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Has our system been analyzed correctly?

HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
In the thread:



<a href="http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/140616/Where-do-the-vents-on-the-mains-go#p1260104">http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/140616/Where-do-the-vents-on-the-mains-go#p1260104



 I asked about venting mains. The president of the association went back to the vendor who proposed putting them on the T going into the water tank (see first video

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?

v=8jn4hRzC6Vw&context=C3b309b9ADOEgsToPDskK24HKQnvLyaUNfIvFesX1G]http://www.youtube.com/watch?

v=8jn4hRzC6Vw&context=C3b309b9ADOEgsToPDskK24HKQnvLyaUNfIvFesX1G).



By the way, guess that means the analysis posted on the other thread does not correctly evaluate our system. (I do not believe this to be the case, actually.)



Based on what is said below, who do I trust - HeatingHelp.com or this guy? For me it is a rhetorical question, because heating help does not have a monetary stake in this, and has a reputation for an open, objective discussion of issues



This is what the "30 year experience" guy said:



[url=http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/140616/Where-do-the-vents-on-the-mains-go#p1260104]



It's clear to everyone that we don't have a lack of heating problem

here, we have an over heating problem.  [This company] is the only

company that address how we move steam slower to 515 units and faster to

521 units. 





Hoyte,



I spoke with Ziggy (over 30 years in the business)

regarding your questions.  Now, some of the voices on your website

supported what we have done, but there were one or two who raised two

main objections.  So I asked Ziggy to respond to these allegations: 





1.  Venting is being done through the bucket traps - Ziggy noted that the folks on your website are interpreting the video to

see the bucket traps as they would be used in large commercial

buildings.  This is not the case in our system. 



2. The vents

where stationed are useless - Ziggy says this is just not true in our

system.  The vents are key to cycling the steam out and preventing steam

(not condensate) from returning into the system. 





The replacing the vent on the 515 line with a smaller one will help

stop steam from shooting up tot he second and third floors so quickly.

The bigger vent on the 521 main will increase speed to those units. 

Then we'll adjust our vents within our units.  Add to this better

cycling, the better control of internal monitors (next vote), and we

should see far more comfortable temperatures.





In short, your sources to absolutely reject the initial solution of Perfect Temperature are not analyzing our system correctly.



What is your take on this, everyone?



My layman's response is this:

- the fix for the main vents given in the eval submitted on the other thread address uneven heating directly.

- if heating help is right, installing the steam vents will do nothing, which is covered by the 30 year guy's statement that "you are never going to get even heat." Then he installs controls that do offer some help to us, as the boiler will be running more in line with outside tempuratures. With that done, he is a hero and no one no longer thinks there is a problem. We will not see much in the way of better efficiency, as the boiler will continue to run much harder than it needs to.</a>
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Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,140
    condo steam wars

    can you go back and edit your previous post, so that it does not show up as an orange link. go through, and separate the web addresses from the text, by one line each way, and that may do it.

    i believe from your previous posts that a new boiler has been installed, and was not piped according to the manufacturers explicit instructions, thus voiding the warranty. wouldn't the condo board believe that at least? giving any group too many facts can confuse most of the group, and cause them to tune out. will the boiler rep agree that the piping is not right?

    the fact that the installer said "your heat will never be even" is a sign of his lack of knowledge of steam.he may not know how to accomplish this, so says it can't be done. when this building was first built, the residents would not have put up with such discomfort. the installer of the time would have been given some cement booties, and swimming trunks. 

    if you are in chicago, have you consulted boilerpro, or mr. sreja for advice on how to deal with the condo board?
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    edited March 2012
    Readable Post

    I reformated this post so it is more readable.



    Has our system been analyzed correctly?

    In the thread: http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/140616/Where-do-the-vents-on-the-mains-go#p1260104

     I asked about venting mains. The president of the association went back to the vendor who proposed putting them on the T going into the water tank (see first video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jn4hRzC6Vw&context=C3b309b9ADOEgsToPDskK24HKQnvLyaUNfIvFesX1G]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jn4hRzC6Vw&context=C3b309b9ADOEgsToPDskK24HKQnvLyaUNfIvFesX1G).



    By the way, guess that means the analysis posted on the other thread does not correctly evaluate our system. (I do not believe this to be the case, actually.)



    Based on what is said below, who do I trust - HeatingHelp.com or this guy? For me it is a rhetorical question, because heating help does not have a monetary stake in this, and has a reputation for an open, objective discussion of issues



    This is what the "30 year experience" guy said:

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/140616/Where-do-the-vents-on-the-mains-go#p1260104

    It's clear to everyone that we don't have a lack of heating problem

    here, we have an over heating problem.  [This company] is the only

    company that address how we move steam slower to 515 units and faster to

    521 units.





    Hoyte,



    I spoke with Ziggy (over 30 years in the business)

    regarding your questions.  Now, some of the voices on your website

    supported what we have done, but there were one or two who raised two

    main objections.  So I asked Ziggy to respond to these allegations:





    1.  Venting is being done through the bucket traps - Ziggy noted that the folks on your website are interpreting the video to

    see the bucket traps as they would be used in large commercial

    buildings.  This is not the case in our system.



    2. The vents

    where stationed are useless - Ziggy says this is just not true in our

    system.  The vents are key to cycling the steam out and preventing steam

    (not condensate) from returning into the system.





    The replacing the vent on the 515 line with a smaller one will help

    stop steam from shooting up tot he second and third floors so quickly.

    The bigger vent on the 521 main will increase speed to those units.

    Then we'll adjust our vents within our units.  Add to this better

    cycling, the better control of internal monitors (next vote), and we

    should see far more comfortable temperatures.





    In short, your sources to absolutely reject the initial solution of Perfect Temperature are not analyzing our system correctly.



    What is your take on this, everyone?



    My layman's response is this:

    - the fix for the main vents given in the eval submitted on the other thread address uneven heating directly.

    - if heating help is right, installing the steam vents will do nothing, which is covered by the 30 year guy's statement that "you are never going to get even heat." Then he installs controls that do offer some help to us, as the boiler will be running more in line with outside tempuratures. With that done, he is a hero and no one no longer thinks there is a problem. We will not see much in the way of better efficiency, as the boiler will continue to run much harder than it needs to.
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    What does a group do?

    A group will be loyal to its leader, based upon:

    - What do I decide if I cannot understand the information presented to me?

    - How well do I like the source of information being presented to me?

    - What is the cost of being wrong in relation to my loyalty to the leader?



    Everyone knows the install was bad. We are being told it is not critical. In fact, Ziggy says BoilerPro is full of crap. There are enough willing to listen to him based upon the dynamic above.



    My grasping at straws hope is that there is someone here who can state that Ziggy is wrong in such an unequivocal manner that my family and the whole building will be saved from this continuing misery that has been the heat in our building.
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    Who is Mr. Sreja?

    Is Mr. Sreja in Chicago? Does he work in lw pressure steam?
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,140
    He had the same condo problem

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum/profile/2202621/sreja

    I think he would have good advice as to how to present the solutions to the condo board.

    I think that you can remind everyone that the heating is not working as it once did when first installed, and should now. Maybe there are a few residents who have been there long enough to remember when it was working properly. Remind everyone that their fuel money is being 40% wasted, and maybe that will get their attention.--NBC
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Steam System Problems

    Hi- I'm sorry to say it sounds like you're trying to fight a losing battle. There are so many things wrong with your steam system, that a few patches here and there isn't really going to do it.

    You need to split the problems into areas.like:

    1. Problems with the boiler

    2. Problems with the steam distribution

    3. Problems with the controls

    4. A contingency plan for replacing the present boiler in the future

    and then come up with a plan and schedule to fix the problems.



    Other than the evaluation, which seems being ignored, you (the association)  haven't even identified the problems as yet let alone considered plans to fix them.  Just having thirty years experience doesn't mean much. Any person over 30 has that. It's what you have actually learned in those thirty years that counts.  What I read about slowing down the steam in the mains and the present "main Vents" I've addressed in the attached PDF.



    You really need to get a good steam pro who has experience doing major renovation to large building steam systems and I would spend some time checking his references and speaking to people where he has done work. I would also try to look over the work that was done.  You can usually tell good professional work when you see it.  The foregoing is a much better criteria than just having existed 30 years!

    Good Luck!

    - Rod
  • srejasreja Member Posts: 175
    Has our system been analyzed correctly?

    It is a very difficult situation to be in when you have someone who has been in the business for decades tell you that something is set up properly and to try to convince them they are wrong.  This problem is made all the worse by the fact that sometimes there are things that are not done "perfectly" but aren't worth fighting over -- and it's hard to tell the difference.



    What I can tell you from my experience is that just because someone has decades of experience is absolutely no protection against them doing things very wrong when it comes to steam work.



    My approach when dealing with such a contractor is to try to never question their skill or experience, and instead try to approach this from the standpoint of teaming up to figure it out, and indulging me in doing things my way even if it's not the way they would do it -- as long as i can convince them my way is not harmful.  It's almost always a case of them saying well we dont NEED to make the change you are suggesting, but it won't make it worse so ok we will do it.



    The hardest part by far is figuring out whether it makes financial sense to change the system to fix things that seem piped wrong -- it's easy to say on paper this should be done differently, but quite another thing to spend $5000 on changing something that may or may not improve the system.  Figuring out the highest priority fixes is very difficult for a homeowner.  I don't have any magic solution for you.

     

    As far as dealing with the condo/board -- no magic solutions there either -- at some point they may realize that they are lucky to have someone looking after their boiler and just let you do whatever you want as long as you are willing to spend the time on it.



    A huge warning to you:  You very well may get addicted to steam heating issues and this forum.  4 years since i dived in head first to getting our steam heating system working well in our 5 story condo, the boiler and steam heating system in our building is working great, and i'm still hanging out here reading posts, and making daily visits to the boiler room to check on my baby!
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    Thank you, everyone, for your help.

    Thank you everyone for your advice. It will not be followed, nor possibly even read right now. Long term, it will help us to fix our heating system. So, it won't be in vain.
  • ttekushan_3ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 924
    edited March 2012
    Harry Tuttle, Heating Engineer

    Perhaps you are reaching the point where you need a clandestine visit from Harry Tuttle, Heating Engineer, a guy who fixes the heating problems bungled by Central Services.  The setting is what I call a "technocratic dystopia."  Also, a wanted terrorist for subversive heating services!



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ5QPIfvRsI&feature=related



    FFW to 2:55.



    "Now that's a pipe of a different color."  LOL.





    Ah. Here it is.  This is the guy you will be looking for. 

    http://orangecow.org/pythonet/brazil/tuttle.html
    terry
  • Steve_175Steve_175 Member Posts: 234
    Possible Option

    Tell the condo board you will pay for all the fixes to the system. In exchange they have to continue paying the same heating bill but you get to keep the difference in money saved.
  • srejasreja Member Posts: 175
    Has our system been analyzed correctly?

    don't assume you are going to save much money -- when we did extensive upgrades to our system it turned out that the comfort levels were greatly improved -- but we were now areas of apartments that had been cold for decades that people had not said anything about.. and the final costs stayed about the same.
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    Comfort vs money

    I'll take comfort any day. We have horribly unbalanced heat. The second floors broiler, the third floors did too, after we put insulation under the roof.



    Holohan was right about boilers being designed after the war for ventilation and fresh air because of the influenza epidemic. Ours was built in 1919 and had lots of fresh air.



    My parents home was wonderful with steam heat. Very quiet, balanced and clean. That is what we thought would be here.



    What is it about Americans, by the way. They are very difficult to deal with. They seem to be attracted to self-delusion on any level you can imagine. Anything to stay within a certain comfort zone. Is it a product of suburban living? The thing is we live in the city. One would think the people here would be better.



    http://www.ted.com/talks/james_howard_kunstler_dissects_suburbia.html
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    Ask

    the folks on the  board to proceed with the repairs to the heating system that they feel are necessary, based on whomever they choose to believe.You can't do any more than you have done.Insist on a schedule of repairs along with costs, and reasonable expectations associated with each repair. Become the biggest P.I.T.A. on the planet.Good Luck
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,140
    Find your allies

    Find out first who would agree that the heating is not comfortable, and enlist their help in stating the case for some changes in the system. Focus on the discomfort people are experiencing now, especially in the spring. Convince them that the system when first installed would not have been so uneven. These overheated people will be your allies in your quest to correct the system. While you and they are making suggestions to the board, explain the improper installation of the boiler..--NBC
  • srejasreja Member Posts: 175
    Has our system been analyzed correctly?

