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Boiler Request Frequent Filling

Hi everyone I had posted this on the main wall not realizing there was strictly a steam section, I'm a new homeowner and have a house that was built in

1929.  It's a craftsman style ranch with steam heat.  I have a Crown

Boiler that has a central pipe and then a gravity return.  There are 6

radiators that are all in the wall.  Every couple of days I feel that

the water level has gone from the site glass line (which is about 3/4

up) to a quarter to less than a quarter left.  I'm trying to understand

where the water is going.  I've replaced all of the radiator air vent

valves, but other than that I'm at a loss.  Can anyone help me with some

possible reasons why I would need to constantly put water in?  Also,

the house is a ranch with no pipes going underground, I can see all of

the parts of the boiler with obstruction including all pipes.
·

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 4,032Member ✭✭✭
    There aren't too many possibilities...

    But it's unlikely that it's the vents.



    How old is that boiler?  Have you checked it for leaks?  The easiest and quickest way to do that is to step outside when it is running.  You should see -- at most -- wisps of vapour from the chimney.  If you see moderate to heavy vapour -- steam -- you've found your problem (sadly).



    Another possibility for checking is to pick a warmer day -- when you won't be needing heat for a little while -- and overfill the boiler, then after a bit check inside the firebox for signs of water leaking, and check on the floor around it as well.



    If you do this, don't forget to lower the water level back to normal after the check!



    A third possibility is to check and see if there are any wet returns and, if there are, if any of them are leaking.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,614Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2014
    Steam

    First...congratulations. Steam is a wonderful system to own, and you'll be happy once the system is happy.



    Most boiler leaks are found above the water line. I have better luck with the overfilling test.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357 ext. 2
    jstar.HVAC@gmail.com
    ·
  • NewHomeOwnerNJNewHomeOwnerNJ Posts: 10Member
    Above the Water Line

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. 



    I don't quite understand the "above the waterline" leak.  Where does the water go then?  Is there something that can explain it to me more?
    ·
  • NewHomeOwnerNJNewHomeOwnerNJ Posts: 10Member
    Chimney

    I just went outside and looks at the chimeny at night.  It's difficult for me to tell what is ok and what isn't.  I definitley have steam coming out, but I would says it looks more intense then just whisps.  
    ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,614Member ✭✭✭
    Leak

    The water would turn to steam and go out through the chimney with the exhaust.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357 ext. 2
    jstar.HVAC@gmail.com
    ·
  • NewHomeOwnerNJNewHomeOwnerNJ Posts: 10Member
    Steam from Chimney

    Ok then I definitley have quite a bit of steam coming up through the chimney.  So what does that mean exactly and how do I fix it?
    ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,614Member ✭✭✭
    Leak

    There is no fix. The boiler needs to be replaced. Do you know the age of the boiler? Do you have a model and serial number?
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357 ext. 2
    jstar.HVAC@gmail.com
    ·
  • NewHomeOwnerNJNewHomeOwnerNJ Posts: 10Member
    Boiler Information

    It's a Crown Boiler.  Model JBF-SPD.  It's quite old.  Maybe like 25 years.  What happens if it doesn't get replaced?  And just to clarify.  When I say frequently, I mean like every 5 days.  
    ·
  • NewHomeOwnerNJNewHomeOwnerNJ Posts: 10Member
    Exact Information

    Crown Boiler

    Series:  12/07/95

    Boiler Model No:  JBF-42 SPD

    Serial No:  117197
    ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,614Member ✭✭✭
    Steam

    25-30 years is about what you can expect from a modern boiler. A leak-free system should use about 1 to 3 gallons of water over the course of an entire heating season if you never drained the boiler.



    If you keep the boiler, you'll be paying a lot of money to heat the sky. All of that steam going out of the chimney is steam that you've paid for. The system may also have a hard time keeping the temperature satisfied on cold days.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357 ext. 2
    jstar.HVAC@gmail.com
    ·
  • NewHomeOwnerNJNewHomeOwnerNJ Posts: 10Member
    Thanks

    Ok, thanks for the information.  I need to evaluate all my options now.  
    ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,614Member ✭✭✭
    Steam

    Where in NJ are you located? I service the whole state and would be happy to assess the system and verify the leak or non-leak.



    Feel free to message me privately.



    j.starosielec@ecuacool.com

    908-337-3133



    We just went through a name change so you'll see "ecuacool" on a few things.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357 ext. 2
    jstar.HVAC@gmail.com
    ·
  • NewHomeOwnerNJNewHomeOwnerNJ Posts: 10Member
    Will do

    I'm going to send you an email now.  I'm from Fair Lawn.
    ·
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