Home>Discussions>TV>Ask This Old House>No heat from boiler H2O added daily when it did work
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Boston Barbary
No heat from boiler H2O added daily when it did work

I do hope someone can help, as I am in quite a pickle.

My boiler is only ~10 years old, but from the first day I turned on the heat four years ago the water gage has required refilling nearly every day/every other day. I only keep the temp at 60 degrees, 62 for company and so don't go crazy with using oil.

Everyone says this is unusual, so each time the oil company came for the annual inspection I posed the question. Never an answer except it shouldn't be.

Last December the pilot wouldn't light and I called for service. Guy installed a new starter and said the water problem should be eliminated. It wasn't.

Got home from a week away and learned that the water gage doesn't even fill up anymore; thus I am without heat. I need help with this, because the oil company won't relent (I owe a couple of hundred dollars from December as the oil bill was high plus the repair was $400). Doesn't matter that I paid them $600 this month - this is simply cruel.

So I am now very sick, but will do whatever I need to if someone can dummy down the explanation. My housemate and cats will thank you too.

Re: No heat from boiler H2O added daily when it did work

Could you verify that you have a steam system---from the description in your post it sounds like steam, rather than a hot water system.

Many service companies are not familiar with steam equipment & thus, you may have to call several companies before you find someone experienced.

Loss of water and low heat can indicate that the system is dirty & the vent valves are stuck open with small bits of dirt that let a lot of steam out.

If some of the pipes go underground it's possible there's a break and condensate/water is leaking out.

Have you contacted your community services agency in your town to try & get help with the repair bills & oil???

Please post back

Re: No heat from boiler H2O added daily when it did work

From your description you have steam boiler. I am a electrician and have wired quite a few steam boilers. There should be a sight glass that has water filled up about half way. Being that the boiler is ten years old there should be some safety items that keep it from dry firing and ruining your boiler.You should have a low water cut-off,a auto fill valve, and a high pressure steam troll. The water line feeding the water to the boiler should be a pressure sensitive device that keeps the water in the sight glass at safe level. I would first make sure this is indeed a auto fill valve is working. If not fill the boiler till the water level in sight glass is where it should be. then there should be a valve on the bottom side of the site glass. open that valve water should be coming out. It is typically a spring loaded valve as you let go it will close back up.to keep that from rusting you should open that valve for a second or two once a month as rust settles in that valve. If the boiler is working when you open that valve the burner should cut off. till the auto fill valve refills the the site glass. back where it should be. Then the boiler should re-cycle and fire if the thermostat is not satisfied. The steam pressure troll is usually set at three pounds and is only used if there is to high of steam pressure. That is safety valve to keep the boiler from blowing up from two much steam. I think you do not have enough water in the boiler to let the burner come on. Good luck

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