Forum Title: Boiler Question
Hi everyone.. I know this is not a plumbing question but I'm hoping you guys can help me out as you were so helpful with my plumbing questions before.. I have a steam boiler (oil)... I'm going to give a little bit of a back story here.. I bought this house about 2 years ago.. the furnace hadn't been serviced in 2 years since I bought it.. I never got around to servicing it till a few months ago, as mentioned in a previous post, and they replaced the leaking backflow preventer. So, it had been 4 years since it's last servicing, and was quite dirty. The sight glass thingy that shows water level and controls the low water shut off was clogged so he cleaned that out and gave me a lesson on my boiler (and strict instructions to service it regularly from now on). He told me that the water in my boiler was very low, and that water in the tube should come about half way (now that it's cleared out and reflecting an actual picture again). And that you don't want to add cold water into a hot boiler. Anyway, about 2 weeks ago I just started using my heat for the first time. After 4 days, I came home from work and there was no heat on. I went down stairs, and sure enough that low water light was on and the boiler was cold. The water in the tube was about half inch lower then the middle, so I filled it back up to the middle. About 5 days later, I woke up in the morning and the heat wasn't on. I go downstairs, and sure enough that light is on again and the boiler is cold and the water is 1/2 inch below the middle of the tube. I filled it up to half way again. Fast forward 4 days to this morning and i wake up in a freezing house. Go downstairs, cold boiler, water half inch under the line. Fill it back up, we're back up and running again. I can't figure out why this is happening. There doesn't appear to be any water leaks anywhere. I don't know enough about steam heat systems to even begin to understand.. But my understanding is that the water heats up, turns to steam, and heats my house. Then, the steam should go back down the pipes into the furnace and turn into water and start all over again, right? I can understand replacing a little bit of water every now and again, but every 4 days seems a bit excessive. Every once and awhile when the heat is on, the pipes down there bang. I researched this and it said that sometimes when cold water meets steam, this happens and that maybe something is stopping the water from returning back to the boiler.. could that account for the water loss? I also read that the pressure valve on one (or more) of my radiators could be leaking steam and I wouldn't even know it.. I do know the radiator in my bedroom hisses a heck of a lot louder then the one in my living room. I grew up on electric heat, so I have no clue what these systems are supposed to sound and or work like. Does anyone have any other thoughts as to what this can be?
Category: Plumber Post By: BERTHA WALTERS (Olathe, KS), 03/01/2017

install automatic water feeder

- TERRENCE GARNER (Park Ridge, IL), 09/03/2017

Quote: Originally Posted by frodo not knowing your system..i can only guess. a steam boiler has steam traps,,,also know as bucket traps if the piping is below the boiler. these are used to catch the condensate that can not drip back to the boi;er. see drawing for explanation example He may have a one pipe system. That would account for the hammer.

- EVELYN NGUYEN (Janesville, WI), 10/09/2017

not knowing your system..i can only guess. a steam boiler has steam traps,,,also know as bucket traps if the piping is below the boiler. these are used to catch the condensate that can not drip back to the boi;er. see drawing for explanation example

- PEARL SCHWARTZ (Clifton, NJ), 10/11/2017

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