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Thread: 1989 utica boiler drips #2

  1. #1
    DIY Member 4uzindian's Avatar
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    Default 1989 utica boiler drips #2

    from the last post didnt try to purge air yet. as usual it runs at 30 psi. so i turned auto valve from 10 oclock counterclockwise to 3 oclock. when boiler hand't run for a few hours and pipes where cooled down. turned on thermostat to 70.the pressure went up to 35 psi and it was releasing water from pressure releive valve on boiler it drained 10 ounces of water .when it stopped running pressure went to 30 psi.should.it sitting at 32psi.should i lower the auto releif valve more or is it the expansion tank ?should i have adjusted when it was running or hot .does this matter ?this part 2 of question 30 minutes later !. it turned on an off 3 4 times. there is no drip and pressure is at 31 . if you please .adrees these questions sepertaly so i can understand .
    Last edited by 4uzindian; 02-04-2014 at 01:06 PM.

  2. #2
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Sounds likely to be an expansion tank problem, but you should set up the auto-fill to deliver no more than about 15psi when the system is cold. On most systems you can isolate the auto-fill valve from the potable supply with a separate valve (often a ball valve, sometimes a gate valve), which you SHOULD do. The auto-fill function is best used to simply not over-fill the system when purging air.

    With the potable supply to the auto-fill open, you should be able to crack a system drain valve and as the water pressure on the system side falls to the auto-fill's adjusted set point, the auto-fill valve will open up to replace the water that's leaving. So if you hear/feel the auto-fill opening up at some higher pressure than 12-15psi, you should turn it down. When you're in that range, close the drain, then close the isolating valve, just in case the auto-fill has a slow bypass leak (which happens pretty often.) Only if you're starting out at a reasonable pressure will the system behave properly when running.

    Then if the system then spikes to 30psi and higher as it's firing you'll know that the expansion tank is either shot, or isn't pre-charged to the correct pressure, or that it's entirely too small for your system's water volume.

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Looking at the picture in your other thread, it looks like the red handled gate valve is the one isolating the potable supply, but there's also a ball-valve (the one with the yellow bar-handle)between the auto-fill and the boiler. On the chance that the gate valve also seeps (which ALSO sometimes happens), when you have the system in the 12-15 psi range, turn the ball valve so that the handle is perpendicular to the pipe.

    While cast iron boilers are usually rated for 50psi max, they're usually shipped with 30psi pressure reliefs. If this was a 6-8 story building with the boiler in the basement you might actually NEED 30 psi system pressure to keep it from sucking air in at the top of the system, but for 2-3 houses 12psi is usually enough.

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    DIY Member 4uzindian's Avatar
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    im a little mixed up on this .i think i sould leave like this for .going to go over your post again. if itry somthing i will post to let you know. thanks for your answer.is tis done when the unit is cold or running ?if you look at post titled 1989 utica boiler it drips i sent a picture of the unit .if you want to tell me step by step knob by knob -unit running unit cold.i might try what you posted.
    Last edited by 4uzindian; 02-05-2014 at 12:04 PM.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The expansion tank is either bad or has lost pressure.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member 4uzindian's Avatar
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    ill tell you.3 days ago .let unit cool.then shutt main feed and the 2 blue knobs to off. then i drained boiler of water till gauge read 0. then i checked expansion tank pressure .it read 9.5 ils on my radio shack tire gauge. so i try to pump it up some .then checked it again it read 6.5 ils .pumped it again it stayed the the same.so this is where its at now .haven't checked it since.running the pressure is at 30 temp is at 142.and it doesnt seem to be dripping from prv.also the auto fill is turned one complete turn counterclockwise.maybe ishould leave like this till spring.does this sound safe ?

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    With the system at near-zero pressure (under 10psi is fine) re-charge the expansion tank to the pressure that you'll be running the system (12-15psi is good, 30 psi is not, and neither is 9psi). Then fill the system until it's in the 12psi range (if cold), 15psi if it's warm but not super-hot. With the expansion tank pre-charged to 15psi, and the the system pressure set to 15 psi (at a boiler temp anywhere from ~100-140F), if still rises 30psi during a burn, the tank is too small for your system's water volume.

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    DIY Member 4uzindian's Avatar
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    thanks for answer. this i what did before your lst post . let system go cold thermast off. switch above boiler off. closed main feed closed blue zone valves. drained boiler to empty at 0 . took off expansion tank emptied a little water . pumped it to 13.5. while i was doing this water was drizzling out of thr fitting. put expansion tank back on.turned all back on . and open . pressure holds at 30. but know i here a slight water gurling in the bell and gosset pump that i never heard before .up stairs in house i don't here any water sounds like air in the system.the auto fill is still turned down one and aquater turns counterclockwise from origanal instlation.there is no drip out of prv. is my pressure valve no good. should i try to purge air out of system?can't respond to your last ost cause i think the pressure valve is bad.ah.

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    DIY Member 4uzindian's Avatar
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    reply ing to my trhead. its 6:30 the pump now has no water sound in it .running quite. temp at 30 i think its a lot lower and gauge is off. no drips out of prv. i'll post again tommorow.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Anytime you get water out of the fill valve on an expansion tank, it is a nearly 100% indication that the tank is leaking...that side should be dry, completely and only be containing air. Double check the proper size on the expansion tank ,and replace it...precharge it to your 12-14psi, then install and refill the boiler to the 12-14psi, and you're problems will probably be over.
    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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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    ^^^What he said^^^

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Yea, I said that in post #5
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Back in post #5 there was still an open possibility that it had simply lost the air-charge pressure or that the system was being over-filled, but the air-charge issues has clearly been ruled out by new information.

    Any time you open up the system or drain it down air is introduces into the system and it needs to be bled/purged.

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    DIY Member 4uzindian's Avatar
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    to jadnashua.yesterday 9:21pm -don't know what you mean by fill valve on expansion tank. it' the exact replacement for this unit.prechaged it to 13.5..the pressure gauge i think and so did the tech .is offf. so i cant set that pressure because its off.like i said before.new auto fill installed. then i turned it counterclockwise one and a quater turns .then i reset pressure in expansion tank. it still runs at 30 psi with no drips from prv.i think the gauge is bad. so if i turned auto fill that much from the supposedly preset of 15 psi what do you think it might really be at now since the gauge is not right.

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    DIY Member 4uzindian's Avatar
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    to dana:there is no air that i can hear .are you telling me to purge air for the reason it might bring down the presure.or it's just part of the procedure.it still at30 -144 .no drips.is it possible i should put a new presssure gauge on unit.

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