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How to raise the pressure on an early 1900's ARCO boiler

My daughter bought a home with a very old (early 1900s?) Arco boiler. Cast iron radiators on the first floor, fin baseboards (fed from the 1st floor radiators) upstairs. All of the radiators (including the baseboards) have been bled, but although main floor heats nicely, no heat in the upstairs. The pressure gauge reads 11psi and everything I've read says it should be 12-15 but I can't figure out how to increase the pressure. Any suggestions?

Comments

  • Leon82Leon82 Member Posts: 360
    If there is no water feed to can use a washing machine hose to force it in thru a boiler or zone drain
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,548
    should be an auto fill if you were bleeding and it maintained pressure.. some pic's may help to locate it..
  • thechelstromsthechelstroms Member Posts: 2
    So if I'm understanding you, just adding water to the boiler will increase the pressure?
  • Big EdBig Ed Member Posts: 883
    There should be an pressure reducing valve feeding water into the boiler ... It comes in though an 1/2" water line and will look like an bell .. The more modern models will have an lever for fast filling ... Becareful the pressure relief valve with pop open at 30# ... Try a fast on and off with the lever ... If loose either its plugged or the shut off before is closed .. On top of bell there will be an lock nut to loosen adustment screw.. screwing down will increase pressure.. Hope this Helps
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Leon82Leon82 Member Posts: 360
    > @thechelstroms said:
    > So if I'm understanding you, just adding water to the boiler will increase the pressure?

    Yes it will.
    You can look for a line from the cold water supply that goes to the boiler. This should have the pressure reducing valve on it. Follow the piping there probably is a valve before or after it.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 1,578
    Even though this can be an easy DIY thing, I think it best if you have a qualified tech come out and go over the system, and show you how to properly bleed and purge of all air.
    You're going to need someone for annual maintenance and repairs, why not pick someone, let them (and you) get familiar with the system, before it gets too cold and/or you have problems.
    The gauge could also be bad and stuck on 11. Then when you add more water, you're going to have problems.
    steve
  • delta Tdelta T Member Posts: 458
    are we sure the problem with the upstairs heating is due to lack of pressure? If you open a bleed valve upstairs, do you get water out? When you say

    "Cast iron radiators on the first floor, fin baseboards (fed from the 1st floor radiators) upstairs."

    how exactly are they fed? did someone just put a tee ahead of the supply and one after the return for the CI rads, with pipes going from those tees to the fin tube upstairs? I think that something is fishy about how this is piped, and that is the more likely candidate for the baseboard not working upstairs. is there only one pump? Are there zones or just on big zone for the whole house (how many thermostats do you have)?
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