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Old 03-21-2015, 02:34 PM   #1
Carlo Muro OP
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Need help. Hot water baseboard heat

Need some advice. My heating system is working fine but it has air on it. In other words, every time the circulating pump starts, you can hear water gurgling through the circuit. There are no bleed screws inside the house as some have. The last time this happened several years ago, I had a specialist take care of it. He told me something about having to connect the garden hose every few years and purge it. The circuit should refill itself automatically as it is plumbed into the house's water lines. I can't remember exactly how he did it but it worked brilliant up until late this winter. Here's what I have:



The green water hose is connected and clamped off here because today I decided to open it and it wouldn't quit dripping





What I'm unsure of:
Why are there two valves that would accept a garden hose?

What are those two devices on the horizontal piece of pipe in the second photo?

There is yet a third spigot on the expansion tank connected to floor joists. What does that do?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 03-21-2015, 03:11 PM   #2
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http://inspectapedia.com/heat/Air_Removal_Valve.php
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Old 03-21-2015, 04:02 PM   #3
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What are those two devices on the horizontal piece of pipe in the second photo?


The right thing is a pressure reducer. Should knock the house pressure down to the 12 to 15 psi in your system. Its adjustable by turning the screw on the top. But you have no reason to be doing that. Lift the lever to give full pressure to the system. But you have no reason to do that.

The left thing is a back flow preventer. It will let water out the bottom of it if the pressure on the side it is protecting gets high. Most have a tube running from the outlet down to near the floor. Yours does not.


Do you have a pressure gauge on the boiler?
Does that expansion tank have a diaphragm or is it a wacky open air thing?


My system has a auto vent on it. I have to replace it every few years. The vent is on top of a cast iron air separator.


google hydronic automatic air vent or
http://www.maid-o-mist.com/autoair.html


hydronic air separator
http://www.build.com/watts-0858535/s...FdgQgQodZFwAkQ


realistically...I know nothing.
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Old 03-21-2015, 04:11 PM   #4
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Why are there two valves that would accept a garden hose?

If some one wanted to drain all the water out.. they would use these valves.

Filling the system should be done by the pressure regulator.

Maybe the hose is to not flood the crawl space.

Some one that knew what they were doing might be able to get the air out of those valves.
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:03 PM   #5
Carlo Muro OP
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hmmm...those links point to A LOT of reading.

Just to be clear about the green garden hose attached --I put it there and clamped it off cause the damn valve was leaking.

I'm just glad I'm having this issue now instead of 3 months ago
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:47 PM   #6
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I’m a little confused .. but as long as there is not antifreze in the system. and the system has an auto-fill valve. you should have a hose bib somewhere on the return line to the boiler.(there is most likely one at the suply side also).
If so you can purge the system from there.(return side) just make sure the in line suply valve to the auto-fill is open.(not the hose bib)
That said, if a valve is already not closing off , there is a good chance that the one you open (if it isn’t the same one) could have closing issues also.
You may want to have a plumber on speed dial JIC,
also..
Maybe you could call the guy who did it before and ask him how.Tell him you will hire him back if it becomes more then just purging the system.
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:55 PM   #7
Carlo Muro OP
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I have a gauge. This is all the pressure it runs right now. Still heats the house just fine.

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Old 03-21-2015, 08:30 PM   #8
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the pressure is low.... should be 12-15 psi. you have a back flow preventer valve and a pressure reducing valve. it's the 2 brass things on the water inlet pipe in your top (2) pics. the prevent valve is on the city side of the system, the reducer is next. either or both can fill up with calcium and other minerals, that has probably happened. usually it is best to replace them.... mebby 50-80 bucks each. and yes, draing the system will purge the air, and draining the whole boiler system once year is a good idea... you would be surprised at how much icky stuff comes out.

edit.... also, the back flow valve must always be on the city side of the system for it to work right, it won't work down stream of the reducer

the good news is that whoever installed the system put shut off valves on both sides the prevent/reducer system, that makes it easy to change them. you will almost certainly have to re-solder even though there are pipe threads on the fixtures. you only hope the gate valve on the city side will still seal (always go ball valve when you have to change them out). anyway, if it leaks.... theres always the 'ol bread trick... either that or shut off the whole system & change the valve.

if you can't afford to change them, it may be possible to take that them out & clean them... might get you through to summer. the boiler system will run with them out in the loop as long as there is water in the system. that depends on the ball valve between the boiler & reducer.... if it is good & pressure it maintained. eventually the system will lose water & pressure will drop. might take days.... mebby months. dunno
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Beezer screwed with this post 03-21-2015 at 08:55 PM
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:26 PM   #9
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and that big tank.... that appears to be your expansion tank.... like a way old one. it has it's own drain, but that won't really drain and purge the system. inside the tank is a rubber bladder with an air charge. as the water in the system heats and cools, it changes volume. the air bladder expands and compresses to accommodate those changes. when it goes bad.... the boiler's relief valve will start popping off. that valve is somewhere on the boiler core (not in any of the pix posted). I'm adding this because sometimes when you cure one thing, another symptom shows up. the system pressure will go up when you fix the prevent/regulator system.... that may stress the expansion tank. in fact, it may not be working now & you can't tell because the base pressure is so low. you can kinda tell by watching the boiler pressure for a rise when it first fires off... normally it might gain 5, maybe 10 tops. but if it gains 15 psi or more when the burner comes on then the tank is N/G. the boiler relief valve is probably set at 30-35psi, so if you don't go over you won't know... untill you fix the system and the base pressure comes back up where it belongs.

the old expansion tanks would usually make 20 years (though I've seen 'em make more)... a modern tank is good for 10, maybe 15 years...

a leaking pressure relief valve will also cause the boiler relief to pop, but that can be identified by the high boiler pressure when the burner is off & the system is in a cool cycle
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Old 03-21-2015, 09:56 PM   #10
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Good info Beezer. Thanks too to the rest of ya!
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:43 AM   #11
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If the feed water supply is on.... and the regulator was set to 12 psi.... how on earth could there only be 5 psi.

Its like there is no water coming in.


Whats the system normally run? The regulator and the expansion tank should set to the same thing.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nYzF_DBuWU
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:51 AM   #12
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Don't believe the old pos boiler gauge.

Get a new gauge and fittings to hook up to boiler drain hose connection.

New gauge should be $15.00 at plumping supply. 0-100 psi works ok
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:07 AM   #13
Carlo Muro OP
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Correct. No water coming in. As I understand a couple of the great posts from above, either or both the reducer and the back pressure preventer are gunked up from deposits in the water

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphoid View Post
If the feed water supply is on.... and the regulator was set to 12 psi.... how on earth could there only be 5 psi.

Its like there is no water coming in.


Whats the system normally run? The regulator and the expansion tank should set to the same thing.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nYzF_DBuWU
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:36 AM   #14
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yup! your water feeder is probably gummed up. New feeder and backflow for starters.

The old expansion tank is good until it leaks. There is no bladder in that tank.
It needs to be drained to create an air pocket for expansion.

The two spigots on the vertical are your purge stations. That is where you will purge air out (after a new feeder). close the little valve below the spigot and attach your hose. Keep pressure up and let it fly! Good Luck!
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:07 AM   #15
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You need a tune up. Ever had a pro come out and check the system out? I can't imagine running the same household water through the system. Is it closed loop and treated?

No sort of vent on the highest point in the system??

Co worker just had his boiler red tagged due to asbestos.
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