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Boiler not keeping due to low water level

JoshS
JoshS Member Posts: 46
Hi All-



In this wonderful cold weather, my boiler has been unable to keep up since my water level is too slow to return. I suspect clogged returns. I could easily add water every other hour, but given enough time, the water level recovers. I don't yet have an autofeeder since I've been trying to hash this problem out. While it's running, the sight glass drains completely and the LWCO typically kicks off the burner



It's a one pipe system system with mostly dry returns; about 50' of pipe (with not much slope) is above the water line. The wet return portion is probably only a couple feet long. The conversion from wet to dry is a single 90 degree drop right next to the boiler.



Question... I understand that dry returns rarely clog... Is it still possible though? And also, since my boiler fill is pretty much at the same spot as the wet return, wouldn't the boiler have trouble filling if the wet return is clogged?



Thank you all!

Comments

  • Steam_Starter
    Steam_Starter Member Posts: 109
    Check...

    If you have made no changes to the system prior top this happening (repipe, additives, etc.) check the pH of the water.  if it above 11 then you might have a foaming issue which is throwing water up into the system.



    My pH was over 12 and the sight glass would completely empty out then recover after steaming.  I added just a capful of pH reducer and the problem went away...



    JLG
    "Hey, it looks good on you though..."
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,866
    Wow!

    Steam_Starter, I bet boilers in your area last almost forever!
    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
  • Steam_Starter
    Steam_Starter Member Posts: 109
    Not really.

    People rip them out for hot water...



    ...too bad.
    "Hey, it looks good on you though..."
  • Peteys
    Peteys Member Posts: 62
    Oh reducer

    Could I ask what kind of ph reducer you used. My pool ph tester doesn't read higher than 9, I believe, and the boiler ph looks higher than that.
  • Steam_Starter
    Steam_Starter Member Posts: 109
    edited January 2014
    Reducer

    I use AquaChek test strips that go to 10.  Red is 10.  Mine was BRIGHT RED.



    The knockdown I used was Blue Wave pH reducer.



    Just took a tablespoon and mixed it into water then added to boiler thru skim port.



    Or you can try these:



    Micro Essential Lab 9800 Plastic pH Test Strips, 0.0 - 14.0 pH

    Found on Amazon...
    "Hey, it looks good on you though..."
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,866
    Test strips

    I don't recommend the wide range strips as they are very difficult to read. They are what I've been using and its near impossible to see the difference between 9, 10, 11 etc.



    I'm trying to get my hands on some tape they make that is a much narrower range but I can't remember what it was off hand. Something like this : https://www.microessentiallab.com/ProductInfo/F01-SHTRG-065130-SRD.aspx
    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