Noises, auto air vent, corrosion, oh my.

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  #1  
Old 04-21-19, 02:48 PM
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Noises, auto air vent, corrosion, oh my.

Hi Folks,

Last week I started hearing water running and bubbling type noises when my heater kicked on in the middle of the night and early morning. It has been doing it every day since then. Today I finally got up to see if I could pinpoint the noise. It appears to be loudest at the farthest away baseboard on the 2nd story. I could not hear any loud noises at the boiler area but may have just missed it.

However I did notice rusting on some of the pipes at the top of the boiler. I have identified one of them as the auto air vent, which definitely looks like needs replacing.

I don't know much about plumbing at all; looking for advise on some of these pictures.

We have lived in this house for 3 years. After the first year, I was told to get the boiler maintenanced, so I had a plumber come out and he ended up breaking some of the electronics while he vacuumed it out. Said it was just bad timing and charged us to replace some electronic board and for the vacuuming. Wasn't a cheap bill. I called the original owner and he said he hadn't had any problems in "many many" years.

Anyhow, please have a look at these pictures and let me know if I should hire someone fast, try anything myself, or save up for a big bill.

Thanks!

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Last edited by PJmax; 04-21-19 at 09:11 PM. Reason: reoriented/resized pictures
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  #2  
Old 04-21-19, 07:57 PM
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R,
What exactly are you looking to do. If your air vent is leaking just tighten the cap to stop the leak until you can replace it. On that particular vent if you can isolate it you can unscrew the top and check for debris inside and either repair or replace.

As far as the boiler maintenance goes, although nothing is really maintenance free that gas boiler is about as close as it comes. There is really nothing that has to be cleaned. Remove the front door and visually look at your burners. If they look clean put the door back on.

If your really curious you can remove your smoke pipe which will give you access to your block. If it looks clean and in 99 per cent of the time it will with gas put the pipe back on call it a day. Nothing really to do with those unless you're having problems.

If you are hearing gurgling noises you may have gotten some air in the system due to the leaking vent. Check your pressure. It should be around 15psi. I like mine around 18-20 but that's my preference. If you have air you may have to bleed it.
Hope this helps a little.
 
  #3  
Old 04-22-19, 07:58 AM
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Spott, thanks for your reply sir!

I guess my brain just linked the all of a sudden noises with the, what I thought seemed like, concerning rust. I figured that was how the air got in the system.

The air vent was not on very tight at all. I tightened it down.

I looked a few times last week and the pressure gauge read 0 when it was cold and 30 when it was working.

How hard is it to replace the air vent? I looks like its just threaded on.

Should I bleed it and see if just tightening the vent worked?
 
  #4  
Old 04-22-19, 01:07 PM
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First, I probably didn't explain the vent situation fully. In order for the vent to function normally the cap must be left loose. Tightening was only temp to stop the leak until it's replaced.

Next, you have an auto feeder on the cold water inlet to the boiler that is preset at 12psi which is the lowest pressure you should show when your boiler if off or cold. If you have zero pressure you either have a defective feeder or the manual valve is closed or you have a defective gauge.

The fact that your gauge goes from 0 cold - 30 hot means you could have a defective extrol tank( green tank). That tank has a rubber air bladder that is precharged at 12-15psi to equilize your boiler pressure from hot to cold. At 30 psi your relief valve should be going off. If not it may be frozen closed or you do not really have 30 psi in your boiler.

Your tank has a shrader valve on the bottom to check the pressure with a tire gauge. A quick way to test the bladder is to get your boiler up to temp and with a screwdriver tap the top and bottom of the tank. The top should sound solid and the bottom tinny. If the whole tank is solid replace it.

It may sound like a lot of problems but it really not that bad and if you can wait until you're not using it you can drain it and do everything at once.

Pics of the whole boiler and near boiler piping with valves standing back for wider shots. Depending what you have for shut off valves you may be able to isolate the boiler without draining the system to make your repairs.

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

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Taco-400-4-1-8-Hy-Vent

https://www.supplyhouse.com/sh/contr...auto+air+vents

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Watts-11...ulators-315000

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Pressure...alves-17144000
 

Last edited by spott; 04-22-19 at 01:24 PM.
  #5  
Old 04-24-19, 08:15 PM
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Thanks Spott!

i looked at the gauge again. I think I might have misread the gauge, I think it may have said 25 and it was hot. I just confirmed again that the gauge was at zero when it was cold. The top fifth of the tank sounds solid, the rest tinny.

​​​​​​​Here are are some more pictures.
 
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  #6  
Old 04-25-19, 12:47 PM
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Either your gauge is defective or your B&G feed valve is not working. That bell shaped valve is factory set at 12psi. If you move the lever on that valve water should feed in. That bypasses the set pressure of the valve. Put at least 12psi in the boiler and run up to temp and check your pressure when hot. It should vary only a couple of pounds.

If it gets to 30 and the relief goes off tap your tank again when boiler is up to temp. If tank sounds solid throughout then your tank is the problem. If your gauge says 30 and your relief valve doesn't go off then change your gauge.
 
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