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pmacedo 12-09-2007 02:57 PM

Bleeding air from baseboard heater pipes
I have tried several ways of bleeding the air out of my heating system. I don't know if there is a lot of new things that I can gain by explaining my particular setup but here goes.

First of all I don't have any bleeder valves on the baseboard heaters. I have two runs of pipe from the furnace. One does the downstairs (6 registers), the second does the upstairs (1 register). As you might guess the upstairs one is typically hotter, and has air issues.

Here's how the water flows (excuse the carnival of colors from the previous owners)

Water come in through a yellow pipe with a shut off valve and some sort of weird red pressure thing.

pmacedo 12-09-2007 02:59 PM

the rest of the story...
Next it goes through the furnace and out the top through a very large pipe. On this pipe is another big red pressure regulator looking valve.
Attached around that point too is a tank that hangs over in the corner. I believe it is to provide pressure. But I have a bad memory.

The water returns from the radiators through two pipes that have two bypass valves (I think that's what it's called). Blue is downstairs, Green is upstairs.
Below this valve it goes back into the furnace and there is a valve at the bottom that does something mysterious to me as well.

So... I've bled the air with a hose sometimes it works better but not always. One thing I have tried most recently was to get a hose that was run up higher than the top floor heaters. I didn't have much pressure to get things pushed that high though. It was steady, but not a strong flow.

I had a plumber come over once and he hooked up a hose between the water heater and that hanging tank. It let me have enough pressure to blast things out quite well. So maybe that's the way to go? I don't know. Any ideas?

Bondo 12-09-2007 07:59 PM

Well,...... I'm not a Pro,.......

What I'd do is to just Install a Bleeder in the upstairs loop........

skymaster 12-09-2007 10:07 PM

red critters are flow valves fof gravity hot water system. The mystery tank is called an expansion tank. You should be able to isolate each loop, should be 2 valves in each, you hook a hose to one and drain out thru other. That way you force the air our of system.
I would suspect the expansion tank is waterlogged and or in need of replacement.

pmacedo 12-09-2007 10:14 PM

So to drain out the loops. I have heard so many 'techniques'. Let it drain just dribbling out... make sure the hose is higher than the heater that it is going to... close both before i drain.. close only the one I am draining.. what would you recommend?

Also.. Why do you suspect that the expansion tank is in need of replacement?

Thanks for your help!

Thanks! I'll definitely look into that

skymaster 12-10-2007 09:47 AM

The expansion tank is quite old, galvanized steel, when first installed there was an airspace that got created when first filled, as water passed thru it and there was air in the pipes it could escape into the expansion tank. As time went by that air gets taken out by water and time and the prorsity of the steel and now most likely is "waterlogged" as in no space anymore. Newer expansion tanks have a bladder that keeps that space no matter and last way way longer.
To drain a loop you must be able to isolate that loop from the system, then put hose on one side valve turn water on, place bucket under the other valve or put hose on and run water thru that loop until you hear all the bubbles,burping etc has stopped and nothing but water is running thru the loop: DO NOT TURN WATER OFF UNTIL YOU TURN THAT VALVE OFF FIRST THEN TURN FEED SIDE VALVE OFF,THEN TURN OFF THE WATER.

pmacedo 12-10-2007 04:20 PM

Step by step please?
Do you mind telling me step by step what to do to isolate the system? I've heard so many things I think I am doing something wrong. Also do you think that it's necessary to do the 'hose above the highest point in the heating loop' thing?

Thanks so much for your help!

Perhaps you could use this adapted picture with numbered valves as a guide for me :)

I am guessing close 3 and 4. Hook up hose to 1 and drain. Is there something else I am missing?

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