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Old 10-18-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


Hello everyone.

I have a gas fired hot water boiler (Weil Mclain) and cast iron baseboard heaters. I have a small issue with some of them. Two of them are cold, both are on the same zone on the main floor. If I bleed them I get pressure out of them but no go with heat. Also I have one in a half bath that seems to go cold after about 2 weeks of use, when I bleed it all is good for about 2 weeks again. that is also on the main zone, first floor. My system has an automatic air bleed valve installed right by the boiler. This in fact is very recent. It is on the outlet side of the boiler and the expansion tanks hangs under this. From there it hits a flo control valve, then the main loo goes out around the basement (boiler is located in basement) circulator pumps are just before the boiler on the return side. Pressure sits around 12-14 cold and will climb to 18 or so when at full temp.

The other issue I have is one of the baseboards on the main zone but second floor will snap on occasion. It is loud and bugs the heck out of me, it is operating just fine just makes this snapping noise from time to time. I have noticed it is better since the air bleed valve ( maybe coincidence )

Other than that all is good. My main concern is the no heat in the 2 units. Anyone have any suggestions? I have had 2 HVAC company's out here and both didn't know what was causing these issues. (I haven't had any luck finding a talented boiler guy) I am very handy and don't mind doing things myself. I also know when to call in the pro's

Thanks in advance for any input.
Bryan

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Old 10-19-2009, 10:58 PM   #2
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


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Originally Posted by bmac1967 View Post
Hello everyone.

I have a gas fired hot water boiler (Weil Mclain) and cast iron baseboard heaters. I have a small issue with some of them. Two of them are cold, both are on the same zone on the main floor. If I bleed them I get pressure out of them but no go with heat. Also I have one in a half bath that seems to go cold after about 2 weeks of use, when I bleed it all is good for about 2 weeks again. that is also on the main zone, first floor. My system has an automatic air bleed valve installed right by the boiler. This in fact is very recent. It is on the outlet side of the boiler and the expansion tanks hangs under this. From there it hits a flo control valve, then the main loo goes out around the basement (boiler is located in basement) circulator pumps are just before the boiler on the return side. Pressure sits around 12-14 cold and will climb to 18 or so when at full temp.

The other issue I have is one of the baseboards on the main zone but second floor will snap on occasion. It is loud and bugs the heck out of me, it is operating just fine just makes this snapping noise from time to time. I have noticed it is better since the air bleed valve ( maybe coincidence )

Other than that all is good. My main concern is the no heat in the 2 units. Anyone have any suggestions? I have had 2 HVAC company's out here and both didn't know what was causing these issues. (I haven't had any luck finding a talented boiler guy) I am very handy and don't mind doing things myself. I also know when to call in the pro's

Thanks in advance for any input.
Bryan
here is a tried and true method for keeping your radiation always filled & circulating . turn off the pump and let the system cool to room temp and observe the pressure guage. go to the trouble radiation and see if you get any water press. out of it. if not , go back down and locate your pressure reducing valve that is connected to the water inlet to the system . find the adjusting screw that is used to boost the pressure in systems that require more static pres. than the generic 12# settings that are ok for most single story jobs. only adjust the screw 1/2 turn in and u should hear water start to run if the valve is working properly. wait patiently 'till it stops and recheck the upstairs rad for water. when the highest rad is filled with no pumps on, note the pressure and add 1 or 2 # max on top of that and as long as your cushion tank is at the proper level and your prv screen is clean & you're sure the prv has stopped filling , your system will not have to be bled for a long time under most conditions. oh , and NO auto bleeders on your baseboard system as the will draw air into the system , but that's for another post ( straight from b&g little red schoolhouse at their factory learning center).....
have lots of patience with your water adjustments as they take a long time to stop after being adjusted.make sure the prv stops for sure........


Last edited by psilliman001; 10-19-2009 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:58 AM   #3
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


What kind of expansion tank do you have.
A large steel tank.
Or a bladder tank?
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


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Originally Posted by psilliman001 View Post
here is a tried and true method for keeping your radiation always filled & circulating . turn off the pump and let the system cool to room temp and observe the pressure guage. go to the trouble radiation and see if you get any water press. out of it. if not , go back down and locate your pressure reducing valve that is connected to the water inlet to the system . find the adjusting screw that is used to boost the pressure in systems that require more static pres. than the generic 12# settings that are ok for most single story jobs. only adjust the screw 1/2 turn in and u should hear water start to run if the valve is working properly. wait patiently 'till it stops and recheck the upstairs rad for water. when the highest rad is filled with no pumps on, note the pressure and add 1 or 2 # max on top of that and as long as your cushion tank is at the proper level and your prv screen is clean & you're sure the prv has stopped filling , your system will not have to be bled for a long time under most conditions. oh , and NO auto bleeders on your baseboard system as the will draw air into the system , but that's for another post ( straight from b&g little red schoolhouse at their factory learning center).....
have lots of patience with your water adjustments as they take a long time to stop after being adjusted.make sure the prv stops for sure........

