BOILER RELIEF VALVE LEAKING --- Expansion Tank And Valves Replaced.

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  #41  
Old 08-12-13, 05:35 PM
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Wink

Yes, I will let you know. I called a couple of heating companies today, I spoke with a tech and explained it and asked what it would cost to come out and look. He said he would have to talk with his superior and would call me back. But, they never did call. The 2nd place said they would have the owner call me, but he never did. Maybe I'll hear from him tomorrow.
 
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  #42  
Old 08-14-13, 05:13 PM
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Things are looking a whole lot better now with both my Weil Mclain boiler and Bock heater. It took a few days to get it all sorted out but hear is what actually happened.

1. The high temp limit sensor failed to detect the cutoff temp for the boiler. That's why the morning I saw the floor water, the temp/pressure gauge was so high aprox 215 at 30+psi

2. I'm not sure why the pressure fell to "0" 3 times after filling the boiler. Unless perhaps air in the system had something to do with it. In any case it has not happened since and I believe it will stay OK.

3. The leak at the back near the pressure relief valve turned out to condensate.

4. I replaced the high limit today, including the screw in well that the secondary probe slides in. The old probe well had a layer of black soot on it I'm not sure if that's bad or good but it's academic because now when set at 180 it actually shuts down the flame at 180. Also the spread between the high & low is 30 degrees now. The old one was 40 degrees since the day the boiler was installed. I did not find that out till I read the product description on the new one.

5. The only issue now is if the pressure relief valve installed in the fall of 2012 still good. My gut feeling is that when the boiler got so hot with so much pressure it took out the relief valve. That's why it always seems damp, with a drop here and there. I'll give things a few days to settle in before taking any further action.

6. Lastly, the quick fill valve fills the boiler to the 14lb +/- pressure it is supposed to. When the boiler fires up to temp that pressure increases 19 or 20 lbs. That may be normal but it seems high to me. It might have something to do with why the relief is damp.
 

Last edited by docfletch; 08-14-13 at 06:37 PM.
  #43  
Old 08-14-13, 07:16 PM
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fill valve fills the boiler to the 14lb +/- pressure it is supposed to. When the boiler fires up to temp that pressure increases 19 or 20 lbs
Not terrible. As long as the expansion tank is properly charged, you should be OK with that.

It might have something to do with why the relief is damp.
Probably not. Give it a few days like you said. You might find that after the washer sits on it's seat for a bit it might stop leaking. It's possible that some 'crud' got between the seat and the washer also.
 
  #44  
Old 08-19-13, 10:34 AM
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Relief still leaking. The old is rated 20psi 375000Btu. The new one I will be installing is 30psi and 510000 btu. So I'm fairly sure the difference wont matter, as the the new one is added capacity as opposed to less. I ordered a new ball valve for the indirect heater supply from boiler line as it is weeping water. It is the lower one in the photos.

I am anxious to get this all put to bed. :No Beer 4U:
 
  #45  
Old 08-19-13, 04:27 PM
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Doc... good grief! would you please correct that AC switch hanging out of the box before someone gets killed? And what's with all those clip leads hanging about? Those are better in a ham radio shack than on your boiler!



You replaced the relief valve with the wrong one? the 20 PSI model? That would be a good reason for it to be weeping I think.
 
  #46  
Old 08-19-13, 07:45 PM
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Humm, yeah that line should read 30 psi for the relief on the old one from the fall of 2012. A Watts m330 M1. Sorry about the typo.

Work in progress here, the switch was put to bed days ago. No worries there.

The jumpers are temporary, 24v zone valve to the power control box They are temporary, will be removed when I mount the other 2 zone valves soon.

My made in Italy Mueller ball valve came today, but I won't get around to installing until Wednesday.
 
  #47  
Old 08-21-13, 02:04 PM
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OK, new relief, new ball valve. So, upon pressurization the gauge goes to a verified 12 lbs, even though the fill valve says a preset 14 lb fill. Once fired up and at 180F the gauge reads 18/19lbs and remains there even when the system cools down to 140F or less. No leaks though, at least not yet.

