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Cold pigtail

Mark_125
Mark_125 Member Posts: 56
Quick question for the steam heads here - should my pigtail be getting warm while the boiler is firing? I have a suspicion that my pressuretrol may not be working/pig tail maybe blocked.



Thanks,

Mark

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,184
    It takes time

    My pigtail gets very hot as it exits the boiler but just warm as it enters the vaporstat. It takes a bit of time for the loop to get hot. If in doubt remove it and make sure its clear. While your at it maybe it's time to add a good low pressure gauge as well.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Mark_125
    Mark_125 Member Posts: 56
    Not a plumber!

    Thanks Bob,

    I've managed to successfully install some new main vents on a T arrangement but I think adding a guage at the pigtail is a bit beyond my skills. Could I add it to one of the main vent Tees ?

    If I do remove the pigtail myself can I reseal it with teflon tape or should I use Pipe Dope?

    Mark
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,184
    Setup picture

    Do you see any movement in your sight glass while the boiler is firing? If it stays dead quiet that may indicate a plugged pigtail.



    You could put the low pressure gauge on the vent but it's really more convenient to have it on the boiler. Once you get the pigtail off and cleared you can use either pipe joint compound or Teflon tape when putting things back together.



    You can buy the fittings at the local hardware store or at a big box store. Just make sure you kill the power to the boiler and let it cool down a bit before starting to take things apart. make sure you have room to unthread the pressuretrol before you unwire it. Here's a pic of my setup so you can see how I did it.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • JamesC in Stamford CT
    JamesC in Stamford CT Member Posts: 85
    edited April 2011
    not a plumber either

    Mark, I am not a plumber but was able to replace my pigtail and add a gauge, with lots of help from the good folks patrolling this board. See my posts at Any Tips on unscrewing/loosening an old pigtail?, and Need a photo of pigtail/gauge to see how I should pipe a new 3 psi gauge, and of course questions, in case any of that helps you, so you can visualize what's needed to do the job.



    About the pigtail being cold, remember that there is no place for air to escape at the end of the pigtail (unlike the radiators), so there is no steam getting to the pressurtol, instead it's just dead air under pressure. So the pigtail will only get warm if the parts of your boiler touching the pigtail get hot too. Whether or not it's clogged would not seem (to me, not a plumber!) to make a difference as to whether or not it gets hot.
  • Mark_125
    Mark_125 Member Posts: 56
    Suspected pressuretrol/pigtail problem

    Thank you Bob and James - thats just the kind of information I was looking for.

    Bob, in answer to your question I do see the water level in the sight glass moving around when the boiler is running, it just never seems to cut out on pressure.

    If I heat the house from a setback of 4 degrees or more I start to hear hissing from a number of different radiator vents about 35 minutes into the cycle - I had assumed that the system was not cutting out on pressure. I have replaced the vents with new Gortons and still they hiss after a large setback. I wanted to install a 3 PSI guage just to see why I was getting hissing vents.

    The other possibility is wet steam due to my header being original or oil in the water. Once the heating season is over I plan to drain the boiler to try and clear out any old gunk.
  • Mark_125
    Mark_125 Member Posts: 56
    Clogged

    Thanks for the links James I successfully removed my pigtail this past weekend and found that the elbow leading to it was clogged. I replaced that elbow and added a 3PSI guage at the same time. Everything is working as expected now.

    Makes me a little annoyed that the plumber I hired about a year ago to replace the pigtail did not pick up on the clogged elbow. Anyhow, all is good now.

    -Mark
  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    edited April 2011
    I guess

      its time to have a look at your boiler, so that we may advise you more accurately.  Could you post a few pics of the boiler?  All 4 sides, how it hooks up to the pipes in the ceiling and how the smaller pipes come down from the ceiling and go back into the boiler.  Also a pic or two of the radiators would come in handy.
  • Mark_125
    Mark_125 Member Posts: 56
    edited April 2011
    Elbow to pressuretrol was clogged

    Thanks Crash - but this is now resolved. I posted a reply a few posts back but I guess I should've posted it here. The elbow from the LWCO to the Pigtail was actually clogged - I replaced that and installed the 3PSI gauge and everything is normal now.
  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    Glad to hear its resolved

      I see what I did, I replied to April 4 post, and you resolved it April 11. 
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