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Hydronic piping questions

sunwave
sunwave Member Posts: 30

Help~ :'(
I just set up a new boiler and new piping to replace the old steam ones on 2nd FL. My pipes are long and have many elbows because I tried to avoid tearing the old wall and ceilings. Now the problem is water doesn't flow or something else is wrong, boiler temp goes up quickly , pipe is cold. Is my circulator too weak? or piping is too long and imbalance? one loop is much longer the other one. any suggestions?
sorry for the ugly drawing, real piping has more turns and up-downs.

Comments

  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    I might try re-posting to the main wall for a better response.
    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
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30
    okay, thanks
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    If that reflects, in any way, how you have it piped, only the shortest section( to the left) will ever heat. Make sure there is no air in the system. We can't tell you if the circ is the right one. We don't know the specifics.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,060
    Did you say "replace steam"? Can you tell us more about what was there before, and what was replaced and more exactly with what?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30

    Did you say "replace steam"? Can you tell us more about what was there before, and what was replaced and more exactly with what?

    I had cast iron steam radiators on 2nd FL, I got rid off all of them, along with the oil boiler. I bought new gas boiler and wanted to build the hydronic system.
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30

    The reason the second floor doesn't heat is that it is full of air. There must be a process to purge the air from the second floor and you're going to need some isolation valves on the two loops on the second floor. You'll need to purge one loop at a time.

    Also, if you want to have two loops up there, they have to be balanced for headloss otherwise the water is going to go to the shorter loop. Therefore, you need to throttle the valve in the short loop to increase the headloss slightly in that loop to match the longer loop. Then both loops will heat evenly. It's going to be a bit of trial and error with the valve. An infrared scanner to watch return water temperatures would be invaluable in this analysis. Once the return temperatures match, you're done.

    thank you for the suggestions. I did purge the air via sillcock valve at the return side, but it's not enough, right? I'll add few isolation valves and try to purge the air separately. And I love the idea of throttle the valve and infrared testing. :D
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    If you relocate the pump to the supply side and use a microbubble air separater, you'll have a much better shot at keeping the system air free. See "pumping away" in this site's library and in topics.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,060
    sunwave said:


    Did you say "replace steam"? Can you tell us more about what was there before, and what was replaced and more exactly with what?

    I had cast iron steam radiators on 2nd FL, I got rid off all of them, along with the oil boiler. I bought new gas boiler and wanted to build the hydronic system.
    Oh dear. Well, i hope you had a very good reason to dump the steam and go with the hydronic. Not what I would recommend.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    vaporvacjonny88RobGZman
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,837

    sunwave said:


    Did you say "replace steam"? Can you tell us more about what was there before, and what was replaced and more exactly with what?

    I had cast iron steam radiators on 2nd FL, I got rid off all of them, along with the oil boiler. I bought new gas boiler and wanted to build the hydronic system.
    Oh dear. Well, i hope you had a very good reason to dump the steam and go with the hydronic. Not what I would recommend.
    Agreed. You would have been better off, for a lot less money, by simply changing the steam system to gas firing.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30

    You would need an isolation valve below the sillcock on the return side.

    You also should be raising the pressure in the boiler to just under 30 psi when you purge. In fact, it's better to open and close the sillcock to keep the pressure right around 27 psi with the fill valve wide open. The water stops and starts and stops and starts............. and forces the air ahead of it. Don't let it climb over 30 psi or you blow the relief valve and put water all over the floor...............

    The purge time usually takes about 10 minutes or so. Don't shortchange it. You're listening for the flow to become "smooth" without the light clicking sound that signifies air.

    And, yes, you most definitely need isolation valves on the two loops and then you can purge them separately.

    Wow, it worked, after purging the air separately and thoroughly! Thank you so much!
    but at the end portion of the long loop I hear some noticeable flowing sound, which might indicates the velocity of water is less than 2 feet per second. I guess there are too much frictions.

