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Potentially faulty low water cutoff

Hello All, 

I have posted here previously in regards to the 2 pipe steam system at my parents house. 

The boiler has performed well without any issues since I last posted. However when I was home visiting then this weekend I observed the water in the sight glass drop
below the level of the low water cutoff and the cutoff did not shut off the boiler. I drained more water as it was running, while staying above the “lowest permissible water line” and the cutoff did not trigger nor did the amber light on it illuminate. The cutoff as operated properly in the past so I am confident that it is wired properly. 

It is a electronic probe style Safguard by HyrdoLevel Company, model 450. I looked up the manual for cleaning instructions. But I am unable to removed the the probe from the boiler with a 12” adjustable wrench and I fear I may deform the brass fitting if I add a cheater pipe. 

So I think my question is 3 part.

 Should I worry about deforming the probe by adding more force or just go for it? 

Is it okay to run the boiler if the water level is monitored? 

Can anyone recommend a contractor experienced with steam in the Lehigh Valley area of PA, zip code 18042. I have check the contractor listings on this website previously but haven’t seen anyone listed for the area. 

Thank you!



  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,270
    Yes -- try some PB Blaster on it. No, absolutely not. But cheer up -- it probably just needs to be cleaned and reinstalled. And I haven't a clue...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,510

    I would buy a spare probe to have and then take the old one out. Put a cheater on the wrench. And no teflon tape, just pipe dope
  • ankeabu
    ankeabu Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for the quick replies. 

    I got the probe out, leverage and pb blaster worked great. 

    Cleaned the probe throughly with fine steel wool as the manual recommend. 

    Going to reinstall and test shortly. 

    Copy on the pipe dope. 


  • ankeabu
    ankeabu Member Posts: 11
    The cleaning worked and the cut off operated properly. I was very excited to see that orange light. A new unit will be a off season project for my piece of mind. 

    Thank you for the help. This forum is an amazing resource. 
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    @ankeabu you it is late to second guess, but I always use a 6 point socket and cheater on the breaker bar if needed on anything with a hex that has two come out.