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Hartford Loop

Furnacelady
Furnacelady Member Posts: 29
I noticed that the Hartford Loop was about 4 inches above the water line. Will this cause a problem during normal operation?
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Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    edited May 2014
    Most definitely

    Is this a new boiler installation? If so, the installer apparently did not maintain the boiler water line at the same level as the old boiler, nor did he re pipe the Hartford loop and probably the wet returns to accommodate the new water line. If this is an old installation, I bet you have a lot of hammer around that area? The Hartford loop should be 2 to 4 inches below the boiler water line (look at you owner's manual for specific instructions). Having it above the water line will allow steam from the equalizer to push the return water back into the returns and also create a lot of water hammer. It needs to be corrected. 
    Hatterasguy
  • Furnacelady
    Furnacelady Member Posts: 29
    Hartford Loop

    There is no water hammer, everything seems to be working. It was a replacement boiler the old boiler was taller. The Hartford Loop connects to 3 wet returns that are below the water level. All radiators are heating up except for one (for another thread).
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,966
    And may I add

    that if this is a new there is a potential for a much more serious problem: if the water level in the new boiler really was lowered, you have a good chance of some problems out elsewhere in the system.  The water levels should have been matched within an inch, and this doesn't sound like it..  If this is the case, I do assure you that this may cause problems in normal operation!



    Solution?  Don't lower the Hartford!  Raise the boiler!  It's a pain, I know, but that's much the better way to do it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,966
    OK...

    I see your new reply.



    The ONLY reason this thing is working properly is that that high Hartford loop is acting like a false water line.



    You may be able to get by with things as they are, although it isn't just wonderful, but...



    People who don't match water levels should be strung up.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Furnacelady
    Furnacelady Member Posts: 29
    Thank you

    I agree on both counts :)
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Hartford Loop

    We install the loop high on purpose for bigger commercial jobs. It's called a Gifford Loop at that point. It shouldn't cause any functional problem. It's always a good idea to match water lines, but the way you described the wet returns, you shouldn't have a problem.
  • Furnacelady
    Furnacelady Member Posts: 29
    edited May 2014
    Gifford Loop, I love it!

    What a great day, I again learned something new. Thank you.

    I Googled "Gilford Loop" and it directed me back to this web site to a .pdf file and here is the last paragraph:



    CONCLUSIONS

    The rock steady waterline achieved

    by a Gifford Loop thus has several

    benefits:

    • drier steam

    • elimination of boiler flooding

    • elimination of pumps in many cases

    • reduced risk of hammer when dimension

    A is tight.

    Old habits die hard, and bad steam

    piping habits die hardest of all. Try a

    Gifford Loop on your next boiler installation,

    and you’ll probably never

    put in a Hartford Loop again. HPAC



    I have another job that is flooding and I may redo the Loop if more vents don't break the vacuum.
  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,334
    Picture

    Can you send a picture so we all can see.
  • Furnacelady
    Furnacelady Member Posts: 29
    edited May 2014
    GiFFord Loop

    See attached File.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    Troublesome system in need of a Gifford loop

    I think we need pictures of the troublesome boiler, and it's piping. A Gifford loop is a good addition to any steam system, but does not solve any problems arising from bad piping, and other maladies installed by people who cannot read and understand the instruction manual!--NBC
  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,334
    Your

    Boiler we want to see picture of.
  • Furnacelady
    Furnacelady Member Posts: 29
    Hartford/Gifford Loop

    Back to original thread. I am not having any problems it is running great. When I noticed the loop was high I was wondering what trouble I was going to have.
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    I'm having a disagreement with my contractor with my new boiler. It is surging, he says it's because of dirty water. Perhaps, but how many times can you clean the boiler and fill it with clean water? It gets dirty after the first heating cycle ends. I think the main problem is the Hartford Loop which does not match the US Boiler installation drawings. I have attached a picture. I have an IN-5 boiler installed October 2015. The drawing on page 17 of the installation manual is very different.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,309
    Has that boiler been skimmed? If so for how long each time and from what port?

