too many forced hot water zones

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  #1  
Old 11-18-18, 08:36 AM
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too many forced hot water zones

Folks,

Our recently-purchased 1970s ranch was expanded over the years and the FHW heating system has 7 zones (plus one for the amtrol domestic hot water tank). Thirty year-old Weil-McLain 151k BTU boiler, mostly 3/4 inch slant-fin baseboard, but two kick panel heaters in the kitchen zone and one kick panel heater in a bathroom. Because the house was continuously added on to and walls taken down, some zones do not make sense.

My primary concern is that the zones closest to the boiler work fine and the zones way down the other end of the house are not adequate. It takes forever for the heat to get down there. But even the two zones closest to the boiler, which we use a lot, act differently.

When the heat is cranked up in the living room zone, the copper starts creaking literally immediately and the heat comes up real fast. The sun-room zone, right next door such that two corners of the two rooms are adjacent, is much slower to heat and we get no creaking/instantaneous heat.

The bedrooms at the far end of the house are very slow to heat, and insufficient/not that hot. The kitchen zone (2004 re-hab) is particularly bad such that we rarely use it, but rather depend on the adjacent sun-room zone with an occasional boost from the propane fireplace insert. Walls were taken down and the kitchen is now an ell-shaped room that was formerly a small kitchen with a small dining room off one side and a small family-room off the other side. In addition to the two kick-panels, it has 4-foot length of baseboard in what was the former dining room, and a 3-foot section of baseboard in the front hall of the home. The piping for that zone is a tangle of copper and what looks like a precursor to Pex.

Each zone has its own 1/25 HP taco f4 or f5 cast iron circulator. I had my boiler guy flush the entire system out, one zone at a time, then the whole thing, and he used some TSP. The water was disgusting, but the clean-out made no discernible change. We have just started putting that cheap foam insulation on the copper in the basement, but some of the runs are so close together that I can't fit it on all the pipes. And still no change.

Do circulators get "tired"? Is there a way to tell? Will buying an infrared thermometer and checking the temperature of the piping in different places tell me anything?

Prior long-term owners owned many dogs, (rescue dogs and ran a dog-hospice) and much of the baseboard fins were loaded with dog hair. We vacuumed much of it out, but could that issue be lessening air circulation?

Thanks for any ideas.
 
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Old 11-18-18, 10:42 AM
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KOT,
To start with, insufficient heat is generally the result of lack of heat emitters to reach temp., too low a water temp going to the emitters, blocked or dirty fins or blocked baseboards to prevent air circulation, improper flow or wrong pump preventing proper circulation through the emitters, length of runs could be an issue. How much BB are you feeding on a 3/4" line. A 3/4" line is good for about 50,000 BTU's. With all your zones I wouldn't think that would be a problem but might be worth mentioning.

What did your tech say. Did he have any insight as to your problem.

Your problems are more common with monoflo systems and not individual pump applications.

You could begin by making sure all your emitters are clean and free of debris and have plenty of air circulation at top and bottom, then check your supply water temp. going to the emitters.

BB if figured @ roughly 600 BTU's a foot with 180 deg. water going to them. So if you have 6000 BTU's of heat loss in a room you will need 10 ft. of baseboard @ 180 deg. water to heat that room. If you run your boiler lower then you get less heat output.

As a rule, circulators do not just get tired to put out less performance. The impeller might go bad or the pump could go bad but you have too many issues with too may pumps for that to be the problem I believe.

Pics would be very helpful if possible.

Hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 11-18-18, 02:48 PM
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Spott,

Thanks for the response. It is helpful.

We have been in the house about 2 years and the tech is not that familiar with the place. He was recommended by our realtor and I don't now how good he really is, although he seems to know his way around the equipment. I've not really got much further into it than the flush-out and now the insulation. Sounds like it's probably not the circulators.

The two runs down to the bedrooms are about 55 feet from the return line at the boiler to the far wall, except that the far street-side bedroom has a 1980s-added bathroom that makes that run about 63 feet. That bathroom also has a 6-foot length of electrical baseboard in it. Not sure what went in first--the electric or the FHW. That bathroom is on sauna-tube posts with heavy spray-foam insulation underneath. We are in Maine and on a river, so it does get cold and windy. That zone heats two bedrooms, that bathroom, and a 3-foor length of bb in the hall, where the thermostat is. The hall bb is not really enough to heat the hall well, so sometimes if the bedroom doors are shut all the way, the heat call never gets satisfied and the bedrooms can overheat. They are really guest bedrooms and we keep the stat real low, but it irritates me that it's not "right". I'm thinking I should move the stat into one of the bedrooms.

The back/river-side master bedroom has had the river-side window replaced with a picture-window type-thing with a crank-out on either side of it. The blueprints of the house show a much smaller window when it was built, so that room might well be short of radiation. The back side of the house faces just north of east and when those nor'easters are cranking and the wind is whipping across the river, I can almost see the heat going directly from the baseboard, out the window. On real cold days or nights, it has trouble getting it over 65 degrees, which is not a big deal really, but might be as we get older. The two fireplaces were converted to propane by the previous owners, so we have two 32k BTU heaters, which helped a lot during the power-outage when the stand-by generator failed because we'd only been here a few weeks and it hadn't yet occurred to me to keep the snow off it. But the propane did next nothing for the bedrooms, at the other end of the house.

The 2004 rehabbed/expanded kitchen is near the boiler, but the 3/4 supply line has 1/2 inch copper teed off into a kick panel, with the kick-panel return tee-ing back into the 3/4 copper 3 or 4 feet further along. Then it does it all again for the second kick-panel, then feeds the two lengths of baseboard, which are all but useless for heat. They do get warm but not very hot.

The debris issue might be real. We pealed thick layers of dog hair of much of the bb fins and vacuumed as best we could, but maybe some compressed air wouldn't hurt. Nothing smells bad or funny, but who knows?

When I just checked the aqua-stat relay thing, the flashing LEDs were showing 185 degrees with nothing calling for heat. When I tripped a zone, the boiler fired when the temp hit got down to 175 (I think). It got down to about 140 before it started going back up and the boiler shut off at 180.

Anyway, thanks again, and sorry for the crummy pictures, if they are even visible to you. Any more thoughts greatly appreciated

KoT

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ty7...80oRGn_W3/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pMV...wQLYPnsvs/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RdT...qRGL16XMO/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dz-...yvQGMZVqo/view
 
  #4  
Old 11-18-18, 06:15 PM
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KOT,
If your boilers high limit is set at 180 which is the required temp for your BB's to put out the rated BTU's of 600 BTU's a foot then the boiler must be able to maintain that temp when the zones are calling for heat. Anything less and they will under perform.

The simplest thing to start with is to run your stats one by one and see what the supply temp is going to the units and how they perform. If, when more than one stat calls at a time, the boiler cannot maintain that temp then that is your first problem.

After you check the water temp stat by stat then check when multiple stats are on and see what the boiler can maintain then. If your boiler cannot keep up with the demand then that's the place you want to start.

You can increase your high limit to 200 deg. and that would give you more heat output from your BB's and give your boiler a better chance to recover and maintain a higher water temp.

Two hundred deg. by the way is not dangerous and is what was always run in the past. Also check your boiler pressure and set to 20 PSI cold for better circulation.

These are things I would suggest trying to start with.
 
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Old 11-19-18, 02:39 AM
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@Spott is right on with his recommendations so follow his lead. The only thing I will add is, when looking ar the piping to the kitchen I can't tell if the reducing tees are monoflow tees or regular tees. If they are regular tees the kickspace heaters will not get enough flow the way they are piped. So that will be a problem.
 
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Old 11-19-18, 04:01 AM
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Is there an easy way for me to tell what the tees are? The kicks do seem to throw good heat, although I am not otherwise particularly familiar with them. I do know that the master bath zone consists only of a single kick-space heater that is not as good as the kitchen kicks, but that bathroom zone has a fifty-foot run. We don't even use it--the sound of it is not worth the heat. Maybe another reason that the master bedroom zone is deficient--it also has to supply a fair-sized bathroom that is supposed to have its own heat source.
 
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Old 11-19-18, 09:10 AM
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Monoflo tees only work in one direction and have a scoop or a different configuration inside to force water into the branch because water wants to take the path of least resistance and would go right by the branch and not get to the KS heaters.

One of the tees will have markings on it and an arrow to show the proper direction of water flow to the fixtures. You only need 1 special tee per unit.
 
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Old 11-19-18, 10:56 AM
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Not sure about the Tees. One tee off each kick is different from a typical tee, but not terribly so. No arrow visible. See pix below.

The aqua-stat controller shows the following: HL-180, HdF-10, LL-130, LdF-10, tt-off, ttE-on, brn-on, Cir-on, ZC-on, Cir-on, 2C-on, 2r-off, dvv-off, asc-off, bsp-180, dhw-no

Note that I think there was a call for heat while I was going through the display list, then it might have satisfied the call and went off while I was still cycling through. I had to go through it all twice b/c it skipped some displays in the manual, and then I realized there was a second set of them on the next page, so I went through again to double check.

I ordered an infrared thermometer which should be delivered tomorrow, so I can start checking the bb temps. Couldn't find my old one since the move, and it was pretty old for that sort of thing anyway. Some new features on the new one will come in handy.

KoT

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cpg...1m2joQkWL/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ncq...9BC18LduK/view
 
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Old 11-19-18, 11:57 AM
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That tee is the right one. Venturi is a monoflo tee. That groove is the special marking.

As far as your thermometer goes you have a temporary one right at the end of your arm. Your hand, just feel the pipe, you'll be able to feel the difference.

One other thing. I noticed you have a Honeywell relay on the wall. You should have one of those for every pump unless you have a Taco multi zone control which I don't see.

When you turn on your stats what starts and stops the pumps. Where does your wire from the thermostat connect to. All the stat wires should go into their own relay which will start the pump and burner.

If your system isn't wired properly your boiler may not be coming on soon enough to reheat the water to keep up.

You have 2 terminals on your aquastat (ZC & ZR) which must be used to wire in your relays to properly operate your system.

http://s3.supplyhouse.com/product_fi...30-Install.pdf

Scroll down to see wiring schematic. When wired this way your pump and burner operates with the stat.
 

Last edited by spott; 11-19-18 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 11-19-18, 12:22 PM
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Monoflo systems are a special breed of cat - oftentimes, modern techs are unfamiliar with them. If you want to increase the flow to a particular heat emitter, you can install two monoflo tees on that loop, one on the supply and one on the return. The tee on the return should be oriented backwards so that it tends to suck from the loop back into the main. Monoflo loops can sometimes be challenging for bleeding air - best to include valving for power purging, particularly for kickers, which, for some reason, seem to be extra difficult.

I believe that Bell & Gossett pioneered the monoflo concept, maybe in the 1940s. They were trying to stay competitive with inexpensive forced-air furnaces. A monoflo system reduced the length of main piping almost by half, compared to a 2-pipe main with separate supply and returns.
 
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Old 11-24-18, 07:52 AM
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Thank you all. After a few days away, I'm back at it--with my new infrared thermometer.

I hadn't really thought about how IR thermometers worked, and I now realize that you can't really get the temp of a 3/4 copper tube--at least not with the one that I bought.

Each zone and circ does have its own relay/control. I cranked up the temp on the MBR zone. The circ came on right away, and when the bt dropped down to 170, the burner kicked in. When the bt got back to 180, the burner went off and the circ kept running. While I couldn't get a temp read on the pipes, after the bt got back up to 180, I took a read at the circ body, which is at the return, and it read 168-170. At the BBs, I pulled the end trim piece off each length and was able to get 158-161 off the fins.

All the comments are making me think that that zone lacks enough radiation. On our prior home, when looking to size a new FHW boiler, many on this forum helpfully walked me through the process and pointed me to a couple of software/spreadsheet programs that assisted me in getting the correct boiler size--which ended up being barely half the size of the one it replaced (and which was still just slightly over-sized in case of future home expansion.)

I think I need to reacquaint myself with those spreadsheets. It didn't occur to me to use that information on a room-by-room basis, (the old house had about 120 % of the radiation it needed--huge old cast iron radiators) but I think that's what I should do. In any event, the BBs need a good blowing out. The bedroom ones are a little disgusting

RE; the boiler temp. I do remember in another life in the early 1980s, with mechanically-controlled aqua-stats, setting the HL and LL little wheels to 195 and 160. One of the circ flanges on this system I'm working on was leaking a little--but mostly evaporating before anything actually hit the ground. When I mentioned it to the tech, he said he'd take care of it. It no longer leaks--but does anyone think that he might have simply lowered the bt to 180 from a higher #? Might that have lowered the pressure as well, and stopped the leak?

Does anyone think I should up the HL to 185 and watch what happens for a few days, then up it a little more again if all goes well? If I do crank it up, is there anything in particular I should look for, besides leaks?

Thanks again.

KoT
 
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Old 11-24-18, 08:14 AM
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The output rating of your BB's is with 180 deg. water running through them. Anything less lowers the BTU output.

The trend today is to run lower boiler temps but to properly do that and heat your home to must compensate that lower temp with added baseboard. The old standard was 180/200 which worked well and still does.

If you are designing a new system in a new house or updated house that has new windows and fully insulated you can lower the temps to match the new specs but an older home with the existing structure as it was must take that into account before just starting to lower everything because that's what somebody says to do.

My suggestion would be to set your aquastat at 180/200 or at least 170/190. You only want a 20 deg. spread between hi & lo settings.

The higher temp will have no effect on leaks or pressure if everything is operating properly. At those temps you will improve the heat output of your BB's.
 
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Old 11-24-18, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by spott View Post

My suggestion would be to set your aquastat at 180/200 or at least 170/190. You only want a 20 deg. spread between hi & lo settings.

The higher temp will have no effect on leaks or pressure if everything is operating properly. At those temps you will improve the heat output of your BB's.
So-- in addition to changing HL from 180 to 190, I should change HdF from 10 to 20? (all for a start--to see what it does for me.) Should I also increase LL, which is now 130--or does the HdF setting effectively do that for me?

I assume that the LL setting of 130 is more to do with the DHW in the off-season?
 
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Old 11-24-18, 10:11 AM
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You can leave your Hdf setting @ 10. I'm talking about your HI @ LO limit settings.

Set your HI to at least 190 or 200 and your LO 20 deg. below the HI. You want 20 deg so the burner doesn't short cycle which it will if they are set closer. EX. 190/170 or 200/180.

The higher the water temp going to the BB's the more heat output they will deliver.
 
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Old 11-24-18, 10:20 AM
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I assume that the LL setting of 130 is more to do with the DHW in the off-season?
LL (Minimum Boiler Temperature) is a confusing term.

Here is an excerpt from a post I made in 2013/14 about my ES-2 Burnham boiler:

Change the Minimum Boiler Temperature (Lt): Now this is the one that really got me confused. From the title and the way it is described this sounds like the absolutely positive way to avoid dropping down into a condensing range. Here is what the manual says:

Minimum Boiler Temperature
The Minimum Boiler Temperature parameter sets a low limit for the Reset setpoint. Set this parameter to the lowest supply water temperature that will prevent chimney or boiler flue gas condensation. Always consider the type of radiation when adjusting this parameter. Factory Default is 130 F.
Read the definition carefully—“sets a low limit for the Reset setpoint” (my emphasis). All this parameter does is keep you from operating with Lb too low. Say you set Lb to its minimum of 110 (meaning that you want a bt setpoint of 110 for a high outdoor temperature) but you need a higher temperature water (say 130) to prevent condensing, then Lt will make the setpoint 130. So Lt OVERRIDES Lb but guess what? HdF trumps Lt.

For example, it’s a nice warm day, the system is off all day. In the evening the outside temperature drops to 65 degrees. Say at that temperature the ODR setpoint is 110 and Lt is set for 130 so the boiler setpoint is 130. There is a call for heat, water in the boiler (sitting idle all day) and return water is say 70 degrees. The burner fires, the boiler water (bt) heats up to the 130 setpoint and the burner shuts off. The return water is coming back at 90 and the heat call is still on (there is still a lot of water in the zone to heat up and the room is not yet warm.) The boiler water cools down and you watch the bt drop 130>125>120>115>110>100, the burner fires.

Hey, wait a minute—what happened to the Minimum Boiler Temperature (set at 110 remember?)?! Yep… HdF trumps Lt.

Since the heat call did not end, bt drops 30 degrees (HdF) below the setpoint (130) before the burner refires. The good news in this scenario is that the boiler will overcome the effect of the return water temperature quickly and will probably operate in condensing mode for less than a minute if at all.
If you are not using an ODR (outdoor reset) to set boiler water temperature, you do not have to worry about or change the LL temp. Since you are having trouble getting heat with 180+ temp you should not be using an ODR.