Sounds easy enough. I will do this and report back. I must ask why no air bleeder? It is a B&G EASB-JR is this what you say will bring air into the system?

What is a normal pressure for a 2 story house with radiators in the basement? I keep hearing about systems that run higher pressures aren't safe so I am just curious where the "safe zone" is.


Thanks again for the info!
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


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What kind of expansion tank do you have.
A large steel tank.
Or a bladder tank?
The tank is a bladder style. Used to have a large steel tank it was replaced with a B&G 30# bladder unit. The old one was a 12x36 steel that had a water supply going to it.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:31 AM   #6
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


The old tank was probably used as air eliminator tank also(sometimes intentional, sometimes not). Some times. When switching over to a bladder tank. Air problems can crop up.
Where is your air eliminator installed. Before or after the circ.

Did this air problem show up in the same heating season as when the tank was changed.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:40 PM   #7
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The old tank was probably used as air eliminator tank also(sometimes intentional, sometimes not). Some times. When switching over to a bladder tank. Air problems can crop up.
Where is your air eliminator installed. Before or after the circ.

Did this air problem show up in the same heating season as when the tank was changed.

Problem was going on before this was done. The only new problem is that one additional baseboard unit suffers from no heat. Otherwise all is the same. I have lower pressure now as well. (12psi cold and 18-19 hot)
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:43 PM   #8
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


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Originally Posted by psilliman001 View Post
here is a tried and true method for keeping your radiation always filled & circulating . turn off the pump and let the system cool to room temp and observe the pressure guage. go to the trouble radiation and see if you get any water press. out of it. if not , go back down and locate your pressure reducing valve that is connected to the water inlet to the system . find the adjusting screw that is used to boost the pressure in systems that require more static pres. than the generic 12# settings that are ok for most single story jobs. only adjust the screw 1/2 turn in and u should hear water start to run if the valve is working properly. wait patiently 'till it stops and recheck the upstairs rad for water. when the highest rad is filled with no pumps on, note the pressure and add 1 or 2 # max on top of that and as long as your cushion tank is at the proper level and your prv screen is clean & you're sure the prv has stopped filling , your system will not have to be bled for a long time under most conditions. oh , and NO auto bleeders on your baseboard system as the will draw air into the system , but that's for another post ( straight from b&g little red schoolhouse at their factory learning center).....
have lots of patience with your water adjustments as they take a long time to stop after being adjusted.make sure the prv stops for sure........
OK I did what you said and when the temp on the boiler was completely down and system off I went to bleed the troubled units, they all bleed exactly the same as when the system is up and running. So they bleed fine, seem to have plenty of pressure. What is my next line of action to try out?

Thanks again.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


What circulator is on the boiler.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


I have B&G series 100 pumps, both are only about 1 1/2 years old. Everything has been redone except for the boiler itself. Problem has always been like this, I just thought all the new components would have fixed at least some. These are located on the return side of the boiler, the expansion tank is on the supply side. So basically 1 1/4 copper goes vertical out of the boiler (4 feet or so) then goes horizontal and hits the air valve and the expansion tank mounts directed under the valve. From there it tees to hit the 2 zones. 1.5 and 1" both go through B&G Flo control valves, run there loops and pumps are on the return side next to boiler.

Main loop in the basement is 1.5" copper and the baseboard units are 1/2" Second zone is 1" copper.

I can post some pictures this weekend if that would help anyone. I will snap a few and get them up here. Maybe if you guys see the setup you will spot something.

Last edited by bmac1967; 10-22-2009 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:26 PM   #11
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


Are all your baeboards "?

Those B&G 100's may be the problem. " baseboard has a high head resistance.

You may need something like a Taco 008 or 0010.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:51 PM   #12
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Cast Iron Baseboard heat Issue


I think they are, but I will gladly go and check them all out. I will report back.

Thanks for the all the input.

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