Author Topic: annyone know much about boilers/home heating/etc?  (Read 548 times)

micah

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annyone know much about boilers/home heating/etc?
« on: December 13, 2017, 11:14:26 PM »
Last January we had a problem with our boiler and the landlord called a repair man who I chatted up while he replaced the expansion tank and changed the shutoff valve, bled and refilled our system.  All was well it seemed.... but soon after I realized that the heater in our partially finished basement (where my desk is) no longer was blowing hot air.

The heater is built into the wall and has dedicated pipes feeding it hot water directly from the boiler.  It kinda looks like this thing http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2814227/heating-a-finished-basement but a slightly different model.  Could be from the 60's since that's when the house was built.  Its basically a radiator with a thermostat and has a built in fan to blow the warmth around.  Winter wasn't to cold last year and I had a space heater to help keep the temp reasonable (but still chilly) and I kinda forgot that it didn't work.

Now its getting cold again (currently 65 in my basement) and I wished it worked.  When I turn it on I can feel the pipe getting hot coming out of the boiler and running the 50 or so feet to where it goes behind the wall and feeds the heater... the fan runs in the unit but it doesn't get hot.  Most things I've read on the Internet about radiator problems suggest bleeding any air out - so i've done that, a lot. Seems like this could be the issue since the repair guy drained the boiler and refilled it I imagine that must have done something.  When I open the bleeder valve water comes out in a stream - its cold to slightly luke-warm.  Doesn't seem to make any difference though.

I know the easiest answer is "call the landlord and make him fix it" but I'd like to try and figure it out myself, especially if its some simple dumb thing I just don't realize.

Any thoughts?

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KnuckleBuckett

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Re: annyone know much about boilers/home heating/etc?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 06:00:10 AM »
Heat exchanger issue?  Boiler/radiator heat is amazing.  Careful!

micah

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Re: annyone know much about boilers/home heating/etc?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 07:40:14 AM »
so January 2017 the expansion tank had to be replaced... then last winter, a year to the day on January 19th the boiler went out again. I called the landlord who was like "just hit the restart button" which I did and it restarted.  To his credit, the landlord sent out a service guy anyway who changed the oil filter and cleaned the injector nozzle and said "it was dirty. that was certainly your problem"  A few weeks later though it wouldn't start again, I hit reset and it worked.  Then was fine all spring and summer (our hot water worked all summer so it had not problem kicking on a few times a day).

This fall, I turned the heat on for the house and the boiler kicked on but after a couple weeks it shut off. I hit restart.  Then a couple more weeks.  Then we were gone for 5 days at Christmas and came home to a freezing house. I hit restart.  Then it was only a week and I had to do it again.  And then a few days later so I texted the landlord last Friday.  He said he'd call the service company, which he did on Monday.  They didn't get back to him until Thursday and said they'd come out this morning (Friday, at 9:30) which is in 2 hours.  Meanwhile, I've had to hit restart once a day all week. I did it last night, then again at 6 this morning.  Then it went out after one cycle and restart doesn't work any more.  Perfect timing.

So as of right now, we have no heat at its 20F out (with a 7-degree windchill)!  Luckily the service guy will be here in 2 hours. I sure hope it just needs another quick cleaning and he can get it fired back up.  But I'm a little nervous its a bigger problem since last years cleaning didn't really solve the problem, at least not long term.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 08:00:32 AM by micah »

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micah

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Re: annyone know much about boilers/home heating/etc?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 11:32:56 AM »
Update, they came and went. Cleaned the boiler out, replaced the oil filter again, checked the nozzle.  They couldn't replicate the problem I had this morning of it not starting with reset. (just like when you call the IT guy over to your computer and then it works fine. LOL) -- but based on my description they thought it was the ignition motor and replaced that.  Humming along nicely now.

"I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man.  I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers."