using a boiler circulating pump but not getting heat

using a boiler circulating pump but not getting heat

PostBy: Lost Lady On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:12 am

Hi, everyone,
I have a fuel oil boiler furnace with 3 zone valves ....With alot of everyones help I got my coal burning under control,,I have got it 400 degrees on the pipe magnetic,my furnace water temp read 130 degrees,,,but I can't get heat on any floor except the basement...it is like the circulating pump will not kick in and move the water fast enought to heat ... I have turned the furnace off but I can heard the pump slightly pump but not much...The kids woke up to 60 degree bedrooms THAT is cold..LOL . I have also switched the zone valve to manual to see if that would help but it didn"t... Does anyone have any suggestions???
Thank You
Sharon
Lost Lady
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:42 am

Hi Sharon, we really need a photo of the pump and zone valves.

I will try to help. If you have one pump, and you know it it running [you should be able to feel it humming/vibrating] then it isn't the pump, The only noise the pumps make is the motor running. If it is an older B&G red pump, you can see the motor-to-pump linkage turning through the slots on the mounting flange. If it is one of the new small cartridge circulator pumps then just the heat and slight vibration from the motor will tell you it is alive.

The next thing, 130* water is not very hot to create much heat. Most systems are designed to work at 160-180*. Check the baseboard heat units in the bedrooms see if you can feel any heat in the pipes, actually touch the pipe, don't go by warm ari coming out of the heater. 130* water will make some heat, but not enough to keep up with really cold weather.

Also if you have only 130* water at the start of a loop of baseboard, as the water sheds heat at each baseboard, it gets much cooler, the last room gets very little heat from the tepid water.

Try shutting off all but one zone and try warming that part of the house up. If you are trying to heat he whole house with an undersized boiler, all the areas will suffer and be cold. Try one part of the house at a time.

Thats what I can think of right now. Let us know what you try or discover.

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: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:28 pm

Hello Sharon, have you made any progress?? Warm the house up any?

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: Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:57 pm

not ANY progress,,I guess I will go back to heating with kerosene again..
Lost Lady
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:26 pm

Hi Sharon, is your coal boiler hooked up so that the water returning from the baseboard loops before it returns to the oil boiler? If so run both of the boilers.. Let the coal boiler preheat the cool water returning to the oil boiler. This way the oil boiler will have less 'work' to do to raise the water to a functional level.

Did you check your baseboard units to see if they are warm, confirming that the water is circulating, but not warm enough? Or are the baseboards stone cold, indicating the water is not circulating at all??

Fire up the oil burner, a lot of our coal burning apliances are not big enough to handle really cold weather, but are still adding heat to the house and heat system, just not enough to heat the whole house on it's own.

When I had my small boiler hooked up, I had to help it along with my propane boiler, together they did a good job. The coal boiler alone could not keep up at very cold temps.

Let us know what you do or try and discover.

Greg L.

PS< can you post a few digital photos of the two boilers.

GL
,
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: Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:15 pm

I can't fire up the oil furnace it is out of oil right now,,I'll explain a little,,I don't have the money to put oil in it .......a couple of weeks again my husband walked out on us and left me FLAT out broke,with no job....That is why I'm trying to get this system to work....I'm totally lost about this system,,but I have no other choose that is why I'm driving you guys crazy for help...WHICH I'm SORRY for driving you nuts,,,But I have to keep the kids and the pipes from freezing...
Lost Lady
 

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:01 pm

Do the coal and oil have seperate pumps?
Is your oil burner off? The pump may only be powered when it is on.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:10 pm

Hello Sharon, Ok, sorry to hear about your situation. Let me ask a few specific questions and see if I can help.

Have you been able maintain 130* or more water temp??

Have you been able to determine if the circulating pump is running?? Is it the kind where you can see the pump running? Or can you feel it run?

If you manually open a zone valve does the water get hot on both sides of the valve.?

If you can manually open the upstairs zone valves, you should be able to get some thermosiphon circulation, slow but some heat getting upstairs.

