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Old 01-23-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
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Hot water baseboard, no heat, boiler, circulator on


Hey, need big help with this, it's7 degrees, with no heat but a wood stove. I just turned my boiler on last night, it heated up, woke up to no heat. Temps/pressure were normal on boiler, circulator pump was very hot to the touch. I replaced the circulator, still no heat, and it was very hot also after running for 10 minutes or so. I did bleed the system with a bleeder on the second floor, no air and very hot water on the supply side to upstairs, didn't think to see if the return was warm though. The whole house is one zone with a "T" to feed both upstairs and the first floor. I do have two sections of the plumbing that run thru the attic, one about 3' the other about 6' that are uninsulated (I know dumb, not a spring project). Even if these were frozen, why would I still get no heat down stairs where it has always been above 32.
Anyone with ideas, I'd be more than happy to listen to, the wood stove is good but struggling at these temps, mornings are far to cold. Thanks, appreciate any help!

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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Hot water baseboard, no heat, boiler, circulator on


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Hey, need big help with this, it's7 degrees, with no heat but a wood stove. I just turned my boiler on last night, it heated up, woke up to no heat. Temps/pressure were normal on boiler, circulator pump was very hot to the touch. I replaced the circulator, still no heat, and it was very hot also after running for 10 minutes or so. I did bleed the system with a bleeder on the second floor, no air and very hot water on the supply side to upstairs, didn't think to see if the return was warm though. The whole house is one zone with a "T" to feed both upstairs and the first floor. I do have two sections of the plumbing that run thru the attic, one about 3' the other about 6' that are uninsulated (I know dumb, not a spring project). Even if these were frozen, why would I still get no heat down stairs where it has always been above 32.
Anyone with ideas, I'd be more than happy to listen to, the wood stove is good but struggling at these temps, mornings are far to cold. Thanks, appreciate any help!
if its frozen in attic it would be a feed and return ..that would stop circulation of water ..or no heat..check pipes in attic 1 st ... by the way is the boiler even firing...ben sr

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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Hot water baseboard, no heat, boiler, circulator on


If those pipes are frozen you will likely burn out that circulator. Have you got a probe type thermometer? I'd say your attic pipes are frozen. You need to thaw them and by now it's very likely one has broken if frozen solid. Those pipes need to be on the warm side of the insulation, not exposed in a non conditioned space. You will be very fortunate if you do NOT have a broken pipe. Get up in the attic and get them thawed.....and keep an eye on them....and open up the attic so some heat can get up there.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:14 PM   #4
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Hot water baseboard, no heat, boiler, circulator on


It's probably frozen pipes but all you know for certain is that the water is not circulating.
Are you sure that all the gate valves that were turned off for that pump change have been turned back on?
Air lock? Can you turn off one of your gate valves so that the water that comes into the boiler must go through the un insulated attic area to get back down to the boiler drain, when it's opened???
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #5
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ben sr Yes, boiler if running fine, heat was working a couple of weeks ago when I had it running, thanks for the reply!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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Missouri Bound, thanks, I know, it's been a long time project to get them inside, just one of those projects that gets put off, not again though. Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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How, thanks, yes all the valves are open, I have heat on both sides if the circulating pump plus the supply to upstairs. Like I said, the pipes "T" to feed upstairs and down with separate returns, that's what confusing me, why wouldn't it at least circulate the first floor if just the second was frozen?
Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:36 PM   #8
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Hot water baseboard, no heat, boiler, circulator on


If there actually is an unobstructed pathway between the pump's supply to the return, the hot water has to take it. If that mid floor zone is not heating up then your new pump is suspect.
Did your replacement pump have a check valve in it?
Pictures help! Post 4 is for air locks but can also be used to confirm that the pathway is unobstructed. With a judicious use of a closed gate valve, you can use the boiler water feed to push the heated boiler water through the sytem to the boiler drain. By feeling the temp of the outside of the supply and return, you'll know if it's unobstructed.

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #9
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Hot water baseboard, no heat, boiler, circulator on


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Missouri Bound, thanks, I know, it's been a long time project to get them inside, just one of those projects that gets put off, not again though. Thanks for the help!
I'm thinking that project has just moved to the top of the list....
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:49 PM   #10
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Hot water baseboard, no heat, boiler, circulator on


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How, thanks, yes all the valves are open, I have heat on both sides if the circulating pump plus the supply to upstairs. Like I said, the pipes "T" to feed upstairs and down with separate returns, that's what confusing me, why wouldn't it at least circulate the first floor if just the second was frozen?
Thanks for your help!
Unless you ran the piping yourself it just may go a bit different route than you believe. Add ons and different changes over time create some strange plumbing work.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:12 PM   #11
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Missouri Bound, it has, pipe heaters tomorrow morning, not the right way, but works for now, make it right when I don't need it. I put the first floor base board in about 27 years ago, replaced the living rooms about 3 years ago. Put a new boiler in about 5 years ago, redid from the the supply side on, so what I've replaced is done right and what is there (Cape Cod, so I have access to most everything) is OK, except the attic plumbing.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:45 PM   #12
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How, thanks first, I appreciate you taking the time to help! The supply "T's" off with one feed upstairs, the other down (first floor). Both have separate returns. I just checked the returns, upstairs is hot, so the pipes in the attic are not frozen. The pump had a check valve, instructions said to remove it. It is pumping, I can feel the flow. Is it possible to have a air pocket on the first floor that never makes it up to the second floor bleeder? Both splits for the supply and return for the first and second floor are only 3-4' away from the boiler in the basement.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:44 PM   #13
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Hot water baseboard, no heat, boiler, circulator on


Yes you can have an obstructive air lock just on the lower floor. Do you have any valves on the rads of the working zone that can be shut to force the water flow just through the possibly air blocked one. If so, you can manually lift the lever on your pressure reducing valve to raise the pressure to 20 to 25 psi to force that air lock out to where that air can be bled off.
The other option is to bleed the rads (if they have air bleeds) in the air locked zone with the power off to the pump. If a line is air locked, you might have to drain off 1/2 a gallon from the closest rad.


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