Peerless Gas Furnace....Help needed please

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-15-11, 10:28 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Peerless Gas Furnace....Help needed please

Sat watching tv tonight and I heard what sounded like an Earthquake coming from the basement. It was the furnace.

Steal everywhere and making an awful grinding sound. I turned everything off and when the steam cleared it was apparent that the steam had been caused by blasts of water from an overflow pipe pointing towards the ground on the side and one on the back.

I mopped up the mess, had a look around and not being a plumber, I waited to see what would happen.

I released pressure in the expansion tank and checked the pressure on the side of the furnace...it was 15.

I then wondered about air in the lines and bled a little.....however when the system tried to fill itself back up, the overflow on the back started to run more rapidly (yes it was still dripping after turning all off)

It is two hours later and the overflow at the back (which has some sort of valve on it) is still dripping slowly. I called an emergency plumber and left a message. I can survive without heat tonight.

Any idea what has happened? Would a typical home owners insurance policy cover it?

Thanks in advance....first time home owner and young, so sorry if I am asking dumb questions
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-15-11, 10:59 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
Yes turn off the power to the boiler. Turn the gas valve to the boiler off also if you can.


Sounds like the aquastat the controls the temp of the boiler is faulty. It should not go higher the 180F. If the aquastat is bad then the boiler temp will keep rising until the relief valve trips. And when that happens hot steam is released.

Also possibly the exp tank but the relief valve most likely would not release steam like that.

Sounded like a frieght train didnt it? At least no one was hurt.

Anyway you are looking at a aquastat, new relief valve, and possibly re charge the exp tank.

Here in NJ that sounds like $700-$1000 with service call. Your plumber prices may vary.

Let us know what happens.

Mike NJ
 
  #3  
Old 04-16-11, 06:15 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank you Mike.

Guy will be here within an hour. Will let you know the results.

Oh man, did it sound like a freight-train. I have a hung ceiling in my basement with recess lights, so steam was coming out of all the recess light fittings......Never seen anything like it!

Ahh.....the more I own, the more I learn. Mastercard at the ready
 
  #4  
Old 04-16-11, 08:38 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
Geez..Just noticed your in NJ. What part/area?

Mike NJ
 
  #5  
Old 04-16-11, 09:23 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Cantona, if you are going to answer Mike, please do so by private message...
 
  #6  
Old 04-16-11, 09:34 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
From OP

Will do. As I was sat waiting for the plumber the wife pipes up "Oh...(insert her best friends name here)'s dad is a plumber.

So I cancelled the guy I had and he is popping over later. Space heaters for the day but should save a few.

He popped over on his way out elsewhere and told me it will be a process of elimination but the release valve on the back is gone for sure.....and he actually thinks that that may be the only problem.....but like he said, its a process of elimination so fingers crossed!
Mike NJ..........................................................................
 
  #7  
Old 04-16-11, 09:37 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
From OP.

Well the friends Dad came over and basically said that the relief valve on the back was gone (which I knew because I could not shut it off), the expansion tank was full also.

I assisted him (so i could learn). He replaced the parts and we turned on the water and let the system fill. It has a 12psi bell valve on it but the pressure was around 20psi, even though the intake was going through the 12psi valve.

We therefore replaced the valve with a new one....still same problem....couldnt work it out. Anyway we closed the supply off so we have a closed system and bled until the reading on the furnace was 12psi.

He told me he could come right in and replace the aquastat, but in all honesty, he could get me a new furnace at cost and we could install together for very little and so it was silly to do the aquastat. He wasnt 100% sure it was the aquastat and didnt want to waste my money.

He wants me to monitor pressure for next few days.....if it goes up then its the aquastat.

He suggested I just bleed it when pressure goes up and "limp into the summer", save up and replace it at the end of the summer(the furnace is 25 years old).

If the pressure is stable, than all is good.

Mike NJ.......................................
 
