I can hear water rushing through baseboards...


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Old 12-26-17, 01:41 PM
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I can hear water rushing through baseboards...

I have hot water baseboard heat and an American Standard Gas Boiler from the early 1970s. I have 2 heating zones. The heat has been working fine (coming on when it should, raising the temperature, turning off when it should). But the baseboards have been quite loud lately. I can hear gurgling and sometimes quite loud rushing water (sounds like a faucet has been turned on). I understand this means there is air in the system. The baseboards do not have bleeder valves. I have read DIY descriptions of how to bleed the air from the boiler but I am not completely comfortable trying. The PSI gauge has been reading between 20-25 the last few days I checked. I have a technician coming in a month for standard maintenance and I was wondering if this was the kind of thing I could just wait to deal with until then. Or does this requires immediate intervention? It will be extremely cold in the next week so a loss of heat could be very troubling.

TLDR: Can loud rushing water sounds in baseboards be ignored for a month until scheduled technician appointment if heat is otherwise working ok?

Thanks so much for any assistance.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 02:41 PM
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Your air elimination device may not be working... either air vents or possibly a bladderless type expansion tank...

we need pics to help guide you better... Several of the boilers and all controls....
 
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Old 12-26-17, 03:16 PM
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Old 12-26-17, 03:19 PM
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Sorry, I was unfamiliar with how to post pictures, not sure why they are oriented sideways. If you need better ones or of a specific part let me know. Hope that gives some guidance.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 04:40 PM
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Look for anything that looks like this in the system... Maybe in the ceiling?

That expansion tank looks a bit small... The air pressure in it may need to be checked too...



 
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Old 12-26-17, 05:08 PM
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I think I found it. It looks like its the same thing but recessed on the top of the boiler.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 05:24 PM
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Cap on top needs to be loose... If water comes out its shot... Need to replace most likely...

When you replace that you will need to isolate zones and drain boiler some.. Maybe more as you should remove expansion tank and check the air in it... Its that propane looking tank here..

 
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Old 12-26-17, 05:26 PM
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Then you may need to bleed zones after at this boiler drain location...

 
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Old 12-26-17, 05:41 PM
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I unscrewed the cap and took it off, no water came out but it looks pretty rusted. I put the cap back on loosely.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 05:45 PM
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How pressing is this issue? Is my system in imminent danger? Or is this the kind of thing I can try to figure out and if I fail, I would be ok waiting until the boiler guy is supposed to come in 4 weeks?
 
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Old 12-26-17, 06:29 PM
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I can't see in the pictures clearly but it appears the supply piping comes from the side of the boiler and not the top. Whenever the supply comes out the side it means the vast majority of the air is released in the boiler itself. I suspect the air vent on the top of the boiler is plugged up. You can try pressing the tire valve to see if you get any air released, otherwise the entire vent will probably need to be replaced.

As long as the baseboards are still heating sufficiently to keep you warm it is more of an irritation than anything requiring immediate attention. You will eventually need to have the air vent replaced and when you do have the technician add a nipple and ball valve to the boiler first then install the new vent above the casing where it can be easily changed when necessary. The ball valve is to allow changing when the boiler is in service and would normally be left open.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 06:45 PM
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I pressed the valve and it started spitting water. Now it won't stop leaking little drops of water. How can I make it stop?
 
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Old 12-26-17, 06:57 PM
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I put the cap on but it still leaks continuously
 
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Old 12-26-17, 07:06 PM
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Try another cap, a metal cap for a tire might work. Be sure to tighten it down rather than leave it loose as is normal.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 07:07 PM
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Put the cap on tighter... Let us know...
 
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Old 12-26-17, 07:17 PM
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I tried to tighten it all the way but it still has a dribble coming out of the bottom. I tried teflon tape around it but it still leaks a little. Not sure what else I can do...
 
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Old 12-26-17, 07:22 PM
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No teflon tape on threads... Look inside cap... There should be a rubber washer..

If its not there stuff a little teflon tape in the cap... Not too much that you cant get cap started..

