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New P trol settings

I have lowered the pressure. This seems to be as low as my p trol will go.

Brand new low pressure gauge on brand new pigtail

Gauge now reads 1.25 psi on cut out

and .25 psi on cut in

this repeats until the thermostat is happy

Does 1.25 psi translate to 20 ounces?

and .25 psi mean 4 ounces?

Is this to low?
73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
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Comments

  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,566
    if all rads

    if all rads in all rooms are heating sufficiently, there's no such thing as too low. the numbers sound good .. i have a vaporstat and i never go over 5oz.
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    Update

    Everything seems to be heating up fine at the new low pressure.

    I was able to stop the safety valve from leaking steam by tapping on it with a hammer. Lets see how long that lasts. I did notice though that when it is not leaking the pressure stays up longer in between cut out and cut in`s. That's got to be a good thing

    I finished up insulating this year due to cost. I replaced a lot (not all) of the 1/2" crap with brand new 1" thick. I also completed insulating the two long risers that were bare. On of them was 6 feet of 1 1/4 pipe, and the other was 12 feet of 1" pipe. Both of them are on the horizontal, before they  45 elbow up to the rads.

    I have been performing that 1/2" open pipe test with the extra insulation and a more consistent testing method (1 hour max dormant, warm pipes)

    I have consistently been getting between 5 1/2 to 6 min. to fill the main
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,754
    Good show!

    Kind of fun, isn't it?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,090
    Main Vents

    What kinds of time are you getting with the main vents in place?  You already know how fast you can vent without the vents.  The thicker insulation in theory should keep the pipes hotter in between cycles.  Why are you cycling on pressure before satisfying the tstat?  Are you recovering from a set back?  If not you shouldn't cycle on pressure. 
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    Mark N

    "What kinds of time are you getting with the main vents in place? "

    I did not get the two gorten #2`s yet. They are on back-order from Pex. I am hoping for the same 5 1/2 to 6 min. results once they are installed.

    " Why are you cycling on pressure before satisfying the tstat? "

    I am not sure if I am or not. I will be keeping an eye on that. So far, whenever I preform that test I have bumped up the thermostat a bit. I suppose that would be considered a set back recovery. I will just leave it alone and see if it still cycles on pressure.

    What if it does? Are you saying it should never cycle? What about a really cold day?
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    Mr Hall

    Yes it is.  I would like to add it would be kind of impossible without this website. There is no way that I would be able to pay a professional to come to my house and spend this kind of time tuning up my system. I am very grateful for all the time that everyone here puts into this web site.    The Rookie
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,090
    Pressure Cycling

    How long are you running before the pressuretrol cuts out?  Under normal conditions your system should cycle on and off by the tstat.  Normally the boiler shouldn't have run long enough to have closed all the rad vents.  With the rad vents open pressure doesn't build.  If your recovering from a deep set back there is a chance the boiler will run long enough to closed all the rad vents.  Then it will start cycling until the tstat is satisfied.  On really cold days what I've obseved with my system is the cycles really aren't any longer in length they are just more frequent. 



    Mark
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,456
    we were all rookies once

    we all learned by doing, and loved every [sometimes frustrating] minute, just as you are now!

    a pro can never be around your system as much as you are; and so could never do what you will be able to do: observe and investigate. keep up the learning curve!--nbc
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    Pressure cycling

    Its not that cold out, maybe 34 degrees.

    I did not touch the thermostat, it went on all by itself.

    The boiler pressure cycled 6 times.

    The last cycle (#6)  did not go all the way.

    When it finally stopped the gage fell into negative pressure.

    According to Mr. Hall, If there has been no set back, I should not be cycling on pressure.

    Why am I cycling?  Pressure or thermostat? I am getting really confused.

    Should I just sell the house and move to Florida
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • RAF
    RAF Member Posts: 65
    Pro

    The difference between a Pro and a Rookie is the Pro has made more mistakes;-)
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,090
    How Long?

    How long is the boiler running before the cycling starts?



    Mark
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    On and off 7 times

    It is about 30 degrees outside. The boiler has been dormant for 1 1/2 hours.

