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Progress! And new issues...

nznz Member Posts: 89
So, I replaced the bad drip trap in the garage (Dunham 2E) with a new cap and disc - and the pipe below it is no longer 212 degrees. This allowed the radiator in the garage to heat up more. There is still a light hammer at startup, this may be due to bad traps in the radiators above (I believe there are two-three radiators serviced by this return line.)

Along with that - came new levels of pressure! I saw the gauge get as high as it ever has - 0.5PSI (8oz). Previously it would struggle to raise above 0.1PSI, as steam was blowing into the dry return. However, I happened to notice it as I was measuring the temperature of crossover/drip traps in areas of the basement, and I heard water - I rushed over and saw the gauge at 0.5PSI, and water was pouring out of my brand new Gorton #2.

So - I know from reading Dan's books now - my B dimension raised due to increased pressure. Since there used to be a Dunham Air Eliminator (trap/vent) here - it wasn't an issue when the traps were all working. But now, the Gorton #2 has to be raised up.

Here lies the issue.

The Air Eliminator was connected at the top of the equalizer, and in the middle (see pics). Now that the Gorton #2 is only connected in the middle (and the top is capped off) - when my pressure is higher (8oz as it should be), the B dimension is as well - causing water to pour out.

The top of the equalizer connection is about 2 inches from the ceiling, and it is my understanding that air vents should not be mounted horizontally.

So, my question is - can I put a few elbows and nipples on the top 1/2" connection, and bring it lower - so I can mount the Gorton #2 vertically? See proposed drawing.


  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,815
    Won't work

    if any water gets that far, it will collect in the low portion of your proposed pipe.

    What is your B dimension?

    And does the horizontal pipe in your diagram, between the floor and the #2 vent, go into the boiler?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • nznz Member Posts: 89
    edited December 2011
    Water Line

    That horizontal pipe sticking out is where the Hoffman #75 is in the original above picture (but the Gorton #2 is there right now). The boiler is connected at the bottom of the equalizer (not pictured, but the connection is below in the picture below)

    It's 43" from the water line to the top of the dry return. And 27" from the water line to the T where the Gorton #2 is right now (not the proposed location at the top).

    Attached picture is the current location of the vent and piping. The pencil mark at the bottom of the equalizer is the water line when the boiler is not running (I measured from the ceiling).
  • vent location

    what is the distance between the gorton vent, and the normal waterline?

    i suspect the water is stacking up in the returns higher than the vent, so you could connect the upper and lower pipes with the gorton mounted as high as possible on the new vertical connection. air will vent out through the upper, and condensate will drain out the lower. are you sure of your pressure?--nbc
  • nznz Member Posts: 89

    It's 27" between the normal water line and the 3/4" nipple to the Gorton #2.

    I'm not 100% positive on the pressure (I am questioning it some because of the height) - but the gauge is reading right around 0.5PSI when the water starts backing up.

    Are you suggesting creating a loop and then Teeing off that loop horizontally to connect the Gorton #2? (see attached drawing)
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,815
    That would work

    but a half-pound shouldn't make it back up like that- unless your gauge is off.

    Or- any chance the return line below the vents is clogged?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • stacking up in the returns

    that is what i would do, besides getting a vaporstat, and maybe more venting.

    unless you have a good low-pressure gauge, you will never know what your pressure is, and you will also not know whether your venting is adequate. for each ounce of pressure the water in the returns can rise up 1.75 inches. so it will not take much for the vent to be covered.--nbc
  • nznz Member Posts: 89
    Repiped w/ loop

    Ok, I just repiped it with a loop...see the picture below. I added back the Hoffman #75 in addition to the Gorton #2 for additional venting capacity - until I can get another Gorton.

    Knowing that I was @ 0.5PSI earlier and the vent was spurting water - I knew my pressuretrol would never kick in. Now that I'm making some progress - I think a vaporstat will be next in line for purchase. Now that the vent is 43" above the water line, it shouldn't spurt (hopefully) - since 43in/1.75 = ~24.5/16 = ~1.5 PSI.

    You can see the pigtail & gauge I added last week in the second picture.

    I just fired the boiler. I'll post the results.
  • nznz Member Posts: 89
    Returns & Gauge

    The boiler is (I'm estimating) circa 1970 - and I'm sure the returns haven't been 1) cleaned, or 2) replaced since then.

    The gauge is a new Wika I installed a little over a week ago - however, it goes into negative territory after the burner shuts off - and it never goes back to zero....perhaps its defective?
  • nznz Member Posts: 89

    Boiler ran for ~30 minutes (I kicked up the t-stat 1 degree, and it had been off for 3 hours). So the burn was longer than my normal 18 minute burn.

    Pressure got to 0.4PSI, but I wasn't in front of the gauge when it ticked off. I was upstairs taking radiator trap temperatures for about 10 minutes, so it could have gotten to 0.5PSI (8oz) or higher.

    No water spewed from the vents, so that's good.

    I still have water hammer in the pipes around the garage (two bedrooms above the garage). I thought replacing that trap would have fixed it, but apparently not. The hammer is at the beginning of the cycle. The hammer is louder and more frequent/lasts longer now that I un-did downfiring of the burner.
  • hammering in the garage

    could the garage pipes have sagged, and have a water-trapping pocket? if they are visible, then check them with a level for proper pitch in the correct direction.--nbc
  • nznz Member Posts: 89
    edited December 2011
    Garage Pipes

    That is my suspicion, since the hammer is at the beginning and in the supply line. I got out the 4 foot level earlier, and the rooms above the garage appear to have settled about a 1" below the rest of the house.

    I have been shimming the radiators above the garage this morning. Just raised one radiator about an inch.
  • nznz Member Posts: 89
    Well that worked

    That large 37" tall, 6 tube, 14 section radiator no longer has a gigantic water hammer during startup, after raising it about an inch (used about 4 shims cut in 1" lengths under each radiator's foot)

    Only a slight sloshing sound and very quiet hammer in the supply pipe as the steam reaches it (about 5 minutes after all the other radiators). Also - that radiator has NEVER gotten that hot since I bought the house, I replaced the trap yesterday - that might have helped too.

    Now to raise the other radiators above the garage...
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