And if you have read this far:

I hadn't really thought about how IR thermometers worked, and I now realize that you can't really get the temp of a 3/4 copper tube--at least not with the one that I bought.
A piece of non-shiny black tape or a spot of dull black paint on the pipe will give an acceptable reading. Make sure you are close enough to the pipe that the sensing field of the IR thermometer is not reading too much background.
 
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Old 11-24-18, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by spott View Post
You can leave your Hdf setting @ 10. I'm talking about your HI @ LO limit settings.

Set your HI to at least 190 or 200 and your LO 20 deg. below the HI. You want 20 deg so the burner doesn't short cycle which it will if they are set closer. EX. 190/170 or 200/180.

The higher the water temp going to the BB's the more heat output they will deliver.
My 11/19, 1:56 post lists all the settings of my Honeywell L7224A.

Are you suggesting that if I raise the HL limit from 180 to 190, I should raise the LL setting from 130 to 170? If I do that, I presume I should set it back to 130 in the off-season, when the boiler is only running for the FHW?
 
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Old 11-24-18, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 2john02458 View Post



And if you have read this far:



A piece of non-shiny black tape or a spot of dull black paint on the pipe will give an acceptable reading. Make sure you are close enough to the pipe that the sensing field of the IR thermometer is not reading too much background.
The IR Therm I bought has two lights. The manual says that the two lights show the outer diameter of the surface that it will measure the temp of. It has a sketch that shows the two beams crossing each other at about 15 inches from the unit, with the diameter of the measured surface being about one inch at that point.

Not sure if they all work this way, but it was the highest rated one on Amazon, with a few thousand units sold, and short money. I'll try the black tape thing.
 
  #18  
Old 11-24-18, 11:20 AM
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If you have a tankless coil for your hot water and it works good at the 130 deg then you can lower back down in the off season. Remember though, tankless coil ratings are also figured with 180 deg water heating them. If you can get away with less that's a plus.
 
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Old 11-24-18, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by spott View Post
If you have a tankless coil for your hot water and it works good at the 130 deg then you can lower back down in the off season. Remember though, tankless coil ratings are also figured with 180 deg water heating them. If you can get away with less that's a plus.
I'm not sure if it's considered "tankless". It's a 41 gallon Amtrol BoilerMate DHW free-standing heater that more or less acts as another zone off the boiler. There is a tubing bundle within the resin water tank with one of those Taco circulators in the line. I assume that when the DHW tank needs more heat, it turns on the circulator and if the boiler cools down to the LL, the boiler's own relay turns on the burner.

I've not made any changes to the boiler settings, and they are what I wrote a few days ago. The hot water is plentiful in summer and winter. Does the 130 degree Low Limit, with a 10 degree Low Level Differential mean that the boiler kicks in at 120 and off at 130? Or does the boiler kick in at 130 and off at 140?

My BoilerMate is older and has a mechanical thermostat on it to raise or lower the temperature that the water in the tank is kept at. No temperatures, just numbers from 1 to 6, and "off". Newer models are available with electronic controls.

In another matter, I have used the SlantFin app to figure out what MBR should need for radiation, and it came out to 4390 BTUs. The room has a bb that measures about 4.5 feet "fin-to-fin" and another that measures 7.5 feet f-t-f. There is a door from that room that leads to a bathroom that has a single kick-panel heater that we never bother with. So some heat is lost through that open door, and I made no calculation for that door.

Each of those lengths of bb are situated directly under a window. The window over the 7.5 footer is longer than the bb. We do have heavy drapes over that window.

Remember that I was getting about 160 degrees at the bb fins. I'm uncertain how accurate that was, but presumably it would be no lower. And at the circ, at the return, it was reading 168-170.

On the bright side, that zone also heats a 3-ft bb in an average-sized 3/4 bathroom off the hall. We leave that bath door open 3 or 4 inches, and it's always toasty warm in there....


HL is now raised 10 degrees to 190 and LL from 130 to 140. We'll see.....

KoT
 

Last edited by KeepOnTruckin; 11-24-18 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 11-24-18, 02:07 PM
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KOT,
Does your boiler run all summer to maintain temp even if nothing is calling. I completely forgot you mentioned your Boilermate in your original post. This could bring up another point.

Why I asked about your summer running is because with the Boilermate you do not even need the LO limit activated. Your B.M. is set up as another zone on your system and as such comes on only for a call for hot water and that tank does not have to be constantly heated like a tankless coil.

