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Leaking Gate Valve at Bottom of Boiler-Suggestions for Repair or Replacement?

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cubicacres
cubicacres Member Posts: 358
We went to shut down the boiler for summer today and noticed one of the gate valves at the bottom of the boiler for blowing-down won't close completely and drips after messing around with it for several minutes.

Anyone have any advice about fixing (just add a cap to the threads for now to stop the drips) or replacing this with another valve such as a ball valve, etc? Not sure if it's easy to try graphite rope re-packing the nut with the water still on the boiler, or if we'll have to drain the boiler first & replace the valve.
.

Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
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    Replace it with a brass nipple, full port ball valve and hose adaptor with cap.

    Hopefully the reducing bushing would come out with it.....doubtful.
    Just use the size you are left with.

    Examine the openings of the old boiler drain you removed and you will understand why there is still sludge left in the boiler after draining.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    Is that a gate valve or just a globe valve? it looks like a globe valve but the pic is unclear. you could replace the washer and if necessary packing if it is a globe valve, but for the reasons @JUGHNE mentioned a ball valve is better. i like this type with the built in hose thread:

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Webstone-40312W-1-2-Female-x-Hose-Full-Port-Ball-Valve-Lead-Free
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    I would use a ball valve the old valve is not worth fixing. But don't but a hose end ball valve to much $$. By a regular threaded ball valve with a hose adapter fitting and hose cap. Much cheaper $
    JUGHNE
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,257
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    If you care about the next guy you may want to install a cheapo valve ahead of working valve?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    I would use a ball valve the old valve is not worth fixing. But don't but a hose end ball valve to much $$. By a regular threaded ball valve with a hose adapter fitting and hose cap. Much cheaper $

    With the way the prices of brass has skyrocketed I don't think you're going to come out much ahead with separate pieces.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,147
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    Kinda looks like a typical boiler drain. A screw on cap is a quick fix, but a new full port valve would be nice. Find a ball valve with hose connection built in to it
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    PC7060
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,692
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    Every ball valve I've used on my boiler has failed from debris destroying it.

    The last round I went back to normal washer type boiler drains.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • cubicacres
    cubicacres Member Posts: 358
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    Thanks. I think it's a standard gate valve, & I put a cap on it last night as a temp. solution, but noticed it still drips around the cap this morning at the same rate & we're down by about a gallon in the bucket beneath the valve in the last 24 hrs, so I'll try some plumber's tape around the cap threads for now to keep the rest of the boiler water inside the boiler (if I'm successful).

    I suppose if we replace it with a ball valve this summer, we'll need to have all the water out of the boiler anyway during the swap, so maybe not worth trying to save the remaining gallons of water in our WMC EG75 boiler now? The other side has a similar valve that's been working fine, so tempted to keep that one, but if it's empty anyway...maybe good to replace both at the same time?

    It might be helpful to clean out the boiler with a modified "water wand" from the skim port I've heard some people use while it's empty, but we're not sure how to do that ourselves. After replacing the valve(s), just fill it up, add a single steamaster tablet & run it for 10-15 minutes until water is at 180+F to dissolve most of the oxygen & fill to the top of the boiler/gauge glass as usual for the summer storage season?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,692
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    I often feel invisible.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    CLamb
  • cubicacres
    cubicacres Member Posts: 358
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    Is a washer type similar to/the same type as the gate valve we have in the photos? Just went back & saw most of the boiler water is gone already (below sight glass bottom), so no point in trying to save it anymore. After adding plumber's tape, just started leaking slower from the packing nut. Looks like a 3/4 inch gate valve as marked on the brass section. Is that first adapter behind the valve a 1" to 3/4" reducer for the 3/4" brass gate valve? Should we just use a 1" brass nipple to get some length outside the boiler jacket area & ad a 1" ball/washer full port valve with cap to look similar to the other side of the boiler valve in the last photo?


    ?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    @cubicacres

    That is not a gate valve. It is more like an angle globe valve.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    Does it stop leaking if you tighten the packing nut? That is a globe valve.

    It looks like it has half inch cast in to it. it is hard to judge size from a picture. It looks like it has 2 black reducing bushings behind it. The easiest thing to do would be a new valve with a 1/2" brass nipple. you probably will need to remove the jacket or use a socket to get the bushings out.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    I ran jobs, estimated and ordered a lot of material before I retired.

    I just looked on Supply House.com. I know we can't post prices

    If a regular boiler drain 3/4" cost "X"

    A hose end ball valve cost about "7X"

    A threaded ball valve cost less than "2X"


    Hose end ball valves are outrageous for what ever reason and when I was working I refused to buy them for that reason. Yeah it takes 60 seconds to put a hose adapter in a threaded ball valve.

    @cubicacres

    You can buy a new boiler drain for less than what a pack of smokes cost

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
    edited May 2022
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    Boiler drains are super cheap but also very restrictive and usually globe valves.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    ChrisJ said:
    Every ball valve I've used on my boiler has failed from debris destroying it.

    The last round I went back to normal washer type boiler drains.
    Failed as in didn't close all the way? I always use ball valves and don't think that any of them have failed. 
    mattmia2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,692
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    ChrisJ said:
    Every ball valve I've used on my boiler has failed from debris destroying it.

