Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

2 psi

dc07736
dc07736 Member Posts: 15
Good day,
Have 100 year old system. Historic house in Kingston NY
20 cast iron radiators - one pipe system
Install used Burnham steam boiler 142,000 btu
New steam vents on each radiator.
Things are working well, no noise, heat comes up fast.

Cannot get pressure- would like to get 2psi
Any idea what the problem could be?
We checked everywhere for leaks. Thanks Denny Connors

Comments

  • LionA29
    LionA29 Member Posts: 255
    @dc07736 you might want to post some pics of the install!.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    If things are working well why do you want 2 PSI?
    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
    kcoppwcs5050delta T
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,089
    People get too wrapped up in the boiler making pressure. If the system delivers heat fine and is quiet you are good...
    JohnNYRomanGK_26986764589MilanDdelta T
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,052
    kcopp said:

    People get too wrapped up in the boiler making pressure. If the system delivers heat fine and is quiet you are good...

    I totally agree. That stationary needle on the 30 psi gauge really gets into people's heads.

    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting
    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
    Take his class.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,379
    As others have said if your heating evenly on cold days and not making any noticeable pressure the system is working perfectly.

    How much pressure do you read? Be aware that 0-30 gauges are not accurate at the low end of the scale, maybe add a 0-3PSI gauge. Also clean out the pigtail every couple of years.

    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
    MilanD
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,416
    The only time -- and there is one -- when not being able to get pressure is when the reason is a serious steam leak. If you aren't using much water, you don't have that problem.

    Most folks seem to be able to get their systems working just fine on a few ounces of pressure -- not pounds, ounces -- and that is what you want to have. Won't even make the needle on a 30 pound gauge wiggle.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    edited January 2017
    I'll be honest, and people may jump all over me for it, I don't know, but why does anyone need a low pressure gauge?

    What's the point in a 3 PSI gauge?

    If someone wants to set a Pressuretrol, or a Vaporstat, why not set it as low as is reasonable without causing problems or rapid cycling? Does it matter if the system shuts off at 12 ounces, or 16 ounces or any other random number as long as it's heating all of the radiators?

    Honestly, I don't really see the point in a 3 PSI gauge on most steam boilers. Tune it as low as you can and leave it alone. Vaporstats and Pressuretrols to me, seem like devices that can be set by taste rather than precision. We know it shouldn't be set high enough that vents are hissing and spitting and it shouldn't be set so low the boiler trips off on high pressure during main venting.

    Other than that, does it matter?

    In situations like the op has, the building heats good, no issues and the pressure is obviously low so once again, no need for a low pressure gauge.

    @Hatterasguy ?
    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
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Step away from the boiler, and be happy it's doing what it's supposed to. Imho, low psi gauge is good to have for diagnostics (esp if service guys come over every few years and you do your own regular checks). It gives you a visual on the op pressure to troubleshoot trol or vstat. Plus, it's darn nice to see it move.

    Also, I am under the impression that the min setting on trol of 1.5 psi is way too much for most systems. Also, our old trol quit being 1.5 rather quickly and I didn't know it until 3 psi gauge went in. To top it off, if you are at 1.5 psi, you are def. wasting fuel. Many systems, properly vented and balanced, will run on 8-10-12 oz. Think of the savings over a lifetime. Double the cost of a trol, vaporstat is an excellent investment.
    RomanGK_26986764589
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    edited January 2017
    MilanD said:

    Step away from the boiler, and be happy it's doing what it's supposed to. Imho, low psi gauge is good to have for diagnostics (esp if service guys come over every few years and you do your own regular checks). It gives you a visual on the op pressure to troubleshoot trol or vstat. Plus, it's darn nice to see it move.



    Also, I am under the impression that the min setting on trol of 1.5 psi is way too much for most systems. Also, our old trol quit being 1.5 rather quickly and I didn't know it until 3 psi gauge went in. To top it off, if you are at 1.5 psi, you are def. wasting fuel. Many systems, properly vented and balanced, will run on 8-10-12 oz. Think of the savings over a lifetime. Double the cost of a trol, vaporstat is an excellent investment.

    I have a 0-3 PSI Wika gauge that never moved on my boiler so I installed a 16" WC gauge (9 ounces), which barely moved, so I installed a 2" WC gauge (1 ounce) which moves. A pigtail isn't compatible with a 1 ounce gauge either.

    Yeah, it's nice to see what's actually going on in the boiler, but I doubt most people care.

    Am I saving anything running at an 1/8 to a 1/4 of an ounce over a system running at 5 or 10 ounces? I have no idea, but it sure is quiet!

    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
    MilanD
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,379
    Other than for someones curiosity the only reason I can see for a low pressure gauge is to be alerted to a pigtail getting plugged. If your EDR and boiler are a great match you may not care if you only build a few ounces of pressure but you might want to know if the primary safety device can't work because it can't see whats going on inside 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
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    BobC said:

    Other than for someones curiosity the only reason I can see for a low pressure gauge is to be alerted to a pigtail getting plugged. If your EDR and boiler are a great match you may not care if you only build a few ounces of pressure but you might want to know if the primary safety device can't work because it can't see whats going on inside the boiler.

    Bob

    For a while, I had a schrader valve installed on my gauge side of the pigtail. The idea was, I could put a hand tire pump on it and one smooth push, clear out the pigtail.

    It worked.
    I'm sure it would work even without a gauge. No disassembly needed. If you can pump air without tripping the Pressuretrol, it's clear.




