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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheShack View Post
    You state that the psi gauge "can't hold more than 10 psi" and the "inlet valve starts hissing air and leaks water".

    This indicates that you have some water leaks in the piping; are you saying you got the gauge up to 10 psi, and then it dropped back down to 4 or 5 psi???
    the gauge is going up to 10 psi on the outer black numbered part of the gauge, but is not going any higher and today has dropped close to zero.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheShack View Post
    Are you handy, & have you soldered copper tubing in the past??
    no, i haven't. the most complicated plumbing-related task i've completed was hooking up my washer to hot/cold water and dryer to the gas line.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheShack View Post
    I couldn't make out from the photo if the ARROW at the base of the reducing valve is pointing toward the BOILER SIDE of the system (as it should).
    the boiler is on the opposite side of the arrow and caption in the picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheShack View Post
    You mentioned "ports for the 1st and 2nd floor pipes"; could you post a photo of these "port valves" (I assume this is the only way to get air out of the system).

    this is for the 2nd floor. the port is at 7 o'clock of the valve.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheShack View Post
    You might try adjusting the TOP SCREW OR KNOB of the pressure reducing valve clockwise to see if you can get any water into the boiler using THAT method.
    tried that. i loosened a nut that seemed to be holding it in place, but the screw won't budge.


    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheShack View Post
    I notice in one of the photos that there is already a hose connected to the drain valve.

    What is the purpose of this hose, and have you used it in the past to add water to the boiler??
    this hose actually cuts off another few inches below the photo, i used it to drain the boiler as you instructed earlier in this discussion thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by JacktheShack View Post
    In any event, to get 15 psi of water into the boiler thru the drain valve, attach one end of a garden hose to an outside faucet, or any faucet that will take the female hose fitting; attach the other end to the boiler drain fitting; you may have to use a 4' washing machine hose as an adapter to go from the male garden hose fitting to the boiler drain valve fitting.

    Leave the boiler drain faucet closed momentarily and turn the garden hose faucet on.

    Tighten any garden hose connections that are leaking; then SLOWLY open the boiler drain valve, and watch the boiler gauge; you want to allow cold water into the boiler gradually at first, so you don't shock the cast iron sections.

    When the boiler gauge reads 15 psi, shut off the boiler drain valve.

    If some of the fittings around the pressure reducing valve start to leak (as noted in your previous post), you will have to place a bucket under them and replace the leaking fittings yourself (or try to replace the stem packing), or call for a service tech to do it.

    Please post back to advise how the procedure goes.
    i followed this procedure, and got the pressure gauge to read right in between 10 and 30 on the red side of the pressure gauge where it reads "altitude" (is this the side of the gauge i should be looking at?). at first, the water inlet valve was leaking a bit and pressure wouldn't climb, but i tightened the nut at the base and got it to stop leaking and pressure to go up. i will wait a few hours and see if heat comes back on... the pipes going up to the first and second floor used to be cold, but now they are both hot. if the heat does not come back on, i will try to bleed air out of the system by using the ports by the 1st and 2nd floor piping flow control valves.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

    ***..................

    This is like following a good breaking news story!

    I can't wait until we get to the part where gramma is warm again!

    We're behind ya froman. All the way!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

    Good work froman!

    We're half way home!

    If you've connected a clothes dryer to a gas line you can easily learn soldering technique; but leave that to after you get heat restored.

    Could you post another photo of the boiler gauge; the photo posted is a little too fuzzy to read clearly.

    The gauge side saying "altitude" should be the correct psi side; some gauges have a both a psi scale and a "kpa" scale (european) to read the same needle setting.

    If heat doesn't come to the baseboard, you will have to get some air out.

    The only apparent way to do this on your system is to:

    Shut off the boiler switch temporarily and reconnect the garden hose water supply hose to the boiler drain valve.

    Do one floor at a time; if you have a valve to isolate one floor from the other, isolate the 1st floor from the 2nd; also, if there is a shutoff valve on the RETURN LINE going into the boiler, also temporarily shut this off.

    (There are TWO large MAIN PIPES attached to the boiler; the one at the TOP of the boiler is the MAIN SUPPLY pipe, and delivers hot water to the baseboards; the large pipe going into the BOTTOM (or SIDE) of the boiler is the MAIN RETURN pipe, which returns all cooled circulated water back to the boiler via the pump so it can be heated again).

    Attach a length of garden hose to the 2nd floor "port" valve, (this is known as an air purge valve) and put the other end into a large bucket or plastic barrel.

    Close the main and open the port, (air purge) (see the Watts site below for an example of how purge valves work, and how they are used to get air out of lines) and gradually turn on water supply & let fresh water into the boiler thru the drain valve, as before.

    Try to avoid too much water pressure going into the boiler at the drain valve; if you exceed 30 psi, the pressure relief valve will open spilling water on the floor.

    When there are no longer bubbles coming out of the purge valve into the bucket/barrel, close the purge valve, open the valve closing the main, and close the boiler drain valve.

    Continue this process with the 1st floor piping.

    Make sure you OPEN ANY VALVES you closed on the RETURN MAIN, or at the purge valve so the hot water can freely circulate thru the pipes; turn the boiler switch back on.

    There is usually also some type of air purger device on a horizontal stretch of the MAIN SUPPLY PIPE near the boiler, or near the expansion tank; the Bell Gossett site has a photo of some of these under "valves"/Air Removal Devices/EASB JR/Enhanced Air Separator

    Sometimes you have to loosen the little screw valve at the top to let air out; DO NOT TOUCH anything on the expansion tank itself; there is a valve that looks like an automobile tire valve that must not be touched.

    Please post back to advise of your progress.

    http://www.watts.com/pdf/1910267.pdf
    http://www.bellgossett.com
    Last edited by JacktheShack; 01-21-2008 at 12:57 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

    I followed the procedure and it worked like a charm. There was a LOT of air in the 2nd floor piping. Pressure stayed level before and after, and the heat came on in under an hour. Thanks a lot to jack and everyone else who contributed!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

    froman ... Great news

    JacktheShack does rock.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

    Congratulations, froman!

    Here's hoping the house is toasty warm for the rest of the winter season.

    If you wish to do some additional work on the boiler when the weather gets warm, I would recommend one or two bleed valves on the 1st and 2nd floor to make air purging lots easier.

    A 90 degree 3/4" brass elbow with a 3/8" tap for the bleed valve is widely used for this, and is avaialable at plumbing supply houses for ~$4.

    Also recommend a 1/2" sweat ball valve to replace the corroded valve next to the pressure reducing valve (HD/Lowes).

    If the reducing valve doesn't maintain 15 psi, that too should be replaced with a Taco 329-3 reducing valve with fast fill, or a Bell & Gossett ITT FB-38 with fast fill, both go for ~$30.

    A Watts 9D-M3 backflow preventer (~$25) is also recommended if the system doesn't have one.

    You should be able to install all these items yourself, especially in the spring, when you won't need the heat, and can leave the system down overnight.

    I've listed a tutorial on soldering copper tubing; the items pictured are all available at HD/Lowe's.

    Google "soldering copper pipe" for additional sites; there are two sites by Reader's Digest that have instructive photos, but I can't get them to load.

    http://www.acehardware.com/SM-workin...g-1280921.html
    Last edited by JacktheShack; 01-22-2008 at 03:46 PM.

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