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Steam System Heats Intermittently

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The sight glass is completely full. How do I drain it down to get the level where it should be ? I can open a valve at the bottom and back of the tank and drain it into a large 3 gallon pan we have, if this could be the proper way to bring the level down. It's odd that the system had been working fine for about a month now with that sight glass water level filled all the way up. I guess maybe the tank wasn't completely full enough to cause the intermittent heat up problem that is occurring now. Thanks, Jim C.

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  • James E. Cassady_2
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    House Single Zone Steam Heating System Turns On Intermittently

    Hello. I have a single zone, gas fed, hot water boiler, steam heating system for my home. Recently, the boiler has not been heating up when the control system tells the flame to fire up. I have the "flame on" temp. set at 72 degrees and the house is currently at 65 degrees with no "flame on" at the present time. It has occasionally turned on, like once or twice a day. I replaced the thermostat control system we had ( a Hunter unit ) with a new one ( a Honeywell unit ) to see if this would fix it. The boiler immediately fired up, but only stayed lit for about 15 minutes, the thermostat read 69 degrees, then the boiler flame shut off before the thermostat reached it's set temp. of 72 degrees. I know now it's not the thermostat control system since we put a new one in and still have the same problem. Our boiler tank is full of water and always has been. We have a good pilot light flame that's never been out and a good gas supply that is ready to be used. When the system has heated up, the pipes seem to be on the quite side with hardly any heat or water expansion noises, just the whoose of the air escaping from the pressure relief valves. So, the pipes aren't clogged with excess water. The boiler tank water is pretty clear with not much particulates seen from the drain tube. I am stumped as to why the system is not heating up when the house temp. reads 7 degrees below the setpoint temp. for the boiler to "flame on". Please advise soon, since the temp. tonight is supposed to drop into the 20's and my wife and i don't want to freeze to death. Sincerely, James E. Cassady.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,752
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    Steam boiler

    You say the boiler is full, is the sight glass appx 1/2 full or full?? This is important as if full you will not get any heat. Just for starters. Tim
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,752
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    I replied to your e mail

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