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  #48  
Old 08-21-13, 03:00 PM
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The precision of the pressure reading is limited by the 0-75 psi gauge in 5 psi increments, which we want to read down toward the low end. I don't know why all those boiler "tridicator" gauges are made with such a poor pressure span. I installed a second pressure gauge with a 0-30 psi range, 1 psi increments, and a 3" dial - now THAT'S a pressure gauge!

But, I'm thinking that you are going to be O.K.
 
  #49  
Old 08-21-13, 03:34 PM
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I think so to, thanks. The pressure actually did come down some what a bit latter after I posted. So I'm thinking I may be over thinking the matter a wee bit. After a few days I'll close off the street fill and see if it all holds.
 
  #50  
Old 08-23-13, 06:15 AM
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I closed off the street fill valve yesterday around 3pm. I checked the boiler at 10pm last night and it was OK. Relief was dry, pressure correct, no signs of water on the floor.

This morning pressure was at 0. Water was on the floor under the rear of the boiler. Not lots of water, it appeared to be just enough water to bring the pressure gauge to 0. Did not come from relief.

During the time the boiler was run with the street valve open there were no signs of leaks. I will run it now with the street valve open and watch for leaks. The only thing that comes to mind is a intermittent leak. Sediment perhaps plugging the leak.
 
  #51  
Old 08-23-13, 07:20 AM
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I use this and it works well...


Hercules 1 qt. Boiler Liquid-30115 at The Home Depot
 
  #52  
Old 08-23-13, 08:29 AM
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Does it only leak when the boiler is cool/cold?

I don't know if your W-M model is one that uses the 'elastomeric seals' instead of 'steel push nipples', but boilers with the elastomeric seals are known to be problematic when they age and what basically amounts to an O-ring between the sections dries out and deteriorates.
 
  #53  
Old 08-23-13, 01:02 PM
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I believe the seals between the boiler sections are elastomeric because at the top of one of the boiler sections I can see a whitish milky colored material which looks allot like silicon rubber sealant.

Late at night and the wee hours there is no call to fire the boiler, so it sits at about 140 eventually drifting lower to 130 or so. Some time between 10 or 11pm and 8am boiler went gradually to 0.

Currently I have raised pressure to 22psi in a effort to force the leak to show it's hand. Power is off and it is at 140F , so as it cools I will watch it. I am considering draining boiler and pumping air into the cast iron section. I'm thinking a gas would leak easier than the water. If noisy perhaps pinpoint location of leak.

In a earlier post I may have said there was no back flow prevention device. I was wrong. There is a vented cash acme in place. The vent is slightly wet and oddly enough seems to be located directly above where the leak area seems to be. I have bagged off the back flow and the relief so the only water source now is the boiler itself.

I picked up the Boiler Liquid per lawrosa's suggestion and will use it tomorrow most likely.

Temp now 4:35 pm has fallen to 100F no leaks. cash acme vent dry.

Thanks for the help.
 

Last edited by docfletch; 08-23-13 at 01:36 PM.
  #54  
Old 08-23-13, 02:04 PM
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Be Careful!

I am considering draining boiler and pumping air into the cast iron section.
Doing a hydrostatic pressure test with compressed air can be dangerous. Unlike water under pressure, which is essentially incompressible, air under pressure has a large amount of stored energy. If some connection or fitting were to let go, it could become launched as a lethal missile.

Google "leak detection dye" - you can add it to the water, circulate it, and inspect for leaks.
 
  #55  
Old 08-23-13, 02:32 PM
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Ok. I'll check that out. I would pressure test with air in stages, not to exceed 35psi. Weil Mclain says not to exceed 40psi. I would not want to go to 40 given the age of the boiler.

5:30pm no leaks.
 
  #56  
Old 08-23-13, 03:29 PM
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Weil Mclain says not to exceed 40psi
I think that would be for a hydrostatic test. I can't believe that Weil-McLain would countenance an air test.

To pressurize about 30 psi, you'd have to gag the relief valve - which is not recommended for DIYers. I certainly wouldn't do it on a bet.

I was at a plant which had a particular piping system pressurized with air, possibly for testing. A pipefitter was removing the bonnet of a valve, and it traveled into his forehead, and exited out the back of his skull. Of course, you're not going to do something like that, but it demonstrates the danger of testing with compressed air.

P.S. Out of curiosity, how are/were you planning to pressurize the system with compressed air?
 

Last edited by gilmorrie; 08-23-13 at 05:50 PM.
  #57  
Old 08-23-13, 07:17 PM
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Your right, Weil Mclain does say a hydro test. 45 psi for no more than 10 minutes. It's a bit contrived to do. See it here...

http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim.../gv2manual.pdf

An air test is easier and I actually think safer. When the boiler loses pressure again I will allow it to cool. Remove relief valve, close off all other valves. Then drain boiler and plug relief valve hole. Then from the drain valve I will pressurize to 20 25 and 30PSI, Since a gas needs a smaller opening to leak through I will certainly hear the leak if there is one. A little soap & water on the seams in the area of the escaping air should pinpoint the spot/spots. At least then I'll know what I'm up against before adding the boiler sealer.

It's 10:15pm, the boiler is sitting there fat, dumb, and happy and holding pressure just fine. So that's 7 hours without any leaks. I don't understand whats going on yet, but I'll get there.
 
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Old 08-23-13, 08:09 PM
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Turn the gas valve off and kick on the zones and circulator... You test is isolated to the boiler... You may have a leak on a line elswhere...

This morning pressure was at 0. Water was on the floor under the rear of the boiler. Not lots of water, it appeared to be just enough water to bring the pressure gauge to 0. Did not come from relief
.


Dont know how much water you saw but it will take some amount of water to lower the pressure to 0....

You need to look elswhere I think... Read below quote...



Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein
 
  #59  
Old 08-23-13, 10:48 PM
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lawrosa, Small puddle, less than 20oz for sure. 1:45am now. Holding pressure and no leaks.

Will run zones sometime latter today.
 
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Old 08-24-13, 07:13 AM
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Checked boiler this morning and it is 0 psi again. My catch bag under the back flow preventer caught about 5ozs of water. No other water was found.

I'm running the all the zones now.
 
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Old 08-24-13, 07:39 AM
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Just thinking...duh.. the zone valves will not stop water as there is the feed or return open....

You have a leak in a line somewhere....5 oz would not do squat.....

You have valves to isolate the zones ??

Take pics..
 
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Old 08-24-13, 07:41 AM
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Doc, tell us how the backflow preventer is installed, and show us some pics...

The BFP should be installed UPSTREAM of the pressure reducing valve, that is:

DOMESTIC WATER SUPPLY ---> BFP ---> PRV ---> BOILER

In order for a leaking BFP to drop boiler pressure, the position of the PRV and the BFP would have to be reversed, AND/OR the internal check valve in your PRV (if so equipped, most are) is also leaking through.

If 5 oz of water is dropping your boiler pressure to zero, your expansion tank is not properly charged.

I think it's time to step back and re-think the whole thing.

Read and follow the STEP BY STEP, TO THE LETTER instructions for charging the expansion tank here:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...sion-tank.html

If you have not done so yet, it's high time that you verify your pressure gauge is accurate, read how here:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...ure-gauge.html

You seem to be going 'round n 'round in the circle game...
 
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Old 08-24-13, 07:52 AM
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I'll get some photos now.
 
  #64  
Old 08-24-13, 08:17 AM
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2013-08-24_1103 - Docfletcher's library

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Street fill Red Handle, BUP, Quick Fill

Fill pressure was verified before new temp/pressure gauge was installed.

Expansion tank pressure was matched to quick fill valve pressure. Taping on the tank shows a clear division between water level and air space.
 
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Old 08-24-13, 08:32 AM
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Doc, I can't tell anything from those close up shots of how this is piped. I can't see where the pipes are coming from, or going to.

Is or is not the BFP upstream, on the domestic water side, of the pressure reducing valve?