On your aquastat you can disable your low limit. It is service no purpose. When you B.M. calls for hot water the Control on the B.M. sends a signal which turns on the pump and burner just as a regular zone when your stat calls which turns on the pump and burner.

Your type of system is called a cold start system which means it only runs on demand and does not need to maintain any temp when everything is satisfied. No wasted fuel in the off season for domestic hot water.

As far as your heat loss and baseboard go you have 12 @ 600 BTU'S a foot (roughly, differs by brand, average) which gives you about 7200 BTU's with 180 deg water flowing through it. If the water temp is less, so is the BTU output.

Chart for BTU ratings, Generally 4GPH flow rate.

https://www.slantfin.com/images/stor...neline30_r.pdf
 

Last edited by spott; 11-24-18 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-24-18, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by spott View Post
KOT,
Does your boiler run all summer to maintain temp even if nothing is calling. I completely forgot you mentioned your Boilermate in your original post. This could bring up another point.
Yes--the boiler runs all year. I've not thought to check what temps it maintains in the summer, although I now know its settings. I'm not one to turn on the hot water just to rinse off a dish, realizing that it's apt to trigger the burner for a 5 or 10 minute run.

It doesn't tend to run very long when it does run , and it seems to only run two or three times a day, unless the grand-kids are in town.
 
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Old 11-24-18, 02:42 PM
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KOT Post # 20. Somehow my response got below you last. Posted this just in case you miss it.
 
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Old 11-24-18, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by spott View Post
KOT Post # 20. Somehow my response got below you last. Posted this just in case you miss it.
spott--I did miss the post--thanks for the follow-up and for the link to that chart.

The bb has SlantFin labels in it. If I had 168-170 degrees coming back in at the return, then I must have had at least that amount at the bb, notwithstanding that I couldn't get that reading off the fins. At 170, the chart shows there should be just under 6500 BTUs. My calcs show I should only need 4400, so either the dog-hair that is probably sitting in the fins is holding me back, or too much of the heat is going right out the window due to the relative placement of the bb, or my calc is off.

We'll see if the higher bt helps.

Thanks for the help. Will keep you informed over the next few days.


KoT
 
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Old 11-25-18, 07:23 AM
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Are you able to take the front panels off of the baseboard radiators? If you already cleaned a lot of dog hair out of the baseboards you may need to get down and use a toothpick and get dust and debris out from between all of the individual fins (don't touch the finds, they will cut your fingers).

I would not expect the number of zones to result in less boiler water to some zones as opposed to other zones.
 
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Old 11-25-18, 07:41 AM
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you may need to get down and use a toothpick
YIKES!!!! That sounds like a chore from one of Dante's circles.

Another suggestion is to use compressed air and a shop vac. Position the shop vac nozzle at the bottom of the fins and blow compressed air into the top.

Or maybe one of these: Schaefer Brush 2026, Condenser Fin Whisk Brush
 
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Old 11-25-18, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Are you able to take the front panels off of the baseboard radiators? If you already cleaned a lot of dog hair out of the baseboards you may need to get down and use a toothpick and get dust and debris out from between all of the individual fins (don't touch the finds, they will cut your fingers).

I would not expect the number of zones to result in less boiler water to some zones as opposed to other zones.
I have gotten some of the end fittings off, but have not made a real effort as to the main panels. It was all freshly painted by the folks that sold us the house, and we don't want to mess it all up. I'll try some compressed air to get a sense of it, then go from there. Or maybe try taking apart some of the baseboard in the basement to see if I can then do it in the more "finished" part of the house without making a hash of it.

We don't really remember how much cleaning we actually did before all of our stuff got moved in and we moved on to unpacking.
 
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Old 11-25-18, 08:32 AM
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The front covers just snap on. Run a vac over the top and bottom of the fins paying particular attention to the underside. That seems to be a breeding ground for spider webs and sheets of crap preventing air circulation.

If you go with the toothpick idea baseboards will be out of style by the time you get done. lol
 
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Old 11-29-18, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by spott View Post
The front covers just snap on. Run a vac over the top and bottom of the fins paying particular attention to the underside. That seems to be a breeding ground for spider webs and sheets of crap preventing air circulation.

If you go with the toothpick idea baseboards will be out of style by the time you get done. lol
We have cleaned a couple of the easy-to-get-to (without moving furniture) BBs, as well as straightening out as best we can the many fins that have been "fanned-over" by the careless use of vacuum cleaners. So we are making progress on that front.

