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Is this Expansion Tank in Attic Draining Water?

Dairon421
Dairon421 Member Posts: 78
Hey so we installed a new hot water boiler and was trying to fill system but pressure would never get above 5psi. Water pressure is good and don't see any leaks. 

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,217
    Where does that overflow line go? You wouldn't fill that system to a pressure, you would just fill it until that expansion tank is more or less full. In many systems that overflow line runs in to the basement so you can tell when water starts running out of the tank but it could go somewhere else too. That is why old pressure gauges were called altitude gauges and marked in feet of water so you could fill it until the pressure reached the height of the tank.
    Solid_Fuel_ManIntplm.
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 593
    Is that old expansion tank still connected to your heating system? Sometimes they were replaced with a tank in the boiler room when gravity systems were converted to forced circulation.

    Bburd
    Intplm.
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 487
    edited August 2022
    Hello @Dairon421, If your system stays at 5 PSI.

    5.0 (PSI) / 0.4335 (PSI, 1 Foot of Head) = 11.53 Feet.

    I would start looking for the leak (or overflow pipe) at 11.53 Feet above the gauge, assuming the gauge is working correctly. And if that is the height of that horizontal pipe connected to the top of the tank in the picture I would find out where it goes (or drains to), just so you know.

    What did the old Boiler gauge read or was it defective ?

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,332
    The elevation from the top of that tank down to your boiler gauge will determine the most pressure you will get from that system.

    If the tank is full then that is usually all you need....once all the air is out of the piping/rads.

    10' will give you about 5 PSI. 30' will give you about 14 PSI.

    If you keep adding water the overflow water will go somewhere.
    Perhaps out onto the roof or rain gutter.
    Maybe connected in the attic to the sewer vent or dropping down a wall to the basement drain lines or laundry sink.

    You have 2 pipes connected into the bottom....my best guess is that one is a connection to the supply piping and the other to the return piping.

    This induces water circulation into the tank, just like a radiator, to keep it from freezing in the attic.

    Is there a pump on the new boiler?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,525
    Assuming that tank is still active -- and it sounds like it is -- 5 psi is all you'll get unless the house is very tall. But -- that's not a problem! That's all you need, so not to worry.

    I would find out where that overflow line goes, though...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,170
    My bet is on the roof and down a gutter wee it may not be noticed
    STEVEusaPA
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,054
    I've seen many attic tank overflows in Cleveland punched into the main sanitary stack vent. Not kosher today but Ohio didn't even have a Plumbing code until 1922 so the guys just did whatever worked prior to that.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,915
    mattmia2 said:

    Where does that overflow line go? You wouldn't fill that system to a pressure, you would just fill it until that expansion tank is more or less full. In many systems that overflow line runs in to the basement so you can tell when water starts running out of the tank but it could go somewhere else too. That is why old pressure gauges were called altitude gauges and marked in feet of water so you could fill it until the pressure reached the height of the tank.

    Those were the good old days when stuff worked forever. Some suction on overflow got air out.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,913

    I've seen many attic tank overflows in Cleveland punched into the main sanitary stack vent. Not kosher today but Ohio didn't even have a Plumbing code until 1922 so the guys just did whatever worked prior to that.


    Can you imagine that?
    Guys thinking and doing what works instead of just following rules and having no idea why.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't have codes. It would just be nice if more people would use their brain more.
    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