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Water in sight glass ... extreme bouncing

gypsy
gypsy Member Posts: 84
Hi All, I just had a new boiler installed...  it is a Dunkirk PSB 4D with a pump and indirect water heater attached. 



The water in the sight glass is bouncing from top to bottom and i can see water visibly falling back into the glass. 



This never happened with the old system. 



Should i be concerned?



Thank you.



PS.  It also appears that one of the returns is now sloped up on its way back to the boiler, and the house although it is registering the temp it is set at, feels colder than it did.  Im also noticing some water hammer.

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    Bouncing

    Have they skimmed that new boiler yet? usually they come back a few days to a week after the install to sim the oil and contaminants that get washed down from the old piping. Did they do any work on the returns? they can get filled with rust and other crud over the years.



    The pressure should be 2PSI or less.



    Did they follow the boiler manufacturers piping instructions as to configuration and pipe sizes?



    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
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    edited November 2011
    bouncing

    Nope, they havent skimmed it yet, and as far as i know they didnt do any work on the pipes.  im hoping they come back quickly though, this oil smell is getting to me.



    The people who removed the old boiler did use some wire hangers to support the returns until the new boiler went in.  They are still there-im wondering if they raised the piping...



    The psi appears to be at 1, and i dont know if they followed the manufacturers instructions for piping.  I looked at the pics in the manual but i cant figure it out compared to what was installed. 



    and about the bouncing... its more like its being sucked up the tube into the boiler and then spit back out...
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    Post some pictures

    I suspect there is a fair amount of oil from the boiler manufacturing process as well as the pipe threading that is contaminating the water. It may take more than one skimming to get that water clean, I'd call them and ask when they intend to do the skimming, if you have not given them the final payment you still have some leverage over them.



    If you post some pictures of the boiler and the piping around it we can see if there might be other issues with the new install.



    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
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Skimming

    Here's an article on skimming which might be of help to you.

    - Rod
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    pictures...

    couple more...
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    skimming

    Thank you Rod.  So... apparently the water surging in the glass can be from the oils in the boiler..  So when I was told this was normal and that the smell would burn off in a couple weeks, i guess that wasnt really accurate.  Then i asked about skimming and he said he would come back in a couple weeks to do it.. i didnt realize they were related. 



    This article says it should be done before start up of the boiler.  now that my system has been running for a few days, is this junk in my radiators and hot water tank too?  and if so, will it come out with skimming?
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    skimming and pics

    Thank you bob, ill do that.  posted some pics too...
  • bouncy boiler

    the smell of oil is probably different from the oils left inside the boiler as a result of the new installation.

    i wonder why he didn't connect your 2 mains separately to the new header, so you wouldn't have a bull-headed tee [at least that is what i think i see].

    did he pay any attention to the main vents, and pressure in the system?

    i wonder where he gets his pipe dope from--nbc
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,736
    I see one problem right away

    the installer reduced the header size at the boiler's steam outlet, from 2-1/2" to 2". This is a major no-no, especially on this boiler model series which is very sensitive to improper piping. The smaller pipe increases the steam velocity as it leaves the boiler, which can pull water up into the system.



    Have it re-piped to the manufacturer's specifications.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    edited November 2011
    moved

    moved
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    i see one problem right away

    thank you steamhead.  im guessing this at least could affect the warranty, but is there any immediate safety issue in this? 



    if you notice anything else wrong, i would really appreciate you pointing it out.... i have a feeling im going to get the run around on this and want to make sure i at least sound like i know what im talking about.



    thanks again.
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    bouncy boiler

    thank you nbc.   im a little confused though.  does this mean that the

    dope, and the bull headed tee are wrong too? i dont know what you mean

    by main vents and pressure in the system, could you clarify that for me?
  • moneypitfeeder
    moneypitfeeder Member Posts: 249
    newbies eyes

    But is the header smaller in diameter than the mains servicing the house? What would that do for the exit velocity of the water/steam out of the boiler? I've seen all kinds of equations for determining the velocity out of the risers off the boiler, but none for after it hits a header and then exits to risers to a main(s).
    steam newbie
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    i think ive figured out a little more of the manual...

    Apparently, and please correct me if im wrong-i think ive figured out some problems according to the manual. 



    apparently there should be no bull head but two risers, one for each steam main and they should be off to the side and not directly above

    there is no 2 1/2 inch tee with plug for skimming

    the valve at the bottom for blowing down is 3/4 inch and should be 1 1/2 inch

    there are main vents in the manufacturers diagram, but none on my pipes and i dont think there is a dry return either

    idont think i have a gate valve

    the hartford loop should be 6 inches below the water line-mine is 1"

    the main staeam pipes should be a minimum of 15" above the horizontal pipe above the risers?-mine is 11

    i dont think there is a redusing ell



    please tell me if im wrong...



    and while i was down there checking it out, the boiler turned on 4 times for about a minute each time... i think that means its short cycling...

