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One heating zone not working. Possibly bad regulator

slipjohn1
slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
Hi. I have scoured the net looking for an answer and can't find anything. I found similar issues, but my question isn't quite getting answered and I don't have the money in the budget to call a guy right now. So, my problem is I have one zone that won't heat. When I turn the T-stat up the circulator pump comes on, but boiler does not. When boiler is on I can hear water running through pipes so I think I have air. I'm not sure how that happened, but I think my regulator is bad. I have watched videos on how to purge air, but I don't have the same set up as any video I watched. Right above the circulator pumps there should be a shutoff valve and then above that a valve to connect a hose to. I only have the ones you can connect hose to, not the shutoff. Also, when I open the regulator with that little lever I don't hear or feel water running and my pressure gauge reads below 10. My guess is that my regulator isn't working and the boiler needs water so it has an air pocket. I'm great at fixing things, but I have no idea how to diagnose a heating system. I don't have zone valves, just the circulator pumps. Anyone have any ideas? I'd really appreciate any help. TIA! (I hope I posted this in the proper place)

Rich

Comments

  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,600
    You're describing two different things.

    The boiler not coming on when the circulator does is probably a control issue.

    The problem of air and lack of pressure is probably due to a bad fill valve (proper term, not a "regulator").

    Please post some pics of the boiler, its near piping and controls. No close ups.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • 426hemi
    426hemi Member Posts: 64
    What boiler what control what aquatsat 1 pump or multiple do you have baseboard or radiators or radiant heat. The only thing I can tell you is inside the automatic fill valve is a screen take it out and clean it the backflow preventer could have trash in it if you have one you should. Need more info to help
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    I'm new to this so I don't have this info. I'll have to look. I don't know what you mean by what control and what aquastat. As far as pumps, if you mean circulator pump I have two, one per zone. The boiler is a Peerless. Is the aquastat that controller with the HI LO dials? I know it's Honeywell, but not sure of model. I'll try to find that. As for not being called a regulator, that is what it's called when I look it up online. It's a pressure regulator. It's the "bell". Above my circulators are one valve each that have a hose connection. According to every video I watched there should be a shutoff valve directly above the pump then the hose connection valve above that. You're supposed to shut off that first valve before purging. Can I still purge without that? I'll try to get that other info. thanks for the help.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,214
    edited November 2020
    It's a Pressure Reducing Valve. 
    You can post but can you post pics?
    Is there a slotted screw below the hose connection on yours?
  • 426hemi
    426hemi Member Posts: 64
    Picture are going to be needed but whatever you do get water to that boiler before you do anything else it’s possible that the a low water or low pressure cutoff is preventing the burner from firing clean the rust out of than automatic fill valve (pressure reducing valve) you can’t bleed through the sill cock if you don’t have a shutoff because water will just flow backwards and it won’t do any good you can bleed from the radiators or baseboards they have a bleeder on them start at the highest furthest from the boiler and work your way in you will need a radiator key any hardware store sells them for a buck or two but clean that valve and get water into the boiler before you do anything!!!
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    Boiler fires on one zone, just not the other. I'm not sure what pics you want, but here are a couple
    . No slotted valve, no valve at all just the purge valve. It's very odd apparently. Someone took a shortcut.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,214
    Check to see if there are slotted screws in the circulator flanges. Those are the shutoff valves. They could possibly be seized as well.
    One zone gets wired into the control you posted. There might be another control for the other zone, or it might be line voltage. 
  • 426hemi
    426hemi Member Posts: 64
    There maybe a valve between the pumps and the boiler maybe only one valve before the split there should be a relay box for the other zone 
  • 426hemi
    426hemi Member Posts: 64
    edited November 2020
    Find the other box and get a picture, also get a picture between the boiler return line and the circulator pumps. When the relay pulls in on the bad zone is it in this aquastat relay out the slave unit that you didn’t include a photo of? Check for 120 volts across b1 b2 with the relay pulled in that’s your burner signal. Is it present? 
  • Dave T_2
    Dave T_2 Member Posts: 64
    edited November 2020
    Looking at the control picture we can see that nothing is wired to the ZR teminal and that is why the circulator comes on without the burner firing, it has a seperate relay. It still will heat the zone with the temperature provided by the low limit or the high limit when the other zone runs. I noticed your low limit is set very low at 120, you must have a different hot water heater - you may need to raise that to 150 or more to maintain enough water temp to heat this zone. If the main zone cycles often enough the burner will run to high limit and the second zone will have the water temp it needs.

