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Half hot, half cold

DRoopDRoop Member Posts: 7
Hello. I have a Burnham SIN5LNC-LE2 installed in 2008. I am having a problem where the nearest lines and rads to the furnace work fine, but the 3 furthest are ice cold. I've changed the air vents and also tried removing them for a while to see if that helped but no luck. I also changed a main vent with a Hoffman 75 but that made no difference. I've drained the boiler last month and it seems to be firing and the flames look good. I've also tried to pitch the cold rads a few degrees. Is there anything else I should be checking? I have some pics posted here if that helps:
Thanks in advance


  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,422
    edited December 2015
    Have you checked the pitch on the main at the point where those radiator run-outs are? Does it pitch correctly to run water back to the boiler/wet return? Check the run-outs to those radiators and make sure they pitch back towards the main. Do you hear any banging/water hammer anywhere along that main? How long is that main? What diameter? One Hoffman 75 is not a lot of venting. How large of a vent do you have on the radiator in the room with the thermostat? Is the thermostat being satisfied before the main can fully vent to get steam to those last three radiators? It actually sounds like maybe the main is not pitched at that end and possibly holding water that might be condensing the steam before it can get to those radiators.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 5,109
    The pressuretrol is et much too high, you shouldn't need more than 1.5 PSI to heat the house, does the boiler ever shut off on pressure?

    Post some pics of the boiler header and the steam mains along with the new main vents.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • DRoopDRoop Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the replies.

    Fred, I don't hear any water hammer. the main line is about 45 feet. the thermostat doesn't get to the set temp when it goes below 40 degrees outside. right now it is set to 74 but it is 69 in the house. I have an adjustable Hoffman by the radiator neaest the thermostat set to the largest opening. I'll check the pitch of the main in the morning.

    I Bob, I actually turned down the pressuretrol from 4 to 2. I don't know why it was set so high. I'll post more pics as soon as I can.

    thanks again.
  • Mark NMark N Member Posts: 1,087
    Have you verified that the hand valves are open or obstructed? Does the main get hot at the takeoffs for the rads or to the main vents?
  • DRoopDRoop Member Posts: 7

    The valves as far as I can tell are not obstructed. I'll have to remove the rads to confirm. Everything worked OK until the middle of last winter. I've added some more pics to the shared folder above with pics of top of the boiler as well as the main line. The main runs the entire basement and through the foundation to an exposed crawlspace under the front porch where it fed 2 rads. I removed one rad during renovation 8 years ago and capped it. It was on the same line where I found the main vent which is now updated. I dont' have a new pic of the setup since it was raining today. I'll try to get one this evening. Thanks
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    What changed from when it was working to when it stopped working?
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    edited December 2015
    By the way, I just checked out the pictures you posted... completely improperly piped boiler. Not sure how in the world it worked well before, but that most likely is causing you a whole hell of a lot of water getting thrown up into the mains. A return might be clogged and main is filling up with water reducing amount of steam available at the far end. What's water level in the boiler doing during a fire? How's the LWCO acting?
  • DRoopDRoop Member Posts: 7
    I had a relative check it out this weekend and he also confirmed that it is improperly piped and had the same reaction of " how did it work?". He suggested that we install a drain by the return line to clear it out. It was working OK, not great when it did, 2 rads would only get hot during really cold days, but the temp in the house matched what was set. Nothing changed as far as I know. During a fire, the water level is stable no changes. LWCO works fine.

    Also, is the copper OK to pipe with? Would it be costly to re-pipe it correctly if there is no damage to the boiler?
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    Copper above the waterline in a steam system is not recommended and no one experienced in steam would use copper there.
  • DRoopDRoop Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for all the input. I made an appt to have someone check it out next Tuesday. Would the improper piping damage the boiler in any way? Or is it just performance?

    Also, are there any recommended steam specialists for the NYC (Queens) area?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,859
    I think @Dave0176 may work that area, and he's really good.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    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
  • DRoopDRoop Member Posts: 7
    Thanks. I'll send a PM.
  • DRoopDRoop Member Posts: 7
    Could the gas valve be faulty? I don't seem to be getting the right amount of flame. Usually I would hear a roar when its on but now I hear nothing. I do see flames but is it possible it's too low?

    happy 2016!
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