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Morso Back Boiler Thumps??


ali.h
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Hi

Just recently purchased a boat with a squirrel back boiler-it works great but when it gets warm/hot strange gruggling noises come from the pipes. Has anybody experienced this one? Once I close it down the noise dissapears. And do squirrel have a special setting for the grate if your just burning wood?

Thank you

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is it a gravity fed system for the radiators or is there an electric pump?

 

Ours has a pump and when starting from cold there are a couple of knocks before the pump kicks in to circulate the water.

we have a seperate switch for the pump which sometimes gets knocked to the off poisition so may be worth checking your switches and piping

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That's where the steam goes to

 

Richard

 

Ye water in the system, but thanks Richard for the info-does seem rather obvious now. Is it ok to leave it hot or should i shut it down as soon as the noises occur?

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sounds like the system isnt quite balanced properly, My old boat had a gravity fed system and made no noise at all even when starting the stove with a large hot fire, Try letting the pipes heat up slower with a cooler fire before opening up the vents and getting the fire hotter. once the water is circulating properly there shouldnt be any boiling.

 

Do you have a cap, tight on your header tank or is there a loose fitting lid. try taking the cap off to see if this helps circulation....be careful though in case you get some blow back of hot water or steam.

 

Im not totaly sure but i dont think a gravity fed system needs to be pressurised

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Ye water in the system, but thanks Richard for the info-does seem rather obvious now. Is it ok to leave it hot or should i shut it down as soon as the noises occur?

 

To be honest, I don't know. We have a gas fired system, but I know that I could boil the water in a stove we had in a house once, and it bumped and made other lumpy, scary noises.

 

There will be some experienced squirrel fanciers along soon to give you some proper advice

 

Richard

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My backboiler thumps and gurgles. It's a thermosyphoning system and the noise definitely comes from the backboiler.

 

I never thought of it as a problem, I just keep the header tank topped up and don't worry about it. My system isn't pressurised - I've no idea how a pressurised thermosyphoning system works?

Edited by blackrose
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My backboiler thumps away quite happily, as Mike says above, never thought it was a problem, top it up all the time and I add some antifreeze for the times I am away.

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I had this problem when I first fitted the Morso, after a couple of months the noise went away. I thought that it might just be the air trapped in the fresh water that finally made its way out of the system. Quiet as a mouse now - except for the wirr of the pump.

 

Have you recently filled / topped up the water level ?

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Gurgling noise comes from air moving along with the water, this needs to be bled out.

 

Thumping 99% of the time is the water boiling, which creates air(steam) gaps and then causes the gurgling sound.

 

Edit: once the air gap is big enough to cover the send from the boiler you will get an airlock, then the system will start to boil the boiler dry ;)

Edited by Pretty Funked Up
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Yes mine thumps when first warming everything up.Definatly think it can be helped by starting with a cooler fire.Never really worried about this to much, as it goes once the systems running with warm coolant through the pipes.Bleed all the rads regularly that will help with the gurgling.

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Gurgling noise comes from air moving along with the water, this needs to be bled out.

 

Thumping 99% of the time is water boiling, which creates air(steam) gaps and then causes the gurgling sound.

 

Edit: once the air gap is big enough to cover the send from the boiler you will get an airlock, then the system will start to boil the boiler dry ;)

 

This is not the case with my system. There is an open header tank connected to a pipe at the top of the system, so it is completely self-bleeding.

 

As others have said, I think that the regular thumping I hear (about once every couple of seconds), is water boiling in the back boiler. Since my system has no pump I view the thumping as a pump pushing the hot water around the system.

 

Anyway, as long as the heat is free to move around the system and radiate then boiling water shouldn't be a problem - it is called a back boiler after all!.

Edited by blackrose
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I'd be a bit cautious here.

 

Your system probably isn't designed to be pressurized to any great extent and excess pressure may cause the joints in the system to leak. It'll also give you a nasty face-full if you attempt to take the cap off the header tank while it's boiling, so I'd advise against this most strongly.

 

If it's anything like mine then when it boils the header tank will overflow (mine is piped into the engine bay bilge, albeit with a tiny pipe. Yours may not be.)

 

I've resorted to leaving the cap off the header tank these days. The pipes still clonk a bit but that's my clue to shut the stove down a bit. Really need to fit some fine gauze or something to stop the header from filling up with spiders, :rolleyes:

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I get excited when our fire starts making gurgly thumpy noises; it means I'll be warm soon :)

 

Doesn't happen so much since I've increased the flow through the calorifier, although I can maximise the gurgle potential by sweeping the chimney; makes a lot of difference.

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My word, what a lot of strange noises. I had loads of problems with my system which was clearly fitted by a total incompetant. The back boiler pipes came out and DOWN behind the stove to run at skirting board level. This meant that the back boiler was not and could not ever be bled free of air, the boiling would displace water out through the header tank and all in all the whole system was inoperable. I dropped into a plumbers merchants and bought a couple of bleed valves which I introduced into the system at the highest points at the stove and pump and there endeth my problems. If water is boiling in the stove then circulation is insufficient and whilst proper bleeding is a must you also have to look at what may be impairing flow, are your pipes big enough? do you need a pump?

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I once installed CH in our old house, made sure all pipes vented upwards, 28mm pipe came straight out and upwards on the flow and return to the floor standing boiler but we used to get dreadful thumps from it, quite scary and the only way I could cure it for a while was to treat the system to descaling acid. Never could work out what was happening, it was an indirect system i.e. not direct fresh water so couldn't see how it could fur up.

