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Why is two of these valves closed and the other open? [Solved]

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CluelessBro
CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
edited March 4 in Domestic Hot Water
Friend called me saying he didn't have any hot water but his heat worked fine. I asked him to take some photos. One of the things I noticed, were these three valves two in the open position the other closed. He is running a Weil McLain SGO-3 Boiler system.

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  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,304
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    Hi, Can you back up a bit, so we can see where those pipes run? Thanks.

    Yours, Larry
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
    edited March 4
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    Hi, Can you back up a bit, so we can see where those pipes run? Thanks.

    Yours, Larry

    Yes, thank you for your reply. He sent me these photos. Recently bought condo and heat is working but hot water is not but when he originally tested the hot water a few months back, it worked (winter months heat was off but turned on during inspection). The three valves seem to be intake and outlet and one is off to prevent cross flow.
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    Those valves control flow through the autofeeder which maintains the water level in the steam boiler. I see two of them open (handles parallel to the pipes) and one (handle perpendicular to the pipe) which would be correct.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    bburd
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
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    Those valves control flow through the autofeeder which maintains the water level in the steam boiler. I see two of them open (handles parallel to the pipes) and one (handle perpendicular to the pipe) which would be correct.

    Yes, I have him sending more photos. supposedly he stated there are two valves above the boiler one is closed and the other is open. They are right next to each other and he didn't want to touch them because they are red.
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 917
    edited March 3
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    That boiler does not appear to be set up to heat tap water, but just to make steam for space heating. There should be a separate water heater somewhere.

    Bburd
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,569
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    The open valves would only be closed if the auto feeder (box with wire connected) needs to be serviced. The valve that is closed would be to manually fill the boiler, in the event the auto feeder did not work. All is well, just leave them as they are. BTW, the color of the valve seldom has any relevance.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    CluelessBrobburdEdTheHeaterManMikeAmann
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
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    Those valves control flow through the autofeeder which maintains the water level in the steam boiler. I see two of them open (handles parallel to the pipes) and one (handle perpendicular to the pipe) which would be correct.

    While I'm waiting for the additional photos, what is that box with the red button? does the read button manually feed water? or is it a reset? Just curious, I've only seen these on another Weil system.
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
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    bburd said:

    That boiler does not appear to be set up to heat tap water, but just to make steam for space heating. There should be a separate water heater somewhere.

    This was my initial thought but then learned there is only one water heater but it's connected to the other unit. The other units hot water and heat are working. I was there last night and could not find a hot water heater anywhere. I looked in closets, cabinets, and two crawl spaces. So I assumed that this boiler created both heat and hot water. Not even sure who to direct his call to in this matter.
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 917
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    Try following the hot water pipes from under the kitchen or bathroom or near the laundry back toward the source. Somewhere there is a heater.

    Bburd
    CluelessBro
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
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    bburd said:

    Try following the hot water pipes from under the kitchen or bathroom or near the laundry back toward the source. Somewhere there is a heater.

    Good thinking, while I did the first two, kitchen and bathroom, I did not check behind or near the washer and dryer which is in the two level unit.

  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 917
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    As an alternative, you could start at the water meter and go forward to find where the water heater is connected.

    Bburd
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    Those valves control flow through the autofeeder which maintains the water level in the steam boiler. I see two of them open (handles parallel to the pipes) and one (handle perpendicular to the pipe) which would be correct.

    While I'm waiting for the additional photos, what is that box with the red button? does the read button manually feed water? or is it a reset? Just curious, I've only seen these on another Weil system.
    That is the autofeeder, The red button should manually feed water when you push it... that is assuming I'm looking at the same three valves and box you are...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    CluelessBro
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
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    Mods please keep this thread open, I'm going by the residence tomorrow and will be investigating. Thank you. I will alert when it's solved.
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
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    Those valves control flow through the autofeeder which maintains the water level in the steam boiler. I see two of them open (handles parallel to the pipes) and one (handle perpendicular to the pipe) which would be correct.
    While I'm waiting for the additional photos, what is that box with the red button? does the read button manually feed water? or is it a reset? Just curious, I've only seen these on another Weil system.
    That is the autofeeder, The red button should manually feed water when you push it... that is assuming I'm looking at the same three valves and box you are...
    bburd said:
    As an alternative, you could start at the water meter and go forward to find where the water heater is connected.
    I used everyone's suggestions and knowledge and followed all the lines. One lead to another unit, where the boiler provides heat/hot water and they also have a gas water heater, which made no sense. Did some investigating, saw pilot was out, checked the gas line to see if it was secure and not compromised. Started pilot, waited 10mins and checked his water, fixed. No clue why it's so far from the source but glad it's working. My one worry is that it's so far away and there isn't much access unless someone makes contact with that tenant, which makes me believe the same family lived on every level and side. 
    bburdreggi
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    Just curious...are you just a friend, or an HVAC technician friend?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • CluelessBro
    CluelessBro Member Posts: 12
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    Just curious...are you just a friend, or an HVAC technician friend?

    Friend with minimal heating knowledge, no ventilation knowledge, and 200 level AC knowledge. Everything I learned was online via YT fasttrack. Had a water heater problem myself a few years back, which is oil, was lucky I was home about 12 gallons dumped on the floor. Turned valves off immediately then hit the books. Learned fairly quickly (because the water was coming out excessively) it was a temperature and pressure valve then replaced it. Spent the Saturday night learning boiler101 and the best clues were delivered to me from this forum, especially this discussion. Water Heater to me makes sense by looking at it. The components are self explanatory, boiler I never owned personally. I studied electronics in HS, so schematics and how things work comes rather fast and now a fulltime trader after being in the hospitality industry for over two decades.