    I have not touched the thermostat. The heat just went on.

    To answer you question: The boiler ran for 15 minutes and turned off

    It then began to cycle on and off   7 TIMES

    runs for 3 minutes, pressure goes to 1.25 psi

    cuts out for 2 minutes, pressure drops to .25

    It repeated this process 7 times, exactly like that

    The last time (#7) it did not finish and cut out after only 1 min. 7 sec.

    Would this be considered normal operation?
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • jim_72
    jim_72 Member Posts: 77
    cycles

    A well balanced system ,where the boiler's steam supply  is matched to the radiation and piping, well run one long continuous burn until the tstat is happy. What happens is that the amount of steam produced will equal the ability of the radiators to condense that steam thus never closing the vents and causing  the system to build  pressure and cycle. Many systems cycle like yours mainly due to the boiler being somewhat oversized thus producing more steam then is needed. It would be helpful if you could tell us the DOE rating(size) of your boiler . It can be found on a plate on or behind the boiler door.Also the net amount of radiation( EDR) that your radiators total.Each of your radiators can be sized if you give us the L/W/H and number of tubes per section. Then we can determine if your boiler is oversized or if something else is amiss.The cycles, although not ideal, pose no harm to your system other then wear and tear on the controls. 
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,090
    Short cycle

    How far has the steam gotten when the cycling starts? Are the mains completely hot? Have the rads started to heat up? Not enough venting can cause short cycling. How many sq ft EDR do you have? What is the size of your boiler? What type of vents are you using for the main? How about the rads? Cycling on and off ttill the tstat is satisfied is a very inefficient way to run your system. Acording to those in the know your system should run 20 to 40 minutes then turn off. Read the article "It's All In The Venting" in library section of the wall. Also if your have the TLAOSH read the chapter "It's All In The Venting".



    Mark
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    edited January 2010
    Answers

    "How far has the steam gotten when the cycling starts? "



    Once the boiler starts making the steam, (about 15 min.) it takes 5 to 6 min. to fill the main, then an additional 10 min. to fill the rads and get to about 1.5 psi. It then cuts out and begins to cycle.



     "Are the mains completely hot?" 

    Yes, very hot from start to end



    Have the rads started to heat up?



    They are all hot as soon as the boiler hits the 1.5 psi the first time



    "Cycling on and off till the tstat is satisfied is a very inefficient way to run your system."



    The steam starts-The main fills-The rads fill-All the vents close-The pressure builds to 1.5psi-The boiler cuts out-The pressure drops to .5 psi-The boiler goes back on-this repeats at least 5 or 6 times every time the thermostat calls for heat.



    "According to those in the know your system should run 20 to 40 minutes then turn off."

    That is definitely not happening.  What could I possibly do to achieve this miracle

    How could the vents on the rads never close if the steam goes into them. I thought that once the vent has vented all the air out of the rad and the rad is now filled with steam, doesn't this trigger something in the vent that makes it close?

    I will try to answer more of the questions in the next post
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    edited January 2010
    not sure what this is?

    It would be helpful if you could tell us the DOE rating(size) of your boiler

    I will measure all the rads and tubes on my next post

    I have cast iron baseboard/block?  that is built into the wall. I will post a picture.
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • jim_72
    jim_72 Member Posts: 77
    edited January 2010
    boiler size

    The first and most important question is does your house heat up comfortably with the seven radiators that are installed. I ask this because many older homes over the years have had their original   tubed rads removed and replaced by more elastically pleasing CI baseboard  because of its 10"H/2.5"D size.. Many times when this is done the new rads are not large enough to heat the house unless improvements ,windows/insulation, have been made to the envelope(home).If you are comfortable then you must determine the size of the load (Rads)  vs the output(Boiler) to help determine the cause of the cycles.CI baseboard rads (Google Burnham Baseray) offer 3.4 sq/ft of radiation per running foot,  so 10' of baseboard equals 34 sq/ft EDR.Your boiler appears to be rated for 360 sq/ft steam. Add up the length of all your rads in total and times by 3.4 this will give you your total EDR . If it is MUCH lower then 360(my suspicion)then your system is over sized creating your mini cycles. On another note 15mins to make steam from a cold start seem quite slow but first things first.     Let us know.
  • HenryT
    HenryT Member Posts: 128
    mine is short cycling too

    Jim, if 15 mins is slow, what is consider normal?

    what causes boiler to produce steam at slower rates?



