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new weil Mclean steam boiler 4 section with Carlin Burner

Hi boiler seems pressuretrol is shutting it down. Raised cutin to 1.5 last night per technicians suggestion , boiler stayed on better last night but a old main vent that was previously fine is now blowing off steam so he tells me to change it Monday. Also the boiler is a bit overfilling about four gallons in the last 2 days since draining back to the line on Friday


  • TomM
    TomM Posts: 233
    post some pics

    post some pics of the install and near boiler piping.

    either you have too much water leaving the boiler as wet steam, or bad piping making an unstable water line triggering the automatic feeder, or could be something else.
    beautiful Conshohocken PA
  • Bobm202
    Bobm202 Member Posts: 7
    100 plus yr old 3 family

    Piping is over 100 yrs old and worked fine all this time
  • Over-filling new boiler

    Even though the old piping worked fine with the old boiler, this is a new boiler, with new piping requirements. Have a look at the installation manual, and study the piping instructions. Were they followed in your install? Was the manual even opened by the installer?

    While you are waiting for the tech to come back, turn off the water supply to any auto feeder on the boiler, so you can see how long the slow water return takes to come back.

    How was the choice of this boiler made? Did the installer calculate the heat value of the radiators (EDR), and use that to size the boiler?

    I suspect there is nothing wrong with the spitting main vent, and that it is only a symptom of something else.

    Don't forget the pictures, from which we may be able to spot the problem spots. Have a look for any return pipes which are not lower than waterline.-NBC
  • Bobm202
    Bobm202 Member Posts: 7
    Same exact boiler replacement

    All piping and boiler is exactly the same model as previous boiler.
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Need Pictures

    Why we are asking for pictures of the boiler and piping, is that we see a lot of installations where the installer just copied the piping from the boiler that was being replaced rather than use the instructions in the manual. If the replaced boiler wasn't piped properly in the first place, this ends up as "the blind leading the blind" and mistakes from the original installation are just repeated. It maybe that original boiler had to be "mickey moused"  so that it would finally work reasonably well and now your new boiler is operating as it should and not having been "mickey moused" is operating erratically. On a new boiler the first step in running down the problem is to check the installation configuration so that the piping can be eliminated as a possible problem.

    - Rod
  • Bobm202
    Bobm202 Member Posts: 7

    I will take some pics early this week. After emptying about 4 gallons of water to get it to proper level and the boiler was warm but not hot, about 5 hrs later i went back to check and boiler was fairly cool but water gauge was full. Emptied only 2.5 gals second time waited around 1/2 hr and all was ok. Starting to think that maybe long 30 ft return is getting plugged and maybe water is coming back into boiler from the steam main possibly.
  • Excess water

    Don't forget to close of the valve supplying the auto-fill, so you can pinpoint the source of the excess water in the boiler.

    If you still have excess water without the auto filler operating, then it would indicate wet steam from improper boiler piping which needs to be changed.--NBC
  • Bobm202
    Bobm202 Member Posts: 7
    here are some pics

    Previous same exact boiler make and model worked for 5 yrs 10 months before section leaked. Boiler was always a few inches to almost nothing in glass gauge then would refill. Company told me they could not replace low water cutoff unless it was not working at all. New boiler has same exact piping but now just the opposite is happening, too much water in boiler gauge. Yesterday took out 2.5 gals. Today 20 hrs later took out 6 gals. They Had to raise pressure switch to 1.5 to keep boiler on till I fiqure out what is wrong. Mains go in middle of building and east one is about 10 ft and right one is about 30ft long. Two other same boilers Model in house have same piping and been working for 5 and 7 yrs with no problems at all.
  • piping problem

    i see that the riser from the boiler is reduced down, which will accelerate the water out of the boiler with the steam.

    there may be some other problems, but i was having problems with the sideways pics, but Rod knows how to turn them right ways up!

    i would check all the pipe diameters with the instructions, to see what is mis-sized, and get the installer to make some changes.--nbc
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356

    Good catch.  SGO 4-section has only one 2-1/2" supply tapping -- looks like it was reduced to 2" for both riser and header.  Manual says (Note 3) the riser can be reduced to 2" (I wouldn't) but specifies a 2-1/2" header.  3" couldn't hurt.
  • Shortened life

    The previous boile, apparently the same as the new boiler had its life shortened by 25 years, as a result of bad piping, so now is the time to make any changes to the mistakes of the installer.

    The unstable waterline subjected the boiler to constant thermal shock, and instead of lasting 35 years, it was only able to hold out for 5 years.

    Put on your order list some good main vents, and a good low-pressure gauge (0-3 psi--gauge store.com)

    If you are just trying to get by until the property can be sold, then just leave the auto fill valved off.--NBC
  • Bobm202
    Bobm202 Member Posts: 7
    edited November 2012
    new weil Mclean steam boiler 4 section with Carlin Burner

    Hi, From the 2 inch riser there are two 90 ells with a space nipple then a space and first tee. The second tee for the other side of the 30 ft run is only 12 inches from the first tee so 12 inches apart does not seem that bad to me since the first tee is already dispersing some of the steam anyway. If it were a 3 ft space between them then I would think it would be more of a problem as you suggest. Other two boilers are piped with 2 inch all the way and work fine and have about same spacing as this boiler. I dont know if the orig piping was bigger but there is not a lot of space to deal with here from what I see. I made an antler of two tees on long feed and going to replace the orig Gorton 2, see how that goes then probably put second one on antler and see if improvement is made to get steam to fill faster in long run.

    Still wondering if return on long run could be blocked some because system was down for 6 days and rust may have caked up some in return. Tenant hasnt put heat on much yet to see if return is getting warm enough yet
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    edited November 2012

    Did not follow the manufacturer's requirements with regard to header size.  Those are MINIMUM requirements -- experienced steamfitters know that upsizing is cheap insurance when dealing with the small steam chests that modern boilers have.

    Watch Dan's video http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/107/Steam-Heating/118/Steam-boiler-near-boiler-piping
  • Bobm202
    Bobm202 Member Posts: 7
    new weil Mclean steam boiler 4 section with Carlin Burner

    Hello, Not sure if I should start another thread or not. I changed the 50 yr old gorton 2, at least it looked that old today with the same Gorton 2 on the longer 30 ft feed side tonite. Customer came home as usual and put heat up on their thermostat. Boiler ran for about 5 mins then shut off. Then after a few mins it ran for at least 12 mins. After that I heard the auto water feed kick on and I noticed water line was about 2.5 inches below the boiler water line. Earlier on this afternoon before any boiler firing the water was exactly at the line. Should I also probably change the 10 ft feed air vent on the other side with a new ventrite #35 or would Gorton2 be better. I don't know which one has a higher percentage of air release.
  • Valuing off the auto/over-feed

    Cut that off so you can see how long it takes the water to come back (did I suggest that before?).

    The water line sudden drop leads me to believe that there could be a horizontal part of the return which is just a few inches above the waterline of the boiler. Therefore, as the pressure build, the level in the returns will rise 1.75 inches per ounce of pressure. When you have a horizontal part of the return in that height, as I had (frome a 1952 installation), then the amount of water needed to make that level from the boiler pressure, in a large pipe will starve the boiler of water. Then after the boiler has cooled down, the water always comes back, if you have the auto/over-fill valved off, you know this.--NBC
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