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I have a hydronic heating system in my house, and I noticed a valve on a pressure gauge on the side of the boiler is extremely corroded (see 3 pictures below). 1) Is there any purpose for this valve other than for removing the pressure gauge? 2) Is this a huge/expensive/messy accident waiting to happen if I don't do something about it? If so, what should be done? I'm a somewhat handy DIYer but don't know much about boilers, is this something better left to an expert?

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    Apparently the stem packing leaked ,and less than optimal material selections caused galvanic corrosion. Pretty much a "no-brainier" remove and replace , probably with a different brand of valve. Stem packing leaks are common , most valves permit re-tightening/compressing the packing. Much cheaper to it now before it is a big leak. – blacksmith37 Dec 7 '19 at 23:03
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1) Is there any purpose for this valve other than for removing the pressure gauge?

NO, the valve is only there for isolation of the gauge. Gauges like that have a high failure rate (for various reasons) and often need to be replaced "on the run"; that is, while the boiler is still in operation.

2) Is this a huge/expensive/messy accident waiting to happen if I don't do something about it?

The construction of that type of gauge uses a Bourdon Tube, in which the process fluid (e.g. hot water, steam) is actually present inside the gauge. Failure of the gauge could indeed be messy and expensive, if you could not isolate it.

For both cases, the valve is an important system component.

is this something better left to an expert?

It is a simple job, but depending on application and your locality (plumbing/boiler code) it may not be legal for someone other than a pro to do it. Check with the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

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  • Thanks Jimmy. Any idea what price range I should expect to pay to have this repaired by a pro? – JCB Dec 8 '19 at 18:21
  • Hmm, pricing not in scope here but WTH. Gauge (cheap/good) $30/$100, valve (cheap/good) $15/40, steamfitter housecall $200? Prices vary so much by area, this is just a guestimate. – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 9 '19 at 1:57
  • Much appreciated. I'm in NJ so everything will probably at least double that. – JCB Dec 9 '19 at 2:35

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