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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am fairly handy, having run my own gas lines, water lines redid a bathroom, etc. I thought I taught myself the in and outs of hydronic heating, and then I hit a wall. My basement and first floor heat great, third floor is cold. I have had this home for 2 years, and this is the second winter we are in the house. i bled the heaters at the heater level, I bled the entire loop, and nothing helps. keep in mind, as you are thinking how to advise me how to get the third floor back hot again, that it is 1 zone, three loop system. the boiler is from 1979, and the pressure is consistently reading at 25, hence I do not think the reducing value is failing. when i bleed the heaters, only water escapes, when i bleed at the spigot - again only water NO air. i make sure to turn off the return vale before i bleed, and the hot water DEFINITELY cycles as after a minute the third floor loop becomes boiling. that being the case, i feel like i have done everything possible and nothing helps. HAVE TO be honest, I have no idea if the expansion tank is working or not, its the only part of the system I do not understand. being that the first and second floor is heating, is it sensible to say its not a problem?

1. what do you recommend to get the third floor hot again? what could be going wrong?
2. I'm planning on remove the stem from the t valve and replacing with pex the spigot and ball valve, - i would love to have independent zones, is now the time to do it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you shut off your basement and first floor heat, does the upper floor start to heat?
Basement and first floor doesn't currently have a zone valve on it so the only way to turn them off is to turn off the return valve on each loop - should I try that? What's would that prove?

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Basement and first floor doesn't currently have a zone valve on it so the only way to turn them off is to turn off the return valve on each loop - should I try that? What's would that prove?

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You're most likely air locked somewhere but with the other loops in parallel and open you can't isolate the upper loop and place full pump pressure on it. The top most loop is always the most difficult one to get started.



The other thing to consider is that with parallel loops the flow is always going to take the path of least resistance. If the flow through your two lower loops are satisfying the pump's output then there is no reason for the water to flow upwards through the longer third loop. You should have valves in the loops so you can throttle the lower ones down a little and create enough resistance so the top one starts getting used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're most likely air locked somewhere but with the other loops in parallel and open you can't isolate the upper loop and place full pump pressure on it. The top most loop is always the most difficult one to get started.



The other thing to consider is that with parallel loops the flow is always going to take the path of least resistance. If the flow through your two lower loops are satisfying the pump's output then there is no reason for the water to flow upwards through the longer third loop. You should have valves in the loops so you can throttle the lower ones down a little and create enough resistance so the top one starts getting used.
So that leaves me one of two options at this point in time cut the the supply on each of the loops install ball valves or leave them as is close the return on those two loops and hope the pressure generated by the boiler pushed it out the air in the third loop

I'll try the second option first lol

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Follow Bob's suggestion. You won't need any valves on the supply to accomplish balancing. Close both the basement and the middle floor like he said, and if the top floor works, slowly open the other 2 until your house is heating evening.

Cheers!
 

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Before your heat stopped working right, did you open or choke off any valves?


Can you post a pic of your circulator.
 

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I'd take an amp draw on it, and see if its drawings more than it should. If so, it may be slowing down and not moving enough water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd take an amp draw on it, and see if its drawings more than it should. If so, it may be slowing down and not moving enough water.
This whole process is really interesting as I have to play detective here so I turned off the basement and ground floor return lines and opened up the third floor only (very little). I raise the heat on the boiler itself to 200 just to get the pressure really high and waited forever and made sure the circulator was calling for heat because I shorted the thermostat. despite that no heat came out of the boiler meaning all lines were cool. Waited quite a while nothing doing. subsequent to that I opened up the return on the basement & ground floor and heard like a swish of water running in from those two lines into the the main return to the circulator after a while those two lines heated up nicely the third floor remains cold.


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Sounds air bound. Shut off the basement and first floor, and purge the third floor for 10 minutes or more. See if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sounds air bound. Shut off the basement and first floor, and purge the third floor for 10 minutes or more. See if that helps.
I'm going to do that

also just occurred to me that I've got an abandoned hydronic heating coil in the third floor which is hooked up to the return line up there it has to do with my failed attempt at installing the hydronic coil into a central air conditioning system meanwhile the coil is sitting horizontal on top of the air handler I didn't think it was causing any trouble in terms of air because cold water still flowing through back down to return maybe it's also the culprit what do you think?

Thanks so much for helping me out with this I know I'll figure this out soon with your support!

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I think you have a valve shut somewhere. Does the return line valve for upstairs seem loose and easy to turn?

That abandoned coil is hooked up to the system? How did you pipe it? Does it have shutoff valves?

In your pictures above, I see what looks like 4 loops. What is that extra branch?

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think you have a valve shut somewhere. Does the return line valve for upstairs seem loose and easy to turn?

That abandoned coil is hooked up to the system? How did you pipe it? Does it have shutoff valves?

In your pictures above, I see what looks like 4 loops. What is that extra branch?

Cheers!
It's easy to turn yes. The abandoned coil has no valves. I'll remove it and bleed that line. The fourth loop is cut, I removed heating from one section is the house years back

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It's easy to turn yes. The abandoned coil has no valves. I'll remove it and bleed that line. The fourth loop is cut, I removed heating from one section is the house years back

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Much easier then the other valves?

How did you pipe in that coil? Series with the upstairs loop? Parallel to another rad?

Cheers!
 

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When you close the return line valves, and open the drain spigot, do you get good flow?

If you do, connect that drain of either of the other zones. Purge air out of the hose, and open that return line valve and drain. See if you have a bit of flow then. If so, replace your return valve.

Cheers!
 
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