Should valve to auto water feed be open or closed?

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Old 01-11-15, 01:17 AM
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Should valve to auto water feed be open or closed?

Quick question..... I was wondering if once the pipes are all filled to correct pressure on a baseboard hydronic system should the city water inlet valve before the auto water feed/pressure regulator be manually open or closed ? Just wondering if it is safer to close it should disaster hit and a pipe bursts or something springs a leak.
 
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Old 01-11-15, 08:19 AM
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This is one of those never ending debates ZO... there are logical arguments for both sides.

At least one manufacturer (Bell & Gossett) that says in the install instructions for the FB-38 fill valve to bring the system to pressure and then close the manual valve.

Here's the gist of the arguments on both sides:

If you close the manual fill and a leak develops, you are at risk of eventually firing the boiler dry. As you can imagine, this could be disastrous.

If you leave the manual fill open, it could mask a slow leak that might go unnoticed for weeks... years... decades even. The resulting property damage could be (very) costly.

My opinion is to have a LWCO (Low Water Cut Off) on the boiler, and run with the manual fill CLOSED.

Along with this goes DUE DILIGENCE in keeping an eye on the boiler operation... particularly the pressure. Make it part of a routine... weekly is probably best... to look everything over. Probably would take about a half a minute to do so.
 
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Old 01-11-15, 09:50 AM
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Is it possible to retrofit low-water cutoff valves to an old boiler? Do they sense low water level or low pressure? Thanks.
 
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Old 01-11-15, 09:59 AM
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Is it possible to retrofit low-water cutoff valves to an old boiler? Do they sense low water level or low pressure?
Yes, it is.

They sense water level. Sensing pressure is not always reliable in determining low level. In some cases it's possible to have pressure in system but low water...

It's not a bad idea to have a cutoff on low pressure but it's VERY rarely done...
 
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