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Help with Northland Boiler W 1010

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by DogDoc, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    photo 1.jpg View attachment 88419 photo 2.JPG Arrow on circulator pump on wood boiler shows direction of pumping out like my arrows indicate (see 1st pic). Inline air purger connected to expansion tank shows water flow in through top (see 2nd pic)

    I was going to try to avoid pump replacement until I am sure it is the issue. Not convinced the current setup is correct. Something doesnt seem right.

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  2. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    The way that i see it with the pump running pushing water into the bottom of the wood boiler it comes out the top of the wood boiler. Comes out the top and over to the air scoop and expansion tank. Then if no zones are calling for heat then the water flows into the top of the oil boiler and comes out the bottom of the oil boiler and back to the pump on the return of the wood boiler. Now lets say a zone was calling for heat. The water would come out the top of the wood boiler. Come across the air scoop and expansion tank and instead of going down through the oil boiler it would go to the zones suppl side manifold. Go through the zone calling for heat and then get to the return manifold and then make its way back to the wood boiler return. Maybe that will help you see the flow as the wood boiler is supplying the heat. Thats the way i think that it is suppose to work. Like i said i am no professional. Just looking to help you out. Kevin
  3. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    Lol alright now i'm at a loss! I guess i don't know then. I guess the flow is reversed through the wood boiler. I haven't seen it like that before. Either way that pump should move water. I don't know if the reversed flow through the boiler is causing some of the inefficiencies of the wood boiler, but in either case it would still work i would think. Sorry i can't help to much more. It seems a little over my head at this point. Kevin
  4. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    Maybe you can get a good photo of the coupler on the pump. Maybe take the electric motor off the pump and take a picture. Might help a bit. Kevin
  5. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    Kevin,
    Definitely appreciate all the help. I am just confused because the flow arrows indicate that water comes in the top of the wood boiler and leaves the bottom.

    In the fall I had to replace the gasket on the water jacket which required emptying the boiler. Before I started I had to make sure I was just draining the wood boiler and not the entire heating system. There is a shut off just to the left of that expansion tank (in the pic above) which I had closed, and one at that red circulator pump, these shut offs keep the wood boiler system isolated so I dont drain the entire system. Then I could hook up a hose to a lower spigot and drain. I then removed the steel plate and gasket. Before I re-installed the steel plate on the water jacket I wanted to view how water entered the wood boiler. I opened the shut off (at the expansion tank which connects to the top of the oil boiler and it filled with hot water coming from the oil boiler. Then the auto feed valve on oiler boiler would kick on and start to fill oil boiler to replace the water moving in to fill wood boiler.

  6. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    Has the oil boiler always been kicking on when you have been running this thing, or has it just recently started to do so? Possibly after the pump started making noise? Does the pump sound like its pumping water or do you just hear the electric motor humming? I guess you should be verifying that the pump is moving water, then go from there. I don't have any experience with those pumps so i don't know how easy it is took look and see if the coupler is still good without taking it apart. If you aren't sure if the coupler is good or not you could take the electric motor part off the pump and check it that way without having to drain the boiler. Kevin
  7. It's possible that you have air in the system.
  8. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    photo 1-1.JPG photo-4.JPG Oil Boiler always kicks on unless I lower the limit settings near 130/110. Even then it still occasionally fires. I am going to post the brochure which has specs and schematics. I also have a copy of the installation manual which is just type written without diagrams
  9. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    I have bled every radiator in house and had a consistent spray of water from all. Would I need to do more than that?

  10. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    Have you bled the bleeders on the air scoop and top of the boiler? Kevin
  11. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    I replaced air release vent on top of air scoop and on top of wood boiler next to (what is supposed to be supply)and bled. Don't these function to automatically eliminate air
  12. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    I believe some are automatic and some are manual. Kevin
  13. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    It looks like it plumbed backwards. The hot should coming out the top of the boiler and the cold returning on the bottom.
  14. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    I'm wondering if it would work better if the pump was flipped to pump into the wood boiler return. Maybe? Might be worth a shot. Kevin
  15. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    It looks like water enters wood boiler at supply (on top) exits at return (at bottom in back) is moved via circulator pump to return on oil boiler (at bottom in back) and moves out of oil boiler supply to primary and other zones. Zones return and feed into connection between both boilers.

  16. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    So if I reversed circulator pump on wood boiler so water moves through return, will it pull water from the boiler return and incoming zones (when open)? Also would I need to reverse air scoop?

    What besides zone circulator pumps, moves water from the oil fired boiler? Just wondering because there is forceful water movement from oil boiler supply through air scoop and into wood boiler supply. When I opened the shut off between the supplies on both oil and wood boiler ( while water jacket was open) it moved water with a lot of pressure into the wood boiler to fill it and didnt let up. That auto fill valve on OB doesn't put water in the system that fast.

  17. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    Do you have any literature on the oil boiler. Perhaps an illustration on a proper piping scematic with another boiler?
  18. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    If it were mine i would try it, but there might be something that i don't see that would make it not work right. It would be better to get someone elses opinion on it. Kevin
  19. If it was working until recently I would try to figure out the problem before making any modifications to the system.
  20. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    He has stated that the problem has been all along. Hes trying to prevent the oil boiler from firing when the wood boiler is up to temp. The plumbing just doesn't seem right how they are moving the water through the wood boiler. Kevin
  21. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    That forceful water movement that you hear is the pump from the
    wood boiler circulating water from the wood boiler to the oil boiler and back. Kevin
  22. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    Everything makes sense here and I think it worked ok before because it was warmer out. When a T-Stat makes a call for heat one of the Taco circulator pumps is activated and opens that zone up. That cold water can't move into the wood boiler return and is circulated into the oil boiler return. The water temp in oiler boiler quickly drops from 180 to about 120 ( the colder the water the more it drops). The oiler boiler senses a significant drop in water temp and fires up. Meanwhile the wood boiler temp stays at 180* not dropping temp. It then takes 5 minutes or so for the wood boiler water to circulate and mix with oil boiler water to come back near 180.

    Kevin,
    The circulator pump was off when I was experimenting filling wood boiler with water jacket plate off.
  23. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    In my head switching the pump around would allow the returning water from the zones to flow through the wood boiler properly. With the flow the way it is the wood boiler and oil boiler heat up at the same temp. Then when a zone turns on and starts pumping water that flow from the zone meets with the flow of water from the wood boiler and they both mix and go into the the oil boiler. The more zones that open at one time the cooler the water is gonna be returning to the oil boiler. Kevin
  24. wrightk20

    wrightk20 New Member

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    Basicly the way it is plumbed and flowing your blending your hot water with cool water before it even has a chance to be useful. Then once the water gets below the 140 temp the oil boiler kicks in to supply the demand. You are only using a very small percentage of the heat you are producing with wood. Kevin
  25. DogDoc

    DogDoc New Member

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    I agree. This was installed by previous owner in the 70's and he used it until he died in 2007. How could it have been wrong for so long. Maybe pump was pulled for service at one point and installed wrong.

    So I will probably replace the circulator as it is 23 years old and reverse the flow as discussed. Do I need to reverse the Air Scoop since arrow is pointing with flow towards supply instead of away from it, or does this not matter?

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