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Circulator Pump leaking

jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
edited October 8 in Gas Heating
Help,

This circulator pump is leaking and I need help diagnosing whether I need to buy a completely new one, or just change the pump or housing or gaskets. It was in use for a long time prior to this happening last season.

Thanks!




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Comments

  • leonzleonz Member Posts: 126
    Can you identify exactly where the leak is occurring?

    If the circulator is working and you have added oil to lubricate it as needed all you may need is new gaskets.

    Thinking ahead:

    Is there room above the circulator to remove the existing pipe nipple and flanges so you can install two isolation flanges? This would save you water and making a mess if the circulator ever fails on you.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 833
    edited October 8
    Agree with @Ironman. Replace it.
    Looks like the bottom flange bolts might need a hack saw. If you're lucky, they'll snap. Get new nuts and bolts.
    Also, the B/X (electric) won't reach to the new circ. That needs to be replaced as well.

    Do you plan on doing the work yourself? There are other things involved to prevent a flood and having to bleed all the rads.
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    Thank you. I was planning on doing it myself. Replacing the BX is no issue, I do all my own electric and plumbing. just not familiar with the circ pump.

    I assumed I would need to drain the entire boiler system before replacing. Also If I go with the Grundfos UPS15-58 will I need to redo the pipes? Ie is the alignment and spacing between gaskets different? Above the pump, the pipe is exposed and goes straight up to the ceiling and then 90 degrees across the ceiling so plenty of exposed pipe and room to work.

    I think that maybe I can undo the top bolts and then spin of the nipple on the bottom (after taking the motor and bearing assembly off first so I can spin it). Those bolts look very bad!

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this strategy or others. Also, do I need to worry about going with a different pump? will it be as capable/ powerful to push to my house? Will it fit etc? this is what I have no knowledge about.
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,746
    The Grunfos will bolt right in place: it's the same dimension flange to flange.

    However, since you have to drain the boiler and maybe the system, I recommend that you install isolation flanges. That way, if it ever needs to be replaced again, you won't have to do any draining, filling and air purging.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,562
    edited October 9
    I'd do as other's mentioned.. get the Grundfos, a set of isolation flanges and the needed pipe to redo things..it will align the same just be a different height with the iso flanges...well worth doing it right though.. as far as the bolts..hacksaw or sawzall will work wonders...
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    Check out this picture!

    I have this extra pump right next to it. This leads to a capped pipe that does nothing. I could shut off the valI could just undo the bolt above the existing bell pump and below the grundfos pump next to it.

    Then could I just use this blue pump and cap the other line. It dead ends up in the ceiling (think they were gonna do a new zone but never did it.




  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 9
    Ironman said:

    The Grunfos will bolt right in place: it's the same dimension flange to flange.

    However, since you have to drain the boiler and maybe the system, I recommend that you install isolation flanges. That way, if it ever needs to be replaced again, you won't have to do any draining, filling and air purging.

    lchmb said:

    I'd do as other's mentioned.. get the Grundfos, a set of isolation flanges and the needed pipe to redo things..it will align the same just be a different height with the iso flanges...well worth doing it right though.. as far as the bolts..hacksaw or sawzall will work wonders...

    I will definitely do the isolation valves. But want to make sure I get the correct powered pump and understand the impact of stealing this pump and ending that run early.

    Also is that galvanized pipe? what size does it look like to you.

    Agree with sawzall! Off will be easy. But as I am new to boilers could you please confirm the process to drain and bleed as well or point me to a post that has that. I am sure it's been covered.

  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,746
    I wouldn't. Pumps tend to seize up after sitting for a while.

    That pump went to something at one time. The flanges are red which indicates that it had a B&G before that one.

    Considering the amount of work you're gonna do to drain, re-pipe, fill and purge air, I wouldn't try and cheap out on the pump; it's not that expensive.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 9
    Ironman said:

    I wouldn't. Pumps tend to seize up after sitting for a while.

    That pump went to something at one time. The flanges are red which indicates that it had a B&G before that one.

    Considering the amount of work you're gonna do to drain, re-pipe, fill and purge air, I wouldn't try and cheap out on the pump; it's not that expensive.

    Agreed. I will get the model you suggested. That will be an appropriate powered version?

    that said I have always considered just gettting rid of that pump anyway. It runs into a capped line. Cant be good. Or just removing the power from it...thoughts?

