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somebody put my hydronics together wrong

Greetings
I moved into my house in fall of 2012 and lived through a winter of hammering. I had planned on getting it looked at, but I had good heat and it didnt happen.

2013-2014 winter the hammering got worse, and it progressed into a dripping pressure relief valve, an automatic water feed valve that leaks and overpressurizes, and at least one leaking zone valve.

I can replace the leaking parts no problem, but I need advice on how to correct this system. I believe that some time in the not so distant past, the circulator was replaced and it was installed in the wrong direction, as the arrow on the taco 007 circulator and the arrows on the honeywell zone valves point at each other.

I had a local guy look at my system over the summer but he mostly just scratched his head. He also couldnt answer any of the questions I asked him, so I didnt call him back. I hate paying people like that.

Ive attached a basic drawing of the system, and a few pictures. Aside from untangling the wiring, replacing the air bleed, supply valve, the bad zone valve, the pressure relief valve, and reversing the circulator pump, what should I do to correct this system?


Comments

  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    You are right, the circulator is in backwards. There are a bunch of things wrong with the piping and a hydronics pro could re-pipe it in a couple/few hours. When you hear banging is it coming from the zone valves?

    Rob
  • Marz
    Marz Member Posts: 90
    Does anyone use iron on the headers anymore? Jeez. Yup circ is backwards for sure. We had a similar case with the same honeywell zone valves. Would always bang when valve would move.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Backwards and pumping off the bottom of the boiler. It's a good to move it to the supply side, pumping away, and add a spirovent. Raise the zone valves. Come out of the top of the boiler with black pipe the size of the boiler tapping, circ, spirovent, then header, same size. Not a hard job.
  • Bacon_Gravy
    Bacon_Gravy Member Posts: 7
    yes, the banging is when the zone valves close... inconsistent tho. I assume it is the typical 2 zones request, then one zone closes while the pump is running...
    I wish I could find a good hydronics guy. You wouldnt think it would be this hard in this area... Im apparently not looking 'correctly'
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Where are you located?
  • Bacon_Gravy
    Bacon_Gravy Member Posts: 7
    Port Huron, Michigan
    Theres actually a lot of old steam and water heated homes in the area...
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Your best bet is to call a local plumbing wholesaler and ask them for a reputable boiler service company. They work with the guys every day and know who the quality contractors are. If you wanted and feel comfortable with it you could get yourself some replacement flange gaskets and flip the pump yourself and see if that helps. It should still get correctly re-piped but I assume that it must have at least worked at some point. You will have to drain, refill and purge the air out if you go that route.

    Rob
    icesailor
  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
    That is a VERY common problem with those HW valves.......flip the pump and it'll go away........if they are all installed in the same orientation that is 8-) same thing happens on Danfoss TRV's. Danfoss would make a MINT if they would design a reverse flow valve. I cannot tell you how many times we have run into this with the Danfoss.......installed backwards......VERY difficult to repipe them once someone does that............usually easier to reverse flow of the entire system.

    Don
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,692
    Taco 008 VDT or Bumble Bee , something variable speed will solve the banging problem .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Bacon_Gravy
    Bacon_Gravy Member Posts: 7
    edited September 2014
    In my online search, I found someone who had done some work on this model boiler and repllaced the factory circulator with the taco 007. From what he wrote it sounded like it would not fit in the space provided as configured from the factory.

    It looked to be necessary to remove the pump from the housing and rotate it 180 degrees in order for the electrical box to clear the wall of the boiler. Im thinking that is the reason for the pump having been installed wrong.


    I have purged the system in the past, being necessary as I was learning how to adjust the water pressure - leaking pressure relief valve and the supply regulator that likes to over fill the system...
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    One other thing that you need is some support for the piping. It looks like everything is just hanging with a lot of stress on the pipes. It could be a recipe for disaster.

    Rob
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,903
    The valves will bang -- for that matter, a lot of valves, not just Honeywell -- will bang on reverse flow. The simple fix is to reverse the circulator, if you can, as has been suggested.

    What worries me is that that won't necessarily solve the leaking pressure relief valve. First place, that's a safety issue. Second place, they shouldn't do that. The combination of that and the water feed valve problem makes me wonder a little if the expansion tank isn't failed or waterlogged somehow. That needs to be looked at.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Bacon_Gravy
    Bacon_Gravy Member Posts: 7
    I've read that could be the case, but just by tapping on the side of the expansion tank it seems to be functioning - separating air and water... As far as I can tell.

    As for the relief valve leak, last winter the banging went from "normal" to extra loud. When I went down to check I found that the water pressure was over 30 psi and the relief valve was dripping. I eventually figured out how to stabilize it by closing the gate valve instead of relying on the auto feed. The relief valve pretty much never stopped dripping after that
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,508
    Your system should be "pumping away" using a variable speed pump(Grundfos Alpha, or equivalent). Try Dan's book about the why's and wherefores and you'll probably know more than most techs in your area.
  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
    Yikes!!! What preschooler installed that? Like anything else, it can be corrected, if you find the right person
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited September 2014
    How do we know that the circulator is pumping the wrong way? Is there a photo that shows the arrow on the pump body volute that is pointing up and away from the boiler? The motor part is rotated so the electrical cover doesn't interfere with the flange.

