Air Entering Boiler Plumbing

Re: Air Entering Boiler Plumbing

PostBy: JRDepew On: Mon. Jan. 07, 2013 5:57 pm

I think part, maybe all, of my problem has to do with how the expansion tank is mounted. I think it would work fine as an expansion tank, but not as an air trap. The L-end of the airtrol heads through a gate valve and into a tee that is on the supply line. This tee is located on a short vertical section. From this, the pipe must go down and then back up again. I don't see how air could possibly travel this path reliably, so I am guessing that any air that dissolves into the water in my system because of the conventional tank, can't get back into the tank. Here are some pics:
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I am thinking over my options here as I don't want to tear everything apart in the heating season and I am looking at doing a radiant system in the future as I have access to all the floor joists from beneath. I was just in a house that had a radiant system that hung about 2 inches from the subfloor and then had faced insulation pushed up into the joist bays and the house was extremely comfortable. I would gain a tonnnn of wall space back if I ditched the baseboards, and they all need new covers as we re-do rooms too.

Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: Air Entering Boiler Plumbing

PostBy: JRDepew On: Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 10:56 am


I got this problem beat and figured I would post for anyone searching in the future. There were multiple problems with the old system....

The conventional style expansion tank wasn't installed using an air seperator. I am confident that I could have kept the conventional style expansion tank if I used the B&G IAS (Only the 1.5" and bigger versions have a 3/4" npt port on top, the smaller ones use a 1/8" npt port) and plumbed the top fitting to the expansion tank, keeping the pipe from the IAS to the tank uphill at all times. In fact, this was my original plan, and was going smoothly until I realized that this was **impossible** with my current setup. The main pipe in my system is very high. By the time I plumbed in the IAS to this line, I would have had to run the pipe from the IAS to the conventional tank downhill...not going to work properly. Automatic bleeders should not be used with a conventional expansion tank, as all the air in the system should be directed back into the expansion tank.

The second problem, for me anyway, was the location of my circulator pump. I was simply copying the install of the oil boiler when I installed the circulator on the return side of the boiler. My circuit was as follows:

circulator -> boiler -> conventional expansion tank -> check valve -> baseboard loops -> pressure regulator/make up valve -> circulator

After extensive reading, much of it on this site, I decided to pump away from the expansion tank. This was an easy decision for me, as I was moving the location of the expansion tank anyway and installing an inline air separator. My current circuit is as follows:

boiler -> check valve -> air seperator with auto air vent on top, and diaphragm tank on bottom -> circulator -> baseboard loop -> pressure regulator/make up valve -> boiler

I got the new parts installed and replaced the old circulator location with a piece of copper, let water into the system, and had 2 small leaks. I drained the system again and took care of the leaks then started filling the system again. I was running the circulator and purging the lines via hose bibs until the hose stopped spitting and sputtering. Then I shut the hose bibs down and let the air seperator do its job. Less than 24 hours later I have no more gurgling noises, no more hissing from the automatic air vents, and feel much more comfortable with my setup. All in all it took me about 10 hours to do this whole job, and that included 2 trips to the hardware store at 45-60 minutes each, and trying to thaw out a frozen garden hose until I borrowed one from my neighbor.

Here is a pic of the results:
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: Air Entering Boiler Plumbing

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 12:37 pm

Nice job.
Rob R.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Air Entering Boiler Plumbing

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Tue. Feb. 05, 2013 6:58 pm


YAHTZEE! The air tank and INLINE air separator will do you right. You may find you need an additional tank maybe not . if when you shut down the efm and use the oil you might start to hear gurgling , get a bigger or second tank. Glad you persevered !!! :beer: :cheers:

waldo lemieux
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: s-20