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Thread: How to refill a single zone, oil fired hot water boiler for baseboard radiant heat

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    DIY Member McG's Avatar
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    Default How to refill a single zone, oil fired hot water boiler for baseboard radiant heat

    Name:  Concord, Dec 1, 2011 006.jpg
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    Please help me understand this system and how to get it up and running again. I had to lower a pipe, so I drained down the system (don't know if I did this properly) cut the pipe and lowered it. Now I need to get the boiler running again.

    I think I need to flush the pipes first to remove any solder/flux, dust from the repair job and to check that my joints are holding. What direction is the water going to flow, which valves to open and which to close. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Here are a few pictures. I'm not a pro so please do not use pro lingo or abbreviations. Thanks.

    The make-up water enters the system from behind the expansion tank.
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    Last edited by McG; 12-02-2011 at 02:22 PM.

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    Open the valves, open the autofill (so it is unregulated) and bleed the air out of the zone. Once the air is purged you can put the autofill in its operational position and start the boiler.

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    BTW: That foam between the joists (rafters?) needs an ignition barrier to meet code. (Pretty clean looking job!) Half inch sheet rock makes it, as does half inch ply or OSB.

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    DIY Member McG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    BTW: That foam between the joists (rafters?) needs an ignition barrier to meet code. (Pretty clean looking job!) Half inch sheet rock makes it, as does half inch ply or OSB.
    Thanks, it has a coat of fire retardant paint on it. The installer said their special paint sold only by foam distributors, satisfied fire codes. Drywall or plywood would be more attractive and an additional fire retardant, definitely.
    Last edited by McG; 12-02-2011 at 02:35 PM.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Name:  Concord, Dec 1, 2011 003.jpg
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    keep the water flowing until all the air is gone. At least a couple of minutes or so
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member McG's Avatar
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    Tom, Thanks! The labels help a lot! Couple of questions: If I follow your instructions, the water will not flow through the boiler chamber itself but only through the baseboards, is that right?

    This will purge the air and clean the debris that might be in the pipes. I can keep running the water until no air bubbles appear in a five gallon pale with the hose outlet submerged in it. When the bubbles stop, close the drain, remove the hose, open the lower valve (allowing the water to flow into the boiler).

    I guess the pressure should read about 12 psi, or whatever the pressure is coming off the well pressure tank. Then turn on the boiler and the pressure will increase to about 18 psi, am I right?

    Should I drain the expansion tank? How to do this?

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    DIY Member McG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary in NJ View Post
    Open the valves, open the autofill (so it is unregulated) and bleed the air out of the zone. Once the air is purged you can put the autofill in its operational position and start the boiler.
    Thanks. Is the "autofill" the cold water supply, that here enters the system above the expansion tank and below the spirovent? What is the autofill's operational position? Half open, closed, or open?

    When I was draining down the system, I heard what sounded like the expansion tank filling up with water. I realized then that the supply water was still open. The hissing stopped when I closed that valve which I guess is the autofill valvle. Is this something I have to address? Like by draining the expansion tank. If so, how do I do that?
    Last edited by McG; 12-02-2011 at 02:41 PM.

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