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I once installed CH in our old house, made sure all pipes vented upwards, 28mm pipe came straight out and upwards on the flow and return to the floor standing boiler but we used to get dreadful thumps from it, quite scary and the only way I could cure it for a while was to treat the system to descaling acid. Never could work out what was happening, it was an indirect system i.e. not direct fresh water so couldn't see how it could fur up.

I too installed CH - in 1983. The dual fuel (wood/coal) 'Thermorossi Boski' boiler fed a 28mm 'gravity' circuit to a large storage cylinder and a large radiator in the 'utility room'. There was also a circulation pump that moved hot water through 15mm pipes to radiators in the bathroom, loo, living room, hall and three bedrooms. The circulator was plumbed to an injector-tee which encouraged circulation in the gravity circuit. It worked well. After the 1985 Storm and associated five day+ power-cuts our Kitchen was the place for neighbours to gather. :cheers:

 

According to the manufacturers: circulation at low temperatures could result in damaging condensation; high fire temperatures would result in local boiling corroding the boiler. So, we had thermostats that prevented circulation at <60C and activated the circulation pump (to dump heat) when the boiler was >90C.

 

Despite my instructions, visiting relations over-rode the controls (e.g. jamming the ash door open) producing burnt-on deposits on the cooker hot-plates and surrounds and local boiling. Our £2,000 CH Cooker which I expected to last maybe 20 years suffered a fatal boiler failure after 15 years. A major contribution to my divorce - it was her thick relations who destroyed our expensive cooker/boiler.

 

It did not 'fur-up' because, whilst water was lost by evaporation and replaced by hard water from the mains I maintained the anti-freeze, anti-corrosion additive. Simple test, immerse some iron nails in a sample of your CH water for a week; if they rust your additive is deficient.

 

Whatever back-boiler you have, look after it. Thumps & bumps are not good! For your heating and maybe for your relationship.

 

Alan

Edited by Alan Saunders
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I'd be a bit cautious here.

 

Your system probably isn't designed to be pressurized to any great extent and excess pressure may cause the joints in the system to leak. It'll also give you a nasty face-full if you attempt to take the cap off the header tank while it's boiling, so I'd advise against this most strongly.

 

If it's anything like mine then when it boils the header tank will overflow (mine is piped into the engine bay bilge, albeit with a tiny pipe. Yours may not be.)

 

Who's system were you referring to? Mine is a completely unpressurised open system and the header tank doesn't overflow at all.

 

Whatever back-boiler you have, look after it. Thumps & bumps are not good! For your heating and maybe for your relationship.

 

Alan

 

I put noise inhibiter in my system but I still get thumps and gurgles. My system (unlike the one you have described), is very simple and it's been fine gurgling away for the past 5 years so I don't see it as a problem.

Edited by blackrose
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Who's system were you referring to? Mine is a completely unpressurised open system and the header tank doesn't overflow at all.

 

 

 

I put noise inhibiter in my system but I still get thumps and gurgles. My system (unlike the one you have described), is very simple and it's been fine gurgling away for the past 5 years so I don't see it as a problem.

HI-Many thanks for all your replies to the original posting. Its an open system but reading the messages there are plenty of tests to do. Thanks again for all your advice

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Who's system were you referring to? Mine is a completely unpressurised open system and the header tank doesn't overflow at all.

The OPs - I was advising caution when examining a system that's new to the investigator. Truly open systems aren't a cause for concern as they shouldn't pressurize (it isn't a truly open system if it does). The more worrying scenario is when you're faced with a system that isn't really meant to pressurize but does anyway. This was the situation with mine: the only escape route for the pressure in the system was via the very small overflow pipe from the header (1/8" diameter) which wasn't really man enough for the job. :o

 

I've partially 'cured' the problem by removing the cap from the header so it's less likely to pressurize in the first place. However this has only been partially successful as the pipe from the header down to the rest of the system is also a small diameter, so the back boiler, radiator and pipes between can still raise pressure which eventually forces its way out through the header in a big rush! This coats the engine bay in boiling hot water / antifreeze mix. I've only done it twice...

 

I know it, it's my boat, and I manage the fire so it isn't a problem now. But if I ever sell her, I will be leaving very clear instructions for the next owner.

Edited by sociable_hermit
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The OPs - I was advising caution when examining a system that's new to the investigator. Truly open systems aren't a cause for concern as they shouldn't pressurize (it isn't a truly open system if it does). The more worrying scenario is when you're faced with a system that isn't really meant to pressurize but does anyway. This was the situation with mine: the only escape route for the pressure in the system was via the very small overflow pipe from the header (1/8" diameter) which wasn't really man enough for the job. :o

 

I've partially 'cured' the problem by removing the cap from the header so it's less likely to pressurize in the first place. However this has only been partially successful as the pipe from the header down to the rest of the system is also a small diameter, so the back boiler, radiator and pipes between can still raise pressure which eventually forces its way out through the header in a big rush! This coats the engine bay in boiling hot water / antifreeze mix. I've only done it twice...

 

I know it, it's my boat, and I manage the fire so it isn't a problem now. But if I ever sell her, I will be leaving very clear instructions for the next owner.

 

It sounds like the safest open system is to have an open header tank connected from the very top of the main run. That way any pressure build up or air is immediatly released.

Edited by blackrose
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