  #8  
Old 04-16-11, 09:40 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
Well thats good but its the temp you want to know. The boiler should shut off at 180F. If it goes higher then change the aquastat or try to adjust it. The fill valve should stop filling the boiler at 12 psi. They are preset. That 12 psi is cold boiler. When the boiler heats up it will go to 20psi. That is normal.

If the expansion tank was full, is it a bladder type? Did you change it? If its the big steel tank you need to drain them.

I think your jumping the gun on replacing the boiler. My boiler is 28 yrs old. If it aint leaking its still good is my motto.

Start posting back to the site you will get alot of info.

Not that your friends dad is not good at fixing boilers but you can save more money doing the repairs. New boilers have more things to go wrong with all the electronics.

Take some pics and post back to the site. I will post these threads there.

Mike NJ
 
  #9  
Old 04-16-11, 09:43 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
1.Let us know the model boiler.
2. What type of expansion tank?
3.Watch the temp and pressure. Let us know the highest temp it gets to and the pressure.

We can start there and see if you can post pics. Post to a place like photobucket and put the link here.

If the boiler continues above the 180-190F range shut it down for your own saftey

Mike NJ
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 04-16-11 at 10:03 PM.
  #10  
Old 04-16-11, 11:30 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
From OP

thanks very much. Yes, we replaced the expansion tank. Right now I have both zones running and the temp is 195 and the pressure is 15psi. Its been constant for the past 4 hrs. I am hoping this is good news. It certainly makes me feel better!

I intend to check both again in the AM.....my thought is that if it still remains constant, then the aquastat must be operating ok.....is that a fair assumption?

I will take some pics in the AM and post them.

Sincerely thank you for your advice.
Mike NJ.......................................................................................
 
  #11  
Old 04-16-11, 11:34 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
No the gauge could be not working. 195F is high. It should not go higher then 180F. After the burner kicks off the boiler should cool to say 160F and then as long as there is still a call for heat go back to 180F. The temp will continue to go up and down until there is no more heat call. It may have just been the expansion tank that caused the whole thing but the temp should be lowered.

Also post to your original post. This way others will help out. I will copy these there.

Mike NJ
 
  #12  
Old 04-17-11, 08:12 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
1.Let us know the model boiler.
2. What type of expansion tank?
3.Watch the temp and pressure. Let us know the highest temp it gets to and the pressure.

We can start there and see if you can post pics. Post to a place like photobucket and put the link here.

If the boiler continues above the 180-190F range shut it down for your own saftey

Mike NJ
Well first of all I did just realise that I posted ht topic in the wrong subforum (blame that on late night panic)...its a hot water natural gas Furnace...not steam

The temp and pressure are fluctuating a little. I closed the system off last night and left 15psi pressure and 190 deg temp.

This morning, the upstairs zone was off (as per my thermostat) and the pressure was less than 10psi and temp 180.

I opened up the water supply and let it fill until the 12psi reducing valve stopped it.....when it stopped the pressure on the furnace read 22psi and the temp went to 210. Its stayed constant for the last hour.

The furnace is a Peerless mmw-145

pics to follow
 
  #13  
Old 04-17-11, 08:37 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: nj
Posts: 576
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
change the gauge and make sure its working properly. next, if you have a bladder type tank (expansion tank) you need to drain it out, remove it from the system, then charge it to around 15-18 psi (they come at 12 but i always charge them up a little higher because i never really run 12 psi in a system). Next, let your system cool down to ambient temp (70-90 degrees should be ok), make sure all of your zones are open when you are filling the system. if you have zone valves you can manually open them as well as flo controls(if you have them). then COLD fill your boiler to 12-15 psi. never go by what the pressure is when your at 180, when the temp drops, so will the pressure. bleed whatever air out NOW, then make sure your back at normal operating pressure. aquastat also sounds bad, bud i would change the gauge first and make sure its not that. better to spend $15 than $100
 
  #14  
Old 04-17-11, 08:42 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Absolutely do not go any further until you VERIFY THE GAUGE! You could be throwing money away if you don't.
 
