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Gen Ed 101

Hey Everyone, this will be the new Thread for what being covered on <a href="http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/147186/Study-Energy-Savings-using-Main-Vents">http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/147186/Study-Energy-Savings-using-Main-Vents</a> seeing how that got off topic we can start a new one here. I attached a new drawing with a lot more info on it. Hopefully it covers most of the general questions. Also, I took some pictures of the radiator with the return and the boiler connection, main and return. Like I stated in the previous thread my main concern is I haven't gotten any heat to the bedroom or family room when I ran the heat for about an hour. I could hear air coming out of both the entire time but the other 2 were already hot. I did check the pitch on the radiators today they all actually look to be level so I'll correct that tomorrow. I haven't had a chance to turn off the valve on the 2 pipe radiator and run the system to see if there is steam entering thru the return.



Thanks to everyone for your help and time,

Shaun

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,401
    edited October 2013
    #4 can't but #3 should

    A 1-1/4" pipe is good for over 60 EDR on single pipe steam IF it has enough pitch. I suspect that radiator #4 was turned into a two pipe to try and correct for very low pitch. I don't think that return will work the way it is now; it might be better removed (the return pipe) if it can't be piped correctly. In any case that steam feed should be insulated. The runout to radiator #4 is very long and being copper it loses heat very fast, without insulation (1" rigid fiberglass) it will probably never be able to work right. The same goes for all the steam piping you can reach. If funds are short right now just wrap them with fiberglass batting but check the pitch of everything first to make sure it's right and run the test below before insulating anything.



    Even if radiator #4 can't work because of the way it is piped, radiator #3 should work.



    Can you tell me how far down the main steam seems to getting now? You might try  removing the main vent and timing how long it takes for steam to get to the end of the main, we are looking for the difference between the boilers output and the end of the main to get hot)  Be prepared to shut the boiler off if and when steam begins to pour out of the open vent pipe. Then see if any steam was getting to radiator #3 or see how close the steam is getting along it's feed pipe.



    Your main has about 1.5 cu ft of air that wants to be expelled as quick as possible and because your vent is back at the return near the boiler it's effectively more. Your current undersized main vent could be taking 12-15 minutes to expel the air - if it's working at all. That main vent should probably be replaced with a Gorton #2 that will vent the main in a minute or two.



    What kind of vents are on the radiator and are they all working?



    What is the pressuretrol set to and what kind of pressure do you see when the boiler is making steam? How long does the boiler run before the thermostat is satisfied?



    What kind of thermostat are you using and is it configured for steam?



    The copper in the header should be replaced with threaded steel but lets see if we can get whatever we can get working before addressing that. Anything that gets what you have now working is well worth the effort.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Shaun McDonnell
    Shaun McDonnell Member Posts: 20
    edited October 2013
    Reply and More Information

    A 1-1/4" pipe is good for over 60 EDR on single pipe steam IF it has enough pitch. I suspect that radiator #4 was turned into a two pipe to try and correct for very low pitch. I don't think that return will work the way it is now; it might be better removed (the return pipe) if it can't be piped correctly. In any case that steam feed should be insulated. The runout to radiator #4 is very long and being copper it loses heat very fast, without insulation (1" rigid fiberglass) it will probably never be able to work right. The same goes for all the steam piping you can reach. If funds are short right now just wrap them with fiberglass batting but check the pitch of everything first to make sure it's right and run the test below before insulating anything.



    __________________________________________________________________



    I can work on the pitch of the lines and see how that goes. What type of pitch should be implemented for that line? I did buy insulation for the steam supply lines, main and furnace but not the run-out.



    Even if radiator #4 can't work because of the way it is piped, radiator #3 should work.



    __________________________________________________________________



    Seems like no air is coming from rad #3's vent



    __________________________________________________________________



    Can you tell me how far down the main steam seems to getting now? You might try removing the main vent and timing how long it takes for steam to get to the end of the main, we are looking for the difference between the boilers output and the end of the main to get hot) Be prepared to shut the boiler off if and when steam begins to pour out of the open vent pipe. Then see if any steam was getting to radiator #3 or see how close the steam is getting along it's feed pipe.



    _____________________________________________________________



    I can test this later today hopefully.



    ________________________________________________________________



    Your main has about 1.5 cu ft of air that wants to be expelled as quick as possible and because your vent is back at the return near the boiler it's effectively more. Your current undersized main vent could be taking 12-15 minutes to expel the air - if it's working at all. That main vent should probably be replaced with a Gorton #2 that will vent the main in a minute or two.



    _________________________________________________________________



    I am looking into changing that main vent out ASAP with the Gordon just going to take some time to get. You are correct tho it does take about 10 minutes to bleed the air from the system.



    ___________________________________________________________________



    What kind of vents are on the radiator and are they all working?



    ________________________________________________________________



    All of the radiators except for rad #4 have adjustable vents Vent-Rite on them (picture attached). They are older I did not put them in

    Rad #4 does not have a name on it when I took it off. Looks like there was a sticker on it at some point.



