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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friend of mine moved "outside" to washington last year. He was up this year to sell some stuff and close the house up for the winter (his daughter moved out of the homestead house) His plumber said it wasnt possible to drain the pipes in his house and turn off the well pump because his boiler was heating the water for the hydronic baseboards. I told my friend his plumber is full of crap and just didn't want to mess with the job. He originally installed the bolier and plumbing and didn't install the necessary isolation valves and arrange the plumbing for the purpose of winterizing the house.
My friend bought an alarm system to monitor the temp and power but I told him those fail sometimes and the risk of leaving his house empty and depending on his heat system with a well pump ready to pump thousands of gallons into his house was too great.
His plumber actually tried to tell him the well can't be turned off because the boiler needs water. So...is the plumber a liar...or a moron?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
...and what's really wierd..is that my friend seems unconvinced that I am giving him solid advice and that his plumber is wrong. He actually got angry at me for telling him that he's making a mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I could certainly install the two valves necessary to winterize the system..you probably couldn't. The point to any sentient individual is that the plumber says that it can't be done, which is total BS. Now if you have anything of value to contribute to the thread please do.
 

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Thom
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the cost to close the house up for the winter may be more than the cost of providing minimal heat.

Flushing the traps and filling with antifreeze, draining then blow drying all the water piping, and something might get missed anyway.

If it was my house, I'd keep it heated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK I see I'm not connecting here.. If the water pump is left energised, if he has a heat failure and pipes break the pump could pump water in his house untill some one turns it off. If the pump is turned off and potable water side is drained, the only damage would be a few gallons of water on the floor somewhere instead of thousands of gallons. I didnt say turn the heat off. I said turn the well pump off. The plumber told him it couldnt be done because the boiler requires water from the well for makeup water in the boiler system. The single pressure tank charge would supply sufficient water for make up for the boiler to operate for a year unless he had a bad hydronic leak. The well pump should be turned off, the potoble water side drained and the boiler left operational on winter mode. Surely I can't be the only one seeing this.
 

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Illinois Licensed Plumber
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If the boiler fires dry it will ruin the boiler. It always needs make up water. If you are really worried about a burst pipe put in a WAGS system or the Watts leak detector system where if they detect a leak it will shut off the water supply.
 

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It depends on if he has a pressurized heating system or a open vented system. If he has a open vented system then yes water will have to be left on but if he has a pressurized system then the water can be turned off. Even open vented system dont require a lot of water and the header storage tank would normally hold enough water to keep the system running for months but water does evaporate in these system so the water being left on is really a must.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now thats a reasoned alternative. However the boiler does need make up but the pressure tank will supply make up for months if the pressure doesnt bleed off from leaks. The well pump doesnt need to stay energised for the boiler makeup to function off of the charge in the pressure tank. Boiler make up rarely requires a cup full of water, does it?
 

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Now thats a reasoned alternative. However the boiler does need make up but the pressure tank will supply make up for months if the pressure doesnt bleed off from leaks. The well pump doesnt need to stay energised for the boiler makeup to function off of the charge in the pressure tank. Boiler make up rarely requires a cup full of water, does it?
If the system has been plumbed in correctly then a pressurized system should have zero water leak but even if it does you need to open a charging valve to charge the system back upto at least 0.6bar to get the pump to kick back in and the system run. even if you left the well water on, the system would not charge it's self back to the recommended pressure.
 

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This boiler is fairly modern...I doubt it will ignite with low water in the system.
If the system has a pressure dial built inot it then it's a pressurized system and 99% of these systems will not run if pressure drops below 0.6bar. If they system loses that kind of pressure to drop below 0.6bar then the system need to have a pressure test done and the leak found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As I'm thinking about this I am beginning to wonder if the moron isnt my friend that owns the house. That would explain why he got irritated at me for telling him it was stupid to leave his house unattended and not winterized..

OK the plumber is off the HOOK!
 

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The system is equipped with an expansion tank and automatic make up.
I have never heard of a automatic make up but if it has expansion tank then it's a presurized system. The system when upto pressure should be disconnected from the main supply so that if the check valve decides not to work then the heating water wont get pushed back into the mains water line and contaminate the mains drinking water or if someone turns on the refil valve it wont keep filing up the system to what ever mains pressure you have and cause an explosion.

As an example you should have a isolation valve then a removable flexable hose then a check valve(Non return valve) so that when system is charged you can shut of the water supply and cap the valves after you remove the flexi.



But you can shut of the mains water with this type of system. Also most new boiler have a low limit stat so that when the temp drops below a certain tempreture the system will fire up and run no mater if the stat is turned off or not. This is so pipes dont freeze over winter.
 

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The Grand Wazoo
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Well I could certainly install the two valves necessary to winterize the system..you probably couldn't. The point to any sentient individual is that the plumber says that it can't be done, which is total BS. Now if you have anything of value to contribute to the thread please do.
Based on the tone of this response, any thoughts on the subject I may have I will keep to myself.
 

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Call a Hydronic Heating Specialist

First off I am not a hydronic heating guy.How ever I have installed four of them my self and use hot water baseboard heat in my own house.

Not only can the system be isolated--They can be filled with antifreeze.

Isolated antifreeze systems are used here for garage heating,(insurance against loosing the floor coils if a system failure occurs.)

I use PORTER PIPE AND SUPPLY, Addison Il. for boilers and engineering of the systems. You probably have a company near you with an engineer that can answer your questions using knowledge instead of bull sh#t.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'd almost bet he didn't even consult his plumber on winterization. I know of the plumber that installed his system. I can't imagine him telling my friend that it can't be done.
 
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