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Old 10-28-2011, 01:27 PM   #1
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Hi Guys,
We bought a house this summer and it has a in-floor heating system with a boiler.

The boiler is working fine, and I get very hot water for my domestic use.

But I am still having problems with the in-floor heating system though.

There are two zones with two thermostats, the zone-valves open and close fine, and the pump is spinning, but the supply pipes only get hot for about 2 meters, and the return pipes never get hot. so I think the pump may not be pumping enough water flow?

The pump is a Grundfos UPS 15-42F, and it is located on the hot water supply side, so it is pushing I guess. The motorized zone valves are located in the return pipe sides.

I have some questions about the pump.

1. does it have a installation direction? I mean, this particular pump seems installed back-wards compared to 2 other pumps in the system (one in the boiler return pipe, and one in another place), IF it indeed was installed the wrong way, will I get any flow/hot water in the pipes?

2. is it normal for a hot water pump to get its propeller loose from the shaft, so it is spinning but not pumping. (I know some car's water pumps do that when they get old, and when they do that, you get overheat engine, because of less water flow).

3. there is a switch on the pump control panel, with 1,2,3 markings, I assume this is flow rate switch?

4. The bladder type expansion tank was broken, so I replaced that, and found out the air vent release valve (where the expansion tank was attached to) is also broken, will this cause the problem I am having? There is another air vent in the system, located very high up, and when I loose it, only water came out. so I am guessing I may not have air in the pipes?

5. What other problems can it be?

Thanks a lots guys, I really need some help here. Please Help!

Hexar

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Without pictures it is almost impossible to figure out.Now if you have a pump on the return pumping water to the boiler and another pump on the supply it has to pump away from the boiler and I would think would have to be the same size pump.Even though I have never seen a set up like that it might work if you have head pressure problems.The third pump is most likely going to your domestic hot water tank..
Most installers would do the whole job with one pump and zone valves or zone with pumps without zone valves.
Now as for the infloor piping,the temp should only be around 100 degrees and then you would have around 80 degree return.(the temps will vary on each job but you get the idea).If the temp were much hotter you couldn't walk around with bare feet as it would feel like burning to you.
The last thing is the air elimination.as you might guess air elimination in the small diameter infloor piping is very very important.Most air elinination valve set up like you have are improperly installed so you could end up with problems if that is the case.When I install any hot water boiler,I install a Spirotherm air eliminator as there isn't anything else even close to their performance .In most systems the air vents get replaced on a normal maintainance.
Bl;adder tanks go bad ever once in a while but if they are sized right and the boiler only has the normal 12 pounds pressure in them they should be fine for years.Now here is a clue,once the boiler is filled to the 12 pound pressure,the feed valve should be sout off.Most installers leave them in the on position believing that if the boiler loses water through the airb vents say then it will be replaced..I have seen the great damage that can happen if a pipe or a radiator cracks and the fill valve is in the open position.It is much cheaper to have a low water cut off installed on the boiler in case the worsty happens.This will shut the boiler off if it senses low water and prevent massive damage if the fill is left on.

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Old 10-28-2011, 03:06 PM   #3
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Quote:
Originally Posted by REP View Post
Without pictures it is almost impossible to figure out.Now if you have a pump on the return pumping water to the boiler and another pump on the supply it has to pump away from the boiler and I would think would have to be the same size pump.Even though I have never seen a set up like that it might work if you have head pressure problems.The third pump is most likely going to your domestic hot water tank..
Most installers would do the whole job with one pump and zone valves or zone with pumps without zone valves.
Now as for the infloor piping,the temp should only be around 100 degrees and then you would have around 80 degree return.(the temps will vary on each job but you get the idea).If the temp were much hotter you couldn't walk around with bare feet as it would feel like burning to you.
The last thing is the air elimination.as you might guess air elimination in the small diameter infloor piping is very very important.Most air elinination valve set up like you have are improperly installed so you could end up with problems if that is the case.When I install any hot water boiler,I install a Spirotherm air eliminator as there isn't anything else even close to their performance .In most systems the air vents get replaced on a normal maintainance.
Bl;adder tanks go bad ever once in a while but if they are sized right and the boiler only has the normal 12 pounds pressure in them they should be fine for years.Now here is a clue,once the boiler is filled to the 12 pound pressure,the feed valve should be sout off.Most installers leave them in the on position believing that if the boiler loses water through the airb vents say then it will be replaced..I have seen the great damage that can happen if a pipe or a radiator cracks and the fill valve is in the open position.It is much cheaper to have a low water cut off installed on the boiler in case the worsty happens.This will shut the boiler off if it senses low water and prevent massive damage if the fill is left on.
Thanks Rep, I appreciate the reply very much.

Here are some pictures I posted in another thread.

http://www.diychatroom.com/attachmen...s-p1120622.jpg
http://www.diychatroom.com/attachmen...s-p1120620.jpg

The pump I am talking about can be found in the second picture above, it is a pink pump. The temperature gauge indicated the water temperature is about 150F(65C) if I remember correctly.

The two zone values are shown in the second picture as well.

I have 3 pumps, one is just next to the boiler's "cold pipe" side (I think the right side is the hotter side), it is not shown in the pictures.

The installer also installed a "heat ex-changer" inside the furnace's main duct, so there is a supply and return pipes for that, the second pump is for that purpose. It can be found in the first picture (just under the expansion tank, sort of in the background).

