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EK1 Kettling... Sort of?

NEMatt
NEMatt Member Posts: 48
Noticed a new feature on my EK1 a day or two ago.

When starting from dead cold for a hot water call, after about 15 seconds of firing there is a sort of ping-de-ping, pop, ping, ping, pop diddly ping, type noise that lasts for about 30 seconds and then fades and it purrs like a kitten for the duration of the HW call.  It is not loud noise but definitely notable. It did not do this during heating season.  I really can't place the source with a stethoscope so I have to imagine internal?

Since this fades by the time the boiler hits 120 I can't imagine it is true localized boiling.  Thermal expansion of some sort?  Time to call someone in for a flush?

Thanks

Comments

  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,154
    Definitely needs a system flushing. Do notice the noise coming from the boiler or the hot water storage tank? Does the flat plate heat exchanger have a inline descaling filter? If not I would suggest you have one installed. 
    Creative Solutions Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Lic #12683
    Co-Owners: Fred Drescher, Jr & Eliezer "Ezzy" Travis
    201.499.0223
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 48
    Boiler side, but I can't tell where from.  No inline desacaler for the PHE.  Boiler is 2009 and the HWH from 2014.  Not sure why the difference. We only bought the place last year.
  • Roger
    Roger Member Posts: 196
    Thank you, @NEMatt .

    Your description does sound like flushing the boiler would correct the issue. Since it is so limited, you could watch it for a while and see if it either clears up or becomes more pronounced and then decide on a course of action.

    Best,
    Roger

    President
    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
    NEMattZman
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,154
    Along with power flushing the boiler make sure to use a system cleaner like Fernox or Adey and I’d also power flush the entire heating system too. I typically will power flush a boiler with a flush cart for about an hour in both directions. You’ll need a  pump with a minimum of 1/2 hp to move a decent amount of gpm’s in order to do a properly power flushing.
    When done with the power flushing drain the entire system and refill with Demineralized water along with a system inhibitor.
    Creative Solutions Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Lic #12683
    Co-Owners: Fred Drescher, Jr & Eliezer "Ezzy" Travis
    201.499.0223
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 48
    Any recommended inhibitors?  House is 45 years old and I'd like to give the copper the best chance to continue living.  Water before my acid neutralizer is soft but like 6pH, water after it is a tad hard.
  • Roger
    Roger Member Posts: 196
    Although there are many good additives, we recommend using 8 Way boiler treatment from Rectorseal. 
    President
    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
    Robert O'Brien
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 48
    Without any evidence to the contrary I'd have to assume the water in the boiler and the rest of the heating system has not been touched or flushed since 2009 when it was installed. 

     Knowing that, are there any best practices to avoid screwing stuff up even more by dislodging loads of crap and transporting it places it shouldn't be going in the system while using 8-Way?
  • Roger
    Roger Member Posts: 196
    Thank you, @NEMatt .

    Since your system has been operating close to 12 years, it’s likely in pretty good shape. It’s even possible that adding the 8 Way alone could correct your minor noise issue without further effort - we’ve seen that work before, but it could take several days to notice the change and it is not the norm. 

    If needed or desired, Energy Kinetics has cleaning instructions for the boiler itself. If power flushing the entire system is desired, the equipment manufacturers instructions should be followed. 

    Roger
    President
    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 48
    @Roger if you have those procedures I'd be interested in reading them. The only forum contractor near me happens to be an EK dealer so I assume he would also be familiar with any nuances for this system.
  • Roger
    Roger Member Posts: 196
    @NEMatt , if your heating professional is not familiar, our tech support group can review the procedure with them. It is not overly common, so they may not have come across it before. 
    President
    Energy Kinetics, Inc.
    Robert O'Brien
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,808
    If you suspect the boiler has some lime scaling you may want to run a cleaner that can dissolve that scale. Some are soap based, some are acid based, like Hercules Sizzle. Acid based work best on limescale, if you follow the dilution instructions :)

    Some brands of cleaners get pumped in and stay in as the keep the minerals suspended, prevent them from settling or sticking to the hot metals.

    Has the boiler taken on fresh water over the years? Been drained and refilled numerous times? Typically the initial fill water does not cause kettling issues.

    Any leaks in the system? That would be something to check for.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 48
    Bob, not sure about the last couple paragraphs.  Only owned the place for right at a year, however I doubt if the previous owners did anything other than annual work on it.  Doesn't seem like their style... Sigh.  I've had the feedwater valve open most of the past year. I can try closing it to monitor pressure.
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,340
    Roger said:

    Although there are many good additives, we recommend using 8 Way boiler treatment from Rectorseal. 

    Works every time!
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • NEMatt
    NEMatt Member Posts: 48
    @hot_rod hasn't lost pressure in four days with feed water valve closed.  Not sure how long it would take to be notable if there was a leak somewhere.
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