A couple basic boiler questions

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  #1  
Old 11-02-17, 06:51 PM
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A couple basic boiler questions

I have a Burnham boiler with a four-zone Taco controller. One zone is hot water and the other three are for heating. I'm new to hydrionic heating (grew up in the midwest where everything is gas forced air), so I have a couple questions:

1. When the boiler turns off, it makes what can be best described as a squealing/screeching noise. Since I had it serviced a couple weeks ago, it seems to do this just about every time it turns off, but before I had it serviced it only did it sometimes. The technician who serviced it told me this is normal. Was she right?

2. Even if heat is off, the radiators in the master bedroom (zone 3) are often warm to the touch. They're not hot...just kind of pleasantly warm. Sometimes they're cold. I disconnected the thermostat to ensure it wasn't mistakenly calling for heat. Each zone has a Taco 008 circulator pump and Taco 218 check valve. How can I determine if it's a broken vane in the pump or a bad check valve? I bought a new cartridge for the pump before I really understood it could be the check valve. How to troubleshoot that?

Thanks for any ideas.
 
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Old 11-02-17, 08:43 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Some start up questions.
1) Is this an oil fired boiler ?
The burner has a motor in it that drives a pump and a blower. That can make noise on fire down.

2) There are 4 circulator pumps ?

There is a very good chance that you have a defective flow control (check) valve.
There should be lights in the Taco controller that show you which zones are calling for heat.
 
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Old 11-03-17, 08:42 AM
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Thanks for replying. Yes, it is an oil boiler. So that noise is just the blower/motor shutting off? Still seems odd to have a metallic squeal, no?

Yes, there are 4 circulator pumps and four check valves. I agree it seems like a bad check valve. I tried loosening the nut at the top of the zone 3 valve to manually open it, then banged on it with the wrench to try to shake loose any debris that might be holding it open, then screwed it shut. I forgot to feel the radiator this morning (and left the heat turned way down overnight so the thermostat wouldn't call for heat) but presuming that didn't help, what are my next steps?
 
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Old 11-03-17, 08:52 AM
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You have to be systematic with the boiler to trouble shoot..

If you have cast iron radiators and three zones I assume. You must let the rads all cool and test each zone separately to determine a flow control issue.. ( check valve)

On a call for heat in a zone the radiators will stay warm for sometime even after the boiler has shut off..

But if your issue is a bad flow control the symptoms would be if a call for heat in zone one turns on, they also another zone will get hot even though that T stat is not calling for heat...

So you need to be more specific in what you are experiencing...
 
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Old 11-03-17, 11:39 AM
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Thanks, Lawrosa. We have baseboard radiators in three zones, and a fourth zone that provides hot water for the house. Each zone has its own circulator pump and check valve. House was built in 2006.

I understand that the radiators can stay warm for a while - but for example the radiators in the master bedroom were warm to the touch on and off even in summer when all three thermostats were set to 60. Since turning the temperature up, they get warm even if the master bedroom thermostat isn't calling for heat and hasn't called for heat in hours or days.
 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:01 PM
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If so then the flow control is faulty for that zone. When another circulator comes on other then the master, the hot water gets pushed passed the flow control for the master and heats that zone too..

Do your check valves look like this?


 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:02 PM
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Old 11-03-17, 12:04 PM
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Try opening that control with the dial on top while the master circ is running. CCW... Then turn it all the way back down as far as it will go.. The disk may be hanging up in there..


Often you can rebuild these easier than replacement...
 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:21 PM
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Yeah, the check valves are Taco Flo Chek 218. I attached a picture. OK, so I'll turn on that zone's circulator, unscrew the nut on the top to open the valve manually, let the circulator do its thing for a few minutes, then turn it off and screw down the nut to close the valve, and see how it works. Right?
 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:25 PM
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Yes..................................................
 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:30 PM
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May just be crud on the disk... Unfortunately you need to drain/isolate zones to service or clean..

I dont know what valves you have on boiler to isolate..

http://www.taco-hvac.com/uploads/Fil...eck101-004.pdf
 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:31 PM
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There are shutoff valves for each zone's inlet, just before the pump, and return, just before the zone pipe joins with the main pipe that goes into the boiler. Just before that return shutoff, there's a standard garden hose spigot to drain the zone.
 
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Old 11-03-17, 01:00 PM
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Let us know... Sometimes I tap them with a hammer somewhat to loosen crud on the disk..
 
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Old 11-03-17, 04:28 PM
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In the specs for the Taco 218 valve it says use in horizontal position.
Does it make a difference that it's vertical here ?
 
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Old 11-03-17, 08:50 PM
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Does it make a difference that it's vertical here ?

The pics wrong orientation pete..........................
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 11-03-17 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 11-04-17, 06:13 PM
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The squealing/screeching noise as burner slows to stop is not normal.

Sound may be burner blower wheel /squirrel cage rubbing something when motor electric power is turned off. There is often a slight difference in shaft position between running and off state.

On top of most oil burners there is a a hinged black transformer / igniter secured with 2 screws and tabs. It covers burner section with blower

Turn off 120 VAC power to turner. Fold back or remove transformer to access blower wheel. Turning blower with fingers while gently pressing wheel to one side and other. There should be no sound or rubbing.

Also, burner motor is held to frame by 2 screws, check to see that they are tight.
 

Last edited by doughess; 11-04-17 at 08:21 PM.
  #17  
Old 12-07-17, 12:56 PM
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THanks guys. Yeah, I don't know why photos with my iPhone come out horizontal even though I'm holding the phone vertically. The valves are installed horizontally: the writing is right side up. In any case, now that the heat is on it's hard to tell if it's letting hot water through when it shouldn't. I guess I'll just wait until spring and see. I did shut off the valve and bang on it with a wrench a bit, then turn it back on. Maybe that dislodged whatever was in there.

As for the squeal, it's still doing it. I will see if I can figure out how to get at the blower.
 
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