Using a Boiler Circulating Pump but Not Getting Heat

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coaledsweat
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 7:03 pm

Find the tube that runs from the well or city water supply to the boiler. It will most likley be a WATTS valve, about a foot from the boiler on the feed line. It will be copper or bronze in color and be no more than a few packs of cigarettes in size. There is a lever about 2" long, just a flat blade. If you push the lever over, you should hear and/or feel the water moving. Just watch the gauge on the boiler and when it reaches the pressure you want, flip the lever back.

Well water is tough on these valves, I change mine about every 6-7 years.
Last edited by coaledsweat on Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LsFarm
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Location: Michigan

Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 7:04 pm

Sharon, lets make sure we have a couple of things verified,

The pump is running, and circulating the water in the basement loop when the zone valve is manually open.

If you manually open the 1st floor zone valve, with the basement valve closed, you are not getting heat on the 1st floor?? Touch the baseboard pipes and see if they are warm/hot.

What is the water temp in the boiler at this time??

Is the water hot on both sides of the 1st floor zone valve?? I don't think an air bubble in the 1st floor loop could air lock your pipes. Is there any chance the pipes are frozen and blocked by ice?? I hope not.

Locate the pipe going out to the baseboard loop and the one coming back. use your hand to see if they are both cold, or only warm. Then find on the 1st floor, the last baseboard unit, before the water returns to the basement and the boiler. Inside the metal cover at the elbow there should be either a small can like a small bottle of aspirin, or a valve about the size of the tip of a finger. If it is the can type there will be a cap on top like a tire-valve cap. make sure this cap is not tight, it should be loose to let the air out. If it is the smaller type, there will be a screw in the center of the top of the valve, use a good fitting screwdriver to loosen the screw a half turn or so, air will come out if there is any, or water if no air.

If there is no bleed valve or canister, find the guy who plumbed the place and kick him in the shins. I think it's code that there is a bleed valve on the end of the horozontal run prior to the down return to the boiler.

Something is either closed off, or not opening, or frozen up or ?? If you have the basement warm the floor above will be warm too, so the 1st floor pipes should not be frozen.

Greg L

Lost Lady
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 7:48 pm

If you manually open the 1st floor zone valve, with the basement valve closed, you are not getting heat on the 1st floor?? getting warm not hot
What is the water temp in the boiler at this time?? 130

Is the water hot on both sides of the 1st floor zone valve yES
The pipes haven't froze yet...
I found air in the second floor pipes and bleed all of them...
Now I need to figure out how and why when the stove is flaming hot the the water temp. is not coming up????
Sharon

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LsFarm
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 8:02 pm

Hi Sharon, close down the other zone valves, have only one valve open at a time, Your older boiler is not able to transfer enough heat to the water. It sounds like it is just trying to heat too many feet of baseboard. Let it heat only one floor, like it was on the basement, and the water should slowly warm up, like it did last night when the basement go tto 75*.

By the way, you have a push-pull lever next to the loading door right?? are you sure you have it in the closed position when you are trying to make heat?? I think this is supposed to be pulled open when you open the upper door to load coal. then push it closed it to divert the heat through more passageways to heat more water. I think you can see the sliding door at the top/side of the firebox with the top door open, This sliding door should be closed to make max heat in the water.

Hope this helps. Greg L

.

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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 8:16 pm

I have been closing it...and having to keep an eye on the stove pipe it has reach 600 degrees and scared the crap right out of me.

Sharon

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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 8:30 pm

Hi Sharon,
What is the pressure gauge on your boiler reading now that you have bled air from the second floor? It looks like the auto fill valve is in the upper left hand corner of the second picture you posted. It is just before the blue handle shut off valve and next to the other shut off valve. It should have a screw in the top center of it with a locking nut. The valve next to the auto fill valve is the bypass valve. If you pressure is below 15 psi, crack open the bypass valve until the gauge reads 15 psi. (It is possible the auto fill valve is not working properly and may be valved off).Then bleed the radiators until there is not any more air. It may take a few times to get all of the air out. I hope this helps, George

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coaledsweat
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 8:50 pm

If your stack is at 600* and the water is 130* somethings wrong. Is 130* the only temperature you see or does it go up and down?
Even if everthing is right, you won't heat anything in this weather with 130* water. I run mine at around 175-180* in weather like this.

A few questions, do you have a hand damper on the stove pipe? If so what is it's position? Does the stove pipe have a TEE with a flapper in the end of the TEE's branch?
How long ago was this coal boiler installed and did it do a good job in the past? Does it have a combustion blower?

I would find someone (a teenager is perfect) that can take and post detailed pictures of this thing. There is a bunch of geniuses here, but we are in the dark if you know what I mean. We need to see the coal boiler. Does it have a control on it similar to the oil boiler, a large box with wires? If so pull the cover and see what the setpoints are at. The aquastat may just be set too low if it has one.

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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 9:15 pm

here I go again
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coaledsweat
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
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Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 9:28 pm

You have no barometric damper, that can be addressed later. There is a knob on your stovepipe just before the chimney. It is your manual damper which is wide open. You need to turn that knob so it's handle points verticle instead of horizontal. That will keep the heat in the boiler and water and not send it up the chimney.

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coaledsweat
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 9:32 pm

Can we get some better picks of the coal unit? The first picture looks like a stove not a boiler from that view.

The second picture is the control on your oil boiler, does the coal boiler have a similar box?

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keyman512us
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 10:24 pm

Sharon? Do you any switches to the oil burner off? Pull the cover off that Honeywell control (the aquastat) the one right below the temperature gauge...and send a picture of how the wires connect. I'll bet your aqausta won't let the circulator "spin cold" the way it is hooked up right now.

Lost Lady
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 10:32 pm

I'll get more picture be right back

Lost Lady
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 10:43 pm

again
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keyman512us
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 10:48 pm

Sharon...you have 12pounds pressure in the system...don't worry about the water. The circulator on the boiler "isn't spinning" below 155...it is cycling. Try this: Shut the power off to the oil burner, remove the wire from terminal marked "C1" and attach it to the terminal marked "B1"(in the control box below the gauge this is the aquastat)...turn the power back on...and I bet you get more heat. That will let the circulator pump water all the time...thus getting you more heat.

Lost Lady
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Post Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 10:49 pm

Do you any switches to the oil burner off You asked I tripped the relay switch

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