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Please help!

i am working on  a steam system that personally i dont think ever worked.....the boiler wasnt firing at the right rate and wasnt making steam, i fixed that. It is a one pipe system, two of the pipes were pitched the wrong way..i fixed that also NOW i have two radiators that are fed off a single 1 1/4" line that wont heat up and when the burner stops firing its not so much the loud banging as it is a snapping sound.....the weird thing is the radiator valves are hot and the radiators piss out air for about 5 seconds n snap shut.....also the A dimension is only 18" and the hartford loop ties in at the same level of the water line. its a burnham independent 4 boiler. any thoughts?


  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    Do you know how to find the EDR rating for radiators? If you find those numbers, we can compare them to the capacity of a 1 1/4" pipe.

    Also, what pressure are you running at?
  • Chrisplumbs
    Chrisplumbs Member Posts: 10
    edited March 2010

    its a standard column radiator with two column that are 45" high 5 sq ft. per section so i figure 20 sq ft of edr? right and there are two of 1 1/4 pipe can handle 98 sq edr on the vertical when condensate flows against steam and it can handle both of them on the horizontal up to 55 edr for 1 1/4.. also im running at a 1/2 pound with a 1 pound differential but the pressure gets up to about 2
  • haaljo
    haaljo Member Posts: 112
    Was it really not making steam?

    Or was it not building pressure? My boiler is not building more than an ounce of pressure but it's nicely making steam. Was wondering if that was your situation and if you increased firing rate or cleaned system or both.

    The problem of the two radiators not heating....What happens if you turned one vent upside down so it's disabled. Does that allow the other rad to heat up? 

    When you say the "radiator valves are hot and the radiators piss out air for about 5 seconds n snap shut" but the rads don't heat. ---- Are the vents half way up and located far end from the riser valve? Also, the vents may be getting water logged. Check to see if they are filled with water. That happend to me with a Maid O Mist that I changed to a Hoffman with a wick that helped water to leave vent and go back into rad.

    Good Luck
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    There's water hammer near the end of the heating cycle

    The Hartford Loop isn't piped properly.

    Make sure the connection between the return and the

    equalizer is far enough below the boiler's water line. If steam can

    work it's way down the equalizer and into the wet return it will

    hammer, and usually at the end of the cycle.

    See if there's a long nipple on the Hartford Loop. Long nipples create

    water hammer as the condensate returns. Replace the long nipple with

    either a close nipple or a wye fitting.

    -from A Pocketful of Steam Problems.

  • Chrisplumbs
    Chrisplumbs Member Posts: 10
    edited March 2010

    I did increase the firing rate but i put the firing rate back up to where the boiler said it should be..should i turn the rate back down....the boiler said it should be at 3.5" wc originally it was running at 1.41 wc and it didnt make steam i wouldn't make any heat and would run all day.  The vents are new #1 vent rites..the adjustable ones and they are half way down the radiator which ive never seen before should i get that tapping tool and move them to the top? Also i told the guy the hartford loop connection is too high it does need to be moved down it is connected at the same level as the waterline! thanks for the help guys...i havent had a lot of experience with steam but my thoughts were along the same line.
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Vent tappings.

    The vents are supposed to be about 1/2 way up the radiator.

    If you move the Hartford loop connection down, you still might have a problem with your A Dimension, so if you can't raise the dry return, start lowering the cut in pressure as low as it will go and still let the boiler come back on. If you set it too low, the boiler may never fire back up.
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