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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 3 year old steam boiler from sears is working well,

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Hi - My 3 year old steam boiler from sears is working well, however the 2 Gorton "D" 1/4" Straight Air Valve thats installed pipes near the boiler began to leak. I replace the valves with similar ones but it didn't seem to remedy the issue. what can the issue be. Is the biker too powerful for the amount of radiators i have? Can that be causing a back flow of too much water? Thanks Shaun
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Attached are the pictures. The disconnected valves are the original ones that I think needed replaced. I replaced with the ones installed, they are different but I was told they function the same. However S you can see in the photo the leak is still present.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
typo correction- not biker but boiler

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. First I’ll need some more info so I have a more complete picture of you situation.

Is the water level in the boiler stable while it's making steam?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Rick
I'm not sure about the water level of the boiler. How can I confirm this? From my understanding, the new boiler system automatically controls the water level and flow unlike my old system where I had to manually fill and drain the system. Should I start off by manually draining the water to establish a baseline for you to work with?

There should be a sight glass on the side of the boiler. You need to watch the water level in the glass while the boiler is firing and making steam. Is the level relatively stable or is it bouncing wildly up and down in the glass?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Okay. I will confirm this. I'm not in a position to do this now but will try later. If it is bouncing up and down, what should I do? What would be the Likely cause of this?
Note: I've had 8 radiators in the pass and I closed/removed one last year. Could this have caused the overflow water/steam problem?

If the water level is bouncing a lot ( more than an inch or so) then the boiler water is dirty. Sometimes just draining the boiler and refilling it (be sure you turn the power off to the boiler first) will solve this. If it doesn't solve it the boiler needs to be skimmed which is probably a job for a plumber. Another issue that could be contributing to your problem is that the vents are not installed properly. They should be installed on a nipple that rises several inches (we use a 6" nipple) above the main.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ahhh. Interesting, I currently have a 5 year warranty with Sears with a maintanance plan. This should be covered I assume. What do you mean by 'skimmed'? Is that a maintanance procedure?
I called a sears tech last time and he was helpless. He told me that the valves were bad and needed replacing, and that because the valves were part of my piping system and not the boiler he couldn't touch it. I changed the valves but that didn't work. Your explanation and understanding of the issue is by far the most knowledgeable thus far.

Knowledge of steam systems is pretty scarce these days. Skimming the boiler is supposed to be done when the boiler is new but if it isn't done then or done properly it can come back and be a problem. Skimming is needed to removed the oil and other contaminants that float on top of the boiler water. They cause the boiler to surge, water level to bounce. I don't know about Sears but replacing return air vents is a standard part of any steam boiler replacement we do and any competent company would/should do. The response you got from Sears indicates a complete lack of understanding of how steam systems function. Before you call the know nothings back try draining and refilling the boiler yourself and if you can replace the vent you should be able to extend them. Just get 6" long black nipples and couplings and screw them into the elbow and screw your vent into the coupling on the other end of the nipple.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Wow Rick, I'm impressed with your correspondence, knowledge and service here. I've schedule Sears for tomorrow, I requested a different tech as well, if the same guy shows up, I will test his knowledge and then turn him away. (Probably just have him drain the system). This guy comes to my house every year and tell me that nothing needs to be done because if it's not broken don't fix it. It now appears that he's clueless about steam systems and afraid to touch the new boiler because he might break it. Amazing!
For today I will purchase the 6" nipples and install myself. Hopefully I can get it at Home Depot, if not, can you can send me a link of the recommended part? I'll greatly appreciate it.

You're welcome. I'd appreciate a favorable rating

If you can't get the nipples at Home Depot go to a plumbing supply house.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Okay. Thanks. I will keep you posted and hopefully have this case closed by tomorrow and will leave 5 star rating.

This thread won't go away and I'll answer related follow up questions even after you rate me favorably

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