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How much make up water is normal?

theald
theald Member Posts: 11
I am thinking of putting a meter on the water feed to my boiler. I have a 16 unit apartment building built early 1900's. 500,000 btu nat gas boiler, single pipe system.
I know there is not an exact answer but what am I looking at? 5 gal a week in the middle of winter? 50? 5 quarts?
It currently has a float control on a tank controlling the fresh water. Would I be wise to switch to something like a VXT 24? There was a couple of times the water level control (Mcdonnell Miller 42S) stuck and filled the system with water. Sounds like the VXT24 would stop it from flooding the system (or building) if something went wrong.

Comments

  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 174
    edited May 30
    My Peerless 63-04 - 147,000 BTU - will take maybe .5 gallons on a really cold week in January or February, and about 1.25 gal/per month average over a 7 month heating season Mid Oct to Mid May (in NJ). Should be less than that but it's not a crazy amount of makeup water. I'm guessing your system could be a bit north of that number but shouldn't be by a whole lot.

    Bottom line though, if you're not metering it how do you know if you have a problem or not? I add makeup water manually so no need for an auto feeder, but if i did have one you bet it would have a meter.
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 759
    Typically 1/2 gallon per month on a new system per apartment is about the normal usage.
    In an old system like yours that may have leaking packing valve nuts on rad valves, some vent valve spitting and some leaks in the system there is no way to know what is acceptable.

    Anything more than 1 1/2 gallons per month per apt. means you need to start to look at the system for problems.

    Yes a water meter should be installed on your property because it is a silent watch man.

    Jake
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,863

    Typically 1/2 gallon per month on a new system per apartment is about the normal usage.
    In an old system like yours that may have leaking packing valve nuts on rad valves, some vent valve spitting and some leaks in the system there is no way to know what is acceptable.

    Anything more than 1 1/2 gallons per month per apt. means you need to start to look at the system for problems.

    Yes a water meter should be installed on your property because it is a silent watch man.

    Jake

    This. We have meters on pretty much all our larger customers' systems. Your system uses a "boiler-feed pump" where the float maintains a minimum water level in the tank, and the 42S (or more often, a 150) controls the pump to add water to the boiler. In your case, you'd install a standard type of water meter on the line to the float valve in the tank.
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