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Rick
Rick, HVAC Supervisor
Category: HVAC
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Experience:  40+ yrs. experience as a licensed oil & gas technician.
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My plumber found that the boiler pressure was at 50 psi, released

Resolved Question:

My plumber found that the boiler pressure was at 50 psi, released pressure through the relief valve and pressure dropped to 15 psi. Once he opened the ball valve to the water feed, pressure increased to 30 psi. he
Recommends replacing reducing valve and pressure relief valve. Would you?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Rick :

Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your issue.

Rick :

I would agree with your plumber based on your description it sounds like the feeder is no longer regulating water pressure into the boiler properly and should be replaced. It's always a good idea to replace the relief valve once it discharges.

Rick :

And the fact that the existing relief valve didn't start to leak at 30 psi is another indication it should be replaced

Customer:

Can this cause my current situation of no heat? and does the water tank really need to be drained? I have been on the computer all morning researching this and it didn't seem this was the solution. I read that the reducing valve only effects water pressure and the relief valve is faulty if it leaks which it never did (yet you think that's why it should be replaced?)

Rick :

Relief valves are there to protect the system from too much pressure. If the pressure gets above 30 psi they are supposed to leak.

Rick :

50 psi is dangerously high pressure

Rick :

I assume you mean the expansion tank. Draining it restores the air pocket in the tank which allows the tank to do its job which is to absorb the expansion of the water in the system as the system heats up

Rick :

However, none of this explains a no heat condition

Customer:

That's what I had read (expansion tank) but he quoted me for draining and filling the boiler. I am questioning the ethics of this man since he came on a service contract so the visit was free but then I felt like he found these things wrong so now I have to pay money.I didn't think this would cause my no heat situation either so now it will be even more money when he gets here. Is there anyway I can check out the reducing valve or relief valve on my own? Or maybe ask him to show my how he tested it all so I know what to look for while he does it in front of me? .

Rick :

If you replace the relief valve you have to drain, refill and purge the air out of the system. I can't address the terms of your service contract but so far what you've told me sounds legit.

You said the pressure increased to 30 psi as soon as he opened the ball valve on the water feed into the boiler. This would indicate to me that the feed valve was malfunctioning.

Customer:

So that I know he is doing what he says he is, what do I look for? Him replacing the two valves and literally draining my hot water tank? (not the expansion tank or that too?)

Rick :

You seem to be mixing up some terms here. I see no reason to drain your water heater. When the relief valve is replaced the heating system (which includes the boiler) needs to be drained, refilled and purged of air. Modern system don't have expansion tanks that need to be drained. Only systems more that ~35 to 40 years old have expansion tanks that need to be drained.

Rick :

Feed valves look similar to this one

Full Size Image

Customer:

Yes you are right, sorry about that I didn't mean the water heater just boiler. So to recap, you do agree that both the reducing valve and the relief valve seem to need replacing as well as draining the boiler. Could all this be a mute point if he finds something else wrong with the system today which is why I don't have heat or would you recommend the above fixes no mater what? Thanks very much.

Customer:

Yes, that is what my reducing valve looks like.

Rick :

You're welcome. Yes these items should be replaced regardless of the no heat problem. Although I don't see how the problem you detail here would be the cause of no heat.

Customer:

I also read they are usually on the main pipes but mine is by my boiler.

Customer:

I don't either.

Rick :

The water feeder is always on the cold water feed line into the boiler and the relief valve is always mounted on the boiler on a modern system

Customer:

yes that's what I have. thank you.

Rick :

My pleasure!

Rick, HVAC Supervisor
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 13850
Experience: 40+ yrs. experience as a licensed oil & gas technician.
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Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

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