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Besides dirty water what else can cause surging and priming

http://www.heatinghelp.com/steam_waterlineisbouncing.cfm

Another thought is, could the returns be clogged? Trying to suck the proverbial golf ball through a garden hose and all that.

:)

Comments

  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    I have cleaned and skimmmed

    my boiler several times and used boiler cleaner but the water line still bounces 1"-2". Any suggestions? I followed instructions to the T and was very patient. What else could cause this
  • Dan Monsen
    Dan Monsen Member Posts: 13


    If the near boiler piping is not correct or the piping is under sized it could cause water line problems.
  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    Its done to manufacture specs

    and there is a dropped header. I also just noticed that water is trickling down from the top of the sight glass. How can I check my flame pattern. I use a A 75 80 degree in a Beckett AFG
  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    Clog retures

    How Do I check for clog returns
  • Brad White_200
    Brad White_200 Member Posts: 148
    At the end

    of the return, one hopes, there is a plug or a valve. (When I design a system, I specify a full port ball valve at each end which allows a hose connection for a power-flush.)

    It occurred to me that you may have dry returns (returns above the waterline) which are less likely to fill with rust. They may be, but less likely by far.
  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    My returns go into my hartford loop

  • Brad White_200
    Brad White_200 Member Posts: 148
    See if

    that is flowing too. Is there a drain? You have a plug above it at least.
  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    there is a ball valve

    at the bottom of the hartford loop
  • Brad White_200
    Brad White_200 Member Posts: 148
    Then Grasshoppa

    you must use it :)

    Seriously though, if there is a way to get a valve in the other end of the line (where it begins), you can attempt a hose flush. Not too much pressure as that will back up into your radiators potentially. Just enough to say that a gallon in at a certain rate, comes out at a certain rate.

    Prove that and you have no clog.
  • seabee570
    seabee570 Member Posts: 89
    foaming/priming

    If water is clean,then it could be priming.Is this a new replacement boiler?Are the pipe sizes leaving the boiler the proper size?Try this.allow boiler to cool,close outlet valve at boiler,start boiler,watch water line,see how long it takes to come up to operating temp/pressure.slowly open outlet valve,turn boiler on,what happens?you could also try shutting off the rad valves on a whole floor,start boiler,and see what happens.if boiler is ok with just heating 1 floor,then crack open 1 radiator valve at a time,see what happens.It could be that you are pulling too much load,causing the priming problems.need nore info on system size,operating pressures,etc....
  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    Im fairly certain its not to much load

    there is only 6 rads for a boiler rated a 340EDR
  • steveex
    steveex Member Posts: 95


    Clean out pig tail, clean out gauge glass valve tappings.
  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    Pigtail and sight glass clean as can be

  • seabee570
    seabee570 Member Posts: 89
    steamer

    if this is a new steamer,the newer steamers might not have a enough 'steam space',above the waterline,thus causing problems.What about the firing rate of the boiler?is this gas or oil. if burner has been downfired,or slightly undersized,along with undersized piping at outlet of boiler,it can be problems.if the water is clean,then it known as priming.if the water is dirty,it is foaming.it has to be one,or the other...I tried giving you troubleshooting tips by reducing the load,and watching the waterline.did you try reducing the load?without being there,my tips are easy to try....
  • seabee570
    seabee570 Member Posts: 89
    edr

    you have to be sure...start from scratch....what is the edr ratings of the radiators? all rads totaled must not be more than the boiler......how about a heat loss on the building?...lots to consider....I have over 3o years with steam boilers....not trying to sound like an expert,but you expect a simple answer to your problem...why not hire someone to come and look at the system?
  • Brad White_200
    Brad White_200 Member Posts: 148
    Stewy is getting

    a great workout, running up and down the stairs between e-mails.

    We can call this "Holohan's 'Buns of Cast Iron' Workout"

    Infomercial on HVAC-TV, 11:00 PM....

    :)
  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    Very good workout indeed

    I was trying to figure this steam system out thats why I haven't called on a pro yet but I'm getting there. Its very hard for me to admit defeat. My EDR for the total radiator load is 253 (not count the piping) and the boiler is rated at 340. After the boiler warms up the water to the aquastats 180 it takes 7mins to travel 8 feet in cold but insulated main w/2 Gorton #1 vents. All along the waterline bounces in the sight glass. I've skimmed and skimmed, used TSP and Pure Pro Boiler Cleaner that claims to stop priming and surging. No luck!! I'd like to do this myself (with of course all the help I can get from here) but, winter is coming so as a final resort, who knows a good steamer in N.H.
  • Dan Monsen
    Dan Monsen Member Posts: 13


    I am having the same problem with a couple of Weil Mclain 1088s we just had installed.

    I skimmed and skimmed but still had problems with the water line.

    Just yesterday I steamed up one, shut it down and isolated it and then let the pressure drop down to zero.

    I manually turned on the condensate feed pump and filled the boiler up to the top.

    I opened the skim port and let it drain till it stopped. Then I cracked the manual feed just enough to let the water flow out of the boiler slowly. Then I left it running all night in our sump pit.

    This did wonders for the water line. It is not perfectly stable but only bounces about 3/4" compared to 4' - 6'" before.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    skimming methods

    why is it that no one has developed some sort of automatic skimming device?
    every new boiler installation ,or major repiping consumes at least 3 hours of skimming with wasted hot water and someone needed to watch over the process.
    isn't there a better way?--some thing automatic maybe separating the oil into a spin-on filter while we sleep!--nbc
  • I'm in NH

    Where in NH is the boiler?

    Noel
  • Stewy_2
    Stewy_2 Member Posts: 83
    Dover, NH

  • Brad White_201
    Brad White_201 Member Posts: 52
    Oooh

    This sounds promising... If Noel is involved, I would sleep better at night.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Yes

    Noel is one of the best steam men out there. I think they still miss him at Colby-Sawyer.....

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Leo_16
    Leo_16 Member Posts: 37
    You already spotted the problem

    You already spotted the problem, water trickling down from the top of the gauge glass. Skim it again and again.

    Leo
  • GREG LAUER
    GREG LAUER Member Posts: 103
    check this

    flame impingement and overfire will cause surging also
  • Thanks, gents

    I'm 2 towns north of there. Contact me here, if you like.

    http://steamheating.googlepages.com/home

    Noel
This discussion has been closed.