    Thanks
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,090
    Cycling

    From reading your post after about 31 min of run time the boiler starts cycling on pressure. You state your rads have heated all the way across and closed the vents and the pressue builds. My question is why isn't the tstat satisfied with the rads completely hot? How hot does it get it your house? If my rads were to get completely hot my house would be stiffling. Under normal condition my rads never get more than half hot. And that is keeping the house at 70 when it is 10 to 15 degrees ouside. You mention your rad are recessed into the wall. They probably cast iron convectors. Count how many sections you have total. They're most likely 2 to 2.25sq.ft per section.



    Mark
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    edited February 2010
    RADIATOR PICTURES

    The house is warm and comfortable

    I counted wrong, there are 8 radiators

    The rads are 8" high and 5 1/2" deep

    The 6 rads downstairs total 16 feet in length

    The two rads upstairs are the fin type, they are 4 feet each (they are not iron)

    The 6 rads downstairs are original to the house

    The two upstairs were added, (I don't know when)   They look bad but get very hot. 

    I can`t see where you got that EDR boiler rating of 360. Is it on that plaque somewhere?
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • jim_72
    jim_72 Member Posts: 77
    slow steam

    Henry to attempt to allay your concerns first off no boiler manufacturer states in their manuals the expected streaming times of their product.With efficiency at a premium it's a given that they have ironed out their product to produce steam in the most economical way. If you would think that would only pertain to today's boilers I offer you my boiler which is 20 years young and makes steam from a cold start in under 7mins. Having said that all boilers have "personalities", more so the older they get. If a Mechanic was called to evaluate an older system and noticed from cold start that it was ,in his opinion, slow to make steam, he would check to make sure the input ,be it gas or oil ,matched the boiler ratings and if so then would check if there were any leaks in the  boiler sections. Absent any of these he would most likely move on to the rest on the system.
  • jim_72
    jim_72 Member Posts: 77
    edited January 2010
    Rads

    Next to the label "oil fired with baffles "does it say 360. Take pics of the rads downstairs. It appears that you have  a minimum of radiation.The rads you show are convectors ,not much EDR there but if your warm OK. 
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    Jim

    The first two pics are the rads that are downstairs. the first picture is with the cover on, and the second picture shows the cover off

    That last picture is what the 2 rads upstairs look like
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • jim_72
    jim_72 Member Posts: 77
    boiler

    Please check the # stamped on the boiler plate next to "oil fired with baffles " and get back to us.
  • RAF
    RAF Member Posts: 65
    May want to try this once

    Set your cut out at 1.5 and your dif a .5  See what happens
  • RAF
    RAF Member Posts: 65
    Somthig else you might try

    I heard this a while back from someone a lot smarter then me DH vent your mains fast a your raidators slow . If you have ajustable vents you may try slowing them down and see what happens.  But try one thing at a time.
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    plate on boiler

    The plate on the boiler says 360
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    Yes

    That's exactly what I have it set at.  1.5 and .5
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    Mark

    What is a section?  I would like to count up the sections but I dont know what I`m looking at.  Thanks
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • RAF
    RAF Member Posts: 65
    Hummm

    I would think that you would be turning on at 1/2 lb and off at 2 lbs with that setting. I wonder what is off the gauge or the control
  • jim_72
    jim_72 Member Posts: 77
    360

    Your boiler produces 360 sq/ft of steam. Judging from the convectors you have pictured your heating load of all 8 convectors , without seeing them,is much less then 360 EDR.You are making more steam then you need to supply the convectors,hence the pressure build and mini cycling. The MOST important fact right now is that you are warm and comfortable with the heat you have.Being here in NY, today ,we are near a design day( very cold) and you are toasty that's a good thing. Questions , off hand how many sq/ft of living space are you heating? What temp are you maintaining to feel comfortable? I ask only because convectors ,as space heaters, have less heat output verses other cast iron elements.  
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    settings

    I have a brand new low pressure gage, on its own brand new pigtail.