I'm currious, if you have had to turn off a switch on the oil boiler because you are out of oil?? maybe this controls the circulating pump and power to the zone valves??

Let me know what you can, 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: Lost Lady On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:48 pm


Have you been able maintain 130* or more water temp??[color=black]Yes


Have you been able to determine if the circulating pump is running?? Is it the kind where you can see the pump running? Or can you feel it run?Yes it is running

If you manually open a zone valve does the water get hot on both sides of the valve.?yes, a little

If you can manually open the upstairs zone valves, you should be able to get some thermosiphon circulation, slow but some heat getting upstairs. when I open the upstairs [color=black]I dont get any heat[/color]

I'm currious, if you have had to turn off a switch on the oil boiler because you are out of oil?? maybe this controls the circulating pump and power to the zone valves??I turned it by flipping the relay,,that way the pump still runs..but dont try to ignite the furnace
[/color]
Lost Lady
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:04 pm

Hi Sharon, are there some valves that bypass the coal boiler that may not be open or not right??

I'm looking for the return line from the baseboard loops or zones. There should or could be three valves. two going into and out of the coal boiler, and one between these two that is the bypass valve. If the in and out valve to the coal boiler are closed, and the bypass open, then all the water returning to the boilers will bypass the coal boiler, and go to the oil boiler.

If you open the in and out valves to the coal boiler, and close the bypass valve, then the return water has to go to the coal boiler. If the bypass is open along with the in and out valves, only part of the water will go through the coal boiler, and not picking up enough heat to warm the house.

Take a look for these valve and let me know what you have and where the valves are postioned.

130* water should feel hot, but not hot enough to burn unless you hold onto the pipe. If you are only getting warm water on both sides of the zone valve means something is wrong with valve positions.

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: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:28 pm

I have all the valves opened and the bypass right,but I have found the zone valve for the basement is still letting water run when the basement is at 75-80 degrees,I have taped the mercury float so it is farther down.. the water is now up to 160 degrees,but the one zone I have open is the first floor pipe is hot and the basement is the same temp..the pipe temp is 450 degrees
on the stove.
Lost Lady
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:47 pm

I think you are making progress, keep the basement circuit shut off, make sure you have the manual control for the basement zone valve in the auto position, you can even remove the power to the zone valve, if it is in the auto postion, it will auto-close.

Keep the upstairs valves open, the heat with 160* water will soon be felt upstairs. Feel the return pipe from the upstairs loop, it should be getting warmer by the minute.

Make sure you keep water at least dripping from all water taps that have water pipes along outside walls, if the water is moving, it won't freeze.

If you have electric heaters put one in front of the kitchen sink and open the doors to the cabinet under the sink, this is a common place for pipes to freeze, the same for bathroom sinks and shower/tub plumbing on an outside wall.

Let me know when the temp rises in the return pipe and on the upstairs floor.

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: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:59 pm

I will let you know...Once I get the main floor heated up I will close that zone down..and open the one upstairs and try to heat that level..I will just keep rotating if it will work ,,I'm going to try that later tonight.. THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your help..

Sharon
Lost Lady
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:10 pm

Hi Sharon, are the baseboard units getting warm on the main floor?? Is the return pipe for that level getting warm now??

I think that since you triggered the relay to get the circulator running, you may not have power to the thermostats because the main power switch to the boiler is off. At least that sounds like what is happening, You may be able to disconnect the actual oil burner, so you can then turn on the power switch to the system and this will allow the thermostats to work normally.

Remember the zone valve will close without power if it is in the auto postion, you can manually open the valve, but then the thermostat does nothing.

Have a safe warm night. The flue temp at 450* is getting fairly warm, keep an eye on it. Maybe set an alarm every hour to check the system, ?? better than waking up to a fire or other emergency.

[been there, done that, got the Tee-Shirt! ]

Glad to be some help.

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: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:58 pm

I will do all of the thing you said...Thank You again
Sharon
Lost Lady