    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
    MilanDNew England SteamWorks
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 871
    @dc07736 Why do you want 2 PSI? If it works fine on lower pressure, why go for higher pressure?

    A counter-intuitive (but absolutely true) fact about steam systems is that high pressure steam moves SLOWER than low pressure steam. By increasing pressure you are needlessly increasing your fuel consumption, slowing steam delivery, and decreasing your overall efficiency.

    If it works well why change it?

    MilanD
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,096
    Only steam nerds who want to look at a pressure gage need a 3 psi gage. People are afraid if they don't see pressure then the system can't be working. They need something to watch.

    In my opinion if the boiler is the right size and fired at the correct rate you don't need a low pressure gage or a vaporstat.

    If the job is right it will heat with no pressure on a 30 psi gage
    MilanD
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863

    Only steam nerds who want to look at a pressure gage need a 3 psi gage.

    pfffffft............20 oz. gauge!! ;)
    pfffft.............1 oz. gauge!! :)
    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
    delta TMilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Y'all guys know you are all steam nerds, right?
    Gordodelta T
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 826
    In the past, We've found that adding the appropriate low pressure gauges on steam systems for new customers adds credibility.

    We tell folks that their new (to them) steam systems operate at oz/in2 pressure.

    They nod their heads in agreement. They may even believe us.

    But when we can actually show them empirically what the pressures are when every radiator in their house is hot hot hot... Ah ha! That is when true belief begins to dawn!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    LionA29
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,379
    @Gordo The nautical term for that is dawn over marblehead!

    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
    Gordo
  • Motorapido
    Motorapido Member Posts: 307
    ChrisJ said:

    BobC said:

    Other than for someones curiosity the only reason I can see for a low pressure gauge is to be alerted to a pigtail getting plugged. If your EDR and boiler are a great match you may not care if you only build a few ounces of pressure but you might want to know if the primary safety device can't work because it can't see whats going on inside the boiler.

    Bob

    For a while, I had a schrader valve installed on my gauge side of the pigtail. The idea was, I could put a hand tire pump on it and one smooth push, clear out the pigtail.

    It worked.
    I'm sure it would work even without a gauge. No disassembly needed. If you can pump air without tripping the Pressuretrol, it's clear.




    This is a wonderful advancement, and I salute you if you came up with the idea, or if somebody else did, I still salute you for installing it. What type of fitting did you install that allowed you to mount a schrader valve? I think I'll add one of those to my system. Imagine the maintenance scenario: you could go to the boiler room and air-clean the pigtail while wearing a tuxedo. No need to mess with a wrench or disturb your ptrol/vstat. I like this. As an avid road bicyclist, I might opt for a presta valve, just for extra bragging rights. Anyhow, what type of fitting did you use to allow the inclusion of a schrader valve?
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    >
    > Anyhow, what type of fitting did you use to allow the inclusion of a schrader valve?

    Looks like a 1/4 brass tee. I think big box stores carry these on their fittings wall. Not sure where to get the valve tho.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    It's a schrader valve with 1/4" NPT on the other side.
    I thought it was a great idea, especially for the pros that need to service boilers. Maybe put a 1/4" ball valve between the schrader valve \ pigtail and the controls.

    https://www.amazon.com/Amflo-701-2-npt-tank-valve/dp/B0002V4Q4I

    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
    MilanD
  • RomanGK_26986764589
    RomanGK_26986764589 Member Posts: 229
    0-3 psi gauge is also helpful to observe if your water is getting dirty or too much treatment is added. It would register higher than normal pressures and will also fluctuate wildly. Something that is not possible to see on regular 0-30 psi gauge.
    MilanD
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 871
    edited January 2017
    I wonder if O.P. got the message.....seems like the threads where the OP disappears tend to result in all of us nerding out (@MilanD a badge I will wear with pride!! My wife gets a little upset everytime we are watching a movie and I am paying more attention to the radiators than to the story though) about something heating related until either the OP returns finally, or we get bored and move on to the next one.
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    @delta T HAHA! Me too - I seem to look at radiators whenever there is one somewhere in a background during a movie... Here's one story for you - from this am: at the breakfast table, my wife, my 5 yo and 2 yo kids. I was telling my wife about this low-firing thing on our newly 2-staged LGB, and about the possibility of slowing steam down and lowering op pressures on low-burn, how I may be onto something,... and my 5 yo daughter goes - 'Please Tata (she calls me Tata - Serbian for 'daddy'), not another boiler story!' :smiley: I fell off my chair laughing.
    LionA29delta THatterasguy
  • LionA29
    LionA29 Member Posts: 255
    @MilanD , wow pushing your limits at the breakfast table
    MilanD
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,863
    edited January 2017
    MilanD said:

    @delta T HAHA! Me too - I seem to look at radiators whenever there is one somewhere in a background during a movie... Here's one story for you - from this am: at the breakfast table, my wife, my 5 yo and 2 yo kids. I was telling my wife about this low-firing thing on our newly 2-staged LGB, and about the possibility of slowing steam down and lowering op pressures on low-burn, how I may be onto something,... and my 5 yo daughter goes - 'Please Tata (she calls me Tata - Serbian for 'daddy'), not another boiler story!' :smiley: I fell off my chair laughing.

    This exchange has happened many times between me and my father, and continues. I am not finished.


    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
    MilanDdelta T
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    edited January 2017
    @ChrisJ phew... Good. I'm not the only one! I have episodes like this all the time! Hehehe... Many times people glance at the wall clock above my desk while I'm going on about it.