    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
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    edited January 2016
    That Hartford loop actually looks good. Your manual may show a Gifford loop, which is very nice but that Hartford will work just as well. As BobC suggests, SKIM the boiler. Draining it and refilling it is not the same thing and will not get the oils off of the surface of the boiler water. When you drain the boiler, the oils just cling to the sides of the boiler block as the water drops and then they are lifted to the surface of the water as you refill it. It may take several two or three hour sessions to get it properly skimmed, using thee skim port that is above the water line. Did your installer install a skim port? I don't see one in this picture but it may be on another side??
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    It's been skimmed several times. There is a skim port on the other side of the radiator. The contractor came back and skimmed some more. I don't remember my old boiler being quite as sensitive to dirt. What would happen if I installed a hot water filter on the returns to try to capture rust particles before they get back into the boiler. My gut says there is not enough pressure in the return to even get it through the filter.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Skimming is to remove oils from the surface of the water. If you had any piping/boiler work done, sometimes it can take multiple skims to remove all the oils as it works its way back into the boiler. once they are removed, the boiler won't typically require a skim until you have some work done that reintroduces new oil. Keep in mind, a skim is different from a drain and refill. You drain from the bottom to clean out dirt/rust. You skim from the top to remove oil.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948

    It's been skimmed several times. There is a skim port on the other side of the radiator.


    That's not how it's done. You need a skim port. You don't skim via a boiler drain or a radiator. I don't see one in any of your pictures. If the boiler is not properly skimmed you'll have issues.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,082

    It's been skimmed several times. There is a skim port on the other side of the radiator. The contractor came back and skimmed some more. I don't remember my old boiler being quite as sensitive to dirt. What would happen if I installed a hot water filter on the returns to try to capture rust particles before they get back into the boiler. My gut says there is not enough pressure in the return to even get it through the filter.

    New install require a lot of skimming to remove oils from the surface. Skimming has nothing to do with the crud in the return lines. It takes many many hours to properly skim a boiler.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    Still waiting for an answer about what happens if you put a hot water filter on the condensate return to trap rust particles.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,966
    You'll clog up the filter... unless you have an awful lot of rust, it won't help anything.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    I would think it could create a potential to slow condendate return to the boiler, maybe even block it, especially as it collects crud. You'd be much better off either blowing the boiler down periodically (if you have blow down capability) or opening the boiler drain valve once or twice a year and draining a gallon of water to flush the crud out.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    A hydronic dirt separator (like a Caleffi DirtCal/DirtMag) would be a better choice there IMO.
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    I drain crud out every day. I do not have a king valve so I can't blow it down. This is a new installation (October 2015). The plumber has been back several times to skim it, I have skimmed it in between. Once the water is clear it stays clean for about 2 days, then it starts surging again and I start draining and skimming again. This is more maintenance and attention to my steam heat than I ever needed with the old boiler and more attention than I gave to the boiler in my father's dry cleaning plant.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    A new boiler and any new piping will need skiming many times before all the oils are out of the system. Oil works its way back to the boiler with every heat cycle. That's normal and different from a filter to catch crud. Oils will flow through any filter that could possibly be used to catch crud in a wet return. Keep skiming, slowly and from an upper skim port. Once the oils are out, the water will stabalize and you will not have to skim anymore until you introduce new oils to the system. If you are just draining the boiler and refilling it, you will never get the water to stabilize.
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    Thanks, I'll keep skimming to get rid of the oil. I'm not draining the entire boiler, just opening the valves to bleed off the rust and crud that settles at the bottom.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,309
    You have to skim from a port above the waterline or else that water will never be clean. Post a picture of where you are skimming from.

