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.

Steamhead / Gordo gauge glass drain

ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
Well I finally decided to go ahead and do it.

My boiler now has a Steamhead / Gordo style drain on the gauge glass and I have to admit, it is a lot better!



The 1/4" valve I used from Lowes is a piece of garbage though.  I will be replacing it with one from Pexsupply.com when I do another order.





Thanks guys!
Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

Comments

  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 852
    edited January 2013
    Thank You

    for posting this.



    It has been Code (CSD-1) on the commercial side for years to add blow-downs on sight-glasses.  It just seemed like a good idea to spread the news.



    I know what you mean about the Lowes valves. No packing nut to tighten when they start leaking, right?



     
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    Packing nut

    yea, the lack of a packing nut and the fact the brass shaft feels loose for some reason and stripped out when I tried to reinstall the handle. The nut is too big for the shaft so almost no pressure stripped it.





    I have a 1/4" brass plug in the bottom elbow. This is just in case someone bumps the valve and its only in hand tight. The elbows are so I can throw a small bucket under it rather than have it dump all over the boiler drain like it did before.



    I didn't know these were code in commercial installations. Seems to me anything required commercially is probably required for a reason and should also apply to residential, no?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Adding mine.

    I like these because they're full-port, male-female (no nipple required), and cheap. The lever is small and swings 180°, which gives you a little flexibility in how you mount it.



    One word of caution: when you screw in a 1/4" nipple or a valve like this, don't overtighten, and make sure it doesn't run into the shaft.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Dahl

    I took a better look at their catalog and they have two valves perfect for this application:



    #221-61-04   1/4" male x male hose, or

    #221-61-04F 1/4" male x female swivel hose



    I like these valves because they never leak out of the packing.



    http://www.dahlvalve.com/brochure/Dahl%20Full-line%20Catalogue%20US%20Edition%20Oct08.pdf



    see page I-7
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    original thread

    For future viewing ease, I thought I'd post the link to the original thread highlighting this...it took a bit of time to remember it was under the Megasteam install post.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/144144/Latest-MegaSteam



    P.S. I'm assuming this is something one can do anytime?
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 852
    edited January 2013
    Commercial Steam Code Requirements

    Good idea?  You betcha.  Steam codes are written with blood.



    We're starting to realize that a secondary LWCO (as required by CSD-1) might be a good idea on residential boilers , too.



     Only problem is that most boiler manufacturers don't have tappings for the secondary probe type LWCO on their residential sizes.
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Any time

    As long as your bottom gaugecock doesn't leak and it already has a petcock or a 1/4" plug installed, you can do it anytime. Just shut the draincock, unscrew the petcock or plug, and install the ball valve.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Secondary LWCO

    I toyed with the idea of using a tee on the lower gauge glass tapping, but I was afraid it might get dirty there faster than the primary.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,719
    This should actually be called

    the Gordo/Steamhead gauge glass drain. Gordo found it, I just took the pictures.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Original thread?

    I don't think this was the first mention, but it's from almost a year ago.



    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/139406/Peerless-63-3L-Install-by-All-Steamed-Up-Inc#p1253289
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 852
    edited January 2013
    Secondary LWCO Placement

    We've called various mfgs. on where to put them on their smaller boilers and pretty much received a collective shrug. 

    "Not our problem" 

    Yeah, cheers, mate.



    We know this: putting the probe in the equilizer line is hit or miss.
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Or just....

    a GoSt or Gost drain.  You'd sell a million!



    You'd think the boiler manufacturers would take notice, no?
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Well, blow me down.

    This might be the first mention, from 2010:

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/130212/Smith-G-8-Steamer-Install#p1191180
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    Valve

    Hap, the valve you used concerns me as the only place I could find it was Lowes and it had "AIR" in the part number.



    Seemed to be made for air compressor applications and I couldn't find any info saying it was ok for use with hot water.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 852
    Arrrgh, Me Matey! Blow Me Down Indeed.

    We've been mentioning proper blow-downs for sight-glasses for awhile now.



    And don't get me started on the so-called "brass" friction rings that rust up and ruin the sight-glass nut!!! Arrrgh!
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    edited January 2013
    It's ok.

    I forget what the temperature rating is, but these things generally have a lot of overkill in terms of temperature and pressure. Besides, I've been using it for long enough to know it isn't going to melt. :-)



    btw, I took a look at the one Lowes carries. Apart from being twice what I paid for mine, I'm not sure it will work. it seems to have a stop that prevents the lever from turning towards the female end. Since the gaugecock will prevent it from turning the other way, this won't work too well. :-(
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    I checked mine.

    I thought my washers might be steel, so I checked them with a magnet. I'm pretty sure they're chrome-plated brass.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    washers

    I don't know what mine are, whatever WM supplied with my boiler.  I'm going to assume they are going to rust because the protecting rods for the glass also look rust worthy.



    Is there a good brand of gauge glass to buy?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 852
    Glad You Checked Them

    A few years ago, I called Combraco about this issue.  The fellow who answered the phone insisted they were brass washers.  I prevailed upon him to test them with a magnet and he was unpleasantly surprised, but didn't have an answer he was willing to share with me as to why they were steel in the first place.



