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Weil-McLain EGH 125 Steam Boiler water loss

What is an acceptable amount of water loss for a newly installed EGH 125? The water capacity is 21 gallons and we have added around 13 gallons in total in the last six months. This is after replacing 20 feet of wet returns buried in concrete. That slowed existing water loss significantly but I am wondering if there is more replacing required on some remaining pipe buried in concrete. Where did the water go if we are not in heating season yet? The boiler is connected to an indirect tank for domestic hot water and this is a one pipe system.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,100
    If you are losing that much water -- which is wildly excessive -- and are not using much, if any steam, it has to be either going into the wet returns or -- and this is very unlikely -- somehow getting into the indirect. By far the most likely culprit is the wet returns. You need to find and stop those losses before the additional water which you are adding ruins the boiler.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    New England SteamWorks
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,564
    If you have a Hartford Loop (and you should have), a leaking wet return would only drain the water down to below the HL connection.
    It may be doing that and if you have an automatic water feeder it may be "topping off" the boiler and allowing more water to leak out of the wet return.

    If you are certain that your low water cutoff safety works, you could shut the water valve to the feeder off. See if the water drops to the HL connection.

    IIUC, your indirect water heater should not require the boiler to make steam.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,433

    What both @Jamie Hall & @JUGHNE said is correct.

    If your losing water wet returns under the floor are always the first suspect.

    You have to fix this before it kills the new boiler
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,409
    I have that exact boiler, for reference mine has used 39 gallons in 7 years.  Your usage is excessive.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,472
    edited September 2021
    That is a big boiler. I hope it's a commercial property.

    When we do replacements with buried returns, we always fill up the returns while we are working and monitor the water level. Very simple test to make. If it hasn't gone down in a day we're good. If not, time to get out the jack hammer.

    BTW: we believe that given the age of steam systems, if buried returns haven't started leaking yet, they are about to. So we recommend replacement in all instances, or at the minimal a VXT to monitor water water consumption precisely.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,409
    I'm facepalming myself for misinterpreting the subject. I am thinking of this boiler as the 125k input, not the EGH 125 which is massive, dummy me.

    My boiler is way smaller, but I would still suggest the water usage is excessive.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • pcolburn2
    pcolburn2 Member Posts: 25
    I chiseled out all the remaining concrete around the wet returns today and there was no apparent leaking anywhere. It is disappointing but I am glad all the pipe is visible now. I reset the counter on the VXT-24 feeder and I will monitor it closely as we enter heating season. The counter read 14 gallons before the reset today so it added 14 gallons in 185 days. I was wondering why the feed amount tag on the VXT says anything over 35 gallons annually is excessive on any boiler over 185,000 BTUs. Ours is double that in BTUs. I will keep this forum updated on what happens but any thoughts people have are welcome.