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Hydronic Boiler leaking near Relief Valve

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Hi All

I recently had a Gas outage due to a near by construction side for few hours. This caused the Boiler to stop working. When the Gas outage resumed and the gas company came to restart all the appliance, they found out that pressure relief valve is leaking and the pressure is read at 40 PSI, they decided not to start the boiler for safety reason.

I called a HVAC company in the evening and they quoted me for a huge repair cost of 4k and suggested for the replacement of whole unit with new one for 14k.

I didn't like the company and the guy as he was focused too much on making me aware of the risk rather than giving logical reason of why i need to get this repaired from his company.

My question to the group is,

1) is it possible that a shutdown gas service when resumed, could cause this kind of increased pressure and a leak.

2) Is it possible for this to be repaired DYI ?

3) For how long i can stay with the heating off and not let the pipe burst? I live in central jersey where the temperature is between 30 to 40 F.

4) Is there a DYI way to fix this ?

Please find the attached image of model and leak areas.











Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,109
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    Somewhere on the boiler is a device called a "pressure reducing valve".
    It's job is to keep the pressure at about 12-15 PSI by adding more water to the system.

    Perhaps it is above the copper pipe going up to the left of the tank.

    Post a picture of where that pipe goes and there may be a valve above it, you are looking for a connection to the water supply for the house.

    Back up for a fair wide angle picture.
    HomerJSmith
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,511
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    Your problem is probably a water saturated expansion tank. You can tap it or shake it and it will sound full or sluggish. That would be the first thing that I would check. empty the water out of it and recharge it to 15 psi and set the pressure reducing valve to 15 psi. I would also replace the boiler pressure relief valve. Normally 30 psi PRV valve.

    You can't fully trust the tridicator gauge on the boiler to give you a correct reading. They do plug up.

    Stay away from contractors that want you to buy a new sys, which you probably don't need. Find a company that will just fix it.
    mattmia2
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,890
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    The gauge is reading about 20 psi. If the gauge is correct, the relief valve might be weeping because the boiler went cold. It's what we call a "wear" part so it should probably be replaced. And maybe report the 4k guy to the BBB.
    mattmia2
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,171
    edited January 2023
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    The pressure gauge is pointing at 45 feet, not 45 PSI. 45 feet is equal to about 20 PSI. Not enough to cause the 30 PSI relief valve to operate.

    I believe you can just turn on the boiler and watch the gauge does not go above 25 PSI. You can also get a pressure gauge that can screw on to a garden hose connection. (As in this illustration) https://www.homedepot.com/p/Watts-3-4-in-Plastic-Water-Pressure-Test-Gauge-DP-IWTG/100175467


    The worst case is that you need to replace the Pressure Reducing Valve (auto feed), and the relief valve, and the expansion tank. That should all be much less than $4K. If you find someone that has experience with boiler repair, then you may only need one of those three items or maybe none. Just an adjustment of the tank pressure, and the auto feed valve.

    Of course if you think your tire pressure on the car is low, you can always go to the dealer and let them sell you a new car.. You made a good choice to ask here first!

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    HomerJSmithmattmia2
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,109
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    Yes, a trickster pressure gauge.

    My first look was 45 PSI.....just like the gas company.

    They could leave the elevation/height scale off the dial....and also the centigrade numbers.

    He could just turn the boiler on.
    kcoppmattmia2
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,511
    edited January 2023
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    Thank you, Ed. I didn't look at the pics and just read the text. It should have been self evident that 40 psi would have blown the PRV wide open. Don't call the BBB, we all kinda made that mistake. Good thing we have someone like Ed Young to keep us on our toes.
    mattmia2EdTheHeaterMan
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,890
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    Don't call the BBB, we all kinda made that mistake. 
    Don't call the BBB? They wanted $4k for a leaking relief valve repair. 
    mattmia2
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,511
    edited January 2023
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    You gotta take inflation into the mix. I hate it when other companies under cut me.

    I thought we were taking about the gas company that read the gauge wrong. I guess I shouldn't post until I had my cup of coffee.

    I don't think BBB would do any good. An online rating website might be better, Yelp or
    RateMe. Maybe they thought they were dealing with a woman. Best thing, don't give em any business. Get competitive estimates or ask the pros on Heating Help.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,840
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    @riteshrajsingh

    I can't believe that a contractor will try to force you into a repair or replacement that you don't need.

    In NJ call or PM @JohnNY @EzzyT or @clammy
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,963
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    Watch the pressure as it heats. It may be weeping because the cold fill pressure is a little high and it gets up to 30 psig when it is hot. It may be that the pressure reducing valve isn't quite holding and the 20 psig cold fill is after it gets relieved when it is hot so it may need a new pressure reducing valve.

    In any case whatever the problem is, it isn't the boiler, trying to sell you a boiler to fix this is fraud.