Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your issue.
The water pressure won't keep the burner from firing. Is the water in the boiler hot?
20 to 30 psi (30 psi is max) is what the pressure should be when the water is hot. Unless you live on the 3rd floor 10 psi is ok when the boiler is cold
So we need to figure out why you don't have heat. Is it because the burner is firing so the water isn't hot or do you have air in the lines so the water isn't circulating
Ok then if you're on the 4th floor and the boiler is in the basement then 10 psi is too low.
You need to find the cold water pipe that feeds the boiler.
The valve between the boiler and expansion tank should always be open
The cold feed line will probably have a feed valve on it. This device regulates the water pressure let into the boiler. I'll try to post a picture or a link to show you what a feed valve looks like. Give me a minute
You may have a different brand but they are all similar
If you can find this device we can probably put it on bypass/fast fill and bump up the pressure
What color is it?
you're sure it's on the water line that feeds the boiler and not on the water main for the bldg.
You can post a pic here from a PC or Mac (not a phone or tablet)by clicking on the paper clip icon in the tool bar at the top of this dialogue box
If you're sure this device is not on the bldg water main then we can try to tweak it
The downside is that it could be plugged with rust and nothing you do will matter or it could fail and keep pushing the pressure up when you want it to stop. If the latter you can always close the shut off valve that should be on the same line
I see. I also know how to release pressure from the boiler if necessary (there's a tube leading out of the boiler that has a release). Trying to post a pic now
Thanks for your patience. Terrible Internet connection down here in the basement with the boiler...
You shouldn't mess with releasing pressure via the relief valve (what you seem to be describing)
The relief valve may not seat properly and could continue to leak after you release the lever
You can drop the pressure by opening any hose bibb (faucet) on the system.
Here's the back of the expansion tank and the pipes leading into it
It looks like a good one and fairly new at that
Replaced two years ago I think
Odd that it won't keep the pressure up
So I should open the bolt on top of the bell?
You want to crank the screw down to boost the pressure
backing the screw off lowers the pressure
Ah, of course. Ok, I'm grabbing my wrench now and will tighten the bolt...
you'll probably have to back off the nut at the base of the adjustment bolt first
be sure all the shut off valves on that feed line are open or this won't do any good
Turn it until you hear water runnig. I'd only do 1 turn at a time then see what happens
The position of the bolt determines the pressure, you don't want to crank it in too far
Be aware that boiler gauges are often not accurate.
Only with a test gauge which you screw onto a hose bibb at the boiler. You can get them at any plumbing supply house and maybe even the big box stores. Best to get a gauge with 100 as the max range
Gotcha. There's a hardware store a block away if I need to make a run.
So the boiler is still warm, but not super hot like yesterday. I have the heat turned up all the way from the controller inside the apartment.
Well first you need to get the water up to your apartment level
Is there anything I should do to the boiler itself? Or the circulator?
Not to boost the water pressure
If the boiler/burner doesn't respond to a call for heat from the thermostat then that's a different problem
I'm upstairs uploading some pics for our reference and then heading back down to the basement...
Here's the SlantFin boiler
Hold off on more pics for now
Oh, sorry. This is the valve in the apartment, which I have open. Should I tighten the valves on all the radiators before heading back down to the basement?
No need. First thing you need to do is get the water up there.
Turn up the thermostat before you head for the basment
If we need to do any more trouble shooting you'll probably need a multi meter
Great. Thermostat is turned up. Heading back down now...
Put a couple more turns on the screw. If you can't get the pressure up it won't matter if the boiler works or not
You did say there was no water coming out of the bleeders on your radiators?
You should have water rushing into the boiler with the screw all the way in
pressure should be climbing fast
Don't leave it like that and walk away unless you turn the valve in the line before it off
If you aren't getting anything flow then either the valve is clogged up or there is a problem with the water supply
I got that before. If your pressure isn't rising quickly then either the feeder is clogged or there is a problem with the water supply
You might want to take a run to the hardware store and get a test gauge to verify the pressure on the system
are you still with me?
I'm in NH, sorry I don't know anybody in NYC
Don't leave the screw on the feeder cranked all the way in. back it out to ~ where it was before
Roger. I just loosed the screw on top of the feeder.
and shut off the valve on that feed line just in case
Hmm, anything else I should try before calling someone onsite?
Ok, shutting off that valve now, too.
We've tried everything to bump up the pressure short of pulling the plumbing apart. So there isn't much left you can do. You could try a test gauge on the system but if you don't have the water up to your radiators checking the pressure is a waste of time
Understood. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX really appreciate your time and assistance.
Thanks for using Just Answer! Please keep us in mind should you have questions in the future that could use some expert answers. You can request me personally for Plumbing, Heating or general Home Improvement/Building problems should the need arise. Just bookmark this URL for future reference http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-rickthecontractor/