New homeowner... small house, single zone.

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Old 01-10-16, 11:52 AM
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New homeowner... small house, single zone.

Greetings, been reading for months and this is my first time logging on as a new homeowner. I have a roughly 1000sq ft house with a gas boiler. moved in in the summer and found out in the fall that the circulator pump did not work. Changed that m, but we get spotty heating and every time I bleed I get different results.
We have baseboards sans bleeder valves. The only valves I can see in the boiler room (besides the regulated fill valve, expansion cut off and pressure valve) are below the pump and on the expansion tank. Where should I be bleeding from and what would the process be?
Also, when our pump was not working I may have manually tripped the pressure release valve. Could this cause it to become faulty?
I apologize for such a long post, but it's a long story and I'm trying to truncate things. There also doesn't seem to be many posts on homes with single zones.
Thank you.

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Last edited by PJmax; 01-10-16 at 05:08 PM. Reason: reoriented pics
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  #2  
Old 01-10-16, 12:32 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A few pictures of your boiler and it's plumbing would be a big help in us helping you.
What is the pressure on the gauge ?

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 01-10-16, 02:43 PM
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More pics... Sorry, uploading from cellphone. The gauge seems stuck in that upper range even when we drained the system.

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Last edited by PJmax; 01-10-16 at 05:20 PM. Reason: reoriented pics
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Old 01-10-16, 04:39 PM
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When the pump was changed, you said the system was drained (at least to some degree). Was the system refilled with water and then "purged" after the pump was replaced? If you do a search of this forum you will find prior threads and posts on how to purge a system. It should be a relatively straightforward process in your case with a single zone system.

Also, when our pump was not working I may have manually tripped the pressure release valve. Could this cause it to become faulty?
Why, is it leaking? Can you verify the system (boiler) pressure? If it exceeds 30psi or so, that could be your problem. See:

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

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html
 
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Old 01-15-16, 01:49 AM
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we get spotty heating and every time I bleed I get different results
. . .
Where should I be bleeding from and what would the process be?
You do not bleed your system, you open a vent at the top of the system
Stop purging the system.
You have a compression tank.
Air control systems have a compression tank.
Air should be returned to the bottom of the tank, never eliminated.

"Proper Air Management in a Hydronic Systems[sic]"

Current best practice, air in the system is returned to the equipment room.
A water velocity of 2 ft/sec will keep free air entrained.

Try setting the system pump to speed 3 (High.)

Installing Expansion tank using B&G ATF [PDF] See drawings starting on page 4
ATF and Drain-O-Tank Air Charger



CounterPoint How Hydronic System Components Really Work [pdf]

TECHNICAL BROCHURE FHD-501A

You need a working temperature/pressure gauge, accurate readings are essential.
Also a new pressure Relief Valve would be a good idea.


Filling system --
For compression tanks not fitted with ATF or Drain-O-Tank Air Charger.
If the compression tank was drained:
Cold system, boiler off, Temperature less than 100F.
Close all air vents and open expansion tank drain valve.
or air bleed valve for ATF/Drain-O-Tank Air Charger.
Begin filling system from automatic feed valve (AFV).
When water begins to run from compression tank. close valve/vent.
You may vent air from highest point in system until air stops coming out.
Charge system to 12 psi and close shutoff valve to AFV.
Run boiler to 180-200F for one hour and monitor boiler temperature,
pressure, pressure Relief Valve.



I could use a picture of the piping --behind the vent stack-- connecting the boiler to the compression tank.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the replies all...
I've been working against time here in that my wife is dead set on having the "professionals" come in and bleed the system asap (for $400) and my work schedule (been trying to at least buy if not make a pressure gague). The gague on the boiler seems to bottom out at ~ 42 psi. It was showing 50 this morning and I drained about 2 gallons. It seemed to stop declining so I stopped draining.
When I say "may have tripped the pressure relief, what I mean is that in the interim between discovering that the old pump was dead and putting in a new pump, I opened the (noticeably old) pressure relief valve assuming it would help to release the water more smoothly when draining.
Also, this house was a foreclosure (in Maryland) therefore winterized.
Is there a chance that the system was improperly filled from the start?
All this being said, would it be helpful to just drain the system and technocally, "start from scratch."
Finally, I did find one bleeder valve in the system. The picture attached is of the send and return pipes (left send, right return.
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Last edited by Isaac Weiser; 01-15-16 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Information
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Old 01-15-16, 03:43 PM
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I need a wider view of the pipes to see what they connect to, and I can't see how the supply riser connects to the compression tank with what I can see.

Do not purge the system again. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome is ...

No something is wrong. The pressure should never exceed 30 psig. if the pressure relief valve is working.
Close the shutoff valve to the pressure reducing valve, stop adding water.

Raise the lever on the pressure relief valve and verify that water runs out the vent pipe onto the floor.
The PRV may continue to leak and yes it makes a lot of noise.

Making up a gauge is only for testing if the in system gauge is working, I think it is safe to assume your
gauge and relief valve are bad and need replacing, (the pressure reducing valve is also likely bad as well.)

They have a saying in NASA "There's nothing so bad, that YOU CAN'T make it worse."
 

