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Central heating issues

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Ian 1969, 20 Nov 2018.

  1. Ian 1969

    Ian 1969

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    Hi All
    Wondering if anyone could please assist. I have a cold tank loft water fed system, with a Grundfos Alpha2 pump fitted next to the water cylinder. which is situated in the airing cupboard upstairs. The boiler is an old Glow worm Space Saver mk2 which seems to be in good working order which is downstairs in the kitchen.
    We have been in the property for almost a year and can recall the heating playing up when we moved in and as far as I can remember only heating upstairs.
    Although the pump gets quite noisy on speed 4, this seemed the best operating speed as anything less didn't seem to get the water round to the downstairs radiators.
    A few weeks ago, realising we still had a problem with winter coming, I bled all the radiators but with not much luck. I have then tried my best to balance them which seemed to move the hot water to the downstairs radiator for a couple of days and all seemed fine although the 2 main lounge radiators were only warm.
    Gradually it got worse, and the water pipes in the airing cupboard have been quite noisy, and the noise from the water cylinder in the airing cupboard sounded like water gradually filling up, then stop, then continue for another 3 times filling and stopping/cutting out. I removed the front from the Grundos unit to vent any air out. The water started trickling quite soon so am guessing not much air was inside? With the screw removed there is a good jet of water. I noticed that the lower gate valve had started to leak where it meets the motor (new gaskets required), and yes obviously the valve decided it would not shut off for me. I wanted to drain the water but am unsure if I am draining at the correct point as the Grundfos unit arrow is pointing UPWARDS. I have seen after searches that this may not be good.
    Please see photos attached.
    Sorry for all the overload info/waffle, but my main questions are:
    1) Am I draining the correct pipe 22mm which enter the bottom of the cylinder
    2) Will I be wasting my time installing the pump back where it was?
    3) Any other advice would help loads as currently no heating on.

    Many thanks in advance for reading! :)
    Kind regards Ian
     

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  3. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    The drain cock appears to me to be the cylinder drain. Follow the pipe that its on ,see if it enters into the bottom of the cylinder as i suspect. This will not drain your central heating system. Look for a drain cock on the ground floor ,maybe on a radiator valve. You will of course have to isolate the small f&e tank in the loft ,before draining.
    Your post is a bit winding ,but as i understand it you only wish to drain down so you can sort out the leaking valves ,but you said you now have no heating at all. Why ?
     
    Last edited: 20 Nov 2018
  4. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    That drain off point will drain the domestic water from the cylinder not the boiler system.
    There is nothing wrong with the pump pumping upwards...it is a very common and actually helps air to be bleed.
    What do you mean in point 2 regarding installing the pump?
    Have you checked the small cistern in the roofspace? Is the water level correct?
    It's not clear from the pics but do you have a combined feed and safety vent pipe ie. just a single pipe running from the small roof cistern?
     
  5. Ian 1969

    Ian 1969

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    Hi Terry
    Thanks for the reply. Yes the drain cock enters the bottom of the cylinder. I am unsure of the direction of the water. Aha you are correct sir. There is a drain cock off a radiator downstairs by the outside back door. I imagine that will take quite a bit of draining. Am I likely to incur any difficulties re-filling. It has had an inhibitor applied several years ago, would you advise I renew? Yes, firstly I have to replace the seals, and as it is dripping and I did not want to leave the heating on, as with the gate valve opened up it runs rather than drips. I would be waking up every 30 mins to empty the shallow bowl I reckon. It has to be shallow due to the low pipework.
     
  6. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Drain the lot ! I suspect your system may be full of crud anyway. When you have sorted your leaking valves and re filled the system and all is leak free ,add some cleanser fernox f3 or sentinel ( put it into the small f&e tank) ,let it run in central heating for a week. Then drain the system again and add inhibitor. The radiators not all getting hot can be dealt with separately. While pump is off ,check impellor is clean and moving freely , the arrow pointing up is nowt to worry about.
    If you have a strong magnet ,run it along the pipe ( start high up ) that comes down from the f&e tank ,and all its branches. It will be attracted by any magnetite inside the pipes ,if that is so ,you can take appropriate action whilst its drained down to sort that out as well.
     
  7. Ian 1969

    Ian 1969

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    Hi Gasguru
    Yes thanks, Terry pointed out it is not the correct tank to drain.
    Ref point 2, I meant was it worth me re-installing it as it was or changing the route as some people on the net seem to say the flow should down down or horizontal, but not upwards?
    I have just checked both cisterns and both have water near the top, both ball cocks operate as should. The smaller tank does seen to have had the water sitting there for quite a while though, brown tide marks around the edge.
    I have attached another photo, the bottom left pipe from the small tank goes to the copper coloured pipe on the left of the first photo.
    Thanks
     

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  8. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    Is the water leak from the small hex nut on the valve spindle?
    If so try pinching up the nut.

    It looks as though you have a "combined feed and vent" layout and they are never that great at releasing the air...and in your case they have not tee'd the pipe just before the cistern to form a vent pipe over the cistern.
     
  9. Ian 1969

    Ian 1969

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    No, the leak is on the large coupling nut where the pump meets the valve which i would imagine is the pump gasket leaking.
    The gate valve weeped for a while from the front but then stopped but does not entirely shut off the flow of water.
     
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  11. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Best fitting a new valve if it doesnt fully isolate.
     
  12. Ian 1969

    Ian 1969

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    Okay, although whenever I bled the radiators it was clear, and also from the pipes, although the water from the pump was quite dirty/oily looking when it was running from the large bottom nut off the pump.
    Okay great, good to know the direction of flow is fine. There is also a Drayton actuator on a pipe, not that that would make any difference.
    Thanks for the advice!
     
  13. Ian 1969

    Ian 1969

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    Indeed whilst I am picking up the gaskets and cleanser
     
  14. Ian 1969

    Ian 1969

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    Gasguru quote:

    It looks as though you have a "combined feed and vent" layout and they are never that great at releasing the air...and in your case they have not tee'd the pipe just before the cistern to form a vent pipe over the cistern.[/QUOTE]

    Would you suggest me changing the set up ie is it likely to cause future issues?
     
  15. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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  16. Ian 1969

    Ian 1969

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    I have cleared a shelf to show you another photo as it may not have been visible on the previous photos. I think this may be the air vent?
    Have drained the radiators this morning and the bottom of the F&E tank was full of a black layer which was like oily mud so i have cleaned it out using a jug and sponges into a bucket. I have a medium strength magnet which doesn't pick it up, and most of the water seemed quite clear to be fair. There were bits of grey colouring but not much.
     

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  17. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    That vent is rather like what you have on a radiator to bleed air out , but from the coil / pipework to it. Its not an open vent as gas guru refers to.
     
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