how to purge my baseboard heating system

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Old 12-21-16, 01:41 PM
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how to purge my baseboard heating system

Hi All,

I just purchased a new home with baseboard boiler heat and am excited to learn and maintain the system myself. I know that it has four zones total, with three recirc. pumps. One recirc. pumps splits to two control valves, making up two of the zones, while the other two zones are run straight from recirc pumps without a control valve. I am renovating the kitchen and need to remove two of the wall radiators and add two kickplates. All the radiators have bleeders screws and there isn't a purge station. Basically, supply leaves boiler, straight to recirc pumps, then out to house (with the exception of the one pump that splits to two control valves and there is a shut off valve before and after the pumps), on the return side as it comes back to the boiler...each zone passes through what looks like a check or flow valve (has a directional arrow on it), once they pass through this valve they all combine into one pipe and then head back to the boiler with one shutoff in between. How can I isolate one zone in order to drain the water for adding the kickplates to that particular zone? Also, will I need to purge the entire system after draining it? I will upload pictures of the system this evening.
Thanks in advance
 
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Old 12-21-16, 02:57 PM
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You might want to wait until spring to start major DIY modifications and deal with purging air, etc. Unexpected problems are frequently encountered, especially if this is your first hot-water boiler.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 04:27 PM
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Not much of a major dyi...two of my friends are master plumbers, just no experience with boilers. It's all relative, just looking for advice from someone knowledgeable, did you have any? I also bekeive my flow is opposite of what I originally posted t
Thanks
 

Last edited by vwbaja; 12-21-16 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 12-21-16, 04:30 PM
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Old 12-21-16, 05:54 PM
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Old 12-22-16, 05:48 AM
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Old 12-22-16, 05:52 AM
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in this pic...I circled where I plan to add purge valves (spigots) and then one additional underneath pump and below shutoff (not visible in pic)
 
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Old 12-22-16, 05:59 AM
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Old 12-22-16, 11:13 AM
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V,
You mentioned you have radiators with bleeders on them which leads me to think you may have a monoflo system and a purge station would not do you any good.

If you look at the fittings that feed your radiators see if they are regular tees or if one of them has markings on it such as directional arrows and if they do it is a different kind of system and not a loop and cannot be bled from a main purge valve.

Hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 12-23-16, 06:45 AM
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They are just normal 90 fitting with a bleeder at the top. I will post a pic shortly.
thanks
 
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Old 12-23-16, 07:55 AM
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here is a pic of the bleeder fitting. I don't see any monoflow tees, all pipes 90 up to radiator, through radiator down then 90 to the next

 
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Old 12-23-16, 06:00 PM
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V,
Initially you mentioned radiators but it looks like you have finned baseboard and if you have a loop system a purge station should be set up on the returns of each zone. I wouldn't fool with those bleeders on the baseboard. They are useless and have no idea why they would install them except to create leaks when you try to open them to many times.

Your fin elements have seen better days and if there crushed like that it prevents good air circulation and diminishes the heat they give off. If you can try and separate the fins and vacuum the dust and debris if any has accumulated for better heat transfer.
 
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Old 12-23-16, 09:17 PM
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One problem you have is that with a compression tank you should NOT gave any automatic air vents. You have at least one, maybe two, in your pictures. Nor should you ever have a float-type vent that close to a pump suction. The vents on the baseboard convectors MAY (or may not) be the type with hygroscopic discs that supposedly will vent any air accumulation. These are, in my opinion, worthless and should be replaced with entirely manual vents.

Nonetheless, the baseboard vents should only be necessary to vent air after a system drain down and NOT as a regular event. The major air removal in your system is done inside the boiler and that air is redirected to the compression tank. The mere fact that you have the auto vents can cause the loss of air in the compression tank and that can cause other problems. The float-type vents can be disabled by screwing the tire caps down tight.

I suggest that you plan on some major revisions to the system AFTER this heating season, winter is NOT the time to be working on heating systems unless absolutely unavoidable.
 
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