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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    32

    Default Boiler on the fritz?

    I have a (probably original) hot water radiant baseboard heat natural gas boiler system. I came back to a cold house and a non-stop running boiler this weekend. I am not sure why this is happening, but I have a few clues as to what the cause might be.

    First, every now and again, when the boiler kicks on, it doesn't have the same pleasant sound it typically does. It literally sounds like a high powered blowtorch. It is unnerving to be around it during this time. This happened shortly after my gas line was moved. I hired a company to move it so I could put in a patio.

    The PSI is at 20 and the temp on the boiler states 180 -- I believe this temp is low? Air has been purged from the system and weak heat emits from the baseboards.

    Weirdly, hot water tank seems to be doing the same thing. Could we have a natural gas issue? The line was last touched 6 months ago and it was fine since.

    I replaced a small section of copper with pex about a month ago. I couldn't buy a small section of the oxygen barrier pex (a buck a foot for a minimum 300ft), so I just used normal pex.

    I appreciate any help regarding what I may have going on. Perhaps it's time for a new boiler.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Boiler on the fritz?

    180 is not low. There are many things that can be causing your problem.

    1-air in system
    2-bad circulator
    3-zone valve if you have more than one zone
    4-electrical problem (thermostat,relay transformer)

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Boiler on the fritz?

    Thanks John.

    1. I do not believe there is air in the system, but I will go around and open the air release valves. It has been fine for the past month or so.

    2. My circulator pump appears to be pumping. Water is hot at the beginning and end of the line (just not AS hot as it once was) and I do not hear anything different from what it has always sounded like. But since I have never messed with it, I would guess this is the closest of any of your other possibilities.

    3. The zone valves are manual twist valves. I have never touched them. Could sediment be blocking them?

    4. How might an electrical problem show itself? I know I can start up the boiler and pump and shut it off at will from the thermostat.

    Does any of this additional information help narrow down the issue?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    The thumb, MI
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Boiler on the fritz?

    If your water heater is doing the same thing it sounds like the pressure regulator on the meter was damaged in the move. Don't waste any time getting that looked at.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    The thumb, MI
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Boiler on the fritz?

    Re the circ. pump. Often the sound of the gas burner drowns out the sound of the circ. pump so it's hard to tell if it's running. Here's an old mechanic's trick: Take a long screwdriver and press the metal end against the pump flange and press the plastic handle against your ear. The sound of the pump running should then be obvious.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Boiler on the fritz?

    Thanks.

    Guy - If I'm ever in Romeo you will have to show me that trick. Evidence is pointing to a bad circulator pump, but I would like to rule out everything else before I put one on order. The current model is a Bell and Gossett series 100, 1/12th HP.

    The gas company will be out on Thursday to check the gas pressure.

    One outlet from the boiler is skin-singeing hot. I follow it 30 feet in the basement until I reach where it goes up and it becomes luke-warm. It will still put out heat at the baseboards, but the house won't get up over 61, and the boiler has to run constantly. I have it turned off until this problem is fixed.

    I don't see any other evidence of a bad circulator pump -- no leaking, no unusually loud noises. Pump appears to be pumping. Could these slowly decline and that is what I am seeing?

    Can anyone speak to the electrical components of the boiler and if perhaps there could be an issue there?

    Thanks!

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