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Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating


This is like following a good breaking news story!

I can't wait until we get to the part where gramma is warm again! :)

We're behind ya froman. All the way!

Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

Good work froman!

We're half way home!

If you've connected a clothes dryer to a gas line you can easily learn soldering technique; but leave that to after you get heat restored.

Could you post another photo of the boiler gauge; the photo posted is a little too fuzzy to read clearly.

The gauge side saying "altitude" should be the correct psi side; some gauges have a both a psi scale and a "kpa" scale (european) to read the same needle setting.

If heat doesn't come to the baseboard, you will have to get some air out.

The only apparent way to do this on your system is to:

Shut off the boiler switch temporarily and reconnect the garden hose water supply hose to the boiler drain valve.

Do one floor at a time; if you have a valve to isolate one floor from the other, isolate the 1st floor from the 2nd; also, if there is a shutoff valve on the RETURN LINE going into the boiler, also temporarily shut this off.

(There are TWO large MAIN PIPES attached to the boiler; the one at the TOP of the boiler is the MAIN SUPPLY pipe, and delivers hot water to the baseboards; the large pipe going into the BOTTOM (or SIDE) of the boiler is the MAIN RETURN pipe, which returns all cooled circulated water back to the boiler via the pump so it can be heated again).

Attach a length of garden hose to the 2nd floor "port" valve, (this is known as an air purge valve) and put the other end into a large bucket or plastic barrel.

Close the main and open the port, (air purge) (see the Watts site below for an example of how purge valves work, and how they are used to get air out of lines) and gradually turn on water supply & let fresh water into the boiler thru the drain valve, as before.

Try to avoid too much water pressure going into the boiler at the drain valve; if you exceed 30 psi, the pressure relief valve will open spilling water on the floor.

When there are no longer bubbles coming out of the purge valve into the bucket/barrel, close the purge valve, open the valve closing the main, and close the boiler drain valve.

Continue this process with the 1st floor piping.

Make sure you OPEN ANY VALVES you closed on the RETURN MAIN, or at the purge valve so the hot water can freely circulate thru the pipes; turn the boiler switch back on.

There is usually also some type of air purger device on a horizontal stretch of the MAIN SUPPLY PIPE near the boiler, or near the expansion tank; the Bell Gossett site has a photo of some of these under "valves"/Air Removal Devices/EASB JR/Enhanced Air Separator

Sometimes you have to loosen the little screw valve at the top to let air out; DO NOT TOUCH anything on the expansion tank itself; there is a valve that looks like an automobile tire valve that must not be touched.

Please post back to advise of your progress.


Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

I followed the procedure and it worked like a charm. There was a LOT of air in the 2nd floor piping. Pressure stayed level before and after, and the heat came on in under an hour. Thanks a lot to jack and everyone else who contributed!

Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

froman ... Great news:)

JacktheShack does rock.:D

Re: Baseboard Heaters not Heating

Congratulations, froman!

Here's hoping the house is toasty warm for the rest of the winter season.

If you wish to do some additional work on the boiler when the weather gets warm, I would recommend one or two bleed valves on the 1st and 2nd floor to make air purging lots easier.

A 90 degree 3/4" brass elbow with a 3/8" tap for the bleed valve is widely used for this, and is avaialable at plumbing supply houses for ~$4.

Also recommend a 1/2" sweat ball valve to replace the corroded valve next to the pressure reducing valve (HD/Lowes).

If the reducing valve doesn't maintain 15 psi, that too should be replaced with a Taco 329-3 reducing valve with fast fill, or a Bell & Gossett ITT FB-38 with fast fill, both go for ~$30.

A Watts 9D-M3 backflow preventer (~$25) is also recommended if the system doesn't have one.

You should be able to install all these items yourself, especially in the spring, when you won't need the heat, and can leave the system down overnight.

I've listed a tutorial on soldering copper tubing; the items pictured are all available at HD/Lowe's.

Google "soldering copper pipe" for additional sites; there are two sites by Reader's Digest that have instructive photos, but I can't get them to load.



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