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Old 02-19-2007, 12:52 PM   #1
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Adjust low water cutoff?

I've been living in my home for about the past seven years. The house has a Burnham steam unit with a Honeywell low water cutoff and automatic fill. I asked my oil company if it made sense to keep the unit only about half full of water, so the system doesn't take as much time (and fuel) to start creating steam. I was advised by my oil company that the unit should be full of water. I remember at my dad's house, he'd keep the unit half-full (manual fill) to save on gas.

Is it appropriate to keep a lower than full water level? If so, how do I adjust the Honeywell Guard ring to keep less water in the boiler.


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Old 02-19-2007, 03:09 PM   #2
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Adjust low water cutoff?


We will not get too deaply into physics but that theory has a few holes in it. On a steam boiler the more water you have in it takes longer because of the increased surface mass. The less water the faster you will create steam. In theory the lower you run the water the faster you will make steam. Then we get into thermal dynamics, by now I have lost you right. The basic skinny is the boiler should never be above 1/2 glass, if it is we consider it a flooded boiler. It can operate as low as 1/8 glass in most cases without detrimental effect. But if it is working ok, don't change anything or you could end up with alot bigger bills than fuel cost.

Good luck

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Old 02-19-2007, 04:23 PM   #3
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Adjust low water cutoff?

Thanks for your most intelligent reply.

The water comes almost all the way up the sight glass. I would think that this is acceptable if I had to do a manual fill, it leaves me a comfortable margin of error. But with the auto fill, I'd like to use as little water as necessary. According to you, I'm heating up twice the water that I need to.
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