The third pump is in-charge of pumping water to/from the zones, I think, and it is the pump I am questioning about.

All 3 pumps have same model number, just the switches are dialed differently (so maybe the flow rate is different)?

In the first picture, I have a yellow arrow pointing the the bleed valve (I think it is that), what do you think?

In this setup, how do I bleed the system?

Thanks again!
Hexar

Last edited by Hexar; 10-28-2011 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Don't see a bleed/purge valve set up. probably is one, just can't see one in those pics.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


A bladder broken expansion tank could definitly dump enough air into your system to cause air locks that would prevent water circulation. Whether your problem is a failing pump or air locks, you need to replace your non functioning air bleeds. After you done that, you'll need to encourage that air lock to start moving again so it can be dealt with.
How many storys is your house? What is the current pressure in your boiler? Sometimes an air lock can be moved by simply jiggeling the lever on the pressure regulator to increase your water pressure while only having the problem zone on.. Watch your pressure indicater to keep the psi below 28 psi. When doing this you should leave the gas valve on the pilot position to stop heating the water and tripping your relief valve. If it feels like the water is circulating again, allow it to continue to run for a while for your bleed valves to deal with the circulating air. You should hear air coming from the bleed valves. Reduce the excess pressure to normal and turn the gas valve back on again.
Other methods for dealing with an air lock that won't budge are best left to a boiler tech.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:21 PM   #6
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Don't see a bleed/purge valve set up. probably is one, just can't see one in those pics.
Thanks Beenthere,
i have uploaded more pictures at here:
http://s1113.photobucket.com/albums/...xarAndHexanon/

Please take a look.

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:30 PM   #7
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Quote:
Originally Posted by how View Post
A bladder broken expansion tank could definitly dump enough air into your system to cause air locks that would prevent water circulation. Whether your problem is a failing pump or air locks, you need to replace your non functioning air bleeds. After you done that, you'll need to encourage that air lock to start moving again so it can be dealt with.
How many storys is your house? What is the current pressure in your boiler? Sometimes an air lock can be moved by simply jiggeling the lever on the pressure regulator to increase your water pressure while only having the problem zone on.. Watch your pressure indicater to keep the psi below 28 psi. When doing this you should leave the gas valve on the pilot position to stop heating the water and tripping your relief valve. If it feels like the water is circulating again, allow it to continue to run for a while for your bleed valves to deal with the circulating air. You should hear air coming from the bleed valves. Reduce the excess pressure to normal and turn the gas valve back on again.
Other methods for dealing with an air lock that won't budge are best left to a boiler tech.
Thanks how!
The house is a 4 level split, the boiler is at the basement level (lowest), half level up is the mud room, another half level up is the sun-room. These two rooms are in one zone. One level above the mud room is our master bedroom floor. It is on its own zone. So the tallest pipe is 1.5 levels high, about 15 feet higher than the boiler's basement concrete floor.

Under normal situations, are there any vents under the floor, somewhere in the middle of the pipes? Part of the ceiling under the floor is not sealed (ceiling tiles), if there is one, that would make things easier, currently I cannot find one though.

Thanks again,
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:12 AM   #8
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Under normal situations, are there any vents under the floor, somewhere in the middle of the pipes?

No. Not for in floor heating.

What water pressure does your boiler guage show?
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:17 AM   #9
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


I don't see a purge set up in those picks.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Quote:
Originally Posted by how View Post
Under normal situations, are there any vents under the floor, somewhere in the middle of the pipes?

No. Not for in floor heating.

What water pressure does your boiler guage show?
It used to be 10-12 when cold, about 15 when hot, we hired a journeyman plumber last Thursday to fix it, he could not find out why, but he increase the pressure, now it is about 17-20 when hot.

He will come back next Tuesday to replace the air vents.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:41 AM   #11
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
I don't see a purge set up in those picks.

What does a purge setup do? And what are picks? pickup points?
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Purge set up. Is a way to purge the air from the system. Generally has a hose bibb thread on it. Picks, was supposed to be Pics. As in pictures
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:14 AM   #13
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


there is a coin vent above the bladder tank and one to the right of the pump in question

There is also an auto air vent at the top of the system in this pic. remove the cap of this and push down on the valve and see if water or air comes out.
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Last edited by hvactech126; 10-29-2011 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:06 PM   #14
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Purge set up. Is a way to purge the air from the system. Generally has a hose bibb thread on it. Picks, was supposed to be Pics. As in pictures
Thanks, got it!
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:11 PM   #15
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problems with Grundfos UPS 15-42F pump and my boiler heating system


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvactech126 View Post
there is a coin vent above the bladder tank and one to the right of the pump in question

There is also an auto air vent at the top of the system in this pic. remove the cap of this and push down on the valve and see if water or air comes out.
Thanks hvactech126!
the "coin vent above the bladder tank" is broken, the plumber will come and replace it next tuesday.

the "one to the right of the pump in question", do you mean the thing with a wire coming out of it? Is it a vent too? the wire is sort of "loose" in the top-nut, I can wiggle the wire maybe 1/8" in and out. How do I vent from this thing?

"There is also an auto air vent at the top of the system in this pic", I can actually unscrew the whole thing loose, and water is coming out of the joint.

Thanks again for the help!

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