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1933 Blueprint located, Attic mains, 2 pipe system. Questions

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JUGHNE
JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
Schoolhouse has downfeed steam supply. Print shows no vent in attic.
I assume that these mains be installed as parallel flow, draining to the far end.
I can't see them and don't really want to visit the attic.

But during some buried dry return repairs, I fear they may have not maintained correct slope and have water pockets, turning dry returns into wet returns. The only venting of course is thru traps to the cond pump.
Any ideas to correct the situation. The new piping is under concrete floor.
I did replace/relocate the F&T for the 6" riser. Added air vents before the F&T to speed up the air removal.
Any more ideas?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,446
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    You don't want to visit the attic? Can't think why not...

    Can you get venting for those mains, though, by putting vents on some or all of the downcomers? So long as they were before any radiation runouts, they should be just as effective, I would think. Likewise the potentially unvented maybe dry returns -- something high up on the vertical lines down?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,629
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    Originally it wouldn't need vents. The condensate pump is the vent. If it can't vent due to the wrong pitch or water pockets in the returns then vents need to be added upstream of the water pockets.....unless you can get rid of the pockets
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    Yes, I have thought about venting the drop supplies. That would help the main venting out. Also most rads have TRV's which have to slow down the main air venting IMO. Then deciding which returns are water sealed.
    I actually would visit the attic if the print showed any main vents....usually not the case for 2 pipe, which this is.

    Interesting things on the print:
    "2" bleeder" which I take to be the equalizer as it is drawn at the boiler.
    "blast trap" shown connected to the dirt pocket for the drip of a riser.
    (insists upon a 5' cooling leg also) .....F&T
    "Manual Training Room"....I assume shop
    "Domestic Science Room".....I assume Home EC...sewing room is attached.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    After system has run awhile, there is a plug in a tee to view the condensate returning to the pump. You can hear air bubbling thru water. Sometimes this system will overfill from what I believe is trapped water held up somewhere. Plenty of things to study.
    Found some obvious issues. One of the attic risers has a dirt leg with a tee for the F&T drip. It is about 12' above the gym floor.
    With a FLIR gun I can see that there is no water draining from the dirt leg.....I assume it is plugged and the condensate is running back down the main and then thru the header into the boiler. It is a 3 1/2" main with only about 10' to the 6" header. It is lightly loaded so I assume that is the reason for no water hammer. But will give wet steam to the other riser/main.

    They have seen improvement from what I have done so far. Now to convince them they have more issues that don't seem so obvious.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,427
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    @JUGHNE, seriously?! You have blueprints for a 1933 down feed steam system and you’re not going to post them?! Tease.
    Tom bates
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    Issue No 1-3-15-'33.
    Shows all connected EDR.
    Get this: 69 1/3......or 41 1/4 EDR.
    That is getting down to exacts.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,629
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    Sounds like you have this under control. I believe they did used to call the equalizer a "bleeder" which I thing was just a drip with no Hartford loop.

    People say air can't vent through water and (I'm sure it can't vent well) but if that was true none of the old systems that lacked vents would heat at all but they somehow do

  • Tom bates
    Tom bates Member Posts: 29
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    I agree, I too would love to add these to my collection, btw danny if you want to see some old drawings I could send you a few buildings from the 20s and 30s I have plans for

    @JUGHNE, seriously?! You have blueprints for a 1933 down feed steam system and you’re not going to post them?! Tease.

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    So the EDR of CI rads shown adds up to 3780.74.
    (fractions used in EDR labeling)
    There are 2 fair sized hanging heaters that I cannot reach, but they are fed by 2" supply.

    Boiler nameplate shows 4563 Sq Ft....leaving 783 EDR for the 2 hanging heaters. About 94,000 Btu each. All the numbers seem to crunch out about right.

    So with boiler output of 1,440,000 btu heating 13,464 sq feet of finished rooms that comes out to be about 106 btu/ft..........
    Did they oversize in 1933 to leave the windows open? :*

    Another interesting tidbit; the print shows a tee connection in the attic. It is drawn as a 5" X 3.5" X 3.5" Tee (eccentric fittings). It is almost intriguing enough to visit the attic for a picture of that...... but then again maybe not. My guess would be full size tee with nipples feeding reducing eccentric couplings?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    So this was fired up on Nov 1st.
    The water level in the boiler was at assumed correct center of the glass.
    After confirming that both LWCO were working correctly, I shut off the water feeder valve. (New good ball valve.....the broken union test had been done at least twice)
    The maint man checks the boiler daily and blows down both LWCO.
    He had to drain water out of the boiler every day for the first two weeks of operation as he would find it overfilled.
    Then after the 2 weeks the water line stabilized and he turned the fill valve back on.
    He said today (2-8-18) it has not over filled again.
    The weather is such that it would have been firing nearly everyday since Nov 1st.

