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Home Boiler Maintenance

I have an oil fired boiler with base board heating. I get a lot of vibration in the circulation pump when it first starts, which gradually reduces as it runs. The base board heaters generally make clicking noise when they begin to heat up. It has been suggested there may be air in the water lines. I note a shut off valve just downstream from the circulation pump followed by another valve with a drain hose pipe attached. Is it desirable to check the line for any air that may have accumulated and how does one do so giving the valve configuration described downstream from the circulation pump? It is an older system and I have no maintenance manual for the system. Thanks for your assistance. George

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Dear Ranger25. Thank you for the information. What you state makes great sense. However, my knowledge of boiler system circuitry is so poor I am uncertain what precise steps I would take to purge the system. Would these steps be appropriate:
1. shut off valve to circuit just downstream to the pump
2. put a hose on the hose bib which is on theshut off valve just above the valve in # 1. Open this valve which will now drain water from the circuit??? Must I open a valve at some other point in the circuit upstream from the bib valve? If so I will have to see if I can find one and gamble on whether it would open or break off in the process. Is the valve the one you mention to open to drain air from the system?
3. How do I now put water under pressure into the circuit to purge it of any waste there??
4. What is the closure step to finalize the process and be certain the system is ready to function??
Sorry to be so uninformed. I hope my steps and questions make sense and your reply is anxiously awaited. Hamogf

Posted on Feb 01, 2008

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It may just be trash in the lines, also. That is what the valve with the hose attached to it is for, the same as a water heater, it needs to be drained and blown out with higher pressure (not too high) water at least every two years. You will probably have considerable scale and possibly sedimentary buildup in your system due to the fact that routine maintainence has probably been ignored. In order to properly bleed the system of air, you have to find the highest point of the piping system, and if there is not already a hammer arrestor with a purging valve installed, it will need one. Then it's just a matter of cracking the valve a little until you get a stream of water instead of the hissing of the air. Simple as that.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008

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