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Air vents leaking water and pipes banging

We installed a new boiler two weeks ago. The boiler is a Weil Mclain eg 45 (150000 BTus). The old one was an eg 40 (125000 Btus). We have one system. The pipes in the basement and the radiators (above the boiler 1st and 2nd floors) are banging. All the air vents in second floor are leaking water. The cut in of the pressuretrol (honeywell) is .05 and the cut off is 2 psi. Radiators are tilted towards the supply valve. Homeserve came and the guy said to skim boiler. I skimmed the boiler twice. Checked the air vents on the second floor above the boiler. The problem continues. What should I do? We did not have this problem with the old boiler.
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Comments

  • HatterasguyHatterasguy Posts: 6,058Member
    NYwoman said:

    What should I do? We did not have this problem with the old boiler.

    You should take about 10 photographs of the boiler and all the piping above and around the boiler, with good lights, and post the photos on here.
  • FredFred Posts: 6,769Member
    The usual issue with banging is water (condendate) pooling somewhere in the mains or radiator feed pipes. When they installed the new boiler, they very well could have pulled or pushed the mains out of proper pitch and that may, in turn have changed the pitch of some of the radiator run outs. Check to see if the mains are pitched in the direction of the returns. Out of curiosity, Did they install the near boiler piping correctly? Look at your owners maunual for a picture of what that piping should look like. Post some pictures of the boiler, the near boiler piping and the mains.
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,839Member
    It often takes more than one skimming session to get all the oils aout and each session should be a several hours long and very slow - less than 5 gallons an hour.

    Hammering is caused when steam comes upon standing water in a pipe. When the new boiler was installed it's possible he changed the pitch on the steam main, is it parallel flow or counterflow? Check the pipes with a level to see if there is slope so water can find it's way back to the boiler.

    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
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,663Member

    NYwoman said:

    What should I do? We did not have this problem with the old boiler.

    You should take about 10 photographs of the boiler and all the piping above and around the boiler, with good lights, and post the photos on here.
    What he said. Also and possibly related, why did they install a bigger boiler than you already had?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    Let me take pictures of the boiler as you suggest...I will be back later. Thank you!
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    Here are the photos. Which one is the steam main? As far as I know and see the did not touch the pipes going to the radiators. The radiators are pitched in the direction of the supply valve.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,663Member
    First question, how did you skim the boiler if the skim port isn't installed? Some of your symptoms sound like it's surging and sending water into the system causing the banging. This can usually be cured with skimming. It can take several good skims to get it totally clean, each lasting for hours. That is definitely where I would start if I was you. You need the skim port installed though. I see the knockout in the jacket has been removed, but doesn't appear the pipe was ever installed as it's covered with insulation still.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    Yes, they did not install a skim port. I am skimming it using the valve that it is shown in last photo on the lower part of the boiler. The radiators that bang the most are the ones above the boiler. One in the first floor and another in the second floor.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,663Member
    Ok you aren't skimming then. Think of skimming this way, oil floats on top of water so it has to be removed from the top there is no other way. You need that skim port installed. Also since this is happening to radiators closest to the boiler that would point in the direction of surging (caused by the oils floating on top). Get the installer back to put in the skim port (or if you think you are able you could try yourself). It's pretty much only used when the boiler is new, but it makes a big difference. If the installer says you don't need it, flat out tell them they are wrong and have them install it. It's as simple as taking out that plug installing a pipe with a cap.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    I am not sure if they left too much space between the other pipes. We had problems with the guy that installed it and I doubt that he is coming back.

    Do you think that I need a licensed plumber or a handyman could do it? I do not want a mess with the boiler since I have no experience with it. If a handyman could do it what kinds of materials would I need? so I could go to home depot or plumbing supply and get them. I do not think the installer knew about how to this kind of work. He found out after the fact!

    If it is the pitch of main how can I figure this out?