    Did I miss something again?

    Its hard to see, and unless the drawing is correct, it is backwards. But it looks like the suction side of the volute comes down from the top where the impellor would pull the water in from the top and force it out the bottom.

    That's a replacement circulator and not the original one.

    If it gets replaced, the expansion tank should be replaced. Those particular tanks were never known for longevity. A nice new pump with an ECM or multispeed motor would go nicely. Especially in a small house with a lot of zones.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Ice,

    " I believe that some time in the not so distant past, the circulator was replaced and it was installed in the wrong direction, as the arrow on the taco 007 circulator and the arrows on the honeywell zone valves point at each other."

    Rob
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    @RobG:

    Where do you see a photo of the circulator body? I see a drawing where it shows the circulator flowing in the wrong direction. It may very well be installed backwards, I only trust a photo, not a free hand drawing. I make too many mistakes.

    The shape that I can see of the pump body volute looks like it is in correctly. The widest part going into the middle is the entrance.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    ice

    In the first drawing that shows the circ.,you can see the volute. That's right, the widest part, going into the middle, pumping from the bottom of the boiler.
  • Bacon_Gravy
    Bacon_Gravy Member Posts: 7
    Ive been meanign to revisit this since I hate so much searching on a problem, finding that it has been asked before, and that the asker never returned to tell what resolved the problem...

    I just wanted to say thank you to all that gave their input. I first replaced the relief valve, then ended up getting a set of circulator gaskets from the hardware store and flipping the entire pump/housing so that it pumped the opposite direction. There was plenty of room to install it correctly. Then I went through and bled the system and fired it up. The system has been working perfectly , silently, all winter long. Easy, easy, easy.

    I have not done anything yet to correct the rest of the problems what were pointed out, but the system is working great at the moment, and Ill be into it again during the off-season.

    Thanks again! Now if I can only get the drum bearing sorted on this whirlpool duet front loader..........
    RobG
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Do yourself a favor. Get a top loader. Front loaders suck. The strain on that bearing is horrible. It basically put Maytag into the hands of the Vulture Capitalists with their Neptune front loaders. They had parts for 10 years of replacements and ran out in 5.

    Even as a GIFT, I wouldn't take another front load washing machine.
    kcopp
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,753
    I love getting my hands on these jobs. Use "Find a Contractor" on this site.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • Docfletcher
    Docfletcher Member Posts: 481
    ice Sailor you are soooo right. No more front loaders for me either.
    kcopp
  • bmwpowere36m3
    bmwpowere36m3 Member Posts: 512
    edited January 2015
    @icesailor

    I dunno, we've had a neptune for 15 yrs... no problems. Probably like most other things, new devices aren't the same quality as they used to be.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,985
    I don't know any one who likes front loaders....
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 369
    That expansion tank may last longer if you install correctly...........................
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    @icesailor



    I dunno, we've had a neptune for 15 yrs... no problems. Probably like most other things, new devices aren't the same quality as they used to be.

    Its the luck of the draw.

    My old next door neighbor on Cape Cod, raised sheep, goats and alpaca's for their wool. He went through 3 bearings. On the third one, they told him they no longer had bearings to replace with. That's how I know about the fact that they don't have bearings. If there were bearings available anywhere in the world, he would have found them.

    When mine died, the bearing gets really loud and whiney. They have a 10 year warranty for parts but not labor. The had the parts. It was two guys, all day to replace the bearing. I would have had to take the day off from work because it is on a hall closet, side by side with by-fold doors. You have to take the doors off and remove the dryer because the idiot gas installer (not me) vented it out the back instead of the bottom like I told the contractor to do. They smashed out the ceramic floor tile and vented it so that the washer and dryer stuck out past the door and it wouldn't close. Another project turned into a production.

    It was cheaper to buy a quality GE top loader and have it delivered. They took the old one away.

    Commercial Laundry front loaders have a bearing that would support the drive shaft of a submarine propeller.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    It's not front loading per se that makes front loading machines work better -- it's the horizontal axis (lift and drop the clothing in and out of the water instead of just rubbing it back and forth.) In a typical front loading machine, this presents two major issues: First is the bearing, which has to support a huge lateral shaft load. Counterweights are then added. I have been told they use cement on the cheap machines and cast iron on the good ones. As Chris mentioned, commercial machines (some of the newest being 400G extractors) build appropriately. The other issue is the door seal, which Neptunes got wrong - for years.

    There is an alternative. Somewhat primitive on the controls side, but darn near indestructible. I've had one for 15 years and never replaced a single part http://www.staber.com/
    ttekushan_3
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    And unbalanced loads. Especially from horse clothing.

    Notice that they now sell special soap to kill the smell from all the anaerobic bacteria that gets to stinking from the water that doesn't get drained out and the door gasket.

    That will make a sewer worker wretch.