During the winter I purchased a old house with hot water heating. No
one was living in the house and the furnace was off. The cold caused some
of the pipes to freeze and break. Now I have fixed those broken pipes but
there is another problem.
I cannot get any hot water to go up to the second floor. As far as I
can determine there is
not even air pressure in the line. Could it be that there is a break in the
line going upstairs? The
furnace is running but I do not see any water on the floor or walls. Or
could it be a totally different problem?
I would really appreciate any suggestions or thoughts on what is
causing the problem or how
I can find out what the problem is. Thank you,
First of all, it's called a boiler and not a furnace.
If there was a broken pipe going to the second floor, you'd find water
leaking somewhere. There are several possibilities, but it might be as
simple as air trapped in the lines. It could also be that the automatic
fill valve isn't working. It could also be a line is choked by rust or
similar debris, or something with the circulating pump, or maybe you've got
zone valves stuck, or a combination of any of the above. You'll either need
on site help, or do some more detective work. Maybe the air bleeders are
clogged? Write back if you can give any more clues.
The upstairs is heated by two lines ( 4 pipes going up the wall which I
would imagine would be
a input and a output for each line). Both lines are dead !. I have opened
the valves (that remove air from the line) on both lines but nothing
happens. I hear no air coming out. The valves that are on each line that
open the line so water can go thru seem to be open. The circulating pump is
so that can't be the problem. The house is old probably built in the 1940s'
it is small so I don't
think that zone valves are being used. Whatever is happening is happening
to both lines. The rest of the lines in the house are fine.
We really need more info about your system in order to help solve the
problem. Is it baseboard radiation or convectors? If convectors, you may
need to bleed air out of them thru the air vents which are located inside
the enclosure. If baseboard, you may need to purge air out of the affected
zones. Check to make sure the automatic air vent on the boiler is not
clogged. If it is, replace it. Is there enough pressure in the system to get
the upper zones to circulate? The pressure should ideally be between
12-15lbs. to operate normally. You may have to replace the pressure
reducing valve on the feed if you can't get it to adjust & maintain pressure
in this range. Is each zone controlled by electric zone valves or pumps with
flow controls? Honeywell zone valves are notorious for seizing up in the
closed position so the zone won't circulate. As you can tell from this,
trouble-shooting heating systems can be rather involved. Hope this info
The house uses baseboard heat. There are no zone valves or pumps. This is
a small house there is
simply a "loop" in the basement with large pipe and coming off this pipe are
1/2" or slightly larger
diameter pipe going to the baseboards. When I open the air vents on the top
floor nothing happens
no water, no air, seems like the lines are not even attached to the system.
How can I check the automatic air vents on the boiler to see if they
are working or not. Maybe
this is the problem.
It sounds like gravity hot water with cast iron baseboard. There should be a
in the attic that vents to the roof. This type of system is manually filled
valve in the basement until water comes back to the basement from an overflow
connected to the tank in the attic.
No the system is not that old. The baseboards are the more modern type with
a large copper pipe
and aluminum fins (nothing in the attic). What about the air vents I think
there are two very close
to the boiler. Could they be the problem? they are old....Is there any way
that they can be checked? Could there be just a large air bubble that is
not coming out. When I do run the boiler
there is a lot of noise in the pipe which sounds like the pipe is not
It is still not clear to me what kind of heat you have. Your description
sounds like a mono-flow Tee system. This system is very sensitive to
air, and has a hard time "fixing itself". You should have at least 1
pump on the boiler if it is a mono-flow tee system. I did not know you
could have a gravity system with 1/2" pipe. The ones I have seen had
1 1/2" supply and returns. My experience with gravity systems is only
very old ones though and perhaps newer ones can use 1/2", I just don't
know of them. But in either case your problem could be trapped air. Look
for bleeder vents on every piece of heat that does not work. Bleed the air
out of each piece of heat.
Did they anti-freeze the system this time???
If they did the boiler fill might have been shut off and you will need to
in more water/anti-freeze to make up for the air you bleed out.
hopefully you have bleeders on every piece of heat. Keep in mind that once
open the vents to bleed them out, they might not close back up for you and
need to be replaced; so keep some spares handy.
To answer your question: sounds like the furnace/boiler is fine; nothing.
That's the Theory, but I find starting at the board closest then working
to the Highest or farthest point saves time. ( I put bleeders on the Return
side on all Boards.)
* time is money....
This guy claims no Air coming out, well Air IS coming out, he just can't
PLEASE don't pull the Bleeder out so the Air leaves faster.....
You'll be sorry.......................................
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