Update: F*&%ing heat...

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On Fri, 24 Dec 2004 13:46:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@gatecom.com (Gary R. Lloyd) wrote:

If you keep inviting me over, I'll have no choice but to come hang out. alt.HVAC is an unmoderated newsgroup, which means I can pretty much do whatever I want over there. A bunch of sooty 8th grade dropouts are not going to be able to run me off with threats and insults. I won't really care. In fact I'll enjoy that they are so upset by my presense.
BB
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On Fri, 24 Dec 2004 14:48:56 GMT, BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

I don't much care what you do. Just stop whining. Dry your little tears. Grow up.
_______________
Gary R. Lloyd CMS HVACR Troubleshooting Books/Software Written by a veteran Service Technician
https://www.merchantamerica.com/tmethod /
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On Fri, 24 Dec 2004 14:56:52 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@gatecom.com (Gary R. Lloyd) wrote:

Yet you keep responding! You just can't spit the hook. Excellent!
BB
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wrote:

Yeah, they need more dipshit troll-bait like you over there. NOT
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On Thu, 23 Dec 2004 01:00:27 GMT, BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

Yep.
Nope.
Yep.
Nope.
Wrong again. I have asked him for relevant information in order to properly troubleshoot his system. I gave him step-by-step instructions on how to obtain that information. The next phase is step-by-step instructions on how to fix it.
Unfortunately, he prefers to freeze his ass off, screw around with his expansion tank, and bleed air from his system daily.

_______________
Gary R. Lloyd CMS HVACR Troubleshooting Books/Software Written by a veteran Service Technician
https://www.merchantamerica.com/tmethod /
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Hey, take it easy. You guys all went banannas all of a sudden. For the record I am not Jeff, I am Steve, The Bluesman...And I appreciate the help of both Gary and BB, as well as everyone else who has taken the time to respond.
Gary, regular pressure is 12 psi when cold, 20-25 when hot. total height of the system is about 25-30 feet. (2 story colonial, burner in basement, 8 foot cielings)
Since the system eventually gets completely hot - is it really a pressure problem, or a circulation problem? It seemed that the hot water was there, waiting to go, but it needed to get to a certain temp before the circulator on the inbound pipe would click and allow the water to flow back through the loop, getting all the pipes hot.
This is based merely on what I observed the last two days.
I am not messing with the exp tank - just wondering what the air nipple on the bottom is for.
Gary, if the symptoms come back, I will try your pressure test - but I am wary of draining water from the boiler - the last thing I want to do is introduce more air into the system.
Thanks,
Bluesman
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On 23 Dec 2004 06:15:44 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net wrote:

If the height is 25 feet, 12 psi is okay. If the height is 30 feet, 12 psi is not okay. Which is it?

Unless you drain water from the boiler, you can't be sure that the fill pressure is 12 psi.
_______________
Gary R. Lloyd CMS HVACR Troubleshooting Books/Software Written by a veteran Service Technician
https://www.merchantamerica.com/tmethod /
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I just thought of something in relation to the height of the system...The basement is 6 feet, then two 8 foor ceilings, but the farthest radiators on the 2nd floor aren't located on the ceiling..So I would say max height is 22 feet, most likely less. And remember I am running 20-25 psi @ 160-190 degrees.
I am going to keep an eye on the system over the holiday weekend. If it works like it did the past two days, I think I am going to be alright. If it doesn't, I will dump water until it gets down to about 5psi, then refill to make sure it gets back to 12psi to eliminate that issue as Gary suggested.
One thing that is sticking in my mind is the circulation pump. Mine is on the return line, and I observed yesterday when the sytem starts up the outbound pipes get hot, then the return pipes, then the outbound went cold, then the circ pump kicked on , then everything got really hot. Is this how the circ pump is supposed to work? Seems kind of inefficient.
Finally with my exp tank - it is directly over the boiler and I seriously doubt that there is any water in it. No one answered my question about the air connector on the bottom - is that to put air in the tank or to take it out? If so, what PSI should the tank be at? Thanks,
Bluesman
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On 12/23/2004 4:48 PM US(ET), snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

It is for recharging the air pressure (if it is a bladder tank). My Extrol says; Precharge pressure 12 psi. Maximum water pressure 75 psi.
Bill
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On 12/23/2004 4:48 PM US(ET), snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

question, but it is 51 degrees here in NY, and my house is well insulated (6 layers between outside and inside). I can tell you that the recirc. pump is on the return line on my system, as are the manual shut off valves for the heat zones (I have 3). They feed into the 1-1/4" copper return pipe just before the recirc. pump. The electric zone valves are in the supply lines, right after the expansion tank. The heat should kick on shortly, and if I remember, I will tell you the order of what starts before what. I am sitting about 5' from the boiler. Right now, the guage reads 150 (F) and 14 psi and nothing is running.
-- Bill
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On 12/23/2004 5:34 PM US(ET), willshak took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Well, now it is two hours later and my boiler has not kicked in yet. The gauge reads 100 and 12 psi. Outside temp 47.
-- Bill
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On 23 Dec 2004 13:48:05 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net wrote:

The pressure that is relevant to system height is cold fill pressure.You are running 12 psi cold fill pressure... maybe.

