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2 zone boiler system zone 2 not heating

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maybel
maybel Member Posts: 10
Zone 2 of my fuel oil boiler system is not heating. When I got to the basement and feel the pipe before the circulating motor it is very hot as well as the motor is very hot. Once I get about one foot up past the motor the pipe is cold and then 4 feet after the circulating pump for zone 2 the pipe is ice cold. The pump it's self sounds like it is trying to operate with no success. I turned the thermostat all the way down and the pump did not sound as if it was trying to operate anymore. Does this sound like the pump is bad?

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  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    It could be that the circulator is bad. It could also be air bound.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    The system worked fine right up until today. It also was not making the noises it would if there was air in the line. Can it become air bound in a short period of time with no warning of air in the system?
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    What's controlling the pump? Do you know if there's power to it?

    Can you post some pics showing the pump, boiler and controls?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    Yes when I turn the thermostat to 80 I can hear te circ pump running then when I turn it down to 40 I do not hear the pump anymore. I have determined that I don't think the pump is inop. What is weird is the inlet to the pump is ice cold but the outlet is very hot, it seems that both sides of the pump should be relatively cool since they are on the return side of the boiler. I have pictures but I am unable to click on the attach a file as my iPhone will not allow me to.
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    The taco circ pump is for my zone (2) which is inop as of right now
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
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    maybel said:

    Yes when I turn the thermostat to 80 I can hear te circ pump running then when I turn it down to 40 I do not hear the pump anymore. I have determined that I don't think the pump is inop. What is weird is the inlet to the pump is ice cold but the outlet is very hot, it seems that both sides of the pump should be relatively cool since they are on the return side of the boiler. I have pictures but I am unable to click on the attach a file as my iPhone will not allow me to.

    Your circulator is not working. The motor may be turning, but the impeller is not. Impeller not working = water not flowing. Both sides of the pump should have a very similar temperature.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,261
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    frozen line somewhere?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    dennis53
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    If the zone not working, is a second floor zone, there may not be enough pressure in the system, according to the gauge visible on a photo. It reads around 10#.

    Before you run out and buy a new circulator, be sure that you have enough water pressure in the system. Especially if the zone not working is a second floor zone.
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    How do I check the pressure and what should the pressure be?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Above the burner is a round gauge. The top scale is the system temperature, the bottom one is the pressure. It looks like it is very low. I personally like them to be a minimum of 15# on a 2 story house.

    The boiler feed water is turned off in a photo. It is the valve that the blue PEX pipe goes into. When you open the valve, you should hear water start running in to the system. The next object is the boiler fill/pressure reducing valve. If the boiler doesn't start adding water, lift up that lever device. Watch the pressure on the gauge. Let it get to 18# and put the lever down. If the water gets hot after the circulator and the pipe starts getting hot, the circulator may be OK. If you have radiators. vent them. If it doesn't start working, report back for further instructions. Someone will help you.
    maybel
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    Ok so I have around 16-18 psi according to the gauge on my boiler. I attempted to bleed any air off upstairs at the baseboards. I can not access the bleeder where the pipe goes up to the upstairs but when I cracked the bleeder at the end of the loop upstairs just before the line return to the basement nothing happened no air came out and no water came out. It sounds like the circ pump is operating but that doesn't mean the impellers are turning. Any thoughts?
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    No air and no water. You either don't have enough pressure or the lines are frozen.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    icesailor
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    Did you raise it to 16- 18, or was it at that? I ask because the gauge may be shot, and not reading correctly. With pressure alone, air or water should have come out the bleeder, regardless of the circulator operating.
    icesailor
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    The gauge was reading 16-18 pounds already I did not add any pressure to it. One thing to note the pipe it's self sounds as if there is water circulating through the pipe. If I shut off the circ pump the noise through out the pipes goes away and returns when I turn the circ pump back on. This could be just residual noise from the motor without the impeller turning. Can those pipes freeze under normal operating with 170 degree water running through them?
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    In multi zone system, it's quite easy for the pipes to freeze in an upper zone if they are in or near an exterior wall and the thermostat for that zone is set cooler than the one below. Heated air from the lower zone migrates to the upper one and causes that stat to remain satisfied long enough for the pipes to freeze.

    Most every pro here has seen it happen.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    icesailorCanucker
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    What is the best way to figure out if I have frozen pipes? I don't want to take a heat gun to the pipes in worries that it will catch the dust and carpet on fire
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    I can hear what sounds like the circulator pump in the barns running at the very end of the loop upstairs but I can't hear that sound in any other room on that zone if that's any indication of anything
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    You need to find where they're frozen. Other than a hair dryer or heat gun, there's no advice I'd want to give to a HO for fear of property damage or personal injury.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
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    Barns?

    What are you heating? Is this a second floor zone?

    If there are air vents on any working zone, open the vent and see how much force the water has coming out.

    You very well might have frozen pipes.

    The fact that the fill valve was off, and the pressure was down is a good way to freeze pipes. Especially if one turns the thermostats down to save/spend money when it is cold and freezing out.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    Ironman said:

    In multi zone system, it's quite easy for the pipes to freeze in an upper zone if they are in or near an exterior wall and the thermostat for that zone is set cooler than the one below. Heated air from the lower zone migrates to the upper one and causes that stat to remain satisfied long enough for the pipes to freeze.

    Yet another reason why on/off zone valves are suboptimal.
  • maybel
    maybel Member Posts: 10
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    Sorry not barns that was an auto correct on my iPhone my apologies. I have since fixed the issue. I replaced my circulator, filled what water I lost and all is working now. Fingers crossed it's been in the negatives every night in upstate NY for a week now. Thank everyone for all your help. I learned a ton from you all.