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

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Old 08-04-13, 09:14 AM
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BOILER RELIEF VALVE LEAKING --- Expansion Tank And Valves Replaced.

Early in 2012 my 19 year old Weil McLain GU 4 gas boiler began leaking from the relief valve. So in the fall of 2012 I replaced the tank, relief valve, water inlet valve and temp/pressure gauge. This kinda stopped the discharge. That is to say the relief valve outlet bottom was always wet, but did not seem to drip.

Two days ago we awoke to find water.all over the garage floor. I fired up the boiler and watched as the relief valve spewed water. The pressure gauge was up to 20lbs or so.

I replaced the expansion tank as the old one was blown out. The relief valve however is still dripping. I closed off the water inlet valve after charging the system and pressure has dropped from 12lbs to 0 in 24 hours. So I think that rules out the inlet valve. The relief valve was changed in the fall of 2012. If I change it again and I still have the problem whats left to change?
 
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Old 08-04-13, 09:19 AM
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What size expansion tank are you using?

Do you have radiators? Large piping?

What is the BTU of that boiler?

Where is the location of exp tank in relation to the pump?

Air bleeders?

Take pics... It always helps
 
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Old 08-04-13, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

Extrol #30

105000 BTU input

What do you mean large pipe?

System is 6 zones, 7 if you count the Bock side water heater.currently 4 being used. All zone valves were replaced in the fall of 2012.

Standard slant fin type HW baseboards.

Photos coming.

Boiler circulator is directly below air bleeder in the photo.
 

Last edited by docfletch; 08-04-13 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 08-04-13, 11:22 AM
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Here are photos
 
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Old 08-04-13, 01:49 PM
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Can you expand on the 2nd pic? Take an overall pic...

What is the max temp the boiler reaches???

You should read the sticky at the top of this forum on how to verify your boiler gauge...
 
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Old 08-04-13, 03:05 PM
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You mentioned that the Bock HW heater is on a zone which leads me to conclude you have an "indirect" style tank.

If the hot water coil inside the Bock indirect tank has sprung a leak, that will cause the entire system pressure to rise.
 
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Old 08-04-13, 03:37 PM
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Did you check the air charge in the replacement tank BEFORE you pressurized the system? If the boiler gauge indicates 20 psi and the relief valve (with a 30 psi setpoint) is dripping, then either the gauge or the relief valve is out of whack. There is a sticky on this forum telling you how to check the boiler gauge. Depressurize the system to zero psi, and check the air pressure in the expansion tank - pump it up to 12 psi.

Respond to lawrosa's questions. What was the size of the original expansion tank and the replacement?
 
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Old 08-04-13, 05:23 PM
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A previous post contains an typo error on my part. The pressure/temp gauge was at 30lb or so when the water was spewing out of the relief valve. Then a new expansion tank was installed. Thus the drip has slowed to almost no drip

When the boiler fires up the temp goes close to 185F then cuts off. The last several times since the extrol model #30 was changed the pressure gauge has been dropping to 0lb over night but once the boiler fires it gets up to about 8 or 9lbs as the temp rises towards the 180/185 mark. (See photo) then you get a little more of a drip from the relief. As of today that seems to be about one or two drops per minute.

All tanks were model #30 extrol

More photos coming. I'm having a little problem getting them up
 
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Old 08-04-13, 05:37 PM
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Old 08-05-13, 07:30 AM
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Today I notice the air bleeder over the boiler is wet under the cap.

Rockledge commented on the Bock maybe having a pinhole in the coil. The Bock is as old as the boiler so I'll keep that in mind. I would never have thought of a pinhole.

I did notice the check valve on top of the Bock rattles when the boiler is sending water through it.

Thanks for all your help.
 
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Old 08-06-13, 01:46 PM
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Were you guys able to see the 2nd set of photos through the links I posted?
 
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Old 08-06-13, 03:33 PM
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There are several ways to check for a leaking coil inside you indirect heater. Here is one: Valve out the supply and return between the boiler and the indirect, using the ball valves with lever operators. Loosen one of the unions, and if you get continual leakage after the initial rush of water, then there must be a leak.

If there is a leak, it would be cheaper and probably better to abandon the indirect and install a 40-gal gas-fired water heater. Others may disagree.

The check valve that is chattering is a lift-check valve, a.k.a. flo-control valve to prevent gravity flow when the pump isn't running. It is probably caused by too little flow through the pump to keep the valve open.
 
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Old 08-06-13, 04:45 PM
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Thanks, I will do the check.

The check valve is a Watts. Which way will turning the screw on top cause the valve to open to stop the rattle? It has always rattled. If I screw down almost all the way the rattle stops but I don't know if I have flow then.
 
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Old 08-06-13, 05:08 PM
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Screw CW to close.... All the way...

http://media.wattswater.com/1910220.pdf
 
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Old 08-06-13, 05:17 PM
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Turning the operator fully CCW is the normal position. Turning it fully CW jacks the valve open - which stops chatter, allows both gravity flow and pumped flow, and negates the purpose of the flo-control valve, and may result in the indirect's water being heated to an excessive temperature. Return the operator to the normal position. If you want to eliminate the chatter, you will need to use a higher-volume pump or a smaller flo-control valve. Otherwise, if you can live with the noise - there is no physical harm being done.
 
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Old 08-06-13, 05:47 PM
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Gilmore... The instructions say the opposite... Am I mis reading? The knob turned CW closes the check... Thats what you want.. Open CCW is for purging and such...

To
change to an open position, turn the
adjustment knob counterclockwise
 
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Old 08-06-13, 08:20 PM
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lawrosa, I believe you are correct, and I was wrong. Fully CW would be the normal position.

For my B&G flo-control valves, I'm pretty sure the opposite is true.

NO, I just checked - for my B&G valves, fully CW is normal. Live and learn.
 
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Old 08-06-13, 09:11 PM
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Ok, I closed check valve CW till it was pretty tight.

At risk of being repetitive... Thanks again.
 
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Old 08-07-13, 09:32 AM
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I closed check valve CW till it was pretty tight.
That lift-check valve can't be manually closed. It can only be manually jacked open, in which case it won't function as intended. Which way did you turn the operator?
 
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Old 08-07-13, 12:53 PM
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I screwed the operator in clockwise. I broke the cap of the operator off, but the base is there and not leaking. I think I'll leave that alone until I cab see about getting another operator.

In the operators current position it seems the bock does not call for boiler fire up as quickly as it did before.

The check valve still rattles but it is more muffled and not as noisy.
 
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Old 08-08-13, 09:51 AM
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Smile

Gilmorrie, I am most curious. Why do you feel it might be better to replace the indirect with gas fired heater? I understand it might be less expensive, but I would need to run intake & exhaust venting through the wall and gas line to the burner. I'm not opposed to doing so but I would like to know about the benifit of doing so.

I am in the process of doing the coil leak test now. Time will tell.
 
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Old 08-08-13, 01:27 PM
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Unlike in the Northeast, in traditional gas country like the Midwest, using a gas-fired boiler for domestic water heating is essentially unheard of. I think such water heaters became popular in oil-firing regions because it was considered impractical to have a separate oil-fired water heater. Here in the Midwest, for the most part, oil has never been used for residential heating - people converted directly from coal to natural gas or to propane many, many decades ago.

When your boiler supplies your hot water, the boiler has to run during the summer. And, when the boiler is down for maintenance, there is no hot water. There are millions of conventional, non-condensing gas-fired water heaters (including my 60-year-old system) that are exhausted into the same flue as the boiler. If your boiler has sufficient air intake, putting a gas water heater in the same room should be fine. Piping up gas to a water heater should be within the capability of many if not most DIYers. Ditto with installing a new gas water heater - but getting your old heater out of the basement would likely be two-man job, particularly if it is limed up.

Unlike your boiler, a gas-fired water heater requires no electric power to operate. So, during a power outage, I still have hot water plus our fireplaces.

Many people in the Northeast have become indoctrinated to using their boiler for water heating and find what I am saying hard to believe. What do they do for hot water heating when a new house is installed with a gas-fired, forced-air furnace?
 
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Old 08-08-13, 02:35 PM
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What is the make and model of boiler again? BTU?

IMO the super stors are better... Weils I would not and do not install... I would absolutly not install a boiler mate either...

Just my opinion though

There are two SS... One is more or less disposable and run around $800 or so... I like them... The contenders...

Additionally you probably only need a 35 gallon... Not sure how big yours is now... People always over size these for some reason... recovery is so fast bigger is not needed.

In some applications I believe you can get 3 GPM continuous from what I have seen.

Commercial and Residential Water Heaters, Boilers, Solar Water Heaters - HTP


But let the others chime in...
 
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Old 08-08-13, 02:41 PM
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This is a rather small house, 1650 sq ft. Natural Gas. Yeah I know I went a little crazy on the number of zones, but I wanted two of the bedrooms and both baths to have their own heat. Then their was the garage and living room, and family room area's.

I converted from gas hot air to gas hot water baseboard. Reclaimed the space where the furnace and water heater was. The boiler and Bock were installed in the garage. The only time the boiler was down for maintenance for any length of time was when I changed the leaky/failing zone valves and installed ball valves. During that time (most of the day for me) we had the hot water stored in the tank. Plus the stove if needed to heat more. The indirect seemed a natural solution since I now needed to direct power vent.
 
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Old 08-08-13, 02:50 PM
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Weil Mc-lain boiler, cast iron, 105000 btu in . It's been great so far.

Bock indirect 30 gal and it supplies plenty of hot water.

You have given me food for thought, the less expensive $800 are in option. I like disposable
 
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Old 08-08-13, 02:59 PM
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specs... 8 gpm recommended ( Dont know what pump you have...)

... 53 k btu min... So you will have oodles of HW IMO...

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Shop around.... I see $660 here but this for example only...Your area my vary.

These have 7 yr limited warranty and are more or less life like a water heater... 10 yrs plus... Again just my opinion....

My thoughts are why pay double for like a weils... Youll be ahead of the game IMO...

Superstor Contender, SSC-35, Glass Lined Indirect Water Heater



Oh spec sheet/install...

http://www.htproducts.com/literature/lp-65.pdf
 
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Old 08-08-13, 03:22 PM
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The SS has the boiler piping on it's side. I'll have to re-plumb for it and find a way to support the pump. At least I'm thinking the pump will need support.
 
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Old 08-08-13, 03:58 PM
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Threaded rod plate to the floor, piece of threaded rod, and threaded rod pipe clamp... ..


Preffered one on each side of the pump..



 
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Old 08-08-13, 04:06 PM
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Yes sir ! That will for sure do it.
 
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Old 08-09-13, 12:57 PM
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Verified boiler pressure today. Pressure/temp gauge no good. No surprise there though. New gauge installed reads 14lbs just as should. I think it might be a good idea to add to 2 lbs of air to the expansion tank so it will match the system fill pressure.

I'm 2nd guessing myself on the pinhole theory, so I've turned off the water supply to the boiler. If the pressure builds up I will be more sure of a pinhole. If everything stays nominal, then all well and good. Mr bock can stay in my system for another 19 years or so.

So then, one thing remains... Thanks for the help guys.
 
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Old 08-09-13, 04:53 PM
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I think it might be a good idea to add to 2 lbs of air to the expansion tank so it will match the system fill pressure.
You will need to depressurize the boiler first (unless you have a special fitting ahead of the expansion tank that allows depressurizing the water side of the tank without depressurizing the boiler). Otherwise, if you add 2 psi to the tank, you will have a total pressure of 14 + 2 = 16 psi in the system and an unknown air volume in the expansion tank. The air pressure in the tank will always be the same as the boiler/system pressure, even if the air is 90% depleted.
 
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Old 08-09-13, 08:34 PM
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DISASTER! Since the time I put the new pressure/temp [gauge] in. From 4PM to 8:30PM pressure has fallen to 0 on the gauge. It did not come out of the relief valve. It is slowly dripping from somewhere towards the back of the boiler. So, I believe it is some sort of crack in the boiler. Don't know if it will be repairable or if it's worth fixing.

Gillmorie, the last post I made, the one where you quoted what I said about adding air to tank is gone. Do you have any idea whats up with that?
 

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Old 08-09-13, 08:48 PM
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Something going on...I undeleted...
 
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Old 08-09-13, 09:48 PM
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Well I crawled around an under it but cant tell where the leak is coming from, except to say the drip is where the side cover screws on in the back towards the relief valve pipe location. All fittings are dry to include the boiler circulator and relief valve & pipe.

Does not look good.
 
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Old 08-11-13, 11:12 PM
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Where I said "put new pressure temp valve in" on 08/09 10:34PM that should read put new pressure temp gauge in.

As long as main water supply is left open, boiler operates normally, no leaks.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 08:11 AM
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Gillmorie, the last post I made, the one where you quoted what I said about adding air to tank is gone. Do you have any idea whats up with that?
I believe you are referring to Post #30 - it still shows up in my view of the thread.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 10:50 AM
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Yeah, Lawrosa brought it back.

The boiler is working OK now. Not losing pressure. Not gaining either. So I don't know if it will stay OK or not. I'll just give a little time. Strange though cause it dropped pressure to 0 three times.
I'll let you guys know if I have further issues.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 04:42 PM
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As long as main water supply is left open, boiler operates normally, no leaks.
The boiler is working OK now. Not losing pressure. Not gaining either. Strange though cause it dropped pressure to 0 three times.
You should not have to leave the valve open from the water supply for pressure to remain stable. The fact that you do may indicate that there is a leak somewhere, but it is being made up through the automatic fill valve.

Try again shutting the valve between the boiler and city water. If the system promptly loses pressure, a leak is the only reason I can think of.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 05:58 PM
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Right. Last night boiler was turned off with the supply valve closed. This morning when I looked the pressure was ok at 12/14. No water in bucket. Today I kept the boiler on with supply valve closed. Pressure has remained normal all day. Checking the bucket at various times during the day revealed literally a drop here and a drop there. Total 3 drops, but not from pressure relief valve. So I believe the leak is still there, only somewhat dormant at the moment.

I also believe I have found the smoking gun which precipitated this whole mess.
The high limit temperature is not working correctly. It varies but suffice it to say the temp goes up to 190 before the boiler turns off, even though I have set it at various lower temperatures. I now believe this device did not shut the boiler down, thus sending temp and pressure way high. At least that's my theory for now.

Hercules makes a pretty good boiler sealer/stop leak product and I think that's what I,m gonna try. The high limit control is made by Honeywell so hopefully they still make it.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 06:20 PM
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Hercules makes a pretty good boiler sealer/stop leak product and I think that's what I,m gonna try.
Let us know how it turns out. Such potions have been around for many decades.
 
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