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One Pipe system - water hammer/lots of water from vents

LGLG Posts: 3Member
I a homeowner with no experience.  I have a one pipe steam system powered by a Weil Mclain boiler.  I have had problems with the system off and on over the entire eight years I have owned this house.  At different times we have water hammer and large amounts of water coming from the radiator vents.  We have re-pitched the radiators, replaced the vents, had the system looked at by numerous heating contractors.  No one seems to be able to make it work right.  However twice I had to replace the inlet valve which was apparently leaking and overfilling the boiler (had to figure this out for myself).  After that the system did quiet down but that was several years ago.  Last year I had water coming out of four different radiator vents.  I'm talking a lot of water.  Enough for it to drip through the floor on the second floor and into my kitchen.  Since then one of the worst radiators has been removed and replaced by hot water water toe kick radiators (which work great by the way).  After that I had water coming out of only three radiators.  I just had the boiler serviced and the technician could only offer to close off the worst radiator valve.  He did this and miraculously I now had no more water leakage problems. Only now I don't have heat from a major radiator - the only one in my DR.  So I opened the valve again.  Now I have water spewing out of the vent in that radiator - enough to fill a baking pan to overflowing each time it cycles on.  Interestingly I don't have any water coming out of the other two radiators any more.  The water hammer is bad enough to wake you up.  Please, please help me.  Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated!
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Comments

  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,684Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2013
    More pictures

    Take some pictures from further back so we can see the boiler header and connection to the steam main. What model number is that boiler?



    I took a closer look at your second picture and it looks like it may be piped wrong, do you have the installation manual that came with it? If not we can probably find a copy on the web if we know the model number.



    What kind of main vent does the system have?



    What pressure is the boiler operating at while making steam?



    Does the water in the sight glass move around a lot when the boiler is making steam?



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,427Member ✭✭✭
    Steam

    The boiler is piped 100% incorrect. It will never produce dry, quiet, and efficient steam that way. Even if the rest of the system is perfect, you will be starting at a very low point of proper steam production. Get a new heating contractor.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac.com
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac

    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.
    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    · ·
  • LGLG Posts: 3Member
    Weil Mclain EG gas boiler

    It is a Weil Mclain EG gas boiler. I don't have the manual because I wasn't the owner who had it installed.  It's about 20 years old.  The manual is on their web site though.  The water in the glass does jump around when it's firing.  the pressure is set at -1/2.  I asked the last contractor to lower the pressure but it still looks the same on the Honeywell pressure device (remember I don't know much about this so sorry if I got the lingo wrong). I don't even know what a main vent is....
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  • BobCBobC Posts: 2,684Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2013
    Piped wrong

    Jstar is right about the piping being completely wrong. The boiler header has to be redone per the manual in THREADED STEEL _ NOT COPPER. It also needs an equalizer with the new boiler header.



    This diagram shows how it should be piped. Until it's repiped there is not a lot you can do.



    Bob
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    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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  • oh man...

    Oh man... another good boiler as well the other,too, piped incorrectly..
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  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,090Member ✭✭✭
    why

    am I seeing Taco oo7, and extrol tank? Is one a steam, and the other forced H/W?
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  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,427Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2014
    Repiping

    Yesterday, we took on the task of repiping this boiler. Here are some more pictures of the old piping. It's like a game of How Many Things Can You Find Wrong On One Boiler.
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    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac.com
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac

    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.
    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    · ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,427Member ✭✭✭
    NEW

    And the new near-boiler piping. We used two full-sized 3" risers from the boiler into a 4" drop header. separated the returns until they joined below the water line. Upgraded to a couple GORTON #2's. And repaired an improper fitting at the end of the main in the garage that was trapping water.
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    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac.com
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac

    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.
    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    · ·
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 5,569Member ✭✭✭
    Nice job once again

    How do you handle the disposition of the old copper?

    I know it's value is mainly inflated in the mind of the homeowner, and it probably makes more sense for him to take it down to the mud and grime of the scrapyard to sell for whatever he can get.--NBC
    · ·
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