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Quackerjack 11-24-2012 06:52 PM

How Do I Add Water To My Boiler System?
My two highest radiators are cold and bleeding them doesn't release all the air. The water pressure is also just below 10. From what I could find out so far, this means I need to add water to the system. Here's a photo of my pressure valves. How do I add water to my system? When I pull the latch on the right as one boiler company guy told me, it only releases water down the open pipe into the bucket.
Untitled by Whippersnapper12, on Flickr
Untitled by Whippersnapper12, on Flickr

joed 11-24-2012 06:58 PM

Turn on the tap on the left.

10psi is about right for the system.

joecaption 11-24-2012 07:04 PM

The "latch" on the right is a pressure relief, nothing to do with adding water.
The other thing looks like a pressure regulator.

NiNe O 11-24-2012 07:40 PM

do you have zone valves. more photos of the boiler near piping would help.

Quackerjack 11-24-2012 08:33 PM

Thanks Joed, Joecaption and Nine.

Nine, I'm not sure (about "zone valves") but if you mean shut off valves for each radiator, then no, none of my radiators have valves (except for the bleeding valves). I'm attaching more photos of the piping near the boiler.

Okay, I thought it might be that valve on the left in the photo. Unfortunately, it's really rusted and doesn't turn with regular effort. I don't want to force it in case it breaks. I might have to replace the valve but is it for certain this would add water to the system? Doesn't the pressure regulator automatically add water? And if so, can this be adjusted somehow?

Any other suggestions?
Untitled by Whippersnapper12, on Flickr

NiNe O 11-24-2012 08:39 PM

The very first photo you posted is the pressure regulator, loosening the lock nut on the top and screwing in the stem will raise the pressure it regulates to. However, provided your gauge is correct, 10 psi should be sufficient provided the radiator is less than 22' above the gauge.

ben's plumbing 11-24-2012 09:05 PM

each pound of pressure will raise water about 2 feet..if your pressure is at 10 psi you have water to about 20'...that lever you lifted is the relief valve ..small control to left of that is regulator..make sure valve is open and see if tapping may open it ..should be factory set at 12 psi..ben sr...just looked at pics good regulator and relief look pertty old consider replacing them....

NiNe O 11-24-2012 09:13 PM

2.31 :thumbsup:

Quackerjack 11-25-2012 06:49 AM

Well the cold radiators on the second floor are within 20-22 feet in height (though perhaps 30 feet in distance).

Unscrewed the locknut of the regulator but the stem screw doesn't budge.

I was just hoping for an immediate remedy for now but I guess the whole thing (boiler, pump and valves) is really due to be replaced.

oh'mike 11-25-2012 06:59 AM

I moved this to HVAC ---you will get the best help there----although a new boiler will ne more efficient --if the old one works you will be able to get it to perform with the proper instructions and a new part or two---

Be patient----more help will come

NiNe O 11-25-2012 08:24 AM

I'm assuming that there is more than just one loop for the boiler piping to the home. Is there anyway to isolate the problem loops from the non-problem loops? I believe you may have some debris preventing flow through the problem loops. If this were my house. I would install valves and boiler drains on the returns for each individual loop, install a pressure reducing valve w/fast fill. This way you could isolate each loop and force water through the loop and flush them. A new boiler, pump, and valves won't fix a thing if there is an obstruction in the piping.

carmon 11-25-2012 08:29 AM

i agree there.... hopefully pipes not plugged....thats not fun .....:(

oh'mike 11-25-2012 08:39 AM

Plugged up pipes are so unlikely .

You need to post pictures of the piping system and the valves----there is a good chance that you have more than one zone and isolating the working zone will allow you to flush out the air---need more info.

We have several boiler experts here---someone will help if you provide accurate info---

NiNe O 11-25-2012 08:41 AM

it's not that unlikely with that galvenized piping. first job though is to isolate problem loops.

how 11-25-2012 11:43 AM

When you say bleeding the top rad's doesn't get rid of the air...are you saying that no water comes out of the bleed valves?.. or what?

If no water is coming out (and they are open) then I'd attach a psi guage( they are cheap) to your boiler drain to see if your tridicater is working.
In other words do you really have 10 PSI.

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