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Help with steam boiler low pressure gauge

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amitjm1980
amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
I recently had to have my cracked steam boiler replaced. I had a new Peerless 63 installed last week. I requested a low pressure gauge be installed so I can better monitor the pressure. Instead of adding a tee, the contractor just replaced the original 30 psi gauge with a 5 psi one. I figured in a few days I'd just do it right myself. The 5 psi gauge worked for about a day (consistently read about 0.5 psi), then stopped working. I figured it was because they didn't use a pigtail and fried the gauge or maybe it got gunked up with oil since the boiler is new (even though it was skimmed). I just redid everything yesterday, and for some reason, I still get no pressure reading. Is this normal? I expected to get some type of consistent reading on the low pressure gauge, but it just sits on 0. Everything seems to be working fine, all radiators get hot. Pressuretrol set at 0.5, differential at 1. I even installed two new big mouth main vents. Just looking to see if this is normal or something else could be causing it. I was hoping to be able to get a consistent pressure reading so I can easily monitor if there is a problem. Pictures attached, including the old and new gauge setup.

Thanks!






Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    Can you blow into the gauge, and see movement of the needle?
    The riser on the boiler, may not be as large as the Peerless requirements-check the installation manual.—NBC
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    Blow on the gauge, as @nicholas bonham-carter suggested, to verify that the gauge works. Also check that it is properly adjusted to zero. Double check the pigtail. Then reinstall it.

    Remember that residential steam boilers aren't supposed to generate much pressure -- a few ounces at most.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
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    It's actually larger than required....not sure if that's good or bad. Peerless specifies 2" for this model 74K BTU boiler, and they connected to the existing riser which is 2.5". The needle does move when I blow into the gauge. Everything does seem to be working normally though. Would it be worth it to get a 0-32 oz gauge instead since it will be a lot more sensitive? I have a ball valve on it so it'll be protected in any high pressure situations.
    gkimmeo
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,429
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    It’s good that the pressure isn’t building. It’s a sign that your boiler closely matches the connected radiation. I would, however, replace that automatic feeder with a Hydrolevel VXT or remove it completely.
    gkimmeo
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
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    Mr. Scully,
    I'm sure I can research it, but can you just quickly explain the difference and why the Hydrolevel VXT is better. I've quickly seen mentions about the cycleguard being bad, but I don't know enough about it.

    Thanks.
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,297
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    The VXT is a metered feeder, so you can see what your water make up usage is. Ideally you don’t want the meter on the feeder read anything but 000 which means you have a tight sealed system.
    E-Travis Mechanical LLC
    Etravismechanical@gmail.com
    201-887-8856
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
    edited February 2019
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    Ok, quick research......I was confusing the feeder and the LWCO. Since we are on the subject, should I replace the Cyclegard with a Safgard?
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,429
    edited February 2019
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    The safeguard and cycle guard are low water cut offs. The Hydrolevel VXT is an automatic water feeder. 2 separate things. And sorry for the lack of explanation but as @EzzyT said, the Hydrolevel VXT I’m suggesting would indicate how often it feeds. This information is important because you don’t want to be filling the boiler often, as fresh water contains oxygen and oxygen is corrosive to the cast iron (which might be what lead to your previous boilers failure).
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,792
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    Is that a valve inline with the low pressure gauge?

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
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    it's a ball valve yes. To protect the low pressure gauge from high pressure if there's ever a problem.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,792
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    And it's open, right? for sure?

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    They did a nice job on that installation. Good for you!
    ethicalpaul
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
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    @ethicalpaul yeah it's open.
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
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    @Fred thanks, they did a good job. They seem pretty knowledgeable on steam, although I'm still annoyed they didn't put a pigtail on the low pressure gauge.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited February 2019
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    @Fred thanks, they did a good job. They seem pretty knowledgeable on steam, although I'm still annoyed they didn't put a pigtail on the low pressure gauge.

    If you look at the face of the gauge, many of them say "built in syphon" which is suppose to protect the gauge from steam temps, like a pigtail. I'm not sure how well they work so a pigtail is a sure bet.

    PS: I would want the Cyclegard changed out for a Safegard though. You'll learn why is fairly short order.
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
    edited February 2019
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    I'm replacing it as we speak. Good thing I have a well-stocked HVAC supply near by.
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
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    What a difference the Safgard made. Radiators hot MUCH faster without the unnecessary cycling.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Great!