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Flooded Steam System

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impossilbe
impossilbe Member Posts: 3
edited August 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
Weil-McLain PEG-40 (Gas, electric and water are currently cut off)

I recently had water pouring out of my relief valve and had water dripping out of my radiator vents. I noticed the pressure was at 15 so I immediately cut the water supply. I drained about 15-20 gallons of water out until nothing more came out but the sight glass is still full. A year ago the auto feeder read 130 and now it is now at 222.

I read that there is a float in the LWCO that I should first check. Is this a good place to start? How difficult is it? I also read that I may need to "blow down" Not sure what this means or how to do it. I don't know much about boilers but am able to sweat in a new LWCO if needed. I'd like to take a crack at this since we wont need the heat for a few months.




Cheers

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    If the sight glass is still full, and you have the boiler drain at the bottom of the oiler open (not the one over the pan in the left picture of the two lower ones -- that only drains the returns, but even so you should see the water line in the sight glass if that's the one you are using), then the sight glass nipples are probably clogged. I can't enlarge your pictures to see where the trip for the low water cutoff is located, but it may be gunked up too. And the Pressuretrol.

    So... step 1 is to remove the sight glass (it may break, and its gaskets may fail, so have replacements). You may also have to remove a valve or other fitting. Then make sure that the nipples into the boiler are really clear -- top and bottom. Replace the sight glass.

    Now the auto feeder. As I noted above, the nipples for it may be clogged. If so, take it apart and clean it. The auto feeder, if it really is a float type, may be thoroughly gunked up too. Take that apart (use new gaskets) and clean it.

    Reassemble...

    While you are at it, take the pigtail for the pressuretrol off too, and clean it.

    Now try filling the boiler. At some point you should see water just getting into the sight glass. At that point, stop. Turn on power to the auto feeder (not the burner!) The auto feeder should let more water in, up to about the middle of the sight glass (sometimes higher) and then stop. if it does, good. If it keeps going -- turn off the water. If it doesn't feed at all, problem. In fact, if it doesn't stop or doesn't feed you'll need to figure out whether the problem is in the control or the feeder itself, which can take some intelligent trouble shooting.

    Now... it sounds as though perhaps the boiler may not have had as much attention as perhaps it should. Now might be a good time to have a really competent tech. with the necessary instruments and knowledge to use them come and clean the boiler and clean and adjust the burner.

    For future reference, if you really do have a float type low water cutoff, it should be blown down about once a week -- there is a valve on the bottom of it which is for that purpose.

    All that said. As I say, I can't enlarge the photos to really see what's there, but it almost looks as though you have probe type auto feeder controls and low water cut off. If so, they should be taken out and the probes cleaned off.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • 1Matthias
    1Matthias Member Posts: 148
    edited August 2018
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    If the sight glass is still full, and you have the boiler drain at the bottom of the oiler open (not the one over the pan in the left picture of the two lower ones -- that only drains the returns, but even so you should see the water line in the sight glass if that's the one you are using), then the sight glass nipples are probably clogged. I can't enlarge your pictures to see where the trip for the low water cutoff is located, but it may be gunked up too. And the Pressuretrol.

    So... step 1 is to remove the sight glass (it may break, and its gaskets may fail, so have replacements). You may also have to remove a valve or other fitting. Then make sure that the nipples into the boiler are really clear -- top and bottom. Replace the sight glass.

    Now the auto feeder. As I noted above, the nipples for it may be clogged. If so, take it apart and clean it. The auto feeder, if it really is a float type, may be thoroughly gunked up too. Take that apart (use new gaskets) and clean it.

    Reassemble...

    While you are at it, take the pigtail for the pressuretrol off too, and clean it.

    Now try filling the boiler. At some point you should see water just getting into the sight glass. At that point, stop. Turn on power to the auto feeder (not the burner!) The auto feeder should let more water in, up to about the middle of the sight glass (sometimes higher) and then stop. if it does, good. If it keeps going -- turn off the water. If it doesn't feed at all, problem. In fact, if it doesn't stop or doesn't feed you'll need to figure out whether the problem is in the control or the feeder itself, which can take some intelligent trouble shooting.

    Now... it sounds as though perhaps the boiler may not have had as much attention as perhaps it should. Now might be a good time to have a really competent tech. with the necessary instruments and knowledge to use them come and clean the boiler and clean and adjust the burner.

    For future reference, if you really do have a float type low water cutoff, it should be blown down about once a week -- there is a valve on the bottom of it which is for that purpose.

    All that said. As I say, I can't enlarge the photos to really see what's there, but it almost looks as though you have probe type auto feeder controls and low water cut off. If so, they should be taken out and the probes cleaned off.

    If that sight glass is the same type as the one on the WM boilers around here, there's a small plug on the bottom sight glass elbow. No need to remove the whole sight glass.

    Also, yep, that's a bog standard Safgard LWCO and VXT feeder. I've actually had this exact same thing happen (Flooded boiler and piping up to the rafters....) with one of those at a house I look after. Seems that when the probe fails, it likes to dump about 100 gallons of water into the system.
  • impossilbe
    impossilbe Member Posts: 3
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    ^up
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    So... have you gotten anywhere on this project?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • impossilbe
    impossilbe Member Posts: 3
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    So... have you gotten anywhere on this project?

    No I have not. I was hoping to get some pointers here but it doesn't seem like this is a job for a DIY. I think I need to call a pro.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    So... have you gotten anywhere on this project?

    No I have not. I was hoping to get some pointers here but it doesn't seem like this is a job for a DIY. I think I need to call a pro.
    Probably. Although there are some things you can do, too. Where are you located? It's rather likely that we may be able to recommend someone to you.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,749
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    Your boiler has dual risers with a drop header, I would recommend finding whoever installed it and call them. That being said as Jamie said, give us your location and we may be able to recommend someone.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15