fix issue & add zone before temp drops


Old 11-08-20, 12:23 PM
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Arrow fix issue & add zone before temp drops

House details... uninsulated 2 1/2 story victorian built in 1908. with an old 138,000 BTU new yorker oil burner with Bock Sidekick 40 indirect holding tank.

first issue i have is the sidekick seems to have been plumbed in wrong. Their is no check valve on the return to the boiler so when the heats on it back flows up the heat return pipe.
according to the bock install manual the circulator pump (taco 007) is on the from boiler side and the check valve is on the return to boiler side. Also they piped the to boiler side through the taco 007 instead of T in after the pump.

So over to the heating...
I believe i have a two pipe system with huge iron pipe & stand up cast radiators (supply and return from bottom of all radiators)
There are 5 radiators on the 2nd floor & two on the first floor.

The kichen Bedroom & bathroom are on their own loop of 3/4 copper to fin tube baseboard that they tapped off the old iron pipe instead of adding its own zone
which i imagine worked okay possibly until the sidekick was improperly installed - i can't imagine they went 50 years with out heat in the back half of the house - just the year in-between them putting the sidekick in and me buying the house.

I have a progress tool & pex expansion tool & i can sweat pipe but with the cold weather incoming i don't care about spending more money on fittings.
Especially considering plumbers that have come in missed half of what I've discovered and want to charge $5,000 - $8,000 to add the separate zone.
Old 11-08-20, 12:44 PM
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I can hear a tinging here and there from the 007 that's current supplying the radiators so i think i should change that out regardless

It has been suggested i need a larger pump (0010-f3-ifc) to run the heat on the main system being there's a ton of large diameter pipe & 7 stand up cast iron radiators. but i have to be honest the 007 does seem to get them all screaming hot for the most part - some not as hot as others but with out the check valve on the return from the bock sidekick can i really rule that the case?

(its also been suggested I should swap out all the iron pipe for 1" pex, with timing i don't think its feasible unfortunately)

taco 007 from boiler to bock sidekick
check valve on return to boiler side of
taco 007 to run the baseboard heat + thermostat + relay
One of the extrol tanks is full - sounds solid when knocked on

I have a Ecobee4 ive never installed
Im wondering if i can help simply adding the second zone utilizing the ecobee
Old 11-08-20, 12:57 PM
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Old 11-09-20, 11:24 AM
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Steps to make life easier during this project:

Facilitate depressurization install ball valve on expansion tanks nipple.

Isolate circulator install ball shut off valves on either side of it.

End manual venting hassle by installing auto vents valves to high point of zones.

Set up zones with isolation valves so one can be worked on when others are still heating.

Old 11-10-20, 02:33 PM
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Let's start with the Indierect HW heater. Although it's not like the suggested diagram it's not that bad and maybe a fairly easy fix. In your case you can leave the pump on the return because you have a Flocheck on the supply so tyhat is not your problem with the baseboard not heating. If you want to verify that just shut the yellow ball valve off on the return from the tank and run your heat. If your baseboard heats then I'm wrong but I doubt it will.

On the subject of your tank return, it is in the wrong location. When your tank calls for hot water boiler water will come out the top of the boiler through the Flocheck activated by the pump which although it returns into the main return it returns before the heating circulator and if the heat is not on neither is the circulator.

You have a couple options to properly pipe that return without much trouble I believe. Since you have that yellow ball valve going into your return line up top you can shut that ball valve off and cut and reroute the return line to the boiler.

I can't see the whole boiler return line where your heating circulator is but it looks like you have a tee with a drain on it. You can remove the drain anhd put a 3/4 nipple and another tee and reroute your tank return and put the drain back into the new tee. Cut your copper down by the tank pump somewhere where it's easy to reroute to the new tee and that will do it for your hot water tank. You do no not need a check valve because they installed a Flocheck on the supply.

Ideally all zone supply lines should come off after your extrol tanks for pressure reasons but in your case even when just the tank calls you have an uninterupted path to your extrols so you are fine.

You have 2 #30 extrols on there which you need because you have cast iron rads. Any time any cast iron units are in the system you must have a minimum of a #60 or in your case 2 #30's. My guess is that your relief valve was going off and somebody finally realized the extrol was too small so instead of buying a #60 they just added another 30 which is fine as long as they are both working. You said one is full of water so it's no good and must be replaced. If not you most likely will have relief valve troubles. If you have to change them you might want to add a 1/2" ball valve between the tank and the system for future service.

This is enough for now, hope it helps a little.

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