Open vented CH problem

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by ironsidebod, 1 Mar 2010.

  1. ironsidebod

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    Hi,

    I'm new to the forum but I've been a long time lurker and learned a great deal from this forum. I'm a keen and competant DIYer but on this one I've had to admit defeat so here I am after a little advice :) Apologies it's a long post but I've tried to include as much information as I can to assist.

    We have an open vented central heating system comprising a Baxi Solo PF2 60, 16 radiators and an unvented cylinder. The system has been reasonable since we moved in last year but not had much care in the last 15 years it's been installed it seems. Over summer I removed all radiators and flushed out with a hose and re-dosed with inhibitor. I've fitted TRV's to the bedroom and living areas and changed the bypass gate valve to an auto bypass. The boiler water temp sensor was changed when the fan failed just before Christmas.

    Still here? The problems started a couple of weeks ago. I added some Sentinel X400 to do a proper desludge, knowing it would need about 4 weeks to work. I re-balanced the radiators as they were miles out and the house had never heated so fast. Then the boiler started kettling a lot - like a steam train. Pump was changed, the old one was well past it and totally clogged but the new one made no difference. So I flushed the system using mains pressure (connected the cold feed to the fresh water in the loft), did one radiator at a time. Disconnected the flow and return and flushed out the heat exchanger as best I could with a hose pipe. Re-dosed with X100 and X200 descaler.

    The house gets hotter faster than it ever has, the boiler still kettles a fair bit and now the system seems to draw air in ever time it runs and is also heating the water in the loft tank - hot water is going back up the cold feed rather than it pumping over. I've held a cup of water over the end of the vent pipe while the heating is switched on and it sucks the water in then spits it back out. Cold feed doesn't seem to be blocked as the tank emptied quickly and the system filled no problem. Pump is set to speed 2. 1 isn't enough and 3 reduces kettling a little but still get lots of air drawn in.

    So, does anyone have any ideas what I should do next? I've read loads of posts on this forum and others but not sure how to tackle the problem.

    Below is a picture of the pipework.

    [​IMG]

    A - Cold feed 28mm from pump to 15mm to the F&E tank

    B - Vent 28mm to 22mm to the loft, F&E again

    C - Mains water to F&E tank

    D - Discharge for cylinder

    E - Grundfos 15-60 pump

    F - Honeywell 22mm auto bypass

    G - CH 2port valve

    I believe the pipework for the pump/F&E is not optimal but what should I do to sort it out?

    If converting to pressurised would help (I'd love to get rid of the loft tank anyway) what do I need, and what pipework changes would be necessary? Can I use the existing discharge pipework for the cylinder or does the safety valve and out let need to be by the boiler?

    Many thanks

    Ironside
     
  2. jackecole

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    How far does the vent pipe go up oer the water level in the F & E tank before looping back over and into it?

    Also when you replaced the pump/rads did you do all unions up fully and use new pump washers?
     
  3. ironsidebod

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    The end of the pipe is about 4 inches about the water level (heating has been on for a couple of hours now). The pipe goes up through the ceiling about 28inch then bends 90deg runs for about a foot and then bends 90 deg down above the tank.

    Yes new seals on the pump. I've also tightened the glands on the ls and wheel heads as some were really quite loose and checked all other unions are tight.

    If you need any more info or pics let me know, thanks :)
     
  4. ironsidebod

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    Anyone?
     
  5. Nige F

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    Try adjusting bypass F... start by counting the number of turns from it`s position now -to fully open . then see what happens . reduce by one turn @ a time and see again . When you get back to it`s "now" position - go on and turm @ a time till closed ( nearly) :idea: . Takes time - but that`s ok for DIY ;)
     
  6. ironsidebod

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    I'll give that a go cheers. It's currently set to about 0.35 bar based on the boiler output/pump flow rates.

    I'll try it and report back.
     
  7. ironsidebod

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    Bypass is fully open and heating has been on just under an hour and the cold feed pipe is already red hot up to the ceiling - so I guess upping the bypass opening pressure is not going to help if it's not better now?

    The boiler kettling is getting much much worse again, not far off from the point it prompted me to drain and flush.

    Anymore ideas before I have to call someone in?

    Edit: to make more sense :)
     

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