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Install Pics and Hissing Radiator

BobbyC
BobbyC Member Posts: 96
Hi Guys,

Here are the install pics.  I think it looks da balls but let me know if you recommend any modifications for better performance.  Change the main vents, add another treatment and paint the pipes today.  I also want to insulate the risers and headers and looking into best options there.



I got a hissing radiator that needs a new vent.  It's an add on located on the first floor the fartest from the boiler.  Let me know if you recommend any one in particular.

Thanks

Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,510
    hissing vent

    i think your hissing vent is due to a lack of adequate main venting, and perhaps high pressure. i would put a 0-3 PSI wica gauge [gaugestore.com] on the same pigtail as your pressuretrol, so you can see what your system is doing. you may be surprised how much higher it is than the 1.5 PSI which the absolute maximum for these systems. only with a vaporstat can you be sure of getting reliable pressure.

    on your skimming port, i think a full port ball valve would be better at getting the oil out, than any treatment. you want to end up with pure water in there.

    how about some flexible conduit to protect those control wires?

    what is that nicely bent vertical copper line doing?--nbc
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Wica Gauge

    NBC, how do i hook it up to the same pigtail? 
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,510
    2 gauges+vaporstat+pigtail

    my boiler is bigger, but this is what i did. both pigtails have to be plugged, before i have trouble.--nbc
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Nice

    Should I just replace the 0-30PSI with the 0-3?  Not sure if I can duplicate that set up.  
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,840
    Not sure

    of that steam piping above the boiler- can you post a pic from the opposite side? 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Unknown
    edited October 2009
    Two Gauge Setup

    I sketched out a "quickie" piping diagram for adding a second gauge. I'm first of all assuming that the present gauge is mounted to a tee.

    With the system cold, remove the 0-3O PSI gauge and then add the parts per  the attached drawing. I made a material list and these parts should be available from your local Home Depot's plumbing section. Use brass or bronze parts as these are much less likely to corrode that iron. Use Teflon tape on the threads.

    The new gauge you want is a Wika  #33020  0-3 PSI and is available at the Gauge Store. Here's a link to the gauge:

    [url=http://www.gaugestore.com/prodinfo.asp?number=33020]http://www.gaugestore.com/prodinfo.asp?number=33020



    You must keep the old 0-30 PSI gauge attached and working as it is required for code and insurance purposes.



    The other thing I noticed is the drain valve on the skim port. When you are at Home Depot  I'd stop and get a screw -on cap for the drain valve. It's just an extra precaution so someone like a kid won't open the valve by mistake and get hit with Live Steam and burned.

    - Rod
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Here you go Steamhead

    Here is another view
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Thanks Rod

    Great diagram Rod.  Appreciate that.  I'll pick up the materials and install that this week.  You think the 0-3 gauge is my best option for the 2nd gauge?  Is that similar to a Vaporstat?

    Should I also cap the other 2 drain valves as well as the skim valve? 

    Also, what's the best way to get the boiler water clear?

    thanks Again.....
  • Gauge

    A 0 -3 PSI   ( # 33020 )is the gauge you want. Your system should NEVER run at more than 2 PSI !

    A lot of people use the 0 to 32 oz. gauge (2 PSI) with a Vaporstat.  I happen to like the 0 -3 PSI gauge better and in your case since you have a pressuretrol so I would think it would be more appropriate. It also works well with a vaporstat so if you later change it will work fine.



    Putting caps on the drain valves in your system is just a safety precaution. Whether you need to do that depends a lot on who you are likely have in the vicinity of the boiler. If there might be young children present I'd take the extra precaution.



    When you put in a new system it's likely to loosen up old crud in the pipes so you may want to drain you boiler a few times over a month or so. Remember when you refill the boiler with fresh water, you need to turn on the burner and make steam. This drives off the excess oxygen which can cause rapid corrosion inside your boiler.  Was your boiler skimmed? How much is the waterline bouncing?

    - Rod
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Gauge

    I'll get the 0-3 Rod.  Does the antler coming off the tee for the new gauges need to be vertical or can it be horizontal?

    Caps are a no brainer thanks.  Do have little ones...

    Drain it completely?  Only when it's cold? It was skimmed and he mentioned coming back in a few weeks to skim it again.  Is this something I should do regularly?

