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Old 07-22-2007, 07:06 PM   #1
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


We've been trying for weeks to refill our hot water heating system. We bled the system in order to remove a baseboard radiator during our kitchen renovations. Now we have no heat. This is a small 500sf apt. in a 3-story townhouse with separate boiler for each floor. We are on the third floor. The boiler is on and both the supply and return pipes are hot. I suspect that there is still a lot of air in the system, but there are no bleeder valves on the baseboard radiators. We have been turning on the system and attaching a hose to the drain valve at both the supply and return sides. I stand there and open and close the valve to go from just a trickle of water to a more constant flow. This usually lets some air out, but we still are getting no heat on our floor. The pressure gauge reads at about 18 psi. I have also been releasing the auto-fill pressure gauge at the main water feed to vary the pressure within the system and possibly jolt it enough to push out some air bubbles. See photos attached. Any advice would be much appreciated!
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Old 07-22-2007, 07:38 PM   #2
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


I had the same problem last year when I installed baseboard in series. Turn the water on and let it run for 30-45 minutes. It seems like a long time but that was the only way I could get all the air out of my system.


Edit:
You're pictures are a little small to tell if you are hooked up the the correct spigot. You shouldn't run the heater to bleed it. You have to run the water full tilt through the system, not just a trickle and again, don't fire the unit while you do this.

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Last edited by Clutchcargo; 07-22-2007 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:23 PM   #3
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


Thanks Clutchcargo

I had been told before to run the system cold, and so i turned the gas feed off before i turned my thermostat up. However, I found that the pump would not start up until I turned the gas back on and so i had to run it hot. Maybe there is another way to run it cold?


I have tried to fix this problem about 6 or 7 times now. Each time I turn the system on full blast and I have let it run for up to 3 hours before I give up. While running full tilt I control the drain valve by opening and closing it. If I leave it mostly open or mostly closed air doesn't come out as much as if I alternate between open and closed - but always while the system is running full blast. When you say turn the water on do you mean the drain valve? You left it fully open for 45 minutes?
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:24 PM   #4
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


Quote:
Originally Posted by beetlebabs View Post
We bled the system in order to remove a baseboard radiator during our kitchen renovations.
If you were able to disconnect the radiator for the kitchen reno then it may be in your best interest to install a bleeder.
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Old 07-22-2007, 08:35 PM   #5
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


Quote:
Originally Posted by beetlebabs View Post
Thanks Clutchcargo

I had been told before to run the system cold, and so i turned the gas feed off before i turned my thermostat up. However, I found that the pump would not start up until I turned the gas back on and so i had to run it hot. Maybe there is another way to run it cold?
The pump doesn't need to run to bleed the system. There should be a valve that isolates the zone, in my system I need to close the valve to make sure the water flows through the registers and then to the drain spigot. If the valve is left open, the water flow only goes through the boiler and down the drain and doesn't bleed the system at all.

I tried running the water through my system for a just a few minutes with no results, finally, I just opened it up and walked away.
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Old 07-22-2007, 09:00 PM   #6
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


Makes sense, but I don't know what this valve looks like or how to find it. Our apartment is small and has only one thermostat, therefore I believe only one zone.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:16 PM   #7
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


If it is just one zone then it may not have a zone valve.

Can you post more photos of the pipes around the boiler?

A zone valve will usually have wires come from it.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:54 PM   #8
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


In order to get the air out of the loop in theory, you need to isolate the pump inlet from the system (close valve between pump and boiler) and drain water from return piping with new water being fed in from supply piping. Post some better pictures for further info.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:30 AM   #9
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


Thanks everyone for your help. We fixed it last night using the following techniques:
- increased pressure in the system using the pressure regulator on top of boiler
- ran the system cold
- hooked the hose up to return spigot and then closed the return valve underneath, so water was feeding through the system at about 30psi and leaving at our hose, thus closing the continuous loop. As soon as we did that tons of air and filthy water erupted out of the hose.

It Worked! Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:37 PM   #10
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Bleeding the Air out of boiler without bleeder valves


I have the 3rd line on my apt which is not getting that much heat . I am a newbie in bleeding air out of the system. Ive read several of the relpies and getting the idea of more or less how boilers work. My questions are what should be the pressure on the system before i can start bleeding air out of the system. I tried it last night by putting it at 30 before opening the valves and noticed lots of air coming out. I did it for a hour but it seems that Im still having the same problem - not that much heat on the attic. Why does this process has to be done in cold water? What is the proper psi and temperature ? Am I doing the bleeding right by opening the valve above the hose while the valve under the hose is closed? Thanks.

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Last edited by mstoneroses; 12-12-2007 at 01:39 PM.
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