Watts B1156F pressure regulator issues

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Old 11-28-12, 06:33 PM
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Watts B1156F pressure regulator issues

I have a Baxi Luna HT380 condensing boiler fed by a Watts B1156F pressure regulator. This morning I woke up to a cold house. I went to the boiler and found it flashing a low pressure code. Looking at the pressure gauge I found it reading zero. My first thought was the house pressure was the issue but checking a faucet all was well. I am on a 100' well running 40 - 60 PSI house pressure.

I flipped the lever on top to get the pressure back to the set 15PSI. This evening the pressure is still looking good. I was having regulator issues about 1-1/2 years ago so I replaced the B1156F so it's about 1-1/2 years old.

I just can't understand how the pressure could drop to zero. I do have a high Manganese level in the water. I run the water thru a strainer, a calcite tank and then a Whirlpool whole house filter set to back-flush every 3 - 4 days.

Talking to other people I'm told that these regulators usually end up failing by over pressuring the system resulting in dribbling pressure relief valve.

I do have a Watts 1/2" 9D-M3 Backflow preventer ahead of the B1156F but it to was replaced last time I swapped out the pressure regulator just as a precaution.

I also installed an additional expansion tank last year because of some pressure fluctuations. I have had stable boiler pressure after I installed the additional tank.

Ideas, suggestions?

Robert
Concord, NH
 
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Old 11-28-12, 06:58 PM
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Pressure regs fail both ways, but I have seen them fail to not filling the system.
one thing that seems to affect the life of a reg is what is placed between the BF device and the FPR. I have seen many times the FPR fail when there is a steel nipple between the two, if there is brass or copper the life seems to be better.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 05:26 AM
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Thanks for the reply TOHeating.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 07:34 AM
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I think these things come with a cast or bronze body.

Our originally supplied bronze body was good for many years. When it leaked, I replaced it with what I thought was the same thing from a big box store. It had a cast body and was full of rusty crud in less than two years and deemed unreliable.

I then used the originally supplied bronze body as the next replacement have been trouble free. Just FTI when choosing.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 09:26 AM
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The Watts 9D and the B1156F have integral strainers. Make sure they are not clogged.
 
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Old 11-30-12, 05:01 PM
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TBurr, thanks for that information. Looks like my new 1156F is iron AND bronze and the B1156F is bronze according to the PDF's on the Watts website.

Talking to others, some hard water can eat brass so cast is preferred. I'll have to dig up my paperwork on the water test that I had done on the well water prior to the purchase of this home.

I "might" want to install a water softener. Not sure what effects a water softener has on a well. Looks like I'll have a boatload of research to do here in the next couple of days.

I tore down the original B1156F down to the seat & disk assembly and have it soaking in a solution of water & CLR. Also wanted to thank gilmorrie about the Strainer, I knew the pressure regulator had a strainer but did not think about the 9D. I'll check it's PDF's on the Watts website.

I'll keep you all posted on my findings. Something so simple as a pressure regulator and back flow valve can end up getting complex.
 
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Old 11-30-12, 06:28 PM
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I knew the pressure regulator had a strainer but did not think about the 9D.
The 9D backflow preventer is upstream of the the pressure regulating valve - so the 9D's strainer would likely plug first. Check it.
 
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Old 12-01-12, 06:15 AM
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Yes, I will indeed check the strainer. Thinking about finding the pressure down to zero I'll have to check the complete system for a leak. 2nd floor registers are alongside the outside wall with supply lines running up through BOTH 1st & 2nd floor bathrooms. Plumbing is exposed. The house originally had electric baseboard heaters but was converted to hydronic when the electric rates went thru the ceiling.
Most if not all valves & such are located above the drop ceiling in the basement. I figure if I did have a leak I would have seen staining on the drop ceiling panels.
 
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Old 12-01-12, 06:20 AM
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If you're cleaning the strainer on the backflow device, you may find it disintegrates and may be hard to find a replacement part (strainer only) locally.

I bought online, and a new spare to have onhand for next time. It's easy to service.

Just a caveat for one DIY'er to another.

Mine hadn't been cleaned for at least 12 years - I didn't even know it had one!
 
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Old 12-02-12, 05:54 AM
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I swapped out my B1156f with a 1156F. Strainer in the D9 backflow device was clean. I believe the pressure regulator fails due to buildup of elements in the water. Im going to test my water to see what's showing up.
 
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