     

    i dont know about pipe sizes, closed nipples, elbows or tappings or swing joints so please feel free to fill me in, lol...
  • picture?

    perhaps steamhead has a picture of that boiler, piped right in a similar situation.

    the reduction of pipe sizes is the most serious fault. how did you find your installer? did you have any sort of contract? probably there is a dunkirk rep who could inspect the installation, and look for other faults.--nbc
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    dunkirk rep

    I sent some pics to dunkirk and spoke with them this morning.  they were concerned about the short cycling, surging, and hammer, but about the piping said the main thing is that their diagrams are recommendations but there are many ways to pipe this and if it works then its not necessarily a problem.  they didnt mention anything about the reduction in piping.  i was surprised.  he said it didnt look like there was a skim valve and said it needed to be skimmed and possibly cleaned.   he said they would go over the pics and call if they saw any problems and that the warranty was not necessarily void unless the installation caused parts of the boiler to go.  this seemed odd to me because the paperwork says if the instrucitons are not followed then the warranty is void and it looks to me that the way it is piped is exactly what is diagrammed as wrong in the mfg's instructions. 



    I dont have a contract, and the installer was found for me, so im a bit at a loss on how to go about getting this fixed-and now based on what dunkirk said, wondering if i can.  I also found out the other day that a permit had not been taken out yet.  I spoke with a town inspector and was told they would call me when it was taken care of.



    ive looked up some pics online and think ive found some on how it should be piped.  ... two risers, drop header, a riser for each main set off to the side?  not sure about the vents or reducing ell,etc.  so a pic would be great...



    i also read something that there should be no piping between the boiler and the relief valve.  is this correct?  the relief valve on top of my boiler has a pipe from the indirect water heater connected to it.
  • reduced pipe sizes in header

    just make sure that dunkirk are aware of the reduced pipe sizes and the bull-headed tee. possibly the inspector will take an interest in this and put some pressure on the installer to correct the installation. a ruler in the pictures might help to show the dimensions.

    you are doing the right thing to compare the manual drawings with what has been installed.

    my remark about the pipe dope was humorous, as normally, it would be put on the threads sparingly [maybe he was a cake decorator in another life].--nbc
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    reduced pipe sizes in header

    Well, I pointed out the header, reduced pipe size, smaller than recommended distances between pipes, pipe on the releif valve, etc.  Dunkirk was not concerned with any of this because they said 'they will not directly affect the warantee' ... wow.



    they recommended only skimming and checking my thermostat and making sure the pressuretrol was set at .5.



    thank you, i thought i was doing the right thing too, but apparently it doesnt matter.   Im waiting to hear back again.  I specifically asked them if this being installed in a way other than the manufacturers recommendations would cause it to function in a way that is not desirable or affect its efficiency.



    and thanks for the clarification about the pipe dope.  i wasnt quite sure how to take that.  it does look like frosting doesnt it, lol
  • a red flag

    if i were dunkirk, those smaller pipes would be a red flag to me!

    check the manual for any directions as to the hot water hookup. what they want to do is to avoid thermal shock.--nbc
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    a red flag

    yeah, after hearing from you guys, and after seeing the diagram that shows the wrong way and seeing that mine is indeed piped the wrong way, im very surprised!



    i didnt see anything in the manual about hooking up a water heater.  which surprised me also because my water heater seems to be hooked up where the skim valve should be.



    i can scan the diagrams...
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    reply from dunkirk

    Just heard back from dunkirk in reply to whether an installation counter to their recommendations would cause the boiler to function in any way that is not desirable or in any way affect the 82% effeciency rating.  They said skimming should fix water hammer, and none of this will affect efficiency.  they also said if thermostat shuts off too soon, ive lost all the steam head and the energy that went into making it so that is the problem...



    am i fighting a losing battle here?
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Boiler Installations

    Hi-  In my experience the boiler manufacturers generally give good support to their customers.  Since the installer has a major influence on the make of boiler selected and have the potential for supplying repeat business that makes them "the customer" and leaves the homeowner hanging. No boiler manufacturer, in their right mind, is going to tick off a good customer! Installers buy boilers on a regular basis and homeowners buy one boiler every 10 to 15 years so it is pretty easy to see who the manufacturer will back. This isn't any thing to get "steamed" about, it's just a fact of life.



    I do however think you have a redress on the installer for not following the manufacturer's instructions as to installing a tee for skimming and the proper pipes sizes on the risers coming out of the boiler and header pipe. (A 2 1/2 inch pipe has 1.67 increase in cross section over a 2 inch pipe.)  Also the distance of the joint of the Hartford loop to the equalizer pipe is plainly spelled out.

    There are other items that could be improved on but they aren't included in the installation instructions so I don't think the installer has a responsibility on these.

    Just a thought .

    - Rod
  • gypsy
    gypsy Member Posts: 84
    edited November 2011
    no boiler manufacturer in his right mind...

    Thanks Rod,  yup id have to agree with you.  I just got this response when i asked them if it doesnt matter if the instructions are followed, then why are they there.  Sounds rude, i know, but i prefaced it with a please dont take this as rude, it isnt intended that way, im just a homeowner trying to figure out what to do... which is true.  he's had me taking the thermostat off the wall and has me looking for cycling rates.. ug.



    'If you realized the piping diagrams would help, why were they not followed to the letter?  Re-piping a system already installed is a lot of extra work.  Those diagrams are what take the responsibility off of the manufacturer. 



    I was happy to see that this at least appears to be an admission that the instructions should be followed to a T, but was rather dissapointed that the oness was put on the home owner rather than the installer.



    I also just had an inspection done.  The inspector deferred to the installer on the incorrect plumbing...
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