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Radiator Closest To Return Leaking A lot of Water

Ok, as of last Sunday I re-piped the whole return as per the instructions that came with the boiler. Prior to Sunday the guy that did it had the return piped into the riser and too big of a nipple in the hartford loop.





Using the book that came with the boiler, Everything is exactly as they wanted with a close nipple in the hartford and the loop 2-4 inches below the water line.



All week everything worked fine. I refilled the boiler and absolutely no water hammer at all and no more radiators shooting water. I thought I did a good job.



Today I heard some hammering, not as bad as originally, but enough to make me notice as well as a little bit of water on the kitchen floor.



I went into the basement and noticed the sight glass bouncing and dropping all the way down. At the same time, the main vent started whistling. As soon as I turned the system down, the water level went back to where it belongs.



I am not sure what the problem is as for a week it was working perfectly.



I have not skimmed the system yet, I was going to do that tomorrow.



I know the riser and header still need some work, but why would the system work perfectly for a few days then all of a sudden start with the same bs again. If the piping was wrong, why would it work perfectly with no issue for a few days then all of a sudden start with issues again.



While the water was dropping in the sight glass, i did notice that there were droplets of very dirty water spraying back into the sight glass.



Can someone help?

Comments

  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    Picture

    n/m
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    More pics

    Could you post more pics showing a bit more of the piping, please?
    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
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    Pics

    If piping was still bad, would there still be a good running system for a week then it gets bad?
  • MDNLansing
    MDNLansing Member Posts: 297
    Skim It

    You need to skim it. The repiping introduced more oil into the system. When it's in the return piping it can take a few days for the oil to make it to the boiler in concentrated levels. I had to skim mine multiple times, about a week apart each time. Oil in the water causes surging and turbulent boiling. Once you get the oil out things should settle down.
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Steam

    Sometimes, two problems can mask each other. Maybe with the weather being mild, the boiler never cycled long enough to cause any problems.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    Piping?

    Are those pictures of before the piping was redone? 
    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
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Piping

    That configuration is going to give you some very wet steam. You have no header.It is not the cause of your bouncing water line, but you should correct it.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Steam Injection:

    Paul,

    Why wouldn't the fact that there is no proper header (as the manufacturer shows) and the fact that the steam made by the boiler and is injected directly into the system not contribute to the surging?

    It would seem to me that one purpose of a header is to try to establish an equilibrium on either side of the header and allow the weight of the return water to overcome the resistance of the steam pressure in the boiler. If the steam is blowing by the branch of a tee like that one does, it doesn't take much differential pressure to cause a change in pressure to make it surge.

    If you have a glass of soda, it doesn't take a lot of pressure from your mouth to surge the liquid up and down a straw.

    Almost every boiler manufacturer that I've seen shows a primary/secondary piping arrangement with the secondary piping a few pipe diameters away from a corner turning ell and feeding the system through branches of tee's. For many that are instructionally challenged, and don't need to read instructions, they replace the turning ell with a tee and feed the system through the Run of the tee and feed the other side of the secondary loop through the branch. They post pictures here and we see it often. I know that Reps see this all the time when called to problem systems and have a hard time convincing installers that this is part of their problem.

    I'm not a Steamer but I have seen so many replacement steam systems that worked fine until replaced. A proper header wasn't installed and when Steamhead or someone like him installed  Drop Header, everything became a beautiful thing.

    Like I said, I'm not a Steamer. Just another know nothing Wethead who, living now in Florida, will never again see a Steam Boiler that was replaced wrong.

    It also seems to me that the colder it gets, and the longer the burner runs to make steam, the worse the problem will get.

    Or so it seems to me.
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    piping

    Those pictures were taken after I repiped just the return.



    I replaced the piping from the from the T on the riser on.



    Originally the guy who installed put a bushing in the risers T to bring the pipe to 1 1/4 for the return. The instructions specifically said not to use a bushing so I repiped all the way to the back of the boiler using 2 inch.



    The rest of the return piping was done in accordance to the instructions with the book.





    I have not yet touched the riser or header because that would at this point requiring changing the smoke pipe and gas lines. I am assuming since there is not much space between the original Union for the system and the riser the guy did not use a header. If I pull the unit out I can def get a header in there. From the water line there is about 30-32 inches to the Union. I will say, the day/week after I made the repairs the entire system was working perfectly and totally quiet...and those were much colder days with the system running longer.





    Attached below is a picture of the piping before I repiped. If you look you can see the return line at a T and going straight into the riser. Instructions with the boiler did not want this set up.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    Bad

    Well,

    In either case the way you have it piped cannot work and will not work. It MUST have a header with an equalizer and this is also per the manufactures instructions.



