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Taco Circulator pump, I think I need to change it out

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potatoskater
potatoskater Member Posts: 52
Troubleshooting makes me think the pump is bad. Forcing open zones did not provide heat. 120VAC to the pump.
There are no shutoffs, so in this 2 story, 4 zone house, I need to drain it down the level of the pump which is knee high,,,about how much water is that? Is there a best way to drain it? Mops at the ready? Cold coming in 2 nights so I think I will try to start today, any advice appreciated, thanks!
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  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,244
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    Plenty of circulators have been coaxed back to life with some gentle tapping from a rubber mallet, certainly an easy first step.

    If and when you drain down add some isolation/ purge valves. Webstone offers a product that give you the flange, iso valve and a hose connection for purging. Put one on both sides of the circulator


    Think how much easier your life would be if the last installer had included service valves🤔
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    SteveSan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
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    Is there a possibility that the water is not moving because there is air in the system? Here is what it might look like inside of the pipes of an air bound system

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    SteveSanMikeAmann
  • SteveSan
    SteveSan Member Posts: 235
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    What is the model number of the Taco pump in question? You can take an amp reading off the motor, should draw name plate amps under normal operation.

    Like Ed suggested, might have air and needs to be purged. Is the motor hot to the touch? Normal temp should be between 140-160 degrees.

    If you have any questions, please give Taco Technical Services a call during normal business hours Mon-Fri 8am-5pm EST 401-942-8000
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
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    I like to ask my mechanics and technicians: "After you replace that pump and it still does the same thing, What will you check next?" Usually that answer is something much less expensive, then I will say: "Try that first". Amazing... Most of the time that cheeper fix works!

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    HomerJSmithScottSecor
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,467
    edited February 2023
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    A good diagnostician is worth his weight in gold to a businessman, unless, of course, he's a good salesman and talks the customer into buying a new furnace install when the only problem is a un-diagnosed simple fix.

    I always ask a lot of questions and ask them again in a different way. When it is fixed, I always tell the customer what was wrong, how it failed, and how it was fixed. Then I shock the customer with the bill and he has to sell his first born son to pay it. (that's a joke) Nooo, I'm very reasonable, it's only my wife that thinks I''m unreasonable. (another joke)

    I have come across many Whiz-Bang techs that are in and out without so much as a wham-bam thank you mam! (well, a few) When your leaving, it's a good time to praise the customer for his wisdom and intelligence for selecting your company to serve his heating needs. And be sure and affix your company's 12 inch square sticker with your phone number in 50 point type to the afore mentioned appliance before leaving. (O.K., I may be exaggerating--a little)

    The latest issue of Caleffi's Idronics magazine on trouble shooting has a good discussion on questions to ask. I may even ask some. hmmm



    EdTheHeaterManGGross
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
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    A good diagnostician is worth his weight in gold to a businessman, unless, of course, he's a good salesman and talks the customer into buying a new furnace install when the only problem is a un-diagnosed simple fix.

    I always ask a lot of questions and ask them again in a different way. When it is fixed, I always tell the customer what was wrong, how it failed, and how it was fixed. Then I shock the customer with the bill and he has to sell his first born son to pay it. (that's a joke) Nooo, I'm very reasonable, it's only my wife that thinks I''m unreasonable. (another joke)

    I have come across many Whiz-Bang techs that are in and out without so much as a wham-bam thank you mam! (well, a few) When your leaving, it's a good time to praise the customer for his wisdom and intelligence for selecting your company to serve his heating needs. And be sure and affix your company's 12 inch square sticker with your phone number in 50 point type to the afore mentioned appliance before leaving. (O.K., I may be exaggerating--a little)

    The latest issue of Caleffi's Idronics magazine on trouble shooting has a good discussion on questions to ask. I may even ask some. hmmm

    I wanted to LOL and also Awesome that along with Like it.

    I like to shock the customer with an up front price using a Flat Rate Price Book. Then they can write the check while you are doing the work. Saves time at the end of the service call. They can talk to you on the way out the door helping you carry the tool box. Because you are carrying that big check

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,467
    edited February 2023
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    I have come across Taco 00 series pumps that have been in service more than 20 yrs without so much as a hiccup and I have janked some out after 2 yrs service. It all had to do with the system that it was installed into and the length of service. If there was a lot of iron in the sys and the ingress of oxygen into the water, etc, where iron oxidation got into the cartridge and bound it up, which required replacement.
    Replacing the cartridge is almost the cost of a new pump. I always replace a Taco under the foregoing conditions with a Grundfos pump which can be taken apart and cleaned.

    Hot_rod said to bang the A**end of the pump with a rubber mallet. There is a small lateral movement in the rotor and I can see how that movement might help free it.

    Thanks, for the tip, hot_rod.

    Since I don't know your sys, there isn't much I can recommend, except isolation flanges one having a hose bibb for flushing.

