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Correct Water Level

Fellow steam-heads,

I've no idea what the water level should be on my old. I've added a 0-3PSI guage - would a safe assumption to fill the boiler until the new guage comes up to 0PSI? It is currently registering at less than 0.




  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,736
    The water level

    should be at 1/3-1/2 way up the sight glass when the boiler is cold. On most boilers it should never go below 1/4" above the nut at the bottom of the glass.

    If the gauge reads below zero, there may be a slight vacuum in the boiler.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Joe V_2
    Joe V_2 Member Posts: 234

    Why half way or less?  I confess, I have been filling my boiler more than half-about 2/3's in the sight glass.

    I can't remember why I decided that this is the fill level. I might have chosen this level based on the slow rise and fall of the level when heating (about +/- 1/4 of an inch).   But more likely,  I chose this level because more than half is better than less than half full.  It is an IN-5.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494
    edited October 2011

    My Burnham V8 had its water line 3/4 of the way up the glass.  I found this by looking at the instructions and measuring with a tape measure.  A Burnham IN5 may follow the same rules

    The Weil-Mclain I am installing claims 1/2 way up the site glass. 
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    edited October 2011
    WaterLine IN5

    The factory specified waterline is 28 5/8 inches above the floor level. Attached is a diagram from page 17 of the IN5 I&O manual.  On other boilers -The factory designed waterlines are generally  found in the steam piping sections of the individual boiler's I&O manual.

    - Rod
  • Joe V_2
    Joe V_2 Member Posts: 234

    I looked it up when I got home and measured the NWL given by burnham and it was slightly higher than half way so I drained some water. I guess I'll get steam faster now. Glad I caught this thread.
  • Mark_125
    Mark_125 Member Posts: 56
    Old steamer

    OK, so I had a look at the boiler plate, its an American Standard G28, Model 7BNJ6.

    Anyone have any clue on where I might find the correct water level?


  • Joe V_2
    Joe V_2 Member Posts: 234
    edited October 2011
    I think i might have had that exact model!!!

    I think you should trade it in for a younger model! you will save a boat load of cash.

    Each section must weigh five hundred pounds because even when I broke it down with a sledge hammer it was still really heavy.

    I ran that boiler at two thirds in sight glass too. Maybe that is where I got it- from the previous owner
  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    edited October 2011
    Beacon Boiler Reference Book

    I found it listed in the Beacon Boiler Book.  Page 12.  I don't know what numbers (if any) would tell you the correct height of the water line.  http://www.heatinghelp.com/files/articles/940/182.pdf  This should tell you the age though.

    Oh, I just noticed Steamhead all ready told you what is the correct level is 1/3 to 1/2
  • Mark_125
    Mark_125 Member Posts: 56
    Thanks Steamhead.....

    I guess I had it filled a little high. The previous owner had drawn a ring on the sight glass about 2/3s up.

This discussion has been closed.