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Re: low water level on glass gauge, what to do?

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Posted by Harold Kestenholz - hydronic.net on April 26, 2002 at 08:01:15:

In Reply to: low water level on glass gauge, what to do? posted by debbie on April 25, 2002 at 20:48:46:

You can see a picture of the gauge glass and control at:
under 'Steam Tips' with further directions.

If you are uncomfortable about doing this because you have not done this in the past, get a professional heating plumber to do this and inspect the unit for your safety.

A water level that low often occurs, but you need to check to see if the glass is giving a true reading. Shut the power switch to the unit off. On the bottom of the brass fitting that holds the glass is a round knob with bumps on the side that can be turned left when grabbed with cloth-lined rubber gloves (to prevent burns); when turned water should run out without completely draining the glass. If the glass drains completely, the fitting that allows water to enter the glass from the boiler to indicate the water level is clogged and you may be out of water so the boiler protector control (low water cutoff) would have prevented the burner from burning up a dry boiler. A heating plumber should be called to clear the control and check the system for operating safety.

If the gauge maintains a water level while you drain some water from the gauge fitting and the boiler has been off for a long while and the boiler is cool (evidence would be that the pipes are cold and the boiler feels cool,) turn the power back on, find the water feed valve near the boiler and add water very slowly (be sure you do not fill the boiler completely and the pipes above it with water. If you hear any hissing, thunking noises other than the sound of water thorugh the valve when you add water stop feeding water immediately and turn the power off. If the glass fittings are clear so water rises in the glass, fill the boiler til the glass is 3/4 full. With the power on and the thermostat on and set to about 70F, if the house is cooler, the boiler burner should go on to heat the home. If it does not, turn the power off and call a heating plumber.

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