In another matter, I looked again at the SlantFin heat-loss app and found that I had not scrolled all the way down. I missed the floor-factor and infiltration-factor. Also had some "0"s in on other factors.

So, rather than the 4200 BTUs of radiation that I though I needed, it's more like 6,250 needed, which is bumping up against what the room has. So, all that's left is better window treatments, like maybe those cellular blinds, and putting the boiler up to 200. I am at 195 now, and it's much better than it was when it was at 180.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 10:50 AM
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KOT,
Sounds like a step forward.

As far as the crushed fins, it's obviously important to straighten as much as possible for air circulation. If there crushed there's no air circ. and little or no heat.

They make a tool to straighten those out called a fin comb.

You can google "baseboard fin comb straightener" and a lot of sizes and options come up.

It might save the hands a little. Those fins are sharp if you slip.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Packard-...ble-Metal-Fins
 
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Old 11-30-18, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by spott View Post
KOT,
Sounds like a step forward.

As far as the crushed fins, it's obviously important to straighten as much as possible for air circulation. If there crushed there's no air circ. and little or no heat.

They make a tool to straighten those out called a fin comb.

You can google "baseboard fin comb straightener" and a lot of sizes and options come up.

It might save the hands a little. Those fins are sharp if you slip.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Packard-...ble-Metal-Fins
The comb is expected to be delivered on Monday. Thanks again.

KoT
 
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Old 01-26-19, 11:37 AM
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follow-up, check-valves / flo-valves???

I have just gotten around to cleaning the baseboards in the sun-room, and noticed that the 3/4 copper line which feeds the units was very hot. There had been no heat call in the room for the past 4 or more hours. The baseboard/fin units themselves were not hot.

I checked the zone's supply line by the boiler, which was itself of course extremely hot as well, and have taken note of the "fittings"/"valves" that are in each of the various zones' supply lines. Below are links to pix of some of the valves, (as well as the bb's I am cleaning--kind of disgusting--prior owners had many dogs.) The valve with the arrow-shaped thing that is turned perpendicular to the angle of flow is the valve on the line I am commenting on and asking about.

I have just rotated that "arrow" to the position shown in the picture. Prior, it was pointed 90 degrees from where it is now, pointing towards the flow direction. I have always thought that those valves were meant to stop a zone from heating by gravity flow when not calling for heat, but only b/c I have always thought that that was the case--not becasue I actually"know".

Can someone tell me what those valves are, and what change, if any, will my having rotated that thing have upon what happens with that zone. A month or so ago I rotated the thing on one of the other valves, but it started leaking/dripping, so I put it back where it was--and the leaking stopped.

Thanks, as always, for any insight.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yjw...opmxPU4bO/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T0S...Y30oTnDtb/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TKH...tnH7d8ebw/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cSb...QEn1-RB99/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BMT...cfSSG4FYi/view

https://drive.google.com/file/d/124F...vwJ0llb-9/view
 
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Old 01-26-19, 12:30 PM
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KOT,
Starting with the bottom pic of the baseboard. Is that the actual way the fins are or is the pic rotated. If the pic is actual install the fins are installed wrong and you will never get any heat.

Next pic of baseboard is filthy and the fins need to be vacuumed in order to restore air circ for heat.

The next 2 pics are Flocheck valves and work as you described. They open with the force of the pump for that zone and stop unwanted heat to other zones.

The next 2 with the lever is flow control valve. Never seen a check valve like that with a lever. Is there any wring on the valve that says check valve or flocheck. If that's the one that leaks you may be able to take the handle off and remove the bell and tighten up the packing nut if it has one.

The sight below will give you some info on these.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Flow-Control-Valves-275000
 

Last edited by spott; 01-26-19 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 01-26-19, 01:23 PM
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Spott

I think that picture is upside down. There is a built-in video-center that protrudes about 15 inches from the wall, the bottom of which is about 15 inches off the ground, so it was an awkward picture to take.

When I got back to cleaning the bb about 45 minutes after turning that valve, the feed pipe had cooled off. When I upped the t-stat for a heat call, the zone got hot, as usual, so I guess it's good--now no gravity-feed wasted heat from that zone. No wires or anything on that valve--just a little fancier than the others. I just found it on-line. It's a B&G 56892 (now re-numbered.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Bell-Gos...trol-8622000-p

The rest of those valves are taco 219 swetcheks. One of them seems not to work at all. The entire line is hot, without a heat call, right up to the first length of bb, which stays warm. The thumb-screw thing has some corrosion around it. The system would have had that zone re-done around 2004. A couple of the others seem to work "not-too-good", but not as bad as the one I just mentioned.

