Boiler looses pressure, but heat is fine...


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Old 02-08-06, 12:56 PM
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Unhappy Boiler looses pressure, but heat is fine...

Hi all.....I have a SlantFin Galaxy GG 100 boiler that's a few years old. Since moving into this home (about two years ago), I've only had to replace the relief valve that sits on top of the boiler, right side. I added some copper tubing to extend the down flow...it's a good thing I did because I notice about 2" of water in the bucket every now and then. There is only one guage on the boiler - the upper half is for psi, and the lower half is for temp. While the temp seems to hold, I noticed that the psi drops almost to "0". My system has a fairly new expansion tank mounted on the ceiling of the basement. There is no pressure relief valve on it...only one copper line leading from the tank to one of the lines from the boiler. The heat seems fine throughout the house.

Now here's the kicker....when I noticed the pressure almost to 0, I added more water from the valve until the pressure once again came up to 15 or 20. Some told me to keep it at 15, and others told me to keep it at 20. At times, the pressure goes up to 30, then the valve releases water - normal, right? Not? Please advise. This pressure only lasts for a day, then it's back down to 0 again. I didn't notice any leaks around the home. What I do notice that when the pressure drops, I can hear noises coming from the pipes - rattling and the like - but when I add more water to increase the pressure, the noises stop. The radiators in the upstairs back bedroom seem to always have air in them as well, which is bled often.

So, I could use a little help out there. I hope my explanation was sufficient. I don't know too much about the boiler/radiator system since I've never had this before moving into this home. Please help! Thanks for that.
 
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Old 02-08-06, 03:41 PM
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Pressure

If you have a pressure drop, you have a leak, period.
 
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Old 02-09-06, 05:26 AM
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Pressure drops...no visible signs of water leakage...

Grady...with that answer, you must be a pro! Gee, thanks for your helpful hint. I don't know what I would have done without it!

Now, if someone out there REALLY can offer a solution, it would be appreciated very much. There obviously is a leak somewhere, but I cannot see any visible signs of water leaking around the area throughout the home. Can someone suggest a starting point? I boosted the pressure last night to 18 psi. This morning, it dropped back down to almost zero. The heat still seems to be working, but I know this pressure dropping is not right. Please help out there. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-09-06, 05:33 AM
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Two things come to mind.... expansion tank issue or the pressure reducing valve (PRV) is leaking thru.

Fill the boiler to about 18 psi. and then shut off the water line feeding the boiler right before the PRV. If the problem doesnt exist any more, i would say its a PRV. Othwesie you probably have an issue with the expansion tank is watyerlogged if its the old style in the ceiling or the bladder is shot on the new style ones.
 
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Old 02-09-06, 05:53 AM
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You need to find the source of your leak (as well as some manners - you were pretty rude to Grady given that his advice was bang on). If the PRV is only releasing at around 30 pounds then it is working, not leaking. It doesn't take much of a leak for you to lose pressure. Check any leaking bleeders, open autovents (shouldn't be any if you have a ceiling tank) and all the pipes you can follow. Unless you have something taller than a regular 2 storey house 12-15 psi is fine. The noise you hear is probably cavition because at 0 psi your circulator isn't going to work the best.

Until you find out why your system is leaking you will have to keep adding fresh oxygenated water to your system and this in time will rust it out and wreak havoc on your system.
 
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Old 02-09-06, 06:31 AM
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Pressure drops...leaks

Thanks for your assistance. I'm sorry that you thought my comments to Grady were "rude", as you stated. You know, when one seeks help from the community members, like those here, you would expect to hear some helpful hints. The people posting here are not all pro's, just normal everyday people seeking answers. They are decent home owners with little or no experience with boilers, etc. Some of our questions may not be "up to par" with the regulars. We know that. What we don't like is those that "brush us off" with ridiculous answers to the problems we already know exist. Understand? All I was trying to do was solicit answers. That's it. If my comments came off "rude", then I appologize. It's just frustrating trying to fix something that one knows nothing about. I admit that. It's FUBAR'd.
 
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Old 02-09-06, 05:22 PM
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Finding a leak

Leak huntin' ain't rocket science. It is no different to a pro than your average homeowner. If you can't see any leaks after examining all of the piping, look for signs of what used to be a leak such as corrosion or rust on pipes or fittings. If pipes are insulated, the insulation has to come off. You may have to remove the boiler jacket. Often leaks are not visible at operating temperatures because the water evaporates before it can drip off. Leaks are generally easier to find when the system is cold. It may get to the point of isolating the boiler & pressurizing the system to 40# or so. Yes it is a pain in the butt but you can do it or pay a pro to do the same thing. With a leak this size, your boiler won't last long.
 
 

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