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Hot water circulation from boiler


Sam226
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I bought my boat 2 months ago and I'm now trying to get the hot water working. The last owner said it was slow but it didn't work at all, the main problem being a faulty pump I think.

The water is heated by an old boiler made by Ellis and sons, Northampton, via a calorifier.

The boiler also feeds two radiators. The hot water for the radiators does not go via the calorifier, there are t junctions behind the boiler and the pipes go left and right to the two radiators at each end of the boat. The radiators seem to heat up well so I don't think there is a problem with the boiler. (Except that the flame is very orange so it may need a service or clean?)

The problem is somewhere between the two red taps. I replaced my old bolin pump with the cheap black one shown in the pictures to see of this would help, and it has, a bit. However there seems to still be a circulation problem because the boiler flame goes back to pilot at intervals even though the return pipe to the boiler is not hot. After an hour of the boiler being on the return pipe is finally warming up and I can have a warm (Not hot) shower.

My questions are :

1. Why is the flame going up and down before the water is hot?

2. The pump is very loud - has this got anything to do with it? Any tips for making it quieter?

3. What should I do about the fact the flame is so orange? 

4. Does anyone know about bolin  pumps? There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with mine but it just slowly splutters water.

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Air lock - try loosening the union on the top red tap and see if any air of bubbles comes out. Also try the union behind the red tap that looks as if it might be a T connector. Make sure the header tank is full of antifreeze mixture first.

 

The flame is being shut down by the boiler thermostat that = no water circulation.

 

The pump looks like a centrifugal one, as it shoudl be, and it won't pump unless its flooded with water, it certainly won't suck to enable self priming like other types of water pump.

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If the white tee hidden by the timber upright is the vent pipe then its in the wrong place, the calorifier flow pipe off the boiler is full of air. The pipe reduces horizontally from 28 to 22 mm, therefore it will not vent fully. Same applies to the calorifier return pipe

Good practice is to always reduce in the vertical.. 

 

Your plumbing is a dog's breakfast.

 

The Bolin is a circulator, not a positive displacement pump, it will not pump air.

 

A yellow flame on the burner is seriously dangerous, it is producing CO,  It needs servicing urgently. It will also produce a low heat output.

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5 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

If the white tee hidden by the timber upright is the vent pipe then its in the wrong place, the calorifier flow pipe off the boiler is full of air. The pipe reduces horizontally from 28 to 22 mm, therefore it will not vent fully. Same applies to the calorifier return pipe

Good practice is to always reduce in the vertical.. 

 

Your plumbing is a dog's breakfast.

 

The Bolin is a circulator, not a positive displacement pump, it will not pump air.

 

A yellow flame on the burner is seriously dangerous, it is producing CO,  It needs servicing urgently. It will also produce a low heat output.

Agreed, the burner wants a good clean out - meant to say that but SWMBO started talking.

 

Also agree that the vent shoudl be moved to the highest point but I am not 100% sure the white pipe is the vent, there is another 15mm coper pipe at the back that just might be it. The white might be a filler from the header tank but I expect you are correct.

 

Edited to add if t is air there is probably nothing wrong with the Bolin pump.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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Hi all and thanks for replies.

 

The white pipe behind the timber(vent?) Goes up and drops into the header tank. So I guess this is a vent pipe? Where should it be if not there?

11 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

 

Your plumbing is a dog's breakfast

Yes I agree. A few things on this boat seem to be fit for a dog.

I have tried the top red tap already and got no air bubbles there. I will try the t at the back 

7 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

to add if t is air there is probably nothing wrong with the Bolin pump

This would make sense, the pump seems fine. Although when tested out of the circuit It was only slowly sputtering water, maybe this is usual?

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25 minutes ago, Sam226 said:

Hi all and thanks for replies.

 

The white pipe behind the timber(vent?) Goes up and drops into the header tank. So I guess this is a vent pipe? Where should it be if not there?

Yes I agree. A few things on this boat seem to be fit for a dog.

I have tried the top red tap already and got no air bubbles there. I will try the t at the back 

This would make sense, the pump seems fine. Although when tested out of the circuit It was only slowly sputtering water, maybe this is usual?

1. The vent should run from the highest circulating pipe in the circuit so maybe in front of the top red valve but better from the top run of the pipe that comes from the top of the boiler. You don't want any pipe runs higer than the vent.

 

2. Neither the Bolin nor your present pump sill such water and prime. it needs to be below the level in the header tank so it is full of water when it starts up. If you connect it to a water hose and turn the tap on water will flow through the pump. This is normal for that type of pump. If you then energise the pump the water flow ill increase. These pumps can not shift air so cant self prime or draw water up hill into the inlet port.

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2 hours ago, David Mack said:

Are you sure both of the gate valves on the calorifier circuit are open?

I once had to sort out a friend's central heating where a gate valve was jammed shut, even though the handle opened and closed as normal.

Thanks I will check them both. I checked the top one already and it was a bit jammed so.maybe the bottom one will be similar

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Update

I got a lot of air out from the return to the boiler, where it leaves the calorifier. This made the pump a lot quieter and improved circulation. Thanks for the help

22 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

The vent should run from the highest circulating pipe in the circuit so maybe in front of the top red valve but better from the top run of the pipe that comes from the top of the boiler. You don't want any pipe runs higer than the vent.

 

How important is It that I move this pipe?considering that I now have much better circulation 

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1 hour ago, Sam226 said:

Update

I got a lot of air out from the return to the boiler, where it leaves the calorifier. This made the pump a lot quieter and improved circulation. Thanks for the help

How important is It that I move this pipe?considering that I now have much better circulation 

If its working to your satisfaction now then probably not that important but with it as it is it will always be subject to the possibility of air locking. Maybe a job for next summer.

 

I can't see how air could be trapped in the lower pipework, it should have bubbled up to the highest point. I obviously did not but why I have no idea. It may be because it seem to be filling at the highest point and the vent is lower down. If this were mine I  would fill into the lowest point and vent from the highest.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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