that might happen to collect underneath it, but you would not be successful in MOVING any air bubbles that happen to be in other areas of the piping. That little pizzer won't create enough flow to move air.

PURGING on the other hand is the act of getting LARGE flow through the loop in order to dislodge air and spit it out the drain. This requires a flow velocity of greater than 2 feet per second in order to move the air bubbles down and out.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 10:59 AM
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Purge isn't technically the same thing as bleed...

From that little pizzer you could BLEED small amounts of air that might happen to collect underneath it, but you would not be successful in MOVING any air bubbles that happen to be in other areas of the piping. That little pizzer won't create enough flow to move air.

PURGING on the other hand is the act of getting LARGE flow through the loop in order to dislodge air and spit it out the drain. This requires a flow velocity of greater than 2 feet per second in order to move the air bubbles down and out.
Ok, I understand that.
When I purged, I used 5 gallon buckets and had to stop the flow. Could that cause the air to stay in the lines? UI would turn off the fill valve after I closed the spigot.

Would I be better off attaching a hose and letting it run for like 5 minutes/line before shutting it down?

Unfortunately I don't have a drain right next to the boiler.

What would happen if I drained the system & filled it from scratch?

How would you recommend I "isolated" each line to figure out which is for which zone?

I purged all three lines because I'm not sure which return is for which line seeing as all three get hot.

And I closed all three shut offs when purging.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 11:03 AM
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F,
It wouldn't hurt if you wanted to try it but if you have a loop system where you have one feed going up and running through all the baseboards and then returning to the boiler with that same pipe it would be better to use the purge station at the boiler.
What I would do is shut the boiler down. Never purge with the pump on.
Shut off all 3 valves on the return line. Leave the two zones hut off that heat. Do not purge them anymore.
Through your boiler feed valve lift up the fast fill lever and put as close to 30 psi without the relief valve going off.
Open up your spigot and purge that line, never letting the pressure in the boiler drop below 25psi until you get a steady run of cold water from that line.
When you're done shut off the fast fill lever and the spigot.
Check your pressure and if need be drain enough water to get the pressure to 20psi.
Turn the valve back on to that one zone and start the boiler to see if it heats then open the valves to the other zones.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 11:10 AM
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We were posting the same time.
To find out which zone is which. Let your boiler cool so all return lines are cool and then turn on 1 tstat at a time and when the return gets hot liable that zone for future use, or just trace the return lines back if possible.
The one for the 3rd floor at some point will be cool.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 12:32 PM
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Gentlemen!
Thanks. I will check it when I get back home.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 04:18 PM
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ALL three returns got hot, but only two supply lines!
This is weird... how can that be? Sumpin' scwewy goin on there...

I can not understand how the return could be hot when purging, but not the supply.

It just isn't making any sense.

When I purged, I used 5 gallon buckets and had to stop the flow. Could that cause the air to stay in the lines?
I would think that 5 gallons would be more than enough at a fast rate to purge those lines...

But POSSIBLY, you had air on the way down the pipe when you closed the drain and when you did close it to empty the bucket, the air floated back up.

What would happen if I drained the system & filled it from scratch?
You would have even MORE air in the system to deal with.

NOT a good idea!

Besides, remember what I said about keeping as much of the old oxygen starved water in the system as possible.

You end up with a "Catch 22" situation. Since fresh water is LOADED with tons of dissolved air, by removing the old water and air bubbles, you are putting the air right back into the system along with the fresh water. Once you heat that new fresh water, that air comes out of solution and forms brandy new bubbles. And around in circles you go...

That's what the automatic air vents and air scoops are for, to remove air so you don't have to continuously be purging the zones.


Is the little cap on this thing LOOSE so that air can escape?



If not, loosen it!
 
  #32  
Old 03-04-15, 05:44 PM
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I'm at a loss!

I did as spott suggested but still nothing.

When I have just the 3rd floor line open, the return gets hot, but not the supply. When I open all three lines the 3rd floor supply gets hot near the boiler, but if you go 25 ft away it's still cold.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 06:39 PM
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Did you purge the 3rd floor zone until cold water came through to make sure there is no air or obstruction.
Looking at the pics again I see 1 pump.
Have you checked the zone valve for that floor.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 07:55 PM
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No zone valves

FBF223D3-4176-4F2D-AA1B-C7C24AC1ADC5_zpsgwyuodat.jpg Photo by Uncle_Brian | Photobucket

And all of the returns feed into that one pump
 
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Old 03-04-15, 08:24 PM
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Can you take a picture of the front of the boiler and gas valve. Can you turn your gas valve knob to pilot so on a call for heat the only the pump will run and not the boiler.
If you can run the pump without the boiler I have a thought to see if that line is obstructed.
Let the boiler cool down.
Close the valves on the return lines of the pipes that are working. Leave the 3rd floor pipe valve open.
Have tstat call for heat so the pump will run but the boiler will not.
Hook up hose to purge the open line. With the pump running open the spigot and add pressure to the boiler with the fastfil lever but watch the relief valve.
If there is no obstruction the pump should pull the water through the circuit.
You should pipe that relief valve to a bucket just in case.
If there is something in the line and the water cannot get through it will come out of the relief valve.(cool water).
If everything is clear it's got no choice than to go through the circuit.
If the water stops, turn off the boiler so you don't run the pump dry.
Just a thought.
 
  #36  
Old 03-05-15, 06:17 AM
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Question:
when running the boiler with only one line open the pressure will be higher, yes?
 
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Old 03-05-15, 06:20 AM
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when running the boiler with only one line open the pressure will be higher, yes?
Not necessarily.

There are quite a few 'conditions' that have to be taken into consideration.

There's no clear cut yes/no answer to that.

It would take a novel to explain all the possibilities.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 06:26 AM
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There are actually TWO 'types' of pressure in a boiler system: STATIC and DYNAMIC

STATIC pressure is that which the system sits at when the pump is not operating.

The static pressure will be the highest at the very bottom of the system and decrease with altitude at a rate of 0.432 PSI per foot.

DYNAMIC pressure is that which exists when the pump IS running.

Depending on the location of the pump relative to the point at which the expansion tank is connected, the pump can either ADD or SUBTRACT from the static pressure.

When the pump runs there is a pressure difference between the suction and the discharge. It's usually around 5 PSI... but will vary from system to system, and pump to pump.

If the pump is PUMPING AWAY from the point that the expansion tank is connected (which is called the "Point of No Pressure Change" aka PONPC) then the pump will ADD it's pressure to the system downstream of the pump.

If the pump is PUMPING TOWARD the PONPC, the pump will SUBTRACT it's pressure from the system.

Confused yet?
 
  #39  
Old 03-05-15, 06:36 AM
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Can you take a picture of the front of the boiler and gas valve. Can you turn your gas valve knob to pilot so on a call for heat the only the pump will run and not the boiler.
I believe that's doable (putting the gas on pilot only). I will get a pic up shortly.

If there is something in the line and the water cannot get through it will come out of the relief valve.(cool water).
If everything is clear it's got no choice than to go through the circuit.
If the water stops, turn off the boiler so you don't run the pump dry.
Just a thought.
When I purged the line last night, they got "cold" leading me to believe that there is no obstruction, that the "new" water was flowing thru the line.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 06:39 AM
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Confused yet?
LOL, a little.
But believe I have the general concept of adding/subtracting pressure based on the pump's location.
 
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