Boiler Pressure Rising, Have Done Everything To Fix


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Old 02-19-09, 07:59 PM
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Boiler Pressure Rising, Have Done Everything To Fix

Apologize for double posting this:

My boiler pressure continues to rise after the furnace has stopped firing. The temperature of the furnace is set to 140 Hi. It is oil, hot water baseboard. I have replaced the expansion tank and the feed valve as well as all of the relief valves around my 2 story home. I have 2 zones. The furnace continues to tip and 30 PSI and expel hot water out of the back. I don't know what else to do - help is needed. Had a plumber here today and he was stumped as well. PLEASE HELP

Thank you
 
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Old 02-19-09, 08:52 PM
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he was stumped as well.
Hope he didn't hand you a bill! or worse, you paid it!

HIGH at 140? that's too low... should be more like 180 ...

and it implies that you also have a LOW setting, and a DIFF setting?

That means that you may be getting your domestic hot water from a coil in the boiler?

If that coil has a leak in it, it will over pressurize the boiler the same way as a bad pressure reducing valve will...
 
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Old 02-19-09, 09:00 PM
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Boiler Pressure Rising, Have Done Everything To Fix

First - thank you for responding.

Yes I have a dif and a low. Originally I had it set to 180 Hi, 160 Lo with a Dif of 10. The boiler seemed to heat to 190, close to 200, so I lowered it hoping that with less heat would come less pressure - not the case.

Not sure about a coil, but I would certainly take your word for it. If there was a leak in the coil - how would I find out?

The reduction valve is new (as of today) as well as the expansion tank so your theory certainly has merit - what(if anything) can I, am mere laymen, do? BTW: The boiler is only 2 years old.
 
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Old 02-19-09, 09:09 PM
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Two years old, probably just past the installation warranty period.

If you have no stand-alone domestic water heater (gas or electric) you either have an indirect water heater or a domestic coil. The indirect heater would look similar to a stand-alone water heater but it would also be piped to the boiler and require boiler operation year round. A domestic coil is inside the boiler and also requires boiler operation year round.

Some pictures of your boiler and nearby piping might help. To post pictures you need to first upload the pictures to a photo hosting site such as photobucket.com or villagephotos.com. and then post the public URLs for the pictures (or album) here. More pictures are always better than fewer. Please have CLEAR pictures and have both close up pictures and ones from a far enough distance that we can see how the various parts are interconnected.

Do you have any cast iron radiators in your house, maybe on an upper level?
 
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Old 02-19-09, 09:12 PM
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I will definately try and get some pics posted. Yes, I have a 'Hot Water Maker' and No, I have no cast iron radiators. All hot water baseboard throughout. I will work on the pics - let me know if you have any other thoughts. Thanks,
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:03 AM
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I posted pictures of my boiler which is still relieving hot water out the back and pressure rising above 30. Pics can be found here:
marcusippboilerpics
 
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Old 02-20-09, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by marcusipp
Yes I have a dif and a low. Originally I had it set to 180 Hi, 160 Lo with a Dif of 10. The boiler seemed to heat to 190, close to 200, so I lowered it hoping that with less heat would come less pressure - not the case.

Not sure about a coil, but I would certainly take your word for it. If there was a leak in the coil - how would I find out?
OK, thanks for the pics...

Since you don't have a coil in the boiler, I do not understand why the boiler is running as a 'warm start' system. An indirect fired water heater does not require warm start and is wasting fuel. In any case though, the HIGH setting must never be less than 20° higher than the LOW setting. I would start by turning the LOW setting as low as it can go, and the DIFF to 10, and put the HIGH back to 180 (or 170 if you feel it is getting too hot)... since you are not making hot water with the boiler there is absolutely no need for the LOW setting to be at 160! terrible waste of fuel!

Is the blue tank a pressure tank for a private well system? or is that your water heater?

It's kinda hard to tell 'what's what' becuz the pics are all closeups and can't trace the pipes around... looks like a tight situation so might not be that easy to get good pics though...

If the blue tank is an 'indirect' water heater, it will be piped to your heating system much the same way as any other heating zone would. A leak in the heat exchanger inside the indirect water heater would cause the boiler to pressurize in the same fashion as would a leak in a coil inside the boiler (which the pics show that you don't have).

You can test this theory by shutting off the cold water supply to the indirect water heater. DO NOT turn off the cold water supply UNLESS you also prevent the water heater from calling the boiler for heat. Best way to do this is by turning the boiler OFF. If the boiler fires to heat the water in the tank, and you have that cold valve closed, you may OVERPRESSURE the hot water piping and blow the pipes apart... DANGEROUS!... so PLEASE make sure that the boiler will NOT fire when the cold supply to the water heater is off...

