Burnham RS-112 What to do during power outage?

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Old 12-15-08, 03:22 PM
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Question Burnham RS-112 What to do during power outage?

I have a Burnham RS 112 in my house and a generator wired to my electrical panel to run it and other appliances during a power outage. The Burnham also heats hot water directly. We are experiences a four day outage here in NH. When we lose power, we eventually lose water pressure from the street because we are on a community well that does not have back-up power. I notice the boiler pressure dropping to 10 PSI or slightly below as the power outage went on. As the water from the street went to a trickle, I eventually turned shut off the main water coming into the house. Did make a mistake by not shutting off the main water right away? Can the heat system lose pressure if the water pressure from the street drops or disappears and the boiler isn't isolated from it? What damage can be done if the boiler is operating under 10 PSI? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 12-15-08, 04:24 PM
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Too low a pressure and the circulator will not be able to pump the water to a higher elevation. 10# should be fine for a one story home with the boiler in the basement.

But!! why are you losing pressure in the boiler?

There could be more than one cause, and none of them are good.

1. no back feed preventer on the boiler. Loss of street pressure allows boiler water to backflow into domestic water piping. Not good!

2. Slow leak in heating loop, constant loss of water that isn't normally noticed. Will damage the block, circulator and other ferrous components!

3. Boiler has a crack and is leaking..

When the power comes back you'll need to find out what is going on, the pressure should not have dropped.
 
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Old 12-15-08, 04:54 PM
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Water Pressure

If everything is working as it should, the boiler pressure should not drop if the street pressure does. Rarely do I see one working as it should. Soon after the power outage, you should have turned off the feed to the boiler.

If it is a single story house, 10 psi should be OK. I wouldn't try to heat the second floor if above.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 07:47 AM
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I really appreciate the help. I don't know much about boilers but assumed that when everything is working correctly it should hang onto the pressure it had even when we lose water. I got power last night after 4 days and now the PSI is bouncing around between 14 and 18 depending on if the boiler is running etc... I have a two story house. When the HVAC contractors resurface from fixing all the problems around here, I'll get them in to look at everything. Otherwise, things are running well with power and water back for now. Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 07:55 AM
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Thanks a lot for the help. Power and water is back as of last night for the first time in 4 days. I am now running between 14 and 18 PSI (two story house). Once an HVAC contractor is available (a lot of problems up in here in NH) I'm going have them take a look. Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-16-08, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweetwillyc View Post
I really appreciate the help. I don't know much about boilers but assumed that when everything is working correctly it should hang onto the pressure it had even when we lose water. I got power last night after 4 days and now the PSI is bouncing around between 14 and 18 depending on if the boiler is running etc... I have a two story house. When the HVAC contractors resurface from fixing all the problems around here, I'll get them in to look at everything. Otherwise, things are running well with power and water back for now. Thanks again.

The pressure will change depending on the boiler temperature--water expands as it is heated, so some variation is normal.

But ideally the boiler pressure hot-to-cold variation should remain within the same range when the street pressure drops. It could be an aging back-flow preventer that is causing the problem.

Pete
 
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