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Steam boiler loosing water ?

Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
a VXT water feed on, it has a meter. It will prove one way or the other how often water ACTUALLY needs to be added.

The problem might not be mechanical, if you get my meaning.

Mark H

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  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    Have an account Burnham Independence Gas Steam

    Boiler customer has to fill once every day or to.
    First time I worked on the boiler was this fall during a combustion check and cleaning.

    Customer stated to me then but now denies that last year she had to fill it once every three days or so. Now she states that since the cleaning she has to fill it more often.

    Two months after the cleaning they left the fill on and flooded the system. I drained the boiler, re checked all was OK.

    One month after that I got the call for having to fill more often.

    I Checked the radiator valves, repaired one and replaced one that were leaking I also changed three vents that did not appear to shut off. I over filled the boiler and checked for water in the combustion chamber (then drained to proper level). I let the boiler run for a while and watched the chimney for white smoke (steam). I used a mirror around all valves and vents to check for steam.

    She states she still needs to fill the boiler almost daily.

    The cellar is partially finished and the boiler is for the second floor apartment. I could have a buried main vent or a break in the wall. All returns are dry so I am not loosing water into the floor.

    I do not want to change the boiler since I am not convinced it is leaking although there is some corrosion around some tapping's I see no sign of sufficient water loss.

    Any Ideas

    Mitch S.

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  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    I do believe the home owner that they are

    loosing water from a point I cannot confirm so will not condemn the boiler.

    What got me was now the statement that It was not happening before the combustion check. And safety check (clean syphon loop check lwc ect).

    I solidly remember my first conversation with the H.O. stating they had to fill more than once a week. Now the problem is finding the source of the loss without rolling the dice that it is a 5K boiler replacement.

    Mitch S.

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  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 958
    weather conditions

    If your region is anything like mine, last year was very mild weather-wise. This year, winter's been much more severe in terms of low overnight temps.

    Extended operating times on a steam system can bring out the water loss problems, and if the degree days for the period in question are even 2 times last year's, I could see triple the water consumption.

    My guess is that the problem is as bad as it was before, but brought to the fore due to very low overnight temps and long run times this year compared to last.

    Now. A nice cleaning and adjustment can improve both the combustion efficiency and thermal transfer efficiency such that the boiler's actually producing its rated steam output volume. Maybe it can come up to pressure faster, increasing the water losses where ever they're occurring.

    Add the fact that it worsened when the system was flooded. I doubt the boiler's at fault based on your test, but am verrrry suspicious of anything hiding behind walls and in crawlspaces. That extra pressure (from the flooding) sitting in those returns could worsen any existing leaks.

    I guess my major point is that its least likely the boiler's at fault in light of all the variables involved. Fingering your maintenance of the boiler to provide SAFE and EFFICIENT operation above all other possibilities seems unfair.

This discussion has been closed.