    Bought an Infrared Temperature Gun from Amazon, gonna test return temperature when receive it. ^__^
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30

    Oh dear. Well, i hope you had a very good reason to dump the steam and go with the hydronic. Not what I would recommend.

    It was old steam system from 1930s but the boiler is not that old.
    I might keep it if the boiler burn gas.
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30
    Bob Bona said:

    If you relocate the pump to the supply side and use a microbubble air separater, you'll have a much better shot at keeping the system air free. See "pumping away" in this site's library and in topics.

    I use taco 4900 Air Separator, and the expansion tank is underneath it. I think I should try moving the pump to the supply side in order to gain more power.
    Bob Bona_4
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30
    Steamhead said:

    sunwave said:


    Did you say "replace steam"? Can you tell us more about what was there before, and what was replaced and more exactly with what?

    I had cast iron steam radiators on 2nd FL, I got rid off all of them, along with the oil boiler. I bought new gas boiler and wanted to build the hydronic system.
    Oh dear. Well, i hope you had a very good reason to dump the steam and go with the hydronic. Not what I would recommend.
    Agreed. You would have been better off, for a lot less money, by simply changing the steam system to gas firing.
    The steam system piping has been there since the house was built, it has many minor problems and some unpleasant sounds. we were tired of maintenance it.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Can you post some photos of your boiler and radiators so that we will be better able to guide you?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,025
    sunwave said:

    Bob Bona said:

    If you relocate the pump to the supply side and use a microbubble air separater, you'll have a much better shot at keeping the system air free. See "pumping away" in this site's library and in topics.

    I use taco 4900 Air Separator, and the expansion tank is underneath it. I think I should try moving the pump to the supply side in order to gain more power.

    Increase in system pressure is what you get when you pump away from the exp tank connection, here is an example. The circulator adds it's delta when you pump away.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Bob Bona_4sunwave
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    It's air or that 008's too much pump. Calculate your head loss.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,060
    sunwave said:

    Steamhead said:

    sunwave said:


    Did you say "replace steam"? Can you tell us more about what was there before, and what was replaced and more exactly with what?

    I had cast iron steam radiators on 2nd FL, I got rid off all of them, along with the oil boiler. I bought new gas boiler and wanted to build the hydronic system.
    Oh dear. Well, i hope you had a very good reason to dump the steam and go with the hydronic. Not what I would recommend.
    Agreed. You would have been better off, for a lot less money, by simply changing the steam system to gas firing.
    The steam system piping has been there since the house was built, it has many minor problems and some unpleasant sounds. we were tired of maintenance it.
    I assure you. In a few years you will be very tired indeed of the maintenance and hassles related to your new hydronic system. You'd have cut your cost at least in half, if not more, by staying with the steam and getting a nice new gas boiler for it and getting the maintenance issues corrected.

    Hydronic requires a LOT of maintenance... and parts repair/replacement.,..

    But. It's you place, not mine (I might note that the steam system in the place I care for has been in place, running happily for over 80 years now -- with virtually no maintenance at all, except for the newer high efficiency boiler...)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Okay guys, there's no point in beating a dead horse. It's just to bad the OP hadn't come here first.
    Bob Bona_4
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    I've noticed in the last few years folks that come here for advice get piled on if they convert from steam to hot water. All that does is create bad feelings. This is "Heating Help" , not "Heating Shaming". This is not the spirit I know Dan intended for this site.
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Not really agree to many times we have seen steam converted for no good reason and customers hopes gone out the window with their dollars.Nothing wrong with a steam system.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,060
    Bob Bona said:

    I've noticed in the last few years folks that come here for advice get piled on if they convert from steam to hot water. All that does is create bad feelings. This is "Heating Help" , not "Heating Shaming". This is not the spirit I know Dan intended for this site.

    To a certain extent I think you are right, Bob. I know that I myself have been somewhat unkind on occasion, although I think that in most cases the intentions have been good.

