One of three heating zones not working


  #1  
Old 10-10-16, 03:44 PM
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One of three heating zones not working

We bought a home this summer that has three main heating zones from a gas boiler with baseboard heaters throughout the house.

Zone 1 -- First Floor -- Works Fine
Zone 2 -- Second Floor -- Two Small Bedrooms -- Works Fine
Zone 3 -- Second Floor -- Master Bedroom -- Does Not Heat

I had a local HVAC technician out today to tune-up our gas boiler. It is 7 years old (along with all plumbing in home) and he said it is in good shape. But the baseboard heaters in the master bedroom zone would not heat up. He recommended we purge the zones, so I agreed. After purging, it still wouldn't heat.

When I kick on the thermostat for that zone, I do hear some water gurgling noises.

The HVAC tech said it's possible there's an air pocket in the zone that is keeping the zone from emptying out. He suggested I spend a lot of money ($550) to put air bleeder valves onto the three baseboard heaters in the bedroom, because there is currently no bleeder valves on the second floor.

Does this concept make sense--could this be the solution? When I try to get estimates from competitors, most of them said they wanted to purge the zones as well before installing the bleeders. I don't want to spend money on purging, when that was already done (hopefully properly).

If you need any further info from me, I'm happy to provide it.
 
  #2  
Old 10-10-16, 04:16 PM
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I take it you are not a DIYer, which is what this forum caters to. How much did you pay to have your gas-fired boiler tuned up, and exactly what did he do? My gas-fired boiler is 60+ year old, and I don't know what any regular tune-up is required. If there is a problem, I fix it. I lift the pressure relief valve every year or two, and I often monitor the boiler pressure and temperature.

The air bleeding should be able to be done without spending $550. Jack up the system pressure to, say, 25 psi, and begin systematically purging various loops. A bigger question is how did air get into the system? What is the boiler pressure temp and pressure? Photos of your system would help us.

My advice is to find a well-recommended, small, family-owned organization to help you - not somebody out of the Yellow Pages.
 
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Old 10-10-16, 04:27 PM
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The air bleeding should be able to be done without spending $550. Jack up the system pressure to, say, 25 psi, and begin systematically purging various loops. A bigger question is how did air get into the system? What is the boiler pressure temp and pressure? Photos of your system would help us.

My advice is to find a well-recommended, small, family-owned organization to help you - not somebody out of the Yellow Pages.
Agree 100%... You can get air out of any loop if you know what your doing and not trying to rip people off..

I have jacked up pressures to almost 30 psi to get air out of troublesome loops. additionally a trick is to kick the circ on to help it...
 
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Old 10-10-16, 06:16 PM
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Well, since I became a homeowner, I've gone from a 2 to a 6 on the DIY scale, and I'm hoping to someday get to being an 8.

The tune-up was $59 (Angie's List) and I got them to not charge me for the purge because it didn't work. I'm asking if adding bleeder valves makes sense as a solution. If you guys think it makes more sense to re-try a purge on my own, I'm happy to do that instead. Let me know if you have any advice toward making that work if you think the bleeder valve is nonsensical.

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Last edited by PJmax; 10-10-16 at 07:43 PM. Reason: reoriented/spaced pics
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Old 10-10-16, 07:21 PM
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Yeah no wonder they cant get the air out... It would take a day to figure the zones and how to isolate it for purging,...


IMO find the label somewhere to find who installed and call him..

If not we need many pics to help...
 
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Old 10-11-16, 07:19 AM
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Thank you. I located the master plumber who did the work and am going to have him come out to take a look. Thanks for the advice. Would be much better than having another random heating company come out without knowing what's behind the walls.

I'll update if he is able to get it working.
 
  #7  
Old 10-11-16, 12:06 PM
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Use Saddle Valve to Vent Heating Loop

A simple DYI solution is to install a saddle valve at the high point of zones. They are wide used to supply water to refrigerator ice makers. There are many types but here is an example.

2 New Self-piercing Saddle Valve 1/4" OD for Refrigerators Ice Maker Humidifiers

I would recommend shutting off water feed and depressurizing system first. Mount the valve with the handle on top/up.
 
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Old 10-11-16, 01:02 PM
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A simple DYI solution is to install a saddle valve at the high point of zones. They are wide used to supply water to refrigerator ice makers. There are many types but here is an example.

2 New Self-piercing Saddle Valve 1/4" OD for Refrigerators Ice Maker Humidifiers

I would recommend shutting off water feed and depressurizing system first. Mount the valve with the handle on top/up.
What a ridiculous reply. That would be a hack Job no less..

Please Ignore
 
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Old 10-11-16, 03:32 PM
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Maybe Super Moderator should provide some basis for his comments.

Many DYI posts and pictures show provide examples of messes created and hacked by professionals.

For NYCZones to face a $550 charge for bleeding system reflects more of a con artist than professional HVAC guy. The former is what the DYI home owner is often faced with.
 
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Old 10-11-16, 04:57 PM
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Saddle valves are not to code first of all as far as NJ is concerned. Although NYC codes and rules are by far the worst in the country IMO.

Second the saddle valve will eventually leak and corrode the copper pipe and probably cause other issues with the OP's system.

If any bleeders are to be installed it should be of the type the industry standard uses.

To get the air out would be simple. But looking at the pics if its the zones with the pex piping that mixer becomes problematic. It would be better to add a valve after the mixer and before that boiler drain.

Thats just my quick assumption..

Im a plumber 30+ years..
 
  #11  
Old 10-12-16, 09:31 AM
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Do not see how Super Moderator approach will vent air in line two stories above boiler.

Found long time ago that air scopes and auto vent valves on boiler output pipe were not adequate.

I happen to work in high technology where how things were done xx years ago is at best a benchmark to where we are today.

Ten years ago we did not have ECM motor pumps with auto sensing/control of pressure and flow.

Many professionals are still thinking in old ways.
 

Last edited by doughess; 10-12-16 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 10-25-16, 01:58 PM
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Finally got the plumber out to visit. The master plumber whose name was on the house permits did not design the system... just came in after the fact to legalize the work.

Long story short: a proper purge got the master bedroom working. No bleeder valves needed.

I also had learned of a leak in the basement radiant system over the past two weeks He isolated which loop had the leak in it and we will survive with the other half of the room working and keep the bad loop closed. The circulator was broken and needed to be replaced. The second floor master bathroom also has radiant heat. He was able to get that working with the new circulator and a purge.

Thanks for your help as it lead me to avoid wasting money on unneeded work -- and I found a good plumber.
 
 

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