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Improper piping

First of all, I would like to thank everyone that posts all of the info here.  I have been reading all of the older posts and have learned a great deal.  The biggest problem i am having is a radiator upstairs that will only heat on the coldest of days. Also, some days water hammer on start up is pretty loud and all of the radiator vents hiss. After doing some research i see that the near boiler piping is not even close to correct. It is a one pipe system that had a new boiler installed before i bought the house (about 5 years ago). My biggest question is will the piping as it is now shorten the life of the boiler? Any idea of how costly it would be to correct?


  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,010
    ohhh, my condolences,

    on your boiler really needs to be probably won't shorten the boilers life, but i'm sure its raising the fuel bill and adds significantly to poor heating issues.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 2,974
    edited February 2010

    Whoever installed that boiler disregarded the instructions.  Very few things were done correctly.

    To answer your questions, it may not necessarily shorten the life of the boiler, but it won't be the quality system it could have been.  Costly?  Yes.  You almost have to start over again.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • Piping

    While being piped incorrectly, the system provides good heat with the exception of the one bedroom. The water hammer is only sometimes. The hissing radiators i can deal with.  And living in an uninsulated 100+year old 2000sf house in the Chicago area, i have never had a gas bill over $400 in the coldest of months. But with a new baby soon to occupy that bedroom, i am thinking the only way to consistently get the radiator to heat would be to re-pipe the boiler?
  • Radiator?

    With your near boiler piping the way it is, your question about whether you can get that radiator working is hard to answer -maybe or maybe not.

    Perhaps you can tell us a bit more about the radiator. Is it sloped properly? Where on the piping in relation to the boiler is it located? How many other radiators are between it and the boiler?  Are your main vents working properly? What is the make and model of your boiler (there should be a plate on the boiler that will tell you this) On which main is the problem radiator located? (the one that goes straight up off the boiler or the branch off the straight up one?)

    From a comfort and economical standpoint your boiler really needs to have its piping fixed. Who ever installed it knew nothing about steam and obviously couldn't read.

    - Rod
  • Radiator

    The non-functioning radiator is sloped back to the valve. It is the 4th and final radiator on the main that tee's off of the straight up main. After that riser to the radiator there is some type of stub pipe then the main loops back towards the return. The boiler is a Williamson model GSA-150N-S.  The main vents only seem to vent a little air in comparison to the radiator vents. They appear to be Hoffman 75. I am planning on changing the main vents while I try to locate a steam professional in my area to give me an estimate on changing the near boiler piping.
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    it makes sense

    it makes sense that you are having problems with the branched-T main, especially at the far end..what floor is the rad on? I suspect perhaps 2nd flr. When you get in your pipes and think like steam, i'd much prefer to go whooshing by the opening of the branched-T main rather than trying to get into it. if you think like steam, only a fraction of the steam probably makes it into the opening rather than whoosh by and that steam only gets there by accident. and maybe it only really starts getting in there after the "straight-up" main is full, hot and getting pressurized. 

    i think the same thing is occurring with
    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
  • Chicago.....

    is my hometown.  Give me a call.....I was just in Saturday looking at a steam boiler repipe (only been in for 4 weeks) and divined another steam system and are putting together a boiler proposal for it too.

    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • Solution!

    Hmmm..somehow I missed that you were in Chicago and therefore in Boiler Pro's area.

    David Bunnell, "Boiler Pro", is one of the most knowledgeable steam pros in the heating business. You can count yourself very lucky that you are in his service area. I would definitely give him a call. 

    - Rod
  • Robbie
    Robbie Member Posts: 41
    Looks Like

    This unit looks like the same Union Steam boiler I just put in a couple months ago- You might want to look at their site, and see if they list the close pipingkit: a couple hundred bucks, but worth it to get all the proper pipes to redo the job properly...

This discussion has been closed.