View Full Version : Excessive water pressure
10-17-2006, 11:50 AM
I'm a non-professional seeking some advice.
Last spring one zone of heat went out on the last cold day.I left it that way all summer.
Saturday I purged air out of the zone using conventional methods of isolating that zone, and opening the water feed line, removing all the air with a hose fron the purge valve. I recall thinking that I didn't hear the sound of rushing water using the fast-fill.
Since Saturday water has been escaping from the safety relief valve. At first it was about a pint after the burner kicks off, now its about a gallon and getting worse.
Water pressure buids to domestic pressure levels of about 35 psi. The safety relief valve is set for 30 psi.
Everything functions normally otherwise. I have heat and domestic hot water from the tankless coil.
I did close the shut off valve above the water feed valve for the baseboard heat and all is ok now. Can I assume that the problem is the water feed valve only, and that it is not closing completely? Or is there another issue.The boiler has been cycling on and off all day when there is a call for heat. The water pressurre with the water feed valve closed never exceeds 30 psi and drops to about 18psi when the boiler begins to cool down.
Appreciate some advice. Thanks in advance.
10-17-2006, 01:51 PM
or let me turn the question around.....until I solve the problem is there any harm done by leaving the shut off valve located above the water feed valve/fast fill for a hot water heating system in the CLOSED position(as long as the water pressure stays above 12 psi when the system is cold) ?
PS when pressure dropped to about 12 psi with the boiler off, I opened the shutofff valve and pressure kept rising. I closed the shutoff valve around 20 psi.Is the water feed valve just bad???
10-17-2006, 02:05 PM
Let me answer your question this way.
When a boiler goes out on relief there can be many issue for it doing so.
Bad water feeder,Bad extrol tank,a water logged tank.
A bad tankless coil.A bad aquastat.
Also If you keep getting air lock then its possible you have a leak some where.
What I must say is, do yourself and your family a big favor
and call in a professional.
Thanks goodness for relief valves.
10-17-2006, 02:13 PM
in case pics help
10-17-2006, 02:19 PM
everything was fine with the other two zones as well as the domestic hot water until I purged air from the third zone. I also noticed that the lever on the fast fill when moved slightly up or down will allow water to flow. You don't think the problem is simply this valve.
Yes I do believe in professionals, but I am an avid do it yourselfer and would be glad to provide advice in my field as well, as I often do.
10-17-2006, 06:38 PM
Any thing with an oil burner need s serviced once a year, no questions asked. While they are there to clean the boiler they can check out the water issues.
Oh, by the way site rules state "DIY not here".
10-17-2006, 08:13 PM
Here's the deal...
The boiler pictured above was installed less than 3 1/2 years ago by a well known full sevice company here in the northeast. Within a month of installation several problems arose.
One night we were sitting in our den and heard a roar coming from the basement. Turns out the door had fallen partially off the boiler because it wasn't fastened completely.
That was bad enough, but it gets worse. Every day after going in the basement, I would wonder why the basement is sooo much warmer with the new boiler. I just chalked it up to the new boiler. Period. Well obviously there was more to the story. For whatever reason, the new burner was causing either soot or the lining of the flu to flake off and clog the flu. So all the the gases were escaping into my house, rather than up the chimney. Only discovered that after one day I discovered the flu damper sitting on the floor.
Well after that episode, that really still hasn't been resolved, I terminated my contract with that company, and went with another well known company in the area.And by the way I ALWAYS had a contract, and NEVER touched my boiler.
This new company sent a technician over for a tuneup last November. Nice guy. Told me how he was going to retire shortly. I wished him luck. I mention to him that now that I am divorced and living alone in the house, that the hot water is not as reliable from the coil as it once was. In other words, if you turn on the shower, the water is very hot for the first few minutes, then goes luke warm for a very long time, and eventually gets hot and stays hot. I still recall that the hot water was exceptional when the unit was first installed. So anyway, he tells me to go upstairs and turn up all the thermostats.He does a few checks-flu temperature, etc. then tells me to go back upstairs and shut them all off.And by the way I have noticed that the hot water is better now that the burner is cycling more frequently for the heat system. BY the time I get back in the basement he is packing up and leaving. I asked him if he cleaned the unit, the coil, did the tuneup. He says yes, which was BS. I was only gone for 5 minutes. Long story short, I didn't renew my contract with that company either.
So the bottom line, I am without a contract currently, but looking. Because of the price of oil its necessary to try to time the oil market when locking in. And with the price of oil on the decline I'm trying to buy more time.
All I am trying to do is buy more time. So I simply want to know if closing off the shut-off valve above the water feed valve for the heating system will in any way damage anything. All day long the water pressure has been steady at 12-15 psi when the burner is off. That's all I'm asking.
I have continued in the meantime to make calls to full service companies in the area.
10-17-2006, 08:22 PM
You will may have more than one potential problem by shutting off the boiler feed. I wouldn't do it and feel safe about it. I would never leave the boiler unattended with it off.
10-17-2006, 08:24 PM
No...without your boiler having a low water cutoff on it then no, its not a good thing to leave the water feeder valve closed.
Again if you have a leak even a small one you can lose the water in the boiler and dry fire the boiler.And thats not a good thing.
10-17-2006, 08:31 PM
Find a service company to service the boiler. Find an oil company to deliver the oil.
It can be extremely dangerous to close the feed without a low water cutoff. Have a competant service company clean and check the burner and troubleshoot the water pressure issue.
10-17-2006, 09:23 PM
"Hereís another important point. Donít think of a feed valve as a safety device. Itís not there to protect the boiler against a low-water condition. The only thing that can effectively protect a hot water boiler from low water is a low-water cutoff.
A feed valveís job is to set the initial system pressure. Thatís it. For safetyís sake, you should close the supply valve to the feeder once the system pressure is established. This is important because a feed valve thatís left open can mask a system leak. Systems leaks that go undetected can lead to air problems and boiler corrosion problems.
Remember, the only sure protection against a low-water condition is a properly maintained low-water cutoff."
10-17-2006, 09:43 PM
I think you have more then just a bad auto water feed.
I hate when theres no shut off between the feed and the boiler.
Does your boiler have a LWCO installed on it.
10-17-2006, 10:30 PM
I have a very good guess what's wrong with your system - Lets just say that if I'm right and your relief valve fails, you'll have a hot water bomb.
Get professional help for your familys sake! I recomend not running this boiler until the problem is resolved!!!
10-17-2006, 10:51 PM
Just to reiterate, I have no intention of repairing this problem myself. For one thing it makes no sense. The boiler needs a tuneup, possibly a pressure reduction valve, and god knows what else. I'm out a couple hundred dollars right there. I can sign up for oil at $2.35 for a year and get these repairs for free.
However I am a curious person and realy curious about what the problem is.
So my guess based on the following...
there was loss of heat in one of the three zones last April that was possibly due to a tiny leak in the loop.
The other two zones , domestic hot water , pressure reduction valve was fine until I purged air out of the one zone that was down.
I will have to go with a bad pressure reduction valve and possibly small leak in one loop. This is my IGNORANT opinion. I obviously have little skill to make the correct diagnosis. But this seems most obvious to me. There can't possibly be a major leak since the water pressure remains unchanged with the boiler off and water feed closed.
In addition with the boiler off and the water feed valve open, the pressure reduction valve closes(really doesn't) when the pressure reaches domestic water pressure of 35 psi.So my guess is that the pressure reduction valve is not operating.
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