Boiler has no pressure

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Old 01-03-12, 04:43 PM
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Boiler has no pressure

Here are my pictures.

My guess, based on what I've read here, is it's the pressure regulating valve or the gate after the valve. I'm pretty handy, but have never had a boiler before this place. Any tips on how I might determine the faulty part would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Justin
 
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  #2  
Old 01-03-12, 05:26 PM
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When did you first notice the pressure was zero? The valve you refer to, I think is ahead of the PRV, not after. Is the boiler still running, with heat? Tell us the pressure and temp reading on the boiler gauge.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 05:33 PM
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I can't say the pressure was ever not at zero, this is my first winter here. There is a lot of gurgling in the system, which I attribute to not enough water. The temp is currently at 180 with the system running and the pressure is at zero. The gate valve is definitely closer to the boiler than the PRV. I'm currently not getting a lot of heat out of the system, and it seems to be running near constantly. Do you know if there is a way to circumvent the PRV to get some water in the system for now, or is that a terrible idea?

Thanks,
Justin
 
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Old 01-03-12, 05:44 PM
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The gauge may not be working and you have other issues. That expansion tank looks like it has holes in it and should probably be replaced. Possibly the fill valve also. And a new air vent probably should be replaced. Heck change the gauge also.

I see another boiler there. Is this your boiler? Are you renting?

Let the landlord take care of it if you are.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 01-03-12, 05:49 PM
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Unfortunately, I own the place and both boilers. My tenant's unit is okay for the moment. I'm pretty sure the pressure is correct, I get nothing when I attempt to bleed the radiators, even when they're hot. and they are heating up less and less, the heat barely comes up six inches on some of them.
 
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Old 01-03-12, 09:44 PM
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I got it. I took the strainer off the PRV and flushed that out, but that didn't fix anything. I ended up turning the gate ALL the way left (it was sticking) and it opened up and let the water flow. I now bled all the radiators and have pressure and heat! Thanks for your responses!!!
 
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Old 01-03-12, 09:46 PM
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I believe that you've tried to adjust that regulator too... because that screw is all the way in...

There IS a way to feed water in... there always is... but you must be EXTREMELY CAREFUL!

For one thing, you have no idea if the pressure gauge even works, so you could EASILY over-pressure the system with what I'm about to describe.

Next, if the boiler is HOT, DO NOT do this, you could shock the boiler and crack it...

TURN THE BOILER OFF AND ALLOW TO COOL TO 100F OR LESS!

Is there a washing machine anywhere near there?
Do you have a garden hose?
Is there a boiler drain that works?

Connect the garden hose to the boiler drain.

Unscrew a hose from the back of the washing machine. Use the HOT... less chance of shocking the boiler. Connect the other end of the garden hose to the washing machine hose.

Open the washing machine valve first... only a little bit.

Next, slightly loosen the hose end at the boiler drain and let the air out of the hose. When you get water, screw the hose on tight.

VERY SLOWLY! open the boiler drain while watching the gauge pressure!

When you see the pressure come up to 15 PSI, close the drain valve, disconnect the hose.

If the pressure drops again, you've got a leak somewhere... but this might get you some heat until you can get that mess fixed... it appears to need a LOT of maintenance!
 
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Old 01-03-12, 09:47 PM
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I see you got water in while I was typing...

but please, do some maintenance on those things!
 
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Old 01-03-12, 10:33 PM
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I'm going to get to the maintenance asap. Just getting moved in and already did a new roof, porch and plumbing/electrical. This is next on the list. But for now, looks like my expansion tank couldn't handle the pressure. The rusted spots are spraying water everywhere. I shut off the heat for the night, but I'm going to have to replace this in the morning. Can I buy these at Home Depot or do I need to find a heating & cooling place?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 01-04-12, 03:36 PM
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HD around here does stock ONE SIZE of the heating expansion tank... the " 30 " ... so you could try there... should be around $35 or so... if that's the size you need.
 
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Old 01-04-12, 04:34 PM
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if you bleed the rads do it with the system off on the stat don't want the circulator running let the water auto feed pressure blled it shuld stop feeding at 12psi....verify that pressure guage and or replace it HD and Grainger
 
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Old 01-04-12, 05:10 PM
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Unhappy

looks like my expansion tank couldn't handle the pressure. The rusted spots are spraying water everywhere.
A minor correction, not that it makes any difference to your situation: the steel tank didn't fail, it wasn't meant to be watertight under pressure. The rubber bladder inside the tank must have sprung a small leak, rusting the tank, and then the bladder eventually split open.

By adjusting the pressure reg valve, you (or the previous owner) has likely gotten it out of whack. It needs to be returned to the original adjustment position, or replaced.

Seems like you may have some significant deferred maintenance.
 
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Old 01-04-12, 07:38 PM
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That's interesting, truely. Because I replaced the tank this morning and now have a NEW problem, the pressure is getting a little too high and triggering the overflow valve (not sure of the term), to open up spilling yet more water all over my basement. My guess is that the PRV is set wrong, letting too much water into the system, the pressure gets above 30psi and the "overflow valve" opens up. My plan for the moment is to let the system cool down below 100, empty out some water, let it refill to 12 PSI cold and then shut off the water supply. I'm hoping that will get me through the night (why does this keep happening at night?), and in the morning I can get a new PRV. What do you think of that plan?

thanks again for all the replies on this thread, it's been extremely informative.
 
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Old 01-04-12, 07:50 PM
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My guess is that the PRV is set wrong,
Not a guess... we already told you that earlier... somebody was monkeying with the valve and screwed the adjustment screw all the way down. You shouldn't even bother with that valve at this point because it's probably been damaged by what was done to it, but you can try ...

Loosen the locknut on the adjusting screw and back it WAY out... then after you drain some water out of the boiler to drop the pressure down to say 5 PSI or so, start screwing the adjustment in until you hear a little water flowing in...

STOP! and wait until the pressure stabilizes... IF it stabilizes... these valves are VERY slow to 'line out' at the final setting, so you have to give it time, like at LEAST 15 minutes... go like a half turn at a time at that point until the pressure stabilizes cold at 12 PSI.

let it refill to 12 PSI cold and then shut off the water supply.
Yes, you can do that... but monitor the pressure because I have my doubts that the gate valve shutoff is going to shut off the flow completely... When you replace the PRV, ALSO install a BALL VALVE in line... and if you wanted to do the right thing, you would install a BACKFLOW PREVENTER at the same time.
 
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Old 01-04-12, 07:51 PM
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"overflow valve"
30 psi safety pressure relief valve
 
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Old 01-04-12, 08:06 PM
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great thanks! I'll give this a shot.
 
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Old 01-05-12, 04:36 PM
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Looks like fixing the PRV setting did the trick. I'm at ~20 hours of sustained heat & pressure with no leaks. Thanks for all your help, I'll get some maintenance done on these ASAP.
 
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Old 01-05-12, 04:54 PM
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Good deal, thanks for letting us know! Good Luck!
 
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