    Installing TRV's on every radiator did wonders for the ability to control temperature and avoid overheating in our condo -- and that to me seems the most direct way to avoid overheating rooms by a wide margin.



    (We have two-pipe steam, im not sure how well they work for 1 pipe).
  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Member Posts: 1,759
    edited March 2012
    You got a complete and accurate evaluation

    I believe that Dave Bunnell gave you a complete and accurate evaluation of the system.  It is the furthest thing from being simply, "stuff that could be picked up on the Internet" other than to say that just about everything is on the internet.  Rather, it is based on the fundamentals of low pressure (0-2 psi) one pipe steam heat, a subject that appears to be foreign and mysterious to the past and present contractors.



    The Fundamentals to get the system balanced so that it can provide comfort to the owners and stop wasting money are as follows:



      First, there needs to be some kind of appropriate control system to provide main control of the system.  This could be Tekmar #279, Heat-timer, or Honeywell vision pro, which allows for remote monitoring of temperature.



      Second, there needs to be even distribution of steam, with steam arriving at all radiators at nearly the same time.  The requires proper venting of the mains, a subject that your contractor apparently does not understand, if he thinks that the present location of the vents has any affect on the system at all. 



       Third, additional control of individual rooms, especially those that tend to overheat because of solar gain, etc, can be accomplished by the use of Thermostatic Radiator Vent Valves.  Note:  these must not be used in any room in which there is a sensor that controls the entire system.



    Fourth,  in order for all of the above to work properly, for the boiler to produce dry steam without throwing water into the mains, etc., the near boiler piping must be installed according to the boiler manufacturer's minimum requirements, or better.



    In addition, it is apparent that Mr. Bunnell entered with his eyes open to what was around him as he assessed your building.  Things that he looked at in addition to the the steam and boiler piping included the boiler gas piping and code required ventilation.  It is hard for me to believe that your present boiler would have been installed with no provision for combustion air to the boiler room.  This is a basic requirement in this day an age of awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning.  If you read the installation instructions for the boiler, it will tell you exactly how much fresh air ventilation is required and how it is to be calculated.   Mr. Bunnell also observed a simple and easy modification to the gas service.  By elimination of the separate meters for cooking gas, it would save the individual owners collectively, around $16,000 over the course of 10 years. 



    It is hard for me to believe the multitude of errors that are present in your present installation.  It is equally difficult for me to believe that there are apparently only two people, Dave Bunnell and yourself, that can read the boiler installation manual and understand what it says.  Then there is the whole issue of venting, and if I understand your posts, it sound like the current contractor is standing and pointing at components of the system and erroneously explaining how and why they operate. In my 20 years experience of operating a large institutional steam system, I had the occasion to meet quite a few snake oil salesmen.  It never ceased to amaze me how many people are out there with something to sell, who then explain the nature of some mechanical system operation, and how their product will improve things and save money.  Of course, so many times, the fundamental physics were twisted or miss-represented in a way that "proved" their device was a miracle.  Sometimes it could be chalked up to imcompetance and in other cases, it was outright fraud.



     In some cases, educated engineers simply missed the mark, overlooked a critical factor, and caused no end of problems to as system that was constructed, and then reconstructed to correct their errors.  Then, every once in a while, I had the pleasure to work with an engineer and/or contractor that had his eyes open, attention on the job, and never missed one single detail.  What a pleasure that was!



    Then the contractors.... I recall the engineers requiring a sheet-metal contractor to remove and correct various elements of duct-work because of poor workmanship and not installing as per plans ans specs.  After the third redo, it became apparent that no matter how many times it was done over, the contractor simply did not have the ability to do it right.   So sad when you have to settle for "as good as they can do" instead of "right". 



    Now, back to your situation.  You've got a bunch of people that own a building together.  You'd think they would care, and in fact I'm sure they do.  You would also think that more than one person in your condo group would be able to do a little studying so that they could evaluate the conflicting advice from two contractors in the effort of coming up with and "educated" opinion.  I understand the difficulty on coming to the realization that the contractor that one has had faith in is giving terrible service, all of the time that it has been believed that the work was impeccible.  It is not unlike changing religion - a difficult and disheartening experience that involves letting go of tightly held beliefs.   I don't know how to advise you.  So much depends on condo board personalities and how you mesh or clash with them.  I wish you all the best.  You, and all of the owners in your building deserve basic heating comfort and fuel economy.  It is attainable, yet in your case, it seems soooo very far away.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Member Posts: 1,759
    edited March 2012
    Can Steam heat be Even?

    Yes, you betcha!  Steam heat can be very even and very comfortable!   I could go into a long explanation of what all was messed up on our system when we bought the building, but I'll keep it short. 



    The reality is that when we bought the 7 unit, 8,400 sq ft building, most spaces were overheated, some were cold.  Temperatures varied 10 degrees throughout the building.  After 3 years of catching up on deferred maintenance and making improvements, temperatures are now even and cost has been reduced.  Temperatures are now 71F + or - 1F on a cloudy calm day.  Bright sun or strong winds can cause minor and temporary imbalance.   As temperatures have been controlled, heating cost has gone down about 20%.  It will go down further when the old boiler which is 100% over-sized and improperly pipe is replaced.  But most of all, the building is presently comfortable.   I have had two heating related complaints this season.  One, the tenant had not closed his storm windows, and when he did, was comfortable and happy.  The second was reconfigured space, and the heating needs relative to the rest of the building still had to be balanced.  As a result, third floor was overheating, but now that has been resolved and that tenant is 100% happy now.



    So again, 71 degrees F, plus or minus 1 degree F throughout the building.  All tenants happy, content, and comfortable.  Heating cost is lowered.  



    Steam Heat CAN be controlled and it can be balanced.  Anyone who says it can't ----  as the old saying goes, "They don't know what they don't know."
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    Who does what in a building?

    Usually it is one person who is the "specialist" in something in a building. He or she studies up on something and everyone listens to what that person has to say when making a decision.

    Other times, the person who studies up on something is not listened to. Why? Well, it could be because of personal conflicts, status in the building, senility, lots of reasons. Sometimes, the facts do not matter.

    About this case. Some things have been done. I changed the window to take care of the combustion problem. That was after I got access to the boiler room again. I was locked out of it for around 6 months after being accused of tampering with the timer. I was accused of tampering even after being locked out. Is it legal to restrict access to common areas? Not in IL. You get the idea, though, about what can go on in a condo association.

    Only time will make this situation better. The facts are for the future. By the way, we only have nine units, and everyone is on the board. 
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    The Evaluation is Correct!

    While it obviously was done by someone who is steam competent, I didn't realize that the evaluation was done by Dave Bunnell.  That being the case there is little room for argument in that you have a very reliable evaluation done by a very competent steam pro. If your association chooses to ignore it and instead rely on the opinion of knucklehead, so be it. As the phrase says, "You can't fix Stupid!" 
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    Estetique appeal of TRVs

    We discussed installing TRVs and decided against it (for the moment at least) due to how large and bulky they are. Most of us have radiator covers.

    How do they look in your building? We have one pipe steam, by the way.
  • FJLFJL Member Posts: 354
    TRVs

    I have installed TRVs in a room in my apt and they have worked well, keeping the steam out when the room is warm and not in need of heat. My only complaint is that they are located on rads near windows and so are susceptible to drafts.



    Yes they are bulky. I guess some would call them ugly. I guess people have to decide if they want to be comfortable or have radiators that just look nice.



    BTW, I have the Danfoss TRVs.
  • Steve_175Steve_175 Member Posts: 234
    See for themselves

    Do you think sending a link to this thread to all your neighbors in the building would help matters or just make some of them dig their heels in the sand?
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    No a link won't help right now

    This issue has been ongoing for 14 months now. The BoilerPro opinion was fine until it was discovered that I had found him. Will anything connected with me be believed? We have 2 absentee landlords that do not want to rock any boats, 2 owners that do not care about logic, and Machiavelli for president. That leaves 3 units to wait until 3 of the above move, as they may in the next year.







    “The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead, and the dead keep it. The way is shut."

    - Legolas”

    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,140
    A universal problem

    I don't think the nationality of your neighbors has anything to do with the present state of seeming apathy on the part of your co-owners, and any mention of that will cause them to tune out your pleas for a better system.

