I'm trying to figure out what kind of valves I have here. I have a hot water
baseboard heating system. There are some valves in line that look like
they're a shutoff/gate of some kind.
They say "THRIFT" on one side, and "B V 3/4" on the other. They use a
standard screwdriver to turn them, and they'll turn all the way around, so I
assume you turn 90 degrees for open, and another 90 for closed.
Look just down and to the left of the main shutoff wall switch in the pic.
There are two of these valves next to each other on the vert lines.
How tight are these when closed, and what exactly are they used for?
Each zone has another valve at the end of it as well, with a lever for shut
The reason I ask: I need to replace my circulator pump, and am wondering if
these little valves can be used to shut areas off, instead of draining the
They look like (what I call) purge valves. Basically you use them by closing
them off and bleeding the air out of the "loop". Strange thing is: I don't
see the valve (usually a ball or gate type) that you open to GET the air
You can close them (usually by turning them 90 degrees so the "slot" is
perpendicular to the pipe) and it won't let water through, but what about
the OTHER side of the loop.
The best way to do it is to 1) turn the boiler off so it will cool down (run
your hot water until it is manageable), 2) close every valve that you can
find, 3) take the pressure off the boiler, 4) have the new circulator ready
to go, and 5) have a wet/dry vac ready because you are going to have a lot
of water. THEN you are going to need to know how to use those valves to get
the air out of the system.
If you are not really sure about this, I would suggest you call someone in
to do it. Best not getting stuck with no heat at this time of the year AND
you will end up paying a lot more for a service call if you attempt it in
the evening or on a weekend.
This is the kind of system you purge from the boiler. Each zone has a purge
valve and shutoff at the end of the loop. These valves I'm wondering about
are at the beginning of the loops.
Other side has another kind of shutoff valve.
I've already got no heat, that's why I'm replacing the circulator, which is
not working. I'm really just wondering what these valves are for, and if
they're pressure tight when closed. One of them is bad, so I need to get a
It's still messy, but if you close every valve you can, take the pressure
off, you can do a quick swap out.
Put a bucket under it. Put a little pressure on the pipe (going into the
circulator. Getting someone to help you is much easier) and remove/loosen
the flange bolts. have a couple rags ready and stuff them in the flanges.
Sure it's gonna leak a little, but it's better than a full-fledge flow.
I don't have hot water heat, but if I were closing every valve I
could, I would make a list of every valve I closed, and what its
position was before I started closing it.
It seems like there are too many valves to keep track of otherwise.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
Those are 1/4 turn shut off valves. They should stop the water but any
valve can leak through a bit. Sometimes they will start leaking
through the stem when you turn it.
Im more interested in something else. What in the hell kind of setup
do you have there? The pic isnt that great but it looks like you have
a Burnham water boiler that used to be oil fired and now has been
converted to gas or propane? Propane I hope, otherwise you need to get
rid of that copper gas line. Also that barometric damper in the flue
is for oil and not gas although Ive seen a few installs where someone
has altered it in this way. It usually voids the warranty although it
can be safely done. Im just not big into altering a manufacturers
design. If its gas fired it should have an original diverter on top of
the furnace flue.
On Sat, 10 Dec 2005 15:15:17 GMT, "Diezmon"
Im not picking on your boiler but you posted the pic and Im just
telling you what I see. I own my own hvac business and we do a lot of
boiler work. Im just telling you that what I see in your pic "dont
look the norm." Just because you bought it that way and it passed "two
inspections" dont mean diddly to me. Inspections are usually a dime a
dozen. Im just pointing out what I saw. If you dont like it, so bet
it. In the end, my house is nice and safe and warm. Are you 100% sure
yours is? Are you willing to bet your life or your familys' life? It
may be just fine but it looks out of the ordinary to me.
Oh, and we all know what ASS - U - ME stands for. :-)
On Sat, 10 Dec 2005 20:56:13 GMT, "Diezmon"
I'm sorry you didn't like my response, Bubba. I don't know that you're the
expert you say you are. You may be an expert at reading home improvement
manuals for all I know(You're probably not, but you get the point).
-- "It may be just fine but it looks out of the ordinary to me."
So, you're not sure, but you're telling me that what my local guys say don't
All I can do is rely on the inspection we had, and a service call by a guy
from a local heating place. Both of which said the system is basically ok,
but could use some improvement. The heating guy did point out that it used
to be an oil furnace, AND also mentioned the shaft direction of the pump,
which I noted and subsequently fixed this weekend when replacing it. He had
other recommendations as well... but since my post was about those valves, I
didn't mention every other detail I had about the boiler and setup.
And yes, I do feel safe and warm in the house. Feel free to rip on me and
throw your sarcasm my way. But, forgive me if I trust the heating guy who's
telling me to my face more than a guy on the web I know nothing about.
Thanks for your input about the valves though, btw.
Pleasant dreams, of course.
Doesnt matter if I like your response or not.
Doesnt matter if you believe who I am or not.
Of course Im not sure. I only have a pic that you sent. Im not there.
Fact is though, I figured out it was a converted oil furnace as you
pointed out. Also had the pump installed improperly as someone else
To me, your system has been changed into a creature it wasnt meant to
be. That was ok back in the day of the old gravity coal furnaces
(Octopus) that were converted to gas. Today though, its not acceptable
on a residential application. It just invites more hackery.
Anyways, its yours so you deal with it.
Invest in a good CO detector.
On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 00:16:52 GMT, "Diezmon"
Good observation, Bubba. I didn't even look at that.
I started looking at this pick some more, seems they reduced from 1.25 or
1.5 off the boiler to 1". Also, they left the barometric damper on after the
conversion, I wonder if they readjusted it to the Nat or Propane gas. This
is NOT a problem if it was readjusted, as a matter of fact it would work
better than a standard atmospheric flue diverter and can save you money over
the standard diverter.
If this boiler doesn't have a backflow preventer on it you should put one
ASAP. The code states you MUST have one, this will make sure you can't drink
the water in the boiler under certain conditions within your home.
The proper way to do this to and to pass code is to have a double check
valve, the backflow preventer and then the pressure reducer valve. Does
your boiler have these installed?
On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 23:21:11 -0500, "Geoman^^" <Geo2> wrote:
Hey! Dont make me out to look like I know what Im doing. (Shhhhhh.
You'll blow my cover).
I'll agree on the barometric, however, most manufacturers equipment
recognize this as altering their equipment in a fashion that it was
not intended for. Yes, it works but they dont like it. They is whimps!
Up until they had power vented boilers, I would always throw the diverter to
the side and put a barometric in. Also, it really doesn't alter their
equipment. I don't know if you realize it, but in the past before the HVAC
trade became dumb, they would send you a draft diverter that was extra long
and you, the installer, had to adjust the height for the proper inches of
draft over fire. The old timers realized that every draft was different.
They went to a fixed diverter because this trade became dumb and didn't know
how to adjust the barometric.
If you ever get the chance to take Jim Davis's course do so. Even the reps
at Bacacarach use him for advice, he goes over all this and tells how to
really read the information that the Back 3000 and other are telling the
On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 22:26:41 -0500, "Geoman^^" <Geo2> wrote:
I have gone to his class. Ive know him for years. He was a counter guy
when I was just a kid starting out. He was crazy then and he is crazy
now. Nice hair piece too. He goes on planes, bars and hotels with a
portable CO detector! Not saying the diverter is wrong. Just getting
all the agencies to understand that it DOES work and having local
inspectors recognize that is next to impossible. They look at em, ask
what the hell "that" is and turn em down. Nothing like being "outside
of the box".
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.