3 main loops:
Loop 1: (49' x 2" pipe) + (7' x 1.5" pipe) + (22' x 1") pipe, 2 Gorton #2's at end of return
Loop 2: (44' x 2" pipe) + (38' x 1.5" pipe), 2 Gorton #2's at end of return
Loop 3: (50' x 1.5") pipe + (22" x 1") pipe, 1 Gorton #2 at end of return
Pressuretrol set at 0.5 psi to 1.5 psi cut out verified by 0 to 3 PSI gauge on a tee off the pigtail shared with Pressuretrol.
I keep wondering about 2 large Honeywell gate valves ("King Valves") coming off the header with no turn handles on their valve stems. One valve feeds Loop #3 (the smallest loop). Both Loop #1 and Loop #2 (the larger loops) share the other valve. "Obviously" they are both all the way open...right?
Testing the system on a fall day, not too cold, Loop #3 gets hot right away and the Gorton #2 closes.
Loops 1 & 2 take much longer to heat with the boiler cycling frequently. It seems that even with hot main returns and the radiators heating that all 4 of the Gortons never got hot enough to close on Loops 1 & 2. My belief (of them not closing) is based on taping them and they continue to "ring" while the one by itself on Loop #1 does not "ring" (when the system is hot) and reads at a higher reflected temperature than the other 4 valves.
With the system cold I turn the valve stems on the "King Valves" (counter clockwise) and nothing seems to happen. But then I notice one valve stem is slightly longer (with lots and lots of turns) I measure it with a ruler until it is the same length (approx. 1 3/4") as the valve stem for Loop #3. No matter how much I turn them neither valve stem gets any longer, but they continue to turn. They must be fully open, right?
I fire up the boiler. It seems to run for a long time, longer than before I opened up the one King Valve to be the same as the other, fully open. The PSI gauge begins to vibrate barely off of the zero mark (as usual), at just a fraction of an ounce...but then it just stays there vibrating right next to zero. The Loop #3 mains are heating up. PSI gauge still bouncing off zero at a fraction of an ounce (barely noticeable). #3 Loop is now heated and the Gorton #2 is closed. Loop #2 heated, but Gortons not closed. Loop #3 barely warm at the end. The Pressuretrol never cycles. The PSI gauge never reads any higher.
I shut off the boiler believing something must be wrong with the PSI gauge and Pressuretrol. They were both fine a few hours earlier when I tested without opening the other "King Valve". I go upstairs and the radiators connected to Loop #1 feel and smell like they are close to on fire. The big radiator on Loop #1 that is usually hottest first is heated only about 2/3 through.
I take the PSI gauge off and test it. It works. Did not take the Pressuretrol off to check the pigtail (yet), but I just took apart and cleaned the LWCO and the pigtail a week ago, so it's doubtful it would be clogged. Did opening one King Valve more cause a near zero PSI reading? I had the thermostat set high, so this wouldn't be a factor for the test.
Am I approaching Steam Nirvana, heating the system with an almost immeasurable fraction of an ounce of pressure?
There must be something obvious that I'm missing. Does anybody have any thoughts on what might be going on? Thanks