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I Need your expertise

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by McKraut, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. McKraut

    McKraut Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Messages:
    223
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    I was in the basement today firing up the TARM for the season. I brought the boiler up to temperature and pressure and everything looked normal. After a few hours I saw a lot of water pooling on the basement floor. I had a leaking vent on a radiator. I isolated the zone and figured I'd wait until it stopped leaking so I could replace it. I checked the boiler and the pressure was down to zero. I was suprised because the volume of water wasn't that much, but I went ahead and filled the boiler back up to 20 psi. The pressure dropped back down, so I isolated the boiler, filled it back up to 20 psi. An hour later, to my horror, I saw the water leaking out from under the boiler. Not the way I was planning on enjoying my evening.
    I have a plumber coming out this weekend to look at the boiler and assess the situation. My assumption is that the boiler will have to be replaced. The plumber does not have any experience with wood burning boilers and said he would not be able to help me with the new set up for both boilers.
    Right now I am finishing my woodshed that will be housing my woodburning boiler. I am about a month away from firing it up, so I will probably have to buy a new oil burning boiler (I need to have an oil burner so we can go away during the winter). Since I will be pulling the old boiler, now is the time to get ready for the oil burning and wood burning boilers to be hooked up to work in the same system.
    I did a very hasty sketch of the current boiler set up and attached it. I am sorry for the poor quality, but I am not an artist and I don't have much time.
    11-27-2012 09;31;47PM.JPG
    What can I do before the new boiler hook up (i.e. shut off valves) so that when the time comes, I can start the new wood burning boiler without having to shut down the oil burning boiler?

    I appreciate your help and advice,

    Bob

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  2. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,550
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Your saying the Tarm sprung a leak that was installed in '94? Hmmmmm....

    1. Move the circulators to the supply after the expansion tank, trust me, this is better for all sorts of things (pumping away). Or consider zone valves and a variable speed circulator, if the circulators are old and you want to save electricity and replace them.

    2. Depending on how much you want to "go away" you may want to consider an electric boiler as your backup, all depending on how much wood you want to burn and utility rates etc.

    3. Connect an oil boiler and the wood in a primary/secondary loop, if you go with the electric then you can pipe directly through it.

    4. If primary/secondary is how you want to go, then just leave two 1-1/4" closely spaced T's valved off for the wood.

    5. Be sure to read the "Underground lines, not the place to skimp" thread.

    TS
  3. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    737
    Loc:
    SW Missouri

    Could be a waterlogged expansion tank? Rap on it with you knuckles to determine the water level. Also remove the small plastic cap at the end, find a tire stem valve underneath. Push in the pin, if water comes out you have a ruptured bladder and a bad tank. Be carefull if the boiler is warm when you push the valve in.

    When the tanks waterlogs, only a small amount of water relief drops the pressure quickly. Also a water logged tank will cause the relief valve to pop as the boiler warms and has no room for expansion.

    The leak under the boiler could be from a relief valve pop off, or seeping as the pressure increases. You may not have a leaking boiler, check the tank first.
  4. McKraut

    McKraut Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Messages:
    223
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    Hi Bob,

    I was hoping it would be the tank, but it's not. I tested it and there wasn't a single drop of water. I appreciate your input. I was reading your sticky "Primary secondary piping for boilers" and I think I am going to use what is in this.
    Right now I don't think I can afford to do much of anything at this time. Right now I am using our wood stove to keep the hosue warm, but that is a pain in the......I may try some kind of boiler mend that I was reading about in another thread. I will cross my fingers.
    Thanks again,

    Bob
  5. McKraut

    McKraut Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Messages:
    223
    Loc:
    South Central PA
    TS,

    Thanks for the info. The underground lines are in, so that is one thing I am not worried about now. I was reading Bob Rohr's Primary secondary piping for boilers and I think I will be using the setups in there. I wasn't ready to deal with this yet. Ugh.

    Bob
  6. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,550
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    I piped mine primary/secondary. The best way to link loads and heat sources, although I only have one heat source.

    TS

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