The washer may have disintegrated, or is missing, or became dislodges and on an angle...

Then try cap again...
 
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Old 12-26-17, 07:27 PM
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I took the cap from my car tire and screwed it down and it appears to have stopped. The cap looks like its made of metal. Will this be sufficient for tonight? Will the heat be ok tonight? What should I be doing tomorrow to fix this for real. Should I be calling someone. I don't know what i'm doing obviously.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 07:51 PM
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Youll be fine.. As long as you have heat the gurgling is an annoyances as Furd stated.. Ummm why cant the service tech get out earlier then a month?

Air in lines may eventually get the loop air bound and a no heat of a zone may occur...

And get the exp tank serviced too when the man comes...
 
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Old 12-26-17, 07:59 PM
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When I called to schedule a maintenance appointment several weeks ago the soonest they could come was like 7 weeks later. This was after I scheduled an appointment with a different company but the tech refused to work on it because he wasn't familiar with systems this old (even though I mentioned the age of the system when making the appointment.) I think they don't prioritize maintenance calls in the winter because there are a lot more pressing issues people have. I should have called sooner but I will call tomorrow and see if they can come sooner.

But if he can't, this will be ok to leave the cap screwed down until Jan 24?

Thanks so much for the help, I really appreciate it.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 08:02 PM
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Yeah, it will be okay for a few weeks. Probably would be okay until spring.
 
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Old 12-26-17, 08:07 PM
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Thanks guys, it's my first time owning a house, pretty stressful but I am trying to learn.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 04:08 AM
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Gurgling with an added twist

It looks like you have drain/waste bibs on the separate zones and there should be a line valve "Downstream" before it heads for the boiler - so its important to know where the zone valve, the drain and the line valve are relative to the boiler make-up water feed are. A line valve at the boiler (typically to one side or the other (or both) of the circulator will stop flow through the boiler. With at least two empty buckets in addition to the relief valve bucket proceed with the purge.

You should be able to purge the pipe only with the boiler valve and line valve closed, the zone valve manually opened (typically a lever ), the pressure reducing valve manually opened (provides full flow) and the drain opened - this will spurt as the air is forced through and out. Close the drain, then the pressure reducing valve. Repeat for each zone. FInally, re-open the line valves for each of the zones and at the boiler; and return the zone valves to automatic position. And then make sure you have reopened any line valves that you had closed. Yes, I have failed on this small item so learn from my mistake.

Heres the twist I encountered - my pressure relief valve was relieving at 15 psi but my pressure reducing valve was set for 25 psi so I had been manually adding make up water with a piped bypass. Running at low pressure or no pressure affected heat distribution and some of my loops got air bound easily. I finally got smart and replaced the pressure relief valve (take note of the required install position - some must be upright, others are okay sideways.

In preparation for future system issues when you are not there, make a nice diagram of your system, label the valves and devices on the diagram and tag the valves on the system, take some pictures.
 
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Old 01-24-18, 07:04 PM
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I had the boiler guy out today to fix the issue. I was hoping someone could tell me if the price quoted for repairs was fair.

The price to replace 2 air removers (there was another one higher up on the piping that also wasn't working) and to replace the autofill and backflow safety device was $1100.

This is in Boston MA suburb with reasonably high cost of living. A very reputable company known for doing good work but high end pricing. Was curious if this pricing is acceptable or way too high.

Thanks for any guidance
 
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Old 01-24-18, 07:22 PM
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N,

http://www.supplyhouse.com/

Go to this sight and click on Heating, then PRESSURE VALVES and you can see what it would cost you for the combo valve.

There are different ones with the most expensive being about 150.00.

Then type in TACO AIR VENTS and get the cost of those vents.(9.50) x2= 19.00

These are prices that anybody off the street can get by calling them and I believe it's a flat rate of 4.95 to ship.

You figure out how long they were there and you decide if it was worth it.

Hope this helps a little.

There are no rules or standards for pricing. It's whatever the market will bear.
 
 

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