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15 psi regulator

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Does the regulator in a Aqua Balance boiler heating system need to be 15 psi? When they recommend the pressure doesn't go above 20 psi, would it make better sense to put a 20 psi regulator in?

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  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,072
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    The set pressure needs to accommodate the system it is attached to, for normal houses that pressure is generally between 12-18 PSI, your equipment needs to be able to handle the pressure your system requires, the expansion tank needs to be sized (and properly charged) so that when the fluid is heated, and it expands, that the system remains below the pressure set by the relief valve.

    So to answer the immediate question, no it wouldn't make sense to set the pressure regulator to 20PSI, if the installer recommended the system stay below 20 PSI, since the boiler when heated will likely exceed 20 PSI. I have to imagine the relief valve is a standard 30PSI relief valve.

    More importantly, what has prompted this discussion?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,128
    edited April 8
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    If you have a cold (ambient) pressure that is 20 PSI in a closed system, what will happen to the water when the temperature gets to 180°F. If you can answer that question, then you should be able to answer your query.

    If you don't know what happens to water in a closed system when the water is heated, than I will give you a clue here.

    https://sciencing.com/water-expand-contract-heated-5185456.html

    Edward Young Retired

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

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,895
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    How many stories is this home?
  • photokynetics
    photokynetics Member Posts: 32
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    I understand the principles of thermodynamics, but this type of a boiler system I'm very unfamiliar with but I am learning as I go, once in a while the pressure will drop below 10 and shut the boiler down, or at least the gauge indicates the pressure is dropped, I have searched for leaks and cannot find any I have paid a professional to come and look the system over and he couldn't find any leaks but he did bleed a bunch of air out, maybe he didn't bleed all the air out? Maybe the expansion tank is faulty? 
    I asked this question about the regulator because I've got it set up to where this system should not lose pressure unless it's a big leak, the valve from this pressure regulator is wide open so if any liquid was to escape the regulator should replenish it without the pressure going above 15 psi, but the pressure does drop once in awhile and I found I have to mess with this regulator a little bit to get it to fill back up or to act like it's filling up. 
    I asked about the regulator because I'm assuming that it's going bad and needs to be changed and while I'm messing with the regulator I want to fix whatever else is wrong with it.
  • photokynetics
    photokynetics Member Posts: 32
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    This is a two-story home it's only about 1,800 ft
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,455
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    Two story house. OK. pressure with the system cold should be between 12 and 15 psig. Pressure warm should be no more than 20 psig. The job of the expansion tank is to provide a space for expansion of the water when heated -- hence the name. It should be set when it is completely empty of water at a pressure of the same 12 to 15 psig. The job of the pressure regulating valve -- which should be set at the same pressure -- is to add water in the event the system pressure drops below the set pressure, which would indicate a leak.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    GGross
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,579
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    The pressure-reducing valve should be maintaining the pressure at whatever level it is set to (you can adjust the pressure using the nut behind the manual fill lever). That variety will sometimes stick and not do its job. You may be able to cycle and tap on it to free it up. If not, it may be time to replace it. The relief valve on the boiler and the boiler's pressure rating will dictate max pressure. If your boiler is tripping out at 10PSI, I would set it at 15PSI to give you some cushion.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Lyle {pheloa} Carter
    Lyle {pheloa} Carter Member Posts: 58
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    Do you ever find water on the floor near the boiler? If i'm seeing this properly the arrows on the piping are indicating direction of flow. If that is the case then the backflow preventor is installed after the pressure reducing valve. Usually the backflow preventer is installed first and then the pressure reducing valve. There is a small check in the pressure reducing valve to keep system pressure from affecting the backflow. In your installation, if the backflow preventor is working proplily and you have 15 pounds feeding into it. As soon as the system pressure increases to greater than 15 pounds. The half inch connection should start dripping. This connection is required to be piped to the floor in nonferrous tubing. If it were to discharge as it is now it may drip or spill water on top of an electrical panel.
    This is the link to the Watts website showing the order in which they must be installed. There was also formula to calculate the pressure required for your installation.
    https://device.report/manual/4666370
    GGross
  • photokynetics
    photokynetics Member Posts: 32
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    I've never seen water on the floor, or anywhere along the entire system. If this thing is plumbed wrong then this summer is the time to get it straightened out. Thank you for your help!
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,128
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    pecmsg said:

    How many stories is this home?

    STORIES? Oh have I got stories !!! Have you heard the one about the Irishman that walked out of a Bar?
    No Really... seriously... It could happen!

    Edward Young Retired

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