Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Off Topic: Home heating system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Lowell Ma.
    Posts
    139

    Default Off Topic: Home heating system

    My home heating system is an oil fired, forced hot water, baseboard type.
    About a week ago, it was very cold and with the thermostat set
    at 70 degrees, the room temp was struggling to get past 60.

    The furnace would run for a few minutes and then kick off for
    a little while and then repeat this cycle.
    We had this behavior in the past to the point that it would
    just stop running.
    So a call to the fuel co. for a service and cleaning and maybe
    a filter change, and we would be back in business.

    This time around the service guy checked the system, and said
    that everything seemed to be in order, and that due to the cold snap
    we were having, that the system was having a hard time keeping up.
    The water temp was set to 180 degrees and when the water temp dropped to 140 degrees the furnace would fire again, and cycle like this
    as it needed to.
    So he said that all that he could really do would be to set the
    water temp up to 200 degrees and so he did.
    That was at about 8:30AM.
    The room temp got to 70 degrees at about 2:30 in the afternoon.
    Everything seemed fine until this morning when the furnace kicked on
    and the water in the pipes started to sort of gurgle for a little while
    and then would quite down.
    We turned the heat off this morning, as it was near 50 degrees outside today, and turned it back on in the evening.
    When it got turned back on, it started making the gurgling again
    and then got quite again as before.
    I've never heard the system do this before in the 10 years
    that we have been here.
    I dont get what's happening with the system.
    The only change is the 200 degree water temp.
    It sounds like there is air in the system, but I have no
    clue how it got there? Or if it is indicitave of a problem.
    Anyone care to hazard a guess?
    Mike Green
    Mike Green

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Castlegar BC Canada
    Posts
    1,153

    Default brockley1

    It depends where the temperature control sensor is. If it any distance at all from the heat source the region being directly heated is probably reaching boiling temp and you are getting steam in the lines. Only my guess.Peter ( not my field but this came to mind )
    The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Temple, Tx
    Posts
    1,050

    Default

    Hot water systems have something called an air scoop. The air scoop sits at a local high point near the furnace and removes air from the water. I suspect you have air in your water. This will place a significant limit on you heating capacity. This may not be the correct answer, but I would start there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Harwich,Essex,UK
    Posts
    1,144

    Default

    Did the engineer check the water pump, is it gurgleing or kettling.
    Kettling occurs when the water in the system is not being circulated fast enough and you end up eith water trying to boil in the bolier.
    Just a thought.
    Peter
    I have tools I don't know how to use!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western New York U.$.A
    Posts
    7,266

    Default

    Our water system was so quiet you couldn't hear the pump running. You sure it is running? And what Bruce says about checking for air in the line. My system had this little bleeder valves on one end of each room. I had to put down a cookie sheet and open the valve with a wrench and screwdriver until the water came out in a steady stream to let out the air. Look for a nut with a slotted screw head in the top, that would be the bleeder valve. Had to do mine every 2-3 years.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

    It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Temple, Tx
    Posts
    1,050

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    6,714

    Default

    I think I'd check for air in the system. Do you have bleed valves on the baseboards? Take off the end covers and look for a little valve with a screw slot to open and close it. Open one up (with a cup under it to catch any water) and see if you get air coming out.
    ----------
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Lexington, Ohio
    Posts
    2,579

    Default

    To add to the suggestions,
    Had a similar problem a few years ago, the pump impeller/ anti toque coupling was slipping on the shaft, two set screws on this system, tightened it up and that took care of the problem. What it was doing was slipping/catching during on and off cycles.


    Ken

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
    Posts
    9,113

    Default

    Ditto bleeding the system to start with. Each radiator or heating section has a bleed valve, bleed them all.

    If it is cycling on and off, it is one of the safety limits, not the temperature. If it could not keep up, it would run continuously.

    Make sure there is enough water in the boiler, there should be a compound gauge for temp & pressure, or individual gauges. Pressure should be around 10-20PSI when not firing & around 30PSI when firing.

    If the circulator pump is not working, or a squirrel is stuck in the stack, high water temp or high stack temperature limits will cause it to cycle like that.

    If the expansion tank also might cause cycling if it has lost it's charge, and make it go off on high pressure. Watch the compound gauge while it is running to see what is happening when it cuts out.
    Jim H.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Lots of good info here. I would add that you need to check the water fill regulator/valve strainer. The bottom of the regulator should unscrew and there is screen in there. They become clogged and need to be cleaned. I clean them yearly.

    Air in the system and or lack of water flow are most likely the culprets. If the water boiler is making steam you should know it. It will trip the pop-off valve, make a lot of noise and belch steam out.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •