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burnham revolution- winter water shut-off

pennron Member Posts: 42
I am planning on going to Florida for the winter months. My home is located in Easton, PA. I have the Burnham Revolution bolier, hot water system, slant fin radiation, indirect hot water tank.

Can I shut down the main water for the entire house? I am just afraid of a pipe leaking/breaking while I'm away for 4 months. I figure I will leave my thermostats at about 60 degrees. I'm not sure if the Revolution requires "additional" water to operate. I think it has an automatic water feed but I have never added water. system and home is 8 years old. regards...


  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,451
    Does the boiler have

    a low water cut off? If not have one put in by a local contractor to protect against firing the boiler with no water. I would also have it set up with some kind of alarm so you will not have the system freeze and burst the pipes on your boiler. Is someone going to be checking your property every day or so?

    I need to look at my book on the Revolution and I will advise you further on anything else you can do.

    The indirect can be a problem when you come home from Florida if it has been sitting for a long time without any water being used. It can develop the potential for legionnaires. It is best when returning to flush the indirect before taking any showers.
  • pennron
    pennron Member Posts: 42
    edited April 2012
    I'm not sure>>

    The first device that comes out of the supply side is made by Watts. It has a small lever on the top that can be pushed down or raised up. in both directions I can hear water being fed. Can I assume thats some type of water feeder? Next to that is a backflow preventer and a ball valve.

    I hope to have someone stop in once a week while in Florida. I have always kept the indirect at 117 degrees. every 6 months I raise it to 150 degrees for 24 hrs. I keep a label on it so I remember to do it. I had experimented with a mixing valve, keeping it at 150 all the time but did not feel it was necessary and changed it back, removing the mixing valve.

    I am not sure what you mean by an alarm. If the house is kept at 60 degrees 24/7 and the Revolution doesn't need any additional water, shouldn't I be good to go? It's a closed loop system. Why should there (or is there) a need to add water? regards... 
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,451
    There is no need to add water

    as it is a full system and pressurized. The low water cut-off is for safety in case the boiler develops a leak with the water in your house shut off. The boiler would lose its water and would be dry firing which will damage the boiler and is unsafe. I would have a low water cut-off installed if you are going to shut the house water off.

    The alarm is so someone can know if your house is without heat or if a pipe cracks due to freezing and the lo water cutoff shuts the system down. The alarm can go to an alarm company if you have a house alarm system.

    The device you describe in the pressure reducing valve not a low water cutoff.
  • pennron
    pennron Member Posts: 42
    edited April 2012
    Tim I think I see what you're saying....

    So the low water cutoff basically protects the boiler, correct? Theoretically if the boiler never leaks then I would never need to add water and the main water can be shuf off.  

    If this were a steam boiler like I used to have in my prior residence I periodically had to add water to the boiler. But in this system I should never have to add water. Therefore an automatic water feeder would be a no no or just unnecessary?

    Just to make sure what does this low water cutoff device look like? Where exactly is it installed? I want to make sure I don't already have one installed. Regards...
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    4 months in FLA:

    Drain it. Move the plants to somewhere else. The money you save will more than pay for the cost of draining it. I drain over 75 houses a year. It's BS that houses get moldy when there is no heat. I see more mold damage in heated houses than cold ones.

    If you have someone to check it, it is a lot of responsibility to put on someone for really stupid money. I've walked in to more replays of "The Sorcer's Apprentice" disasters that you will ever know. The insurance companies are getting very picky about paying claims.

    It takes a deep freeze and a thaw to break the pipes. I have been to freeze-ups and water running where it was bitterly cold and windy for two weeks. It snowed before it got cold. The weather warmed up after three weeks of it being cold. The alarm went off because there was a "bump" in the house. The police found that the "bump" was caused by a ceiling falling down. The cellar had 4' of water in it. 24'X48' cellar. The first tracks in the driveway in the three week snow were the police cruiser. But the caretaker had been checking the house daily and had checked it the day before. The caretaker blamed the previous plumber who hadn't been paid for the job. The break was a 1/4" spagetti tube to a vanity sink on an outside wall. Do the math. How many gallons of water are in a 24' x 48' cellar with 4' deep water in it? How long does a water pump that delivers 12 GPM, pumping through a 1/4" copper tube take to fill that cellar? Could the cellar have filled that full in 24 hours? The plumbers insurance company paid part of the loss. And it wasn't his fault. That was almost $1,000,000 in losses.  This wasn't my customer.

    Every customer I have that wants to leave the water and heat on, I tell them and I do, drain the water. Leave the heat on but drain the water. In 25 years of doing this, I haven't had a broken, running water pipe.

    There are things you can do. There is a thermostat that connects to your phone line that as long as the building has heat, you get no answer and no charge. If the heat goes off, you get a busy signal. Call someone.

    Do what you want. I've seen $100,000+ worth of damage and the insurance companies pro-rated everything down to a $10,000 claim. You think I want to be on the receiving end of a bill like that? I might have to wait a long time to get payed less than $500 on a $100,000 damage claim. Fixing the cause, a broken pipe was less than $500.00.

    There's better odds of that happening to you than winning that last lottery.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,451
    Does your Revolution have

    a Honeywell L8148 relay and SmartValve for a gas valve? If so it is the later version. The low water cutoff can be installed in the supply water line as it leaves the boiler and I recommend the 120 volt version which can be wired into the 120 volt electrical feed to the boiler after the service switch
  • pennron
    pennron Member Posts: 42
    edited April 2012
    tim I have

    a honeywell sv9502 inside chassis attached to gas valve. dont know about the L8148 and smartvalve. Is that any help?...regards
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,451
    Yes it helps

    your boiler does not come with a low water cut-off. It is something you would have to hire a contractor to install and wire into your system.
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