    The tee into the riser that goes right into the steam main will never work.
    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
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Sure

    All of the near-boiler piping needs to be correct.
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    Repiping

    Without pulling the unit out, would there be a way I can add a header by using a 90 off of the main union toward the chimney, That would give me more space to add the header in (and pipe the equalizer) off of it without having to move the unit.



    I called the guy who installed it and he is not willing to come and repipe after I paid him. I am low on funds so my only option right now is fixing it myself. It doesn't seem overly difficult to do. Just not sure if adding more turns to the piping near the boiler is a good idea or not. I'd ultimately like to pull the boiler out a few inches to fit in a header without having to use all sorts of 90's and bends to make it work, but since it is already cold out I don't want the system to be down for too long.
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    Pic of Idea

    In simple paint drawing
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Notice!

    No reduction in pipe size coming out of the boiler in those illustrations.....very important detail.The details are important.
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    Sizes

    The outlet from the boiler is 3 inches. And I reduced that to 2 inches for the riser. From what I read in the manual that is ok. (the original steam pipes that go to the radiators are all 2 inches as well)



    My illustration is off, in my repipe I kept the equalizer 2 inches until it got to the point where it pipes down to the condensate return. At the edge of the top of the boiler that pipe is reduced through a bushing to 1 1/4.



    As long as I can have a header 24 inches above the water line in the site glass I think I will be ok.



    So far I believe this is something I can fix myself.
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    pipes

    Bio,



    4.3 is what I used when repiping the return the other day. I kept everything according to their instructions. It is where the eq goes into the riser is where I really did not change anything because I was unsure of what to do with a header at that point. Right now I think I need to repipe everything on the top of the boiler.



    I will get this.
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    Repiping

    I'm a home owner, but for good performance you could use 3" riser 3" header and reduce when you go down to the eq, or you can go with a drop header for best performance and drier steam, you want to do it only once and drop header is preferred



    See a prior thread below where steampro Jstar does a nice dropheader, good luck..



    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/147115/Need-Help-in-Bergen-County-NJ#p1307210
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Size

    What size is that boiler?
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    Boiler

    Ok here is my Idea for a header.  Let me know if this idea will work.  I made this using 1.5 inch pipe at home depot for illustrative purposes but will use 2 inches as that is what is required by PB.





    The goal is to add  a header without having to move the boiler itself at all and still connect to the existing unions.





    The top is where the union is to connect and the bottom is where it will connect to the boiler.  A 3 inch opening reduced to a 2 inch.



    The t on the side is where the equalizer will go off the header. I can change around a little but wanted to emphasize pretty much the idea about having the line from the union bend at a 90 and then swing around to give me space for a header without pulling out the boiler.  Do you think this will work?
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    Size

    Paul, the model is the 63-03L



    Makes 233 Ft of Steam

    Input 88.5-287.5 MBH

    56,000 BTU Output



    According to the manual, one supply is needed with the header and supply line being 2 inches.  Equalizer can be 1.25.





    I installed the skim tap today and have been skimming it.  While the water looks clear, when I put it in a bucket it does have a darkish tint to it.



    I am going to skim it one more time today before firing up.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,442
    Header

    The header you put together at home depot will not work.



    It must be pitched slightly downward to an elbow pointed straight down into the equalizer. The equalizer, besides equalizing pressure also drains water out of the header.



    You must pipe it as shown in the manual.
    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
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Minimums

    Those are minimum piping requirements. The object is to minimize velocity by making the riser and header as large as possible. Good practice would dictate that the header be at least one pipe size larger than the main(s). You want to get as much of the water out of the steam,before it enters the mains, as possible. You will pay extra in fuel costs, to push the water up, other-wise.I'd lose that system riser( with union), at the elbow. Come out of the boiler 3", nice and high. Then elbow back towards the smoke pipe, down to the header, and across to the equalizer. This gives you the offset you need to connect up to the existing main, and will provide, dry steam.
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    Piping video

    Check Dan's video about boiler piping, it may clear any doubts on piping



    http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/107/Steam-Heating/118/Steam-boiler-near-boiler-piping
  • TheSteamDunce2
    TheSteamDunce2 Member Posts: 11
    drop header

    OK,



    Sounds like I should do a drop header. At this point I am going to have to repipe everything from the top of the boiler to the main. I might as well use the second port that is there and have 3 risers go into a drop header. By using the drop header I can then probably make the risers go way more than 24 inches above the water line.



    There is no way I should have wet steam at that point.. And it should look pretty sick.
This discussion has been closed.