    __________________________________________________________________



    What is the pressuretrol set to and what kind of pressure do you see when the boiler is making steam? How long does the boiler run before the thermostat is satisfied?



    _________________________________________________________________



    It looks like the system is running at below 2 psi when making steam and set to just over 2 psi. It took about 25 min to go from 70-72 deg but it was the morning and getting warmer outside. (pictures attached)



    __________________________________________________________________



    What kind of thermostat are you using and is it configured for steam?



    ___________________________________________________________________



    I have a Honeywell RTH7600D TouchScreen that was configured for steam. I actually contacted Honeywell to get the right settings right now it is set to oil and 1 CPH



    _______________________________________________________________



    The copper in the header should be replaced with threaded steel but lets see if we can get whatever we can get working before addressing that. Anything that gets what you have now working is well worth the effort.



    _________________________________________________________________



    I did see the header piping is copper but I hope to finish the insulation of those lines this week so maybe that will help



    _________________________________________________________________



    Additional Observations from this morning test:



    Radiator # 2: 11 minutes to get warm to touch



    no air coming from rad vents 2 and 3 15 min into test



    Steam supply of Radiator 4 is warm but no change to radiator temp still air coming from vent 15 minutes in



    One section on Rad 4 is warm 20 minutes

    25 minutes Rad 4 is warm to touch half way, hot on other half. I don't have an infrared gauge to get real numbers sorry



    Rad 1 and 3 still cold after 25 minutes no air heard/felt from vents. When I removed them I didn't hear anything moving inside so they are probably seized up. Did a blow test on them also they were blocked.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,401
    Some answers

    If you know a vent is working because it passes the blow test there are two things that can stop a radiator from heating. the valve on the radiator input might be broken (can't open) or there is a dip in the piping feeding that radiator that is collecting water and blocking or collapsing the steam.



    If the valve stem is rising up as you open a valve that tells you the stem is working but it does not mean the valve sealing mechanism is still attached to the stem, the only way to tell for sure is to remove the radiator and look at the valve output to make sure that seal is moving up and down as you turn the handle. It is more likely you have a dip in the runout to the radiator. Run a piece of string below the runout and sight along it to see if there are any dips along its length, then put a level on the pipe to make sure there is adequate slope. Single pipe steam would like to see 1/2" of slope per running foot, if the slope is less you have to go up a pipe size to help make it work. In practice the system will work with less slope but it will be slow to heat. looking at slope is easier to do before insulating the pipes.



    Ventrite's are as good a vent as you can buy, if you have one that does not pass the blow test try boiling it in white vinegar for 15 minutes to see if you can unclog it. If you can't unclog it replace it with a good quality vent. For even heat you want to vent the mains fast and the radiators slowly but with long runouts you may need to vent that radiator a little faster than normal. I'd start with normal radiators set to #4 or 5 and anything with a long runout at 7 or 8 on a ventrite. Once everything is insulated you might go lower on them. On that one long run you might need a bit more capacity than the Ventrite can give. Maid O mist sells a vent with 5 different Orifices that might come in handy on the one radiator, the highest rate on the ventrite is less than the second lowest rate of the Maid O Mist or the third lowest setting of a Hoffman 1A adjustable vent. Gortons are very good vents but they are not adjustable so unless you know exactly what size you need it gets pricey. Some of the Chinese Durst vents the sell in some big box stores work but they really aren't adjustable and they tend to fail quickly.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,573
    Checking valve operation

    You could take the valve bonnet of, which may be easier than removing the radiator, and peering into the valve, and mopping up any water, etc. Make sure the boiler is switched off while doing this.--NBC
  • gcp13
    gcp13 Member Posts: 122
    Gas or oil

    Lots of info

    Sounds like you have bad air vents,on some

    I chased a system around,every radiator gave different results

    After I took off one radiator valve and had no steam,

    While others were heating good,I found the fire pin had dropped

    At the gas meter lowering the gas just enough for some radiators to heat

    But not all. I would check the burner. Just a thought good luck!
  • Shaun McDonnell
    Shaun McDonnell Member Posts: 20
    and more

    I cleaned out the radiator Vent-Rite valves and now they all seem to be moving around. When I shake them I can hear the mechanism moving up and down and I am able to adjust them using the dial. Thanks Rod for the hint on the CLR it cleaned them up in 10 minutes or so.



    It is an oil system not sure why I didn't say that before my apologies.



    I did the the the valve stems a few weeks ago when we were refinishing the floor and they looked ok to me but this was before I started really educating myself on the system but they did move freely and I didn't see any major issues.



    I took a peak a the main vent it is a Vent-Rite #33 which looks like it is rated for a 6 psi system.

    http://www.emersonswan.com/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Vent-Rite%20Literature(1).pdf



    I'm going to run to the local plumbers supply shop and see what they have for main vents in stock probably not much but I'm sure they can order one if needed.



    Thank you,

    Shaun
  • Shaun McDonnell
    Shaun McDonnell Member Posts: 20
    Step FWD...Step back

    Hey all!

    I’ve been lurking on the forum for a few weeks when I get a chance. I’ve been pretty busy with getting everything ready for winter as I’m sure everyone is doing the same. It our first winter in the house so a lot of small stuff to do and big stuff.

    Some updates on what I’ve been up to with the heating system:

    I did put a Gorton #1 main vent up and get that installed with the antler extension and that seems to be working out well.

    The 4th and farthest radiator is getting heat so that is a plus. There was an issue with it that I didn’t notice until we had the heat running to the radiator and that was somehow half of the female threading for the radiator vent was snapped off at some point.  It didn’t cause a crack but the vent couldn’t seal up the hole so steam was just flying out of the radiator nonstop. I ended up using some JB Weld Marine Putty to seal to seal that up. I also made a small extension for the vent from the treading on the radiator because I wasn’t so sure about the vent releasing from the putty in the future.

    I had professional cleaning done to the boiler and that went pretty well, I didn’t look like it had been done in a while maybe 2010 so it was due.

    I’ve also skimmed the system and haven’t been getting much or any oil out when doing it I have move sediment when I drain from the boiler and trap near the boiler. So I’ll keep draining that here and there to get the rest out or what I can.  Maybe if I am cracking open the skim port again in the future I’ll get some of the tabs.  

    I was also able to complete insulating all the pipes. So that is all the “good”.

     

    Now the only thing I am looking at dealing with is a really good water hammer issue that comes from the 2 pipe radiator is seems to start up when the radiator is ½ to ¾  hot and then once it heats up completely it hammers pretty good for a few minutes or minute it might just feel longer.  It seems to be coming right from the end of the main where that return line comes into main I can’t be 100% sure but wife seems to think so too.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,401
    hammer

    In the photo of that two pipe run it looks like the return line is higher than the supply line. That could be trapping water that is collapsing steam as it travels down the line and that will cause hammer.



    Have you checked those lines to make sure there isn't a dip along either of the runs? Also the radiator should slope slightly towards the return of the radiator and the return pipe has top slope all the way back until it turns down to meet the wet return.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Shaun McDonnell
    Shaun McDonnell Member Posts: 20
    MC

    The return and supply run pretty much parallel to each other except for that drop shown in the picture once it goes thru the support beam.



    I haven’t seen any dips in the lines when I checked them before I put the insulation on. I did check all the radiators pitch a while ago and made sure that the two pipe system was going to the return side although I did mix it up the first time.
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    Show us a picture

    where this copper return ties into
  • Shaun McDonnell
    Shaun McDonnell Member Posts: 20
    1

    It runs to the radiator in out bedroom, there is a picture of the radiator and the crawlspace it runs in.
  • Shaun McDonnell
    Shaun McDonnell Member Posts: 20
    Update

    Hey everyone just wanted to give an update on how things are going, A couple of weeks ago we were getting a lot of water in the bedroom radiator it was probably filling up 2/3 of the way and getting a mojor hammer at one of the corners in the system. So I decided to go back to basics and check the pitch on the piping to the two radiators we had moved during our renovations, I had checked them before but it was early on in my learning curve of steam systems and not to my surprise they were way off. Once I pulled off all the insulation I had put up and checked it out we had issues. Some of the pitch was going downhill tothe radiators and corners were colliding with downhill slopes. I ended up redoing the pitch on both supply lines making sure there was approx 1" every 20 feet the best I could, added more hangers for support, increased the steam loop depth within 4" of the basement floor it think it is at about 64" now and added the insulation back on. I did have to cut some 2" x 4" crests in the joists to get the pitch right and fit the insulation back on. I know this is typically a no no but the arch shape should distribute the load well and they aren't in high traffic areas. Next year I'll see if we have funds to double up those joists for added support. So we went for a test run and things were much better the hammer in the supply lines was gone and no water in the radiator. The only thing that was going on now was some hammer in the Main. At this point we lived with it for a 2 weeks and then I added another Gorton #1 which would be a total of 2 now on my system hoping that would resolve the issue. The Main hammer continued until yesterday when I changed the radiator vents from a MoM #4 on the Living, Dinning and family room to a MoM #6. Now the system is nice and quiet no hammer at all and still no water in the radiators. Since adding larger radiator vents stopped the hammer do you think I need another Main vent added or what would the reason for this be?



    The next thing on my list it just waiting on the Steamaster tablets from PEX. Should I do a cleaning cycle with them in addition to the preventive? The boiler is pretty dirty with rust but I have skimmed it a few times especially after adding the steam loop and the pipe work listed above just in case there was flux and other oils from the work I did.



    Attached are some pics of the work I did, I know you guys love pics.



    Thanks for all the help and knowledge,

    Shaun
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