    Thanks Again. 



     
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,840
    Not bad

    We've certainly seen much worse! But I would have found a way to use two steam takeoffs from the header and get rid of that tee that joins the two mains. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Agreed Steamhead

    Ideally I'm sure two risers from the header feeding both mains seperately would of been optimal,  Rod mentioned the same thing.  I mentioned it to my installer and he didn't seem to thrilled about it.  I didn't push him.

    I think I need improved venting.  I just fired her up cold and for some reason I think the steam should be moving faster through the pipes....
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,840
    Did we

    measure the lengths and diameters of the steam mains to determine what vents they should have? 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Gauges Horizontal

    The gauges are horizontal. The drawing is vertical as it is simpler to draw than to draw in 3D.  In the drawing I'm assuming that the 0-30 PSI gauge is attached to a 1/4 Tee at the moment.

    Since you're still in a "relationship" with your contractor I think I'd hold off doing any modifications until after you were past that.



    Since you have young ones you might also want to go to an extra precaution of removing the handles on the drain valves. Young kids would think of them like handles in the bath tub and might play with them. You might be sure to tell them not to go near the boiler as it is very hot and will burn them. Most kids understand well the "very hot and burn" concept.



    Skimming is only done to correct "wet steam". You usually need to do it just when the piping has been changed as there is usually some oil from the threading that makes the surface tension of the boiler water heavier and skimming gets rid of that oil.

    Usually after things have settled down you don't have to skim again. Skimming is easy to do especially if you have a skim port in place like you do. In a previous post I  asked how much your boiler's  waterline is bouncing. This is a good indication of wheter it needs skimming or not. If it's fairly violent, the boiler probably needs skimming, a small amount of movement though is normal.

    - Rod
  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 940
    Rod, on those valves,

    I very much agree with your point of capping those, but my choice is using a gate valve there for its full port but slow opening characteristics and leaving it installed. But FIRMLY capped at the outlet. On some of today's low water content/high turbulence boilers I like to be able to do a surface blow off occasionally.



    On some occasions I leave a nipple with a brass cap instead. I just don't like the idea of putting a steel pipe plug in the casting since they seem so prone to getting impossibly stuck and being a real pain for any future needs for skimming/surface blowoff.



    Just my 2¢. But a good call for safety's sake.



    -Terry
    terry
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Steam Mains and Venting

    Steamhead, we didn't do that but I'm all ears. 

    The mains in the basement are all 2 inches ( I think because most are wrapped in insulation) in diameter and I only see two vents at the ends of the mains where they tee off and drop down to the wet return.  They are the old vents and he is coming back today to replace those but I'm not sure with what. 

    I'll measure the length tonight and let you know.  I also have the home depot special radiator vents and I'm thinking about changing those also.  I've been on Gortons website.  Those my best bet? 
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    2 Gauges

    Thanks Rod.  Figured it would be horizontal.  Do I need the street elbow for the 0-30 PSI.  The connector is located in the middle on the back and looks like it might just be able to connect to the 1/4 inch elbow?

    Removing the handles is also a good idea.  They are small enough that they dont go down the basement but as they get older I'm sure they will wander and there curiosity will be there. 

    It seems to be bouncing a little.  The water line does drop as the boiler is fired up and running for awhile....

    do you have any recommendations for venting the mains and radiators.   
  • Main vents

    You don't really need the street elbow yet it isn't bad idea as it gets the 0-30 PSI gauge up a bit away from any water in the horizontal pipe. That's why I included it.

    Sounds like you waterline is doing fine a little bouncing (3/4 of an inch) is normal as is the drop in water level during operation.



    Mains- I don't remember what size you mains are.  Basically the idea is to get the air out of the Mains as quickly as possible so the steam can take its place.  You can't over vent mains!  Ideally the main vents are located after the last radiator and 15 inches back from the end of the main.  This all depends on whether you have overhead clearance to put a main vent in that location.  For main vents I would use a single Gorton #2 on an "antler" to start with. For most systems that should be plenty.



    Radiator Vents- I'd first get your main vents straightened out before I approached these.  What are you using now for radiator vents?  While I think of it are you familiar with one pipe TRVs?