  #15  
Old 04-17-11, 08:48 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks RD.

As I posted earlier, we put in a brand new expansion tank yesterday....the old one (only 2 years old!!) was shot. The system was entirely drained and cooled overnight. The only things we didnt do was charge the new tank higher than 12psi.

Is the gauge something pretty simple that I could do? My skill level is such that after watching someone change the regulator, pressure release and expansion tank, I could do it without a problem.

Cheers RDsteam
 
  #16  
Old 04-17-11, 09:00 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Cantona, you can easily fashion a gauge with hose thread fittings that you can screw onto any boiler drain and verify the pressure. Here's a pic of one that I use made with junk from the garage.



An old washin machine hose and a few fittings...

If you don't have a junk box, you can purchase an adapter at HD or Lowes that will let you fit a gauge to a drain valve. They won't have an appropriate gauge on the shelf though... you need a 0-30 or 0-50 PSI job, and this you can pick up at a real plumbing supply, or a swimming pool supply...

You could start with this also, about $10 or so... found in the lawn sprinkler section usually... and remove the useless for our purpose 300 PSI gauge and replace with an appropriate one:


image courtesy amazon.com
 
  #17  
Old 04-17-11, 09:01 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Pics

As you requested Lawrosa (who has been a tremendous help via PM)





 
  #18  
Old 04-17-11, 09:29 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
The boiler looks pretty good. Here is what you need to do.

1. Open up that gray box next to the circulator. That should be your aquastat. see if you can read what its set for. You may be able to lower the temp but it may be faulty also.

You said 210F the boiler was up to. This is part of your problem and needs to be addressed.

2. That new fill valve should not put more then 12psi in the boiler. Something is wrong there. Did anyone adjust the screw on top? You should be able to adjust that screw so no more then 12 psi should fill the boiler. You need to do this with a cold boiler and its trial and error.

Fill, drain some water out to lower the pressure, adjust fill valve, fill again, check pressure, repeat until the boiler stays aroung 12 psi cold.

25 psi is too high. the boiler should not see over 20psi.

3. That air vent above the expansion tank needs to be working. The cap on top should be loose. If any water leaks out its probably shot.

These are small thing to fix that should not cost alot of money.

Let us know what you find. We are here to help.

Mike NJ
 
  #19  
Old 04-17-11, 09:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank you trooper.

I checked the aquastat and it was set at 180 - 200

I lowered it to 190.

I closed off the after and drained for a second and the pressure dropped, so its certainly reading pressure accurately.

Going to head to the plumbing store and buy a new gauge......would rather just buy one for piece of mind. Do I have to turn the system off and drain when I fit? I am assuming so.

The fill valve is brand new and came preset at 12psi.

The expansion tank is brand new...the cap at the top is loose and nothing is coming out.

Although everything (pressure/temp) is on the high side...its running constant at the moment
 
  #20  
Old 04-17-11, 09:38 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
Yes if replacing the acutual pressure , temp gauge you need to turn off boiler and drain the pressure off. Get a new air vent also and change that while your at it. Also you have a new expansion tank but check the pressure in the tank with a tire gauge when the boiler is drained. Make sure there is 12 psi in it. Hey they could be faulty out of the box.

Take some more pics. Like I said your boiler looks good. I see no reason to change unless you go high eff. but then you may have a slew of other issues, and the cost is great and payback takes years and years.

Mike NJ
 
  #21  
Old 04-17-11, 09:41 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
What parts would be helpful for me to photograph?
 
  #22  
Old 04-17-11, 09:50 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
Take a closer pic of the air vent above the exp tank. Looks like its old and leaking. Cant tell in the pic but looks corroded.

Take a pick of the open aquastat. You should set at 180F. The dials are not accurate so you need to watch the gauge. Your max temp target is 180F.

Take a pic of the vent pipe where the HWH ties into the vent for the boiler. It looks like a homemade joint. These are not to code and can cause CO issues in the home.

You have CO detectors?

If its what I think it is it should be piped with a proper Y fitting.

And just anyother controls you may see or are concerned with.

Mike NJ
 
  #23  
Old 04-17-11, 10:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Great..Thanks.

I just went to adjust the reducer valve. I bled the water out and then filled it reducing the valve until it stopped at 12PSI. I am pretty confident that the reducing valve was set right out of the box, but I have it set lower now which I am fine with since I am worried about high pressure. its actually irrelevant at the moment because until I have stability that I am confident with, I am running a closed system.

What is bizarre is that when i refilled, the temperature shot up to 260!!!! Pressure was around 15 though......Bizarre.....I guess all part of todays trial and error process.

Now onto the pics...I do have Co detectors....no issues.


Here is where the HWH vent and furnace vent meet


Aquastat


Closer of Aquastat


Air vent above tank - it looks like its leaked in the past...I am sure it has as the tank has been replaces, but the cap on top is loose and when the plumber checked it yesterday, he said it was fine
 
  #24  
Old 04-17-11, 10:41 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: nj
Posts: 576
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
definately change that temp gauge. that thing cant possibly be working. if you were up to 260 degrees that boiler would be knocking like crazy because you would be near the steam making temp at that pressure and the releif would probably be blowing off. also change the vent, home depot carries them, they are #67 auto vents.
 
  #25  
Old 04-17-11, 10:43 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank you. I am off to the plumbing store to get one now
 
  #26  
Old 04-17-11, 10:47 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: nj
Posts: 576
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
if you want to be 100% sure of your feeder and what its set at, then take the feeder apart. buy (1) 1/2" x close brass nipple. screw the feeder directly onto the backflow. get a 1/2" brass tee and screw that onto the male adapter where the feeders outlet used to be. then you just have to connect the two with a union and a couple of nipples. for the tee you will probably need a 1/2" x 1/4" bushing, screw that into the top of the tee and install a pressure gauge there. this way you can close the valve after the feeder and gauge, and set your pressure by looking at the gauge you just installed. its more accurate doing it this way, because if the feeder is feeding very slowly you will notice it much quicker beacuse the space to fill is so much smaller. but you definately need to change the gauge and make sure you stat is ok
 
  #27  
Old 04-17-11, 10:50 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
Wow 260F!!!!! I just hope the gauge is wrong because that should no be. That needs to be addressed ASAP!!!

Yeah that smoke pipe should have a proper y fitting. They did that in the old days where they just cut a hole in the pipe. CO can and will leak from that joint. That should be fixed ASAP!!!

That air vent looks shot. Its most likely not doing its job. They are cheap. Just go ahead and replace it. You need to relieve the pressure from the boiler.

Once you change your temp gauge you can set the temp so it does not go past 180F.

Mike NJ

Mike NJ
 
  #28  
Old 04-17-11, 11:36 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well I went to the store but mid way through the wife called....screaming system again. The guy in the plumbing store have the proper gauge to sell me but told me that it wasnt going to fix the problem so not to waste $59.99............I didnt have time to discuss so I have shot home.

I purged the system, cold filled it and the guage dropped.....BUT......with everything open and no water in there, my pressure gauge is still close to 10!!!!! thats not right is it?

Incidentally he quoted me $450 for a new aquastat fitted.

I am wondering at this point if I should just bite the bullet.....

Going to refill and have another go
 
  #29  
Old 04-17-11, 12:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Update.

After refilling and starting her up again the pressure reads 25psi, but remember....when empty it was on 8!!!!

I double checked the aquastat and made sure the temp was 180

The Furnace just shut off at 180 degrees......regulator valve open....nothing coming in

Lets see if it stays stable!!!

Thank you all for your time and patience with me.....you have been a wonderful help.
 
