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Would shutting off water mess up our VXT feeder?

Don_175
Don_175 Member Posts: 20
We have oil fired steam in a house where we are only there on weekends. The house is very old, as is the plumbing. We recently had an install of a VXT water feeder. Beforehand, we had no problems with the water level in the boiler. And I haven't noticed any usage on the meter. I am more concerned with a pipe letting go and causing massive damage. Before the water feeder installation, we would turn off our water main. If we did that, and the feeder called for water, could we possibly damage it as it would be running continuously? The other thing we could possibly do is leave the water turned on but turn off our well pump via the switch so only the residual water in the well pressure tank would potentially leak out if a pipe let go. Thanks

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,415
    It won't damage the feeder -- although you would see some really crazy numbers on the display.

    What I'd be far more concerned about is ensuring that you have two (2) functioning low level cutoffs on your boiler. Low water cutoffs have been known to fail, on occasion, but rarely. If you have two, then it will be even rarer.

    If you don't have two, I'd shut off the boiler or hire someone to come and check the house -- and the boiler -- daily. Cheap insurance.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Don_175
    Don_175 Member Posts: 20
    We have a probe type LWCO. I certainly wouldn't want to risk the boiler running dry. Can't turn it off in winter, and it is rather isolated so it would be difficult to have someone check on it daily. Maybe the better option would be to leave the water turned on but turn off the well pump. The feeder would have its water supply and in case of a pipe break, we would have a max of 30 gallons of water spilled vs the well pump continuing to flood everything.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,624
    edited February 12
    No. The VXT water feeder's internal logic will put the feeder into "lockout" if the boiler fails to fire after two consecutive feed cycles. When you want the feeder to work again, you would just add water yourself and turn the power off and on. Done.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
  • Don_175
    Don_175 Member Posts: 20
    edited February 16
    Thanks guys. What I'm doing is turning off well pump but leaving water turned on. That way, feeder still will work and boiler won't shut down due to lack of water. But if we have a pipe freeze or fail, only a limited amount of water will come out before tank is empty. Still quite a bit, but not a massive flood.
    On the Hydrolevel website, the literature says no more than 25 gallons per year fresh water for my size boiler (130,000 btu), but on the Supply House website, The VXT installation paperwork says 10 gallons per month.
    That's a huge difference. Which is correct?

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,633
    Don_175 said:

    Thanks guys. What I'm doing is turning off well pump but leaving water turned on. That way, feeder still will work and boiler won't shut down due to lack of water. But if we have a pipe freeze or fail, only a limited amount of water will come out before tank is empty. Still quite a bit, but not a massive flood.
    On the Hydrolevel website, the literature says no more than 25 gallons per year fresh water for my size boiler (130,000 btu), but on the Supply House website, The VXT installation paperwork says 10 gallons per month.
    That's a huge difference. Which is correct?

    Neither. On a boiler that size I'd say 1 gallon per month maximum. Any more than that and you should be checking for leaks, steam or water.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,798
    "correct" is a difficult word here but I would say more like 1 gallon a month during heating season. It could be less.

    The concern is if you have any steam or condensation leaks, you can use quite a bit more than that.

    Honestly if you are going to be there on weekends, I wouldn't be too concerned. Fill it up to half way up the gauge glass and mark the level, then see where it is next weekend.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
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