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boiler overfilled

This happened twice,..The first time I caught it and drained water out to the middle of the sight glass and waited,..seemed to work fine for a few weeks.Then I got a call that the radiators were filled and leaking down stairs,..



So one tech thinks its The LWCO and another thinks its the water feeder. How can you tell which is malfunctioning? The Feed is a VAC,..the one with the LED that tell you gallonage  2 years old,..theLWCO is 3 years old .

Comments

  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 45
    Oops

    OPPs,..Thats VXT auto filler
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    what type of LWCO

    just for clarity sake? is this a float type LWCO or a probe type?

    also if it is a VXT, do you know the settings that are configured on the unit? I'm not familiar myself, but I believe there may be a delay setting and/or a flowrate setting. these answers above may be useful in helping to diagnose.



    lastly when was the last time your wet returns were cleaned/replaced?

    when was the last type the probe LWCO was serviced/cleaned?

    is the float type "blown down" regularly?
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • "broken union test"

    this test will determine whether the solenoid valve is sticking open, and allowing water to continue flowing into the boiler, even when the LWCO is not  signalling a low water condition. a hot water coil can also leak, and fill up the boiler. a misadjusted auto fill can over fill, but not quite so high.

    i am surprised that, if it took a couple of weeks to over fill, that the lack of heat was not noticed by the occupants, even several days before the water was seen to be leaking.

    this sort of situation is why i view the auto fill with suspicion, and it also prevents the necessity of the owner, or his manager, physically inspecting the boiler on a regular basis!--nbc
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 45
    OK

    The LWCO  is a probe type (mcdonnell & miller)

    Not sure there is a setting for the VXT (?)

    I wasn't aware that you needed to service and clean a probe type LWCO,.

    I don't think my oil Co techs know a lot about steam which is why I'm trying to learn.

    As far as my wet returns replaced, cleaned,.to that I have to say... DUH,..another thing I have to learn.

    No it didn't slowly take weeks to over fill,..I believe it was something that happened pretty suddenly. The first time I had to work at the building and looked at it in the morning. and it was OK,..when I was going to leave, it was full and I had to drain it,..So I waited around for a few hours and it seemed to be working OK. I had it checked for the next few days and it was still OK.  So something is malfunctioning all at once.

    Doesn't  have a connected hot water coil connected.



    Uh,..not really sure how to do a "broken Union Test",..
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 45
    OK2

    I did a search on cleaning wet returns,..found how via except from Dan's book,...YIKES,..that looks like a big deal,..I suppose when it NEEDS to be done, it needs to be done...but is this done as a maintenance thing?
  • dan's book

    if you have "the lost art of steam heating", it will have details on regular maintainance tasks, and some diagnostics such as the broken union test. if you don't have a copy, get one, as you can learn how to do much yourself, and more important, know more about your system than most "plummmers"!

    flushing the returns is not difficult. as long as provision has been made in the installation to do so.--nbc
  • Boiler Overfilled

    Here's a couple of links to Hydrolevel I&O Manuals which might be of help to you.

    Hydrolevel VXT 24

    http://www.hydrolevel.com/pages/pdf_files/vxt24_opt.pdf

    Hydrolevel VXT120

    http://www.hydrolevel.com/pages/pdf_files/vxt120_opt.pdf

    This is a link to another approach on the waterfeeder safety by one of the sharpest guys in the steam business.

    http://www.gwgillplumbingandheating.com/webapp/GetPage?pid=500
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 45
    Thanks guys

    I do need to get Dan's book.



    But it still does look like a real big deal to flush out the wet returns in this unit anyway,.how do you use enough water,..doesn't look like the regular feed could do it.  Do most plumbing and heating guys still know how to do this? (doesn't seem we have any in the search feature anywhere near Hudson NY.



    That interuptor switch seems like a great idea,...is that a standard gizmo that is generally carried by a plumbing supply house?
  • Boiler Overfilled

    Here's some more links that might be of help.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/11/Hot-Tech-Tips/145/How-to-Flush-the-Return-Lines-on-an-Old-Steam-System

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/95/Problems-that-plague-ALL-steam-systems/83/The-return-lines-are-clogged

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/11/Hot-Tech-Tips/164/Flooded-Steam-System



    If you are looking for information on steam heating there are two search functions on this site which can be of help.  One is a button marked "Search the Wall" with which you can search for information from past "Wall" postings. The other is the "Site Search" window  in the Upper right hand corner of the page on the same line as the Shop Button, Find a Professional, Buttons. This search function allows you to search for information contained in what is called "Off the Wall" which has a lot of Dan's articles, and other articles, on steam heating.

    - Rod
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    A regular pressuretrol

    Since I have had calls for no heat when the regular pressuretrol was flooded I would say that would work as and interrupter when set as low as it will go. What do you guys think?

    I never thought of using an interrupter but seems like a great idea.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    remember that ....

    there are still many ways to flood a boiler which will not be helped by an interrupter...



    1) crud stuck in valve so it won't shut all the way, even when asked

    2) water leaking through manual bypass

    3) water leaking in indirect heater

    4) water leaking in tankless coil

    5?) bad solenoid not closing, even when asked



    this is why I was trying to figure out in a previous thread a more foolproof method to dealing with a flodding boiler in general .. and I had come to the idea that an F&T which was sized to handle domestic pressure & flow and which was piped to a floor drain and that was situated suitably high enough to only operate when a flood situation was encountered.



    i came to a road block when i wasn't able to obtain help in sizing such an F&T and without proper sizing estimate, I'm not sure how cost prohibitive it would be. although I'm sure there are some customers that would rather spend $1000 than have $200K+ in persian rugs damaged on 1st flr.
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    there are ways

    the use of a separate solenoid valve that would supply all water sources to the boiler and related equipment that is connected to the pressuretrol may work. like the anti flood valves they have on hot water heaters.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    yes...

    yes, i can see that now .. thanks.
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • Rick_41
    Rick_41 Member Posts: 45
    thank you again

    I have a private guy who seems to be knowledgeable in general and is not afraid to ask references of others in the field., and who is replacing the LWCO for just my piece of mind. I'm going to ask him if he can do an interruptor, seems like it should be a standard part of a  steam system  esp if you can't be there all the time. 
This discussion has been closed.