hot water heating system/zone valve??

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by freez, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. freez

    freez New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Hello, friendly people out there:

    4 zone water heating system. basement, main floor work OK. two zones on the 2rd floor, stop heating. zone valves installed on the supply pipes instead of return pipes. When turn on the thermostat, or manully push start the zone valve, circulator and boiler kick in, but no hot water go up the pipes. only small amount hot water go pass the zone valves.

    is it a zone valve(honeywell) problem? Easy fix?

    Thank you,thank you!!
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    Have you tried bleeding the air from the system? You say it's the upper floor that is not heating and any air in the system will go to the upper floor.

    John
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    I'll second that...air in the system. The pump often can't overcome the head if there is air up there. Hopefully, there are bleed valves upstairs you can open to release that trapped air, then it will likely work.

    Most zone valves have a manual override which will open them, but that won't help if the pump is air locked and can't push the water up. If the pipes are full, the returning water helps to pull the water pushed up there by the pump. With air in the middle, often the pump can't push it up there, therefore, it stays cold.
  4. freez

    freez New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Thank you, John. Thank you Jim.
    There's awful lot of air in the system. After bleeding the air and adding more water into the system, hot water did come up:)
    one problem is the pressure gadge is broken, we don't know how much water we need to put in. We fill the water not too long ago, (not enough maybe) We also suspect there may be leaking somewhere in the system. If that's the case, what signs should we be looking for? Could it be boiler itself that's leaking water? Could it be the pipes? This is our first winter in this house. it's a very old boiler (25 years old). Not sure how long it will hold up.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,047
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Without a pressure gauge, you have absolutely no idea if you have enough pressure to lift the water up to the highest radiators, and if they do NOT have water, they will NOT heat, period.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    Pressure gauges are usually not very expensive...you really need a working one, so you should replace it, or add one elsewhere. The boiler pressure needs to be high enough for proper operation, but not higher than the safety limits, so there is a small/medium range of proper operational valves.
  7. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Sounds like you need to

    1.) get a working guage to know what you pressure is at.
    2.) find the leak if any. Water has to go somewhere. Why do you suspect a leak?
    3.) 25years is old but not terminal for a boiler. If it is properly maintained you can get 30yrs out of a boiler.
    4.) you should not be having to add water to a boiler on a regular basis. It is a closed system. Air and fresh water will be shortening the life of your equipment for sure.
  8. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Connecticut
    One more thing if you have a working pressure relief valve or T&P they generally blow at or near 30PSI. If that has spewed water from it already then you have added too much water/pressure.
  9. kelvinwong

    kelvinwong top 1 Solar in China

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Jiangsu Province, China
    Hi All!
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    Thanks for your kind attention!
    Kelvin
    kelvin8605@hotmail.com
  10. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
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