Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Weil MClain steam boiler coupled with a hydronic loop

jbb38
jbb38 Member Posts: 5
Hi,

I have an EG series Weil Mclain steam boiler of undetermined age, that supplies heat to my house.  The previous owner added an hydronic loop to heat an extension to the house, with a pump.  The hot water is coming from below the glass gauge.  Is this an "approved" setup, as I can't seem to find any examples of such a setup on the internet?

Also, the glass gauge does not empty.  I tried to open the lower plug but nothing comes out.  I have an electronic low-water cut off that seems to function fine, but the glass gauge stays full.  Could somebody expling to me how to empty it?  I'll try and post pictures tonight.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    HW Zone off a Steam Boiler

    Hi- Pictures would be a big help. I can't quite visualize your system in my head. Take some pictures of the where the loop is attached and also some pictures from back a bit so we can see where the piping leads.

     Do you have a hot water coil and/or an automatic water feeder? 

    Do you know where the normal boiler water line should be in the sight glass? It's usually about half way up the sight glass. The measurement to determine the waterline (usually measured from the floor)  should be available in your boiler's Installation & Operating manual.

    Hot Water zones off a steam boiler are quite common. I've attached a pdf by M&M which shows how a typical HW zone system off a steam boiler  is laid out.

    - Rod
  • jbb38
    jbb38 Member Posts: 5
    edited October 2011
    pictures...

    Here are pictures of the setup.  Of course, the water level inside the gauge went down during the day, after being all the way to the top for several days.

    Does anything look weird?

    The green pump is for the hydronic loop that goes into the extension?  How can I know how old this boiler is?  I understand this model is still sold by WEil Mclain, but I cannot find any serial number.
  • jbb38
    jbb38 Member Posts: 5
    No comment?

    I guess nobody finds anything odd with my setup then? If you have any comment/advice let me know, please!
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    Od colors in sight glass

    Something is odd about your sight glass. There is a band of a different color on the top-could the boiler need cleaning(skimming)?

    It looks like the header is a bit low, but as long as you have no problems with water-hammer----.--NBC
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Weil McLain Boiler

    Hi-  I've "tweeked" your photos a bit so they are easier to see. I can't tell from the present pictures what model it is but I have attached a I&O manual of what I believe is your boiler and if you take the cabinet measures of your boiler and compare them with the tables in the manual you should be able to figure out the exact model. Isn't there any ID plate on your boiler?

    Piping-  I'm not sure quite what to tell you as it is pretty hard to figure out what the pipes are and where they go.  On the steam end of things the near boiler piping is a mess. You don't have a header. Page 14 in the manual shows the manufacturer's recommended piping for your boiler and in comparing the two, you can clearly see your piping doesn't match the recommendations.  I can't tell much beyond that as the steam pipes are obscured by the piping in the foreground of the picture.  I marked one of the pictures with arrows and letters.

    Perhaps if you can tell us what these pipe/items are and where they lead we will have a better picture of you system.

    - Rod
  • jbb38
    jbb38 Member Posts: 5
    edited October 2011
    pipes

    Hi Rod,



    thanks for your comments.  Here are the pipe "legend", to the best of my knowledge anyways.  The steam system is split in two zones A and B.  The radiators are one pipe but each zone has a return pipe.



    A : return pipe of Zone A

    B : return pipe of zone B

    C : Cold water supply (not linked to heat system)

    D : Some kind of valve (pressure relief?)

    E : Hydronic loop (going in)

    F : Hydronic loop return

    G : Not sure.  See one of the picture I posted initially for a close up.



    Thanks!



    JB



    EDIT : O0ps forgot to mention.  It is most likely an EG-40 (5 burners)
  • jbb38
    jbb38 Member Posts: 5
    glass gauge

    Hi,

     

    yes the glass gauge is dirty.  I try to clean it by unscrewing the bottom part, but it would not empty.  Not sure how to proceed.



    Cheers,



    Jb
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    Cleaning the sight glass

    I do mine every month or so as my old pipes leach out a lot of iron in the water!

    Find a source in your town for replacement sight glass tube and washers, as well as a bottle brush which will fit the tube.

    Close the valves top and bottom of the sight glass (gauge cocks).

    Remove the rods by pulling them up and out.

    Unscrew the top and bottom nuts and slide them away from their threads.

    Lift up and slide out the tube. Clean with the brush.

    Then as they say in the biggest understatement of all time,"reassembly is the reverse of disassembly!"--NBC
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Weil McLain Boiler

    Hi-   Thanks for the information.  Your answers of course have raised more questions.

    First of all if you look on page 14 in the manual you will see in the drawings  that the waterline is 23 13/16 inches above the base. I would check your waterline and make a mark on the glass tube.

    This is the level the water in the boiler should be when the boiler is cold.  To raise the level of water in the boiler you obviously add water.  To lower the waterline you need to drain some water from the boiler which you should be able to do by using the valve I marked in the picture as “M”.  

     I might mention that every time after you add “new” fresh water to the boiler, it is VERY important to immediately heat and bring the new water in the boiler to the boiling point so as to drive off excess dissolved oxygen in the “new” water. This dissolved oxygen is very corrosive to your boiler and will shorten the boiler’s operational life if it isn’t removed.



    As I can’t see it very well in the pictures I’m guessing that the item marked “D” which you mentioned as possibly being a “pressure relief valve” is what is know as a main vent. There should be main vents on the piping of each steam main or on their  returns. Since you apparently have tow steam mains (Zones “A” and “B”) see if you can locate the vents on both “A and “B” and if you can take pictures of them both.



    I’m not quite sure where we are going with all of this.  Is your system operating satisfactorily at the moment? If not, what problems are you experiencing?  Quite frankly if things are working okay at the moment and with winter coming on this isn’t really the  time I would be working my steam system so I were you I would wait until spring to clean things like my glass sight tube etc.



    You initial question was about the hot water leg off the boiler. While I wouldn’t have run it quite the way it was done from what I can see it seems okay. I might also mention that if you don't already have them there are some very good books on residential steam heating available in the Shop section of this website. I would suggest "We Got Steam Heat!" as a good introduction.  Here's a link to it -

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/products/Steam-Heating-Books/25/61/We-Got-Steam-Heat-A-Homeowners-Guide-to-Peaceful-Coexistence

    - Rod
This discussion has been closed.