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Recommendations in northern MA?

JuddMA Member Posts: 2
I’m a homeowner with steam heat and I’ve been very impressed with the quality of discussions on these forums. I was looking around for info on the VXT-120 auto feeders because mine has been seriously malfunctioning. But it’s a little more complicated than that - it’s filling in response to my hot water tank spraying water all over the basement from its release vent, which I thought was happening because of too-high internal temperature but seems to be related to something else that I can’t figure out.

The guy who installed this system was smart but very much did things “his own way” and now has moved out of the area. I need a service person who can get into the weeds with me on this system, but the local folks I’ve used so far seem to be meeting some of these problems - and equipment - for the first time.

According to the contractor list here, there’s no one within 100 miles of my house. If anyone on here has recommendations in the northern MA/southern VT/NH area (Pioneer Valley, Brattleboro, Keene, etc), I’d appreciate it.

Thanks a lot.


    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
    Is your water tank one with it's own fire under it or does the steam boiler heater the water indirectly?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
    Are you actually in Massachusetts? If so Charles Garrity @Charlie from wmass or Gary Wilson @GW would be the guys you want to call. Charles is more along the steam line, Gary a little more on the hot water side -- but both of them do either one very well indeed.

    On the water heater -- is there an expansion tank on the hot water lines? If so, my guess would be that it may be waterlogged.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883

    Jerrys retired but his kids are great
  • JuddMA
    JuddMA Member Posts: 2
    Thanks. Yes, I'm in MA.

    We have a Stiebel Eltron SBB 300 PLUS (https://www.stiebel-eltron.com/en/home/products-solutions/renewables/system_cylinders/solar_cylinder/dhw_cylinder_sbb300-600plus/sbb_300_plus.html) external water tank, but the water is currently heated from the steam boiler as we have not yet been able to get the solar attached.

    Perhaps I should post the issue in more detail on its own forum topic. But the basic order of events is firs the water tank sprays many gallons (how many I don't know) out of its top vent, then the auto feeder starts trying to dump about 100 gallons into the steam boiler. The strange thing is, the boiler water level doesn't substantially diminish, and certainly gets nowhere near the low water cutoff. So I don't know what's triggering the VXT.

    I have the valves to and from the VXT closed because otherwise the boiler would be overfilled and it would be an even bigger mess throughout the system.

    Thanks for the recs, too.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
    Do you have an expansion tank on your HW tank?

    If not, then a guess on my part is that the HW in the tank is overheating and expanding raising the pressure on your house hold water supply. This might be enough to over power the valve in the VXT.
    Water heater relief valves are set to open at 125 to 150 PSI. That is very high. As a temporary safety you could leave a small trickle of hot water run into a sink.

    With the valves to the VXT off does your boiler water level stay within reason?

    You do need some expert help.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,700
    Thanks Jamie, we don't travel like Charlie does. I tip my hat that he can reach as far as he does.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA