26 Aug 2000 at 2:31 pm #273417Anonymous
jimncris wrote on 22 August 2000 at 11:30 PM:
I really appreaciate the help you are sending. We are trying to follow the ideas (I’ve had just enough physics to be “dangerous”)I forgot to ask why this is suddenly happening. To me it means the “new”
(10 years old)expansion tank has failed. It is about 20″ high and less than a foot in diameter. The attic one is 50 gallon. It has a clear tube to gauge how much water is in it. We also have a guage in the basement the owner (original family member for the house) told us regulated how high the water went in the house. It is regulated by a valve thatcomes from the outgoing stacks. Is this the valve you were talking
about Mr. Kestenholz? We have kept the tank in the attic empty according to the tube guage and the regulating guage so why is it that when we now allow water in the system it now is running out the hose end of the overflow pipe (in the basement)? ~ Cris
26 Aug 2000 at 5:30 pm #287617
Your system worked for decades without the new expansion tank. The new tank (30 extrol equivalent – just techie data, forget it) can not handle the amount of water in the system, so ignore it. If you actually do as Sylvan says – drain the system and use the meter to read how much water really goes into the system – you will find that you have way more than the 30 gallons that downstairs tank can handle.
Use the old 50 gallon tank in the attic. When the water appears in the upstairs tank glass, that is enough water to keep the upstairs pipes and radiation full of water. Make sure that you don’t overflow water out of the attic tank unless the water reaches near the top of the tank. If the water is overflowing before the upstairs gauge glass is full, then change that to get a higher level.
It doesn’t matter which valve feeds water into the system, as long as one valve fills it. Just to save water and your time, check the water level once per month by looking at the water level in the attic and overflowing the upstairs tank a little just to make sure the water is keeping the tank full so the upstairs radiators don’t lose water.
When you fill the upstairs tank, you will be filling it with cold water. As you start heating the water in your system, the water will expand (4 percent of the volume maximum) and some will spill from the tank. That is a natural occurrence. If you see the tank totally empty, that is an indicator of a problem and you need to check for a leak in the system. That is why I suggest you not use an automatic fill (PRV) valve; you will not see a problem if the valve compensates for water lost through a leak inside a wall.
The old folks knew what they were doing; the kids are too young to know better.
26 Aug 2000 at 5:46 pm #287618
To try to answer your question as to why it is happening all of a sudden after ten years is difficult because we have not been included in the history of service and we do not have a pipe diagram. One answer in a slightly different tack is that there is not sufficient understanding of the old system you have by the people who put that basement tank and automatic feed into the system.
I could put a discussion of that system on my web site. As a certified Social Studies teacher as well as HVAC and others, I could display an interest in the old; but I think Dan Holohan does that well.
I prefer to tell how to do today’s systems. Although I respect the value of the historic, I encourage replacing the old system for the benefit of high efficiency and repair savings. The oldie is a goodie, but it is not efficient and can become a white elephant.
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