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Issues with Hybrid system

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kayzee
kayzee Member Posts: 11
edited March 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
Let me start off by saying, I know very little about plumbing so sorry for the stupid questions in advance....
I live in Long Island New York... Currently have a oil burning Steam radiator system throughout my mainfloor and upstairs heating zone1. When the basement was redone we added baseboards for additional living space, and added a separate thermostat heating zone 2, however we have not turned this on for atleast 3 years now. We recently converted our detached 2 car garage into an office / art studio as we had a new born and i make custom art for a living and dont want my newborn to get these fumes. We had a new 'heating zone 3' put in for the garage as well and everything insulated to the max / proper ventilation as well. The heat works great however i constantly have the pressure dropping. I had the plumber that came who installed the system back numerous times everytime changing something else on the system costing me 100's of dollars everytime, and the last time he came said it might be the expansion tank?? I asked him if it was possible if there could be a leak... he said its not possible on his end with anything he has done, he said he used a 'pex' system he said if its not the expansion tank there could be a pinhole inside the coil of the system, or a leak in heating zone 2... is this even possible? is there a way i can find the leak myself? is there something i can put on zone 3 where even though there is a leak i can have something just add more water anyway?

Thanks in advance for the help

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  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    Pictures of the boiler and its piping showing floor to ceiling, several sides, will help a lot.
    We assume the boiler is in the basement and the garage is on the 1st floor level?
  • kayzee
    kayzee Member Posts: 11
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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,415
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    Wow! The header on the boiler looks like it was done right!

    OK. I presume that you mean you are losing pressure on the newer hot water heating side? It's not clear to me from the photos; is the hot water for you heating taken from the tankless coil on the boiler? I think I see it hooked up that way in the first photo. if so, that could be the source of the problem, as I'm sure the boiler runs at a much lower pressure than the hot water system. A leak in heating zone 2 could be the problem as well. Are there valves you can use to manually close zone2 off? Or the coil in the boiler (do this one with the boiler left off -- you don't want the water in the coil to heat up without somewhere to go). If so, you can isolate sections and see what happens...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    If the water feeder to the hot water heating system is off, then a pinhole in the coil would not overfill the boiler.
    If that feeder is left on feeding thru the PRV, maintaining 12Psi, then boiler would over fill from leaking coil.

    I can't tell from pictures if on or off. Maybe yellow handle ball valve is cold water feeder, which is off.

    (Jamie, no swing 90's on risers.....not part of this problem though)
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,415
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    JUGHNE said:

    ...

    (Jamie, no swing 90's on risers.....not part of this problem though)

    True indeed -- but it's a lot better than some we've seen...

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    The use of 2 risers impressed me at first. But then I noticed the lack of swing 90's. But yes, better than the average bear we see here.
  • kayzee
    kayzee Member Posts: 11
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    ill take a video of everything in the morning and explain the zones that should give you better details of the whole setup maybe you guys can actually tell me if its set up right or what not, the pressure gauge right now, is coming off of zone 2 (the zone that is never on)
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,572
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    There are some design issues on the hot water side that need to be addressed. Your expansion tank is in the worst location possible. This, combined with the location of the fill valve, will cause a range of pressure and air issues in the system. You also seem to be missing pressure relief valve on the heating side. This is a serious safety issue.

    I would recommend having the system repiped to remedy these issues. While they are doing that, it will be simple to pressure test the whole thing an find your leak.

    There are several pros on this site in your area. Check the find a contractor tab above.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • kayzee
    kayzee Member Posts: 11
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    keep in mind zone 2 is never on, we dont run it at all (this is the basement that is generally warm and doesnt require to be ran) zone 3 is the main issue. if i dont put more water into the system the when thermostat on zone 3 calls for heat everything clicks on and the circulator pump tries to run but never sends over warm or it gets stuck sending warm water and will just continue to circulate unless the pressure is good, than everything functions as it should.