BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

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BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

Post  Nightrain on Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:26 am

Can anybody help.

I recently had a leaking radiator changed under my insurance policy (rad panel seemed to have a hole from corrosion from inside). At the same time, the engineer serviced the boiler itself, again under the insurance. Since then, a noise sounding like loud trickling water is coming from the boilermate. Intially it seemed to be only when the boiler was firing but since I got the engineer round again to investigate the noise, it is now constant. The engineer says I need a new pump but claims because it is a boilermate system, it is not covered under the insurance. I am having a battle with the insurance company over this at the moment. Meanwhile I have read that the noise is because the tank is not full. If the water in the system never changes (?) and some have been lost due to the rad leak, then this seems pausible. However, I have checked the expansion tank and it is about half full of inhibitant. Can anyone advise please. The noise is driving me mad.

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Re: BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

Post  SidDIYer on Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:28 pm

Seems like the water that was drained from the Boilermate when the radiator was serviced is not being replenished. If the header tank is full (i.e. the water line is above the groove) then you may have a blocked inlet.

As a temporary measure you should be able to fill the boilermate through the thermal expansion pipe that is on the opposite side of the cold water inlet. If you look at the header tank you will see a pipe emerge from the main tank and connect to the header tank above the water line. Run a hose-pipe to the header tank and then stick the end of the hose pipe into that outlet and then *gently* run some water into the boilermate. Keep an eye on the water level.

Before you do that you could try pouring 2L of X-800 into the boilermate through the same expansion outlet. take a 1m length of hosepipe and push a funnel into one end and then stick the other end into the thermal outlet and pour in the X-800. I did that when my cold water inlet got blocked and the blockage cleared! After the X-800 fill with water through the same hole.

You will need to drain down the whole system after a week or so to flush out the X-800. Refill with a hosepipe if the blockage is still there.

Long term you will have to run another feed from the header tank and into the drain valve in the bottom.

Good luck.

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Re: BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

Post  Nightrain on Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:13 pm

SidDIYer,

Much appreciated. Being someone who's not particular good at DIY and even worst with plumbing issues, I don't quite follow what you mean. So is this what I do ...

i) Remove plastic header tank cover,
ii) run hose to the pipe you described from inside the header tank ?
ii) gently pour water through hose (I'll have to use a funnel and pour water in that way)

I'm assuming this pipe you refer to is one that is actually fabricated into the header tank ?

How do I keep an eye on the water level, I can't see it ?

Am I right in saying the water in the tank is the same water being recirculated hence why some was lost through rad leakage ?

Much appreciated.

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Re: BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

Post  SidDIYer on Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:34 pm

> i) Remove plastic header tank cover,
Yep

> ii) run hose to the pipe you described from inside the header tank ?
Yes to inside the header tank and place the hose into the *mouth* of the pipe so that the water pours down the pipe and not into the header tank.  Run the water gently otherwise it will just splash back.

ii) gently pour water through hose (I'll have to use a funnel and pour water in that way)
Use a short piece of hose to attach the funnel to pour in the X-800.  Use a longer hose to the bathroom/tap to then fill with water.  You could pour water down the funnel, say from a bucket, but it will take ages and be a bit messy.

> I'm assuming this pipe you refer to is one that is actually fabricated into the header tank ?
Yes that is the one.  It should be on the left hand side as you look at the header tank.  You can see it on the left in this photo (not sure that's a BM-ii but the header tank looks the same).


On the right handside will be the smaller feed pipe, the mouth of which is underwater.  That's the one that is blocked and it is through that pipe that the main tank is normally filled.

> How do I keep an eye on the water level, I can't see it ?
I meant the water level in the header tank.  Eventually, after the main tank fills, the water will start to collect in the header tank and then the water in the header tank will rise.  Then you can stop the water.

> Am I right in saying the water in the tank is the same water being recirculated hence why some was lost through rad leakage ?
Yes.  The main body of water is sent around the radiators.  Tap water does not mix with that water.  Tap water runs through a coil in the tank, gets warmed up via heat exchange, and then goes to the hot water taps.  

In your case the header tank water is not reaching the main tank, probably because of a blockage.  So when the rad was drained and some water lost from the boilermate main tank, the header tank water did not replenish it.

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Re: BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

Post  Nightrain on Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:06 pm

Thanks SidDIYer, I really appreciate this.

I'll follow your instructions tomorrow and try to get rid of that noise.