    We feel that this is a nightmare. Thank you so much to all for you help.
  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Posts: 432Member
    Not a pro, but that header doesn't look right. Is that a "bull headed" tee?
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,663Member
    The header isn't the best, but it's acceptable. I was just looking again and I am wondering about the pipe size. On that boiler it should be 2 1/2" pipe, but that looks like 2" which wouldn't be correct and could be contributing to the issues. As far as the skim port if it's someone that knows threaded black pipe and is comfortable working with it the skim port is a fairly straight forward installation. There is a plug on the side (shown in the manual) that needs to be removed. Once out thread a nipple in there of whatever length you want (enough to clear everything under it for a bucket) and then put a cap on the pipe. Remove cap for skimming replace cap (with dope, teflon tape or both) when done. We are sorry you didn't find us before you got your install, but hopefully we can help you through this now. Where are you located? We may know a good steam expert in your area that could help you out.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Posts: 1,947Member
    Installer needs to come back to:

    1 - install a skim port
    2 - move makeup water feed to the return line and not feed directly into the boiler.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member
    Also noticed it appears the pressure gauge was installed below the pigtail siphon. While this is a very tiny issue, it's still wrong as the gauge does not have an internal siphon and will be destroyed by the steam if it has not been already.


    Also confused as to why an EG-40 was replaced with a 45? The good news is it's very simple for a professional to convert it to an EG-40.
    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
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    I think that the header is 2 1/2. We replaced the eg 40 that broke down for EG 45 because we would like to add a room to the house in the future.

    I went to plumbing supply store and they recommended that I empty water from radiators and change air vents (air vents are 4 year old but I ordered gorton and they are coming today or tomorrow). He also told me that I needed a plumber to check if the mains are pitched. What do you think about his advice?

    Chris J: where do I get the wand for cleaning the boiler?

    A friend that is a handyman is helping us with the skimmer tonight. I will ask him if he can fix the pressure gauge above the pigtail.

    Please let me know about the two questions above.

    Thank you!
  • vaporvacvaporvac Posts: 1,512Member
    Hi @NYwoman . We all made our own wands based on Gordo's original design, each of us adding something different. If you have a friend that can work with copper, you're set. Just take a look at some on this site for starters. I put holes around the tip's perimeter to get it cleaned 360deg, and also put a handle and piece that made it easiy to turn.
    You just need a level to check the pitch of the mains, but try and use a big one. Hope this helps and that @ChrisJ pipes in with additional comments.
    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
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member
    NYwoman said:

    I think that the header is 2 1/2. We replaced the eg 40 that broke down for EG 45 because we would like to add a room to the house in the future.

    I went to plumbing supply store and they recommended that I empty water from radiators and change air vents (air vents are 4 year old but I ordered gorton and they are coming today or tomorrow). He also told me that I needed a plumber to check if the mains are pitched. What do you think about his advice?

    Chris J: where do I get the wand for cleaning the boiler?

    A friend that is a handyman is helping us with the skimmer tonight. I will ask him if he can fix the pressure gauge above the pigtail.

    Please let me know about the two questions above.

    Thank you!

    You'll have to make the wand.
    I used a short piece of 1/2" copper tubing, a valve that connects to a washing machine hose, 1/2" to 1/4" adapter, a short length of 1/4" tubing with a 90 degree elbow on the end and a cap which I drilled a small hole in to make a nozzle. If your friend can solder pipe he should be able to throw one together fairly fast with parts from Lowes or the Depot.
    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
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,663Member
    Empty water from radiators? That makes zero sense this is a steam system not a hot water system. The condensate/water drains out of the radiators all the time through the pitch. You can easily check the pitch of the mains. Just need a level and make sure they pitch away from the boiler on the feeds and towards the boiler on the returns.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member
    vaporvac said:

    Hi @NYwoman . We all made our own wands based on Gordo's original design, each of us adding something different. If you have a friend that can work with copper, you're set. Just take a look at some on this site for starters. I put holes around the tip's perimeter to get it cleaned 360deg, and also put a handle and piece that made it easiy to turn.
    You just need a level to check the pitch of the mains, but try and use a big one. Hope this helps and that @ChrisJ pipes in with additional comments.

    Mine came from Gerry Gill.
    My gauge glass drain valve is from Gordo / Steamhead. :p
    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
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    what do you think about the water inside the radiators? Thank you!
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,663Member
    KC_Jones said:

    Empty water from radiators? That makes zero sense this is a steam system not a hot water system. The condensate/water drains out of the radiators all the time through the pitch. You can easily check the pitch of the mains. Just need a level and make sure they pitch away from the boiler on the feeds and towards the boiler on the returns.

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    I can only see the main that goes to the front of the house opposite to the boiler side. Do I have to break the floors to check the pitch of the mains?
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    We live in east elmhurst queens NYC
  • FredFred Posts: 6,769Member
    NYwoman said:

    I can only see the main that goes to the front of the house opposite to the boiler side. Do I have to break the floors to check the pitch of the mains?

    No, in the basement you should be able to check the horizontal mains (the large piped that leave the boiler and travels around the basement. Those are mains. put a level under them and make sure they pitch towards the returns (the pipes that head back to the boiler after the last radiator run out from the Mains. It looks like your mains may be above the basement ceiling but should be below the floor. Are there and open areas in the basement ceiling that might allow you to check the pitch?
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    The guy said to empty the radiators of water because the air vents are leaking cold water when boiler is on.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member
    Not to cause problems but am I the only one that thinks the water heater flue looks suspect? :(
    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
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    KC_Jones said:

    Where are you located? We may know a good steam expert in your area that could help you out.

    East Elmhurst, Queens, NYC
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,663Member
    NYwoman said:

    The guy said to empty the radiators of water because the air vents are leaking cold water when boiler is on.

    I can't offer any intelligent explanation for what he is talking about...other than maybe he is clueless?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • vaporvacvaporvac Posts: 1,512Member
    edited October 2015

    @ChrisJ said: Mine came from Gerry Gill.
    My gauge glass drain valve is from Gordo / Steamhead. :p

    Ooops I get confused sometimes! Carry on! :)
    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
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    Anyone that you can recommend in NYC?
  • vr608vr608 Posts: 144Member
    edited October 2015
    NYwoman said:

    We had problems with the guy that installed it and I doubt that he is coming back.

    ...

    I do not think the installer knew about how to this kind of work. He found out after the fact!

    I've only been on this board for a short while, but I feel like every day we read something similar. There are too many "knuckleheads" piping these systems. I guess this board wouldn't exist if we had an abundance of steam experts in the field.

    Hopefully changing the vents and validating the main's pitch will reduce your water hammer issues, but from the sounds of it there may be other tweaks necessary.
    ChrisJ said:

    Not to cause problems but am I the only one that thinks the water heater flue looks suspect? :(

    Definitely seems suspect; hard to tell whether its just duct-taped together at the seams, but it seems longer than code dictates (I'm not a pro though).

    Peerless 63-03, 118,000 BTU (308 sqft), single-pipe steam system connected to 286 EDR of radiation, 30ft of baseboard and indirect DHW
    3PSI gauge
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,740Member
    One other thing to check -- if this is one pipe steam, which it sounds like, be sure that the radiator valves (if they have them) connecting the supply line to the radiator are fully open. If they are not, condensate (water) can get trapped in the radiator and cause problems.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Posts: 1,947Member
    KC_Jones said:

    NYwoman said:

    The guy said to empty the radiators of water because the air vents are leaking cold water when boiler is on.

    I can't offer any intelligent explanation for what he is talking about...other than maybe he is clueless?
    +1

  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Posts: 1,947Member
    ChrisJ said:

    Also noticed it appears the pressure gauge was installed below the pigtail siphon. While this is a very tiny issue, it's still wrong as the gauge does not have an internal siphon and will be destroyed by the steam if it has not been already.


    That gauge may have an internal syphon. Most steam gauges that have a horizontal connection will have an internal syphon. If that's the case, the face should state so. Otherwise you are correct, it should be connected after the pigtail.

  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member

    ChrisJ said:

    Also noticed it appears the pressure gauge was installed below the pigtail siphon. While this is a very tiny issue, it's still wrong as the gauge does not have an internal siphon and will be destroyed by the steam if it has not been already.


    That gauge may have an internal syphon. Most steam gauges that have a horizontal connection will have an internal syphon. If that's the case, the face should state so. Otherwise you are correct, it should be connected after the pigtail.

    The gauge looks identical to the one WM supplied with my boiler and mine doesn't have one. WM shows it after the siphon as well.
    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
  • j a_2j a_2 Posts: 1,795Member
    ChrisJ said:

    Not to cause problems but am I the only one that thinks the water heater flue looks suspect? :(

    It sure looks suspect to me,as well is why would you install a new boiler and not replace the smoke pipe....I'll refrain from commenting on the install...but to say, wow!!

  • hboogzhboogz Posts: 104Member
    NYWoman -- Have you found a good steam pro yet?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member
    Just noticed the pressure relief valve is also reduced to 1/2". That needs to be fixed as well. :(
    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
  • NYwomanNYwoman Posts: 24Member
    what is the correct pressure relief valve?
  • FredFred Posts: 6,769Member
    The relief valve that's on there is the correct one. What Chrisj was referring to is the pipe and elbow that drops to the floor should all be 3/4", not reduced to 1/2"
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