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Cycle Guard - Too much water in boiler

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My Cycle Guard low water cut-off and uni-match water feeder are putting too much water in to my boiler. This just started this season. I try to let water out but it keeps turning the water feeder back on and filling the boiler.
The boiler is filled to the top. Is there a way to re calibrate the system?

Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    edited November 2015
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    There is a possibility that your pressure has become too high which will force water from the boiler temporarily, causing the water feeder to overfill. Most likely, the pigtail has become blocked, preventing the pressuretrol from shutting off the boiler as pressure rises. Alternatively, a hot water coil has developed a leak, and is constantly allowing water into the boiler.
    Drain the waterline down to the right level, and valve off the auto feed, and then in the coming few days see if the waterline has stabilized.
    This would be a good reason, and time to install a good low pressure gauge, (0-3 psi, valworx.com).--
    Eagle1017Zman
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    I agree with what NBC said above and i would add your LWCO probe might have to be cleaned or the LWCO could have failed.

    In any case turn off the feed valve for the LWCO and monitor the water level in the sight glass carefully as the boiler goes through a steaming cycle.

    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
    Eagle1017
  • Eagle1017
    Eagle1017 Member Posts: 42
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    There are two valves on the C shaped pipping around the feeder. Do I shut the one before the feeder, after the feeder or both? The feeder will still turn "on", if no water is passing through the pipe will it cause an issue?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,321
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    Shut them both. The feeder will turn on, but with the valves closed nothing will happen -- except that if there is an electronic feed counter on the meter it will register incorrectly. No big deal.

    However -- you need to find out why it is feeding. NBC's comment on pressure is the place to start, but there may be other problems causing low water while the boiler is firing. That is the underlying problem -- chances are very good that the feeder is doing exactly what it is supposed to do, and that the problem lies elsewhere.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Eagle1017
  • wcs5050
    wcs5050 Member Posts: 131
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    There are dip switches on the Uni match feeder that change the dwell and feed times. Also this feeder comes with orifices that control rate of flow through it. There are 3 sizes of rubber discs meant for 3 size bracket of boiler. Other issues may be at play, but this feeder is adjustable on amount of water it lets in and how long it waits before doing so.
    j a_2
  • Eagle1017
    Eagle1017 Member Posts: 42
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    Thanks I'll give it a try. I don't think it is a low water problem while firing. During all the cycles I've looked at it the glass shows high water. When the boiler is off and the water is at the very top of the glass and I release some water out of the bottom of the boiler the cycle guard low water light goes on and then the feeder turns on - when I barely released any water and the level is still very high. For some reason it seems like the sensor got out of wack.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    wcs5050 said:

    There are dip switches on the Uni match feeder that change the dwell and feed times. Also this feeder comes with orifices that control rate of flow through it. There are 3 sizes of rubber discs meant for 3 size bracket of boiler. Other issues may be at play, but this feeder is adjustable on amount of water it lets in and how long it waits before doing so.

    Yup I agree
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    It sounds to me like the LWCO probe either needs to be taken out and cleaned or replaced. Also make sure not to use teflon tape when re-installing the probe into the boiler.
  • ColinFarquhar
    ColinFarquhar Member Posts: 16
    edited November 2015
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    At the risk of sticking my nose in where it shouldn't be (I don't have much experience with small LP boilers, just high pressure stuff)...

    Have you checked to see that your gauge glass is showing an accurate reading? Blow it down, make sure water level bounces back up in the glass, etc? I would confirm that what you're seeing is reflective of what's happening in the boiler.
    Eagle1017
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
    edited November 2015
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    Fred said:

    It sounds to me like the LWCO probe either needs to be taken out and cleaned or replaced. Also make sure not to use teflon tape when re-installing the probe into the boiler.

    You have to use thread sealant on the probe, PTFE tape and dope are both fine, but you have to be careful not to use too much or the probe won't be grounded to the block.

    Putting an NPT connection together without thread sealant is almost a guaranteed leak.


    Wonder if the OP fixed his problem or not yet?
    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
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    It's easy enough to check, a multimeter will tell you if the threads on the probe are grounded or not.

    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
    ChrisJEagle1017j a_2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
    edited November 2015
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    ChrisJ said:


    You have to use thread sealant on the probe, PTFE tape and dope are both fine, but you have to be careful not to use too much or the probe won't be grounded to the block.

    Sometimes I wonder if all the concern is unfounded. If you completely slather the threads with dope and install the probe, the forces on the pitch line of the threads are so high that every molecule of sealant is forced away from the pitch line and into the space at the root of the teeth.

    Try one sometime. Install and remove the probe after using the dope. When you remove the probe, the threads are brilliant brass on the faces along the pitch circle with not a trace of dope.

    Probably would not use tape in this application.
    Tape does the same thing.
    I believe I used 3 wraps of Blue Monster 1/2" tape and a dab of Megaloc on mine. Never had any continuity issues and as BobC said the first thing I did was ohm it out.
    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
  • Eagle1017
    Eagle1017 Member Posts: 42
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    I suspect ColinFarquhar may be right. I thin the gauge glass might not be showing me what is really happening in boiler. I turned of the valves to the feeder and released 2 buckets out of the boiler and the gauge glass didn't move much. How do I "reset" the gauge glass. Mine has two red knobs, one on top and one on bottom.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
    edited November 2015
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    Can you post pictures of the boiler and a closeup of the gauge glass?

    There's likely a valve o the bottom you can use a 7/16 wrench on to open and drain liquid out of the gauge glass. The bottom valve can be closed to completely drain the glass without draining the boiler.

    What I've done in the past. is while the boiler is producing steam, shut the bottom valve, ONLY the bottom valve, and slowly open the drain. This will blow the stuff out and literally steam clean the glass. You need to be extremely careful though as you're dealing with burning hot water and steam.

    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
    Eagle1017
  • Eagle1017
    Eagle1017 Member Posts: 42
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    Hi ChrisJ - see attached.
  • ColinFarquhar
    ColinFarquhar Member Posts: 16
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    What can happen is that the nipples into the boiler can get plugged up with scale/goo/sludge/WHY. What you want to do is blow through both the water side and the steam side, to ensure those passages are clean.

    1) Close top valve
    2) open drain at bottom of gauge glass, water level should drop and hot water/steam will spray out. Watch yourself, use gloves, perhaps something to catch the mess. Blow down for a few seconds (assuming there's a good flow)
    3) close drain valve
    4) open top (steam valve)
    5) close bottom (water valve)
    6) open drain, blow through with steam
    7) close drain
    8) open steam valve

    Water level should bounce back up-a boiler that's steaming should always have some slight movement to the water due to the boiling action inside the boiler. A completely still glass on a steaming boiler is a good indication things aren't completely clear.