How to add water to a closed loop

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by josephparris, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. josephparris

    josephparris Member

    What is the preferred method for adding some water to a closed loop system. I would assume due to expansion of pipe over a few months in a new system, that the loop would need to be topped off at some point and time, or do you wait for cavitation of the loop pump (s)?

    Is there a tool (bicycle pump?) that could be made or purchased for acheiving this? What should the pressure of a closed loop be, if any?

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  2. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Is your unit equiped with PT ports? If so, easy peasy useing a garden hose and a needle adapter. If you have no PT ports, have them installed.
  3. josephparris

    josephparris Member

    Yes I do have PT ports. So, needle adapter and a garden hose. If this method is used I assume pressure is not a concern and do I let the pressure of the loop equalize with the pressure of my house water supply and all is well?
  4. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    There really is not a set operating pressure. It just needs to circulate properly. Yes it is ok to boost the loop to whatever your domestic house pressure is within reason. over 60psi would be to much IMHO. Flow center products sell the needle adapters. Look at their pictures of the fill and pressure checkers to get a good idea of the concept, then buy the needle adapters and a trip to lowes or simmilar will get you the parts you need. 1 word of caution, prior to boosting via the needle valve, be sure to purge the air from the hose connected to the faucet.
  5. josephparris

    josephparris Member

    Thanks, my house pressure is rather low, (~40psi) since I am at the end of the line. I am familar with needles, I do have a temp probe for the PT port. One more question, should the loop be filled while idle or with pumps running?

    Thanks for the caution of "purge the air from the hose"!
  6. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Geothermal ground source closed loop accessories. Hose kits,pressure ram,valves,pumps,armstrong,replacement pumps, grundfoss,bell gossett,e9,pl36,pl55

    [h=2]RAM-1 - Pressure Ram[/h]
    Allows easy purging of air ahead of time before putting in the pT ports
  7. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I recently dealt with this to increase my glycol for better winter protection.

    -One gallon pump sprayer from the insecticide section of Orange or Blue store.
    -Hose clamp and barb brass fittings.
    -Some brass adapters to get it onto my male hose thread drain valve.

    I always hook up and let the loop pressure push into the sprayer before I pump it to ensure I push any air out of line.
    e pump2.jpg pump1.jpg
  8. josephparris

    josephparris Member

    Thanks all, ordered the RAM-1 we will see how it works.
  9. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    neat one mtrent. I use a little electric pump.
  10. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Joe, Thanks for the comment. Necessity is the mother of all invention. My wallet is the mother of a cheap workaround. This is the kind of stuff you come up with when you drink too much Jim Beam with Mark Custis. I knew he was a bad influence.
  11. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Hey! I resemble that remark.

    Trent, did you get your conditioner yet?

  12. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Member

    Great, looks like what I've seen used to flush brake systems in cars.

    I had service yesterday due to a failure in the compressor start circuit - Water Furnace Premiere AT 4 ton two speed, 20 years old this coming February The service man did a great job finding the fault that took my HP off--line, used emergency resistive back up for heat (talk about money). He then checked the ground loop and said it was very low, I watched and think it took little more than a quart, also the diagnostic in the HP didn't detect the problem yest.

    The service guy had a "hypo" needle (not one I'd like stuck into me) that he pushed into the loop via a fitting that works like a IV at the hospital. That would be a good addition, the method in the picture requires breaking into the line and installing a tap.

    What do you use, is there a commercial antifreeze solution specifically for HP loops?

    I feel better knowing I don't have a true fault in my loop, the repair man said it is normal to lose some and it should be checked each year.

    When he was pumping in the solution he was watching a gauge which he used to decide when enough was enough. I didn't take any note on the PSI reading. That info and more may be in this thread, I'll read the whole tread later... not sure why I got an email on this thread, may find I have replied in the past, some memory I have : (
  13. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    My pump has fitting on either side which can accept fittings and pressure gauges. I keep mine around 16 psi static pressure.

    On initial fill, we used propylene glycol from an HVAC distributor which is "designed" for geothermal systems. Maybe 25 gallons. To top it off, I have used "Sierra" antifreeze which is readily available at some ace hardware store and NAPA auto. There will be some differences in corrosion inhibitors, but the base product is the same. In total, I have only added one gallon of the off brand antifreeze, but even at higher concentrations, I am not too concerned about any chemistry issues. It is PG with PG compatible corrosion inhibitors. I do use a PG refractomer ($30 at ebay) to verify PG concentration and freeze protection levels.

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