    I know this is a stupid statement, but if you replace the pump make sure the replacement is installed with the flow in the same direction as the old pump.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,244
    edited February 2023
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    I always suggest upgrading a failed circ to an ECM style. They are DC motors, so more torque, use less energy, and have some have anti stick function.
    The new electronic Grundfos 15-58E and Alpha 15-58 will actually attempt to drive the motor forward and back when they sense a stuck rotor. It attempts this several times, errors, waits a period and tries again. After so many attempts it locks out and can send a message to you on the Alpha version. Dry run, air locked is also a nice function.

    The guts are all non metallic to help eliminate magnetite caused sticking.

    https://www.grundfos.com/us/support/how-to-guides/upse-replacement-and-installation-overview
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    EdTheHeaterManAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Thanks guys! I first suspected the zone valves but after calling Taco the nice guy there helped me remove the head and use a c clamp to activate the actuator and still nothing. I purged and purged so I don’t think air is the issue. One zone has a split in it so I turned one valve partially closed and it did force the hot water to the radiators that had been cold on that zone which I inferred as thermal siphoning and which would be remedied fully with a pump that was pumping, this all took me a long time to figure out, now, I am wondering how much water I will be dealing with, a plumber I met while shopping for the new pump at Home Depot (website said they had 6, found one in a retaped box without a bar code and ran) said that the zone valves when closed can act like a shutoff but the basement zone valve is stuck open…how many buckets will I need? How many gallons in a two story house with 4 zones…?? Should I ask Noah to build me a smaller one of each animal vessel?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
    edited February 2023
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    Depending on the radiators, it could be 40 to 60 gallons for cast iron with large old pipes. If you have all new baseboards with 3/4" copper zones, then a lot less. you might think about purchasing a utility pump. https://www.amazon.com/Milescraft-1314-DrillPump750-Priming-Transfer/dp/B00F1ZJG5E

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Baseboards…no time, cold snap coming Friday, need to get er done sooner!
    I’d love to out in isolation valves around the pump but I won’t have time this time, just need heat!
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Will the closed zone valves hold back half the water? So could it be 5-10 gallons?
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    So with all the zone valves closed , and the basement one frozen open, there is a good chance that there is an air lock in the basement zone which, quite hopefully, would act like an isolation valve of sorts, no? I wanted to try to change this valve too but there is a snowstorm here today and I can’t get to the plumbing supply store, I went to Home Depot yesterday and was told they don’t carry those fittings in the store. The isolation purge valve.
    So maybe in the summer…is it best to solder them in or is a compression fitting ok for this, it is right above the furnace, maybe 2 to 2 1/2 feet over it s9 it must get some good heat up there, is one way of joining better, ? Thank you. I am letting the system cool to try to swap in the new pump this afternoon.
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Is there a shutoff for the boiler so that water will stay inside?
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,467
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    You probably have Honeywell or Erie zone valve, possibly Taco 571series. Some will hold back water more than others, but remember you have two sources of water the supply side and the return side. You can shut off one side with a closed ZV, but you need a valve that can be shut off on the other side.

    More than likely, you will need to drain the sys down below the pump, which would require purging the sys of air.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
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    Is there a shutoff for the boiler so that water will stay inside?

    YES!
    Unless the original installer went cheep.
    Then NO.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
    edited February 2023
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    So with all the zone valves closed , and the basement one frozen open, there is a good chance that there is an air lock in the basement zone which, quite hopefully, would act like an isolation valve of sorts, no? I wanted to try to change this valve too but there is a snowstorm here today and I can’t get to the plumbing supply store, I went to Home Depot yesterday and was told they don’t carry those fittings in the store. The isolation purge valve.
    So maybe in the summer…is it best to solder them in or is a compression fitting ok for this, it is right above the furnace, maybe 2 to 2 1/2 feet over it s9 it must get some good heat up there, is one way of joining better, ? Thank you. I am letting the system cool to try to swap in the new pump this afternoon.

    I would have to let the water out of the boiler drain valve to lower the pressure. If you remove the circulator pump with pressure on the boiler you will get wet. I would let the boiler water go cold. if you try this while the boiler water is hot you may get burnt. You might want to look for a water feed valve connected to the pressure reducing valve. If you don't turn off the feed water , then you will be draining the boiler for a long time. A really long time!

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    HomerJSmith
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Where is the boiler drain valve?? I let it cool so I can hold pipes with ease and shut off the water to the boiler intake
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Where is the boiler drain valve?? I let it cool so I can hold pipes with ease and shut off the water to the boiler intake

    Temp is at 105:right now
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    Best thing you could do is post pictures of the boiler and piping.

    Show all sides to include zone valves, controls, pump and any valves.
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    So with all the zone valves closed , and the basement one frozen open, there is a good chance that there is an air lock in the basement zone which, quite hopefully, would act like an isolation valve of sorts, no? I wanted to try to change this valve too but there is a snowstorm here today and I can’t get to the plumbing supply store, I went to Home Depot yesterday and was told they don’t carry those fittings in the store. The isolation purge valve.
    So maybe in the summer…is it best to solder them in or is a compression fitting ok for this, it is right above the furnace, maybe 2 to 2 1/2 feet over it s9 it must get some good heat up there, is one way of joining better, ? Thank you. I am letting the system cool to try to swap in the new pump this afternoon.

    I would have to let the water out of the boiler drain valve to lower the pressure. If you remove the circulator pump with pressure on the boiler you will get wet. I would let the boiler water go cold. if you try this while the boiler water is hot you may get burnt. You might want to look for a water feed valve connected to the pressure reducing valve. If you don't turn off the feed water , then you will be draining the boiler for a long time. A really long time!
    Is that the boiler drain valve? It is below the level of the circulator pump so I wondered if I could not drain it full?

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
    edited February 2023
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    Where is the boiler drain valve?? I let it cool so I can hold pipes with ease and shut off the water to the boiler intake

    Usually at the bottom of the boiler. Usually has a threaded connection for a garden hose to screw on to it. This way you can get the water to spill at the other end of the garden hose. If you are resourceful enough, the other end of the hose can find a drain to let the boiler water spill into.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Since the circulator pump is higher, could I not drain the furnace?
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Since the circulator pump is higher, could I not drain the furnace?

    Circulator pump is in too left corner of photo
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Zone valves all off, hoping to lose as little water as possible!
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
    edited February 2023
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    Can you take some pictures.
    Picture removed

    A close up of the circulator or a valve or anything else is usually not very helpful... The picture on the left has no reference point. So asking "what is this valve for?" with only that closeup can not be answered with that little bit of information. There are 2 different valves and I wouldn't know what valve you are asking about.

    The picture on the right is better for us to help you to get your problem solved. And pictures for more than one vantage point is helpfull in cane a pipe in the background is covered by a pipe in the foreground.
    And in this picture the boiler drain valves are in the yellow circles. the higher one id for purging air from the radiators. The 2 lower ones are for draining the entire system.

    How did I miss the post just above this one... Dah! Your pictures are perfect!

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    JUGHNE
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,467
    edited February 2023
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    Be aware sometimes, when opening these old valves, the rubber seal won't close off the water because of the seal deterioration. I would check that valve seal before refilling the sys or replace the drain valve with a new 1/4 turn boiler drain.



  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Ok so I replaced it and it seemed ok at first but then it started leaking on the bottom flange, I am guessing I must have bumped the gasket out of place as it was a tight fit. What do I do now?, I cranked it down a bit harder but it didn’t stop, new gasket? Where and how fast…thanks?!
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    I thought I was all done…no new bolts in the pump package so I had to reuse the old crusty 50 year old ones…made it hard to know how tight I was cranking it, what size new bolts do I need? Top joint seems fine.
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    I may have overtightnened it…if I back off can I try again or one and done, new gasket needed.??
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,467
    edited February 2023
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    Ya! The bolts come with the flange. Just take a bolt to Home Depot and buy 4 with the same size and length and 4 nuts that will screw on.

    I would pull the pump off and check the gaskets and if they are ok then re-install the pump. You could put silicone grease on the gaskets, which may help. Sometimes you need to pull the flanges apart to get everything in place. I look at the space between the flange and the pump flange and tighten the 2 bolts so that the gap between the flanges are parallel from bolt to bolt. Don't tighten down the bolts till everything look right.

    I don't usually use the flat gaskets. I like the square o-ring gaskets that come with the pump.
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    The top seemed fine, should I leave it or pull the whole thing?
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Pulled whole thing, bottom gasket seemed ok, back together leak again. Pulled gasket out and saw it is now wavy gravy but I had bought a backup.
    Decided to clean a bit and found a hard lump on the lower flange near where it had just been leaking, shoul I try to file this Off??
  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Pulled whole thing, bottom gasket seemed ok, back together leak again. Pulled gasket out and saw it is now wavy gravy but I had bought a backup.
    Decided to clean a bit and found a hard lump on the lower flange near where it had just been leaking, shoul I try to file this Off??

    I did a bit of filing and cleaning AnD installed the lower flange first and so far…
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,022
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    I was busy helping another wallie and just got back to this one. Looks like Homer has been helping. Are you leak free with new gaskets and bolts yet? There are some questions I have about your L8124 triple aquastat relay.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • potatoskater
    potatoskater Member Posts: 52
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    Still seems to be working, thank you all for your help and advice!
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,467
    edited February 2023
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    I didn't know you had cast iron flanges. I am so use to bronze flanges, I didn't think. Smart move to file it off, that's what I would have done.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,244
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    Next time remove the 4- 5/16 hex bolts and just replace the motor and pump cartridge. No need to screw with the gaskets
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    EdTheHeaterManSuperTechGrallert