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Joisey Steam Update

Tom Hopkins
Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 552
install, clammy, Sir.

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  • Jon Held
    Jon Held Member Posts: 48
    Joisey Steam Update

    The continuing saga of one mans quest for quiet, comfortable steam heat...

    Mains are now fully insulated (including fittings) with Knauf 1" fiberglass pipe insulation up to the king valves. The near boiler pipes are still naked, but will be addressed this week when the material shows up. The basement no longer becomes a sitz bath and the convectors in the house get crazy hot now.

    However I am still dealing with water hammer and the system takes too long to build pressure and when the pressuretrol cuts out (.5psi in and a diff of 1) around 1.5-2psi, the system looses pressure quickly (within 45 seconds) and short cycles.

    "Wire Nut" mentioned steam trap loops that drop from each main back to my common return to silence the hammer, but I am unclear as to what that means. I know that steam is getting into the return and pounding into the condensate that's there. Each 2" main drops to the 1 1/4" return that's about 53" high and correctly sloped back to the boiler. Close to the boiler it drops vertically. Boiler water line is at 30". Floor is uneven so these are estimates.

    As far as pressure drop, I think I have leaky vents. The mains are 52' on the long side 31' on the short side. I have 2 Gorton #2s on the way to replace the #1s that are there now. The only leak I can hear is the short side main vent. That gurgles slightly when the system is charged. All other convector vents appear quiet. I will likely replace each one with a new Gorton.

    As always, I appreciate any thoughts/comments/suggestions to aid my quest.
  • Chas_2
    Chas_2 Member Posts: 104
    main drips

    if those returns are running hortizonal below the steam mainand are only 53 inch off the floor if i understand you describition ,how much lower then the hartford loop do they drop i usually drop my dry returnsdown below the hartford loop as much as i can forming a loop then tie into return if not you can just drop those drips right down to the floor and run them as wet returns below the boiler water line and all should be quite if there's more then 1 main dropping down make sure each one is tied together well below the boiler water line peace and good luck clammy here's aphoto of what i mean
  • Jon Held
    Jon Held Member Posts: 48

    The return drops below the water line close to the boiler, but the path the condensate takes around the basement is approx 53" high until the last 5'. See pics.
  • Clammy is right

    In the 3rd pic I see where the 2 dry returns connect together . They would work much better if they're teed at ground level , or at least lower than the normal water level in the boiler . That's definitely part of the problem .

    The short cycling problem - are you sure the boiler is sized right for the home ? If it's dead on, I'd suspect a venting issue , but it sounds like you'll have that covered very soon .

    Hey Clammy , beautiful install buddy !
  • Chas_2
    Chas_2 Member Posts: 104
    rons correct

    Ron's right about that 3 rd pic it should be tied into the other dry return below the boilers water level not above ,thanks for the kind words on a old install peace and good luck clammy
  • Jay Zebryk
    Jay Zebryk Member Posts: 16
    Root Problem

    Looks like alcohol is in the picture:)

    (Long Side Drop.jpg)
  • Matt_67
    Matt_67 Member Posts: 284

    I don't know another way to work on a boiler ;)
  • Matt_67
    Matt_67 Member Posts: 284

    Came home from work last night and there was a package from PEX, woohoo! Used a street elbow from each main into a 6" nipple into a reducing elbow and into my new Gorton #2 air valves. Boy these guys are big...and shiny.
    Also pulled apart my skim set up and cleaned all the threads and re-assembled with Rectoseal for a more permanent and leak proof design.

    Nibbling away at this a little at a time. Hopefully it will be done before I sell the house.

    There was a thread on this board about "Boiler Visiting" that really made me LOL. My wife is getting a bit jealous and, yes, I too have had many a morning coffee with my boiler. Always in a chair with a notepad and pencil.
  • Matt_67
    Matt_67 Member Posts: 284

    > Ron's right about that 3 rd pic it should be tied

    > into the other dry return below the boilers water

    > level not above ,thanks for the kind words on a

    > old install peace and good luck clammy

    So are you suggesting I simply extend the vertical 2" pipe to below the water level and then run it back up to the existing condensate pipe?

    Or re-pipe the entire return line from end to end?

    Or re-pipe from the short side back to the boiler?
  • Jon, I'd repipe it

    the return lines are the only pipes in a steam system that can clog. I'll bet there's plenty of sludge in yours. So I'd say repipe, and install your new return lines close to the floor so both drips will have water standing in them.

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  • Matt_67
    Matt_67 Member Posts: 284

    That project will have to wait until spring. In the interim I have eliminated the water hammer by closing down the king valve on that side. The convectors on that main still get plenty hot, the house is comfortable and more importantly my wife is happy.

    I can't find any markings on the castings of any of my convectors and Alex was unable to make sense of the spreadsheet of measurements I sent to him (not his fault for sure). I will send some detailed pictures to him in the hopes that a proper EDR calculation for my home can be done.

    I insulated most of the near boiler piping last night and will finish it up at some point within the next few days. I can't have the basement with no heat as the kids are down there all the time. Is it OK to leave the riser fittings and header fittings uninsulated?
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