using a boiler circulating pump but not getting heat

using a boiler circulating pump but not getting heat

PostBy: keyman512us On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:08 am

...Lost Lady. I have been reading your story and can sympathize. I have a few suggestions and a few questions. When you say that you are "out of oil" do you mean "ON FUMES" or did your oil burner run flat out(red button popped out)? I'm playing detective here...trying to fill in the blanks. I'm going to guess 'on fumes' and you either shut the service switch off or pulled a wire off the control. More info could lead to more help. How mechanically inclined are you? I have three specific questions on your setup (in regards to the oil unit). What is the boiler model? Does it have an aquastat (like a honeywell 84xx) or limit switches? What model of "gun" does it use(Riello,Carlin, or Beckett?) Does it have the "Primary Ignition Control" mounted on the side of the gun(the box with a red reset button)? If it does...life can be fairly simple for you. If you feel "fairly confident" mechanically...or if you have a trusty family member or friend that can help you out? Given your situation I would be happy to help you by "walking you through a few things...Because it sounds like you have gotten a "baptism by fire" so to speak. If you do have a "primary ignition control" located on/next to the gun, does it have a "jumper" wire running from T-T??? I can tell you a few "secrets" the oil man won't. Let me know if I can help.
keyman512us
 

PostBy: mwcougar On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:16 am

hi Lost Lady

i would do a quick check on the pressure readings on the side of the boiler. should be a gauge close to your tempeture gauge. this gauge should read between 12 and 20 . if it is lower than that you will not heat your upper levels.( happened to my friend and my ex-girlfriends house)

also about the fuel oil. if you cannot afford a delivery and you own a 5 gallon gas can you could by off-road deisel and put in your oil tank. this is basically blend oil for outside oil tanks. you could buy a little at a time. off-road deisel and deisel are the same without the taxes involved.

good luck

cougar
mwcougar
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ahs 130 heating 3700sq ft

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:56 am

Keyman and mwcougar, thanks for chiming in, I was getting in over my head with the oil side of the problem.

Since last night we haven't had an update post from Sharon, so I'm hoping all is well

mw cougar, I'm not sure I understand why you need boiler pressure to circulate water?? I have only about 10-15 psi in my system ever, and I circulate fine from the dungeon up to the second floor with regular cartridge circulator pumps. ??

Do you think the pumps will cavitate without applied pressure? Educate me please.

Greg L

.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland


PostBy: mwcougar On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:05 pm

hi Greg and Sharon

i hope all is well and everyone is warm.
From my experiance on 4 different systems this is what i had found out.

cindy could not heat her upstairs until the expansion tank was replaced. low boiler pressure.
tommy had around 5 psi on his ... added a shot of well water pressure up to 18 psi and his upstairs heat started working. could be a bad fill valve or bad expansion tank. right now its hanging at 15 psi for a week and heating his house fine.
i had around 8 psi and had bad problems heating the little cottage from the big house. upped the pressure and it started working. . had to replace the expansion tank.
most boiler makers like to see between 12 and 15 . both my systems right now are at 15psi
from what i read you take system pressure plus pump pressure helps flow pressure. stops air lock in upper zones and pump cavitation. the pressure keeps water behind the pump at startup and while running.
i just think it helps overcome resistance in the system. the hvac boys can explain it better than me.
i just thought its a simple thing to check. something that has caused me and my friends some problems over the years.
hope this helps. have a great warm day.

cougar
mwcougar
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ahs 130 heating 3700sq ft

PostBy: GENERD66 On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:14 pm

The one thing that needs to be said is. If you are manually boosting the boiler Pressure because the water feeder is'nt working, remember the Pressure relief valve is designed to blow off at 30 psi. That could really make your day go bad. A lot of old systems have the old expantion tanks that hangs off the joists, They tend to get water logged and need to be drained.
Hope this helps,
Gene
GENERD66
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 90 Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 160 Furnace

PostBy: Lost Lady On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:44 pm

the psi is at 10 but I don't know how to manually boost it.
Lost Lady
 

PostBy: GENERD66 On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:03 pm

Lost Lady, Most water feeder I'v dealed with come set at 12psi. I would'nt worry to much about 10psi. is it possible that you can post some pic of your boiler and it workings so we can get a better idea of what could be happening.

Thanks,
Gene
GENERD66
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 90 Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 160 Furnace

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:39 pm

MW cougar I'll agree the pressure would reduce an air lock in a high point ind a water system but if the system has properly located air-purge valves, then there should not be any air.

