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Water Leaving the boilers

We just recently took over a 12 story condo with 4 - 1.6M Triad steam boilers this will be their 3rd heating season. The installing contractor bailed out after warranty period and the last contractor priced his contract to get out. Both faced the same intermittent problem huge amounts of water leaving the boilers and flooding only certain branch mains(the last one off the main supply) we have spent the last 2 days cleaning w/mex and slow skimming as in the old systems handbook. I re-fired a couple hours ago and water lines are still unstable with water coming into the top of the glass. Its minimal in low fire but gets out of control in high fire flooding traps and then the mains. The system worked fine the last 90 days of winter and boilers were put up dry. A dimension is 24-26" only when water line is stable, pipe sizing near boiler piping is as per Triad spec.

Any Thoughts??


  • mysterious flooding

    have the boilers been sized to the radiation?

    will each boiler, when fired separately have an unstable waterline? can you examine the skim port water for the presence of oil [using brown paper bags which show an oil-stain] -are they all the same? is there some sort of auto-fill system which is accidentally fouling the condensate [leaking pump motor bearings]?

    what is the pressure, measured with a good low-pressure gauge [gaugestore.com 0-2 psi, mounted on the main if possible] ? i notice in the triad specs, that it may be higher than 2-4 psi, which is way off the ideal ounces of pressure for steam heating systems.

    any returns with horizontals in the waterline height, off the floor can "hide" large quantities of water as pressure raises the waterline in the returns to that height [wish i could explain that better!!]

    have you tried the triad web site, or phone  tech support?

    pictures of the supply, and return piping around the boilers may jog someones memory here about a similar problem in another setup.

    wish you luck, sounds intriguing!--nbc
  • another thought

    try clocking the meter as the boilers are running, so you can see if the gas regulator has a problem, thus overfiring the boilers. we had a problem like that once, i seem to remember. since you mention that it is only on hi-fire, the waterline gets out of control.--nbc
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