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What the...

Our guys did an install the other day. The customer is complaining of hammer. Checked it out today and hammering everywhere. They have 2 mains. The first has no return. Judging by the pitch it is a counterflow main. The other is a more traditional with a return at the end of the main. The installers missed this and, I think, they removed the drip for the counterflow, not realizing what it was. The returning condensate is flooding the header, and then it;s all pushing up into the rest of the system.



Has anyone seen a hybrid like this before? 

Comments

  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    Yes but not too often

    If it is a counter flow add in a drip and make it all quite. Remember not all dead men were highly skilled and the slow fire of the old boilers let them get away with a lot. also could be a case of them having had hammer all along and now they have a person to blame. But catching it as you did and it being a relative easy fix should make you feel good. I like when I catch my mistakes early, makes it easier to unthread the fittings and fix them.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Mixed System

    There was one in a post about 10 days ago with two parallel mains and a weird counterflow main. 

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/129758/Steam-Boiler-2-drains-one-for-Condensate-Return#p118851

    The owner was complaining about hammering. The copper boiler piping is recent but the weird counterflow setup looks like it has been there a while.  I think Charlie is right that you could get by with a lot more in the old days with the "slow fire" of coal.

    - Rod
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    yep

    I asked the customer if it used to take a lot longer for the heat to come up and she said yes.



    On top of that issue, there is no insulation on any of the steam pipes. She says it's been like that since they bought the house 6 years ago.



    I'll go back today for a parts list.
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    and

    The end of the counterflow main is buried in a wall, as best I can tell. I assume there's a main vent on the end, somewhere. I think the return may be plugged as well.



    Charlie, I hear what you're saying about the problem always being there. I have thought that same thing myself many times. But each time I was able to find and correct the problem, which was install related. I'm sure someday I'll hit one that must have always been like that and the customer is telling me "no". Especially along CT's gold coast. Nice folks there :)



    Rod, do you think I can just drop in a Tee for the drip, or should I pipe it like a drop header as shown in TLAOSH?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,028
    The tee will work

    as long as the drip connection is the full size of the main. Screw a short nipple into this and then reduce it. This will make sure it gets all the start-up condensate.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    ah

    Perfect. I was hoping that would be the way to go. Thanks Frank.



    When this system is steaming, the water in the glass drops down to nothing. Do you think this is related?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,028
    Yup

    the condensate is being held up in the mains. This also causes the banging. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    another question

    The Hartford loop comes off the equalizer as it should, drop about 6", then runs horizontally about 2', then drops a foot to the return. Is this stepped drop OK, or does it need to go right to the floor?
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,200
    A great place to use those bull tees

    I was just thinking this is one of the few times a bull tee would be a good choice. Granted a full size tee as Frank said will be perfect. I have all these old bull tees I need to find a home for them somewhere. A good flush and skim may help too.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    yup

    Skim is already done. Need to flush the return.
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    Update

    Here's the pic with the drip installed. You can see the pitch of the counterflow main to the rear. On the return the 1/2" copper isn't pressing against the drip, though it looks like it is.



    Quick repipe this morning and no hammer from cold to all radiators hot. Thanks guys!
This discussion has been closed.