Bleeding a hw baseboard system w/o bleeders?

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  #1  
Old 09-30-03, 04:23 PM
Pdog
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Bleeding a hw baseboard system w/o bleeders?

OK, I need to replace a flow control valve in my hw baseboard heating system. I have read about adjusting the pressure in the tank, etc. but need help on bleeding the air out. My copper tubing baseboards do not have the small screws to bleed the system. Each end of the baseboard has a 90 degree copper elbow. Now I don't think a professional installer/builder would have put the system together without a way to bleed the system, so I am hoping someone else has run into this issue.
 
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Old 10-01-03, 05:40 PM
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You should either have ball valves on each zone or just shut offs. Shut each one of them off. So if you have 3 zones there should be 3 shut offs, 1 for each zone.

If you have circulators for each zone this should be a little easier, you won't have this next step. If you have zone valves you will need to pull down the switch on each valve to bleed each zone. If the system was professionally installed the supply and the return should be labeled for each zone.

You should have what looks like an outside spikot on each zone. Hook a hose to One zone. The same zone as the valve you opened. Open the faucet valve the hose it connected to.

Now, where the water goes into the boiler there should be a pressure regulator with a lever in the top. The lever normally should be horizontal, but while each zone is bled you will need to put the lever in a vertical position. This will allow the water to flow freely. You will need to let the water run for a few minutes until you get all the water out.

Once you feel you have the air out, shut the spikot off and put the lever on the back, back in the horizontal position. You will need to do this particular step after each zone has been bled out. After you moved the lever down again, move the hose to the next zone and start over until you have done each zone.

If you leave the boiler on the water coming out of the hose will be extremely hot.

If you shut the boiler off while doing this, after you start it back up you may notice some water come out the pressure relief valve once it comes up to temperature.

This may seem complicated but is fairly simple. Just a few steps to get it done.
 
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Old 10-02-03, 04:09 AM
Pdog
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Great, thanks for the help. I do have a 2 zone system and each has it's own circulator. Right under the spikot is a little valve that needs to be turned with a screwdriver to shut the water off. Is this the valve that needs to be closed? I figured if I close this (one at a time) then let the water run (with the method you explained with the pressure reducing valve) I would imagine this should do the trick. Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 10-02-03, 04:34 PM
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That should do the trick. If you have any more problems just post it and I will help if I can.
 
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Old 10-02-03, 05:02 PM
Pdog
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Since I will not be fixing the flo control valve until Saturday, I decided to try and bleed the system the way it stands now since I know there is some air in it from the leaky valve. It was a breeze.

My only question. After I bleed each zone, before I open the shut offs again, how long do I leave the pressure regulator in the vertical position? I left it and watched the gauge and it kept adding pressure to the system. Now I imagine if I let it go up to say 25 lbs or so, once the boiler heated the water it would just blast it out the emergency pressure valve (which I lifted to make sure it worked).
 
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Old 10-02-03, 05:41 PM
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If you only have a single story home, the pressure gauge should only be 10-12 pounds. If you have put 25 in it once the boiler heat up the water will expand, fill the expansion tank and once this has happened the pressure relief valve will blow off. You don't want to open the valve yourself to many times. After it opens it may drip or even leak occasionally. You want to leave pressure regulator in the horizontal position.

Is the flow control you are talking about the pressure regulator?
 
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Old 10-02-03, 07:17 PM
Pdog
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Not the pressure regulator, it is a Bell & Gossett Flow Control Valve for zoned heating. The 3/4" nut on the bottom is leaking and is too rusty to try and tighen. I figure since I can bleed the system now, it won't take much to drain the system, cut out the old valve, add the new one, and refill/bleed.

Thanks for all you help.
 
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Old 10-19-03, 08:16 AM
hnewl
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Baseboard bleeding

I Hope Beaureguard sees this post, I have an exisiting forced hot water system with no bleeders on the baseboard, like PDOG.

Looks like your steps will apply to me with minor differences.

I see each spikot, 3 of them. I have a bleeder value on top of the furnance, fixed at 12 P.S.I and no valve on it. Just before the bleeder is the cold water turn off. So I will turn that off as I bleed each spikot(?).

My furnance pressure gauge dropped from 5 to 0 when I tried bleeding air out of a valve on the back of the furnance. Water and air came out, less than a pint. I believe the pressure gauge should be up around 10 p.s.i.

And that is my question. How do I get that p.s.i back up to 10?

Thanks for any help!!!!!
 
