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Fixing a Leak in a boiler

I'm still trying to figure out how steam heating really works after years of having radiant. In my new house i'm noticing the water in the sight glass slowly drop around 2.5-3 inches in a matter of 2 weeks when the boiler is not in service. i'm guessing it's a leak from the wet return? Something below the water line? But i'm not sure. Can i use a hercules leak stopper to block the leak? Or would i need to dig up the wet return?

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,184
    You have to find the leak and fix it. The returns probably don't have to be below the floor if you replace them although there could be cases where the additional depth below the water line is needed.
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 483
    Hello @Frankfog2,
    Watch the water level drop, it it goes below the bottom edge of the Hartford Loop connection to the Equalizer it probably is the Boiler leaking. If the dropping of the water level stops at the bottom edge of the Hartford Loop connection to the Equalizer it is probably a wet return leaking.

    Also it may be going up the chimney or some other large steam leak. You can fill the boiler up to the top and see if water leaks out. Return the water level to normal before you use it.

    Did it leak all summer ?

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 989
    @109A_5 excellent point
  • Frankfog2
    Frankfog2 Member Posts: 10
    109A_5 said:
    Hello @Frankfog2, Watch the water level drop, it it goes below the bottom edge of the Hartford Loop connection to the Equalizer it probably is the Boiler leaking. If the dropping of the water level stops at the bottom edge of the Hartford Loop connection to the Equalizer it is probably a wet return leaking. Also it may be going up the chimney or some other large steam leak. You can fill the boiler up to the top and see if water leaks out. Return the water level to normal before you use it. Did it leak all summer ?

    Yes it leaked all summer, it slowly went down and down but it never dried up completely, some water remained at the bottom of the hartford 

  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 483
    Hello @Frankfog2,
    Frankfog2 said:

    it slowly went down and down but it never dried up completely, some water remained at the bottom of the hartford

    Not 100% sure what you meant by this above.

    If the Boiler water drops below the Red line in the picture inspect the Boiler closely.
    If the Boiler water stops dropping at the Red line in the picture inspect the Wet Return.
    If the Wet Return water drops below the Red line in the picture inspect the Wet Return.
    (although I'm not sure how you would see this last condition)


    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System