If there IS a leak in that heat exchanger in the water heater, you also are at risk of contaminating your water supply with boiler water... not a good situation at all!

This only applies if the blue tank IS your water heater...
 
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Old 02-20-09, 03:21 PM
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That blue tank is an old (and pretty bad looking) Amtrol WH-7.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:36 PM
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I have an AMTROL Residential Hot Water Maker, and yes, it's old. I shut it off and cut off the water supply and the pressure seemed to stabalize. I also (at the advice of a contact at a local supply store) opened a hot water tap on one of my sinks. When all the valves going to the AMTROL were off and I opened the hot water at the sink, the pressure again seemed fairly stable. I did shut the hot water off at the sink when I left the house (even though there was nothing coming out) and when I got back, the system pressure was up again. So now, 8:34pm, I checked and every valve going to and fro the AMTROL are ALL off and I have the hot water on at my kitchen sink. I am now going to wait and watch. Your observation about a coil leak is probably right on because making changes have influenced the pressure. I am going to leave it the way is set now for an hour and check and re-post. Thanks again to all for the help and advice.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 06:49 PM
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OK, so when all the valvues to the AMTROL are off and the hot water maker is turned off AND a hot water faucet is ON at one of my sinks, my pressue is completely stable. Is this my 100% confirmation that the coil is leaking in the hot water maker? Realizing I will be faced with $$$$ in repairs, I at least want to be sure this is what my issue is.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 08:29 PM
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I'm thinking about why leaving a hot water tap open is important... I guess if the cold shutoff valve to the WH isn't shutting off 100%, that would prevent the pressure from still building up in the unit and giving a false diagnosis...

[edit] I think I just realized that the reason the guy said that was because of the OVERPRESSURE warning I mentioned before about if the boiler fires to heat water with the cold supply closed... yeah, that makes sense...[/edit]

I would think that you would LOSE pressure in the boiler because now you've got it leaking in the other direction... when the pressure is higher on the domestic side of the WH, that pressure will leak into the boiler... when the pressure is atmospheric on the domestic side the boiler pressure being higher would leak into the domestic side and the pressure in the boiler would drop...

Unless... the feed were still turned on to the boiler, and the regulator was maintaining it's setpoint.

You say the pressure is stable now... at WHAT pressure?

With the boiler turned off, will closing the manual feed valve on the boiler cause the boiler to go to zero PSI?

Is water dripping out the open hot water tap? If you leave the tap closed for a while and then open it, is it pressurized for a second or two?

Keep in mind that if this is happening, you are almost certainly feeding boiler water into your domestic piping, and they should probably be disinfected, or at the very least completely flushed out after the repairs are done.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 08:33 PM
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Are there valves in the two pipes going from the boiler to the WH that you can close to isolate it in that fashion?

If there are, close them, leaving the WH turned off, and open the cold water supply to the WH... you won't have hot water, but you can run the boiler for heat if the pressure stays under control.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 04:36 AM
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There is a very slow drip coming out of the faucet where the hot water is on - every 6 or 7 seconds. I have, I believe, isolated the AMTROL, there are probably 5 valves in total including the feed and back and forth to the boiler, I have them all off right now.

I will test the pressure check now that you suggested - turn the boiler off and shut off the feed - I will see if it goes to 0 PSI.

Going to your comment about water going back into the system - how can I tell - is there a water 'test' that I can do? I would imagine part of the reason for the drip is water from higher pipes is finding its way down to the open faucet, but if there is a chance of contamination, I would definately want to deal with it.

THANKS AGAIN!
 
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Old 02-21-09, 04:43 AM
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marcusipp: Amtrol used to have a lifetime warranty on their WH7's, but it depended on the year. I can't remember offhand what years that warranty was in effect. If you can find a supply house in your area just give them the model and serial number and they can look it up for you, or contact Amtrol yourself.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 05:11 AM
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I hear you and I wish I could go that route but it seems the tag with the serial # is no longer on my unit. My contact at the supply house suggested that sometimes people take them because thats all you have to send in to AMTROL to get a new WH, not sure if that's what happened here, but who knows. I have been in the house for 6 years and this was here at least 7 or 8 years prior so I'm not sure if this fell within the 'lifetime' years anyone - thanks for looking out....
 
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Old 02-21-09, 06:38 AM
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Ahhh. Sorry to hear that.
 
 

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