    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
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,444
    Proper, above the waterline, skimming sounds like the solution to me. But if that fails, I would look at that equalizer.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    There is a picture of the Hartford loop at the beginning of my thread. Most comments were that it looked fine. That was my first concern because it doesn't look anything like the picture in the Burnham Boiler Installation Manual.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    edited January 2016
    It is fine. Your first post said it was about 4" above the water line but that is the elbow for the equalizer. Your Hartford loop is the elbow that ties into the equalizer (coming mup from the floor) and it is fine.
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    This a picture of the skimming port. I removed the cap and installed the valve and hose to make it easier for me to skim. It is 3/4" higher than the top of the sight glass.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,309
    That will be a little slow but it will work, just trickle the water out slowly.

    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
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    Looking at the equalizer again, see the picture in the beginning of this thread, taking the temperature of the outside of the pipes just before the boiler shuts down on "low water" the temperature of the equalizer is the same temperature as the condensate returns. I've looked at lots of pictures and read lots of stuff, see attached. The equalizer comes down to a reducing T. 1.5" from equalizer, 1.5" to Hartford loop, and then 2" to another 2" T which goes back into the boiler and then to a drain. I don't know all the physics of water and steam, but it seems to me that the least course of resistance would be straight into the Hartford loop and right up the returns. Should the Hartford loop be turned 90 degrees or will it not make any difference? The main steam feeds in my house are attached to a T with one leg going to the front of the house and one leg going to the back of my house, the middle connected to the drop riser, which is wrong according to the attached report. I don't know who the publisher is of the report. I assume they are legit.

    Mike
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    The Hartford loop and the lower part of the Equalizer are below the water line of the boiler and they are likely to be condensate temps (the lower part of the equalizer may be a bit warmer. The upper part of the equalizer will be steam hot.
    Each main should be individually tied to the Header, just as the document you attached shows. That doesn't mean there won't be a branch off of the main, somewhere down the line but there should be no Bull headed Tees in the main (locations where the main dead ends into a Tee where the steam hits the backside of the Tee and then splits into opposite directions).
    Exactly what problems are you trying to resolve? The boiler pics look good, drop header, both boiler tappings in use, looks like only one main, equalizer, Hartford loop, skim port. Everything in the right sequence. We can't see the mains where you suspect an issue though.
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    Hatterasguy, the plumber has skimmed it by removing the valve and hose. There is effectively no oil left to skim, all I am removing is rusty water.
    Fred, I will take a few more pictures tonight. The plumber was there today, skimmed and drained several times and lowered the gas "rate"? He said after he did that there was less of a surge. The main problem is that when the boiler fires and the water starts to heat and rises into the drop header, it seems to be flowing into the condensate returns instead of the boiler. After the boiler shuts down and the water flows back into the boiler it fires again. The boiler is a Burnham IN-6, it holds about 9.9 gallons of water. I don't know how much is left when the low water cut-off kicks in. If it was all in the 2" drop riser, I would think it would pour back into the boiler pretty fast. I haven't timed it, but it does take a few minutes to get back up to normal water level. Then of course, there's another short wait while the low water cutoff resets. I'm sure that's delayed electronically to let things settle out before firing again.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    It certainly sounds like a skimming issue.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    +1... skim it properly.
  • PhilDavid
    PhilDavid Member Posts: 68
    It sure will take many many times to skim that boiler through a 3/4" pipe. Hatterasguy is right, that 3" blank on the right side of the boiler jacket is where your skim tapping is. Install that skim port correctly, add some Squick or your cleaner of choice and she'll clean out nicely.
  • MichaelCorman
    MichaelCorman Member Posts: 15
    I will discuss the 1" skim tap with the plumber. In the meantime, on the other issues related to water shooting up the condensate returns through the equalizer and Hartford loop and whether turning the Hartford loop 90 degrees, I have attached 2 more pictures showing one main riser from the boiler plumbed to a T and then split between the front and back of the house. According to the brochure I attached this morning, this is incorrect.
  • Or just skim it without the additives.--NBC