Last edited by HeatWorm; 01-15-16 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 01-15-16, 09:05 PM
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Ok,
So I was able to find that two (of seven) of my baseboards had bleeders and it looks like the ones that don't were "fixed" by the bank that sold us the house.
Got home, new screw on water pressure gauge and the difference between the screw on and boiler gauges seem stark to me.
As far as bleeding the boiler, I feel like I've been doing things wrong or inclmplete. I've bled from below the circulator and from the expansion tank. Hot, cold, pump on, pump off... It also seems like all of the examples I've seen look either way more complicated or totally different. Anyway. The following pictures are what I hope gives a better view of things.
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Old 01-15-16, 10:38 PM
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Can take a picture of the valve between the pump and the boiler temp/pressure gauge, hold the camera against the wall if you can.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 11:09 PM
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. . . The All-Important Relief Valve [page 3, pdf]
Every boiler needs a relief valve. Unfortunately, our industry discovered this fact of life the hard way. There was once a time in the early days of heating when boilers exploded like clockwork. The reason was simple: those early boilers had no way of relieving excessive pressure. The introduction of the modern, spring-loaded relief valve changed all that and saved many lives. . .

At 30 psig your Relief Valve should be opening to release the pressure!

Have a new relief valve installed now.
 
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Old 01-16-16, 08:17 AM
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These are all of the valves in the boiler/laundry room. Could there be some that I'm not seeing or in the crawl space?
What would/should the usual psi be for a single floor system with everything on the same roughly on the same level?
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The expansion cut off.Name:  image.jpg
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The expansion valve.Name:  image.jpg
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And the pressure relief, which was "weeping" slightly but mostly has stopped.Name:  image.jpg
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  #12  
Old 01-16-16, 09:02 AM
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The pressure should be 12 psig. If it varies much from that there are issues.

Make sure the arrow cast on side of pump is pointed down.
 
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Old 01-16-16, 09:31 AM
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Has anyone said anything about that Relief Valve not having any kind of elbow or pipe on it to direct it downward into a bucket or some other receptacle, just as a safety matter ?

And if it's still weeping, why let it weep right onto that electrical conduit ?
 
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Old 01-16-16, 11:19 AM
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I did find it funny that our home inspector did not mention it.
It is one of the things that I'm looking to do in the near future.
I wasn't sure if it was worth it now unless the current valve was in working order.
I'll note that since that pic was taken I did adjust the conduit...
 
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Old 01-16-16, 11:21 AM
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That last picture is what I needed.
Time for a new 30 psi pressure Relief valve M335M2, 3/4" Female Pressure Relief Valve
Make up a discharge pipe using all 3/4 inch black pipe and black 90 deg elbow so the relief valve discharges down. Discharge 12 to 9 inches from floor.
 
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Old 01-16-16, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for all the help folks... It feels like I'm 90 percent there... New new pressure relief is dry, getting ready to attach the pipe and all but one baseboard has some heat though a couple feel cooler than the others.
I know it's might be folly, but I'd like to try and flush/bleed the system but still feel dumb as to which nozzle to attach the hose to.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 09:48 AM
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. . . I'd like to try and flush/bleed the system but still feel dumb as to which nozzle[drain valve] to attach the hose to.
To purge the system there needs to be a isolation valve between the water inlet and the drain valve -- eg. boiler drain valve -- that would allow you to purge the system loop. I only see a boiler and compression tank drain valve.

Remember water always takes the path of least resistance (shortest path.) With your system water enters at the pressure reducing valve and turns left and goes through the pump and exits the boiler drain valve.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 09:54 AM
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. . . one baseboard has some heat though a couple feel cooler than the others.
Pull the front panel off and vacuum out all the dust and hair.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 11:39 AM
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The system has no air separator so air in the system is not retuning to the tank.
A pipe tee can not separate air.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 11:53 AM
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So, if what I'm understanding is correct the people who replaced the leaking baseboards in this house built in a fatal flaw (hyperbole) when they failed to add relief nozzles at the new baseboards as the system currently has no proper way to actually flush out the air. Is this correct?
 
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Old 01-17-16, 04:38 PM
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No.
The air vent is only there to allow water to fill the loop. Once the system is filled the system pump moves air back to the mechanical/boiler room where the air separator directs it to the compression tank.

Your system has never worked, the tank is wrong, it should have two bottom ports for connection to the system.
The piping to the tank should be simple.
The isolation valve on the piping to the tank must be a gate or full-port ball valve.
The compression tank connection should be located at the pump suction (inlet.)
The air separator was never installed and should be located at the pump suction.
The system pump is on the return it should be located on the supply.

TEH 1196B Air Management Sizing and Installation Instructions for Hydronic Heating/Cooling Systems[pdf]
[page 13, pdf] AIR SEPARATION
[page_ 3, pdf] CLOSED SYSTEM DESIGN
[page 10, pdf] COMPRESSION TANK LOCATION
[page 10, pdf] PUMP LOCATION
[page 17, pdf] TANK INSTALLATION [compression]
[page 20, pdf] DESIGN FOR INITIAL FILL PROCEDURE [compression]
[page 20, pdf] FILL CONNECTION LOCATION [compression]
[page 22, pdf] SYSTEM CLEANING AND STARTUP
[page 23, pdf] RE-CHARGING AFTER THE SYSTEM IS FILLED WITH WATER
[page 26, pdf] Figure 23 Standard Tank with IAS Inline Air Separator [air Scoop]
 
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