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How to deal with this dripping from the gas steam boiler?

Leung Member Posts: 3
My house has a gas steam heating system.  There is water dripping from the fitting with the blue tap on the side.  This dripping usually is very slow.  Recently, the dripping is much faster and I noticed that there is a lot of deposits around that fitting.  I tried to turn and tighten the tap to slow the dripping but failed.

Can any professional tell me what is this dripping mean?  Is it normal?  What is the deposits around it?  What should I do to deal with it?



  • dripping boiler drain valve

    the deposits on the valve are calcium, left behind as the water drops evaporate.

    that boiler/wet return drain valve will have to be replaced. don't force it closed any more. i would wait until the end of heating season, unless the leaking increases to the point of dropping the waterline in the glass so much as to trip the low-water cut-off. put a full-port ball valve in its place. as the boiler will have to be drained for this, the new water added should be boiled briefly to remove oxygen.--nbc
  • jim s_2
    jim s_2 Member Posts: 112
    boiler drain cap

    That should take care of it.

    Looks like your boiler has other piping issues as well.
  • Leung
    Leung Member Posts: 3
    boiler drain cap

    Tks very much for your opinion on my dripping problem!

    What is a boiler drain cap?  Could you briefly explane it? or Do you have picture of it?  What other issue do you found from my system picture?

  • Leung
    Leung Member Posts: 3
    dripping boiler drain valve

    Thanks very much for your valuable opinion regarding my dripping problem!

    Is it normal that there is water dripping from that valve? or the dripping is due to a faulty valve.

    I am going to replace the valve you suggested at the end of the season.  What procedure do I have to perform to replace the valve.  Is it following procedures correct:

    1. Turn off the pilot light.

    2. Cut off the water supply.

    3. Drain the water from the valve.

    4. Replace with a new valve

    5. Refill with water.

    6.  Turn on the heat to test.

    I don't under stand your last part on the boiling of new water and oxgen.

    I also go comment from other professional that there is other issue from my system on the pictures.  Do you see any other issue please?

  • djthx
    djthx Member Posts: 52
    edited February 2010
    Boiler Drain Cap

    The boiler drain has a threaded end that you can connect a regular water hose to.  This way, you can drain the boiler if you're able to run the other end of the water hose to a lower level drain.  A boiler drain cap is simply a hose cap that you screw onto the boiler drain - thereby temporarily capping/sealing it.  They're available at home depot.  [url=]

    I also recommend replacing it with a full port ball valve.  It's larger port easily allows sediment sludge to drain.  [url=]  However, if you have any kids around, make sure you temporariy plug the other end - just in case.

    And, as previously mentioned, you seem to have near boiler piping issues.  It seems that your boiler does not have a header.  The header allows for drier, more efficient steam.  Maybe you can take pictures of the top of the boiler to confirm.
  • jim s_2
    jim s_2 Member Posts: 112
    Hard to tell

    but looking at the 1st pic it looks like they took a few shortcuts with the equalizer as well as piping it in copper.

    A few more pics would be handy to really see what else they did wrong.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    cap will not help

    the calcium would not be that high on the boiler drain piping is less than ideal are you having other issues with the system such as banging or spitting vents and radiator valves. Or uneven heating? I would have no issue replacing that valve during the heating season as it would be a good time for a competent steam installer to eyeball the system and give you an idea of what you could do to make it run better quieter and more efficient. It is also a good time to check how it is burning and inspect the pressure and venting. Not pleasent to test vent speeds and radiator function in July.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

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