Low water pressure in oil boiler


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Old 10-13-04, 05:28 PM
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Low water pressure in oil boiler

Hi,

I have a Weil-McLain boiler that isn't too old (maybe 5-7 years). Since I have moved into this house the hot water pressure had dropped to be low enough that while doing dishes, I always want more hot water.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be causing this? The cold water pressure is fine. I don't know too much about furnaces, but there is a glass pressure gauge where the pressure reads 0 PSI. To me that seems supsicious.

Any help appreciated.
 
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Old 10-15-04, 07:56 AM
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You may have hard water in your area. Whether you have a well or get public water, if the water is hard, (a term for the amount of minerals in it, mostly calcium) it will block up the domestic coil eventually. It must be flushed out with acid to restore the flow and quantity. A water softener would eliminate the problem. You shoul dbe able to find a place locally to get a hardness test done and it should not cost much if anything.

Ken
 
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Old 10-15-04, 08:00 AM
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Hi,

Thanks for the reply. I called my oil company they said the same thing. I have a water softener, but I was, ah, messing around with it a couple of weeks ago and I wonder if I ended up dumping a bunch of hard water crud into coil.

I will probably get some acid and try it.

~Ian
 
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Old 10-15-04, 09:15 AM
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Wink

You can take and clean that coil your self. Acid mix ,water and muractic in a bucket. Get one of the small drill pumps. Pump it into the coil and let the other end run back into the bucket. As mix gets weak add more acid to it.

ED
 
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Old 11-03-04, 05:40 PM
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I had a plumber come out and show me what is up (he has worked on this house a lot in the past befored I bought it). We found that the water softener was out of salt and adding salt should dissolve the hard water deposits in the coil and restore the pressure. Well, a week later the pressure did get a little better, but it was still low. So I decided to put some vinegar in the coil (a weak acid but oftern used to clean hard water deposits). I got the vinegar in with a hose and gravity and let it sit for a while. Then I flushed it and tried my water. Now it is event worse than before! I have hardly any hot water pressure.

Did I totally screw something up by putting vinegar in the coil?

The plumber said working with muratic (?) acid was really nasty and he doesn't really do it anymore, that is why I tried vinegar.

What does the coil look like inside the bioler? What do you think happened?

Thanks in advance.
Ian
 
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Old 11-04-04, 04:52 AM
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Fixing the softener won't reverse the deposits inside the coil. What it looks like is a coil spring wound inside the boiler. It is as big in diameter as the plate on the front of it and it is wound back about 2 feet and then right back to the front again. The copper has fins on the outside to increase its surface area for heat gathering ability. The inside of it is smooth just like a piece of copper pipe.

What happened is that when you put the vinegar in, it reacted with the lime and caused it foam and expand. Without flow from a pump as it expanded, it stayed right in place and clogged the opening. The rules (my rulkes) of coil flushing are: 1. Establish flow through the coil with clear water. 2. Add a small amount of acid (I use Limesolve from SOS). Wait for foaming to stop and add a little more acid. 3. When no foaming happens with the addidtion of more acid, the coil is clean. 4. Flush with clear water and you are finished.

Sometimes it takes several hours to get a stubborn coil cleaned without clogging it up completely.

Ken
 
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Old 11-04-04, 05:11 AM
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Hi Ken,

Thanks for the help! I was hoping someone would get back to me so that I can try to fix it today with some more strategy. I am going to go back to the hardware store and pick up a drill pump (much easier than standing in the attic pouring vinegar down a hose), some more hose bits, another bucket and some sort of acid and get that thing cleaned out!

Thanks again.
~Ian
 
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Old 11-04-04, 08:31 AM
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Wink

Like Ken said there cheap pump on a drill. I have always used just muractic acid in the water same way when the foam stops add some more acid. Just let the water go back into the same bucket that you pump out of Get a plastic onefor sure

ED
 
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Old 11-04-04, 11:57 AM
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I got a drill pump for $6.99 and some lime-a-way and ran it through (diluted about 8-1) and now I have great pressure! Thanks everyone.

P.S. I think I destroyed the drill pump, but it was certainly worth it.
 
 

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