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McDonnell & Miller Electric Water Feeder

Hello:

This is my first post. Our home has an oil-fired steam boiler with a McDonnell & Miller Model 67 Low Water Cut-Off & a Series 101-A Electric Water Feeder. We recently bought our home & I could tell by the service tags on the furnace that it had been cleaned regularly. However, I didn’t know if maintenance had ever been done on the low-water cut-off or water feeder, so a couple of days ago I decided to check them out.

I found maintenance instructions for both components on McDonald & Miller’s website. I learned that the basket strainer & cartridge inside the water feeder (see photo) are supposed to be checked & cleaned annually. The basket strainer is supposed to be replaced every 10 years, too.

The basket strainer was so filthy that I replaced it, but the cartridge (inside the red box in the photo) is gone!

What does the cartridge actually do? Should I install one? The automatic fill system seems to work fine without, but would it perform better with a cartridge in place? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much,
Pete

Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,971
    You may have a newer fill valve mounted on the supply pipe.
    Pictures of piping would show us.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @PittsfieldPete, is the water feeder actually powered by electric or are you using it as a manual feed by opening the water valve on the water pipe each time the boiler needs water? That cartridge is actually a part of the valve that controls water flow and I can't imagine the auto feeder working without it. I would think it would flood your boiler.
  • PittsfieldPete
    PittsfieldPete Member Posts: 4
    Hello:

    The water feeder is an electric solenoid type that’s controlled by the low water cut-off. The cut-off has a float inside that closes a switch when the boiler water level drops. When the switch closes, the water feeder opens to allow water to enter the boiler. This raises the float which opens the switch & shut the feeder off. Water can also be added manually if needed by pressing the red button on top of the valve (see photos).

    As I said before, the system is working fine without a cartridge. I’m just wondering if it would work better with a cartridge installed in the feeder. I’m also wondering if there would be any reason whatsoever why the cartridge would be removed. The cartridge is just a hollow plastic bolt with holes & slots around it for water to flow through after it goes through the basket strainer.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,971
    How about pictures of the entire boiler showing the cold water supply line?
    Back up for pictures to get wide angle.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @PittsfieldPete , Yes, I'm familiar with that Feeder. I have one on the shelf, that's why I ask if you are actually using it as intended (powered and auto feed) because that cartridge is part of the flow valve and I would have expected the unit to have a continuous flow without it.
    JUGHNE
  • PittsfieldPete
    PittsfieldPete Member Posts: 4
    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a decent photo of our boiler setup, but the attached photo shows just how the feeder is piped. The drawing in the photo is a screenshot from the feeder installation instructions available on McDonnell & Miller’s website.

    Not that it makes any difference, but all of the piping used on our setup is 1/2” copper, not the threaded pipe & fittings shown on the drawing. It also has ball valves instead of the gate valves shown.
  • PittsfieldPete
    PittsfieldPete Member Posts: 4
    Here’s the photo I forgot to include.
  • BDR529
    BDR529 Member Posts: 197
    Auto feeds will void the warranty, it is not a maintaining control. Minimum safe water level. And those words are used very loosely.

    It is steam boiler, no such thing as set it and forget it.