Fall maintenance

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:48 pm

Your piping may have been set up for power purging. The idea is to feed water in at full pressure and open a drain until the bubbles stop. Does you piping where the water pressure regulator have a by pass line around it?

In any event the idea is to connect drain hoses to the purge valves and force water through the zone until the water stops bubbling. Do each zone one at a time. You do this with the boiler off.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: rocketjeremy On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:58 pm

I'll have to take some pictures of all the valves I have when I get home. I seem to have a lot less "stuff" in my lines than most people seem to. I have to two valves above the circulator pumps (I assume these are the purges?). I also have a hose bib on the opposite tap on the back of the boiler. The circulator pumps attach to the left side (from the back of the unit) and there is a hose bib on the right.

I don't have a pressure regulator that I know of.

If those are indeed purge values do I force freshwater through from an outside source or off the lone hose bib on the boiler?

I ran the heat for about an hour this morning because it was chilly and neither one of my zones got more than "half hot" meaning some radiators got very hot and then others (at the ends) were ice cold. And even the hot ones cooled off at times and then suddenly got hot again.
rocketjeremy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF-520
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:02 pm

I'd suggest you have your system check by a heating contractor that does hydronic heating systems. Something as important as a pressure regulator should not be missing.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: e.alleg On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:05 pm

The regulator should be on top of the boiler, it should have a pipe coming off that leads to nowhere, meaning it is open on one end. Make sure you have one, it is the most important item on your boiler.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:00 pm

NO, the water pressure regulator does not have one open end. What does have one open end is the boiler pressure relief valve. I hope your boiler has one. I'm suggesting you need to have a professional look at your system. There's a lot of different plumbing components that you need to recognize before we can discuss how to properly get the air out.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: rocketjeremy On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:59 pm

Now a pressure relief valve I do have coming off the top that I'm told should blow at around 30psi I think? I've got some pictures below of my piping setup...I'm going to try and run it again tonight and see if I can get some heat going. It's getting too cold in the house for comfort....might have to make a fire in the fireplace tonight and sleep out there or use more blankets. Although I'd really like to get this air purged and get the system back to working.

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rocketjeremy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF-520
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: stoker-man On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:29 pm

Frankenstein is still alive :D

Somewhere above the boiler should be the air scoop and air vent.

Without seeing the whole setup, it's almost impossible to tell how to bleed it. Think of it as a circle. If you can get a water supply hose on one end and put another hose on the other end with the end of it higher than the radiators, and slowly run water through the feed hose and out the other end to the second floor, without blowing off the PRV, you should be able to do it.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: rocketjeremy On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:25 pm

I'll have to spend a cold night and think more about this. I don't know that the previous owner plumbed in all that I need to purge it that way. I only have 3 hose bibs in the whole setup. One is the boiler drain and one above each of the circulator pumps. I'm not sure then how to make a "loop" out of the system. I can put a water supply on the bibs above the circulator pumps and push "backwards" through the system but then I don't have anyplace for that extra water to go....I guess maybe it would just go up into the expansion tank.
rocketjeremy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF-520
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:55 am

Try hooking house water to the boiler drain and another hose to the first valve above the circulator. Put the end of that hose out the window of the second floor and slowly let water purge the system. Repeat for the other valve above the circulator.

Shut off the house water before you close off the boiler valve to prevent the PRV from popping.

Did you find your air scoop and air vent yet?
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:44 am

Here's how I would do my own loop.

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Shown is the air scoop with the air vent on top. On the right, next to it,is a flow valve. Open the valve by turning the triangular stem on top, circled, counterclockwise. In my case, I use zone valves instead of multiple circulators. There is a manual lever on them to open them. By introducing water to the boiler drain valve, I would now be pushing water up to the center zone valve in the direction shown. The other two valves would be closed off during this time.

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Follow the arrows. The purge water is now traveling to the second floor radiators and coming back to my boiler. You can see part of a valve with a screwdriver slot. Not seen, behind the pipe is the hose bib, which is part of the valve. The slot would be turned to a vertical position to stop the flow of water back to the boiler and the other unseen slot will be open to allow water to exit the hose bib. Here, I would hook a hose and run it up to a point higher than my highest radiator. There are many other ways to do this, but this works well.

With the valves all in the correct position, let water slowly enter the boiler and up through the loop and eventually up and out of the hose on the second floor. Let it run until all air is purged.........5 minutes. Turn off the house water. Close the hose bib valve and purge the second zone the same way. When you're all done purging, return all valves and slots to their former position. Turn on the circulator and the rest of the air should be purged normally. If not, do it all over again.

In your case, your hose bib is above your circulator.

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Here is another vent which is in my garage. There is no scoop associated with this one, but it's necessary nonetheless.;

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Shown are isolation flanges. For the few bucks they cost, they will save you a bundle of time if you have to replace a circulator. If your system is down, install them. You can't have too many isolation points in a system.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: rocketjeremy On: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:53 am

Seems as though I have no air vent/scoop just the expansion tank. I THINK I purged my basement loop (although I'm pretty sure if I can't do all of them it's useless). I closed the valve to the expansion tank and fed fresh water into the system (It's T-ed off the cold water line that feeds my DHW coil). I hooked a hose to the drain on that loop and put it up on the second story. I closed to valve between the drain and the circulator so the water returning would purge outside and not go back into the system. I also opened my zone controls so I would have an "open loop." I let this slowly work to keep the pressure down until it forced hot water from the boiler to all the baseboards and then back out the return out the second story.

My issue now is that for the pump feeding my upstairs loop I have a drain with a built in purge valve that doesn't seem to be closing so I'm not pushing any water through the loop just out the drain.

I'm not sure if any of this even helped since I doubt I will be able to test it without doing the 2nd loop.
rocketjeremy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF-520
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:50 am

Yanche wrote:NO, the water pressure regulator does not have one open end. What does have one open end is the boiler pressure relief valve. I hope your boiler has one. I'm suggesting you need to have a professional look at your system. There's a lot of different plumbing components that you need to recognize before we can discuss how to properly get the air out.


right Yanche, I knew that. Brain vacation I guess, I thought we were talking about the pressure relief valve.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: stoker-man On: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:46 am

Start with the lowest floor and work up to the highest. Air will go upward if it can. Do the highest floor last. You also need an air purger to keep air out of the system. I have 3 of them. One is on the top of my boiler itself.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: stoker-man On: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:20 am

If you have a ceiling hung expansion tank, you wouldn't need an air vent, since the air would go to the tank. It's still not a bad idea to install an air vent in the 1/2" tapping on top of the boiler, due to the way the boilers are constructed.

Possibly your ceiling tank is full of water and the air is now going into the system. If you have this tank, drain it. Opening the drain valve won't be good enough as they become bound by vacuum. You'd need to insert a small copper pipe up into the tank to the top to break the vacuum. This must be done while the water is cold.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Fall maintenance

PostBy: rocketjeremy On: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:22 pm

Stokerman.....and to all....as an update I think I got enough air out of the system to get some heating flowing again....although I hear a lot of gurgling yet the water does move and the return line gets hot at the circulator pump within like 2 mins of the system kicking on. I"m hoping most of the air bubbles find their way to the expansion tank. I will look at putting some more air control on the system to make it better. I do have a small tap on top of the boiler that I might look at installing one that won't require cutting pipes.

I don't really know that I want to cut my system apart at the start of heating season...we'll see.

Thanks to all for the help to get me warm again and learning so much about the system....I'm convinced now that the previous owner just took a box of plumbing parts to put the system together. So I plan a full cut-up of the "frankenstein" system this upcoming summer.
rocketjeremy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF-520
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520