    As for getting your heat going; assuming your pressure gauge is correct, you need at a minimum a new water feeder - looks like the one you have is a watts 1156. Good news is you have a shut off valve between the feeder and boiler so shut it off and a shut off water to the inlet side of the feeder and replace it.

    Now that you have a new feeder the pressure will rise to 18 or so. In one out of 100 times your heat may start to circulate. But I expect now you need to get the air out.

    As @HVACNUT mentioned, looks like the flange above the ciculator has an isolation valve built in. If so, it has a 1/4 turn screw driver slot to open and close. When brand new it worked ok to open and close this valve BUT now???? If you can get it to operate and not break it you can purge the zone like you saw on you tube. Often times the flange valve will not operate and I would either leave it alone and install a new ball valve above each circulator, and if time and budget allowed, replace all 4 isolation flanges with standard flanges and new circulator gaskets. CAUTION if you get the old isolation valves to close, it is not uncommon for the slot stem to leak and there is no way to stop it and they need to be replaced.

    If you accomplish all this, good for you! Let me k now and I'll tell you how to wire your controls to get the burner to run when this zone calls for heat so you can turn the low limit all the way down.
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    There is another box. I have a pic of it. There are no valves in the pipes below the circulators, but there are little allen head screws on the flanges, both top and bottom. Would that be a shutoff? I found a new issue that is most probable cause, I tried to check air on expansion tank and no air


    pressure and water came out. I know that's bad!
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,214
    edited November 2020
    Yes, those Allen key slots are for valves. Quarter turn.
    Check the electric stuff first as @426hemi posted. 
    And if the problem zone is the one with the separate switching relay, there's nothing from it, to ZC on the aquastat as @Dave T_2 mentioned. On that zone, the boiler doesn't know whether there's a heat demand or not. It just turns on the circulator. If you raise the Lo side of the aquastat to 150° or 160°, that will help.
    Now, what do I have to do to put you behind the wheel of a new energy efficient heating system today?
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    I don't know what terminals he's talking about. I don't see a B1 or B2. there's a 1 and 2, but they look like they are 110v. Like I said, this is very new to me, I never had to diagnose heating before and I'm not familiar with most of the parts. I definitely need an expansion tank so I'm off to get one. I have a new water feeder so I'll be putting that in and an expansion tank. I don't wanna mess with any wiring since it has always worked before so I don't see a need to rewire anything. The boiler used to be used for hot water, but I have an electric water heater now instead. I appreciate all the help.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,691
    It might have always worked before,  but that doesn't mean that it always worked correctly.  It could definitely work much better with a little bit of time and effort if you take the good advice above.
  • Dave T_2
    Dave T_2 Member Posts: 64
    edited November 2020
    Good find on the expansion tank - changing both at the same time is convienient. You will need to be able to work at least one of the circulator valves under each purge valve to bleed air from BOTH zones when done. FYI make sure the pressure gauge on the boiler is working, they are cheap and it is common for them to read wrong or be stuck. If it is not working, It is another piece that you would change while the pressure is off the system.

    That last control picture is a Honeywell 845 relay. I expect that is the relay that runs the problem zone and I can see it is not wired in any way to tell the oil burner to run. If you don't want to bother with any wiring you are correct to assume it will work like it did before BUT if you do want the oil burner to fire and run to the high limit when this relay runs the circulator here is what to do: connect a 14ga jumper wire from terminal #1 to terminal #5 in the relay box. Then run a 14ga wire from #6 in the relay box to the ZR terminal in the main control box and turn the low limit dial as low as it will go.

