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Need troubleshoot help, water not circulating to radiator.

HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18
Big Ed,
Thanks for your help. Here is what I did:
Turned off all other zones to make sure I had all the flow to the zone.
Shut off return ball valve at zone valve.
Opened radiator bleed, took out a couple gallons. I could hear some gurgling.
Radiator now has flow.
Also, I got some water out of the Sparco bleed valves.
Should those be kept closed tight? The small valve caps.
Do they self bleed. How are they supposed to operate?


  • HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18
    Water not circulating to radiator, need troubleshoot help

    Here are my symptoms:

    1.All but one zone is circulating.
    2.Thermostat calls for heat, TACO control system
    shows both lights on. Zone valve activates (but
    motor is hot to the touch).
    3 No water at radiator.

    Here is what I tried. I opened bleed valve at top of radiator and got only water, no air. I don't hear air in system.
    I pulled zone valve actuator and manually turned valve
    (It is an Erie that allows you to pull actuator). Still no water. (I assume I am turning the valve correctly or that I am turning enough to open).

    Loop does have some auto bleed valves. I have no idea how to check them or make them work. They are not at the high point in the system, actually along the floor at the low point.

    I have had air issues before, but you could hear it and bleed from the radiator bleeder. Maybe I need to bleed more?

    Thanks for the help.
  • what's your?

    What's your system pressure? Even if the motor is hot, but is it running?
  • HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18
    Motor hot

    The motor that is hot is the one on the valve actuator.
    It does appear to be turning over when requested.
    My boiler water pressure is good.
    The motor activates with request from thermostat but I don't know if it is turning enough or if valve is stuck or not going all the way. It seems easy to turn manually when I take off actuator, but it only turns about 45-60 degrees back and forth.
    I am trying to see if system works manually, without actuator on valve, so I can see if that is my problem.
  • I see...

    The motor I'm talking about is the system circ pump. See if that's working properly.
  • HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18

    The circ motor sounds like it is operating.
    Pressure gauge at 20 psi.
    Other zones are getting circulation.
    It seems that it is either air or valve issue.
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Member Posts: 2,385

    sounds more like you are gravity feeding the zones that are heating, but it won't heat the other loop by gravity. sounds to me the cartridge is bound up in the taco. It shouldn't be that hot unless it is bound up.
  • HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18
    What is the solution to that?

    What would be the fix for that?
    New valve or just actuator and motor?
    It is easy to swap the entire head
    on the Erie models.
    I have had several motor need replacement
    on the Honeywell units over the years.
    What makes these give out? They stop
    operating and get real hot. Is it the valve
    body or the head operation?
  • Big EdBig Ed Member Posts: 863
    Is there

    A purge valve set up? A shut off valve and a drain valve up stream from circulator .Shut down the other zones that are working. Shut off the purge shut off valve and open the drain valve with a attached hose.This will get out the air in the loop or if no water either line frozen or blocked or pressure gauge broken and feed valve not feeding. If you drain off water you should hear refilling.
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18
    purge valves

    There are a pair of purge valves but I am not sure
    how to make them work or check them. They are in the line
    near the radiator in question. No shut off valves except for that loop near the boiler (both in and out).
    The purge valves are small round cans on each line with
    a small screw cap. If was to make sure they are working
    how do I? I can open up bleed valve at radiator to move water
    out. In the past, when I had air, it was in radiator and came out as soon as I opened radiator purge valve. Now, I get water immediately, so if there is air it is in the line.
    These lines to up to attic and down, with now purge available at the high point. The purge valves are down on the floor level.
  • Big EdBig Ed Member Posts: 863

    So this zone valve feeds just one radiator in attic. You get water so pressure is good. Problem is no flow. Can type valves? You manualy opened that zone valve , still no flow. Zone valve you noticed it open. Seems zone valve is ok.

    Let's go back to small can valves. Are there numbers on them. Screw cap ? On both supply and return ? Is it just a screw slot on a small brass shaft ? With a hex packing plug with the shaft comming through? If so it's could be a butterfly valve. Slot should be parrell to pipe to be open.

    We are down to air in the loop or a valve is shut off. Check all the shut offs on loop see if open. Air trapped ? If that system loop has a air trap a purge set up would be installed by now. If there is two shut offs at radiator. One on supply and one on return. The loop can be bleed by shutting just one off and bleed the radiator then shut off the other and open the first. Then bleed again. A purge set up at the boiler is perfered...

    There is just a single pipe up and one back to a single radiator . Am I correct
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Big EdBig Ed Member Posts: 863
    Is this install new

    Is this a need baseboard install ? is these cans on top a copper el ?Baseboard tees...

    Is it a panal radiator ?
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18

    All valves are open. The radiator itself just has one valve, inbound. Just short of the radiator are two purge cans on each line. They each have a small screw cap. Is there something I can do there?
    This particular radiator is on ground floor, but lines feed up into attic before coming down. The purge valves are on the ground floor. I imagine they should have been at the top of the loop?
  • HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18
    Not New

    This is old installation. Old antique radiator.
    Installed about 9 years ago.
    The small can purge valves are SPARCO brand, with
    small screw caps on the side. They do have on off gate valves
    at both manifolds that have the Sparco purge valves.
    Each purge valve has a small screw cap on the top side.
    They were tightened all the way. What happens if you
    unscrew? Do these need cleaning to continue to operate?
    We have pretty mineralization water from well.
  • Big EdBig Ed Member Posts: 863
    Air trapped

    The pipes go up and then down to the radiator. There should be some way to get air out of those upward loops will air would collect. Either the inexperienced installer put bleeders in the attic or you purge at the boiler some how. Or this loop never worked before ? You need some way to shut off one end of the loop and flush water and air back to the closed end. Or bleed the bleeders in the attic. If they are up there , one day they will leak be ruin the ceiling.....

    What ever can happen will happen
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Big EdBig Ed Member Posts: 863
    Not sure brand

    Sounds like a auto bleeder, is so it's kind of useless on your set up. The air collect on the high point in the attic.
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • HarleyHarley Member Posts: 18
    No purge in attic

    There is no air purge at high point in attic. Just in closet at ground floor. This radiator has worked fine before, but
    did get air when left long time without use, like now.
    I do have air purge at boiler too, just this loop is
    not flowing. It is warm to touch at the two purge valves near the radiator, but that is as far as it goes.
    Here is the layout:
    1.Ball valves in and out of this loop at zone valve in boiler room.
    2. Ball valves in and out at two purge points near radiator base in closet.
    3. Radiator with one inlet gate valve and bleeder on radiator.
    So, what combination of these valves as installed can help be get the air out.
    Thanks for you help so far.
  • Big EdBig Ed Member Posts: 863
    Purge in closet

    If it's a drain valve where you can attach a hose. You can purge it there by closing one ball valve at the ends of the loop near the boiler one at a time.
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Big EdBig Ed Member Posts: 863
    Auto Bleeders

    Like I mentioned they are useless on that loop. And as far as auto bleeders in side the living space. I would not use them. They will leak. I could only recommend manual peanut bleeders.

    I think what you have need to be set to work auto. If I remember you open them and then turn in cap until it drips a few times a min. Then a 1/4 turn more until drip stops.

    I would just shut them off completely.

    Good luck and have a warn winter
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • betcha

    Sounds like a recurring problem. Betcha that you
    have the pump on the return side of boiler and steel expansion tank. Can you take pictures of the boiler system?
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