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.

Water level drops during steam cycle activating LWCO

Options
New Hampshire DIYer
New Hampshire DIYer Member Posts: 26
edited December 2022 in Strictly Steam
I have a Slant Fin TR-40 installed in 2014, sized appropriately for the radiation, radiators properly pitched, cast iron near-boiler piping with drop header, three Gorton #1s on the return main etc. In short, I think I've got the system set up correctly and it generally works fine but seems to have two potentially-related problems.
First, when the water level is set per Slant Fin's manual (middle of sight glass), the level drops during the cycle enough to cause the boiler to shut down due to low water. As a result, I usually keep the level higher. There is also a sticker on the boiler indicating a higher water level so that's confusing as it's at least two inches higher than the "25-1/2" from the manual. And second, I am losing water slowly over time. Perhaps as much as a gallon a week (I don't have a water meter on the system). The main vents close properly and I don't have any wet returns, unless you count the last 4' of the return as it connects back to the boiler. The Slant/Fin has only 8.8 gallons in it, so perhaps that's one reason it seems really sensitive to water level. Is there any problem maintaining a higher water level? Should I flush the wet part of the return? Any suggestions welcome.







Slant/Fin TR-40 w Carlin EZ-Gas burner. 3" riser into 3" drop header. Two 2.5" mains: 43' and 25' serving 11 radiators w/ EDR of 585. 3200 sq ft 1850s Greek Revival house in Concord NH - 7478 avg degree days.

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,662
    Options
    Is the water level stable when it is steaming or does it bounce? It looks like there is oil on top of the water in the sight glass. There are some things wrong about your return piping but I don't think that is your problem. Is there even a skip port installed on the boiler? I see a nipple with a 90 that might be one.
  • New Hampshire DIYer
    New Hampshire DIYer Member Posts: 26
    edited December 2022
    Options
    The water level does gently bounce or bob up and down--about an inch or less top to bottom. The drop in water level while steaming is below the level of the bounce. I do have a skim port (photo attached) and have skimmed the boiler several times. I can certainly do it some more.
    Slant/Fin TR-40 w Carlin EZ-Gas burner. 3" riser into 3" drop header. Two 2.5" mains: 43' and 25' serving 11 radiators w/ EDR of 585. 3200 sq ft 1850s Greek Revival house in Concord NH - 7478 avg degree days.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
    Options
    I will say that's one short gauge glass
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el