Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Is my Boiler "normal" ?

Dianapagu
Dianapagu Member Posts: 9
Hi to all the Pros that I hope can give me some peace of mind this winter.  🙏

We purchased our home just about 2 years now and last winter was our first winter in the home. We have steam radiators and a Williamson GSA boiler , sticker install from 2017 so just about 4 yrs old. First winter was alright , slight setbacks towards the end of the winter season,so around Feb/March with heating on our second floor. Should also mention I don't have an automated water feed so I did have to check on the water level in the gauge ever so often, plus our low  water sensor would turn on and not let the boiler on. There were some points in time where one day the water gauge was filled half way , as it should be and then the next day it be empty and our boiler wouldn't run on it programmed time. 

Which brings me to this upcoming winter, where I decided to have it cleaned and checked before starting up the winter season again. Had a pro come out , he cleaned all the parts around , he showed me how sludged and clotted some parts were. Added some treatment solution for the boiler and he cleaned the chimney area.
 All was looking fine to him after cleaning and testing. Didn't quite have an answer to why I was filling up my boiler in such short amounts of time but our boiler never leaked or flooded last winter. So all seemed well until , I turned the thermostat off he then said "do you hear that?". All I heard was a hissing, but it wasn't loud just light as when steam is cooling down mixed with a sort of a "dripping" sound  or tapping like some water droplets touching metal. Again no leaks in site but he seemed to not like that sound. He said I can get a second opinion. So here I am lol 

Comments

  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 655
    Sounds like you have a hole in the heat exchanger. Flood the boiler and watch for water falling down in the burner tube area and surrounding area around boiler.
    mattmia2
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,271
    edited September 25
    Second Opinion: You seem quite pleasant!

    But that is just my opinion.

    EDIT: Oh yea, and what @pedmec said.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

    DianapaguMikeAmann
  • Dianapagu
    Dianapagu Member Posts: 9
    @pedmec thanks for the response. And he actually did do that , didn't notice any water unless he didn't flood it enough  😳
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,654
    I wouldn't think a 5-year-old boiler would fail but I guess anything is possible. Have someone flood the boiler and look for a leak.

    The first tech should have done that
    Dianapagu
  • Dianapagu
    Dianapagu Member Posts: 9
    @EBEBRATT_4 he didn't think a 5 yr old boiler would fail either. But he did flood it and no leaks  😞 making it more confusing. 
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,654
    @Dianapagu

    your losing water or steam somewhere
  • Dianapagu
    Dianapagu Member Posts: 9
    @EdTheHeaterMan, @EBEBRATT-Ed

    Since I wasn't very versed at what sounds are bad and what sounds are normal for s steam boiler.

    When the boiler is cooling down after turning the thermostat off , there shouldn't be any sounds at all? Is that right? 
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 655
    If he did flood the boiler properly and had no leaks then i would probably post a picture of your boiler for review. You see all the answers you will receive will be based on the assumption that it is piped correctly. Water can't just disappear. The proper piping arrangement of a hartford loop would show water close to the bottom of the sight glass. If its to low then it doesn't help us because you wont see the water level correctly.

    do you have underground returns?
  • Lance
    Lance Member Posts: 227
    Perhaps the noise is exterior to the boiler? Before I condemn a boiler, it would be wise to isolate and hydro test. The only problem left is does the leak have to be hot to leak? Also if it is bad enough you might see vapor cloud in the flue exhaust.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,271
    If you have a tea kettle on the burner, then the whistle tells you when the steam starts to boil. If you turn off the flame, the boiling stops somewhat quickly, but not instantly. The whistle fades gradually to silence unlike an electronic sound that stops immediately once the electricity is cut off.

    Consider the amount of steam in a steam boiler compared to a tea kettle. Since there is much more water and steam, once the burner is off, the steam stops boiling gradually. That may be the noise you are hearing. Describe the noise… Does it sound like boiling water which may be described as a mild crackling sound.

    And pictures of the boiler as suggested above. The picture should be from several sides and be far enough back so we can see from the floor to the ceiling to include all the near boiler pipes.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

  • Dianapagu
    Dianapagu Member Posts: 9
    edited September 28
    @EdTheHeaterMan to me the sound was like steam cooling down so it gradually went "shhhh" with "tap tap tap" such as water dropping and touching metal. 

    @lance never saw or at least noted anything like that by the flue exhaust last winter and during the techs visit nothing there either.


    If I need better photos feel free to let me know.

    Appreciate all the help so far 🙏

  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 655
    looks like there is water coming from underneath the boiler below the drawoff.
  • Dianapagu
    Dianapagu Member Posts: 9
    edited September 27
    @pedmec is this the pic you're referring to?

    If it is, it's a water stain for sure but from when I drained some water out , I wasn't prepared for how fast the water would rush out I spilled some last winter. But i will go look again to make  sure it wasn't deeper in there. 
  • Dianapagu
    Dianapagu Member Posts: 9
    @EdTheHeaterMan
    @EBEBRATT-Ed
    @pedmec
    @Lance

    Hi all, yesterday was a good day to run the boiler and not make people feel hot indoors. So I ran it for an hour. The noise and tapping didn't sound as loud or obvious as when the cleaning was done which was a week ago now. I also only ran it up to 77 degrees vs what the tech did which was 90 a week ago after the cleaning, still no leaks and sight glass water no change. Would you all say that's a decent sign?  Too bad video files can't be uploaded.

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,271
    Yes that is a good sign. Also you can post a video on youtube or facebook and enable public access. Then post the link to the video.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

    Dianapagu