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Use a different water feeder?

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I have an old steam boiler that I regularly maintain. Recently I took it apart and cleaned everything in order to keep it working in tip top condition. The water feeder has never worked since I bought the house, so every couple of days I take a trip to the basement to fill it. I'd like to fix the water feeder now, is it possible to replace the current McDonnell 101A-120v with a different (cheaper) feeder?

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    If you are adding water every couple of days you have a problem you need to address that is bigger than a water feeder. The boiler should only use 1-2 gallons of water per year and if you are filling it every couple of days then that sounds excessive. You either have a leak or bad vents or something else that is using up all that water. Is the boiler shutting down on low water and that's why you have to fill it?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    I had the same water feeder. There is a screen filter in that feeder that gets clogged up and prevents water from flowing. Replacement filters are available and you will need a new gasket as well. It is inside the bottom of the unit where those four screws are. I took mine off and replaced it with a regular ball valve as I always want to know if/when water is needed and how much.
    JudySweetland
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
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    You probably have to replace the screen, but if the cartridge is the older style that doesn't have the hex ports you'll need to replace the entire cartridge which will come with a new strainer.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    I would advise making sure that the replacement can be valved off, when you are not in front of it. These feeders are the work of the Devil, in their ability to allow leaks to go unnoticed, thus shortening the life of the boiler!--NBC
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    I keep rereading this post and feel like I missed something. It sounds like the OP has a leak already. They state they are feeding water every couple of days....I think the water feeder is the absolute least of their worries or did I miss something?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,480
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    I agree that there is a leak somewhere that has to be found and fixed. The question is how long has the system been leaking and was it just noticed because the feeder stopped working and someone actually has to go down and look at the boiler.

    A feeder should only be active if the house is going to be uninhabited for a few days, they should be valved off otherwise. Owners of steam systems have to realize they are not set and forget appliances, this is true of any heating appliance. If you look at it a few times a week you have a good chance of catching a problem while it's still manageable.

    Only the shadow knows what evil lurks in an ignored boiler or furnace.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Hey KC, I guess I read the Original text to mean he checked the boiler every two or three days but re-reading it, it does say to "Refill it"
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    lol no worries, just wanted to make sure the OP understands water usage is their problem not really the feeder. Honestly if my feeder broke, unless I was planning a trip or something soon I wouldn't even bother with it. If I had no plans I would just let it stay broken...lol
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15