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Posted by Heatpro on January 12, 2006 at 10:57:55:
In Reply to: Re: Boiler Low Water Cutoff posted by pete on January 12, 2006 at 10:45:19:
The ordinary result of losing some water with baseboard above is that air gets into the lines above and drives folks crazy with the noise for a while, then the baseboard at the top doesn't heat. The symptoms are a progression requiring the tolerance of a saint not to get it fixed long before there is a problem of not having water in the boiler. A sudden snapping of the pipes is a rare occasion caused by bad installation years before.
However, gettng a low water cutoff is a good idea for the same reason it is required on commercial boilers. Or to look at it another way - codes permit residential boilers not to have LWCOffs because there are only a few people in most families and an explosion would kill fewer people if they refuse to listen to the bubbles and tolerate no heat upstairs.
Some think that having a feed water regulator open guarantees no danger. however, a break in the boiler can dump water into the house all day and still have the upper parts of the boiler get red hot because there is no heat at the thermostat. A temporary clog in the feed screen can prevent water from entering, or a city main repair can have no water pressure for a while. Done at just the wrong time, the water can be released into the red hot boiler again to send the boiler into the neighborhood through the roof - that is why the LWCO manufacturer recommends shutting the hand valve to the feed. A low water cutoff prevents all that.
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