Why Does My Steam Boiler Run Out of Water - All boilers need a constant supply of water from a make-up water source. In a steam boiler system, there are vents that vent condensation. The vents can be found on the radiators and throughout the pipe system especially on large systems that serve larger buildings. Venting is limited to a small amount of the entire H2O and steam volume inside the piping and radiators but does need to be replaced.

Most of the steam condenses and is returned to the boiler through the return piping system either by gravity or a condensate pump. As the system uses steam it vents the condensation of steam and this displaces water from the steam system that needs to be replaced and the replacement H2O comes from a make-up water source.

Why Does my Steam Boiler Run Out of Water - Make-Up Water

Why does my steam boiler run out of water
Steam Vent on a steam radiator

The make-up water source usually comes from the city-supplied water source and is controlled by an automatic water feeder that is directly controlled by a low water cut-off control located on the boiler. The low water cut-off has a float inside of it that measures the level inside the boiler. At a specific level, the float activates a switch that sends power to the automatic water feeder that feeds water to the boiler system when the level inside the boiler drop below a critical level. This refreshes the levels and fills the boiler to safe levels. There are some maintenance requirements on most steam boilers for the low water cut-off.

Additionally, if proper maintenance is not done as required by the manufacturer the system can foul and prevent proper functioning. This can result in a dangerous condition of the steam boiler system. Preventing this dangerous situation is easy. Simple periodic boiler maintenance will enhance the operation and safety of the boiler system. It will also make your system more reliable so you can be warm in the winter.

Low Water Cut-Off Maintenance for Steam Boilers

Low Water Cut-offs on steam boilers typically have a lever on the cut-off itself. On a regular schedule, the lever should be turned and the murky sludge from the steam boiler purged. The purging is referred to as a blowdown of the steam system. What will come out of the steam system is dirty sludge. The system should be purged until the water becomes clear.

Why Does My Steam Boiler Run Out of Water

If this has not been done on a regular schedule the boiler system can become fouled with much. The much will foul up the controls and eventually will not function properly and lead to failure of the system especially the low water cut-off and the other controls in the steam boiler system.

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Why Does My Steam Boiler Run Out of Water