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My boiler is running low on water every day or so. I see a…

My boiler is running...

My boiler is running low on water every day or so. I see a good deal of steam escaping around the water-level indicator (a vertical glass tube), and I wonder if I have the valves adjusted wrong.

Contractor's Assistant: How long has this been going on? And how severe is the problem?

A couple of weeks. It's been an unusually cold couple of weeks, but I've never had to refill the tank every day before. (No auto-feed.)

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Yes, if it's just valve adjustment.

Contractor's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

There's also water dripping (only when there's pressure) from the base of the pipe that drains the boiler. It looks corroded; I think that'll require a professional.

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Answered in 12 minutes by:
1/16/2018
Phil
Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 9,793
Experience: Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Verified

Hello,

You need to buy some teflon rope 1/8" in diameter at a hardware store, then turn the boiler off, let the pressure drop to zero, drain the boiler to a level below the sight glass, then turn the hexagonal nuts on the sight glass counter clockwise until you can remove the sight glass.

Replace the packing with 4 to 8 laps of the teflon rope ... that should stop the leak.

----------

Beyond that your boiler should be inspected once a year to insure its safety by a local licensed boiler service technician.

The least you should do is to operate the lever on the boilers pressure relief valve twice a year to keep it free of water scale and to insure that it works.

.

My goal is to give you the best experience possible! I hope I have earned a 5 star rating! Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave today.

If you need more assistance, please use the reply box and let me know.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I've heard of "teflon tape", and used it for sealing plumbing fixtures, but "teflon rope"? Anyway, I can look for that and try sealing around the top and bottom of the glass.I still don't know how the valves should be adjusted. If the top one is closed and the bottom one isn't, the glass fills with water and starts leaking from the top. If the bottom one is closed and the top one isn't, the glass empties and water drips from the bottom valve knob. If both are open, I get steam from the top.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I've heard of "teflon tape", and used it for sealing plumbing fixtures, but "teflon rope"? Anyway, I can try sealing around the top and bottom of the glass.I still don't know how the valves should be adjusted. If the top one is closed and the bottom one isn't, the glass fills with water and starts leaking from the top. If the bottom one is closed and the top one isn't, the glass empties and water drips from the bottom valve knob. How should they be adjusted to get a correct reading on the glass?

Hello, you should open the gauge valves when reading the sight glass but they should be closed otherwise.

click here for teflon rope

.

A bit about my background, I am 77 years old, a licensed boiler contractor for 50 years before I retired, last 20 years consulting nationally. the concept behind closing both gauge valves is to prevent a water flood situation if the gauge glass breaks.

.

My goal is to give you the best experience possible! I hope I have earned a 5 star rating! Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave today.

If you need more assistance, please use the reply box and let me know.

Phil
Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 9,793
Experience: Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Verified
Phil and 87 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
My local hardware store has never heard of teflon rope, but I put a couple of windings of teflon plumbers' tape around the screw threads and both ends of the glass, and I think things are working better. Still need to call a pro for the other leak (from the apparently-corroded base of the drain pipe). Thanks!
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