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JJGJJG Member Posts: 9
Hi Guys,

I need some help. Over the summer i had a new boiler system installed, when the system was tested back in September it worked fine. Now i am having major water hammer issues to the point where i can run the system.

As the boiler is producing steam, i can hear water moving and "woshing" in the steam mains. I believe the water is being carried up into the vertical mains. This is a 4 story building all the radiators on the second floor and banging and collecting water. I find it odd that its only on the second floor, nowhere else.

Does anyone have and suggestions?? I replaced all the air vents in the system and already tried to lower the flame to slow down the steam production but i think that made it worse.


  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 8,629

    Please post pictures of the boiler as well as the piping around the boiler as this will help us troubleshoot.

    From the sound of it and the fact you said it worked initially it sounds like you may just need to skim the boiler which is very easy as long as the skim port is there.
    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

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • call ur installer

    Call your installer as its still under installer's warranty.. and tell us what they say..
  • JJGJJG Member Posts: 9

    I've been skimming the boiler for weeks now and the water is clean. This is the best picture i have on me at the moment, i can take more. This was taken as the boiler was being installed.
  • Lots of questions

    Is this 1-pipe or 2-pipe?

    What pressure is the system attaining when the water-hammer starts?

    Was the new boiler properly sized to the radiation EDR?

    Were the piping instructions followed from the manual? Pictures will be essential.

    We're the main (not rad) vents replaced?--NBC
  • bet the old boiler was shorter??

    Looks like you don't have enough dis" A" on this system, hence, water going up in the header.. let's see what other steam pros say here as well the installer's...
  • JJGJJG Member Posts: 9

    So i just had a friend come over and take a look at the system. He told me the low water was installed way too high above what the manufacturer set as the max water line. It makes sence now why water is ending up in the lines. I called the boiler installer and left a message with the project manager. Lets see what he says.
  • JJGJJG Member Posts: 9

    I snapped this pic - the water line is marked with a piece of tape and you can see below that is the manufacturers line
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Boiler Problems

    Hi- What is the make and model of the Boiler? Do you have a copy of the installation manual?  Could you take some more pictures of the boiler piping from different angles?

    What is the maximum pressure of your system?

    - Rod
  • RJRJ Member Posts: 484
    water level

    Do you remember what the water level was on the old boiler, or do you have any data on the old boiler
  • JJGJJG Member Posts: 9

    The boiler is a HB Smith 28 high efficiency with a Riello RS 28 gas burner. I have to take more pics tonight.

    I don't know what the max pressure is but I'm running at 2 lbs. I lowered it from 4 lbs thinking it was over pressure pushing water up the risers
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Smith 28HE Boiler Waterline

    Hi - According to Fig.18 on Page 15 of the 28HE installation manual, that boiler’s normal waterline is 50 ½ inches perpendicular to the base/floor. (See attached diagram below)

    Pressure wise - Lower equals better.  2 PSI should be the maximum in any case.. The Empire State building operates at under 3 PSI.

    - Rod
  • JJGJJG Member Posts: 9


    I just measured how mine was instaled, its at 55 inches.

    I have 5 extra inches of water in the boiler. Do you think thats why water is ending up in the radiators?
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,449
    Looks like 3 strkes

    Having the water level 5" higher than it was designed for will result in very wet steam and could contribute to carryover into the steam main. That has to installed at the right height. that is strike one

    Your picture of the boiler does not really show the boiler header, it looks like you have  a ceiling height issue that may also be causing problems. The boiler header has to be far enough above the normal water line to separate any carryover water from the steam - a minimum of 28 inches. If the header is not 28" above the waterline that is strike two. The combination of a high water level and a low header is going to cause all kinds of problems. Please post pictures of your boiler header so we can see what is going on.

    You said the boiler was just installed, did the installer skim the boiler? Newly installed boilers have oil in the water and that causes very unstable water lines. The boiler has to be skimmed to float the oil on the surface of the water slowly out of the skim port. A flushing will not do any good unless it's followed by a nice slow skimming and it may take more than one skimming session. If the boiler has not been skimmed and there is still oil in the water that is strike three.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • VA_BearVA_Bear Member Posts: 50
    And the installer...

    didn't even have the excuse of no domestic hot water for setting the water line so high; no integral DHW heat exchanger!!!

  • JJGJJG Member Posts: 9

    BOBC - Thanks for the help. I am going to measure the steam header and see what the distance is. They are coming on Monday to do the fix - Do you have it in writing the minimum distance of the steam header?

    Yes boiler was skimmed multiple times. It could use one or two more, the water does bounce in the sight glass.
  • vaporvacvaporvac Member Posts: 1,512
    In manual...

    That distance should be in the installation manual under the near boiler piping instructions.

    And while we're talking distances, I was wondering about the distance in front of the boiler.  My SF TR50s require minimum 40" for servicing and suggest more. I don't know what this boiler needs, but it looks pretty tight. Not sure there's a solution for it though without rotating the boiler and I think that's no happening. (However, it could just be the angle of the pic)
    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
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 4,449
    edited November 2013
    I can't find it in their manual

    The installation manual has some specific piping instructions starting on page 15 but I don't see a reference to the relationship of the boiler header to the waterline. Common practice is for a minimum of 24" and the more the better. 28" would be nice but 24" is the lower limit. You might have a height problem there so drop header might have to be used.

    This is a great steam primer that emphasizes the importance of near boiler piping (about 1/4 down the text).

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • JJGJJG Member Posts: 9
    Ok so now what???

    So the boiler company came today and lowered the LWCO thus lowering the water line a little below the the normal water line on the boiler plate. They added a chemical to the boiler that turned the water neon green, the mechanic said this is going to help prevent surging. HOWEVER the boiler is still surging about 1 - 2 inches as it is producing steam. so i dont think im out of the woods yet.
  • you will never

    You will never be out of the wood til this boiler is properly piped to the manufactor 's spec..
This discussion has been closed.


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