COMMUNITY FORUM

moby96

04:48AM | 05/13/04
Member Since: 05/12/04
12 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
Dear Plumber Tom,

I have a new hot water boiler system (hot water and heat) Seems that when ever the water circulator pump for the hot water zone kicks in it leaks out of the pressure relief valve on the storage tank. I called the plumber who installed it and he came out and replaced it.

A week later it was doing it again only this time I opened and closed the pressure release valve thinking that it might just need to be reseated but then, the backflow preventer going to the boiler (the feed line from the hot water tank going to the boiler) started to leak so I called the plumber and he replaced both the valve on the water heater tank and the backflow preventer and said “that’s strange, I never had so many problems with these two things and that the backflow preventer must have been defective”.

Then a week after that the tank was leaking again and I just figured that that was the way it was gona be (this is also what the plumber told me, “ sometimes they just do that” so I just left it that way. Then 3-4 weeks after that the backflow preventer started to leak again so I called the plumber.

He said that a bunch of other customers started having the same problems and that he found out that the city had upgraded equipment and that could be affecting the system (too much pressure) he said that I should replace the main pressure reducing valve on the main line and install some kind of overflow tank (sorta like an expansion tank?) about $350.

I also noticed that when I turn on the water it sounds kinda like a jet engine, interestingly this is how the plumber described it also.

I was thinking that since the house was unoccupied and unheated for 4 years that maybe the pres reduce valve is bad (all the plumbing after the meter is new)

So any ways I am not sure if these problems are due to his plumbing job or something else. What do you think?

Thank you,


erik peterson

05:34AM | 05/13/04
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
Sounds as though the water pressure going into the house is too high...pressure regulator should be installed if the pressure exceeds 80 psi (this is the high-limit) per uniform plumbing code. Its the first thing I would have checked at the beginning of this situation. erik

plumber Tom

12:24PM | 05/13/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
Find out 1st if your backflow preventer is a reducing backflow. Buy an inexpensive test gauge and see exactly what your water pressure is before and after the backflow preventer. Optimal pressure would be in the 40 to 60 range.

erik peterson

06:52PM | 05/13/04
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
A "Reduced Pressure" type backflow device has nothing to do with regulating pressure in the system....reduced pressure refers to the mechanism that expels tainted water from the system before it can return to the potable source. Get your facts right. erik

moby96

04:24AM | 05/14/04
Member Since: 05/12/04
12 lifetime posts
So today, I will go pick up a pressure gauge to test the water pressure. There is a pressure gauge on the boiler and it reads around 20p it maintains this pressure when it is on or off.

If I were testing the pressure after the backflow prev, would I check it at one of the drains for a zone? (I have three zones) I am not sure where else I would check it. In addition, one more interesting note, Last night around 5:30pm I went in the basement to check on things (backflow was still dripping) and turned off the shutoff valve to the boiler (shutoff is about 3 feet from the backflow) and of course, it stopped dripping. About 2-3 hours later, I turned it back on and the backflow was not leaking. I checked this morning and it hasn’t leaked, Humm?

And by the way, I called the city to see if they upgraded their equipment like my plumber said, the city told me that they have not upgraded equipment in years and that my plumber was pulling my leg.


erik peterson

04:51AM | 05/14/04
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
Check your pressure where the water enters the building.......again, the backflow device has nothing to do with ambient pressure in the house its a safety device designed to protect the potable water system from your boiler. Hire someone who knows what they are doing. (certified backflow tester/tech) as I am since 1975. erik

moby96

04:05AM | 05/15/04
Member Since: 05/12/04
12 lifetime posts
So I checked the pressure (left the gauge on all night) it was around 60pds all day and at the boiler it was 20pds. This morning I went down to check and the pressure peaked at 140pds!!! at the main feed.

I did find out that my plumber was right after all, The city installed new water meters in all the house's (they are electronic seems they can read them from a satilite) and on those meters there is a check valve , and I was told that in the past when the water pressure spiked it would balance out but now that there is a check valve when the pressure spikes it stays within the house since there is now a check valve installed.

The remedy they tell me is to install an expansion tank on the cold side.

wouldent the pressure reducer take care of the spikes?

Thanks, Mark

erik peterson

04:53AM | 05/15/04
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
Again, the maximum pressure to your house at any time (including spikes) should be no more than 80,,,this is the uniform plumbing code which most cities large and small adhere to. I would install the regulator and as a back-up since they are so in-expensive the expansion tank. By the way, changing the meters alone will not impact the pressure its the check-valve which is another type of "back-flow" device that is the problem. erik

moby96

03:50PM | 05/15/04
Member Since: 05/12/04
12 lifetime posts
There is pres reduc valve installed before the meter. Since i am getting readings of 140pds is it defective and should i replace it? and the expansion tank be installed on the cold side, Right? and does it matter where?

thanks.

erik peterson

04:00PM | 05/15/04
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
replace it and yes the cold side. erik
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