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Triad Boiler Air Purge

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Posted by Dan on November 02, 2010 at 13:04:37:

I have read all the information about purging air from a system and had a couple of service people look at my Triad boiler setup but have not been able to determine how to properly bleed the system after changing out the circulating pump and pressure/temperature gauge. I will describe the set-up, maybe it is wrong but that is how it was installed 44 years ago. It is a water system and there are no bleeder values on the baseboard registers anywhere in the home. The circulating pump is on the return side of the system just before the return enters the boiler tank. There is no shut off return side. The hot water supply side to the registers comes out of the boiler tank to a shut off valve, out of that valve to a long manifold pipe with spigot valve that you can screw a hose onto on the end of it. Along the manifold pipe between the hot side shut off valve and the spigot valve are 6 tees. Each tee goes upward to 6 individual shut off valve for each of the 6 zones in my house. The pipes for each zone then go throughout the house and all eventually connect back into return pipe and then as I said above to the circulating pump and back into the boiler. I will mention that the fresh water supply enters the boiler through a totally different inlet after passing thru a shut off valve, couple of safety valves and a tee that has an expansion tank on it. The boiler tank also has a spigot valve directly on it as well which I have never tried to operate. If I follow the instructions on some of the messages I have read, I would shut off all the zone valves, and then open them one at a time, and then open the spigot valve at the end of manifold pipe to bleed out the air, shutting and opening each one successively. Not sure if I should shut the spigot or supply side valve off each time I open and close a zone valve. The problem I have with that however is, wouldn't the water just take the path of least resistance and run from the supply shut off valve (once it is opened) and out the spigot valve at the end of the manifold rather than up through the tee and around the system zones as I open and shut each one? It seems like the air would just sit in each zone and never get pushed out since there are 2 paths for the water to flow through? I must be missing something. To complicate matters is I have had 3 heating guys look at the system and they were left scratching their heads as to how to bleed it. In fairness, I don't think they specialized in boilers however. But since this was installed and has been this way since 1966 I am taking it that there is a proper way to bleed the air out of the system (maybe I am naive). I am also thinking about putting a Spirovent Jr. in the system but would like to get the majority of the air out of the system first. Could anyone also tell me the best place place for such an automatic bleeder would be in the set-up that I have described? I have heard that they work better on the hot side supply that on the return pipe, although my return pipe is far more accessible and I would have to replumb some of the hot side piping to make horizonal room for the bleeder to fit in...

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