No heat, relief valve shooting hot water out

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  #1  
Old 04-13-19, 10:49 AM
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No heat, relief valve shooting hot water out

1. Eastern Canada. Typical temperatures for Eastern Canada. Variable.
2. Victorian? Wood frame
3. Age unknown. Furnace is Weil-McClain. My phone is refusing to allow me to load any more photos onto the computer, so I'll type out anything else you require, if I can find it.

MAWP STEAM 15 PSI
MAWP WATER 45 PSI
MAXIMUM WATER TEMP 250 F
MINIMUM VALVE CAPACITY

4. Oil.
5. The current temperature shown on the furnace thermostat is 70 C / 160 F
6. There are 3 apartments. There's at least one motor for each apartment, as far as I can tell. There are 4 motors, not sure what the extra one is for.
7. I see no information on that

I have radiators and baseboard heaters fed by an oil-fired hot water boiler. 2 apartments are heated with old-fashioned radiators, and one is heated with baseboard heaters. There has been no heat in the apartment with baseboard heaters for 2 days. Actually it's been more like a week. A few nights ago I heard noises coming from the baseboards. The next day there was no heat coming out of the baseboards even though I had turned the thermostats up full blast. I located the one baseboard that has a bleeder valve, turned it to see if air would come out, but only water came out, so that wasn't the problem. Checked the other 2 apartments, that use radiators, and they were fine. There is heat coming out of those radiators. Called the oil company, they sent a guy out who replaced a part (a pump coupler). We checked, and he had apparently fixed the problem, because heat was now coming out of the baseboards in the apartment. So I assumed the problem was solved. But the next day, there was again no heat in that apartment. None today either. I went to the basement to see what is going on.

This is the motor with the replaced coupler: https://imgbox.com/uXCvkIpa
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Motor is called 'Bell & Gossett'


The coupler he replaced appears to be working. I did not take the motor apart, but looking through the slats, it's spinning. The pipe where hot water gets sent to that apartment, from that motor, is hot. But when I follow it along the ceiling, it becomes less hot. Follow it further along the ceiling and it becomes room temperature. That tells me there is no hot water getting sent to the apartment. All the other pipes that go elsewhere in the house are hot. Heat is getting to the apartments that use radiators.

There's a shutoff valve above the top of this photo. It's always set to 'On'.
https://imgbox.com/6Cku2ixa
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As I was doing that, I noticed hot water is shooting out of the relief valve on the furnace. My assumption is this has something to do with the fact there is no hot water in the baseboard heater apartment.

https://imgbox.com/VFut1D1G
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What should I do? Do something with the relief valve? Replace it? Should I turn something off? I can't call anybody until Monday.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 04-13-19 at 11:53 AM. Reason: resized/reoriented/enhanced pics from links
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  #2  
Old 04-13-19, 11:43 AM
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If your relief valve is going off that means you're boiler is reaching a pressure of 30psi which is caused by either a defective or full expansion tank depending what you have or a defective auto feed valve continuously feeding water into the boiler.

If you shut the boiler down so the temp goes down if the pressure also goes back to about 12-15psi or whatever your cold pressure was set at and the relief valve stops leaking then I would check my expansion tank.

As far as your lack of heat goes I would check that coupling closer. It may be spinning with the motor but the other end connected to the pipe side or bearing assembly may have come loose and is just spinning in the wind.

It looks like your pumps are on the return side so if the water is hot above the pump it may be from conduction from the boiler back up through the return. Check the water temp from the supply side where that pipe leaves the boiler. If that pipe is cool going to the first emitter then it is not flowing and my guess would be the pump. That whole pump can be replaced with a new style wet rotor pump which would eliminate all those separate possible problems from the old pump for a fraction of the price to keep repairing your current pump.

The sight below will show you some options.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Pumps-Flanges-288000

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Expansion-Tanks-353000

Hope this helps a little.
 
  #3  
Old 04-13-19, 04:12 PM
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The pipes were hot above the boiler/furnace, where they come out of it.

I turned the boiler off. Waited for a few hours. The temperature is now as low as it goes. I can't tell if the pressure is going down. It is a little above 10 PSI. Water is still pouring out of the relief valve hose at the same rate as before. I don't know where the water is going, I guess into cracks in the foundation.

I could take the pump apart and look at the coupling, to see if it's working properly, but I'd have to turn the power off, so there's no point. I won't be able to tell anything's wrong if the power's off. I looked at it as closely as possible with a flashlight before shutting off the boiler. It looks lined up and connected the way it's supposed to be - not that I know - but if it wasn't, it would be off. I can't see anything wrong by looking through the slats. The new coupling is a 'Spiralink #10010 pump coupler', it has no springs, it's not the same type as the model I replaced 4 years ago.

"That whole pump can be replaced with a new style wet rotor pump which would eliminate all those separate possible problems from the old pump for a fraction of the price to keep repairing your current pump."

Which one are you recommending as a better replacement? I looked, one of them looks like the ones I have.
 
  #4  
Old 04-13-19, 05:25 PM
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If your boiler is down to 12psi and your relief valve is leaking shut off your cold water valve going to the boiler so the water doesn't keep feeding in and try tapping the handle of the RV to see if it stops. There may be debris stuck in there. If it doesn't help it must be replaced. By letting it continue to leak and feed back in your whole system will soon be airbound.

Spirolink is a good coupling but you must turn off the power and remove or loosen the bolts from the motor to the bearing assembly to see if the coupling came loose on the bearing assembly end. If you remove the bolts and pull the motor back if the coupling is loose the motor will pull right off. If both ends are connected it won't.

If your R.V. is leaking that bad that zone might be air bound. On your supply line to that zone you should also have a flocheck that you can check to see if it's working.

As far a pump replacement you must get the numbers off of yours and get a pump with equivalent specs. Depending on your skill level you may want a tech to address these problems to get you going. Depending on your valve placements depends how much you have to drain to change the R.V. and you might want to do everything at once while the system is down.

Just a thought.
 
  #5  
Old 04-24-19, 03:16 PM
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It was the relief valve. Guy from the oil company drained the expansion tanks and replaced the valve. I could have replaced the valve if I had known for sure that was the problem. But I would not have known to drain the tanks or how to go about doing that exactly. I watched what he did. Maybe next time I'll be able to do it myself.

What happens if you don't drain the expansion tanks while replacing the relief valve?
 
  #6  
Old 04-25-19, 12:58 PM
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DZ,
If you truly have a bad relief valve and it is not leaking due to a full expansion tank then you do not have to drain the tank when changing the relief valve. Most times though a full expansion tank will be the cause of the relief valve leaking and draining the tank properly will stop the leak and the valve will not have to be replaced. It is doing its job of releasing pressure at 30psi.

The boiler pressure will rise due to a full expansion tank and the heated water has no place to go so it builds up pressure within the system until it reaches the 30psi set point of the relief valve and lets go.

I know it can get confusing but I hope this helps a little.
 
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