My house pressure to boiler pressure reducer is an 8PSI valve. So the system is set to be at that pressure, and will only rise above that as the water heats and expands. The bladder in the expansion tank will allow a fair amount of expansion before the pressure rises very much.

I'm thinking that the systems that recovered from adding pressure had other issues, like trapped air, or pump issues. In a loop system the pump has pressure on both sides of the impeller untill it starts, these are more circulator pumps than pressure pumps. I could look up the max height for the pump to push, if I knew the pump model.

It really doesn't matter if raising the system pressure worked then is worked. But why ?? :)

Take care, Greg.

,
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:02 pm

LsFarm wrote:mw cougar, I'm not sure I understand why you need boiler pressure to circulate water?? I have only about 10-15 psi in my system ever, and I circulate fine from the dungeon up to the second floor with regular cartridge circulator pumps. ??

Do you think the pumps will cavitate without applied pressure? Educate me please.

Boiler water pressure is related to the weight of the water. Think of a column of water as tall as a two story house, the pressure will be the greatest in the basement, less on the first floor and the least on the second story. You don't need water pressure for the circulation pumps to work. What you need is NO air in the system. Air, or more correctly gases, comes from three sources (1) the air trapped in the system when it is first filled with water, (2) the dissolved gases in the water and (3) air that leaks in. Most boiler systems have a combination water temperature and pressure gage on the boiler. So it measures the greatest pressure in the system because it is in the basement. When water is heated it expands. It has to go somewhere. In a closed system like most residential systems there is an expansion tank. In any system installed in the last 5-60 years it will be a bladder tank. An enclosed tank with a rubber membrane separating the tank into two parts. The air side of the tank has a tire valve like stub. Before the tank is installed it is pressurize to 12 psi. The other side of the tank is piped to the boiler water. When the water is heated in expands into the tank raising the system pressure above 12 psi. If the tank is properly sized the total system pressure will never rise to the safety valve pop off pressure of 30 psi. Initially the system must be bled to get No. 1 out. This was done long ago. No. 2 is removed by an air scoop, something that catches the air bubbles as they are circulated. They are vented by a small cylinder looking thing that has a tire valve like stub on it. An internal float falls when it fills up with air. Closes when additional water is feed into the boiler. The additional water comes from the automatic fill valve and regulator. It's connected to the house water supply and keeps a regulated pressure of 15 psi on the system. Now all piping systems will have leaks. Many you will not see, a little drop leaks out and evaporates because it is hot. That leak is a two way leak. When the boiler is off and the water cools it creates a internal vacuum, sucking air in through the leak. That is the source of No. 3.

If you are having problems with no heat in a baseboard or radiator unit particularly on a unit on the highest floor the problem is likely because one or more of the above components has deteriorated. You can add water via the manual fill valve. It's usually a lever on top of the pressure regular. If you constantly need to add water your boiler components need servicing, usually removing the components and cleaning the tire valves will fix it. Heating service companies will not clean it, they will just replace it.

Yanche
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: mwcougar On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:14 pm

thanks yanche and Greg

just thought it would be something simple to check for her. adding 5 more psi to the system since hers is at 10 would not hurt anything and would take a variable out of the equation . I would lift the boiler feed valve for 2-3 seconds. check pressure to see where its at. repeat until i would get up to around 15psi. if that didnt work i would go to the controls side of the system.

sharon good luck. cougar
mwcougar
 
Stove/Furnace Make: ahs 130 heating 3700sq ft

Pictures

PostBy: Lost Lady On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:28 pm

I have tried to send some pictures of my systems but I can't figure out how to do it sorry.
Sharon
Lost Lady
 

pictures

PostBy: Lost Lady On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:58 pm

Trying again
Sharon
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Lost Lady
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:24 pm

mwcouger. I agree, it would be a simple way to help get an air lock moving. If there is an air lock, the purging valves must me manual ones instead of automatic. I have all manual ones with a screwdriver slotted needlevalve for my air bleeds.

I think Sharon is getting heat now. I hope,

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: Lost Lady On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:47 pm

Sorry to say Greg but no..............
Sharon
Lost Lady
 

PostBy: Lost Lady On: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:49 pm

OK GUYS you are talking greek to me... boiler feed valve where is it ,,,what is it???But I might have air in the upstairs line...
Lost Lady
 


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