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Blockage baseboard heat?

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daveoo
daveoo Member Posts: 4
Installed new basboard heating loop and element for a remodel. 2 zone system, pex piping . New zone has a flow problem. I think something is stuck inside piping or element. Of course house is completely finished. Any ideas to narrow where the block could be?

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,527
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    Is the blockage complete? That is, no flow at all? If not, you might be able to hear where the restriction is. But if there is no flow at all, that won't work. Only other thing I can think of is to take it step by step -- make sure all valves, if any, are fully open. Make sure the pump, if any, is delivering what it should be. If possible, break out any accessible connections (such as at the baseboard elements) to see where flow stops...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    My first thought is air? Are you sure it's been purged well?

    Does the pump you're using have an integrated check valve? I had one sticking earlier this week.
    Steve Minnich
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,334
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    A zone valve in backwards? Follow all the arrows.

    I suppose it is not impossible, but a 100% flow blockage would be unusual in a new system.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    RobG
  • daveoo
    daveoo Member Posts: 4
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    Not 100% blockage. There is flow, just restricted. I did take apart flow check in pump. Actually flipped supply and return. I know so.etching is in there. When trying to purge its building pressure and blowing off. There is no air. Something is in system. I'm trying to figure a way to find the obstruction without tearing the home apart.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    How about a possible kink in the pex?
    jonny88
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    edited October 2015
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    Was there any cleaning brushes used for any fitting prep? Years ago, on occasion I'd have those brushes with the metal "washers" on the tips. One job, I was piping merrily away and came to realize I'm not seeing that washer on the brush anymore. 1 1/4 too. Looked everywhere, then took apart 6 fittings before I found it lodged in an elbow. Talk about a flow restrictor!

    Never, ever again did I buy those types of brushes
    j a_2Zman
  • daveoo
    daveoo Member Posts: 4
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    I'm leaning toward a pebble stuck in pipe. Anyone have an idea to locate it? The pipes are covered by drywall and insulation. I don't want to cut the whole place apart.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    Did you put tape or caps over the pex when roughing it in? Can you cut the far ends of each loop and blow compressed air through it?
    Steve Minnich
    RobG
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,334
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    You may have to isolate sections and cut open some piping.

    If you can get to both ends of the loop start there and see how much actually flows into a 5 gallon bucket to get an idea how restricted it is, or add a flow meter.

    Long loops of small diameter pex are fairly flow restrictive, any idea how long the entire loop is and what size tube?

    If the system was piped with 3/4 pex, it can easily be kinked when trying to make short bends.

    I know the manufacturers of rubber radiant tube shot a ball bearing thru with compressed air to assure the tube is extruded properly with no 'bottle necks" If it is a dirt blockage maybe isolate and flow street water pressure, or compressed air at 100 psi or more. Disconnect from boiler if you try high pressure flushing.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    Pex is great stuff, if that's your thing...but the installation is a bit different than copper...you need to install far more clips and be very careful with your bends...but in my opinion it looks like crap,don't like it and never will... but I can definitely see the need for the young contractors to use it, it's the only way they can compete...with the moon lighters stealing
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,675
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    If there aren't any 90s in the run you might try an electricians fish tape. With a leader they'll go through a pretty tight turn, but they'll never go through a 90.
    SWEI
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    So, what was the issue...did you fix it?
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    Still no response, can u tell us what was it,causing the issues
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    I wonder if the blockage point would show up with IR?
  • vibert_c
    vibert_c Member Posts: 69
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    I have witnessed mice hiding in 3/4" copper pipe in my solar radiant panels on the porch that are awaiting installation. Did your equipment sit around long enough for the mice to call it home?
    vibert_c
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    I was hoping for a report back, just curious...