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Water feeder setting reccomendations?

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cubicacres
cubicacres Member Posts: 358
edited December 2021 in Strictly Steam
We noticed the water feeder seems to be activated around the time our single-pipe WMC EG75 boiler boiler shuts off on ocassion, so guess the low-water, pressure, or room thermostat temp. satisfied with the tekmar 279 indoor sensor is causing the burners to stop as we observe it.

We timed the condensate water return at around 6 minutes, so set the water feeder delay to 8 minutes before the water feeder refills it (if needed occasionally) back to the LWC level.

If we change the water fill setting to a flat 1 or 2 gallons instead, will this avoid future low-water cut-off issues? We don't want to over-fill the boiler or shock it with adding too much 50F city water while hot, but with the 8 minute delay, are we safe enough to see if this keeps enough water in the boiler to not need to be tripped on low-water after this occurs? If we can safely avoid any low-water shut-offs, this seems like it would be more efficient, but curious what you guys think.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    Given what you have observed, the 8 minute delay is probably correct. The amount per fill may be independent of the fill delay, and if that is the case a 1 gallon fill should be ample unless your boiler is using a lot of water (if it is, that should be attended to!).

    I would avoid using the fill until happy option, and 2 gallons is likely way too much.

    The occasional stop of low water situation shouldn't be an issue. For one thing, it shouldn't happen often. How much water is the boiler using? If it's more than a gallon a week it is definitely too much and you have leaks somewhere; some would say a gallon a month is too much.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
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    Boiler water level >

    1. First water level is the shut down level that occurs when the low water is activated.
    2. The second water level is the level that the automatic feeder sets.
    3. The third water level is the operating water level. The operating water level occurs when a boiler fires to produce heat. Water in the boiler evaporates and becomes steam,that steam circulates through the system and condenses, then returns to the boiler. The amount of water in gallons varies with the run time of the boiler. On the coldest day of the year where the heating cycle is longest the highest operating level is op achieved the level of the water normally would be about 3/4" below the top ofr the gauge glass.

    Jake
  • cubicacres
    cubicacres Member Posts: 358
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    Thanks-we'll try adding 1 gallon instead of to the LWC level then & see how it goes. We usually fill the gauge glass to about 40% full, but added another 2 gallons or so to reach 50-60% on the glass about 3 weeks ago on our WMC EG75, and while it's now back down to the usual 40% full gauge glass level yesterday, the fill water meter hasn't increased in 3 weeks yet. This suggests we're around 2 gallons used the past 3 weeks.

    We did fix a leak a few months ago when we saw the use was 4x this amount. Hard to know how far to chase those leaks & how much investigating in tenant units, uncovering main line insulation, etc. to do to minimize water use if we can drop another gallon or two per month? Other than leaks & run time due to outside temperatures & heat loss of the building, are there other places the water goes we can manage to reduce use?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    You're down to the point now where you are chasing really small leaks. Remember that one small drip every 20 seconds is a gallon per day...

    I wouldn't worry about mains insulation at this point. Much more likely a slightly slow vent or two, or leaks around valve stems, or other minor nightmares. One slightly leaky union somewhere would do it too.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • cubicacres
    cubicacres Member Posts: 358
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    After looking at the boiler log book again tonight, it looks like just 1 gallon added from the water meter in the last 21 operating days, plus the generous level we started it out with at 60% gauge glass full level, so maybe 2 gallons or so, or .006 gal/boiler Hour average. This is less than most weeks the past 3 years or so that were .02-.03 if I'm remembering correctly, and much less per boiler run hour than the weeks we had obvious leaks, at up to .20 or so per hour before finding the obvious visible leaks that made the floor boards & basement floor below wet with water stains each day.

    We changed the water fill meter setting from LWCO to 1 gallon, so we'll see if that helps keep it running without a LWCO interuption/short cycle the next few weeks. If letting it run without a LWCO interruption is more efficient & desirable, would it be a good idea to target a 60% full gauge glass rather than a 40% full level when we're in the boiler room each time & maybe maually add a half to a gallon to keep it up there? Is there an ideal water level to try and keep in a boiler like our WMC EG75?
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
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    I stared a discussion on the many water levels in a boiler. This discussion will answer all your questions about the proper water level in any boiler that is used for steam.

    Please read it and then comment if it helped you with your situation.

    Jake
  • cubicacres
    cubicacres Member Posts: 358
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    Thanks for the info. & article reference. I'm curious about our specific WMC EG75 single-pipe steam boiler water levels as mentioned in your article-where the max water line is on our unit if above our 40% historical mark up the gauge glass the installers marked for us with a black sharpie marker for us as a guide.