  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,746
    It's 3 speed and can actually move more gpm on high speed than the series 100.

    I'd start with it set to medium speed and see how your system operates.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    Ironman said:

    It's 3 speed and can actually move more gpm on high speed than the series 100.

    I'd start with it set to medium speed and see how your system operates.

    Thank you! just confirming this is the one?
    http://supplyhouse.com/Grundfos-59896341-UPS15-58FC-3-Speed-Circulator-Pump-1-25-HP-115-volt-4701000-p

    as I am new to boilers could you please confirm the process to drain and bleed as well or point me to a post that has that. I am sure it's been covered. I assume turn off the water supply. drain from the lowest valve. Do my work, turn on the water and then how do I bleed the system?

    Also any watch outs?
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,746
    We would have to see your piping and radiators to advise on that. No two systems are exactly the same.

    Can you post some pics?
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 9
    Ironman said:

    We would have to see your piping and radiators to advise on that. No two systems are exactly the same.

    Can you post some pics?

    I just think I realized. go around to each of these radiators and open the bleed valve until water comes out. Use the pressure value to increase the boiler pressure when it drops that then bleed some more, repeatedly till all radiator have water all in them?

    If that is correct what is the pressure limit I should not go beyond?

    Also should switch to copper. I dont ever work with galvanized pipe. Can you even buy it anymore????!!

    thank you so much for this help!




  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 833
    edited October 9
    Is the elbow tight against the ceiling?
    Any play to raise it?
    If no, in order to fit flanges with isolation valves, you'll need to repipe it. Maybe come down in copper.
    Even if you can raise the vertical pipe and get iso flanges in there, it might throw off the angle for a flush seal at the flanges.

    If you feel you want to do the circ. only.
    Shut off the switch.
    Close the valve to the PRV and expansion tank. If diagram tank, close all air vents.
    Close valves to other zones if any.
    Drain boiler water from the boiler. Drain ONLY until there's no pressure on the boiler. Don't let air siphon back into the boiler. As soon as the water stops coming out of the hose, close the boiler drain valve.
    Have the new circ. ready to go.
    Put a 5 gallon bucket under the circ.
    Have plenty-o-rags.
    1/8" Allen key to remove the pump coupling.
    Remove the 4- 7/16 bolts holding the motor to the B.A.
    Chuck the motor.
    Loosen the top nuts and bolts. Try not to break the seal.
    If the bottom bolts won't break loose, use a hack saw. A sawzall will create too much vibration.
    Break the seals and jam rags in the pipes after the circ. is out.
    Check the flanges. You'll probably need a scraper to remove old gasket material.
    Remove rags, get the new circ. in and tighten bolts. Not too tight.
    Open feed valve.
    Open valve to the expansion tank, or open air vents at the boiler.

    It's a bit of a challenge, (who doesn't like a challenge?) but if done right, you won't lose more than a gallon of water. You shouldn't even have to bleed the rads.

    Oh yeah. Before you start, say 5 Hail Mary's.
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 9
    Thanks! I am not sure I have all those shut off valves..."Close the valve to the PRV and expansion tank. If diagram tank, close all air vents." heading up to the system from the pump there is nothing but pipe. On the return there maybe something. Need to investigate. If I switched to copper, I should use a dielectric connection to make the switch correct. Does pipe size matter. The pipe next to it is 3/4 I think but the galvanized seems larger. Or it is easier to just use galvanized, as that is whats there. Also all the isolation valves seem to be sweat for copper. Do they even have them as connections to threaded galvanized?

    I am concerned the galvanized will be seized, actually that is my biggest worry, the bolts actually look good. It only leaked last season.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 833
    Can you post some pics from farther away, to get the whole scope of the boiler?
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    HVACNUT said:

    Can you post some pics from farther away, to get the whole scope of the boiler?

    Yes. When I get home from work I will take them tonight. Thanks!
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 10
    HVACNUT said:

    Can you post some pics from farther away, to get the whole scope of the boiler?

    Here are pics. I have a water heater that comes off the boiler. as you can see from the pics I have plenty of space at the top of the pipe. I still have the following questions:
    1. All the isolation valves I see online to purchase are for copper pipes. or am I not understanding.
    2. the galvanized pipe in my system seems extremely larger diameter. Is that normal and should I match it or transition to copper?
    3. I have used the pressure regulator to increase pressure while bleeding-is that correct. what is the max pressure I should push.










  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    Paul48 said:
    Thanks! those are the ones I was looking at and was confused about. They are all brass, largest seems to be 2". can brass be directly connected to a galvanized pipe?
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,746

    Paul48 said:
    Thanks! those are the ones I was looking at and was confused about. They are all brass, largest seems to be 2". can brass be directly connected to a galvanized pipe?
    Sure, brass is a dielectric.

    Your pipes are probably black iron painted silver.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    Ironman said:

    Paul48 said:
    Thanks! those are the ones I was looking at and was confused about. They are all brass, largest seems to be 2". can brass be directly connected to a galvanized pipe?
    Sure, brass is a dielectric.

    Your pipes are probably black iron painted silver.
    Ahhh!! thanks, I will check. That was the peice that was missing. Black pipes make things easier for me. Thank you. I am going to go down and take a closer look now.

  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 10
    Ironman said:

    Paul48 said:
    Thanks! those are the ones I was looking at and was confused about. They are all brass, largest seems to be 2". can brass be directly connected to a galvanized pipe?
    Sure, brass is a dielectric.

    Your pipes are probably black iron painted silver.
    So you are correct. when it goes into the garage it is not painted and it is black pipe. Appears to be 2-inch pipe. So i would get two of these isolation values and 1 slightly smaller length of black pipe to replace the length above the pump to make room for the valves. Correct?

    http://supplyhouse.com/Webstone-40407HV-2-IPS-Isolator-High-Velocity

    Also can you confirm this is the correct iso valve.

    thank you!
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,320
    Look on the elbow. It should say the size.
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 10
    Paul48 said:

    Look on the elbow. It should say the size.

    It does not. But I took a tape measure and the out side diameter appears to be 1 3/4. Is that right? Is that really an 1 1/2 pipe?






  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 10
    Well, I just measured the circumference and it was 5.25 inch. I looked that up and it seems to be a 1 1/4 pipe. Can you all confirm I am correct?
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Member Posts: 1,197
    Hello, I'd cut some wood to just fit around the pipe and take that to your supply store to match up and see if it fits snugly over what they carry. You don't want to guess! If you have calipers, so much the better. ;)

    Yours, Larry
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 10
    Thanks! I dont have calipers but I put a wrench around it (one the adjusts to a fixed width) and measured the space. It's O.D. is 1 5/8 or 1.625. According to the chart that is 1 1/4 inch pipe. 1 1/2" has an O.D. of 1.9" its not even close to that. Agree going to a store would be ideal but want to order pump and valves online tomorrow so I can do this on weekend before it gets cold.

    https://plumbingsupply.com/info-pipesizes.html
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,746
    Looks like it is 1 1/4" from your description.

    You need to go ahead and drain the system and remove that section of pipe now. It may get more extensive than you expect. Do you have a couple of 3 foot pipe wrenches and a friend to help?
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • j aj a Member Posts: 1,700
    Well honestly if your confident with your skills pipe the boiler in the pumping away mode. Step back and take a picture of the boiler and near boiler piping
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    Ironman said:

    Looks like it is 1 1/4" from your description.



    You need to go ahead and drain the system and remove that section of pipe now. It may get more extensive than you expect. Do you have a couple of 3 foot pipe wrenches and a friend to help?

    Thanks! Was gonna drain it tonight and take off the motor and try and get the length out. I have a 14 and 24 inch pipe wrench. I also have a 5 foot breaker bar I can get on it. What is the extra person for. I got my wife. Is it to hold the motor while loosening it?

    I can get a 3 foot wrench if you think I would need it.
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,320
    What do you have for threading pipe?
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    edited October 10
    Paul48 said:

    What do you have for threading pipe?

    Home depot. measure for the new length of pipe and have then cut it if I cant put it together with what is on the shelf. Was think I might couple a couple of smaller length so if I need a custom cut it is a small piece and therefore cheaper. Example standard 4 foot coupled with what ever I need. that said if it is that small they make them in many increments I could probably make it work off the shelf with no need for a custom cut and thread. I will order the pump and valves today and take out the pipe above the pump. When I get the new valves i will see how much I need to subtract. I may get luck and be able to do it with two coupled off the shelf pipes.

