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New Steamer-Strange behavior

Glen_7 Member Posts: 82

The installer sent an "old-timer" to do an EDR. I was told the 1600 sq/ft of steam on this boiler should be more than adequate.

Hope your not right about this.


  • Glen_7
    Glen_7 Member Posts: 82
    New Steamer-Strange behavior-One Pipe Steam

    I replaced my old oil fired steam boiler with a new Peerless 64-12 gas fired steamer. The old system worked well except for the oversizing, inefficiency and fuel costs, but it did provide comfortable heat. Given that, we left the returns that were there and flushed them out. I just started up the new boiler for real, as it has been warm here, and this is what I find:

    The boiler seems to heat the water fairly quickly as I have 3 long mains (about 120' each) and I can feel the end of main vents get warm within about 10 minutes. However, there is no pressure reading on the gauge (pressuretrol set for 1.5lbs) for about an hour. At the point I get a reading of 1.5lbs., I can then hear the main vents (triple Gorton #2's venting aggressively. Not until this happens to the larger radiators and the furthest ones actually get heat. This is quite some time as my old boiler did this in nothing flat. I flushed the boiler several times and skimmed it, so the water in the sight glass looks much better, but my installer is away and I was hoping to get some feedback before then.

    I guess my question is: Why so long to build pressure??

    As always, thanks for the expertise.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398

    Is the piping insulated?

    That long burn before any venting or building of pressure says to me that you have some mass to be warmed first, just a hunch. You get warm not hot..

    The triple Gorton #2's should vent a lot of 2 inch main or even larger, fairly quickly. At 3 ounces of pressure you could vent 6.6 CFM which would clear 120 feet of 2-inch pipe in about 25 seconds....

    Any changes to near-boiler piping or is it, as I would assume, ideal?
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Glen_7
    Glen_7 Member Posts: 82

    Hey Brad,

    Thanks for responding.

    Yes, every inch of pipe from the boiler to the end of the mains is newly insulated. The new boiler was piped per the mfrs. specs into the existing 5 inch header. I have plenty of distance on Dimension A.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    don't worry about

    not building pressure..you may be condensing what your making..problem may be that your condensing steam in one area, (which will induce a lower pressure zone) and the steam hasn't yet made it to the rest of the system..so if you were the steam, you'd go to the lower pressure area cause outside the air vents is atmospheric pressure which is now higher.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • PTN
    PTN Member Posts: 22
    No pressure problem - strange

    I have an old Utica steam boiler in a farmhouse. I cut the farmhouse in half, renovated one half and abandon the other. On the abandon side, I removed all the radiators and capped the pipes.

    The boiler has been abused by previous owners. It was never really cleaned or flushed properly. The last person ran the oil tank "dry" which plugged up the whole system with sludge from the bottom of the oil tank. Ugh. I replaced the oil filter and housing and the supply line to the burner. I replaced the pump on the burner. I replaced the nozzle. I cleaned the boiler and sealed everything up nicely with furnace cement. The burner fires up quickly now and sounds good.

    Venting was also a mess so I replaced the one main vent with a Hoffman #75. This is more vent than was originally there. I also replaced all of the air vents on the seven radiators (3 on first floor, 4 on second floor).

    So here is the problem. The system does not seem to generate ANY pressure. Symptoms observed: No hissing from the new main vent or any of the readiator vents. An incredibly long period of time to get any heat anywhere in the system. And this is not a large system. The boiler runs continuously until the thermostat shuts it off (since the pressuretrol is not sensing any pressure). After running the boiler continuosly for an hour I opened up the ball valve on the low water to flush out sediment. Normally when I do this, you can feel the pressure in the system blowing out the hot water. This is not the case. The water comes out hot but without the aid of any pressure. And, of course, the pressure gauge never budges.

    I went to each and every pipe in the system to look for leaks. I found none. The pipes that I capped on the other half of the house are stone cold. If they were leaking at all, I would think there would be some heat there.

    My fear is that I have a crack in the top half of my boiler and pressure generated from the boiling the water is dissipating from the top of the boiler and going up the chimney. Any heat that I get eventually to the radiators gets there without the aid of pressure. I can't think of what else it could be. I am hoping I am wrong and would love some new ideas to consider and ideas to trouble shoot further.

    By the way, I added stop-leak product to the boiler and this solved the water leakage problem coming from the bottom of the boiler.
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