    The gauge reads 1.5 psi when it cuts off,  5 psi when it cuts back in

    It consistantly does this over on over until the thermostat is happy
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • jim_72
    jim_72 Member Posts: 77
    pressuretrol

    Your pressuretrol is  is set and controlling your boiler exactly as it should.  No worry there.
  • steam-rookie
    steam-rookie Member Posts: 125
    Gigantic Boiler?

    Mark says that I should count the sections on these rads. I do not know what a section is.

    I do not know how many sq ft of living space I have, and I`m to tired to start measuring it up right now. It ain't much though. This is a small cape style house.

    I keep the thermostat at 69 degrees

    It is 15 degrees on long Island tonight. Nice and toasty in the house though.

    I am very interested in getting this steam system to work the way it was intended to work when they piped it 65 years ago. My goal is to get it as efficient as possible so that I can save money on the oil bills. Even if I don't save any money I would be very happy to know all I can about my steam system. I find it very interesting.  If there is a way to stop it from going on and off 6 times every time the thermostat calls for heat I would like to achieve that. From what I have been reading it should not be doing this. Thank you everyone for helping me try to resolve this issue.   The Rookie
    73 year old one pipe system with original American standard boiler, oil fired becket, 2 inch steel pipe main, 100 feet long, with 8 radiators above.
  • jim_72
    jim_72 Member Posts: 77
    edited January 2010
    System

     Warm and toasty is the good and only fact that counts here. What can be done to achieve steam nirvana is secondary but something to strive for. Given that your system makes more steam then needed you my want to ask a capable steam man to come over a evaluate your boiler.He may be able to derate  your oil  burner gun. This may not stop your cycles from occurring because you can only derate so much but it will lighten your oil bill $$$ somewhat. In lieu of your convectors it appears, not knowing your sq /ft , ) that your house (envelope) is tight and holding your heat adequately(Be Thankful) .Over time,if you plan on living there long enough , you may consider a new proper sized boiler cost effective.
  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,090
    Convectors

    I thought you might have Burnham Radiants or ARCO Sunrads.  They have have sections like regular radiators.  Can you make out who made your convectors?  Hopefully someone here can determine how many sq.ft. EDR they are. 



    Mark
  • RAF
    RAF Member Posts: 65
    exactly

    I  assumed this boiler has been in your home for 65 years and not purchased at a yard sale last year. I am also assuming that it hasn't been short cycling for 65 years, then again I am assuming its an Arcoliner not an Arcoleader my guess is three sections no equalizer maybe a Hartford loop or not.

    Question is when did you notice this problem before you changed your P-trol or after. Before your annual service of after. What contol did you install. numbers please.

    Warm and toasty is nice.
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,566
    building sq ftge

    if you are in the City of NY, Nassau or Suffolk, you can check www.propertyshark.com for your "according to the official records" sq footage. 
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • Mike Kusiak_2
    Mike Kusiak_2 Member Posts: 604
    Lowering the firing rate

    Jim  has a good suggestion about having a good burner man come in to check the firing rate of the boiler. According to a formula which was derived here recently, by measuring the on-off times of your burner while cycling on pressure you can determine how oversized your boiler is relative to the EDR of your system.



    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/128792/More-boiler-cycling-thoughts



    You mentioned that your burner ran for 3 minutes and was off for 2. This corresponds to a duty cycle of 3/5, so you are effectively oversized by 5/3 or 1.66. So instead of the recommended oversize of 1.33 for pickup and piping, your actual oversize is more like 1.66 or 66%. If you can downfire the burner 20% or so by changing the oil pressure or nozzle, you should be able to save some fuel, and reduce or eliminate the cycling on pressure during normal operation.
  • RAF
    RAF Member Posts: 65
    Yes to nozzle

    While you are at it open the top door and check to see if you have the baffles in the flues there cast iron and will be slid in on the left and right passes if not pick up a couple  fire brick and put them in the center pass you will gain a little there  also. Your most likely in 1.25 nozzle range on that boiler and could bring it down some.
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