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Steam boiler flooding

mockas_owner
mockas_owner Member Posts: 5
edited September 11 in Radiant Heating
Hi all, 
I decided to clean my steam boiler as I do before every cold season arrives.

This time I decided that I was going to install a draining line lower so that all sediment would be easier to leave my boiler. When I finally put it all back together, this time the water feeder would not stop feeding water and the boiler just keeps flooding. I removed the LWCO probe 5lto clean it thinking based on some readings that, that was part of the problem. But no, the boiler keeps flooding....anybody can help me here! I would certainly appreciate it.

My boiler is  a hydrothermal about 20 years old in good shape. The water feeder is a mcdonell and Miller 101 A and the LWCO is a cyclegard cg400p

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344
    You do have the manuals for the two devices, I presume? If so, double check all your wiring. Check that the probe is properly seated (no tape or pipe dope) in the boiler. Run though the testing and trouble shooting directions in the manual.

    The most likely problem is that the solenoid in the feeder is stuck open -- but there are a number of other possibilities, so check thoroughly first.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,428
    What @Jamie Hall said. If the wiring and the controls are working properly then it could be the feeder valve or the manual fill valve leaking by. If you have a tankless water heater or an indirect water heater connected to the boiler that could be an issue
  • mockas_owner
    mockas_owner Member Posts: 5
    Thank you guys for your help. I will do the troubleshooting based on the manuals. But the last thing I noticed was that when I keep the valve before the water feeder and the one right after the water feeder, the flooding stops. It's when I open the bypass one that flooding occurs. Like nothing stops the water going in. In the past, the 3 valves were simultaneously open. I don't understand why this is doing this now....should I change that bypass valve?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,428
    Well a picture of the piping would help. Do you have a shut off before the feeder, and after the feeder as well as a valve to bypass the feeder?

    In normal operation the valves before and after the feeder should be open and the bypass if you have one is only opened to manually feed the boiler

    I am not clear on what you have. You might be able to tell by temperature which valve is cold? If it's leaks by slowly you may not be able to tell
  • mockas_owner
    mockas_owner Member Posts: 5
    EBEBRATT,

    The first picture shows the T I added  to be able to better drain sediments from the boiler bottom as  the original configuration for draining came out, then it took a 90 degree turn towards the ceiling  and then the valve was installed. I felt every time I remove water to remove sediment, it was not being done properly and so I added this lower pipe.
    The 2nd picture shows the water feeder flanked by 3 valves. 1 before and 1 after the feeder. The 3rd is the bypass. In the past, all three valves were open. When the  boiler needed water, water would be fed and then close when water was at its normal operation level. This time however, if the three are open, water just flows through all the system non stop.. When I finally noticed that the bypass valve-if left open- would flood the boiler, I closed it and then the water feeder fed water and stopped water flow. The level stayed in the sight glass.  I have no clue this why were all 3 valves open in the past and worked fine until now!
    The 3rd picture shows the drain pipe as originally installed with that 90 degree upwards. That 1/2 pipe on the T wight onto the 1inch pipe is the water feeder/main water line. And that 1 inches pipe on which it's installed on is both the drain and the pipe that conducts water to the boiler.  Thank you for your answers and all your help
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344
    Er... Um... if that bypass valve is open --the one on the short vertical pipe -- the boiler is going to flood. Period. There is nothing to stop it. If that valve had been open in the past, the same thing would have happened. Sorry...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mockas_owner
  • mockas_owner
    mockas_owner Member Posts: 5
    Jamie, 

    Then, the bypass has to be closed at all times? I know this one is to control water feed manually. Somewhere I read that, somehow this valve being open regulated pressuring building within the system.


    Thank you for your input
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,320
    keep the bypass closed unless you're there feeding water manually,
    with it open you'll end up with water in the attic ! #smiling
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344

    Jamie, 

    Then, the bypass has to be closed at all times? I know this one is to control water feed manually. Somewhere I read that, somehow this valve being open regulated pressuring building within the system.


    Thank you for your input

    I think what you were reading may have been related to hot water systems. Those are intended to run at a constant pressure in the system, rather than a constant water level in the boiler, and most of them do have a manual feed valve which is in line with a pressure regulator and which does have to be kept open so that the system can get makeup water if it needs it (now... it shouldn't need it if there are no leaks... but Murphy is alive and well...).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mockas_owner
    mockas_owner Member Posts: 5
    Well, then, I will keep the bypass valve closed at all times. And I will keep an eye on the water level just to make sure everything stays the same.

    Thank you all  so very much for your help.
    One last question, my steam radiator in far corner of the house ( first floor) keeps having issues to heat up. Do you think it's sediment in it blocking steam. I have replaced the vent and no sucess. Is the valve bad?



  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344
    On that slow radiator... sediment is highly unlikely. However, are you sure the valve is all the way open? That usually causes noises (gurgling and sometimes even hammer) but not always. One solid tipoff for that, though, is if the pipe gets hot fairly reasonably fast and the radiator just doesn't.

    Another possibility -- and again, check and see how fast the pipe heats up -- is that you need additional venting on the main -- not on the radiator -- in that area.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,428
    @mockas_owner

    As far as the radiator goes what @Jamie Hall said + check and see how many pipes are connected to the radiator.

    If it's one pipe put a level on it. It should be pitched higher on the vent end and lower on the pipe end.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,711
    @mockas_owner , sounds like you need a Steam Man. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting