Need help installing a bleed valve

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  #1  
Old 12-05-15, 01:53 PM
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Need help installing a bleed valve

I can typically do most DIY, but I know that I fall in the "knows enough to be dangerous category", so here I am asking first...

So I have a 3 level townhouse and I have air in the pipes so bad it sounds like a raging river, but I do have heat.

I bought the brass air bleed elbow (T with 1/4, 1/4, and 1/8 silver screw in valve) and I think if I can install it on the baseboard on the top floor it should solve a lot of my problems. Currently there is no bleed valves on any of the 3 zones but there is a canister valve on top of an air scoop where the expansion chamber screws into down on the boiler. I get air out of that and we have with temporary success purged the zones, but the air keeps coming back.

So my question is, what are the proper steps to install the T with the bleed valve? I think if I shut the power off to the boiler, shut off the line in water valve (the one before the PSI reducer), close the 2 lower floor zone calves, then drain the zone upstairs so there is no water and I can desolder the elbow to install the T then open all the valves and turn the boiler back on.

Am I thinking about this mostly correctly and/or maybe missing a couple steps or should I just stop and save myself a huge mess/headache?

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-05-15, 02:57 PM
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Ii'm just a Real Estate Broker . . . . but this is December !

This is not the time you want to take chances with disrupting your heat (but maybe you're a gambler?).

It's hard for me to believe that there isn't a bleeder up there at the highest point in the circulatory system . . . . if not, how long would it have taken the original installers to have bled it waiting for bubbles to defy gravity and meander down to the air scoop ?

I'd check one more time !
 
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Old 12-05-15, 03:40 PM
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I agree with Vermont that this is not the time to be fiddling with the heating system in a way that could disable it for some time.

Rather than adding an air vent I would spend my time trying to determine where/how the air is entering the system. The most common is with the make-up water and the best as well as easiest fix is to repair the leaks that cause the system to constantly need more water. A tight system can go years without needing any additional water.
 
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Old 12-05-15, 03:58 PM
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I wish their was a bleed valve. I just checked again and I can confirm it. Truth be told the guys that built these, built about 300 of these units and based on the other exemplary craftsmanship (ask me about silicone caulk wire nuts) I wouldn't be surprised if they just filled up the pipes and called it a day.

As for how the air got there, I don't have any obvious leaks so I don't know what else to do.
 
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Old 12-05-15, 04:28 PM
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How long ago was the system installed ?

What is the pressure currently reading ?

Because you mention three floors, it's possible you just need to increase the boiler pressure in order to ensure you're getting complete circulation.
 
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Old 12-05-15, 04:39 PM
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System was installed 10 years ago. Cold water psi on the gauge is literally reading 0 and I have no idea why. That being said, I played with the presure valve fast fill handle in 1 second bursts and it didn't move the needle at all. I know the gauge worked last summer because I had checked it and it was around 15psi. If it's a bad gauge I'd hate to trip the overflow and make a mess
 
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Old 12-06-15, 05:08 AM
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If you're still getting heat at 0 PSI, you must be creating steam that's going up to the 3rd floor to condense (and then making the "raging river" noise as it flows back to the basement as water).

I doubt that the gauge suddenly failed between this past Summer and now . . . . but it's possible, and that would have to be coincidental with your loss of pressure.

Adding water in small increments seems prudent . . . . and you ought see a bounce in the PSI as water enters.

Worrying about the Pressure Relief valve popping is warranted . . . . but prepare for it. It will probably only spout off 1/2 gallon or so of HOT water before it closes again . . . . so it won't be making a mess all over. If properly installed, there should be a pipe that guides the overflow down close to the floor (around 18"). I usually have a 5 gallon bucket sitting down there "just in case" . I've had plenty of "pops" with my 50+ year old boiler . . . . but none recently. The biggest problem I have had is getting a P/T (which I think is set at 30 PSI in my case) valve to re-seat after having blown off once; it's almost impossible (in my case) to get the grit or sediment and scale off the valve seat . . . . and trial and error is tedious. Often, I give up on completely stopping the weeping (drip) and just install a new one.

A three story dwelling should probably have a PSI of between 15 to 18. The 15 PSI you saw during the summer was probably close to being appropriate . . . . but what occurrence caused that pressure it to go away . . . . and when did the baseboard noise commence ?

PS: What's under the overflow from your Relief Valve ?
 

Last edited by Vermont; 12-06-15 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Added PostScript
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Old 12-06-15, 10:11 AM
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Tried letting some water in, but no dice on the psi gauge and the safety valve popped, so there is clearly pressure in the boiler. Calling a hvac friend to help me drain the boiler and replace the gauge, expansion chamber, scoop valve and install the bleed valve upstairs. Didn't want to have to get him involved, but it's what he does and something clearly needs to be tweaked

Last question tho... Can you pipe the temp/pressure gauge up about 16" from the side of the boiler to a spot that is easier to read?
 
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