lotta water from overflow

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  #1  
Old 11-05-08, 09:00 AM
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lotta water from overflow

I changed the location of a big cast iron rad last summer. I drained the system & then re-filled, bled all 16 rads & now that I'm heating I get gallons of water from the overflow.A plumber came & said the pressure on the furnace was different from the pressure gauge beside the mueller valve & that I had to change the expansion tank & mueller valve for about $600.
Was there anything else I had to do after re-filling?Is there anything I can change myself?
 
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Old 11-05-08, 10:17 AM
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It sounds like you have an expansion tank and/or water regulator problem.

For newer type expansion tanks, before refilling your system, you should check the pressure with a tire pressure gauge. It should be around 12 PSI for a two story house. If not, refill it with a regular tire pump.

If you have an older type expansion tank, you shut off the valve between the furnace and the expansion tank. Then open the drain valve on the expansion tank and empty the expansion tank. After it is empty you shut the drain valve and reopen the valve to the boiler.

If the expansion tank is not at fault, the Mueller regulator is the source of the problem.

A new Watts regulator, safety valve (30 PSI) and one valve should not cost more than $75.00. You might need more than one expansion tank depending on the size of the old one. Expansion tanks like ET-60 cost about $50 to $75 each. I would also change the water pressure gauge that your plumber said was defective.

The installation of new regulator, safety valve and expansion tank(s) is a 1-2 hour job for a professional plumber and 2+ hours for DIY'er with some plumbing experience. You can save $400, if you are comfortable with doing your own plumbing work.
 
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Old 11-05-08, 02:55 PM
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As an aside, don't try to change the pressure gauge while the system is full of water....
 
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Old 11-05-08, 04:35 PM
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That's funny Ice ... just be glad it wasn't 180 water!
How'd it taste by the way ?

Lotta ... you didn't by any chance bleed the air outta the tire valve on the expansion tank, didja ?
 
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Old 11-06-08, 04:36 AM
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It was cold!
And it tasted as bad as it smells..
 
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Old 11-06-08, 12:45 PM
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pressure check question

it's a 7 year old Brock HMT-18 with an Extrol 60 expansion tank with diaphragm. Only air came out of the needle valve on the bottom of the expansion tank(pushed it briefly). The pressure gauge beside the Mueller valve reads about 15(furnace off) & rises to 20 or more when on.The gauge on the furnace reads 30(off-haven't read it on)) & the plumber said they should read the same.When I drain the furnace to check the pressure in the tank do I turn off 1 or both of the supply/return valves?I don't think any air has been added to the tank since the furnace was installed. The plumber wants to change the tank & Mueller, not the pressure gauge.
 
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Old 11-06-08, 03:54 PM
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Turn off the supply valve.
Open the drain valve.
When the water gauges read 0 psi,
Measure the expansion tank pressure with a tire gauge.
If it is less than 12 psi, refill with a tire pump.
Then close drain valve, open supply valve and bleed system.
 
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Old 11-06-08, 04:00 PM
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If it is less than 12 psi, refill with a tire pump.
Only drain enough water to get to zero on the boiler, do NOT drain the system completely!

After you recharge the expansion tank to 12 PSI, check the boiler gauge to see that the pressure is still zero. If it went up a little, let a little more water out ...

Recheck the tank pressure.

Lather rinse repeat until you have zero in the boiler, and 12-15 in the expansion tank.
 
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Old 11-06-08, 04:54 PM
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Close all valves?

do I close 1-water supply valve before Mueller valve
2-water supply valve for hot water tank preheater pipe
3-water control valve between circulating pump & furnace
4-water control valve on water exit pipe from furnace
I have a photo of what the plumber calls an antique Mueller valve but I can't attach it
 
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Old 11-07-08, 05:48 AM
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1) Close the valve between the cold supply line and the first big red Mueller (the regulator). It will be followed a second big red Mueller (the safety relief valve) that has a drain pipe.
These Mueller units date back to the 1940's or 1950's and probably need replacement. I changed mine out 7 years ago because the regulator was allowing the pressure to rise above 35 PSI and triggering the safety valve every time the furnace went on.

2) Open up the drain valve on the bottom of the furnace.

3) You DO NOT need to touch any other valves.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 05:04 AM
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Wink including air bleeders

Originally Posted by iceracer View Post
As an aside, don't try to change the pressure gauge while the system is full of water....
I had a bad air bleeder and thought I was going to be fast enough swapping it out since I had air in the system. I was wrong.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 05:29 AM
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If you have main shut off valves to isolate the system shut them down also. It requires a lot less draining that way. I would shut any valve I cal to try to keep from draining more water than needed. Just be sure you re-open all of them. I knew a guy that would hang something on any valve he closed as a reminder to reopen.
 
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Old 11-17-08, 01:46 PM
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expansion tank is good-regulator change info

did 3 furnace drains-first time it was 4-filled to 12. next day it was 7-filled to 12, 3rd day it was 11 -filled to 12 Still lotta water coming from overflow. The furnace gauge does not work-pulled it out-the body is melted/heat deformed. I cut the wire & copper tube-pinched the tube closed with pliers. Is it easy to install a new gauge? Is the Watts 1450F regulator/relief valve the right one for my system? What are the steps in installing it.
 
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Old 11-17-08, 04:17 PM
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Just chiming in to say thanks...and relay a quick story that just happened about an hour ago.

We just moved into a new house and I got around to bleeding all the radiators. I did so successfully (using the manual water fill to keep upping the pressure...the second floor radiators gave me no water for awhile there).

Anyways, I thought I was done. I came home today and turned the heat up (was set to 60 during the day while we're both at work). I went down to the basement to scoop the cat litter and noticed a little drip-drip coming from some unknown valve, right into the cat box I was scooping.

Out of curiosity, I touched the little handle-dealy and suddenly water was gushing out onto the floor and onto the kitty's (thankfully closed at this point) litter dome. I pushed the little handle back to where I thought it was and the flow seemed to ebb, but thinking back I'm not so sure my touching it even did anything...the slowing was probably just related to the diminishing excess pressure.

The moral of the story is don't put your poor kitty's box under the release valve and otherwise don't play with the hot smelly water or the equally hot smelly valve it's blasting out of.

I'm going to look into draining the expansion tank next, since this dripping has been occurring since I bled all the radiators. The base pressure when the heat is off is 12psi so I know it's not because I left too much pressure in to start.
 
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Old 11-17-08, 07:15 PM
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clarification

those numbers are the psi in the expansion tank
 
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Old 11-18-08, 05:38 AM
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Lottawater,

I suggest you post some pictures of your setup on photobucket and then we can give you details on installing the new Watts parts. It is hard to describe such a procedure in detail, since every boiler setup is unique.

The Watts regulator is the correct one if it is rated for hydronic systems. They are usually factory pre-set to 12 PSI, but are adjustable. The safety valve should also be rated for hydronic systems and opens up at 30 PSI.
 
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Old 11-18-08, 11:02 AM
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photobucket url

lottawater - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Let me know if there are over photo angles you want
 
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Old 11-18-08, 11:58 AM
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Lottawater,

It is a relatively simple job, but I would ONLY start it if you have some experience with soldering copper pipe (or have a friend who does). Remember to clean, flux and heat well when soldering for good copper pipe connections.

1) You said you bought a Watts regulator and safety valve.
I would replace the old red shut off and the old Mueller one-way valve as well to make the job easier (Both on the left of your picture.) I would recommend getting the copper pipe solder versions and not the threaded types for the shutoff and one-way valves. You will need some copper pipe to 1/2" (or 3/4") thread adapters for your Watts parts.

2) Shut off the main water valve entering your house and empty the line through the lowest tap in the house (in your basement). Also open a tap on the first and second floor to allow air to come in and push out the water. You also need to drain the heating system piping.

3) I would remove all 4 x Red Mueller components in one shot, not separately. Start by removing the drain pipe on the safety valve on far right. Then I would unsolder the copper pipe on the left (entering the boiler cutoff valve) and the copper pipe exiting the safety valve on the right of your picture. Now remove the 4 parts that are attached together in one shot without unscrewing them apart. You need to unscrew a bolt on the metal strap to lower the 4 x parts.

4) Install your new parts as follows:

- Cutoff Valve (far left) to supply line
- One-Way valve
- Watts Regulator (12 PSI default setting)
- Watts Safety Valve (30 PSI) on far right to boiler

- Attach drain pipe going down from bottom of the Watts safety valve

Wrap 3 turns teflon tape onto threads of the pipe adapters before screwing them into your Watt parts to prevent leaks.

Good Luck !!!
 

Last edited by reno1962; 11-18-08 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 11-18-08, 01:05 PM
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parts question

I haven't got any parts yet.
I was quoted a price of $92 for the Watts 1450f.
Is this the part I want?
The plumbing supply guy didn't know(or was being obtuse) what the one way valve was.
Is it easy to connect the mini copper tube to a new boiler gauge?
 
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Old 11-18-08, 03:55 PM
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Lottawater,

The 1450F is the correct part and includes both the pressure regulator and relief valve. It has 1/2" female threads on both ends

A one-way valve is as known as a backflow preventer.
 
  #21  
Old 11-20-08, 04:31 PM
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system psi 24

I'm waiting for a warm day to change the parts.
In trying to understand how the system works- when the furnace is off, the pressure gauge just past the relief valve reads 15-16; after its been running for a while it goes up to around 24 & the relief drain starts to dribble(up to a gallon or more per cold day)
This means 1-the relief valve is not waiting till 30 psi or 2- the feed valve is not reducing the city water pressure enough or 3- the expansion tank is not absorbing enough pressure
 
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Old 11-21-08, 05:27 AM
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When I change my Mueller parts out, the regulator was not regulating, it was letting water enter above 25 PSI and my safety valve was triggering at 35 PSI, not 30 PSI.

I don't think it is unusual after 50 yrs that the settings move from the original points. I did try to alter the settings of the Mueller units with the adjustment bolts, but was not able to change anything significantly.
 
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Old 11-21-08, 02:36 PM
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This means 1-the relief valve is not waiting till 30 psi or 2- the feed valve is not reducing the city water pressure enough or 3- the expansion tank is not absorbing enough pressure
4 - the pressure gauge is giving erroneous readings, confusing the issue.

I have a distrust for gauges ...
 
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Old 11-23-08, 01:20 PM
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boiler gauge capillary question

My gauge was melted so I cut and crimped the capillary tube as the connection in the gauge was a weld.
I can get another gauge with capillary but I will have to remove the front cover of the furnace to attach it - this will involve removing the burner, thermostat etc.
Can I compression connect the new & old capillary?
Is there another solution?
 
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Old 11-23-08, 03:53 PM
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Second look

took another look with my 500 watt worklight -
I saw a tiny bit of teflon where the capillary connects to the furnace(the first time it looked like the capillary passed right through a non removable metal plate) which I assume means I can screw in the new capillary
There's nothing like a bright light to solve a problem
 
  #26  
Old 11-30-08, 12:08 PM
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new boiler gauge reads 30 psi

I installed a new boiler gauge-pressure peaks at around 30 psi on this gauge which means my other pressure gauge beside the Mueller valve which reads 20 is no good(they are supposed to read the same?).
This means my relief valve is operating properly since the system psi is too high?
I'm going to get a new pressure gauge and try to adjust the adjustment screw on the regulator(its still cold here for shutting the system down).Will it be a mess to try & change it(the new pressure gauge) without draining the system(or try to change it right after opening the drain valve)-or should I not bother since I have the new gauge on the boiler?
I plan to put 2 cutoff valves in-1 before the new watts valves & 1 after -so I don't have to drain & bleed the system more than once in case any of the new welds leak.
I also shut off the main water supply valve to see what effect this has on the system pressure
 

Last edited by lottawater; 11-30-08 at 01:16 PM.
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