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Main Water Cut-off, Leaks from Radiator Vents, How to Re-start Boiler Safely

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Posted by Mike on May 05, 2011 at 01:39:51:

Please assist me with a recent issue. We had to shut off the main water valve, but when we went to turn it back on, the valve failed leaving the water turned off. The valve will be fixed in a few days, but an unintended problem developed with the heating system.

This is an oil-fired steam boiler with an automatic water feeder and a LWCO. It has not been on a lot recently due to warmer weather. It is in the basement and feeds three radiators on the first level and three smaller radiators on the second level.

About 16 hours after the water was cut off, the lowest radiator developed a steady leak from the vent. About four hours into this, I removed the vent and plugged up the hole. This stopped the leak. Three hours later, the two other radiators developed leaks.

At this, I decided to cut power to the boiler, and to my surprise, this stopped the problem.

My question is, once the water is turned back on, how can the boiler be safely turned back on? Should I add water to the boiler or take any other steps? Thank you so much for any advice.

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