Boiler firing with thermostats off

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  #41  
Old 05-11-12, 02:21 PM
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Yeah, the first thing is to verify the pressure gauge... if it didn't change, I'm sure it's toast.

And checking the expansion tank, if you did that with any pressure at all in the boiler you most likely didn't get a true reading.

If you've got the system shut off and the relief valve is dripping, the most likely culprit is the 'pressure reducing valve' leaking through. BUT, until you know what the pressure in the system really is, you shouldn't try to troubleshoot that yet.
 
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  #42  
Old 05-11-12, 07:20 PM
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Stupid question, but is the proper place to take the pressure reading for the system and drain water out the valve that is coming off the boiler and running under the circulators in the picture below? I'm going to try and grab a gauge tomorrow if the local plumbing supply is open. I'm going to be shocked if the pressure-temp gauge is working correctly because I never see that needle even move a bit.

http://bit.ly/K9pIL4

I do have the hvac tech coming back out this week, no charge for the visit since it seems the first round missed....everything These are the same people that serviced the boiler about a month ago, is this stuff that should have been found then?

So far everything that could be wrong doesn't seem like that much to replace if I do it myself, I'm sure the cost is much more if I'm going to have them do it. Thanks again for the continued help with this, it's much appreciated.
 
  #43  
Old 05-11-12, 07:36 PM
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Forgot to add that the water dripping from the relief valve was cool while the boiler was up to temp. Not sure if there's a way to "fix" the pressure reducing valve, like open and close it to make sure it's not crud in there etc if that would be one of the issues here.

I'm assuming that if it's cold water coming out of there when the boiler is hot that it would have to be coming from the PRV.
 
  #44  
Old 05-11-12, 08:15 PM
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Your pic dont work.


Why dont you just turn off the water feed.


Mike NJ
 
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Old 05-12-12, 04:47 PM
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Let's try the pic again, not sure why the link broke: http://i.imgur.com/kxvzx.jpg
 
  #46  
Old 05-12-12, 05:18 PM
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I think you really need to supply more pics of your boiler. All piping in and around. I really have not seen anything from your pics. No expansion tank, fill valve, flow controls, etc....


I find it hard for anyone to help you without supplying these pics at a minimum. I think pics were asked for several posts ago.

It seems like IMO that there may be stuff you dont want us to see.

Just my opinion.

Mike NJ
 
  #47  
Old 05-12-12, 06:41 PM
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Well your opinion is wrong, I haven't taken any more pics because there's been no reason to. I took a bunch of pictures all around the boiler except for behind it since there's nothing there and 2 links were provided.

The expansion tank is up above to the right and if there was a point to take a picture of it I will. All the piping around it is visible in the pictures except for the expansion tank. Why would I hide something if I'm asking for help?

I wasn't able to get a pressure gauge to do any further testing, the local places were closed and the big chains only had the high pressure gauges...which I guess would have been better than nothing. The boiler has been off, as well as the water feed, for over 2 days now and the pressure needle on the temp/pressure gauge on the boiler hasn't moved.
 
  #48  
Old 05-13-12, 09:06 AM
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c'mon now, let's not get testy... we're trying to help you remember.

I guess would have been better than nothing
No, not really. A 200 or 300 psi gauge on a 30 psi system is useless. The fitting itself is usable though, and you might not be able to purchase the individual parts to make your own adapter for less than the price of the pre-made one, so go to the plumbing aisle and see what the parts cost to adapt a 3/4" GHT to 1/4" FNPT and see if you can save a few bucks by purchasing the pre-made and swapping in your own gauge.

BTW, photobucket is a much more usable place to post pics. Makes it so much easier for us to scroll through the images... and it's free also.

We should try to focus on one issue at a time I think. You will probably have to drain the expansion tank, it sounds as if you have the steel one strapped into the floor joists... but before that you do need to do the gauge thing.
 
  #49  
Old 05-15-12, 08:00 AM
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Ok so the verdict is in, the hvac tech came back out and spent a good amount of time looking at everything. (No charge)

The relay was stuck, as we expected, he was able to replace this and testing went well. We actually got the relay to unstick by hitting it (once it was out) pretty hard but didn't want to risk it happening again so it was allotted to the junk pile.

The temp-pressure gauge is broken/stuck on the pressure side of things, that will need replaced.

The pressure regulator isn't seating completely so that's causing the leak on the relief valve. The recommendation is to replace the regulator and relief valve instead of trying to get it to seat.

Expansion tank is good and working as it should. The boiler was drained and then the system was also purged for air too.

So right now the issue of the boiler firing when it shouldn't is fixed, now I just need to determine A)to replace the regulator and/or relief valve and the temp-pressure gauge and B)to pay or do this myself. The good thing is I have time to figure it out since it shouldn't be needed for months. Initial cost I was quoted was ~$400-$500 to replace all 3 things + 1.5 hours of labor. Sounds kind of pricey to me, I think the most expensive part is the regulator.
 
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Old 05-15-12, 02:34 PM
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Yeah... I knew that was what you would find.

If you don't have a backflow preventer installed, now is the time to add one to bring it up to code:

Threaded:
Patriot Supply - 0386460

Sweat soldered:
Patriot Supply - 0386461

Pressure relief is about $25 or so... make sure you get the right 'sex'.

If he said $400-$500 ... that's not good enough. Get a FIXED price, because if you leave it at that, it's gonna be 500...

The boiler was drained
Why? to replace a relay there's no need to drain the boiler. And why drain it NOW, when it will only have to be drained (partially perhaps) later in order to replace the relief and the pressure reducing valve and gauge? WTH?
 
  #51  
Old 05-15-12, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for the links, I'm going to price it all out doing it myself an see what final price they come back at. I do currently have the backflow preventer installed so I don't have to get that, unless it's easier to just swap the combo.

Not sure on the draining the boiler question, I know he was doing it while trying to figure out the temp-pressure gauge issue. There are shut off valves to isolate the boiler from the pipes going to and from the baseboard units that he shut off then drained a bunch of water out of the boiler and said that's what he was doing. Not real clear why, the other odd thing was the guy didn't have a pressure gauge with him...that doesn't seem right.

Gotta thank you guys again for the continued help on this, even today the relay wouldn't have been fixed if it wasn't for the knowledge transferred on here. The guy was actually going to leave thinking it was fixed again until I was able to show him how I could make it fail and pointed to the relay again...and FINALLY he tested it by taking it out and checking the voltage and saw where it was sticking.
 
  #52  
Old 05-15-12, 03:32 PM
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unless it's easier to just swap the combo.
I guess it depends on how it's installed now. Don't know if your pics show it well enough for me to see and right now too lazy to go back and look. If you've got the threaded variety, and there is a 'union' that you can undo to remove the whole thing, it might be easiest just to get the whole thing as an assembled part... kinda up to you, depending on how much work you wanna do, and how it's installed.

Not sure on the draining the boiler question
Sounds like he was lowering and raising the pressure to simply test the gauge.

odd thing was the guy didn't have a pressure gauge with him
Not at all surprising to me. I know guys that service oil burners and set the flame 'by eye' and never owned a 'smoke spot' gun or wet kit (let alone an electronic model of combustion tester). For every good, well equipped tech out there, I'm willing to bet that there are 100 jacklegs. (apologies to any of the good techs, you know who you are!... no apologies to the jacklegs either, cuz you know who you are too!)

You'll probably come in at about $150 for the parts you mentioned. What you are paying for to have someone else do it is the 'contingincies' that seem to always arise.
 
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