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Like my beautiful, moody ex-girlfriend...SOS in Portland!!!
I purchased "The Lost Art" and read the relevant chapters last week. I have a single boiler with a manifold serving 4 one-pipe mains. The first-floor apartments have shorter dry returns and longer risers than the second-floor apartments.
I understand the system a little better, but I mostly now understand that this is truly is an art, an art which necessitates constant attention.
I am as willing as anyone to invest in a system to make it function better, but I'm afraid that I'll be investing in things that don't necessarily make my system function better, or make it function worse. So far I've invested in bigger main vents (4 big-mouth main vents, at the ends of my returns, and insulation for my some of my previously un-insulated mains).
I am delaying in doing a couple of things:
1. replacing all the vents on all the radiators in the house
2. insulating all my basement pipes
I think I truly need an expert and a whole-system evaluation.
Why am I delaying?
1. I have delayed insulating some of the downstairs piping. One reason is that I wondered if the people who installed my new boiler calculated the un-insulated pipe into the overall heating equation. I seem to have read some things to this effect on the wall and in "The lost art." If it was calculated into the heating load of the house for all the basement pipes to be un-insulated, wouldn't insulating the pipes set me up with an over-fired boiler and potentially a problem with short-cycling?
2. I was having a problem of the boiler spontaneously over filling throughout the winter, but the system was at least stable for 2-3 weeks (not sure why), so I didn't want to change anything.
UNTIL LAST NIGHT!!!
Again I came home to whistling vents on the radiators in my second-floor apartment, and went to the basement to find the water line way over the sight-glass, water spilled all over the basement floor, rusty discolorations at the lips of two of my big-mouths, and the crappy pressure gauge reading 5 lbs of pressure.
This time I emptied at least 15 gallons from the boiler, but the line is still way above the sight-glass and the pressure hasn't budged.
I am truly baffled as to where this water comes from, and therefore scared of draining any more off. My automatic electric feeder stays at the same number where it has been for weeks, 051. (What is this 051 gallons? liters? hundreds of gallons? I am only confused because if I removed 15 gallons from my system, where did it come from? why is this number the same?
I am so puzzled.
1. Where is this extra water coming from?
2. Why doesn't my electric feeder's number change?
3. Why does my pressuretrol allow the pressure to get up to 5 psi? (It's set to cut-in at 0.5 with a diff of 1)
4. What do I do next?
5. Why does this happen? Was it because I lowered my thermostat to 60 for half a day when I wanted to open the windows for a few minutes to air out the apartment? What's going on???
Baby, I want things to work, but you have to stop acting crazy. Yes I love you (I think...)
Help in Portland!!!