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Multiple problems, here I go again.

Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
I recently went out to look at a steam system that the previous owner worked on. There was a 2nd floor bathroom radiator that was not heating and a 3rd floor radiator that was not heating well. The new owners wanted the bathroom radiator and the 3rd floor radiator to work before they closed. Both pictures speak for themselves. The previous owner chose to replace the 2nd floor bath radiator. Now the new home owner can't open the drawers, (BTW) the bath radiator still doesn't heat. As far as the 3rd floor radiator, it's not the first time I saw this and I'm sure it won't be the last.
When I met the owner he also mentioned the boiler floods and there is water hammer in the system. I disconnected the auto feeder for now and the owner fills the boiler manually.
The total installed radiation in the house is 509sqft. The boiler in the photo is a Dunkirk 150,000 rated at 383sqft. There are no main vents to speak of and the boiler is surging. Another case of the install manual used as a kneeling pad. I did tell them what needs to be done but it appears there is a problem with deciding who will be responsible for the work.
If I were to just replace the bathroom radiator with one that will give them the ability to open the drawers and they choose to ignore the other issues on the system, could I assume this will end up being a reflection on me? Should I do a written evaluation and let them get another opinion? Or is it best to just walk away?

Comments

  • Paul S_3Paul S_3 Posts: 1,257Member
    edited March 2016
    If you are 100% sure the total connected EDR of the home is 509 sq ft....the radiator will probably not heat because the boiler is really undersized. I would quote them on a properly sized boiler piped correctly....increase main venting in home...and replaced the radiators where needed....also check for potential water hammer areas for example sagging in return lines...remove that check valve on the return....radiators not pitched....improperly piped returns etc.....and thats a hot water air vent on that radiator....replace with a correct steam rad vent
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    [email protected]
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,128Member
    Just for clarification, is this a house that is under contract? You are working with the buyers before they close? Is this part of an inspection process that the contract is pending on?
    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: 1,948Member
    With a 25% undersized boiler, I'm not sure you'd be able to make the homeowner happy no matter what you do. Whatever you do decide to do, if you don't make homeowner happy, and they pay you for work, you'll have been the last one to have worked on the system and will have to bear all the blame for the system in the eyes of the homeowner.

    Tell them everything that needs to be done. Do it all or do nothing. Sometimes it's better to walk away.
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    Near boiler piping = surging.
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
    Paul, I am 100% sure about the total radiation. I was able to find 2 areas in the system causing noise. I'm confident I can fix that problem. Lowering the pressure made a big difference but it was still there. The original problem with the upper bath rad was water backing up in a drip loop for that riser and blocking the flow of steam. I still have to address that problem.

    KC, They went ahead and closed on the house, they've been in it for 2 months now. The previous owner told them he corrected the problems. They needed the inspection done before they closed in my opinion.
  • Paul S_3Paul S_3 Posts: 1,257Member
    edited March 2016
    If boiler is undersized must be replaced with correct sized boiler....quote for new boiler , main and rad venting..there is at least one main vent on the end of the dry return on the right....as for the dry return on the left the vent is probably blocked by piping in the pic...fixing any potential water hammer problems....etc and be done with it....i wouldnt try to band aid anything here with a boiler that undersized
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    [email protected]
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,128Member
    Do you think the radiation could be reduced? I am guessing putting in a bigger rad in that bathroom was an attempt to improve heating? Probably doesn't need to be that big? As a homeowner I would want to know everything, but these people are probably not going to be happy with what you say. I doubt they have any luck at all going back on the seller at this point. You are correct they should have done this before settling....especially if there were known issues already.
    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
  • Paul S_3Paul S_3 Posts: 1,257Member
    Kc jones is correct....if you do a heat loss calc and the radiation in home can be reduced...then you can keep boiler
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    [email protected]
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    edited March 2016
    Assuming the heat loss will allow it, orifices might be another option.

    Edit: Did not notice this was a one-pipe system!
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 7,858Member
    I don't think orifices will work on one pipe, as the condensate will not drain out.--NBC
  • FredFred Posts: 7,910Member
    IMO, the best thing you can do is quote them a price to do the job right and replace the boiler with one that is properly sized. I would think, even if you could downsize the radiators,by the time you find enought radiators , the right size, new or used, take the old ones out, install the replacements with new valves and spuds, still fix the near boiler piping, which has to be done, that your quote will likely be as much, may be more than just the boiler replacement.
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
    Everyone gave great input on this thread, I'd like to thank you all for that.
    I have not done a room by room heat load. The only room with 2 radiators in it is the living room which is quite large. A majority of the radiators are Weil McLain 18" high, 12-1/2" deep, 7 tube with between 10 and 20 sections throughout the house. Shedding edr is possible but probably not without replacing a few of them.
    Addressing the idea of replacing the boiler with a larger one will be equally as difficult as explaining shedding edr to the homeowner who just purchased a home with "Solid mechanics" in the listing write up.
    If I'm able to get past shedding edr, I'm still faced with an improperly piped boiler which will need to be addressed along with main and some radiator vents starting with the hot water vent on the 3rd floor rad.
    I'm thankful these situations are rare for me.
    I'll keep you posted.


  • Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
    The other one is 16 section. Moving the 16 to where the 20 is would shed the roughly 80edr. 2nd floor there is a 10,12&14. If I put the 10 in the master br I will still need to get 2 rads for the other 2 bedrooms. Thank you for your input. I have shed edr on jobs in the past. I still need to present this to the homeowners. Hopefully the thread will help.
  • vaporvacvaporvac Posts: 1,516Member
    I wouldn't think you'd have to remove it. Just turn the vent upside-down, no?
    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
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
    I think the idea of turning the vent upside down is just to confirm the other rad will heat the room fine. In the end I need to shed 126edr if I'm going to stay with the boiler there.
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
    Getting rads for 2 of the other three bedrooms will bring edr close to match the boiler output so long as the one in the living room works. The master br rad valve needs to be replaced anyway, it has a broken stem. After adding up the edr in this 2100ft house, the only conclusion I can come up with is the rads were sized to maintain 70deg on a zero degree day with all the doors and windows open.
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
    The bathroom rad is what started the whole thing. I did find them a 14edr rad for that room. I will need to clear out the water seal for that run out. Water is filling it and preventing steam from getting to the rad. The previous owner installed that rad to replace one that wasn't working. Grossly oversized for the room. The rad in the photo has never heated until last night after I cracked the union on the water seal in the basement and drained the water out.
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
    edited March 2016
    70 sqft with 2 outside walls plus the ceiling. 1925 construction and wood window with storm. Not to mention availability of small rads. Those usually go pretty fast. He does however have time to look since heating season is pretty much winding down. His wife did mention the bedrooms get pretty hot compared to the first floor. Enclosures on most of the first floor rads, no enclosures on 2nd &3rd floor rads.
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 296Member
    At first glance I was thinking small vents on the rads. I even told the realtor when I put the smaller vents in, the rads may not heat all the way across. Once I came up with a number, it leaned me toward the idea of a larger boiler but I wasn't thinking the new homeowner was going to go for that. I'm comfortable with telling them I will need to shed some edr along with using smaller vents on most of the rads. I let them know right away the boiler will need to be properly piped and main venting will need to be done along with removing the check Valve that should have left with the original coal fired boiler. I was going to remove the hot water vent on the 3rd floor and start with a Gorton C.
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