Adding water and necessary pressure for a sunray boiler


The boiler is old, like 1964 old. It's a sunray iv. I have heat and everything works fine. I just bought this house about a month ago. I have waterfall sounds in my rooms which is air i'm assuming. I want to bleed the system, but i'm concerned with the pressure. It's water not steam, and only needs to go up about 10ft. Cold i have no pressure, the secondary guage is set at zero, not sure if that's normal or if the technician never set the normal reading guage? It get's up to about 5 psi when heating. So, first should i have pressure when cold, even though this is not a steam system. And if my pressure should read zero when cold, how do i go about filling the system up then? -------------------------------------
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On Thu, 10 Dec 2009 17:42:10 +0000, jeffmeitz_at_hotmail_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (minimeitz) wrote:

Your boiler has a max working pressure for hot water of 30 psi. Anywhere between 12 -15 psi working pressure should be fine in your case. . Look at the make up water pressure reducing valve and see if it has a lever on the top or if there is a bypass fill pipe. If it does have a lever, that's the fast fill lever. Open it by pulling it until its straight up and watch the pressure gauge. Close it when you get to about 25 psi. Once you see pressure building open the pop off valve to make sure it works. When you see water coming out leave it open for a few and give it a good blow. Build up the boiler pressure again then open the bleeders on the top of the system on each radiator or high point, what ever your case may be.
If you don't have any coin vent type bleeders or maid-o-mists (automatic air purgers) you'll need to build pressure as described and shut all zones and work on one at a time. Purge the air by closing the return line with the zone valve or a stop valve which ever your case may be. Then open the bleed valve upstream of where you closed off the return loop. Hopefully there is a place to hook a hose to. The supply line always comes off the top of the boiler and the return into the bottom. So basically you want to force the water all the way through the loop unless you can let the air out from the top. If you have to bleed the loop use a hose and a bucket. Attach the hose to the loop drain on the return side and watch until the bubbles quit. Run the circulating pump. Turn the gas off to the boiler when bleeding the air out.
Make sure your expansion tank is in good condition and the bladder is good or if its a air tank make sure its drained before you start and if there is a sight glass on it replace the seals to prevent the expansion tank becoming water logged. Its possible to break the sight glass taking the compression nuts off. The old gasket can stick to the glass causing it to break. You'll need a glass cutter designed for a sight glass to cut the new one to fit. Buy all new gaskets, nuts and washers to reassemble. Once you get the air out, adjust the pressure on the boiler to about 10 psi and let the PRV and expansion tank equalize pressure at temp and check the gauge. If the pressure keeps rising you either have a PRV that's stuck open or the expansion tank has no air in it and is water logged. If its all good fire the boiler and watch the pressure gauge. Somewhere between 12 and 15 psi is what you want to see at operating temp. 160-180 F.
There's are a lot of ways boiler are piped and valved I cant see yours from here. Anything I've said may or may not apply to you. Your best bet is to hire someone who knows what to do and watch him so you know your system.
Good luck, merry Christmas and if you fuck something up don't blame me.
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minimeitz wrote:

You definitely need an experience and licensed service person. If that pressure is that low, it may indicate a doctored system to avoid it leaking. As for air in the system, it may need manual bleeding, but it might pay you to have automatic bleeders installed along with an overall systems check. Just how much did you pay for this abode with such antiquated mechanical systems. It should have been priced accordingly. A good appraiser or a home inspector would have apprised you of these things in advance of purchase. I might also add that old systems seldom have a low water cutoff safety.

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minimeitz had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/hvac/Re-Adding-water-and-necessary-pressure-for-a-sunray-boiler-39026-.htm : It seems the bleeder i cracked for a bit today helped. My pressure would only get up to 8 psi at around 120 degree water. Now it's up to 12-16 psi, and like i stated, it's much quieter now.
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