Expansion tank pressure was matched to quick fill valve pressure. Taping on the tank shows a clear division between water level and air space.
Exactly how was that done? Was the boiler pressure at ZERO when the tank pressure was checked? Did you follow, STEP BY STEP, TO THE LETTER, the instructions in the link that I posted?

Please do yourself a favor and read the post that I linked to about charging the tank properly.

One can NOT accurately determine by 'tapping' on a tank whether or not the tank is properly charged.

Fill pressure was verified before new temp/pressure gauge was installed.
I have to confess that I don't have time to read back the full thread... I only scanned... so you are saying that the gauge in place now is a brand new one?

Quick Fill
What part is this that you are referring to as a 'quick fill'?
 
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Old 08-24-13, 09:03 AM
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OK, I'll square what's what now.

DOMESTIC WATER SUPPLY ---> BFP ---> PRV ---> BOILER... Is how it is.

It is hard to get a good shot of the BFP & PRV but if you please look at the photos again you will see the PRV in front of the BFP and the 1/2 pipe behind the BFP is street water into the BFP,

The photo with the red handle valve is street water to the BFP

I just drained off to 0 psi and checked the expansion tank pressure. It is at 14 lbs the same as the PRV.

The temp/pressure gauge is new and verified with a Campbell 0-30psi gauge.

To refresh: The high temp limit is new. The old one failed and temp and pressure went sky high.

I Reffered to the PRV as the quick fill.

I'll see if I can get better photos if you still need them.

I ran all the zones. No leaks. I use manual air bleeders on the baseboard heating.
 
  #67  
Old 08-24-13, 11:59 AM
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Good... that's what I wanted to know.

While it may be possible that the leaking BFP is a contributing factor to the pressure drop, for that to be so it means that your PRV either is the type that has no internal check valve (I'm not sure it's even possible to design a pressure regulator that doesn't INHERENTLY contain a check valve as part of that design), or that check valve is ALSO leaking.

It is NOT DANGEROUS to plug the atmospheric vent on the BFP for a test only. It is NOT a pressure relief valve. It is ONLY there to prevent BACKFLOW. There are MILLIONS of systems throughout the US that have NO BFP installed. The system will NOT BLOW. Since you have the feedwater valve CLOSED for the time being, you can't have backflow anyway, right?

I say go ahead and plug that vent temporarily... and watch the pressure. If the pressure stops dropping and you stop losing a few ounces of water, replace BOTH the BFP and the PRV.

Take a look at this thread, perhaps you can understand the way the BFP works.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/bo...ater-line.html

Scroll down and look at the graphics.

In order for you to lose pressure from the system via the BFP, three things have to go wrong.

1. The PRV leaking pressure backwards.

2. Check valve B in the BFP leaking.

3. Check valve C in the BFP opening or leaking.



Another possibility, and possibly a CONTRIBUTING factor to what you are seeing is that as the boiler cools, the pressure in the system is dropping BELOW the pressure that you have the expansion tank charged to. The TIRE GAUGE that you used to set the tank pressure may not be accurate either. Maybe you've really got 15 or 16 PSI in the tank?

When this happens, the diaphragm in the expansion tank 'bottoms out' and no longer provides any 'air cushion' to the system.

Remember that one can not compress water. This is important to keep in mind.

AIR CAN be compressed, so the air in the tank is acting as a 'spring' of sorts.

A closed system without an expansion tank would take VERY LITTLE water added or released in order to create a LARGE pressure change.

Once that diaphragm bottoms out, there is for all intents, NO expansion tank on the system, and NO air cushion to help regulate the pressure.

I have seen this happen myself. Confused the he77 outta me for a while, but once I reasoned it out it all became clear.

If plugging the BFP does not stop the pressure drop, what I would like you to try next is to DROP the pressure in the expansion tank to 12 or even 10 PSI as a test.

In reality, even though it is always said that the expansion tank should match the COLD fill pressure, there probably should always be just a smidgen LESS air in the system than the COLDEST fill pressure. This allows the expansion tank to always be 'on-line' even when the boiler is at it's coldest.
 

Last edited by NJT; 08-24-13 at 02:35 PM.
  #68  
Old 08-24-13, 01:36 PM
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Humm, I think I understand.

FYI The cash Acme boiler filler A89 does not contain a check valve.
 

Last edited by docfletch; 08-24-13 at 02:03 PM.
  #69  
Old 08-24-13, 02:09 PM
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find pressure has increased to 16psi
I'm with Gil that your pressure gauge can only give 'relative estimates' of the actual pressure. It simply doesn't have enough resolution.

FYI The cash Acme boiler filler A89 does not contain a check valve.
Where did you learn that? (source?)

This from the spec sheet says different?

These innovatively designed A-89 Valves feature a balanced piston
construction for closer outlet control regardless of fluctuations in inlet
pressure. A rapid fill feature incorporates a larger seat for higher capacity,
and an improved back-check device ensures greater water system
protection.
From other retail websites:

Both the A-89 and A-43CRF feature an inbuilt check valve to retard reverse flow of boiler water.
 
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Old 08-24-13, 02:27 PM
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I got here...

http://www.cashacme.com/_images/pdf_...43CRF_Spec.pdf

OK, I musta misread it, although in A89 they call it a back check device as opposed to back check valve.
 
  #71  
Old 08-24-13, 05:19 PM
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Put a plug in the BFP. Turned off the street fill valve. I guess we will find out in the morning.
 
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Old 08-24-13, 06:43 PM
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After all this, I sure hope so! At the very least, we'll have another data point!
 
  #73  
Old 08-25-13, 05:15 AM
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Well, 0 psi again this morning. Bone dry all around the boiler floor area, the stand the boiler sits on, and all the piping and joints in and above the boiler.

When I turned on the street valve this morning it took less time to fill, it was filled in two quicks blinks of the eye. I suspect plugging the BFP reduced the the amount of water lost. I assume the 5 or 6 ozs that used to leak from the BFP vent.

I have closed off one heat zone from both the supply and return sides as well as the street fill valve. As the day goes on I'll watch pressure. Later I'll reduce expansion tank pressure to 12psi.
Looking more like a zone link though.

Kudos to lawrosa for his call on a zone leak somewhere early on.
 

Last edited by docfletch; 08-25-13 at 05:57 AM.
  #74  
Old 08-25-13, 06:02 AM
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Kudos to lawrosa for his call on a zone leak somewhere early on.
I use manual air bleeders on the baseboard heating.
Cast iron???? Or bleeders on copper?
 
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Old 08-25-13, 07:21 AM
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Later I'll reduce expansion tank pressure to 12psi.
Definitely do that... I've actually seen this myself and it is possible.
 
  #76  
Old 08-25-13, 08:38 AM
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Manual bleeders on copper. You know, the copper with paper thin aluminum fins.

However, for the zone being checked now it is a large auto bleeder. Up high above boiler because that zone is below the boiler at floor grade.
 

Last edited by docfletch; 08-25-13 at 09:09 AM.
  #77  
Old 08-25-13, 09:29 AM
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2013-08-25_1225 - Docfletcher's library

2013-08-25_1228 - Docfletcher's library

Bleeder and zone lines, 3 per circ.


No change in PSI yet.
 
  #78  
Old 08-25-13, 03:41 PM
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OK doc.... I will ask again for pics from afar... The whole boiler if you can at different angles... I have not seen any of them yet...Seems the vultures are circling the carcass here..

Listen... Any of the basement zones go in the slab??? I think if you had a line leak on main floors you would have wet floors already..

Need thoses pics ...
 
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Old 08-25-13, 03:47 PM
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OK, photos coming right up. No lines in the concrete. Everything is in the walls. The good news is I'm fairly confident the zone I isolated is the leak. Boiler pressure has been constant all day. I think if I opened the ball valves controlling that zone the pressure would drop immediately.
 
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Old 08-25-13, 04:05 PM
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In your two most recent pix, 1225 and 1228, there are joints with large green patches on copper connections - that is always caused by leaks. Those particular ones probably aren't your immediate culprit, although do I see a drip in the 1225 pix? But they may be symptomatic of poorly soldered joints throughout your system?
 
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