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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 5/18/2018

Well now, this was unexpected.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that the boiler was making VERY loud sounds when it fired up.  It was clearly struggling and the noise intake was making far more noise than it should have--these things are nearly noiseless normally.  Looking at things I realized that the glycol pressure was low....which was very much unexpectedly as it's a closed loop system.

I had known there was a slight leak from one fitting that I discovered several months back, but I had retightened everything and thought that other than having lost a little bit of pressure things were okay again.  The fact that it was lower than I had expected bothered me, and again made me think of installing a glycol makeup system as Radiant Paul had suggested a couple of years ago.

So anyway, after a bit of detective work I discovered that the  folks who had been working for ABC Plumbing are now working for a company called Jolly Plumbing--ABC had sold off their boiler support last year.  A couple of phone calls later and I got Radiant Adam--I had made sure I wanted somebody who would teach me, and he did.

We got the system pressurized up nicely, no real problems, and Radiant Adam was generally pleased with the way the system was laid out with lots of shutoff valves we could use.  Things were looking to be very good....

....and then I moved something on top of the boiler and something went "clank".  It was a screw head; one of the bolts at the top of the boiler had completely broken off.

With a bit more investigation we discovered things were considerably worse than expected.  The venturi (a rubber membrane inside the intake valve) had almost disintegrated; our primary suspect was that the exhaust and intake lines were too close too each other, allowing the boiler to bring in "hot air" and ending up disintegrating the rubber.  The holes in the rubber made the startup very rough, which was why it was so noisy, and apparently it vibrated so hard on startup that it sheared three of the bolts (we eventually discovered).

So now I have no hot water as of this writing.  Parts are on the way; turns out the boiler is itself still under warranty (which rather surprised me) so they're going to do a full replacement on it.  We'll find out more this next Friday!

What an annoying development.....


Steven in Colorado

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