    Gonna try and get the pump and pipe off tonight and then on the weekend go to HD with all the info I need for the pipe I need to replace.

    Wont that work?

  • MilanDMilanD Member Posts: 991
    FWIW, I would not rely on HD for pipes... they often don't have in stock what I need. Better yet, go there today and see what they do have, measure for 2x valves (you can get measurements online), and see if you can get a few sizes pipes and fittings to come close to what it should be ... Then you can return what you don't use after you are done.

    If HD has what you need, great, if not, ask around for specialty pro plumbing suppliers in your area: Ferguson, Keidel, Main Line are 3 in Cincinnati. I don't do it often but when I do, all my piping and fittings I get from one of them, or supplyhouse.com if I'm short on time to go to look at local places in person, although local guys actually sometimes do come in cheaper on pipes and fittings than online or HD. Most local plumbing places should also be able to cut and thread the pipe to size within 20 minutes. Downside, most are open M-F, and very few have Sat AM hours if at all, so you have to get what you need before the weekend.
  • MilanDMilanD Member Posts: 991
    One last thing - be ready for that pipe to not come out of the fitting as easy as you thought it would. I would get 3 wrench just in case. Be ready to have to cut and chisel out the pipe from the fitting or to cut the elbow above it diagonally across the collar on the horizontal side and unscrew it that way. This means you'll have to replace the elbow too. Hopefully, it will just come out of the elbow.

    What ever you do, do place a wrench on the fitting (or pipe if cutting the elbow) to oppose the force of the wrench that's unscrewing the pipe. You don't want to crack any other pipes or fittings, or put any stress on them. Hopefully, the pipe will come out of the elbow and that will be that. Worst case scenario, cut into the elbow and replace it too.

    Get good plumbers tape and pipe dope, then tape/dope only the male threads - never fittings - you don't want any loose tape and pipe dope floating in the system once you refill it.
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    MilanD said:

    One last thing - be ready for that pipe to not come out of the fitting as easy as you thought it would. I would get 3 wrench just in case. Be ready to have to cut and chisel out the pipe from the fitting or to cut the elbow above it diagonally across the collar on the horizontal side and unscrew it that way. This means you'll have to replace the elbow too. Hopefully, it will just come out of the elbow.

    What ever you do, do place a wrench on the fitting (or pipe if cutting the elbow) to oppose the force of the wrench that's unscrewing the pipe. You don't want to crack any other pipes or fittings, or put any stress on them. Hopefully, the pipe will come out of the elbow and that will be that. Worst case scenario, cut into the elbow and replace it too.

    Get good plumbers tape and pipe dope, then tape/dope only the male threads - never fittings - you don't want any loose tape and pipe dope floating in the system once you refill it.

    That is great advice. I was envisioning cutting the pipe under the elbow and then pealing it out of the threads if it does not budge. Gonna try tonight and see how bad it is-that way I have some time to address the problem and complication i am sure to encounter. The pipes dont seem to bad on inspection. I have taken on large projects and I know if never goes easy.

  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 7,282
    You might be at the point of hiring a plumber that gas all the pipe threading stuff on his truck? A pro knows how to use a couple hammers and split this old ell off if the threads don't budge. Too much wrenching can loosen some of the connections upstream that you do not want to leak.

    Another option is transition to copper tube up at that ell, it may be easier than trying to source the threaded pipe. The use a copper sweat iso-flange.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • jjustinia11jjustinia11 Member Posts: 99
    hot rod said:

    You might be at the point of hiring a plumber that gas all the pipe threading stuff on his truck? A pro knows how to use a couple hammers and split this old ell off if the threads don't budge. Too much wrenching can loosen some of the connections upstream that you do not want to leak.

    Another option is transition to copper tube up at that ell, it may be easier than trying to source the threaded pipe. The use a copper sweat iso-flange.

    I already dropped the hammer on the pump and ISO valves. If I cannot make steel work I will transition to copper.
  • MilanDMilanD Member Posts: 991
    It's all in the technique. See how this guy removes the valve and spud on the rad. Granted, it's brass, but same principle will work on CI or to an extent also on malleable fittings, or iron pipes. You may have to split CI fitting with a wedge and another hammer opposite of where you are hitting (thus 2 people needed), or work a little more gingerly on a pipe inside a fitting.

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