Troubleshooting is a process of elimination; Determining what is not wrong with the system.

What starts the pump? Presumably a temperature control. Where is it? What are its settings?

The expansion tank is not the problem. Leave it alone. Forget that it exists.
_______________
Gary R. Lloyd CMS HVACR Troubleshooting Books/Software Written by a veteran Service Technician
https://www.merchantamerica.com/tmethod /
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This is my question of the day - what starts a circ pump (mine is a Taco) on a return line? Is it water temp? I popped off the honeywell controller and aside from the elec connections from the thermo and the circ pump, there is a dial set to 190. Is this the temp that the circ pump starts moving at? If so, can I turn it down to 160 for better flow?
I think short cycling is the issue. When it long cycles (when I get home from work and go from 62 to 72) it has time to get hot and circulate properly to a point where the house is almost too hot.

I agree. I further discovered that it takes air - and should be at 12 psi, which it is.
Thanks,
Bluesman
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On 24 Dec 2004 06:08:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net wrote:

Most likely this is the water temp control. What is the part number on it? If you follow the circ pump wires you may find another control somewhere.
_______________
Gary R. Lloyd CMS HVACR Troubleshooting Books/Software Written by a veteran Service Technician
https://www.merchantamerica.com/tmethod /
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On 24 Dec 2004 06:08:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net wrote:

You could try turning it down and see what it does. If the water doesn't get as hot, then it is the water temp control.
_______________
Gary R. Lloyd CMS HVACR Troubleshooting Books/Software Written by a veteran Service Technician
https://www.merchantamerica.com/tmethod /
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The circulator pump is started by the house thermostat. When the T'stat calls for heat, it switches on the circulator so the hot water gets to the radiators. You have a reservoir of hot water sitting in the heater.
As the water circulates, the cooler water that has been sitting in the pipes is pushed into the heater as the hot water is pushed out. When the temperature of the water in the heater drops, the burner comes on. There should be two dials, one set to the upper limit, the 190 that you see, the other is probably around 160 or so. Burner comes on at the low setting, goes off at the high setting. Circulator continues to move water until the thermostat for the house is satisfied.
The hotter the water, the more heat energy it will carry to the radiators to be given off to the air in the rooms. You would do well to find a basic short explanation of thermal transfer and a simple description of how the heating system works. That will make troubleshooting easier.
The circulator is on the return side because it is easier to pump the cold water compared to the hotter water. The radiators don't know and don't care where the pump is. Cold water is more dense than hot. Less likely to have cavitation also as the water is sitting on top of the inlet side.
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wrote:

You may very well be right, but I have seen them wired every which way, so I wouldn't make any such assumptions.
_______________
Gary R. Lloyd CMS HVACR Troubleshooting Books/Software Written by a veteran Service Technician
https://www.merchantamerica.com/tmethod /
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Gary R. Lloyd wrote:

We might be getting somewhere guys. The Taco is connected to the honewell controller, but it does not have any other control - I popped the cover on the Taco and there is only wiring and a small cylinder that does I don't know what...but it does not appear the circ starts moving until the hot water loops back to it.
The bioler gets hot for 15 minutes - then cycles off @ 190, then the circ pump comes on by itself, dunping the return water into the boiler, making the temp drop almost immedately to 160, thus making the boiler fire again. At that point the circulation is continuous hot water and good heat.
When the thermo is set at say 72 and the temp drops to 71, the bruner will fire, but only enough to get the outgoing pipes hot - once it get to 72, that's it...the hot water never has a chance to return to the circ pump and make it do its thing.
That is my impression - short cycling issue. But can I make the circ pump move the water sooner? I will try the temp dial in the Honeywell, it seems to be set at 190, but my temp gauge regularly goes over 190 and the burner still cranks...
Anyway - Merry Xmas to everyone - and thanks for the continued input. Bluesman
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OK, so the T'stat goes through the controler to the circulator. If the circulator does not start until the hot water gets to it, something is wrong as that is an illogical method. The job of the circulator is to move the hot water so it does get to it, as well as the entire heating system.

Could there be an aquastat that is not working or set properly? It may be possible that there is an aquastat that will not allow the circulator to run if the water in not at a certain temperature. I'd guess it to be closer to 140 or 160 than the upper limit of 190.
In commercial/industrial systems it is common for individual unit heaters to have an aquastat that will not allow the fan to come on unless there is hot water or steam coming to it from the central boiler. That allows individual controls at many points in a large complex.

This goes back to the aquastat. There is no reason that the circulator would not come on when heat is called for. Perhaps the previous owner re-wired something or the installer is an idiot. As I sit and type this, my heat just kicked on and I can hear the hot water circulating. The burner has not run yet and probably won't for another couple of minutes until the colder water gets back to the heater.

Not seeing your setup I don't know what to adjust, but something is not right. If you want to make changes, be sure to write down the original settings and make one change at a time to see what happens.

It's getting cold so I home somethihng help and you get it adjusted properly. Worst case scenario is you call a heater tech that knows your unit and gets it set properly. It would be a shame to spend $100 to have him turn a dial to the correct setting, OHOH, he can point out how the ystem works and you gain some knowledge for the future.
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