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Ideal Response 120: searching for the Loop

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Boilernewbie66, 8 Nov 2020.

  1. Boilernewbie66

    Boilernewbie66

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    Hi everybody, I would be grateful if I could get some help on the issue I am having.
    My boiler (Ideal response 120) gives me hot water but no central heating. Pressure is at zero. I have looked here and elsewhere and I realise I am not sure:
    1) where the filling loop is, and
    2) how to go at it exactly.

    As to 1)
    The first pic below shows the tubes that are directly under my boiler. The "valve" on the left is the one a technician once told me to use to eliminate air bubbles (open valve with a screwdriver and close again when water comes out). It worked a couple of times so I am satisfied that screw is, in fact, a valve.

    The "valve" on the right (another screw) is where I, after reading on the internet, thought it was I had to open it to get the pressure up again. However, I have seen the following:
    a) when I try to open the screw on the right, a huge quantity of water comes out. This happens with the screw on the left both open and close. Even after letting an awful lot of water out, nothing happened to the pressure of the boiler, which is still at "flat tyre level". I have left the screw on the right open long enough to fill a small bucket of water without pressure level results, I think I am barking at the wrong tree here.
    b) I am wondering whether this is really the loop I am looking for. From what I have read around, the "loop" should be left hanging after use, attached on one side only. This is not the case here. It is not possible to even begin to screw the caps, in any combination I have tried (e.g., both valves closed) without an awful lot of water **at high pressure** coming out. Therefore, I suspect this is not the loop I am looking for?
    (Also very strange: the screw on the left is in position "closed" with the screw's head (where the screwdriver goes) perpendicular to the direction of the tube. The screw on the right is in position "closed" with the screw's head aligned with the tube. This is clearly visible in the picture. Makes no sense to me).

    As to 2)
    The second pic below shows what I have under my kitchen sink. You will see two valves (the red one and on the left and the blue one on the right), which actually look an awful lot like other outfits I have seen on youtube. If I open the red valve, there is water coming out, so the valve is clearly "unemployed", looking just like it would in a boiler loop and waiting only to be connected to the blue valve cap. I can obviously not see where all that plumbing goes as there is some distance between the boiler and the sink, but could it be that my "loop" is actually the one under the sink?

    Again, the apparent "loop" that I saw under the boiler (pic 1) does not seem to want to work as advertised, so I am in a quandary.

    I am grateful for any help!

    Many thanks



    Boiler 1.jpg Boiler 2.jpg
     
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  3. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    The filling loop is the silver, braided
    Hose in the first pic. On the left side you can see a slot for a screwdriver ,close to the copper pipe. Using a flat bladed screwdriver turn the slot until it's in line with the pipe. When system pressure is topped up, return to original position .
    There is another valve on the other end ( right side in pic) ,also has a slot for screwdriver ) that is currently open. Once you have topped up ,turn the slot on that valve till the slot is across the pipe ,which will close that valve too.
     
    Last edited: 8 Nov 2020
  4. Boilernewbie66

    Boilernewbie66

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    Many thanks, Terry!
    I have done exactly as you said and, sadly, nothing happened, in the sense that the boiler pressure is still down.
    Does it mean that the boiler has expired? I do still get warm water, though...
     
  5. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    It's possible one or other of the valves are kaput.
    When running a hot tap ,does the boiler fire up ,and give non stop hot water ?
    But it will not fire up for central heating ?
    When you tried as I described ,how long did you leave the valves open for ? Did you hear any sound of water running at all ?
     
  6. Boilernewbie66

    Boilernewbie66

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    Thank you again Terryplumb!

    yes, at the moment the situation is as follows:

    1) Warm water, as much as I want. I had it run for 3-4 minutes. I will let it run for longer today.

    2) Central heating: it starts when I move the thermostat above ambient temperature, and then it switches off after a minute. I think this is, again, not the boiler dying, because the boiler tries to do its best. Pressure at zero, though, so it unavoidably switches off after, say, a minute.

    I hear sounds of water that I did not hear (or noticed) before. I do not remember now when this exactly happens (with valves open or closed etc), but I will do again and take note of what happens. The water seems to "gurgle" from a white, wide plastic tub located below my kitchen sink (not the one in picture 2; it is more to the right and not pictured). I also saw hot damp coming out of this pipe (I think) or from a pipe nearby when I tried to have the boiler work some days ago (at that time I had not noticed that I had a beautiful pressure meter below a removable panel, because the panel was very hard to open and I thought it was fixed and I had a boiler with no pressure meter!). The damp came out with a loud hissing sound, as the door was closed I cold not see exactly where it was coming from.

    If it is of any help, I also do hear water starting to flow when I open the left hand side valve below the boiler, the one in picture 1. As to the right hand side valve, I see water not coming out if the slot is either aligned with the direction of the pipe or perpendicular to the direction of the pipe. When the slot is in the middle, there is a lot of water coming out.

    More strange things happening now that did not happen before:

    1) The hot water at times gives a huge "puff" for a couple of seconds, as if I had a big air bubble in the pipes. Again I do not remember which combination of open or closed valves did this. I will try to see if it happens again. This never happened before. I live in a place with a very high water pressure.

    2) When I opened the hot water in the bathroom (not too wide), the hot water came down regularly at the start and less and less thereafter, reducing a lot after a couple of minutes. I never noticed this before.
     
    Last edited: 11 Nov 2020
  7. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    This must be the only surviving Response...these models were being ripped out 20 years ago!
    It's a disaster of a design even worse than the Isar/Icos shambles.
    If you can find anyone willing to touch it it needs a Gas-Safe eng. to take a thorough look at it.
    With no pressure in the system the boiler should not even run...the pressure switch is no doubt blocked.
    The heat exchangers on these often leak inside...they have so many seals.
    There was also a "recall" and a flue overheat thermostat fitted due to the top of the heat exchangers corroding...this should be checked.

    New boiler is by far the best option...
     
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  9. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    I am somewhat confused. If you did not know that you had a pressure gauge ,how did you draw the conclusion that the system pressure was at zero ,as stated in your original post ??
    You say water comes out of the right hand valve ,where exactly does water appear ??
    I have no idea what the gurgling white plastic tube under sink is , show a picture !!
    What does the pressure gauge show currently ?
     
  10. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    The lower front panel hinges down and the pressure gauge is on the right next to the temperature control...
     
  11. Boilernewbie66

    Boilernewbie66

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    Hi Terryplumb and thank you again for you answer! The points one by one.

    A)
    "I am somewhat confused. If you did not know that you had a pressure gauge ,how did you draw the conclusion that the system pressure was at zero ,as stated in your original post ??

    That the pressure was at zero I inferred from looking at the posts on this forum. I actually thought that my old boiler did not have a pressure gauge, but I could diagnose the issue from what was happening (warm water = yes, radiators = no).

    However, a technician who had been to my house previously had told me that at times, a boiler system can develop an air bubble. He told me what to do to solve the issue. I seem to understand now that what he taught me to do is how to actually solve the pressure issue without looking at the pressure gauge. What I think he did is to leave the metal loop in, with the valve on the right open and the valve on the left closed. Then he told me, in case the boiler does not work, to open the valve on the left until some water comes out and then close it again. This actually happened a couple of times, and it worked without any issues. I had, at this point, no idea of what a "loop" is, that there can be a problem with the "pressure", etc. I only knew there could be air bubbles preventing the boiler from working and how to remedy the issue.

    Some days ago, the boiler stopped working again. I used the usual procedure but the problem was not solved. When I opened the valve on the left, *no water started to come out after a couple of seconds* and, also, the boiler did not resume operations. However, I noticed that I had the warm water, but not the heating. I went on the internet and discovered the world of "pressure", and "pressure gauges", and "loops". I did not even know where my "loop" was (I thought either under the boiler or under the sink). I made 2+2 from there as I now think that either the boiler loses pressure when an air bubble gets into the system, or that the two problems are solved in the same way. I also think (now) that the technician left the "loop" in on purpose and told me to act on the screw on the left to make things easier for me. It was only faffing with the very hard lower panel (I believe it was hard: I had not discovered that it is hinged at the bottom!) that I discovered that the thing actually opens and reveals the pressure gauge and a couple of other switches.

    B)
    "You say water comes out of the right hand valve ,where exactly does water appear ??"

    The water comes out whenever I put my screwdriver on the slot and turn it. It comes out at "middle points" and stops coming out when the slot is *either* aligned with the tube *or* perpendicular to it. It comes out from the screw itself during the turning.

    So for example if I turn the screw from the closed position (slot perpendicular to the tube) to the open position (slot in line with the tube), water will come out during the turning of the screw, and stop coming out when the 90 degree rotation is complete. It works this way by every 90 degree rotation. The two "necks" of the braided tube (those things with the two "ears" that attach to the tubes) are perfectly water tight.


    C)
    "I have no idea what the gurgling white plastic tube under sink is , show a picture !!"

    I am in the office now. Once at home I will take a picture and post it.

    D)
    "What does the pressure gauge show currently ?"

    It's at zero.
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2020
  12. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    It sounds like the "technician" didn't have much of a clue...was he registered?
    You never presurise a system without checking the gauge...the same as you wouldn't pump up your car tyre without checking the gauge.

    The loop is flexible for a reason. Both valves should normally be turned off...the slots perpendicular to the pipe and the hose disconnected (it should only be hand tight).
    It is not supposed to be a permanent connection in order to comply with the water regs although many are left permanently connected.

    The valves leak when you turn them since they are cheap and poor quality.
    Providing it's not excessive and you can hold a cloth underneath then it's really just an inconvenience.

    As I said before if the pressure is down at zero either the gauge is blocked and showing a false reading or the pressure sensor is blocked and since this is a safety device the boiler needs attention.
    Given the age of the boiler rather than just re-presurising you should have it checked out.
     
  13. Boilernewbie66

    Boilernewbie66

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    Hi again!

    As to the technician: certainly he had a clue and I am sure he is registered. I think I simply was not there when he looked at the pressure gauge. When he told me how to fix the air bubbles I am sure he did not mention the pressure gauge, though.

    I now have the pictures of the gurgling white tube (part B) yesterday): The gurgling came from the big tube on the right of the picture here below. The big tube then makes a turn on the left (picture 2) and goes back to the kitchen wall (picture 3), whence a further turn left brings it, no doubt, in the direction of the boiler.

    I realise I will call a technician and will most likely need a new boiler (I might post a new thread on this), but I would still be curious to know what was with the gurgling if it is of any interest to this situation and to others.

    Thanks a lot again!


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