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Magnahelic Filled Up With Water!

Oh man!  Installed a brand new 0-2psi Magnahelic on Sunday...just went to go check the boiler and the gauge was half filled with water!

I connected it to the back hi-pressure port and plugged the one on the side.  Am I suppose to plug the low pressure ports too?

The pigtail was full of water..so I installed a longer one and added a slightly longer nipple to increase the height of where the gauge installs.  

For now it's drying out on top of the boiler.  Hopefully it isn't cooked!

Before:


After:

STEVEusaPA

Comments

  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,385
    edited December 2022
    Hello @AdmiralYoda,
    See this thread.
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/189896/water-in-new-magnehelic-gauge
    It probably has a air leak, gauge glass O-Ring or the plug on Positive (+) side. Leave at least one of the low side ports open or it won't read correctly or read at all.
    With that much contaminated water in it, would gently flush it out good with distilled water.
    I would also raise it up significantly above the boiler's water line.

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 627
    @109A_5 That water inside it wasn't rusty.  That was relatively fresh boiler water tinted light purple due to Rectorseal 8-way.

    For some reason the water was making it up the pigtail past the water line and into the guage.
  • veteransteamhvac
    veteransteamhvac Member Posts: 73
    On one of the boilers I help maintain they have a Magnahelic that during the heating season the sight glass fills up with drops of moisture. It is mounted 2 feet above the boiler jacket and connected via plastic tubing. It dries off during the off season. :neutral:
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 1,385
    edited December 2022

    @109A_5 That water inside it wasn't rusty.  That was relatively fresh boiler water tinted light purple due to Rectorseal 8-way.

    As far as the materials inside of the gauge (that the gauge is made from) Rectorseal 8-way is a contamination, I would not want it in my gauge. Is Rectorseal 8-way certified to not adversely react with all the materials that the gauge is made from ???
    For some reason the water was making it up the pigtail past the water line and into the guage.
    If the Magnahelic gauge is not leaking something else is leaking above the pigtail is allowing the water level to raise high enough to flood the gauge. Or something is causing the pigtail water to bounce significantly. Regardless I would raise it well above the boiler's water line. Much bigger air buffer zone, keeping the warmer moist air out of the gauge.

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited December 2022
    Your gauge should be fine. But yeah you want to rinse it out. As you've seen, the front part of the gauge is open to the high pressure input.

    You can do two things that I'm aware of. You can spin off the front glass bezel (it's just a big nut) and you can apply o-ring silicone seal stuff to the o-ring and then spin it back on. In your case, rinse the whole thing out with distilled water and then shake it out and let it air dry before you put the glass back on. Set it on top of your boiler and the gentle heat will help it dry out, might take a couple days.

    Or you can install a ball valve on the supply of the gauge and just open it when you want to read it. Probably the valve is a good idea regardless. Note that the leak probably isn't very fast, but after hours of pressure on it, it is obviously letting air out, just like a very tiny radiator vent!

    You can raise it higher, but if you do that without sealing it you will still have your leak. It won't fill with boiler water but the steam that eventually gets in there will condense so it will fill with distilled water, which is a lot better for the gauge compared to boiler water but still not great.

    As already said above, you hooked it up right. You want the high pressure side only open to your boiler and you want the low pressure side open to atmosphere.

    PS: Chris is lucky and his never leaks, but about 1/2 of mine have leaked and I've sealed them (I buy them cheap used or N.O.S. on eBay
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 627
    Thanks guys!  I'll definitely rinse it out.  It was a N.O.S.  off of ebay.  Who knows how old it is.  Never installed but has plenty of evidence of sliding around in the box for ages.