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Boiler inexplicably losing water-pressure issue?
I'm having trouble with my Burnham IN-7 steam boiler (one pipe system) losing way more water than it should.
When the weather starts getting cold, the boiler shuts down from the lwco probably every 3 days and has to be refilled. It is fine all summer, which tells me that it is only leaking when it is running (obvious, perhaps).
I've been trying all sorts of things to determine where the water is going. There are no obvious leaks or water on the floor. I flooded the boiler before the season began and let it sit for 30 minutes or so with no obvious leaks. There is a small door at the base of the chimney (I can see inside), and there is no condensation or obvious moisture going up the chimney. Same view from outside-no significant vapor.
The backflow preventer drips occasionally, but not that much. All wet returns are accessible and not leaking.
This is a 7 unit apartment building, so tenants don't necessarily notice issues at their radiators. That said, no one is complaining about massive amounts of steam or water in their unit.
The system runs ok, but it seems a bit out of balance-some units stay way colder than others and some radiators take a long time to heat up.
The pressuretrol is set at 2 lbs main and the high limit is 6 lbs. My 0-30 lb gauge (not the best, I know) has usually read 0, but just recently (like today) started reading 4 lbs. Not sure if it is accurate or not.
I guess I'm wondering where to go next in tracking down this leak. If that gauge is accurate, I know the pressure is way too high. Should I adjust it down right away? How low can I go? Would higher pressure like that contribute to water loss?
I've had CSD-1 inspections done by two different local contractors that supposedly know steam, but I was left with the impression from both that I probably knew more than they did (about theory, at least) due to this site. So not sure who I would even call (there's no one locally listed on this site).