    Maybe the others have been in the building for long enough, that they believe nothing can be done to improve their level of comfort. The changes you suggest be made, sound expensive, even when divided by 9. In addition, they believe that the building is old with an early, and primitive form of heating which has a bad reputation for lack of comfort, so why throw good money after bad.

    You will have to sharpen your skills of persuasion in order to open their eyes, and trust in you to orchestrate these improvements. One thing is certain, even the most sophisticated boiler control system cannot compensate for a badly maintained system. The control system,(heat timer/tekmar) can only manage a system in good condition. This is akin to the car whose steering always pulls to one side, whose cure is not to have a stronger pair of hands at the wheel! Obviously the dragging brakes and mis-alignment need attention first.--nbc
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    The Gortons are in!!!!

    The new Gortons were put in a couple of days ago. They have worked wonderfully (of course we have had temperature's been in the 60s here).



    They went in right where you said they should not be put. Everyone saw your posts before voting, by the way. It's only money.



    The youtube video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeSKV7hwoCg&feature=g-upl&context=G2416021AUAAAAAAAAAA
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    Straight from the Horses Mouth

    http://gorton-valves.com/specify.htm  According to Gorton, it is possible to have even, comfortable heat. They do fail to show vents being used on return lines though :-). You should contact them directly, and ask them.
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    Question just sent to Gorton

    Just sent to Gorton:

    To Whom It May Concern,



    "I have been advised to ask whether your

    Gorton valves will work properly if used on return lines of a one pipe

    low pressure steam boiler for home heat. Links to videos of the system

    and the Gortons as installed are at the below link."



    sent to: [email protected]
  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Member Posts: 1,759
    edited March 2012
    A Waste of a Good Gorton

    The question is not whether the Gorton will work,(of course it will) but rather does it have any practical function in your particular system.



    As has been stated before, by just about every pro that participates on this forum, and a whole bunch of the rest of us that have more than a little experience in the world of steam heat.   The vents in the present location have no function.  They neither improve nor diminish the proper operation of your steam plant.  A iron plug screwed into the return main in place of the vent would work just fine too.  You steam contractor says we don't understand the system, but he is mistaken.   And so, your condo association has voted on the correction.  I wonder if they would vote that it is OK to use 14 gauge wire on a 20 Amp circuit too?  I am at a loss, don't know how to help.



    Back to the venting issue.  Your mains all loop back and go through steam traps on their way to the boiler feed tank.  All air in the mains has to pass through the steam traps and when steam gets to the traps, they close.  Air moving downstream of the traps will freely flow to the boiler feed tank because it is vented to the atmosphere.  Yes, I know you said that it was not, but I can see the openings in the PVC fitting where there is an air break fitting where the make-up water is connected.   So... the new vents provide more opening for venting.  Will it make a difference?  No.  Is there a danger of steam getting to the vent location, so that a closing vent is necessary?  Not as long as the trap is functioning correctly.  And, if a trap does let steam pass, enough so that the steam vent will close, it will pass on down to the boiler feed tank and start blowing out of the air break.  Again, the new vents serve no purpose whatsoever.  On the other hand, if there was no feed water tank present, and there was no other atmospheric opening in the return piping, then yes, the vents would be critical.  The system would not work without the vents.  But, this is not the case.  There IS a feed-water tank.  It IS open to the atmosphere. 



    I wonder how long the condo association will vote to spend money that does nothing to improve the system.  I wonder how much money they will waste.  

    Have you ever seen the movie, Idiocracy?  The scary thing is that we seem to be living in a world where stupid not only prevails, but often is the popular choice.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • David NadleDavid Nadle Member Posts: 624
    TRVs and rad covers on 1PS

    If you have 1-pipe steam with radiator covers -- and enough clearance for the actuator -- you can get the remote sensor/dial model, drill a hole and mount the sensor/dial on the side or upper corner of the radiator cover. It looks good.
  • ttekushan_3ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 924
    Hi Hoyte,

    Didn't you also have an earlier assessment of the system a couple years ago by a knowledgeable contractor in the area?  Although he was unknown to me, he seemed to know his steam really well.  Am I correct in recalling that he also provided a detailed critique of the system and required corrections only to refuse to work on the system after meeting your HOA and that he "felt sorry for you?"



    Anyway, you've since had the best in the steam business in your area give a detailed report, a treatise even, and you now have had the input from the brain trust here.  All evidence supports and expands on that old report that you had several years ago.