    - Rod
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Main Vents

    Rod,

    I posted a pic of my main vents.  Right now they are located at the very end of the dry returns where they tee down and connec to the wet return loop.  He is gonna change the vents themselves but not sure if the placement is the best.  Please let me know what you think.

    I got the cheapo Home Depot vents for the radiators now.  I am no familiar with a one pipe TRV...

    thanks Again for your input.
  • Unknown
    edited October 2009
    Main vents & TRVs

    I think main vents do better`at the end of the mains however` a lot of people have them at the location where yours are now. You might want to read this post as there ws discussion on this

      [url=http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/127714/Boiler-Install-Results-cont]http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/127714/Boiler-Install-Results-cont



     See if your guy will locate them on the end of  main for you.(First of all check and see what sort of room you have)  I'd rather see you with a Gorton #2 at the present location than an undersized on the end of the main.



    What make/ model are you radiator vents?



    TRVs - This stands for Thermostatic Radiator Valves,   There are several types of TRV and for a one pipe steam system you have to have a TRV that is specifically designed for a one pipe steam system. A one pipe TRV has to have a vacuum breaker.

    TRVs won't heat a room but they will stop it from getting too hot. I use them to close off  the part of the house I don't use in the winter.

    How they work - The TRV is installed between your radiator and the radiator vent.

    When the room temperature is below the setting on the TRV the air in the radiator passes theough the TRV and out the radiator vent When steam reaches the radiator vent it closes.  At this point the whole setup operates just like the TRV wasn't there.

    When the rooming temperature reaches the temperatur setting on the TRV, the TRV closes and doesn't allow air or steam to pass through to the radiator vent. On the next steam cycle when the boiler shuts off the vacuum breaker on the TRV opens and allows air to fill the radiator. When the boiler starts again since the TRV valve is closed air can't escape from thje radiator and therefore steam can't enter the radiator. The rdaiator cols and the rooms cools. When the temperature of the room drops below the set temperature on the TRV the valve opens and air is allowed to again escape.  The temperature range settings on TRV is from 43 F to 83F

    That's about it for TRVs. I attached a Danfoss TRV sheet. The vacuum breaker in the Danfoss is internal. With Danfoss you have to supply the  (straight )  vent

    - Rod
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Main Venting and Water line

    Thanks Rod.  So by reading that it looks like my vents are at the end of the returns instead of the end of the mains?  most of the main piping is wrapped in absestos insulation.  The only part exposed are the very beginning and at the end of the returns so I couldn't see if there are any other vents.  If they are they are wrapped in insulation.

    When I fired her up last night I could hear the air leaving the main vents and the mains and returns seem to get hot pretty fast before the steam started to make it's way to the rads...  Not sure what I have there now but I'll look tonight.  So you think there are other vents in the system before the ones on the end of the returns that are visible?

    I also took a closer look at my water line in my sight glass when the boiler was running.  Looks like it moves more than I thought.  When the boiler isn't running the water line is about 3/4 of the way up the glass and when it is running it's down about 4 inches and at the bottom of the sight glass.  Is that normal?

    Great info on the TRV's.  Might be an investment for a few of the rooms. 

    Thanks Again
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Mains Dimensions

    I measured my mains or the entire loop of the pipe in the basement.

    Main 1 - 41 feet and 4 pipes teeing off it. 

    Main 2 - 33 Feet and 5 pipes teeing off it.

    They are both 2 inches.  I have a total of 11 rads in the house.
  • Main& Water levels

    If you have vents at the ends of the main they should be pretty noticeable. I'd stay with  the position that your main vents are in now, that is, at the end of the returns. Just make sure you use a BIG vent (like a Gorton #2 ) on each return.  You can always change the vent location at a later time if you feel it is needed. It's easy to do but why not try this setup first?  In the majority of steam systems the  main vents are placed at the ends of the returns!  It's just that some feel it is more benefit to have them on the ends of the mains.

     It sounds like your boiler needs more skimming. Since your guy says he will be back to do it, let's just leave that for a while and see what happens after he skims a second time. 

     The waterline dropping during operation of the boiler sounds normal. The water is now being distributed throughout the system as steam. It's good to make observations like this as that way you know what is normal and then a change can alert you to a problem. Also get an idea of how long it takes to recover the water after the system has been shut down.  That is, how long does it take for the water to fill back to the start level in the boiler sight glass.

