Steam Heater Keeps Flooding

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-20-13, 05:08 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Steam Heater Keeps Flooding

I have a steam heater that I only use for hot water as the house is heated by coal. Yesterday I came home and all the downstairs radiators were leaking. Went down the basement and the indicator gauge was completely filled with water on the furnace. After taking out 10 buckets of water I was able to get the water level back to normal. Problem is that water keeps going into the furnace unless I shut off the water supply in which case we don't have hot water. So, I need to figure out why it keeps adding water when it is not needed. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Attached Images    
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-20-13, 06:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 14
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm not an expert, but it looks like the domestic hot water coil is leaking into the boiler.

Also it seems extremely inefficient to heat your water with a steam boiler.
 
  #3  
Old 12-20-13, 06:29 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 2,698
Received 11 Votes on 11 Posts
I don't see any auto feed on the boiler so you must feed it by hand when needed from the cold water inlet. With the cold water off you're boiler is flooding ?

Two things can cause this.
1) Water is leaking by the cold water shutoff.
2) As was mentioned and the most likely is your hot water coil sprung a leak. As the cold water feeds the coil it enters the boiler.

To test this shut the cold water off to the coil before you go to bed. If the water level is fine in the morning you have found the culprit.

New coil or separate hot water heater.
 
  #4  
Old 12-21-13, 06:47 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the replies. I replaced the cold water shut off valve that I use to manually fill with last night and nothing changed, so it's not that. When I turn the valve off for the water to enter the boiler, the water level still rises. The only way to maintain the water level is to turn off the water completely to the house. So, this means it is the coil right?

Would I be able to not replace the coil and use an electric water heater since that is more efficient. Would I still be able to use it for heating the house without the coil if I had the separate water heater? Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 12-21-13, 07:03 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
The only way to maintain the water level is to turn off the water completely to the house. So, this means it is the coil right?
I would say yes.

Would I be able to not replace the coil and use an electric water heater since that is more efficient.
Yes, you could do that.

Would I still be able to use it for heating the house without the coil if I had the separate water heater?
You could. Keep in mind though that you would still need a 'repair'. If the coil is leaking IN to the boiler when it is under higher pressure than the boiler, it also means that when you cut the pipes to the coil that the coil will also leak OUT of the boiler when the boiler is higher pressure than atmospheric.

Normally when abandoning thankless coils in a boiler it is recommended that the coil NOT be capped off because of speculation that pressure could build inside the coil and cause a problem... BUT ... if you are 100% certain that the coil DOES have a leak inside the boiler, then I see no reason not to cap the pipes coming out of the boiler. The pressure inside the coil will equalize and not cause a problem.
 
  #6  
Old 12-21-13, 07:36 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks. It seems they don't make a replacement coil for my burner anymore. I have an American standard oil burner #a 35 m with steam radiators. So, that leaves me with the electric water heater option.
 
  #7  
Old 12-21-13, 07:42 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
May be hard to find, but I bet you could still locate one... trick is knowing where to look!

I'll poke around some... chances are that to have that coil changed out even if one could be located, you would be looking at a bill close to what a new water heater will cost...

One problem with going electric is that you will need an electrician to run at least a 10ga 30A 240V line to the location... that gets pricey...
 
  #8  
Old 12-21-13, 07:52 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Anything here look like what you need?

Is there anything more on the boiler model that you can give?

You see what I mean about the cost of the new coil though...

American Standard - Tankless Heaters Replacement Coils
 
  #9  
Old 12-21-13, 07:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The series # is 2B J1. The plate is round with 6 bolts in it. The coils are expensive, thanks for looking.
 
  #10  
Old 12-21-13, 08:12 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Is there a 'name' on it? Arco__________ or anything like that?
 
  #11  
Old 12-21-13, 05:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
There was no other name on it that I found. I got a new water heater hooked up now. If I capped the in and out for the coil and turned off the furnace should I drain all the water out too? I'd only use the furnace if something happened to my coal stoker now.
 
  #12  
Old 12-21-13, 05:39 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I got a new water heater hooked up now
Wow, that was quick!

If I capped the in and out for the coil and turned off the furnace should I drain all the water out too?
I don't think I would drain it... I can't think of any reason to do so... but that just means I can't think of a reason.

Personally I think it would be better to keep it filled and fire it up every couple weeks to 'excercise' it. That way you can be somewhat more certain that it will actually work when you do need it.
 
  #13  
Old 12-21-13, 05:43 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
My dad does quick work haha. The only reason I was thinking to drain is since it will be stationary, it might freeze or rust the boiler quicker.
 
  #14  
Old 12-21-13, 05:48 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
it might freeze or rust the boiler quicker.
Does it get that cold near the boiler?

Rust never sleeps.
 
  #15  
Old 12-22-13, 01:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's in an unfinished basement. Not too cold but not warm either.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: