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Marqed97 03-19-2011 10:24 AM

Bought a foreclosure (new guy)

I recently bought a foreclosure that was empty for about a year here in NW Wisconsin. We closed in January. The water was shut off and the winterization process pretty much quit after that. They left the heat on set at 58 degrees and shut off the water heater. Being a foreclosure I have absolutely NO history on this house or any work done to it.

The house it about 2100 sq ft, square farmhouse style, 3 finished floors, about 100 years old. It has hot water heat with cast iron radiators and a NG fired Weil McLain VHE boiler (I think it was installed around 1996-7). The water heater is also gas. Both are power vented out the foundation wall.

My first question is this: should I be concerned at all about adding water to the boiler? I only wonder because I know the water feed was off for 2 months prior to moving in. The heating system seems to work well, got my first Gas bill and it's relatively cheap compared to the house I rented (1100 sq ft, gas forced air). But when it kicks on I can hear water running in the very first radiator in the system, right above the boiler on the first floor. When the pump starts I can hear quite a bit of water moving. I haven't bled the system at all though all the radiators have newer bleed taps installed. No other radiators make this noise.

Not a big concern, but I want to make sure this boiler lasts as long as possible. I will be scheduling cleaning and maintenance for the end of summer/early fall but am trying to learn as much as possible about this unit. I did get copies of install/operations manuals from Weil mclains website, but I'd like to hear opinions on this boiler from the folks who have installed/serviced/used them over the years.

I also have some odd "old house" plumbing concerns, working on pics for that particular question. I think you guys will get a laugh out of it.

Thanks in advance, sorry for the long post.

Jackofall1 03-19-2011 11:29 AM

Hi and welcome Marqed97, to the best DIY'r site on the web.

Sounds like you have some air entraned in that first radiator.

Is the auto fill valve open?


Edit - THere are many posts, some of which are specific to your boiler brand.

Marqed97 03-19-2011 11:45 AM

It was not open...should I leave it open all the time, or open it and go through the bleed procedure then close it again (always maintaining the 12 psi cold pressure?). I forgot to mention, there are no radiators or pipes on the third floor, as there are two electric baseboards up there (spare rooms as yet unused). So from what I'm reading 12 psi system pressure should be adequate for two stories....

Thanks a lot for the quick reply. I've been reading through forums since buying this place and I've gotta say this is by far the most helpful DIY site I've been on. Glad to become a member!

Jackofall1 03-19-2011 11:48 AM

You could leave it open, but pay close attention to the pressure, as you have no history on this house, you have to ensure that the PRV is working properly.


cibula11 03-19-2011 12:40 PM

I'm not at all qualified to SOLVE this question, but my parents have an older home with radiators. Bleeding the air out of the radiators needs to be done from time to time. It might help. Also, having a plumbing come and check the pressure might be a good idea. The process of getting the water to circulate through all the radiators (especially on the 2nd floor) can take a good week or so.

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