The liquid in the header tank is virtually concentrated inhibitant. It would seem therefore that the blockage has been there for some time because the inhibitant was poured in by a plumber about 2 years ago after replacing another leaking rad (again corrosion from the inside) and obviously hasn't been circulated around the system. Is it safe to touch this liquid with my hands and should I scope up some of it to pour down the hose tomorrow as I guess the original inhibitant in the system must need topping up now (14.5 years old) ?

By the way how did you manage to attach photo, I tried to attach photo to show you but can't find a way to do it.

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Re: BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

Post  SidDIYer on Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:54 pm

Personally I would use gloves when handling either inhibitor or the X-800 cleaner.  Kitchen gloves should be OK.

If you have replaced two rads in two years then it seems that there is significant corrosion happening in your system.  I would definitely flush the whole system out after leaving the X-800 in there for a week - maybe longer.  So it's :-

i) Add 2Lof  X-800 and refill (this weekend)
ii) Leave for 1+ weeks
iii) Flush out - Refill - Flush out - Refill - Flush out  (these 5 steps on the same day :-/ ) (make sure that the radiator bleed vents are open during the flush out and that both sides of the radiators are fully open)
iv) Refill and include 2-3 litres of X-100

Are the bottoms of your radiators cooler than the top?  That could also be a sign of sludge.  Maybe you could remove each of the radiators and flush them through with a garden hose, tapping the bottom with a rubber mallet while doing so to get rid of all the sludge while the system is drained and before the final step (iv) above.

Note that the pouring water is basically aerating the water in the system which will accelerate the corrosion.  

I did not attach a photo, I linked to one on the web. If you want to share a photo then upload to IMGUR using their "upload images" link at the top of the page.  After that come back to this forum and then click "Insert an image" on reply page and paste in the link that IMGUR gave you for your image.

Also, get someone to fit a magnetic filter to your system

BM's are not fit-and-forget type of systems.

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Re: BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

Post  Nightrain on Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:13 pm

SidDIYer,

This morning, with the phone number of a supposedly good local plumber at the ready in case of emergency, I filled the main tank using your instructions but with the aid of a cheap hand siphon I remembered buying years ago from one of those Poundshops thinking that it might come handy one day and this is the first time I’ve used it. Good thing about the siphon was that it was flexible so inserted to the mouth of the expansion pipe quite easily. Furthermore, it enabled me to use the liquid sitting in the F&E tank which has a high concentration of inhibitant in it and coz the F&E’s refill system was thankfully working, the water was constantly being topped up as I pumped so no need to keep getting buckets of water. Took about 15-20mins to fill up and water noise disappeared about halfway through (I noticed some hot water dripping from the expansion pipe into the F&E tank later on in the day which confirms the main tank is full).

After filling the main tank, I inserted a wastepipe unblocker into the cold water feed pipe as suggested by another forum member. It went in 145cm before it couldn’t go any further. Hopefully it reached the other end and unblocked it but I guess I won’t know coz I just filled up the main tank. In hindsight I should have done this first then there may have been no need to use the siphon !

The other thing I noticed was that the water noise originally only occurred when the boiler was firing or rads were on (can’t remember which). Since the ‘engineer’ visit, the noise became 24/7 (which was why it was driving me mad), so this suggests a pump must have been running 24/7 so god knows what the ‘engineer’ did to cause this. I also noticed since his visit, the boiler quite often tries to fire up a number of times without actually firing up and that he had turned the boilermate temperature setting to Summer although we’re in the middle of Winter (I turned it back to Winter setting as soon as I spotted this). Anyway, after filling up the main tank, I had a look at the boiler and noticed that he had also turned the temperature setting there to min although I specifically said to him before that it needs to be kept at max. I turned it back to max and noticed soon after that there is no more motor humming noise from the main tank anymore suggesting that the pump has finally stopped. Whether it stopped because I filled the tank or that I had returned the boiler temp setting to max I don’t know but since his visit, the pump had been running 24/7 for 4 days until now!

Next actions are the flushings you suggested meanwhile, I can get some sleep without feeling as though I’m next to the Niagra Falls. Thanks for all your advice. Much appreciated.

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Re: BMII - noise like 'trickling water'

Post  SidDIYer on Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:54 am

Nice work.  Don't forget to drain down a bit and add some Sentinel X-800 and let that swim around for a few weeks before flushing out.  I would add it just before the end of winter while you are still running the central heating so that it gets everywhere.

I had a plumber around the other day to discuss replacing the BM-II.  Apart from the fact that the did not understand how the BM works (he thought it had two coils) I was disappointed that I would not be able to install an unvented cylinder.  I will start a separate thread to share his thoughts.

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