    I find it interesting that everyone who you have personally engaged in this problem-solving adventure have been 1) knowledgeable 2) freely sharing of time and experience beyond current "commercial" cultural expectations at large 3) enthusiastic specialists in steam heating 4) wanting to do the right thing from the standpoint of "best practices" for steam heating today, and 5) appreciative of (and perhaps inspired by) your moral imperative of stewardship over you building's "heritage" systems for you and for all, for now and for the future.



    That your HOA rejects the expertise and good will of all those you have striven to be a party to the steam heating issues there, to me, is inexplicable in any rational sense.



    I would be delighted and honored to have a neighbor with such integrity and dedication to our collective best interest. 



    Gorton's answer may not matter much if they don't have clear picture of the configuration you have there.



    I don't know what else to say other than that I feel you frustration and your need to reach out to anyone of rationality.
    terry
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    Frank Gerety

    Funny you should be talking about TRV's right now. I am in the process of writing up an explanation of what is going on in our system that anyone could understand and came across Holohan's short expose on "Master Venting by F. Gerety (Holohan, p. 118). Looks like the first TRV to me.



    As an aside, the work you have all done is of enormous help to me in understanding and attempting to explain to our board members just what is going on.



    One question: I know what a "T" is, and that a vent does not go on one, but what about a 90 degree angle. My guess is the same deal, and in fact a 90 degree angle is not a good idea either, if avoidable. Does that apply to the return, too?



    One more question: This is very, very obvious to all of you, I am sure. So, it is not spelled out for the rest of us with the clarity needed for the layman. Should the main vent be placed (as a rule) near the boiler at the beginning of the run? The explanations seem to assume everyone understands what is going on without this being spelled out.
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    HoyteKing

    Do your radiator vents hiss when the system heats up now?
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    Hissy fit

    They hissed a great deal when the PSI was set at over 2. Once it was lowered, the hissing receded somewhat.



    Once around 15 vari-vents were put in, the hissing did not change. Once 15 more vari-vents were put in, the hissing became slightly more intermittant.



    The thing is, we have not had the tempurature go too low this winter. When the hissing was worse, the tempurature had been quite low for a number of days. That did not happen this winter.



    This winter it was usually hotter than hell on the second floor (3 floor building in 3 tiers).
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    Hissing

    is caused by a lack of venting. Those traps are inverted bucket "steam" traps, and will either hold steam or pass condensate.Putting vents after those does nothing to help your situation.I am going to add another thing to the mix....they are suppose to be F&T traps on a 1-pipe mechanical return system. http://www.armstronginternational.com/steam-traps-float-thermostatic
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    my explanation for challenged individuals

    What does everyone think of my explanation for challenged individuals? I am not 100% confident about this. I have liberally used work from a couple of posts here (with attribution). 
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    challenged

    I think after reading that, they will be more challenged. It needs to be concise.....what you have in the way of traps now, and why they are improper. A simple explanation of the differences in the 2 types of traps. They will be confused by statements about the vent on the condensate tank. I'd lose that, and by the way, that vent should be above the water line of the boiler.
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    System

    Hi- I started out a reply but then decided I needed to include some diagrams so ended up putting the whole reply into a pdf. I hope this is helpful to you.

    - Rod
  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Member Posts: 1,759
    Perfect explanation

    Rod, as usual, your graphics and verbal explanation illustrate the issue perfectly, and so easy to understand.

    I predict that this will help the folks in the condo understand.  As for the contractor that has been doing the erroneous work, I would predict that he will reject it in favor of his long held misunderstandings of how a steam system is supposed to work.  It is not easy for one to give up old beliefs and even more difficult to accept that one is wrong.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    Rod

    That's perfect.....He's going to have to take one item at a time, and this handles that one. I'm afraid with providing too much info, they're being overwhelmed. On top of that, if you give them too much, Ziggy will take bits and pieces out of context to build his case.
  • HoyteKingHoyteKing Member Posts: 85
    bits and pieces

    Breaking it up into segments sounds like very good advice. Once one part is understood, the next can be dealt with. I think the F & T could be a seperate issue, for example.



    There are a huge number of persons in the Chicago area facing this type of thing. Wish it were easier for us laymen to deal with this stuff.
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