    It seems to me that the problem is that too often what is seen is a conversion -- perhaps from steam to hydronic; perhaps hydronic to hot air; perhaps steam to hot air -- which is driven more by a lack of knowledge on the part of the homeowner or perhaps even more often by a lack of knowledge on the part of the contractor the homeowner hired rather than by a desire to make a genuine improvement in the comfort level of the structure.

    Familiarity can be a great friend -- but it can also be a trap. If we are to be as much help as we would really like to be (and as Dan intended!) we owe it to ourselves -- and to the folks coming to seek help -- to be as knowledgeable as we can be about all the possible ways to comfort condition a building.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    We are all hydronic nuts here :) I think sometimes it happens that we are so passionate about our loves that it escapes that other folks needs and wants are different. Some people don't like radiators, they see them as ugly, dust collecting, furniture obstacles, decorating problems. Some people want high basement ceilings. Heck, some don't want scary scalding hot radiators around thier kids. Whatever. Give them want THEY want, do it right, and remember, it's THEIR money. Let them spend it!

    End rant :)
    HatterasguySWEIRobGZman
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30

    sunwave said:

    Bob Bona said:

    If you relocate the pump to the supply side and use a microbubble air separater, you'll have a much better shot at keeping the system air free. See "pumping away" in this site's library and in topics.

    I use taco 4900 Air Separator, and the expansion tank is underneath it. I think I should try moving the pump to the supply side in order to gain more power.
    Is the tank before the circulator on the return side or after the circulator (probably on the supply side)?
    the tank and air separator is on the supply side, circulator is on the return side.
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30

    sunwave said:


    but at the end portion of the long loop I hear some noticeable flowing sound, which might indicates the velocity of water is less than 2 feet per second.

    It more than likely indicates that you still have air in that loop.

    Purge it again and be sure the pressure is above 25 psi when you do it. Throttle the sillcock on and off repeatedly. Listen for absence of air..............
    I'll try to purge again with higher psi and throttle the sillcok, thanks :)
  • sunwave
    sunwave Member Posts: 30
    hot rod said:

    sunwave said:

    Bob Bona said:

    If you relocate the pump to the supply side and use a microbubble air separater, you'll have a much better shot at keeping the system air free. See "pumping away" in this site's library and in topics.

    I use taco 4900 Air Separator, and the expansion tank is underneath it. I think I should try moving the pump to the supply side in order to gain more power.

    Increase in system pressure is what you get when you pump away from the exp tank connection, here is an example. The circulator adds it's delta when you pump away.
    Thank you for the info! ^^

    sunwave said:

    Steamhead said:

    sunwave said:


    Did you say "replace steam"? Can you tell us more about what was there before, and what was replaced and more exactly with what?

    I had cast iron steam radiators on 2nd FL, I got rid off all of them, along with the oil boiler. I bought new gas boiler and wanted to build the hydronic system.
    Oh dear. Well, i hope you had a very good reason to dump the steam and go with the hydronic. Not what I would recommend.
    Agreed. You would have been better off, for a lot less money, by simply changing the steam system to gas firing.
    The steam system piping has been there since the house was built, it has many minor problems and some unpleasant sounds. we were tired of maintenance it.
    I assure you. In a few years you will be very tired indeed of the maintenance and hassles related to your new hydronic system. You'd have cut your cost at least in half, if not more, by staying with the steam and getting a nice new gas boiler for it and getting the maintenance issues corrected.

    Hydronic requires a LOT of maintenance... and parts repair/replacement.,..

    But. It's you place, not mine (I might note that the steam system in the place I care for has been in place, running happily for over 80 years now -- with virtually no maintenance at all, except for the newer high efficiency boiler...)
    I don't know about the trend in other area, but in NYC almost every home owner converts their oil steam system to gas hydronic. I'm sure hydronic does has its own disadvantages, but in the other hand, converting and maintaining the system does keep plumbing business thriving.
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    not true their are many steam systems in operation in the city.Fact is a lot of people can't afford to convert to hot water and don't see a need as long as their stem system is working well.If its banging and clanking thats a whole other story.