Empty Boiler


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Old 12-02-10, 04:48 AM
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Empty Boiler

Good morning,
I have a single hot water boiler without a hot water tank, the boiler needs to be fed water intermittently manually. In the past winter seasons I would have to fill it every 3 days or so depending on how long the furnace ran. This season the boiler is emptying daily and automatically shutting off, this leads to cold showers etc. I see no evidence of water leaking from any of the radiators, no water spills anywhere.. I have no clue how to begin to diagnose this issue. The boiler is only 6 years old so I have no intention on replacing it..

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Regards,
Sean
 
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Old 12-02-10, 09:32 AM
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Could you let us know what make and model the boiler is?

You could check for a leak in a simple way.
1) read your pressure gauge with boiler full and filled. 12 PSI?? Also make sure boiler is off.
2) turn off water feed to boiler and watch the gauge. Do you lose pressure? You may have to wait some time if its a small leak.
3) if you do lose pressure you have a leak somewhere.

If you have an external tankless heater it could be leaking internally and mixing with your potable water and you wouldnt see it but may have other symptoms.

Lets us know

Mike NJ
 
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Old 12-02-10, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Seanny66 View Post
Good morning,
I have a single hot water boiler without a hot water tank, the boiler needs to be fed water intermittently manually. In the past winter seasons I would have to fill it every 3 days or so depending on how long the furnace ran. This season the boiler is emptying daily and automatically shutting off, this leads to cold showers etc. I see no evidence of water leaking from any of the radiators, no water spills anywhere.. I have no clue how to begin to diagnose this issue. The boiler is only 6 years old so I have no intention on replacing it..

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Regards,
Sean
if you don't stop adding fresh water you will be replacing it (assuming its a cast iron boiler).
You never want to keep adding water, fresh water adds oxygen to the system. Oxygen corrodes ferrous metal components.

You will need to find the leak.
Fill the boiler and isolate it, see if the boiler alone holds pressure.
If it does then try to isolate each separate zone or riser separately.
The water is going somewhere, you would see dampness somewhere unless it's running under a basement slab or in a crawl space you rarely go in.

Good hunting
 
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Old 12-03-10, 03:49 PM
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Watch the top of the chimney too... some steam is to be expected, but if you get lots of it, there might could be an internal leak.
 
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Old 12-03-10, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
Watch the top of the chimney too... some steam is to be expected.
Typically, after the chimney is warmed up, you will see several inches of clear plume before the visible "steam" appears. Compare your plume to your neighbors' with comparable boiler systems.
 
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Old 12-08-10, 06:30 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone! We had a plumber over and found the boiler was cracked. It was determined that the boiler was not dry fired so the boiler itself is warrantied. The parts are covered, labor of course is not.

I will be getting 3 sections to replace the boiler.

Any idea what an appropriate price is to replace the boiler? This is a Pennco 3KS1.25c steam boiler.

Thanks again,
Sean
 
 

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