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Too much water

dc07736 Member Posts: 15
Have 100 year old system. Historic house in Kingston NY
20 cast iron radiators - one pipe system
Install used Burnham steam boiler 142,000 btu

Thought everything was working fine but after a few days noticed system had too much water.
Removed extra 15 gallons.
Is the Low Water Cutoff defective?
Can too much water be dangerous?



  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,432
    Dangerous prob not. It could be a number of things.
    Is the boiler piped according to the mfg specs?
    Is a return plugged?
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
    First valve the LWCO off so it can't feed water, then monitor the boiler several times a day to see what the water level is doing. Second, does the boiler have a coil ion it to heat domestic hot water? If so valve that off and monitor the water level.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • dc07736
    dc07736 Member Posts: 15
    Will do.
    No domestic coil.
    LWCO is not new, we opened and cleaned all parts.
    Will follow your instructions.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    what actually feeds water? do you have a seperate feeder or a combo lwco/feeder?
  • ericmmff
    ericmmff Member Posts: 13
    What was the outcome?
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    ericmmff said:

    What was the outcome?

    We may never know...
  • mr_ius
    mr_ius Member Posts: 25
    we're still working on it. we installed a new lwco which seems to be working. when operating, the boiler seems to empty the reservoir and sip on the lwco which adds just enough water to satisfy the float. we usually add a few inches of water to the water column manually each time we run it and when it's turned off and cools off it's missing a few inches in the column. Takes many hours for the water to filter back into the boiler once it's been shut off. very mysterious.... there are three main branches in the system. the branch that's not working so well has one radiator on the first floor and two radiators on the second floor (right next to each other). the two on the second floor have worked feebly once (perhaps bc other radiators in the system were turned down via adjustable air vent) and do basically nothing now, and the radiator on the first floor (the one w/ the large air vent) gets 1-3 leaves warm but nothing hot.

    First floor

    Second floor

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,672
    How dirty is your boiler water?
    Can you show us a picture of the gauge glass?

    Dirty water and or bad piping around the boiler will cause the boiler to puke water up into the mains.
    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
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,282
    The initial post said that there was too much water. However, reading the current post it seems to me that maybe this isn't really the problem, since @mr_ius states that they have to add water every time, and that it take hours for the water to trickle back, and that there are three radiators which don't heat, all on one branch.

    First question: when the water all trickles back, does it come back to where it was before the boiler was fired at all? Or do you really have to add a few inches manually each time you run it? If it really is the latter, you have a leak somewhere, and you need to find that leak. That much water added is not even close to normal. On the other hand, if it is a situation where the water does eventually come back, that should create an overfill.

    Second, the water trickling back slowly -- whether it leads to an overfill or not -- suggests that somewhere, probably on that branch that isn't working, there is a blockage. Very unusual, but it can happen. It could also be that somewhere, again probably on that line, there is a serious sag which is trapping water.

    So, on the second question -- when the boiler is running, trace that branch out to find out how far the steam is getting, then figure out why it isn't getting past that point.

    Third, the dropping water level when the boiler fires -- dropping that far -- makes we really wonder about the near boiler piping. Can we have a picture or pictures which clearly show that?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,519
    Do you have any returns under the floor??