    Good luck!
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    OK. I found the b1 b2 terminals, but boiler is shut down so I can't check them now. Also, they are on the control box for the zone that works. I'm kinda afraid to turn those allen screws in case they break or leak. is it not possible to just purge the system anyway? The boiler is cold now. Once I get everything working I will try your wiring. Thanks
  • 426hemi
    426hemi Member Posts: 64
    edited November 2020
    Dave T2 is 100% correct. the way it’s wired and the low limit it will not fire on zone 2 and never did until the circulator pulled the temp down to 125 deg turn the low limit to 160. Since you don’t have a hot water coil anymore, Running a wire to call for heat and getting rid of the low limit will save you a lot of money  it’s now just costing you fuel keeping the boiler hot all the time even in the summer!  For your information B1 and B2 are terminals below the relay they’re 120v AC but this is not the problem. The boiler is not wired  to fire the burner on zone 2!
  • 426hemi
    426hemi Member Posts: 64
    If I were you I would put a couple of ball valves in between the pumps and silcocks if the valves are not turning with reasonable force your only other option is to bleed at the radiators
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    The baseboards in the affected zone do not have bleeders. BTW, I shut the boiler off in the summer so it doesn't run at all. I found the b1 and b2 terminals. I will do that rewiring once I have everything going. I also am thinking about adding the valves above the pumps. I'll have to drain the whole system for that though and tonight isn't the night.
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    Well I installed a new feeder valve and it does nothing. No water passing through it and the little lever does nothing. It just flips back and forth with no resistance at all. I'll have to call someone in because this isn't something I know. Thanks for all your help. I don't know what else to do
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    OK. I sat down and composed myself and went back at it with a new plan. I took the backflow preventer off and sure enough, FULL of sediment! The pipe feeding it was too. I cleaned backflow and blew out the pipe and put it all back together and the boiler filled up to about 18 ish lbs. So I'm sort of in business. I still have to purge. Those allen screws don't move at all, they will just round out of I try so that's out. I think I will have to get a small pump and drain boiler completely and put in those valves, but I think I'm on the right track. Once I purge I'll do that rewiring. I'll have to do all that tomorrow though. You all helped a great deal. i appreciate it.
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    Hey guys. So I got all the work done and purged the boiler and it started right up and got hot pretty fast. All the baseboards got hot, but after about 15 minutes it shut down. It started back up after a while and it seems to be working ok. I haven't done the wiring yet, but I plan on doing it today. I know Dave T_2 said to put the LO dial all the way down, but where should the Hi be? I'm curious, why wouldn't it be wired right to begin with? It seems odd that it wouldn't be. Seems unprofessional. I also noticed the pressure was at 25. I'm not sure why it's so high. Is there a way to reduce it without having to purge? Can I just open a purge valve and let water out? Last time I purged, the boiler was off for two days so pretty cold, but what is the lowest temp it can be if I have to purge again? I have two vents I have to replace. They are at the top of the pipes the circulators are on. They are leaking through the top vents. Here's a pic. Are those vents typical or do I need some numbers off them?
  • 426hemi
    426hemi Member Posts: 64
    I don’t think you understand how this works the boiler will call for heat when the low limit is reached it will fire until it hits the high limit the way it’s setup now it will call for heat on zone 1 but not zone 2  zone 2 is probably upstairs since heat rises it doesn’t need as hot of water and since it was set up to heat your water as well the low limit should have been at 160 and the high at 180 that means that the coldest the boiler could get is 160 so to heat upstairs it didn’t need to fire to 180 your low was set at 125 so you don’t get good heat all the time on zone 2 you can either turn the low limit back to 160 and it will work fine but you will still be wasting fuel because you have a separate hot water heater or do want Dave said and run it so it only fires when a zone calls for heat not on a low limit call
  • slipjohn1
    slipjohn1 Member Posts: 11
    I plan on wiring it how Dave said. Of course I don't understand how it works, that's why I'm here! LOL. He said to wire it the way he described then turn the LO all the way down. I was just wondering where I should set the HI. If I wire it this way will it be working with just one thermostat or each separate thermostat? Both zones are on one floor. It's a split level ranch so both zones are on the same level. The basement is all electric baseboard. Sorry for the questions, but I'm not just looking for answers, but want to understand them as well. I appreciate the knowledge.