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Thread: PLEASE HELP...Boiler Problems...

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    DIY Junior Member Jherne's Avatar
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    Default PLEASE HELP...Boiler Problems...

    First i will start by saying i have a Teledyne laars mini therm boiler system with 4 zones. 1 for basement, 1 for 1st floor, 1 for 2nd floor , and 1 for H2O heater. My problems started back in October when it was time to turn the heat on. I noticed one day that the Pressure relif valve was leaking and the pressure was at 30 psi. So i called a plumber and they told me to try bleeding the lines. did that, no change. Next thing i did was replace Pressure regulator valve thinking this was the reason the pressure keft going up. Still no change. Now just the other day i just changed the expansion tank and yet still no change. The last thing i have done is bleed the pipes one last time. But the pressure still seems to be rising to 30 psi and dripping water out of the pressure relief valve. i am at my wits end and do not know what else to do besides call a plumber but dont really have the money to do that hence why i have done things on my own and now im here. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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    Diagnosis time. Shut the water feed to the boiler off. Lower the pressure to 15 lbs. If the pressure continues to rise then the coil in the indirect has a leak in it and it's allowing water pressure to enter the system.

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    Network Engineer rmelo99's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have changed out some of the common culprits of this problem (fill valve, expansion tank)

    Step back and stop throwing new parts at it. If the goal here is to save $$$ that's not the way to do it.

    Like the other posters said it's time to get some more information, maybe pics and the step into this to diagnose the problem.

    With the boiler cold can you maintain a steady pressure? 12-15psi? Does it rise when the boiler is hot?

    If you think it's bled of air then we'll assume there is sufficent water in the boiler. Turn off the valve so no additional supply water is introduced, that will at least eliminate one way "extra" water/psi is getting in.

    The other possibility was mentioned about the coil in the indirect tank.

    Come back to us with more information.

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    The problem can not be air.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pressure

    I would think by now that you have spent enough of the money you do not have, that you could have afforded a plumber originally. Pressure can only happen for two reasons. Either the NEW reducing valve is defective or adjusted wrong, OR the expansion tank is not working to absorb the thermal expansion. WE cannot tell which without being there.

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    DIY Junior Member Jherne's Avatar
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    I actually havent spent that much....ALOT less than if a plumber were to come out here and diagnose the problem...I have to go to work but i will post some pictures tonight when i get home. Thanks for all the replies so far!

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    Default Expansion Tank

    When you changed the expansion tank, did you fill it with water? The tank's purpose is to trap air to act as a pressure regulator, (air is compressible and water is not), not to hold reserve water. I'm not a plumber, just a homeowner, but my neighbor described the very same problem to me. He changed the expansion tank and told me he had a heck of a time getting all of the air out of the new tank! Even a novice like me was shocked at what he said. I helped him drain his "waterlogged" tank and now he maintains 15 to 16 psig with no problem. I think his old tank, an old galvanized tank with no bladder and a bleed valve on top(???) was probably just waterlogged as well, but at least he has a nice modern tank now.
    Last edited by TCox; 12-04-2009 at 02:25 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member Jherne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCox View Post
    When you changed the expansion tank, did you fill it with water? The tank's purpose is to trap air to act as a pressure regulator, (air is compressible and water is not), not to hold reserve water. I'm not a plumber, just a homeowner, but my neighbor described the very same problem to me. He changed the expansion tank and told me he had a heck of a time getting all of the air out of the new tank! Even a novice like me was shocked at what he said. I helped him drain his "waterlogged" tank and now he maintains 15 to 16 psig with no problem. I think his old tank, an old galvanized tank with no bladder and a bleed valve on top(???) was probably just waterlogged as well, but at least he has a nice modern tank now.
    No i didnt fill it with water but thanks for the thought

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    DIY Junior Member Jherne's Avatar
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    Default Uh Ohh

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    Diagnosis time. Shut the water feed to the boiler off. Lower the pressure to 15 lbs. If the pressure continues to rise then the coil in the indirect has a leak in it and it's allowing water pressure to enter the system.
    Well, I did exactly what you said...turned off water supply to boiler, set pressure to 15psi and let the boiler run for a little while and when i came back to check it it was at 25psi. So it sounds to me like it might be the coil that you mentioned. Now, how much am i looking at to fix or replace this part? and is it something i can do myself? Thanks!

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    DIY Junior Member Jherne's Avatar
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    Here are some pics if it helps...Let me know if you need better pictures.

    http://s795.photobucket.com/albums/y...albumview=grid

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    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    Couple of things right off the bat...

    1. You should have a check valve installed on the system so your old stagnent boiler water doesn't creep it's way back into your domestic water so you can drink it later.

    2. That one fitting right off the boiler thats leaking like mad is not a coupling it's a thread protector.... Because of these leaks you're always introducing fresh water into the system and this is NOT good. Also not having an automatic air scoop is not helping with the matter.

    Now my question for you is that pressure tank you have installed rated for hydronic heating?

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    DIY Junior Member Jherne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doherty Plumbing View Post
    Couple of things right off the bat...

    1. You should have a check valve installed on the system so your old stagnent boiler water doesn't creep it's way back into your domestic water so you can drink it later.

    2. That one fitting right off the boiler thats leaking like mad is not a coupling it's a thread protector.... Because of these leaks you're always introducing fresh water into the system and this is NOT good. Also not having an automatic air scoop is not helping with the matter.

    Now my question for you is that pressure tank you have installed rated for hydronic heating?
    Yes the tank is rated for hydronic heating.

    1. Im not really sure where this check valve should be.

    2. I was a little confused when i read this...the only place it is leaking is out of the pipe coming from the pressure relief valve. well, in one of the pics i do have a rag wrapped around a shut off valve and it has a very minor leak but never enough to even soak the rag. So the major leak is coming from the pipe on the left side of the boiler.

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The relief valve should be replaced IF the system pressure is not too high. They do wear out. They are often set to around 40#, and a typical boiler should never get anywhere near that high. If it is getting that high, then you have other problems. If the expansion tank is charged AND sized properly, and not waterlogged, then something is causing the pressure to rise.

    There should be a checkvalve on the line to the fill valve of the boiler to prevent any water from the boiler backflowing into the potable water system.

    If there is a hole in the heating coil of the domestic hot water, it will cause the boiler water pressure to increase. This is both an operational and health issue and needs to be addressed immediately. The potable water supply system is almost certainly higher than your boiler pressure should be, and if there's a leak, it will act like an always on fill valve. The size of the leak would determine how fast it could pressurize the system. The volume out of the leaking relief valve is an idication of the size of the leak.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Boiler relief valves are rated at 30lbs

    You have water migrating into the system. Probably thorugh a hole in the coil in the indirect heater.

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