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Home hotwater heat questions

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Posted by Wesley D. Wuertz on October 20, 2004 at 05:45:35:

I have read the Hydronic Series, etc... all the references normally listed in responses below. I am new to hot-water baseboard heat, but am very adept at mechanical, electric, plumbing, carpentry, etc.. and OUGHT to be able to get this.

I have 35 year old gas fired "boiler", hooked to three series loops via one circulator, house of 1600 sf (with one loop in basment).

However, I find NO vents at any of the registers or baseboard units like you indicate... No purge and balance cocks. There IS some sort of bubbler thing on the manifold outside the "boiler", along with the pressure relief (pop-off) valve, and the pressure and temp guages... the bubbler seems to be crusted over..

It is plumbed into the house water supply with a cut-off valve and a pressure regulator, no preventer.

It has 3 zone valves, 3 thermostats. Two of these valves are not working and have been manually controled for years. All relays, limit switches, etc. work just fine.

Problem is I have one loop to bedrooms that is not passing hot water. Piping is too hot to hold approaching the disabled zone valve, but just warm 12" on the other side, cold further down. Manually adjusting the valve makes no difference.. suspect bad internals on valve. Plan is to replace this with a manual ball valve. The plumbing and mechanical part of this I can do.

But, how do I get water out enough to do soldering, then get water back in and air out? System is already gurgling.

I have read MANY posts and responses, and all the referenced articles about "purging", etc.. They don't start at the novice level. Are we talking about opening the "fill" valve and opening the drain valve at bottom of "boiler" to flush bubbles out? These referenced articles are just not clear on that... Since I have no "vents", no "purge cocks", etc... all this is new to me... and getting pressure right again? Can you help me understand a bit better?

Also, flushing the system this way would introduce fresh water to system. Doesn't that create sediment in the boiler, etc..? After 35 years is it time to rinse the sediment out of the bottom, like in a water heater?

I MUST replace this valve NOW before cold weather hits again. But I must know how to return system to normal before I begin.. Please help.

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