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Thread: Newbie Circulator?? Questions

  1. #16
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    NEVER run the boiler with the piping disconnected! If for some insane reason you feel the need to test with the pump body still hooked up to the system with the motor & impeller dangling from the wires, turn the gas supply off to the boiler first to prevent it from firing.

    But it's better to bench-test it, removing all other control possibilities that might be keeping the pump from working.

    Kill all the power to the system first, and turn of the gas supply.

    Close any of the nearby valves to keep the whole system from draining into the basement.

    Unwire the pump first, and put the wire-nuts temporarily back on the wires from the system, not the wires on the pump.

    Use a big bucket or tub to catch the glugs, remove the pump completely and put in on a bench (kitchen table, I don't care, just somewhere you can do it dry and well-lit). Pull the pump housing off, and prop up the pump resting on the motor case.

    If you're really careful and promise not to electrocute yourself doing really stupid stuff you can insert the bare ends of the wires into an extension cord making sure it has good contact, then plug the cord into a switched power-strip with the switch in the "off" position. Plug the power strip into a wall socket, and use the switch on the power strip to apply the power briefly- a second or two should be enough.

    This isn't time wasted- whether you replace the whole pump or just the cartridge you'll usually be pulling the pump anyway.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member mrm143's Avatar
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    Never thought of the power strip idea, Brilliant LOL
    I agree, no matter what I will be replacing the whole piece, but would love to know if that's the issue....
    I PROMISE I will not electrocute myself, and will update later this evening...

    Oh one more thing, If I buy the assembly as a whole, it will come with the 2 gaskets, but can I reuse the old flanges on the top and bottom? Mine are black, but the new ones are green...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    NEVER run the boiler with the piping disconnected! If for some insane reason you feel the need to test with the pump body still hooked up to the system with the motor & impeller dangling from the wires, turn the gas supply off to the boiler first to prevent it from firing.

    But it's better to bench-test it, removing all other control possibilities that might be keeping the pump from working.

    Kill all the power to the system first, and turn of the gas supply.

    Close any of the nearby valves to keep the whole system from draining into the basement.

    Unwire the pump first, and put the wire-nuts temporarily back on the wires from the system, not the wires on the pump.

    Use a big bucket or tub to catch the glugs, remove the pump completely and put in on a bench (kitchen table, I don't care, just somewhere you can do it dry and well-lit). Pull the pump housing off, and prop up the pump resting on the motor case.

    If you're really careful and promise not to electrocute yourself doing really stupid stuff you can insert the bare ends of the wires into an extension cord making sure it has good contact, then plug the cord into a switched power-strip with the switch in the "off" position. Plug the power strip into a wall socket, and use the switch on the power strip to apply the power briefly- a second or two should be enough.

    This isn't time wasted- whether you replace the whole pump or just the cartridge you'll usually be pulling the pump anyway.
    Last edited by mrm143; 04-11-2013 at 12:58 PM.

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member mrm143's Avatar
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    Pump is dead no movement when plugged into PS...
    Question I know new pump cones with 2 round gaskets but do I also need 2 gaskets on the flanges already sweated onto boiler? Looks like one had one and one didn't and its all crusty

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member mrm143's Avatar
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    I am happy to report we have heat!!!!!!
    The pump was dead replaced pump and not only can I hear it running we have heat in the basement...
    5:30 minute burns on average
    20psi @ 170-180
    Pump is a little loud but nothing crazy


    Thank you to everyone for all their help me and my family really appreciate it

  5. #20
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're under way then!

    The burns are on the short side- it might be of use to measure the burns when the just the zone with the least amount of baseboard is calling for heat. If you think you're going to keep the boiler for another 10+ years it's probably worth adding a heat-purging boiler control like the Intellicon 3250 HW+, which "exercises" the thermal mass of the boiler to the extent possible, and purges the boiler heat into the zone at both the beginning end of a call for heat to minimize standby loss. That reduces the efficiency penalty for being 3x oversized (best wild-guesstimate) for the load by quite a bit, and will usually reduce the fuel use by more than 10%, sometimes more than 15% at that level of oversizing. The hardware is typically a couple-hundred USD from online sources, sometimes less, and a competent & literate DIYer can usually handle the installation.

  6. #21
    Master Hot Water Mpls,MN BadgerBoilerMN's Avatar
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    "even if you replaced it with a 2-3 plate 50-60KBTU/hr cast-iron thing rather than a high efficiency modulating boiler.

    BLASPHEMER !


  7. #22
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Sorry, Morgan, I know how much mod-cons mean to you. :-)

    But in fact, I'm a big believer in replacing ANY atmospheric drafter burners with direct-vent/closed combustion, to zero out all chance of back drafting no matter how tight you make the house, then going whole-hog on air sealing and weatherization. In the replacement boiler world that's pretty much an all-mod-con show, with a few measly exceptions.

    And a right sized modulating boiler would be MILES ahead of any cast-iron solution on raw comfort, as long as the shortest baseboard zone won't cause it to short-cycle itself into an early grave.

    At this point I'm thinkin' he'll be way better off fixing the most egregious envelope deficiencies prior to boiler-replacement time, and tracking the improvements to the heat load with fuel use calculations to know what that whole-house load really is, to avoid buying yet another oversized boiler. It takes some real convincing with some people that their heat loads are as low as they really are, and there's nothing like tracking it for a few years ahead of time to get it to sink in.

    There's no economy in scrapping a functional boiler in the meantime, but comfort can go way up once you start nailing down the heat leaks in the building envelope. When the CG6 is really starting to crap out or leak is the time to lobby for the beloved mod-con. I suspect he's still at least a half a decade away, maybe more than a decade- some of these beasts just won't DIE, even with stake in their cast-iron-zombie-hearts! :-) (Silly me, I scrapped my ~ 15 year old 6-plate Burnham while still fully functional, but I'm more dedicated to air sealing the house than most.)

  8. #23
    Master Hot Water Mpls,MN BadgerBoilerMN's Avatar
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    There are all kinds of ways to get hurt when you DIY a residential boiler. Lets start with 200F water in a boiler bumping off high limit when the circulator fails. Turn off the power and fuel supply, wait for the boiler to cool off to room temperature, isolate boiler/pump from the radiation, drain boiler/pump, pull pump and replace, fill system with water below 7 grains hardness (not soft), purge air using accepted methods, turn power and fuel on, run combustion test to assure safe, clean and efficient operation. Cross yourself...

  9. #24
    Master Hot Water Mpls,MN BadgerBoilerMN's Avatar
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    "It takes some real convincing with some people that their heat loads are as low as they really are"


    Amen brother

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