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Old 10-19-03, 09:30 AM
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boiler

Did you turn the water back on at the auto fill there on the boiler?? ED
 
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Old 10-19-03, 09:45 AM
hnewl
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Bleeding Baseboards

Hi Ed,

I haven't started yet. Wanted to be sure I know the ending before I jump into the begining.

Hmmm, it's getting cool in here....
 
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Old 10-19-03, 05:25 PM
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when you turn the water back on the pressure will go back to where it should be.

One thing you may want to watch. You should have an air bleeder on top of the boiler, it should be 2 - 2 1/2 inches tall with a cap on top that can be unscrewed. You want to make sure that it is not screwed down all the way and also not all cake up with residue. If it is caked up just clean it off. If this device is not working properly it will not help let the air out of the system.

If you are constantly having problems with air in the lines you may want to look into getting what is called a "spiro-vent". It will take all the air out of the lines.

Sorry it took so long to reply. I hadn't noticed any new posts.
 
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Old 10-19-03, 06:08 PM
hnewl
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Thanks Beaureguard.

I checked the pressure valve you mentioned and it looks fine.

Tomorrow after work I will start bleeding the 3 zones.

I got nervous when the main pressure gauge dropped to zero but it did come back up to 10 or 12 p.s.i. That was the only thing
holding me back from starting.

It dropped to zero when I hit the relief valve on the back of the furnace. I got some air and water out, less than a pint.
This valve I am talking about is located on the same horizontal pipe where the pressure value you mentioned is.

There is the value you mentioned, then a "T" connection up to a pressure tank, then the line continues a few inches and ends with the valve I bled. It didn't have any effect on my air lock, appartently.

I didn't want to get too brave & bold on a Sunday when a plumber would be hard to find.

Thanks for the response. I appreciate your taking to the time to do that.

HNEWL
 
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Old 10-19-03, 06:14 PM
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When you are bleeding the lines you need to have the water inlet turned on, the water coming in to the boiler will purge the air.
 
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Old 10-20-03, 03:00 PM
hnewl
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Bleeding baseboards

Might be time to get a plumber.

I hooked up the hose to each outlet. Only got water out of the first one.

The water pressure dropped to zero but never came back up to 10 p.s.i. I never shut off the water intake and I thought I would get a flow of water as long as the outlet was open but the water stopped coming out of the hose after several minutes.

I am not getting any heat and haven't a clue what to try.

The furnace was firing but was getting NO heat upstair, even in the couple of baseboards that were still working.

Now the furnace won't fire even with the thermostat up to 80. It's 50 outside.

Fresh out of ideas here.
 
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Old 10-20-03, 05:38 PM
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Did you make sure you opened up the pressure regulator. It is located at the water inlet. It normally stays in a horizontal position, while you are bleeding the line you need to put it in a vertical position. If you don't open this regulator you will lose water coming from the hose. It will not allow the water to flow in fast enough compared to the rate the hose will take it out. After you finish bleeding the line you will need to close the pressure regulator by putting the lever in the horizontal position. Once you put the lever back in the horizontal position it could take a few moments to build up pressure in the boiler. If the pressure does not come back you may need to call a technician. If the pressure does come back, once the boiler gets back up to temperature the pressure relief valve may go off for just a moment.

If you did not open the pressure regulator, you want to run the water for a while on each zone that is affected. Depending on how the pipe was installed (how many ups and downs). The more the longer it will take. If you hold on to the hose you should be able to feel the air as it comes out the hose.

If you did open the pressure regulator and still have no water you may want to follow the pipe back and see if there is another shut-off.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 10-28-03, 03:18 PM
hnewl
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Bleeding baseboards w/no bleeders

All is well that ends well, when you call in a professional plumber and mine knew what he was doing.

I had a couple of remaining problems after my attempted at bleeding. And it should be noted that I was getting heat to all baseboards after my efforts. But the heat didn't feel even and the pressure never came back up to 10-12 p.s.i. I stayed down around 5 psi.

According to my plumber, I did still have "some" air in the system and my "fixed" pressure valve (12 p.s.i.) was not operating correctly.

He bled the last of the air out and left with the pressure at 18 p.s.i. saying it would come back down as the remaining air weeped out. I do have a couple of pressure relieve valves built into the piping.

This was Friday, by yesterday I was back down to 12 p.s.i and am now armed with the knowledge, from my plumber, on how to boast the psi's back up if I need to.

I appreciate your comments Beaureguard. If my pressure valve was working I probably could have gotten by without the plumber.

Thanks again,
hnewl
 
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