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.

steam from tank vent

pugdad
pugdad Member Posts: 23
Hello,getting after system is on and hot on a 2 zone steam system steam from the condensate tank vent, there are no main line steam traps on the 8- 1 1/2 returns ,pressure on pressure trol set at 1-3/4 vaporstate at 9 oz with 4oz diff should there be traps on the returns prior to tank? 1pipe system

Comments

  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Need More Info

    Hi-  We need to know more about your system. Could you post some pictures of your boiler?  Take them from farther back so we can see the piping attached to the boiler and can trace it out. We can zoom in if we need to see more detail.   Also take a picture of the condensate tank with vent and any other parts of the system you think we should see.

    - Rod
  • pugdad
    pugdad Member Posts: 23
    steam from tank vent

    Here some pics hope this helps, any other info needed please let me know ,Thanks all
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Steam

    Have you teated the F&T trap?
  • pugdad
    pugdad Member Posts: 23
    steam from tank vent

    Hello, here is some more history on system prior to my involvement house had two boilers with gravity returns and were replaced with one weil mclain 480 with two zone valves and condensate tank .After a dozens return service calls for constant short cycling,taken hours to heat and constant flooding of system they switch service to me They added delay timer to tank pump and burner would shut down till boiler was refilled every time(they were trying to fix over fill ?) first I resolved overfill problem which was caused by system going in to a vacuum when zone valves shut and steam in boiler and header cooled and suck the water out of condensate tank by adding a vacuum break on boiler .Then adjusted timer and feed system to fill without shutting down burner unless there was real low water problem . Now boiler run and steams properly but gets steam out of tank vent. I believe it needs main line return traps but not sure of best location for traps there are 8- 11/2 returns 4 for each zone dropping down 6ft to 1 1/2 return to tank
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    edited December 2012
    Traps

    If all of the returns are joining below the water line, you shouldn't need to trap them all. Why is there even a condensate tank at all?
  • pugdad
    pugdad Member Posts: 23
    steam from tank vent

    I am not sure why tank was installed Its what i walk in to
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,785
    edited December 2012
    zone valves are a sticky wicket

    Sticking zone valves into a residential type steam system is generally not a good idea, but sometimes it is necessary because of control conditions in a building.  But, they have a huge impact on the system and if the contractor does not understand the basic physics involved, there can be a huge over kill in terms unnecessary added equipment.



    The zone valves add complications because they reduce the effective load on the boiler to what ever the total EDR of the particular zone that is open at any given time.  Thus, with one zone open, you will have short cycling of the boiler. Period!  That is the way its going to work.



    Since the zone valve isolates the steam mains and radiators of form the boiler and header, the zone will quickly go into vacuum when the zone valve closes while the branch if filled with steam.  This will cause the zone to pull at the return in and can cause the zone to pull water from the boiler.  This can be resolved by a vacuum breaker located anywhere downstream of the zone valve but above a drop to wet return.  It is also often corrected by delivering the return to a vented condensate tank.  But, to keep the steam out of the tank, an F&T trap is necessary.



    Also, since a zone has not pressure in it when the zone valve is closed, if the boiler is operating and the other zone is open, the return end of the closed zone is now a dimension B situation.  This means, that that for every pound of pressure in the boiler, the height of the vertical drop from the return (the distance between the water level in the boiler and the point where the return drops) must be 30".   Most boilers operating on pressuretrols at 2 psi do not have this height available unless they are installed in a pit, so as a result, condensate tanks get installed to compensate for the dimension B problem.



    Another option to the dimension B issue is to install a vaporstat and control the pressure at a low pressure.  You vaporstat setting of 9 oz means you only need a B dimension of about 16".   You don't need both a vaporstat and a condensate pump to resolve the dimension B issue.  But, we see that you have both, sorry.  



    Now, to your issue of steam coming out the vent of the condensate tank.  It is not clear from the pictures whether all steam lines and drips are trapped before running into the tank.  They must be.



    If it were my system, I think I would consider removing the tank, installing a vacuum breaker on each of the 2 zones in addition to the one already installed on the boiler.   Control the boiler pressure at 8-9 oz as you already are.  Install a good main vent at the end of each zone; and drop the end of mains well below the waterline before connecting back to the Hartford loop.  It should run fine, with the exception of short cycling when only one zone is operating.   Of course, the other option is to make sure that the F&T traps are operating correctly and that all lines coming from steam mains to the tank are trapped.



    Good luck as you proceed. 
    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
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Pictures

    Hi- I "tweeked" some of your pictures so we could see more detail.

    - Rod
  • pugdad
    pugdad Member Posts: 23
    steam from tank vent

    Hello ,thanks dave. the return line all drop to floor level prior to hartford loop . there are NO traps on any of the returns and I thought they needed them but was not sure of best location to install them .prior to dropping down above water line?there are 4 1-1/2 returns on each zone each on should be trap?
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,785
    Traps

    Are needed between any steam carrying piping and the condensate receiver tank because it is open to atmosphere.



    Traps are not needed on drips from a steam main to a wet return, because it is not open to the atmosphere, unless they have routed it to the condensate tank instead of the boiler.
    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
  • pugdad
    pugdad Member Posts: 23
    steam from tank vent

    Thanks All returns are pipe to tank not boiler. If I repipe returns to boiler and just use the tank as a make up tank only should solve problem vice installing traps on all return legs ?
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Steam

    I didn't realize this was one pipe steam. If the tank is staying, then as mentioned, all steam lineswill haveto be trapped. An easier solution...get rid of the tank.
  • pugdad
    pugdad Member Posts: 23
    steam from tank vent

    Thanks for all input will by pass tank monday, much simpler than asbestos removal and traps installed
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Steam

    And you still needt o maintain a proper height from the water line to the trap after the zone valves. 28" per 1psi.
  • Bypassing the tank

    Jstar hits the nail once again! These tanks/pumps/controls are nothing but touble, so going around the tank is the best solution.

    Why not lock the zone valves open as well. They were probably put in to compensate for bad venting, etc, and if you straighten out the system problems, everything will be heating evenly again (as when first installed), and the zones won't be needed.--NBC
This discussion has been closed.