No heat on second floor

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Ennismj, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Ennismj

    Ennismj New Member

    Oct 28, 2008
    I have a forced hot water system and I can't get any water to the second floor. I opened the bleeder valves on the base boards and a little air comes out but not much. My pressure is set at 22 and from the basement to the 2nd floor the distance is about 19'. I followed the supply pipe and noted where the branch goes to the second floor. About 2' from where the branch comes off the supply, the pipe is hot then there is a drain valve and shortly after the pipe is not hot and likely waterless. I have tried combinations of shutting the boiler off, shutting the water supply off, draining but still can't get water/heat to the 2nd floor. Thoughts?
  2. rmelo99

    rmelo99 Network Engineer

    Jul 7, 2006
    Network Engineer
    Some questions, is this one zone or multiple?

    If it is multiple zones are there multiple circulator pumps or zone valves?

    Any leaks anywhere? If so you may need to add some make up water. Is there an auto-fill valve and if so is the water feed valve open or closed?

    Usually you need to push water up the supply side and purge at the return.

    Come back to us with more info and pics if possible so we can better help.
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Are you saying if you open the bleeder valves, if you leave them open, you never get any water out of them?

    Is there a zone valve that isn't opening? They can often be manually opened with a bypass lever.
  5. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Jun 22, 2009
    Red Seal Journeyman Plumber & Licensed Gas Fitter
    Penticton, BC
    The height of a closed loop system is irrelevant....

    Just a thought but you may want to reduce the pressure from 22 to about 17psi....

    Sounds like a standard air lock to me! You should bleed the bleeder for a WHILE into a bucket or something (I use a 1 gal. shop vac). You may get some water with a bit of air but there could be a big air bubble behind all of that air/water.

    Bleed each bleeder WHILE the system is hot until you get hot water coming out of the bleeder. If you do this and then still have problems you have other issues!

    Let me know how it goes!
  6. Ennismj

    Ennismj New Member

    Oct 28, 2008

    Yes, only one zone, one circulator, one thermostat.

    The make up water supply is open and presumably filling the system.

    Still no luck getting water to the second floor...just a little air...then nothing.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    You may be violating one simple rule of physics. If the pressure is actually set at 22' OR 22psi, and the radiation is only 17' above the gauge, AND you do not get water out of the system when you open the bleed valve, then you have found a way to increase gravity INSIDE the system so the water cannot rise to the level of the bleed valves. Either that or you have a bad gauge and the pressure is actually less than you think. I am in favor of the latter cause.
  8. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Jul 30, 2008
    Tech. Instructor
    S. Maine
    I would change the gauge for sure, but I'll bet a whole lot that there is air in the system and getting it out can be a pain. Every system is different. Sometimes there are air bleeders on the radiation or the high point in the piping, other times the system gets purged at or near the boiler or hell, I have even seen purge valves many feet away from the boiler especially if the loop is split. That's what makes explaining how to purge a system so hard to do without being there. I think that the best thing to do at this point is call a heating Tech that knows what he's doing. It shouln't take him more than an hour to purge it out.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2009
  9. Ennismj

    Ennismj New Member

    Oct 28, 2008
    Problem Solved

    It appears the pressure reducing valve on the make-up water line was not was stuck. Anyway, a cleaning of the screen and flip of the lever enabled the system to fill. Everything is operational. Thanks for the reply's and ideas.
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