    - Rod
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Perfect

    Rod, Thanks. 

    How do you know when the mains end and returns begin?  Is it after the the last Rad tees off?

    So I'll move forward and purchase 2 Gorton #2's and install them at the end of the returns where my existing vents are already.   If we need to make modifications and feel the venting isn't suffice I can cross that bridge down the line.

    The water seems to return back to the normal level very shortly after the boiler cycles off but when it's running it drops a good amount.  Maybe an inch is visibe from the bottom of the sight glass.  I'm concerned it might engage my LWCO and turn on my water feeder but as you mentioend it seems normal.   
  • Water Levels

    The mains usually end with an elbow (s) which changes the direction of the piping to return to the boiler. The pipe may also be reduced in size at this point. This occurs after the last radiator lateral on the main. For the Gortons you might want to check Pex Supply on the internet . I read in another post Gorton was recommending  people to  go there.

    The fast return of water to your boiler is a good sign as it means your return piping is clear/clean.  Most crud collects in the wet return and I see that your guy put in drain valves which are great to have. I'd make a point of yearly (in summer) flushing the wet return.

    In your boiler's I&O manual it should give a measurement for the boiler's water level when cold. If it hasn't already been done, mark this on the sight glass and/or on the boiler cabinet behind the sight glass for future reference. Also keep an eye on the automatic water filler meter and regularly check the numbers as excessive water being added is a sign of a problem.  A normally operating boiler should use very little water. Closely monitor water`usage for a couple of months so you get an idea of what is normal. An excessive water problem should be fixed immediately as fresh water`can very rapidly eat your boiler! 

    If you don't have it I'd recommend you get Dan's book, "We Got Steam Heat!".

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/products/Books/5/61/We-Got-Steam-Heat-A-Homeowners-Guide-to-Peaceful-Coexistence

    It's a great reference book to have if you need to look up something or refresh your memory.



    Operating water level - As long as you see water in the sight glass, you are okay.

    To operate economically you want a minimum amount of water as heating extra water to make steam is a waste of fuel.  (Sort of like boiling 1 potato in a full 5 gallon pot!)

    - Rod
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Book and Water Levels

    It seems like Pex is one of the only places that sell them.  Will order two of those.  I also just ordered Dan's book.. Thanks for the recommendation.   I've taking an interest to these boilers and think the book should help with further insight.

    He put a valve on the end of the wet return and I will flush those out yearly...  Sould I do to the cast block?

    I will keep an eye on the water feeder.  He said something about a 2 minute delay when the LWCO is activated.  On the feeder it says 002.  Not sure if that represents how much water has been added or the 2 second delay.

    Thanks again...
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,840
    I'd vent the long main

    with a Gorton #2, and the shorter one with two Gorton #1 vents. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Manuals

    Yes you can flush out the boiler too!  No hurry on that. You can worry about that next summer!    I used  a length of 3/8 copper pipe, some compression fittings, a hose shut off valve and a female fitting so I can attach a garden hose. I remove the safety valve and stick the copper pipe in the hole and flush the inside of my boiler out through the boiler drain. Works pretty good.



    Glad to hear you got Dan's book. You'll  enjoy it.! It's easy reading and quite humorous and loaded with lots of good info on steam heating.  I pitch Dan's books so much I think people think I get a commission. It's just that  I know what a big help they were to me and i want to pass that along.



    Manuals-

    It's really beneficial to keep your boiler notes, manuals, data sheets etc together. I use a yellow 3 ring binder with heavy weight, clear,` plastic sheet protectors which I got from Staples. I can then put manuals and data sheets etc. inside them  I also have a section where i log in maintenance, repairs and any new parts added. if you don't have the manuals for your equipment you can usually download them off the internet.



     In your pictures it looks like your water feeder is a Hydrolevel. You can download the manual at this link.

    http://www.hydrolevel.com/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=50&Itemid=

    Go to the Literature button on the left.

    - Rod
  • BobbyC
    BobbyC Member Posts: 96
    Thanks Steamhead

    Appreciate the input. 
This discussion has been closed.