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Another boiler issue

Alfaguy22
Alfaguy22 Member Posts: 20
Hey guys. Over the last month and half, I’ve had to replace the transformer and the rollout switch got tripped. That was last month and no issues since. Last night now, we spelled like a burning plastic smell and I went downstairs. The low water light was in, but it wasn’t refilling. I filled it and it seemed ok, but every time I go check, there is no water in the clear tube, but no low water light is on. If I manually fill it, it fills fine. When it’s off, the water level in the tube seems stable. I’m not sure what to even check. I do not hear water effecting the flame or see water in the floor. The boiler is old and was installed I. 2003. Before I call someone, I wanted to ask to see if anyone had any ideas.

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,755
    Probably a leak above the waterline. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Alfaguy22
    Alfaguy22 Member Posts: 20
    Steamhead said:
    Probably a leak above the waterline. Where are you located?
     NJ
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 663
    Adding water to hot dry boiler will cause a steam explosion. You should get your system checked out ASAP.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 713
    Flood the boiler. if there is a hole in the heat exchanger you will hear it and then see it.
  • Alfaguy22
    Alfaguy22 Member Posts: 20
    pedmec said:
    Flood the boiler. if there is a hole in the heat exchanger you will hear it and then see it.
    Just keep adding water? What kind of sound am I looking for?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,439
    Alfaguy22 said:


    pedmec said:

    Flood the boiler. if there is a hole in the heat exchanger you will hear it and then see it.

    Just keep adding water? What kind of sound am I looking for?

    It's getting on for winter... checking for a serious leak is a multi-step process. With, unhappily, the boiler off. The first step is to set the water level in the sight tube just below the bottom of the Hartford Loop. Mark it, and wait for an hour or two. If the water level falls, there's a leak in the boiler below the water line. If it doesn't, there isn't. If it passes, Now fill the boiler to perhaps a couple of inches above the Hartford Loop, mark it, and wait for a couple of hours. If the water level falls, there's either a leak in the boiler (interestingly, not that likely at that level) or in a wet return. If it doesn't, now fill the boiler up into the risers. This can be a bit tricky, as it's hard to tell if the water has gotten high enough -- but you may be able to feel it in the pipe. Now you are going to have to wait for a bit -- several hours -- but if the water level doesn't drop into the sight glass, and the other two tests passed, you're OK. I'm going to guess, though, that in that last test the water level will drop. You may or may not be able to hear and find the leak. If it is to the outside there will be a puddle, but if it is to the inside into the firebox, you may not be able to see it at all.

    In the meantime, get hold of @EzzyT or @clammy to see if they can come and give you a hand.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,936
    edited November 2022
    Alfaguy22 said:


    Just keep adding water? What kind of sound am I looking for?

    Here, I will draw you a picture.This is a boiler and a bucket with 2 holes. one above the water line, the other below the water line. If you can see water leaking at normal water level then your crack or hole is below the water line. If it is above the water line then it will not leak out as water, But it may leak out as steam.

    To find a hole above the normal water line, Fill the bucket or the boiler to the top (that is called flooding the boiler). Then look for water on the floor. Depending on how big the leak is, it will sound like a small drip or a large flow like Niagara falls. (probably not like Niagara Falls). but it will look wet on the floor.
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    Alfaguy22
  • Alfaguy22
    Alfaguy22 Member Posts: 20

    Alfaguy22 said:


    Just keep adding water? What kind of sound am I looking for?

    Here, I will draw you a picture.This is a boiler and a bucket with 2 holes. one above the water line, the other below the water line. If you can see water leaking at normal water level then your crack or hole is below the water line. If it is above the water line then it will not leak out as water, But it may leak out as steam.

    To find a hole above the normal water line, Fill the bucket or the boiler to the top (that is called flooding the boiler). Then look for water on the floor. Depending on how big the leak is, it will sound like a small drip or a large flow like Niagara falls. (probably not like Niagara Falls). but it will look wet on the floor.
    I forgot we signed up for worry free and it just kicked in luckily. They are coming sometime tonight. But...Im not sure if its related but the flame is reddish orange and it starting to come forward. I dont know if there is some flue blockage or what.