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Steam boiler losing water

Hi all, 
So we can't figure out what the issue is with the water loss. the radiators are pitched the vents are new so we can't figure out how to approach next. i've seen on other peoples questions recommendations for pros. does anyone here know of anyone in nassau county long island who's honest, reliable and certain to investigate the heating system top to bottom to identify where the water is going? if it's the valves, if it's the vents if it's the boiler etc. constantly adding water every other day and that oxygenated water is gonna kill that boiler. thanks in advanced. 
Pipe

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,273
    Quite right. That much water is going to kill the boiler. There aren't that many ways that it can get out, though. You can have a leak in a wet return -- particularly if there is a buried one (you'd never see that). You can have a leak in the boiler below the water line. You can have a leak in the boiler above the water line (you'd usually see that as steam out of the chimney -- but not always). It could be a leak somewhere in the steam piping, but those are rare -- which is a good thing, since they are also very hard to find.

    Unless the leak if obvious, like a puddle on the floor or steam out the chimney, it's best to wait until a day warm enough to shut the boiler off for a few hours and leave it off. If you can do that, we can help you with ways to locate the leak, at least in a general sort of way.

    As to folks in Nassau County, have you looked at "Find a Contractor"? I'm not really sure who works where in the New York City area, but I do know that Dan Scully, doing business as Scully's Plumbing and Heating (516.887.1122), in Malverne does, and I know he works in Nassau County, and although I have not seen his work in person I know by reputation that he really is one of the best we have.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    The important qualities of a steam pro are competence, and experience. While there are some dishonest contractors out there, the problem ones are those who don’t read the installation manual, or learn from mistakes.
    Are there any main vents on the system?
    The boiler piping could be throwing up a lot of water, with a header smaller than the riser, but this water should remain in the system, just not always in the right place!—NBC
  • Pipe
    Pipe Member Posts: 16
    where in nassau county are you?
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    Get your best flashlight and spend 30 minutes in your basement.  Look at every hole where the radiator feeds travel to the first floor.  Feel for wetness. 

    Find the main vents and look for water stains above them.

    Find every valve on the returns and boiler and look for corrosion and wetness.

    ethicalpaul
  • Fmassarotto_9
    Fmassarotto_9 Member Posts: 111
    Pipe said:
    where in nassau county are you?

    valley stream

  • Fmassarotto_9
    Fmassarotto_9 Member Posts: 111
    Get your best flashlight and spend 30 minutes in your basement.  Look at every hole where the radiator feeds travel to the first floor.  Feel for wetness. 

    Find the main vents and look for water stains above them.

    Find every valve on the returns and boiler and look for corrosion and wetness.

    all the piping is covered by a thick sheet of metals and then drilled into the ceiling. idk if that will be doable but i can try 

  • GBC_illinois
    GBC_illinois Member Posts: 104
    I was experiencing mysterious water loss in my steam boiler too, and what ultimately fixed it was lowering the steam pressure. I live in a shared building, but just recently took over the boiler operation from the contractors that used to manage it (mismanage it, really). It turned out that we were running at a whopping 7.0 psi when all that was required to heat all the radiators was 0.6 psi, less than 1/10 of the pressure it was formerly running at. Turning down this pressure solved all sorts of problems, including reducing water hammer banging noises, less gas usage, and the mysterious water loss. Hope this helps!
    tommay