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Normal amount of make-up water for residential steam.

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Ron Jr._3
Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
edited September 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
Anyone know the amount of makeup water a typical residential steamer should require ?

Back to this one we installed 3 years ago for a good flushing. The feeder was reset a year ago almost to the day. Used 21 gallons in one year.

Radiator vents are good. No leaks on the returns. Can see one main vent thats kinda buried. That one seems clogged shut. The other main is all boxed in but no signs of leaking steam.

Peerless ECT3 with 8 or 9 rads.

Thanks in advance !

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  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
    edited September 2018
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    Just figured out how to upload a pic
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,635
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    that's about 2 gallons/ month, more than that because you don't steam in the summer. sounds high to me
  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    It depends on the boiler size and operating pressure. At only a few ounces, properly maintained valve packings and air vents will hold all the steam inside, and no makeup water will be needed. If a float type LWCO is installed, then the weekly blow downs will lose some water, but not 21 gallons. Plugged air vents will not use water, unless someone raises the pressure to compensate, but they will use more fuel, and cause discomfort!
    Also seems high to me.—NBC
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,793
    edited September 2018
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    From what I've found it depends on the size of the system. Normal water is lost mainly in the form of moisture every time the system breaths out.

    My own system with probe type LWCO (392sqft EDR) peaks at around 16 ounces per week during extreme cold. Probably around 2 gallons per year overall.

    I've had packing nuts as well as spud nuts leak only briefly as the system warmed up, so no one would ever actually notice it.
    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: 23,456
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    Cedric uses about a gallon a week in the major heating season. None when the heat is off.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Check to make sure none of the radiator vents are leaking steam. It is amazing how much water loss can occur for one or two radiator vents that don't completely close during a heating cycle and it may not be obvious to the naked eye.
    The water level in the sight glass looks a bit high too.
  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
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    The main vent I thought was clogged actually was leaking steam like crazy. His wet returns are clogged too. I convinced him to have them replaced with the main vents. Semi finished basement so thatll be a chore .......

    Thanks for the input !
  • GBart
    GBart Member Posts: 746
    edited September 2018
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    Hydrolevel makes a great auto feed that tells you exactly how much water went into the system.

    Net IBR Rating ------------ Gal/month
    BTU/HR Limit
    Up to 90,000 ------------ 6
    91,000 - 120,000 ---------- 8
    121,000 - 150,000 ------------- 10
    151,000 - 185,000 ------------- 12
    185,000 & Higher ---------- 15
    Note: The above limits are based on normal boiler operation during the heating season. They do not include water added as a result of boiler and/or low water cut-off maintenance.
    Henry
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,793
    edited September 2018
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    > @GBart said:
    > Hydrolevel makes a great auto feed that tells you exactly how much water went into the system.
    >
    > Net IBR Rating ------------ Gal/month
    > BTU/HR Limit
    > Up to 90,000 ------------ 6
    > 91,000 - 120,000 ---------- 8
    > 121,000 - 150,000 ------------- 10
    > 151,000 - 185,000 ------------- 12
    > 185,000 & Higher ---------- 15
    > Note: The above limits are based on normal boiler operation during the heating season. They do not include water added as a result of boiler and/or low water cut-off maintenance.

    Those quantities seem insane. 10 gallons per month for 121-150k?


    @Steamhead what are your thoughts?
    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
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    GBart said:

    Hydrolevel makes a great auto feed that tells you exactly how much water went into the system.

    Net IBR Rating ------------ Gal/month
    BTU/HR Limit
    Up to 90,000 ------------ 6
    91,000 - 120,000 ---------- 8
    121,000 - 150,000 ------------- 10
    151,000 - 185,000 ------------- 12
    185,000 & Higher ---------- 15
    Note: The above limits are based on normal boiler operation during the heating season. They do not include water added as a result of boiler and/or low water cut-off maintenance.

    I would suggest if one goes by those numbers, one will be replacing their steam boiler a lot.

    When my boiler got a hole in it I didn't use that much water....think about that.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,793
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    This is from Burnham's IN series manual.



    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
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 2,013
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    I think that for sales purposes, hydrolevel needs to put in such numbers. Let's say hydrolevel were to tell you that you should only be adding one gallon per season. Every single buyer will be asking themselves what's the purpose of an automatic feeder if it's only adding 1 gallon per season. Even the most hands off homeowner would be willing to add 1 gallon per season.
  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
    edited September 2018
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    > @GBart said:
    > Hydrolevel makes a great auto feed that tells you exactly how much water went into the system.
    >
    > Net IBR Rating ------------ Gal/month
    > BTU/HR Limit
    > Up to 90,000 ------------ 6
    > 91,000 - 120,000 ---------- 8
    > 121,000 - 150,000 ------------- 10
    > 151,000 - 185,000 ------------- 12
    > 185,000 & Higher ---------- 15
    > Note: The above limits are based on normal boiler operation during the heating season. They do not include water added as a result of boiler and/or low water cut-off maintenance.

    That's gotta be gallons per year , right ? Gotta be a typo.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    @Ron Jr. said: That's gotta be gallons per year , right ? Gotta be a typo.
    It seems high even for a year. I have a 35 year old Burnham, Net IBR Rating of 207,800 BTU/HR and I use about a quart a week for blow downs (they even exclude the blow-downs from their numbers), during the winter months and I may use another half gallon during the coldest month of the winter season.

    You really need to make sure all vents are properly closing and all couplings, at the radiators aren't leaking. Many times the leak is so subtle that it just steams away and isn't obvious to the naked eye.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
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    Fred said:

    @Ron Jr. said: That's gotta be gallons per year , right ? Gotta be a typo.
    It seems high even for a year.

    This.

    And, @Ron Jr. - good to hear from you! Still doing those boiler-in-a-bottle installs?

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting