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No water pressure in hot water system--Burnham V8 furnace

MattB Member Posts: 2
Long time reader, first time poster. :)

Its been a long time since I've lived in a place with oil heat so please bear with me.  I have our furnace serviced every year by our local company recommended by our oil supplier.  The system gets a thorough cleaning every year and nozzle is replaced.  I've learned to bleed air out of the line after last winter's fiasco of air in the second tank.

Here's the problem I have, no heat upstairs and no water pressure on the read out on the furnace occasionally fluctuates above zero but doesn't last long.  Its a zoned system (4 zones) baseboard hot water. The previous owners spend some time and money removing radiators from this house (115 years old) and adding the furnace 9 years ago.

 Downstairs is one, addition on the back of the first floor is another, and upstairs is split into two zones.  There are 4 Taco circulator pumps for the zones and the air tank in the basement.  Above the Taco circulators, there are valves that I can attach the hose to to bleed air out.  I've attempted to bleed the system of air by using a 6 foot hose and bucket of water.  I hear the sound of water in the pipes, but it never makes it upstairs.  The circulator pumps are running because I can hear them and they do get warm/hot to the touch.  I found two bleed points upstairs and can hear air come out, but never get water to make it up to the second floor.  Heat in zone 1 (most of downstairs) works great. I used a good tire pressure guage to find out I was very low on air in the tank so I put about 15psi in on Saturday and let it run. No change in pressure though.

I see things about needing to add water to the system, but I'm on public water and see a backpressure device attached to the system so I'm fairly certain it won't run low or out of water.  The low water shutoff doesn't seem to be affected either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I'll be happy to add any additional information.


  • MattB
    MattB Member Posts: 2
    Pictures of the set up

    Here are some quick pictures I took with my phone:


    Hopefully this helps.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    Can you post a photo of

    where the boiler is fed water It should have an automatic feed that maintains 12-15 pounds of pressure. something may be shut off. the thing is it may be shut off for a reason too though.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • add
    add Member Posts: 94
    i would guess

    you have a bad water feeder,or a circulator pump is burned out.i also would make sure the valve before the feeder valve is not off.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Don't forget screens/ dirt:

    A bigger problem can be a Watts 9-11 Combo. If the 1156F reducing valve is Cast Iron, it may plug up and not work at all. Although Watts still lists the CI 1156F, I don't think you can get it anymore. Only the brass one and they are the same price. I think a lot of boilers were lost with this valve and Watts quietly eliminated the valves. The only 9-11 valve I can get from my supplier is the all brass model and they say that the CI unit isn't available. I also find that if it is a CI one, and it isn't filling, and I operate the fast fill feature, it will probably leak slightly and over fill the boiler after I leave. If a CI 1156F isn't filling, I replace it with a brass one.
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