I don't know whether to mess with that thumb-screw, or leave it alone.

Thanks for the info.

KoT
 
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Old 01-26-19, 01:46 PM
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K,
If you read my post again I posted a sight where you can see what you have. That valve with the handle and the others and if you click on one and then scroll down to install instructions it will give you some info.

As far as the baseboard goes you need the open side of the fins up for the air flow. If the bent sides are up like the pics no heat will be produced.
 
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Old 01-27-19, 06:35 AM
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The bb is installed properly.

As for that one flocheck valve that is doing nothing, I am unable to find a repair kit, notwithstanding that the taco website indicates that there is one. Googling the suppose part number only comes up with entire valves.

One old post suggests opening the valve and cycling the zone's circ on and off repeatedly to try and free up what might be stuck. Do you know how far out I can spin that thumb-screw? Is it apt to come all the way out and start spraying hot water all over me? Or is there a "stop".
 
  #36  
Old 01-27-19, 09:17 AM
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KOT,
loosen check nut and back out thumb screw a few turns is all it takes. Do not remove all the way, it will come which you don't want.

If the disc is stuck open sometimes a few light taps with a hammer will fix it.

If not this sight might be what you are looking for depending on your model. If any questions you can call them. They are very accommodating.

Hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 02-19-20, 04:35 AM
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Following up from a year ago, I am back again trying to decide what to do about a Taco flo-check valve that doesn't to its job very well. It is a FHW system with too many (7) zones. Mostly slant-fin baseboard--with 2 kick-panel heaters in the kitchen and 1 in a bathroom

As suggested below a year ago, I have recently been opening and closing the valve, tapping and cycling the zone's circulator. What I have found is that when I open and then close down the valve, the flow will stop. But the next time the zone calls for heat and then satisfies the call, the flow continues. Opening and re-closing the valve will then, again, stop the flow.

The zone has two ballcock valves. One by the circulator and one up by the flow-check valve. If I drain the zone and take the valve apart, are there any thoughts about what I should expect to find, and I what I might do about it? I have seen the manufacturer drawings of the valve, but will not be able to figure out exactly how it works until I actually see it. Any thought about what I should be careful about?

Then--when it comes time to put it back together, how should I go about introducing water back into the zone and bleeding the air out?

Thanks.

KoT
 
  #38  
Old 02-19-20, 08:27 AM
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If it were me, I would just leave the flo check alone & replace the circulator with one having an internal flo check. After doing so, open the old flo check.
 
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Old 02-19-20, 11:08 AM
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As far as the flocheck and what you would find inside and how they work. If you open your toilet tank cover on most toilets you will find a flapper hooked to the chain on the flush handle. When you flush the toilet the flapper lifts up to let the water flow from the tank. When it is empty enough the flapper comes back down to block the hole and stop the water flow.

The flocheck works the same way only the flapper is brass and on a call for heat the circulator comes on and the pressure from the pump forces the flapper up to allow the flow of water to the zone. When the stat is satisfied the pump stops and the flapper drops back down over the hole to stop the flow of water to the zone.

Apparently what is happening with yours is it's getting stuck open. You can either change it or take Grady's advice and just get a new pump with a check valve installed and open your FC manually.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/IFC-Kits-22664000

Above sight might help. You can buy just the check valve for the pump and add it instead of buying a new pump.
 

Last edited by spott; 02-19-20 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 02-19-20, 07:14 PM
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Thanks Grady and spott.

The circulator is a Taco 007-F5. The Taco replacement parts list for 00 Circulator shows "N/A" under the Valve Assembly column for the F5 pump. Some of the questions and comments left at the SupplyHouse website for the 2 valves that match the 007 pump valves comment on whether or not the pump body has a groove machined into it to accept the valve.

As my pumps have valves on either side of them, I guess I'll pull the pump apart and see if there is a groove. there. Beyond that--$60- for a flow check valve to be sweated in, or $90-$100 for a new pump, bolt-in. The pump seems like more value for the money, and easier to do.

Thanks again.
 
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