    I think we all know the answer to that one.



    Combraco  makes several grades of quality in their sight-glass line.  The ones usually shipped with most package boilers have the brass coated steel junk.  The ones shipped with the MegaSteam, for example, are weakly magnetic "stainless steel" washers and have brass protection rods-a step in the right direction to be sure.



    No one really notices this until the thing leaks anyway.



    We simply ordered 1000+ custom brass washers from a washer manufacturer and change them out whenever we get the chance.
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    glass

    Gordo,



    You know what really sucks, when I installed the glass on my boiler it was a hair too long to just slide in.  So what I did was loosened and removed one of the gauge cocks, redoped and threaded it in but left it not aligned, put the glass in and then aligned it.

    This of course got the system working for me but the problem of course is I can never remove that glass without breaking it and replacing it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 852
    edited January 2013
    It Should Last a Good Long Time

    So no worries.  They haven't stopped making them.

     

    We never touch a gauge-glass unless we know we got replacements in the truck 'cause they are gonna break anyway, esp. if you DON'T have a replacement!



    On something as brittle as a gauge glass, the policy is: "one to use, one to lose".
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 852
    How About

    "Go-Steam"? ;-)
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Glass

    Somebody should make a sight glass valve with a little more internal space, so it doesn't need to be cleaned so much in the first place.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    more space

    I've been thinking about moving my valve down to the horizontal area of my setup just for this reason. Though to be honest with the water treatment it doesn't seem to need cleaning much, might be a yearly thing at this point.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Optional Drain Hose

    One of the benefits of the Gordo/Steamhead gauge glass drain is that it has a male hose thread. Steamhead mentioned in an earlier post that you get a washing machine water hose  (they have a female hosing fitting on both ends) and cut it in half giving you two drain hoses!

    - Rod
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Installing/removing gauge glass

    I'm probably telling you something you already know, but just in case, and for the benefit of the newbies, there is a method to this.



    If you stick the glass tube up into the upper gaugecock, it should go in about a half inch or so. Then, if you align it with the bottom gaugecock and let it down, it doesn't go into the lower one as far, so if it's the right length it should just sit there without falling out. Then you can go ahead and tighten the packing nuts. To remove it, just loosen the packing nuts, slide the packings towards the middle of the tube, raise the tube into the upper gaugecock until the bottom is clear of the lower gaugecock, swing the tube to one side and remove it.



    If the glass is not the right length, it's really worth your while to cut it to fit right so removing it and reinstalling it will be a breeze. Just insert the tube into the upper gaugecock as far as it will go, then hold the bottom of the tube against the lower gaugecock and mark the tube where it meets the top of the fitting by scratching it with a triangular file or a diamond nail file. Now you can either cut the tube yourself or take it back to the store where you bought the gauge and ask them to do it for you.



    They make special cutters for the glass tubing. They seem to work well, but I've never owned one. I have some diamond cutting wheels for my die grinder, and you can get them for Dremel tools. The trick is you need to keep it wet so the glass doesn't get hot and crack. I do it in the kitchen sink when my wife isn't looking. By the way, it might seem like a good idea to flame polish the end of the tube with a propane torch, but don't do it. It makes the end of the tube too big to fit though the packing nuts or washers.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 852
    Thanks For Posting This, Rod!

    Another tip is to put a bit of anti-seize on the hose threads.



    If the sight-glass leaks, it will rust up the laundry hose fitting (they are usually made of iron) .
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    JohnManning
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    Secondary LWCO

    I think I could have ordered my EG series with a tapping for this, but I'm not sure.  I know there were some spots not tapped so I'm assuming the proper size drill bit and a 1/2" tap and I could put one in.



    I'm assuming another option, is to tap a float type or one of those probe conversion kits into the gauge glass with some fancy elbows to change the hight slightly.  I'm assuming the secondary LWCO should be a hair lower than the primary?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    Larger gauge glass tube needed

    If the diameter were bigger, then the "steam master" suppositories could be put in there.--NBC
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    New valve

    Finally got a valve from pexsupply.com to replace the garbage one from Lowes.



    The Pexsupply.com one was under $5 and is from China unfortunately. However, it is totally different from the Lowes one. Every part of it is thicker including the brass body. The nut that holds the handle on threads on nice, handle fits nice and the valve has a packing nut.



    I changed the arrangement a little to get it more out of the way of the boiler drain.





    Once again I've found out the hard way that Lowes/Homer often carry garbage at a not so cheap price.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 628
    Essex Brass

    I find the gauge glass assemblies available from Essex Brass to be a higher quality than those from Conbraco.  The guard rods are brass, not copper coated steel, the valve bodies are forged brass, and bigger than Conbraco's.



    The Essex Brass website shows a wide selection of styles available, and if you tell them the center distance of the access tappings on your tank or boiler, they will cut the glass to length for you too. 



    Price is a little more, but the personal service is worth it, at least to me. 



    They are in Warren, Michigan.

    Phone:  586 757 8200

    Ask for Brian or Chris.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
This discussion has been closed.