Hot Water Woes

Hot Water Woes

PostBy: Oscar3158 On: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:09 am

Hi All,

I just hooked up a AM-TROL boiler mate (used) to my hand fired boilder and have the circ. pump working, but still don't seem to be getting any hot water out of it. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanx Fred
Oscar3158
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Weber Industries

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:15 am

post some pictures of the piping and control

Do you have a non contact thermometer to test with?
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: beatle78 On: Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:25 am

could the pump be circulating the water too fast? Do you have a shutoff valve somewhere in this loop that you can partially close? This would slow down the rate of circulation.

My loop is controlled by an aquastat. So it only pumps when the water reaches 150F.

Also, note that I'm not getting very much hot water at all right now b/c my stove is idling most of the time.
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4


Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:56 pm

Can you hold your hand on the pipe coming out of the stove ? H ow about the one going back in? Is the pipe real hot by the circ pump but nowhere else. Did the system get properly bled? You need to establish that you have flow to start with. Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 700. Van Wert 1200.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: Oscar3158 On: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:01 am

Hi,
All good points guys,let me see what i can answer. (1) Sting:i will post some pics of what i have going so far and see if that gives you a better view of what i'm up to.(2) Sting:Controls? what controls? All I have on my pumps now are on/off switches that I flip on when its cold and off when it gets hot.Keeps the house about 76 to 80 on both floors.Switch back and forth for comfort up stairs and down. I use the old hand on the pipes trick to know when things are to hot or to cold. I do have some meat cooking thermometers i could at least use for a base line to know when things change temp wise.

Beatle78:That could well be,didn't think of it that way(too fast) I do have a valve I'll try cutting back and see if that does anything. I have a 35' plus chimmney and can still get a really hot fire if i want to.

stokerscot:Never can touch the out going pipe(very hot!)But the one going back in i've never checked.Your right the pipes near the pump are hotter then anywhere else.What does this mean? I have a bleed valve on top of the loop.Anything else i should do to bleed it better?

This Forum is the greatest!
Thanks always friends,Fred
Oscar3158
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Weber Industries

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:45 am

Perhaps I said it wrong. Put your hand on the pipe coming out of the Am-trol. If it's cool,,,,,. The water being hotter by the circ pump, noticeably hotter seems to indicate a deadheaded pump. All the energy from the pump is heating the water instead of pushing it. Sign of no flow. :) Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 700. Van Wert 1200.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: beatle78 On: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:13 pm

stokerscot wrote:Perhaps I said it wrong. Put your hand on the pipe coming out of the Am-trol. If it's cool,,,,,. The water being hotter by the circ pump, noticeably hotter seems to indicate a deadheaded pump. All the energy from the pump is heating the water instead of pushing it. Sign of no flow. :) Scott


This sounds like good advise. If the water coming out the boiler is TOO hot to touch and the return line is cool, then you probably do not have any flow from your pump.

Is this pump used? I was told that these pumps will last forever when they are kept in service (full of air free water), but if you let it sit for awhile unhooked from the system and open to the air, it's gonna die quick!
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: Sting On: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:48 pm

Oscar3158 wrote:Hi,
All good points guys,let me see what i can answer. (1) Sting:i will post some pics of what i have going so far and see if that gives you a better view of what i'm up to.(2) Sting:Controls? what controls? All I have on my pumps now are on/off switches that I flip on when its cold and off when it gets hot.Keeps the house about 76 to 80 on both floors.Switch back and forth for comfort up stairs and down. I use the old hand on the pipes trick to know when things are to hot or to cold. I do have some meat cooking thermometers i could at least use for a base line to know when things change temp wise.


Don't you have an aquastat to control the pump of this system? or something in place to keep the DHW temp out to the faucet below 125 degrees? Once we get this to work correctly, you will want something a bit more "automatic" than a manual pump switch.

The old "hand on the pipe" has served me well for many years....... :lol:
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: beatle78 On: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:13 pm

ya know, Sting is right. Doesn't the Amtrol tank have a built in aquastat? You could easily wire the aquastat to the pump.... but one thing at a time :)
beatle78
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker KA-4

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:40 pm

Sting,,,,you are too much. Stop letting it get out of hand!! :D Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 700. Van Wert 1200.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Hot Water Woes

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:50 am

I'll bet the pipes from the boiler to the Amtrol take never got primed.

I'll just start from the beginning. The Amtrol tank has a thermostat switch in it. It's either machanincal ( a hand turned dial with numbers) or digital (red LED numbers on a little screen). If it's the mechanical one, set it to 4 or 5 to start. That will make the water about 120 degrees. If it's digital, you must read the instructions as it's a bit complictaed. If the water in the tank is less than 120* the witch closes turning on the pump. If you're doing it by hand you can put a seperate switch on the pump, but the thermostat must be calling for heat or the pump won't run. It's hard to tell if a pump is running, you almost have to use an ammeter to make sure.
When the amtrol is calling for heat, the pump will run no matter what the temperaute of the boiler is. Once the boiler is above 120* it will transfer heat to the water tank. Typically the boiler would be around 180*, but I'm sre it would work with it being 160. If the boiler is much below 160 it'll take a long time to heat the tank. I don't think the speed has much to do with it unless it was too slow. I'd think there's no such thing as too fast. The whole idea is to keep the coil in the water tank up to the temp of the boiler.
So, get the boiler to 160-180, make sure the Amtrol tank is calling for heat, verify the pump is running & you should make hot water.

No hot water problems:
1: Pump is running but not pumping. Could be the pump is bad, could be it was not primed. You must add a valve and a boiler drain so you can take a garden hose and force water through the loop. This only needs to be done once in it's life, but if not done, the pump will not pump. You close a valve, open a boiler drain & purge the air from the pipes.
2: Coil inside Amtrol is plugged. Very rare, must be cleaned with an acid flush.
3: Boiler not hot
4: Bad thermostat. Verify that pump is getting power.
5: No water in Amtrol tank....fill that bad boy!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined