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Automatic Water Feeder

JohnA Member Posts: 7
My automatic water feeder failed recently (no longer operates). A plumber from my boiler company tested it and declared it dead. Estimate for replacement was $500. The plumber said it wasn't really needed, as I manually fill the boiler each week after blowing down the low water cutoff anyway. He said it wasn't really a safety issue as long as I continued to clean out the cutoff each week. Agree or disagree? Why would one install the automatic feeder? The system is a one-pipe steam system. Thanks.


  • Auto water feeders

    I've had a steam system, in two different houses, for 40 years and have never installed an automatic water feeder. I do check the boiler two or three times a week when I'm in the cellar. When I replaced my boiler in '97 I told the installer not to install a automatic water feeder. If my manual fill valve fails that will cost me $25 for a good quality valve (doing it myself) not $500.

    IMHO they are just another layer of trouble that I don't need. That said, make damn sure you keep a close eye on the boiler water level.

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,422
    hear, hear!

    i also would not have an auto/[over]-fill, even though i have 55 rads and 1,050,000 btu!

    get a spring-loaded valve such as are used on showers so you don't inadvertantly leave the fill running. a water meter might be useful too.--nbc
  • Maine Vent
    Maine Vent Member Posts: 129
    Good Luck With Mine

    I've had a Hydrolevel VXT 24 for 2 years now, and I'll tell it works the way it should. My boiler has a leak in it, its on its way out. I know I see plenty of steam coming out my chimney. Regardless, this device does what it is suppose to do, which is add water when you need it. Someday I'll have new system and the water feeder won't have to put 600 to 900 gallons of water in a season. 
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