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Water leaking from my radiator

VCard
VCard Member Posts: 14
Can someone explain or help me with this?
I have a oil burner with steam heat in an old house. Been here four years with no issue. The heat was last on three days ago. This morning one of the two wall mounted basement radiators started to leak water from the steam valve. I have screwed down the valves which feed the radiators, but the leaks have continued for the last hour. Is this just the condensation of the system draining out? Can someone offer some guidance? Thanks


Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    What pressure does your system operate at?
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    Where is that number located?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    Gauge located on the boiler.
    Could be near a grey box called a Pressurecontrol.
    Pictures if you can.
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    I'll have a look
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    The gauge says 3 on the dial
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14



  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    I just shut off the VXT water feeder and I shut off the water valve above the feeder as well. This picture is what was happening earlier, but I was able to manipulate the valve to slow the flow
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    In the bottom right of the full size picture of the boiler there is one one valve, which seems to feed water into the system, I have no idea what that is, should i shut that off? I am concerned that the whole system will fill and I will start having water on the main floor of the house next.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,792
    In the full picture of the boiler it looks like the bypass around the VXT water feeder is shut off, but not the valve above it. Shut that off, shut down power to the boiler and drain the boiler after opening up the valve to the leaky radiator. That should get the flooding to stop. Then call a professional who is familiar with steam heating.
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    I shut it off after the picture. Do you see the drain for the boiler in the picture?
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,792
    edited April 2020
    I don't see it, I would expect it to be on the bottom right side. That's where it would be on a hydronic boiler, that's what I'm used to working on. A steam boiler shouldn't be much different, it still requires some way to drain it with a hose when it comes time to replace it.

    I'm curious about the green box on the right side of it. Looks like a hydronic pump control or zone valve control.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    For now shut off the 2 yellow handle valves, on the smallish copper tubes, above the VXT blue box.
    That larger bottom one lets the water return to the boiler, keep that open
    Where is the water level in the sight glass?
    If boiler is flooded it might look clear as if empty.
    Put your hand behind it as you look at it for distortion of your fingers from solid water.

    Your water feeder may be overfilling the boiler and the pipes above it.

    With the power off you can drain water out of the boiler from the lower garden hose bib.

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    Need picture of your sight glass.
    Also the grey box with numbers, upper left from the gauge.
    Also picture of your water heater next to the boiler.

    The feeder is activated by a water probe inserted into the boiler.
    If dirty it may over feed water.

    Also the pigtail loop under the pressure control may need cleaning.

    Does the gauge ever return to zero?

    When was the last time the boiler was serviced?
    Where are you located?
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    Thanks for help. I just set up hose and am drainingg, the sight glass was full but is now running out. Been two seasons since last service, but only 16 months. I'm going to take more pics, Long Beach new York. Leaks have stopped. I'll be back in a few
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14




    These are the follow up pics
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    sight glass is empty, familiar with that, growing up we had a manual feed on our old boiler, was one of the daily go check the boiler duties in my house, hot water heater is gas, separate unit


  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,765
    Any pumps or piping from boiler to water heater?
    The Taco box usually is not on a steam boiler.
    SuperTech
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    No, no connections. The Taco has a wire that runs to the oil burner, which is heavy gauge and they lighter gauge which connects to the front of the boiler.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,485
    Something is causing the boiler to overfill. Maybe the auto feeder isn't closing all the way. Maybe the manual valve isn't closing all the way. Could be other things also (slow/clogged return).
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,485
    Not priority but those air vents are junk. Also, unless your water feeder was installed around the revolutionary war, you are adding to much water. You shouldn't need to add water more then once every few weeks.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,958
    For now, if you want heat, and assuming that the waterfall has stopped, make sure that the water level in the sight glass is about half way up but leave the valves to the automatic feeder closed. Then try running the boiler -- turn it back on. Since you had a manual feed on the old boiler you're way ahead of about 90% of the population. Keep an eye on the water level!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    no that was a boiler in a house I used to live in years ago. It was a converted coal oven, from turn of 20th Century.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,958
    Oh -- and the pressure control looks set right, which is good. The pigtail may or may not be clear, but we can worry about that later.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • VCard
    VCard Member Posts: 14
    Thank you all for your help. We will tough it out for now, can get by without heat. I will have it serviced, but I need to put few dollars aside. I'm glad we were home, because i vacuumed up about a gallon of water and it happened right in front of us, could only imagine if it was 8 hours of running water. Safety and health all around!
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756

    The pigtail may or may not be clear, but we can worry about that later.

    From the amount of rust on it, it'd be a safe bet that it's clogged.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24