Water keeps draining from boiler

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Old 12-13-08, 07:52 AM
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Question Water keeps draining from boiler

I've bought a very old house, with two brand new steam boilers. I've had one problem after another with the heat; the furnaces work, but a lot of the radiators didn't. I changed the vents,opened up the radiators, changed the thermastats, and spent a fortune on a plumber. Now, the heat seems to be working fine, except one of the boilers, shuts off because the water level becomes two low. The plumber said I would need to check it & add water every couple of days, especially when it's cold. The water level on the other furnaces has not budged, but the other one has needed to be filled twice now. I also had new vents put on the furnaces, and the furnace that is having the problem, seems to release a lot of air when it's on. Of course the heat goes off when this happens, at 3:00 a.m. Any thoughts on this?
 
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Old 12-13-08, 07:56 AM
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I'm steam stupid, so not the best person to answer, but...

Aren't there automatic water feeders on these systems?

You don't need a plumber, you need a 'Steam Head'.
 
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Old 12-13-08, 09:31 AM
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Adding water every 2 days is not normal. The water is obviously going somewhere. Eventually adding that much fresh water will kill the boiler.
the furnace that is having the problem, seems to release a lot of air when it's on.
Could you be more specific? Where is the air being released from? End of line vent? Relief? Radiator vents?
Is this a one or two pipe system?
Do you have any buried returns (steam pipes going under a concrete floor)? Can you see all of the steam pipes? Is water showing up anywhere?
The boiler goes off on low water (they always do it at 3AM ). If you then wait 20 minutes without adding any does it return to anywhere near the previous level?
 
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Old 12-13-08, 08:07 PM
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Water keeps draining from Boiler

Thanks for your replys. There is not an "automatic" feed, I have to pull the lever to fill it. I've had the plumber in to get the heat going, putting in thermostats etc. I think it's a one pipe system. I don't believe there are any hidden pipes under the concrete. The air seems to be venting quite a bit from the vent on the furnace, (relief?) and in one of the bedrooms. I don't see any water anywhere. Once the boiler trips and shuts off due to no water, it does not fill up again, unless I fill it. I'm guessing a "steam head" is a steam expert of some kind....wish I could find one, thought I had, but it doesn't look like it!
 
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Old 12-14-08, 05:36 AM
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The air seems to be venting quite a bit from the vent on the furnace, (relief?)
Could you post a picture? If it is the relief it shouldn't be venting. Is it attached to the boiler itself? Does it ever vent steam? The bedroom vent which is releasing air: does it ever close when steam gets to it?

Also, you said you had 2 boilers. Do they each feed a part of the house separately or are they tied together?
 
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