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How to test

I'm having some issues with the system coming on

when it should and off when it should.



The Pressure gauge shows 15 when boiler is running, 0 when off.

I changed 2 radiator vents, and they are leaking steam.

I guess the 15psi may be ruining them.



So, I suspect the pressuretrol (pressure-troll? :-)

The system actually has 2, but the first one I found to be

defective - not coming on when it should.



Is there an easy way to test the pressuretrol?



At the start of the season, I cleaned up the wiring and

felt that one pressuretrol was bad, so I cut it out

of the circuit, and things have been good for 2 months.

I also cleaned the loops going to the pressuretrols.



I'll try to post before and after pics.....





Thanks

Comments

  • Seth Rothenberg
    Seth Rothenberg Member Posts: 26
    And about those mains...

    After reading the Lost Art and seeing pictures here,

    I think I need more vents.



    I have 2 main vents, for 20' of 1/5" steam pipe on one side,.

    the other for about 70' of 1.5" steam pipe.
  • Seth Rothenberg
    Seth Rothenberg Member Posts: 26
    vents...

    ...I see at least two elbows that are tapped for vents but have original plugs still.

    Is there any chance they can be used, or will it be impossible to remove

    the original equipment plugs?



    Thanks
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    First thing: check your pigtail!

    Usually when a pressuretrol doesn't work it's because it's sitting on top of a plugged pigtail. In this case, both pressuretrols are on the same pigtail, so if it's plugged, neither one will work and there is nothing limiting your pressure. If it rises to 15 psi, the safety valve should open--unless that's plugged too--and you really don't want that to happen.



    Turn off the breaker and get to work on that right now and we can talk about your vents later.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    A lot of guys:

    A lot of guys would fix that broken safety device before going any farther. They call it a "safety" for a reason. One is usually a back up for the first. Now there's no back up.

    Scary.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Yes and no.

    Normally I'd say to call a pro, but on a Sunday--and a Super Bowl Sunday at that--that's not an option. If I had to choose between fixing the device that keeps the boiler cycling on pressure so it stays under 2 psi and fixing the one that lets all the steam and most of the water out if the pressure reaches 15 psi, possibly ruining a lot of drywall and severely scalding somebody in the process, I'd go with the pressuretrol.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Seth Rothenberg
    Seth Rothenberg Member Posts: 26
    A lot of ...

    Well, I can check and clean the pigtail. I may have

    enough spare parts to configure the Tee differently,

    and I have an hour to decide if

    a) I need a new pressure relief an

    b) if I am willing to use something that Home Desperate has.



    I will let you know the outcome.
  • Seth Rothenberg
    Seth Rothenberg Member Posts: 26
    A lot of ...

    Well, I can check and clean the pigtail. I may have

    enough spare parts to configure the Tee differently,

    and I have an hour to decide if

    a) I need a new pressure relief an

    b) if I am willing to use something that Home Desperate has.



    I will let you know the outcome.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Home cheapo

    They won't have a pigtail, but they should have a 1/4" nipple you can use until you can get a new pigtail, assuming you can't get this one cleaned out. That will keep the boiler working through the night anyway.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    two points for creativity

    Never in a million years would I have thought of mounting a terminal block on a gas line.
  • Seth Rothenberg
    Seth Rothenberg Member Posts: 26
    fixing these controls

    Thanks for all the great advice and cautions.



    I am following a few pieces of advice above....



    1. I cleaned the pigtail

    2. I checked the wiring of the pressuretrol.

    It was wrong, and it shows with a close

    examination of the picture. I must have been tired.

    3. I ordered 2 new pressuretrols like I have

    4. I lowered the thermostat until I could do #5

    5. I replaced the pressure relief valve.



    We had a comfortable night and day.

    I'll post a picture when the pressuretrols are in.



    As for creativity, this system has a thermopile,

    which I highly recommend for systems that can

    use one. It kept us warm for a week without power.

    Since a thermopile is less than a volt, a low-voltage

    terminal strip is reasonable and provides easy access

    to all the controls. (Much safer than these "high voltage"

    systems at 24VAC. :-)







    One of the marvels of steam over all the other fine systems is,

    once you boil water, what do you need to do to it to heat the house?



    Answer: Nothing. Once the water boils, it follows the Law -

    of Nature. (assuming everything is working :-) And once it

    surrenders its heat, it follows the Law of Gravity back to the basement.



    Thanks

    Seth
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,849
    Millivolt has its fans.

    But unfortunately they are no longer available. When redundant gas valves became mandatory (1979?) they found that powerpiles couldn't produce enough power to open multiple valves, so they stopped making them. Surprisingly, there are still a few lingering on, but when they're gone, they're gone. Since a powerpile is basically a stack of thermocouples, connected in series in order to produce a whopping 750 mv, if any one thermocouple fails, the powerpile is dead.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
This discussion has been closed.