    So where would that water been hiding all summer only to return after being fired up?

    1.4 MBTU......attic express mains......1.5 to 2.75 PSI
    cond pump fed.

    Maint man says I have it running like a top...he is happy.

    Short cycles a lot.......I am baffled by the hidden water returning.
  • Mike Cascio
    Mike Cascio Member Posts: 143
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    A. You should visit the attic and see what this tee is. I will be interesting none the less.

    B. Where are the prints.
  • Shalom
    Shalom Member Posts: 165
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    I gotta better question, how big are these prints, and can they be scanned with anything commonly available to a consumer? They might be tabletop-sized.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    A: You may visit the attic......I am sure it is nicely packed in asbestos plaster.

    B: The prints are in a safe place......if I can find them in my office!

    Print size 24 x 36

    Also have:
    1954 school w/edr piping-2 pipe steam
    1961 school w/edr piping-HW w/pneumatics
    1954 church w/edr piping-2 pipe steam

    But no one sees anything until I figure out where this water came from. >:)
    CanuckerMike Cascio
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,427
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    Just show us the prints guy
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
    edited February 2018
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    Shaking me down for my lunch money now eh.

    I could have my next "Meals On Wheels" delivered to you! B)
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Overhead distribution and dry returns are excellent.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,629
    edited February 2018
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    Does this boiler maintain steam pressure 24/7?? (not likely) Or run on a stat?? Any condensate tanks or boiler feed pumps??
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    Boiler on tstat, probably set on hold.
    Cond pump.

    TRV on most rads.
    New dry return under floor, replacement may not have good slope to pump.
    One main, that has little EDR that is still connected, had bottom of riser drip F&T that is probably not working and that drip goes back to the 6" header down into the boiler.

    Someplace stored water all summer and with 2.75 PSI it got returned to the boiler.

    This is 50 miles from me, so I am not able to do the typical visits to steamers I enjoy.......1.5 blocks......5 blocks......9 miles....and there is one merely 30 miles in the direction of the 50 mile one.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,629
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    Sounds like you have a few possibilities for hanging water
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    Yes, but was "hanging" all summer.
    So 50 rad traps...that were supposedly repaired just a few years ago......but they seldom fail closed to hold water do they?

    About 40 TRVs that could lock shut holding water in? but all summer?

    Maybe this spring.

    Still open to any suggestions or ideas.
  • FinishGuy
    FinishGuy Member Posts: 31
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    Around here a really old attic can be hazmat territory for another reason. Bat and bird guano can be serious ‘beep’, as I am sure many of you know.

    Respirator and tyvek suit and old sneaker time.

    I would rather not, same as you @JUGHNE.
    1916 two-family, now condo. Top floor. 970 sq. ft. of ‘well ventilated’ space. One-pipe, parallel flow, gas fired steam heat. 27’ of 2” main (un-insulated) vented via Gorton #2. 27’ 1 1/2” dry return (un-insulated) vented by Dole #5. 7 HB Smith Princess 2 col. radiators (38” tall) & 1 ARCo 30s era thin-tube 6 x 8 sec. (32” tall) = total radiator EDR 244. Using Maid-o-Mist radiator vents, sized by calc. & 14 winters tinkering. 1980 HB Smith G210-S-5 rated output 120,000 btu, poor near boiler piping.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Do the plans show a condensate pump?

    I suspect the pump is an add-on. I would think that overhead supply with dry returns was designed with adequate B dimension. And now with TRV s do you need traps on rads?
  • Mike Cascio
    Mike Cascio Member Posts: 143
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    Also, was the boiler originally in a pit?
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,427
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    Come on guys, stop responding until he shows us the prints! :lol:
    Canucker
  • brandonf
    brandonf Member Posts: 205
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    A good phone camera can take very good, legible pictures of the blue prints with a steady hand.
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci