Need help please!! Boiler


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Old 01-06-14, 12:44 PM
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Need help please!! Boiler

I'll start off by saying I'm a noob when it comes to boilers. Its taken awhile just to figure out some things but would like some help.

I have a 1983 Boilersmith boiler, heats 2 floors of radiators. Some rads need daily bleeding of air, all was good till this week.

A pipe burst that carried water in that system, now air is in there and can't bleed some rads, they suck air into themselves when bleeder opened. Tried with system on and off no difference.

This is what I know they sucked air in before the pipe burst but was only 2-3 that did that on 2nd floor, now all are doing it.

PSI when running says 2-5 PSI? than when off at zero.

Im trying to figure how it works so heres what I came up with and need help

Water comes in main supply line from town, reaches my Regulator than continues to flow to and expansion tank and the boiler itself. Image 1 is water going into regulator, image 2 is where it runs from reg to expansion tank and continues to image 3 where it enters boiler. 4 is the tridicator gauge 5 is the Pressure relief i believe, 6 is a water gauge of some sort.

Why are the rads sucking air in? low pressure not enough water? How do I raise pressure and water level if there no manual valve i can see. ANy info or help would be appreciated before I spend the money and call someone in. Thanks
 
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Old 01-06-14, 01:07 PM
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Your rads are sucking air in because there is not enough pressure in your boiler. Is the water supply to your auto fill valve on? Make sure there are no shut off's before it that are closed. The regulator should be preset to keep ~12-15 PSI in the system. You can manually add water by lifting the level on top of the valve. Fill the boiler to about 15 PSI and bleed again. You must maintain the pressure while you bleed or you'll suck air back into the system.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 02:20 PM
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Thanks for reply, The pic of the pressure gauge was when boiler wasn't running, when running it may reach 4 PSI. All shut off's from main line to reg and beyond to boiler are open. By manually filling your saying on the top of the regulator valve in pic 1 should be opened up? In that pic where there are two valves there, do you know which one that needs to be lifted the left or right one? I really hesitate doing anything just trying to get and understanding of how it works etc.

Had all valves replaced 2 years ago so I don't know why it doesn't fill or I don't understand how it works. I know water comes in main line to that regulator that lowers the PSI before entering boiler, but does the boiler fill up when it's low on water by itself because of the regulator or if it becomes low you have to do it manually? SHould it not maintain the levels itself? There is a low water regulator on the side of the boiler as well I didn't get a pic, wondering what that does as well. Lots of info out there but alot of systems different so I though I would post the pics showing what I have Again thanks for the help.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 02:37 PM
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it is a hot water boiler with a circulator? or straight out steam boiler?if it is a hot water heating the rads bleed each radiator with the system OFF...let the water feed push the air out start on the first floor then do the second floor.question... that guage pix shows pressure but no temp? seem to be hi you should have a 12PSI tag on that water feed from the cold water into the house.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 02:39 PM
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CJ, pics are too small and some of them too dark to see much.

IF THE BOILER IS HOT, DO NOT! ADD COLD WATER! SHUT BOILER OFF AND ALLOW TO COOL TO 100F (37C) BEFORE ADDING WATER!

By manually filling your saying on the top of the regulator valve in pic 1 should be opened up? In that pic where there are two valves there, do you know which one that needs to be lifted the left or right one? I really hesitate doing anything just trying to get and understanding of how it works etc.
On top of the valve on the right in the picture is a LEVER. If you lift that lever the pressure regulation feature of that valve will be bypassed and water should flow into the boiler. You should hear the water flow.

Raise this lever and try to get at least 12 PSI into boiler.

Check again that there are not closed valves on the pipe with the regulator on it between the domestic water and the boiler.

Had all valves replaced 2 years ago so I don't know why it doesn't fill
A 2 year old valve should not have failed, unless perhaps when they installed the valve they did not properly flush the water line and 'crud' got into it.

does the boiler fill up when it's low on water by itself because of the regulator
If there are any valves to the right or left of the pressure valve, water should automatically feed into the system when it drops below the setting of the regulator.

There is a low water regulator on the side of the boiler as well
You may be describing a LOW WATER CUTOFF which will not allow the boiler to operate if there is not enough water in the system. Take a picture... do not make the picture smaller as you have done with the others.
 

Last edited by NJT; 01-07-14 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 01-06-14, 02:43 PM
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Sminker, the LOWER scale is the temperature, and the UPPER is the pressure.

It is showing 0 PSI and around 180F

let the water feed push the air out
How can he do that if he can't feed any water into the system?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 08:51 AM
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Again I appreciate the help and answering the many questions I have.

I'll take some more pics of the valves and low water shut valve.

It is a hot water system not a steam system.

Verified all valves to Pressure regulator or reducing valve are open, from that valve to the boiler entrance all are open as well.

Tried bleeding with system off yesterday when I opened the bleed vlave on the rad it proceeded to draw or suck air in rather than the usual his sputter than water. The guage shows the temp at around 190 with the PSI at 0 not running.

NJ trooper, I have not yet fed any water into the boiler yet, thanks for the caution. Still probably going to call someone over to inspect everything again but after the last bill from 2 years ago has me trying to understand a little better how these systems work.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 08:54 AM
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There is absolutely no point in trying to bleed anything if there is no pressure in the boiler.

Have you tried to do what I said in post # 5 ?
 
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Old 01-07-14, 08:56 AM
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I will take and post some more pics, all valves are still open.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 09:17 AM
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Like trooper has been saying, bleeding wont do anything until you can actually pressurize your boiler. More pictures wont help us come to this conclusion any faster. You may have a clogged backflow or feeder if its not feeding. Did you get the pipe that burst repaired. All this pressure talk is a mute point if that isn't even fixed yet.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 09:25 AM
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The pipe burst was repaired.

I haven't tried bleeding the rads since yesterdays initial bleeding when I discovered they sucked in rather than blew out.

That is when I started to look for possible problems and discovered the pressure gauge reading zero.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 09:38 AM
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Very good. Now you have to get water into your system. You need to get up around 20 PSI when bleeding. I believe there is a sticky with this info.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 09:58 AM
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I apologize for the quality and size of pics, taken with iphone only camera I have now. This is the low water control that I spoke of and was unsure what it did.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 10:02 AM
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This is where I'm a little confused, should it not maintain the water level itself? In 12 years never had to fill it but with the water it lost with pipe burst do I need to? If the all the valves are functioning if water goes low the PRV opened to allow water to fill boiler?

I will look at the stickies lol been busy reading alot and confusing myself. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 10:10 AM
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The feeder SHOULD feed by itself but not because of the low water cutoff, just because its set to keep a certain pressure on the system. The low water cutoff is only a safety to not allow the boiler to fire under extremely low water conditions. All this basically does is not allow the boiler to dry fire, it doesn't care whether you have enough water to heat your home, only cares about protecting your boiler. You may have a blockage in your line. It probably hasn't been used in decades.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 01:05 PM
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Question

When you shut down the system to repair the leak something either didn't get turned on or you have a blockage between the main house shut off and the feed valve or a stuck or broken valve.
Check every valve before your feed valve. If you can't locate a problem there then your feed valve might be defective again.
The feed valve is self feeding and factory set @ about 12psi. Low pressure means for some reason it stopped working.

As RD said, the first thing is to get water into a cool boiler. Until that time there's no sense even running it.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 03:14 PM
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CJ, as the others have said, until you can get the pressure up in the boiler, you can't do anything else.

Whether or not the valve is only 2 years old, if you are CERTAIN that there are no other valves on the pipe from the domestic water to the boiler... you have followed the pipe carefully the entire length and see no other valve... and the ones that ARE found are all OPEN, if you are not getting water into the boiler then the pressure valve is NOT WORKING.

Go to the pressure valve.

Find the lever on top.

Gently lift that lever a little bit and LISTEN for the sound of water entering a COOL boiler.

Release the lever and be certain that it STOPS filling.

Once you have determined that you can fill the boiler and that when you release the lever the filling stops, it is now time to put the pressure into the boiler.

Lift the lever on top of the pressure valve and watch (or have a helper watch) the pressure gauge on the boiler.

When the pressure reaches 12 PSI release the lever.

Watch the pressure after you release the lever to make sure that it stays there and does not continue to increase.

When you have done this, let us know.
 
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Old 01-07-14, 06:29 PM
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I wouldn't doubt the backflow being plugged up either. This could require a pro.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 07:18 AM
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Sorry about the late reply, father came over and he lifted the fast fill lever on the watts 1450F dual control and it raised pressure to 10 Psi cold. I started the boiler and was able to bleed air from rads. Now the pressure raises to 30 -34 and Pressure relief weeps water.

Is there a way to adjust that watts reg ,it has the fast fill lever, my father said oh i's loose so he tightened it which I think increased the PSI to it.

I shut off boiler and left it overnight with feed valve closed to boiler and the pressure still climbed. I released more pressure and turned it on and it still climbs to over 30 PSi. Could the tank be waterlogged it's cold to the touch after boiler runs? If I turn off water feed, drop pressure to 10 psi and leave valve off can I run the boiler? Thanks again for the help, starting to get an understanding for these things.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 07:34 AM
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Close the manual valve before the feed valve and drain the water to 15 psi and you can run the boiler.
If the pressure still rises to 30 your ex tank may need attention.
I know this is abbreviated but trooper and I seem to be posting at the same time.
I'm sure he'll be along.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 07:42 AM
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Forgot to mention if you look at pic to that is my expansion tank and the cold water feed from town supply to watts 1450 F dual control reg, it flows from there to expansion tank than to another shut for boiler? If I drain tank with feed off will it not fill up again when feeds is turned back on? To me it looks like it has a constant supply of water from feed and would always fill. There are two tanks of my system the one in the pic and another where the feed line tees off the top of boiler going into the boiler itself and other tank. I'm sorry if I confusing you as I am myself.
 
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Old 01-26-14, 07:52 AM
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Pic 3 is where water 3 feeds into boiler from pic 2. As I mentioned it tees off the boiler entrance over to this tank
 
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Old 01-26-14, 11:47 AM
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It is confusing. If you shut the valve off before the feeder that will stop water from feeding until the feed valve problem is solved.
You should have another shutoff between the boiler and the tank. That stays open unless you're draining the tank.
The ex tank will always have water in it. Its job is to accept the heated water when it expands, just as a car has a. overflow tank.
When you get the feed valve working right you can open all valves. Water will go into tank but only according to the set pressure of the feed valve.

If your father turned a threaded stem that he thought was loose have him turn it back a little and listen for the water to stop. That threaded stem is your adjustment to raise the pressure.
Clockwise= more pressure
Counterclockwise= less pressure.
 
 

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