  #30  
Old 04-17-11, 12:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: nj
Posts: 576
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
what was the gauge made of? gold? $60 seems a whole lot for a gauge. real quick i just saw one for $40 online, which is still a little high. where are you located? my truck is in the shop, but if i had it here i would just give you one
 
  #31  
Old 04-17-11, 12:46 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,490
Received 32 Votes on 24 Posts
You need to change out that combo pressure/temperature gauge as it is obviously bad. Until you have a proper working pressure gauge and thermometer you are just fumbling in the dark.
 
  #32  
Old 04-17-11, 01:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Furd View Post
You need to change out that combo pressure/temperature gauge as it is obviously bad. Until you have a proper working pressure gauge and thermometer you are just fumbling in the dark.
Fumbling in the dark is how I got through high school

Thank you.
 
  #33  
Old 04-17-11, 01:38 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
Ha ha...LOL

Hey you can do it!!!!!!

All the advice given so far is to change that pressure and temp gauge. Once you do that then you willknow what controls may need repair for proper operation.


So from what you are saying is with pressure off the boiler you still read 8-10 psi. So your 25 psi reading may be off by 8-10psi. So that may mean you are at 17 psi. Sound normal but again I would not go by that.

The temp is the concern also. You did say its staying at max 180? But that may be wrong also. Sometimes you can get a idea by touching the piping at the boiler. You should not be able to touch it for a mere moment. If you do it all the time you kind of get used to what 180 feels like and when its in the 200 plus range its instant, get your hand off the pipe type thing.

For $60 bucks I would have bought the gauge. The aquastat might be good and was just set to high, and with the exp tank failure probably cause the whole issue in the first place.

Oh so when you ran home what was the issue your wife was concerned with? Did the relief valve blow again?




Let us know.

Mike NJ
 
  #34  
Old 04-17-11, 05:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well its been over 5 hrs and its running like a dream....

I am beginning to think that There may have been a loose wire on the aquastat.

Since I had the cover off it, fiddled, drained, refilled its been fine.

It kicks off at 180 on the nose....doesnt go above that and the PSI reads 23 but I reckon that is 8 off.

On my way home from work tomorrow I will grab a new gauge.

Its been a nice day here so it hasnt kicked on much but the fact it hasnt gone above 180 has made me feel warm and fuzzy
 
  #35  
Old 04-17-11, 05:37 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,833
Received 19 Votes on 17 Posts
Sometime the aquastats will not trip at the right temp because of age and they never get touched.

Just turning the wheel may have moved the internals to allow it to funtion normally. They kind of stick.

If you feel confident that the temp is accurate you can just get a pressure gauge as Trooper descibed in post #16. You can save a few bucks. Put it on at the boiler drain and open the valve.

Great job. You did good. Sound like you were calm and cool through the whole thing.

Like I said I have seen a few relief valves blow off on boilers where I was within 10 ft or so. Its not something you want to see often. Thats why its important to have the releif valve piped to the floor within 6". The steam coming out when they discharge will melt your face off....... Its a scary sound also. It not something your used to hearing.

On one boiler we had to wait a few minutes for the steam to dissapear before we had the courage to go shut the boiler down....lol



Mike NJ
 
  #36  
Old 04-17-11, 06:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: nj
Posts: 576
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
it is a maturing experience. ever been involved with a steam relief going off at 15 psi??? oooo baby, makes you question the field your in.
 
  #37  
Old 04-17-11, 06:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks guys

Hopefully I should be good. Its easy not to panic when its not the middle of winter though.....I mean....If it needed major investment, I would have turned it off and done it in Sept I think.

Anyway, the night is not over yet lol

Thank you for all your advice....it never ceases to amaze me how giving people are with their time and advice on this forum
 
  #38  
Old 04-28-11, 08:10 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
well a couple of weeks passed and all is good. Looks like it was the expansion tank
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: