Boiler overflow and leaky air vent issue

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Old 05-19-20, 02:53 PM
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Boiler overflow and leaky air vent issue

You guys have been super helpful in the past and I'm back with a fresh issue in a new house. Bought a 1960's fixer last year and we have baseboard heaters coupled with a boiler. No experience with either really and have a couple questions.

1 - In our small bathroom an air vent (at least I think that's what it is) has apparently been leaking for a long time. Finally got around to the planned demo and discovered subfloor damage so it's been doing it awhile. Question is, how do I replace it? Or can I just tighten the cap? Do I need to bleed the system if I replace it? This one might be over my head so any estimates on getting someone out is appreciated.

2 - Our boiler has a bucket next to it that has been overflowing. Just noticed it a couple of weeks ago and assumed it just needed dumped from the winter. So I ran it outside, dumped it and put it back. Since then the boiler has maybe ran 3 hours and it already overflowed. Again, no idea what I'm really looking at. Normal? Not normal? It's about 18 years old and our home inspector said they can last a long time but indicated it's toward the end of average lifetime if memory serves.

Thanks again!





 
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Old 05-19-20, 05:18 PM
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V,
Starting with the vent. You can try tightening down the cap to see if that stops the leak but it should be changed eventually. if you have a loop system in my opinion that vent is serving no ppurpose anyway and I would remove it and put an 1/8" brass plug but that's a personal preference.

As far as your pressure problem goes I would look at your extrol tank. Check your cold pressure when the boiler is cool or off. It is probably around 12-15 psi. Start the boiler and if the pressure climbs to 30 your relief valve will discharge. If you have an extrol tap the tank. The top should be solid, having the water in it, and the bottom should sound tinny or hollow, having the air bladder in it. If the whole tank is solid you bladder is gone or has lost it's charge. Either way it must be replaced or try to recharge with air from the bottom of the tank through the schrader valve under the plastic cap.

If the tank is full and you remove it you must be careful as it will be heavy at about 34 lbs.

Pics of the system would be very helpful if additional info is needed, especially of the expansion tank and piping. By the way with your fins deformed like that limits the heat they will produce. They should be straightened or replaced.

Hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 05-21-20, 01:48 PM
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If you wish to have some sort of air vent there, I would put a manual vent. In fact, around here, we are not allowed to install auto vents anywhere they are not in plain sight. This is simply because all of them, regardless of brand, are notorious for leaking and causing the type of damage you have encountered.
 
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Old 05-21-20, 07:43 PM
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Thanks Spott-

I tried tightening the cap and it snapped off in my hand. So much for that piece o' junk I have someone coming out next week to give me quote/have a look but I'll get back down there and see what I can find. The tank is wrapped but I should be able to tap on it easily enough. So the blue part is a schrader valve heh? Wouldn't have guessed. What sort of PSI do you charge to?


 
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Old 05-21-20, 08:10 PM
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V,
That tank doesn't need to be wrapped and is serving no purpose that way. In order to check the charge in that tank there must be no pressure on the system. You can accomplish this by draining the system or if there is a shutoff between the tank and the system you can shut the isolation valve off which will take the pressure off the tank and check it that way or drain the system and remove the tank. There should be between 12-15 psi in the tank. Remove the blue plastic cap and use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure.

As far as your air vent goes I agree with Grady but there are others on here that have different opinions and I didn't want you to get confused. As long as we're on the subject in my opinion that vent serves no purpose at all in a loop system and can be removed and replaced with an 1/8" brass plug and never worry about leaks again, and that goes for any other vents you have in your baseboards.

Just my opinion, hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 05-22-20, 04:51 AM
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Spott is right about the vents on the baseboard if it is a series loop and there is a means of purging at the boiler.
I would like to see the other side of the boiler and a picture of the piping where it goes to & returns from a section of baseborad. That return piping running along the floor is unusual.
 
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Old Yesterday, 07:14 AM
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That auto vent be opened and cleaned but it might be easier to spend $8.29 for new one.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Watts-05...Vent-3679000-p

The original auto vents were unreliable and often leaked. See many pictures on DIY.com of those.

I have 12 Watts auto vents and they great. Never have to manually vent 60 year old system. Keep spare in case of issue but have used it in years.
 
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Old Yesterday, 11:58 AM
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D'
Since this sight seems to be extremely slow at the moment it might be a good time if you would please to explain why you are so adament about using vents on baseboards on a loop system and the advantages of them vs bleeding the system from a purge station at the the boiler when some of us who have worked in the field insist there is no need for individual vents and are actually useless and can actually create problems like leaks for example.

Next and more important I think is to explain why you have 12 individual auto vents on your system. You keep insisting vents are needed instead of purging like the rest of us do.

Hot water systems can be piped in a number of ways although the simple loop system is what you basically see installed today but it's not always the best way, proven by complaints of cold areas in the home or some baseboards heat and others seem cooler no mater what the stat is set at.

This brings me to my question for you. What type of system do you have in your home. Although you never mentioned it I don't think, I'm going to take a guess and say you have a monoflo system where individual vents are imperative to bleed the system and a purge station will not work. This is something that you always neglect to mention when you continuously tell us how good you system works with vents while the rest of us don't know what we're talking about.

For once I would like to hear you tell or explain the whole story of what you actually have for a system and why you have it setup the way you do for the people that might not realize that all hot water systems are not the same.

Sorry for the long post but I think it's time for you to stop confusing the issues of some posts.
 
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Old Yesterday, 08:09 PM
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Air bubbles rise to high points in closed systems. Millions of auto vents have been used in residential, commercial and industrial systems for many years. Bleeding air at boiler level, typically lowest level, has no assurance of air elimination. Those are widely accept facts.

Regardless of system configuration, air accumulates and auto vents release it, often eliminating the need for manual venting.

I try to offer solutions to DIY posts with problems, which I did on this thread. Often, provide supporting links. Others posters focus on finding fault. Often adding confusing, extraneous, misleading issues to the DIYer seeking help. I try to help the novice through often conflicting posts.

I am a DIYer who never worked in HVAC but have long experience with complex systems. Fifty years ago when I bough a home with oil burner heat found service professionals were surprising lacking. When they could not solve a problem I did, fired them and became a DIYer.

Over the years have often found professionals to lack good technical knowledge, parts swapers, often with old wife tales concepts, resistant to new approaches. Their approach to air/venting is classic, focused where humans put the boiler, not where air bubbles rise to and need to be vented. Duh, duh, duh.

Learned long ago not to tilt with windmills or get into pissing contests. If someone does not understand the basics.... so be it. Yes, he can call someone adamant who insists the weather changes. That is his opinion which should serve as self qualification.

My systems is well instrumented and documented. Standing at boiler can see status of system components, temperatures, pressures, etc.. System provides reliable, adequate heat, is easily diagnosed, maintained, efficient and economical. With a hyper sensitive wife who get cold in the tropics, a comfortable home is important for domestic tranquility in old age.
 

Last edited by doughess; Yesterday at 08:40 PM.
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