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Water level

I recently drained water out of my steam boiler due to a full sight glass. The water came to a trickle and the sight glass remained full. Thinking that it may be clogged I removed the sight glass and cleaned it. Once I replaced the sight glass the water returned to full. The drain is placed above the sight glass location, is it possible that I have an adequate water level and simply can not drain it to the correct water level? If I leave the sight glass off and open the bottom or top valve water continues to drain. If I open the drain and turn on the water intake water comes out of the drain so no clog there. When I turned on the thermostat a few minutes in the lwco ran an intermittent water test and shortly after the boiler resumed operation, the lwco never illuminated it low water light. When the boiler was running the water in the sight glass did bounce slightly but never to a desirable level, i.e between the two marks on the boiler, it stayed closer to full. Any insight you can shed on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,972
    Find another drain -- there must be one somewhere on the boiler below the sight glass level. Use that to get the water level to where it belongs and then try again...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    butler1089
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    In addition to finding the drain down low on the boiler, find out why the water got that high to begin with. Could be a faulty Auto fill valve. In any case, the water should be somewhere between half and 2/3's of the way up the sight glass, depending on the boiler. Never full!
    butler1089
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    No luck on finding a drain lower down. I've just purchased the house and the water has been full since we took occupancy. There is no auto fill valve. Per the home inspection all checked out with the boiler. It is all but brand new. Had to replace a few vents throughout the home but that is about it. I imagine the inspector happened to miss the water level however.
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    This us the boiler. The red handle is the drain, and as you can see it is just above the sight glass location
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @butler1089 , look at all the sides and back of that boiler. There has to be a drain valve somewhere near the bottom of the boiler. It may even be on a pipe going into the boiler. Any drain below that sight glass will allow you to lower the water level to some degree. ALSO, make sure you have all water supplies to the boiler shut off!!! Otherwise the water will continue to rise and it will fill your radiators and spill out of the radiator vents and ruin your house. Get the water drained down till the sight glass is only half full and then get a service guy in there to figure out why it is over filling. You say you don't have an auto fill so you either have left the manual fill valve on or it is leaking past the valve or Do you have a tankless hot water coil in that boiler? If so, it could be leaking internally.
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    I have crawled around this thing hand and knee to no avail. I may have to get one installed on this pipe that's lower down.
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    Could you give me some insight on how to blow down the sight glass
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    This is the back opposite side where I think the most sensable place for a drain would be
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    Here's the overall view
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    That knock-out that has fiberglass showing, right below your sight glass is where the drain should be. Behind that fiberglass is a plug that needs to come out and a drain valve installed.Anybody with common sense would know you can't drain from that top valve. That location would be usable for a skim port but not a drain. The only way to drain the water down, until you get a drain installed would be to close both valves on the sight glass, remove the sight glass (nuts at top and bottom of glass and then open the valves, with a bucket under it and let water drain out into the bucket. It will be a slow process but that's about the best you can do for now.
    butler1089
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    Haha great minds think alike. I just finished up doing that. Water is about where it should be now. I'll look into having that drain installed. Thanks for your help!
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,805
    anyone else notice the high pressuretrol setting in the first boiler pic?
    You want to crack that down to near low as it will go.
    1 1/2 # cut out on the indicator you see, by the screw on top,
    then inside the cover is a small white wheel, set that to 1, low as it can go
    known to beat dead horses
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    neilc said:

    anyone else notice the high pressuretrol setting in the first boiler pic?
    You want to crack that down to near low as it will go.
    1 1/2 # cut out on the indicator you see, by the screw on top,
    then inside the cover is a small white wheel, set that to 1, low as it can go

    Good Eye @neilc . @butler1089 That is an additive Pressuretrol. The scale on front should be cranked down to .5 PSI (half pound Cut-in) and the white dial inside that cover should be set at "1" PSI for a cut-out of 1.5 PSI.
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    Look about right?
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518

    Look about right?

    What??
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    Not sure why that didn't post the first time
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Yes, That looks perfect!
  • butler1089
    butler1089 Member Posts: 11
    Awesome thanks again