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Boiler loses water in 24hrs

Reinvent Member Posts: 43
I live in a 2 fm hse on 2nd & 3rd flr. Tankless oilfired steam boiler was replaced last spring when low water shut off failed. Was replaced with gas furnace and separate gas water heater. With all this extream cold (Boston) furnace has been runing quite a bit. I have had the boiler shut down in less than 24hrs numerous times because of low water. Some of the steam vents on the radiators are letting out a ton of steam while the furnace is cranking(although not always). Some dribble water. Some of the shut off valves at the radiators dribble water where the stem goes into the valve. Also there are two vents at the top of the large verticle pipes 3ft above the boiler that have either dribled rusty water or spit steam. They are original to the old boiler. Have the plumber coming out tues feb 3rd to take a look. However he tried to pass off the problem as simply being a very cold winter, so I dont have a lot of confidence that they will really fix the problem. Also when they installed the new boiler last year I asked them if they would install a automatic fill device to keep the boiler toped off. They said the auto systems were unreliable and they didnt install them.
So my questions are 1. Is the high loss of water due to leaking vents; at radiators, boiler, or shut off valves? 2. I know radiator vents have to let off some steam but how much? Is it true that auto refill devices arnt woth a dam?
Want to be educated when plumber shows up. Thanks


  • Al Letellier
    Al Letellier Member Posts: 781
    losing water

    Sure sounds like your diagnosis is correct. It's the vents (assuming no leak in the boiler or piping). Vents are supposed to let out air, not water or steam. Get them changed out (should have been done when boiler was changed).
    Auto feeders work fine and we install them all the time. Safeguard makes a great one that has digital display of amount of water added....great trouble shooting tool. Use only a feeder that has programable delay to avoid over-fillling of the boiler.
    Adding that much water is not good for the boiler. It needs some maintenance.

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  • ed wallace
    ed wallace Member Posts: 1,613
    steam problem

    your besat bet is to deal with someone who knows steam could be pressuretrol set to hi, bad vents, bad near boiler piping go to find a pro on this site

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  • Scott Brink_2
    Scott Brink_2 Member Posts: 21
    Near boiler pipe

    To follow up on someone else's question. I have also been losing water too quickly. The boiler which I inherited when I bought my new house was installed in 1999 and I don't think there is a leak there.

    I was wondering if 1) the near boiler pipe is copper (I know it shouldn't be) will that be a source of water loss, and 2) where are the typical suspect places for water loss if there is a leak somewhere in the system?
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