    The last round I went back to normal washer type boiler drains.
    Failed as in didn't close all the way? I always use ball valves and don't think that any of them have failed. 
    They closed all the way, but they leaked.
    Debris got in between the seals and the balls and destroyed them.

    With a washer style valve at least they're easy to repair.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,147
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    A globe valve typically has a tapered seat and sealing washer, and flow is parallel to the seat. That is why the are useful for flow balance, and fine adjustments
    Most boiler drains have a flat washer and flow is straight into the end, more like a two handle kitchen or lav faucet, a compression type shut off of flow, aka bib washer valve. 

    Another down side to flat washer boiler drains is the washer can pop off when you pump or pressurize into them, flowing backwards


    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,692
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    Just so there's no confusion.

    I do not have a problem with ball valves.  But I have learned to dislike them as boiler drains as well as cheap ones in general.  I've had more issues with cheap ball valves than any other kind of valve.

    Here's what I used as my main water shutoff and I exercise it several times a year.





    But there's absolutely no way I would spend that kind of money on a boiler drain. 


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • cubicacres
    cubicacres Member Posts: 358
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    Thanks everyone. Looking at the current valve (photo isn't the best resolution), it's marked 3/4, so I'm thinking 3/4" and guessing a 1" adapter behind it with another 1.5" adapter behind that? Or I could call WMC and ask about that EG75 model (newer to plumbing & steam boilers myself). Would trying to get out both adapters behind it be better so a larger nipple can be used to help position a bucket underneath & allow the new valve handle room? And a larger opening would be better to get more crud out each time? Then the question of what type of valve (repairable washer vs. ball).
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,692
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    I would take the original valve apart and clean it well and replace the washer if necessary.  Make sure you use a neoprene washer.

    Chances are it'll be fine and work like new.  
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    CLamb
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,147
    edited May 2022
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    I put a couple of these 3/4 ball hose bibs on my house for irrigation water, around 10 bucks online, or a couple Starbucks trips😉 Buy it from on of the advertiser   here on HH

    You really should not need to drain down the boiler yearly. Every time you drain and add Fred’s water you will continue to get more corrosion from the oxygenated water you refill with
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,692
    Options
    hot_rod said:
    I put a couple of these 3/4 ball hose bibs on my house for irrigation water, around 10 bucks online, or a couple Starbucks trips😉 Buy it from on of the advertiser   here on HH

    You really should not need to drain down the boiler yearly. Every time you drain and add Fred’s water you will continue to get more corrosion from the oxygenated water you refill with
    I drain and wash out every 1-2 years and add fresh Steamaster 

    This washes any minerals out and replenishes the oxygen scavenger etc.  Steamaster helps make minerals fall out of the water and stops them from sticking to the metal but they still need to be removed.

    I'm not sure who Fred is these days but I don't buy water from him. :)


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,147
    Options
    ChrisJ said:
    hot_rod said:
    I put a couple of these 3/4 ball hose bibs on my house for irrigation water, around 10 bucks online, or a couple Starbucks trips😉 Buy it from on of the advertiser   here on HH

    You really should not need to drain down the boiler yearly. Every time you drain and add Fred’s water you will continue to get more corrosion from the oxygenated water you refill with
    I drain and wash out every 1-2 years and add fresh Steamaster 

    This washes any minerals out and replenishes the oxygen scavenger etc.  Steamaster helps make minerals fall out of the water and stops them from sticking to the metal but they still need to be removed.

    I'm not sure who Fred is these days but I don't buy water from him. :)


    Fat Finger Fred, you don’t know him??
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ChrisJmattmia2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,692
    Options
    hot_rod said:
    ChrisJ said:
    hot_rod said:
    I put a couple of these 3/4 ball hose bibs on my house for irrigation water, around 10 bucks online, or a couple Starbucks trips😉 Buy it from on of the advertiser   here on HH

    You really should not need to drain down the boiler yearly. Every time you drain and add Fred’s water you will continue to get more corrosion from the oxygenated water you refill with
    I drain and wash out every 1-2 years and add fresh Steamaster 

    This washes any minerals out and replenishes the oxygen scavenger etc.  Steamaster helps make minerals fall out of the water and stops them from sticking to the metal but they still need to be removed.

    I'm not sure who Fred is these days but I don't buy water from him. :)


    Fat Finger Fred, you don’t know him??
    I wasn't sure if it was a typo or a fancy brand of water 
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,147
    Options
    ChrisJ said:
    hot_rod said:
    ChrisJ said:
    hot_rod said:
    I put a couple of these 3/4 ball hose bibs on my house for irrigation water, around 10 bucks online, or a couple Starbucks trips😉 Buy it from on of the advertiser   here on HH

    You really should not need to drain down the boiler yearly. Every time you drain and add Fred’s water you will continue to get more corrosion from the oxygenated water you refill with
    I drain and wash out every 1-2 years and add fresh Steamaster 

    This washes any minerals out and replenishes the oxygen scavenger etc.  Steamaster helps make minerals fall out of the water and stops them from sticking to the metal but they still need to be removed.

    I'm not sure who Fred is these days but I don't buy water from him. :)


    Fat Finger Fred, you don’t know him??
    I wasn't sure if it was a typo or a fancy brand of water 
    Could be both!
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream