Another boiler question... (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
2,300
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
 
 
Didn't have heat last night in the part of the house serviced by a new (in the last year) boiler install. Threw another blanket on and decided to deal with it in the morning. According to the temperature readout on the alarm clock, it was 50 F in the upstairs bedroom this a.m., and -5 outside.

So this morning I go down and
look at the boiler - pop out the control thing and it's flashing P00 - which I figure out means no pressure - uh oh. Walk around a bit and notice the drywall and floor are wet near the end of a section of baseboard. ****!

Now the reason that the pressure dropped to 0 is because I turned off the supply to that section a few weeks ago because I was tired of the water heater leaking out of the pressure relief valve. That's another gripe with these guys - they didn't put in an expansion tank and won't come back and do it because it wasn't spelled out specifically in the contract. I bought one, but haven't gotten around to putting it in yet. Don't need the water on to that part of the house yet (under construction) except to back-fill the boiler.

Now the question. I had them put antifreeze into the system when they installed & filled it - contract specs 50/50 mix of some type of food-safe type antifreeze. What temp should that be good to? Should be less then -5F right? The leak is on an outside wall - 2x6 construction, so has R19 between the pipe and outside, and the house was certainly well above freezing.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
2,300
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
 
 
Guy from the contractor came out yesterday afternoon, and we turned up the thermostat on that zone to get things flowing. No change in the size of the puddle, wall isn't getting hot, no noise, no nothing. The guys says he's worked hundreds of leaks and never saw one that didn't indicate additional leakage in the hour he was there, or one that he couldn't hear at operating pressure. Other wierd bit is that there is a small puddle at the other end of the baseboard radiator as well - but nothing wet inbetween??

We went and looked at the outside wall, and the stucco is a little wet immedietely outside and below where the puddle is inside as well. There is no other plumbing in this wall or adjacent areas, first or 2nd floor. And no significant rain or snow lately either. That and you can smell the antifreeze when you go into the room.

So I'm at a loss here - the guy was unwilling to tear into drywall without a better indication of where the leak was. He pretty much discounted freezing on the basis that the interior temp didn't get all that cold (50F upstairs), outside was only about -5F and there's R19 between the pipe and outside. And there's obviously a decent concentration of antifreeze in the system judging by the color in some translucent tube near the boiler.

I left the heat cranked up all night to keep things flowing, and the puddle/wet area is no bigger this morning. Maybe even dried up a little. I'm probably going to knock in the drywall myself tonight and see what I find.

Any other ideas/suggestions?
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
1,019
Location
Eastern PA.
 
50/50 mix of Propylene Glycol is good to around -30f . Thats it's freeze point, it's burst point is lower.

If the wall is wet outside I'd check your baseboard on the wall where the leak is. Base board tubing is thinner than the pipes that feed it and usually burst first.

Did you pressurized the boiler?

Kevin
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
2,300
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
 
 
Well, I tore out drywall at one of the ends this weekend. It's seeping very slowly from the connection between the PEX and the copper. My guess is that it's slow enough that it evaporates quickly enough when the heat is on that it doesn't accumulate.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
96
Location
Lucerne,Ca.
If I was going from pex to copper,I'd try to put that connection in an accesible location.It seems wierd to me to have a connection other than a soldered one where you couldn't get to it.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
239
Location
Lake Tahoe,
 
 
What type of pex fitting is it Rehau or wirsbo you could stop your water heater T-n-P from leaking by removing the check valve on your recirc line or turn your water heater down.
 

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