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Extreme Cold Wreaking Havoc!

jch1
jch1 Member Posts: 200
I read the post regarding this issue, but it seems like this cold weather has caused two rad. valves (one pipe steam) to become damaged to the point that they are leaking water and audibly releasing air/steam/burbling. I guess it could be worse, and I'm glad that everything is heating up adequately, but it's certainly frustrating. On top of that, it seems like two of my Ventrite 1s have either gone "bad" or need a thorough cleaning - they are also audibly exhausting air/steam during the entire heating cycle. Fortunately, I have enough vents to replace them with.

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Are you 100% sure your Pressuretrol is working? It sounds to me like the pressure is out of control. That will cause valves to drip, around the bonnet and packing and will certainly cause vents to blow.
  • jch1
    jch1 Member Posts: 200
    I'm not 100% certain, no. But when I checked the pressure levels yesterday after the boiler was on for an extended period (30-45 mins if I had to guess), I was only at 7-8oz, though it was climbing. I'll check that out next.
  • jch1
    jch1 Member Posts: 200
    @Fred - you might be right. The system is running now to overcome the 2 degree setback, and it's at about 2-2.5psi, despite the pressuretrol being at the lowest setting. do I just need to clean out the pigtail?
  • jch1
    jch1 Member Posts: 200
    Looks like it's the pressure trol. There was no blockage at all in the pigtail, and I was still getting readings with the two gagues on the unit. The current one has a model number PA404A1009 Pressurtrol Control. Should I look for that exact model, or is there a more robust version of the device I could use?
  • jch1
    jch1 Member Posts: 200
    Sorry for the numerous posts. I checked the ptrol and it looks like it's working too. I manually lifted the lever, and it cut out just fine. I have it at the lowest settings, so I am kind of lost now. Any suggestions?
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,159
    Ptrol is probably out of calibration. There was a post here from a few days ago about how to recalibrate.
    jch1
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,159
    Also, with this cold snap, you may want to set a temp and leave it. Do not do any setbacks.
    jch1j a_2
  • Gary Smith
    Gary Smith Member Posts: 367
    did you check the little hole in the bottom of the ptrol to be clear when you cleaned the pigtail?
  • jch1
    jch1 Member Posts: 200
    Thanks @MilanD . @Gary Smith probably not as thoroughly as I should have. I will do so tonight when I get home from work.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @jch1 , here is the procedure to re-calibrate the Pressuretrol:
    Inside the Pressuretrol, right below the micro switch, there is a pivot arm. At the end of that arm you will see a screw pin that is activated by the diaphragm at the bottom of the Pressuretrol. If you look very carefully at that screw pin, you will see it actually has a tiny (I mean tiny) hex head on it. It takes a .050 hex wrench and you can turn it clockwise (Towards the bottom of the Pressuretrol to decrease the Cut-out pressure or counter clockwise to increase the cut-out pressure (which none of us want to do but who knows, your Pressuretrol may be really screwed up!). Turn the power to the unit off first. You may find the first attempt to turn that screw a little bit stubborn (relatively speaking) because it has some Locktite on it but it does turn. Don't turn too much, a tiny fraction of a turn goes a long way towards getting it adjusted where you want it (maybe 1/32 inch turn to start with) . You may need to play with it to get it exactly where you want cut out to be.
    jch1
  • jch1
    jch1 Member Posts: 200
    As always, thank you all for the help! I'll recalibrate the ptrol this evening.
  • jch1
    jch1 Member Posts: 200
    All,

    Thanks for the help. I put on the Y-strainer, the union, and my antler with two big mouths (and one additional tee that will soon have another BM on it) and two Gorton 2s. Unfortunately, it sounds like one of the G2s is leaky now. I'll look into that.

    So I also adjusted the ptrol to shut off at 1.5 using @Fred 's instructions. It cuts back in at about .7psi. Is that okay?

    Also, maybe I'm venting too fast, but I'm still getting some spitting/gurgling at the radiator valves (by the floor) even when it's at around -.75-1.25 psi. I'm going to have someone come out and replace or repack as needed on Friday.

    Last question. One of my adjustable ventrite vents that I recently replaced is audibly letting out air. I just want to be sure that this is okay so long as the entire rad. isn't hot.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    @jch1 , The Pressuretrol sounds like it should be fine now. If you are getting spitting at the actual supply valve on a radiator, it definitely sounds like it needs to be repacked. I assume it is leaking around the valve stem, at the packing nut? If the radiator that the vent-rite is on, that you can hear air escaping is large or has a long pipe run from the Main, you may well hear the air venting. Just make sure you don't have the vent wide open if you want to control the steam flow into that radiator. Keep it slow enough to allow the other radiators to heat as close to the same time as that one.
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,183
    My ventrites have gotten audible at times. I suspect that with a hot main and run outs the steam is moving to the cold part of the radiators with more velocity. System is running downhill. With cold pipes it’s a uphill battle to reach the radiators and things happen slower.

    With the cold weather my radiators are 3/4 heated most of the time. Boiler gets to the business making heat at the radiators after startup almost as fast as scorched air.

    You might try increasing the cycle rate if it’s adjustable.
  • jch1
    jch1 Member Posts: 200
    Thanks, @mikeg2015 - I was surprised to see how quickly the rads were heating up after the system had been running all day, so what you're saying makes sense. I have an ecobee thermostat, so it's kind of a backwards approach to setting CPH. I can't remember exactly how it's done, but I believe I just adjusted the minimum time between heat cycles to be as long as possible. That was either 30 minutes or longer.

    In essence, my heat turns on for about 35 minutes to an hour, and the system coasts for 1-2 hours. Once I got my pressuretrol working last night, it shut the boiler off once during a call for heat, and when it reset, it was only on for about five minutes before the setpoint temperature was met.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    edited December 2017
    @jch1 I think you are getting close to being where you want to be. I wouldn't change anything in terms of Cycles per hour. One of the biggest mistakes people make is they start to change everything, all at once and then don't understand what helped and what created more problems. Make one change at a time, like the Re-calibration of the Pressuretrol, let the system run a few cycles and then determine if something else needs adjusting.
    Also, remember, heating fast usually creates bigger temp swings. What you want is an even, balanced household temp, not necessarily fast on, fast off operation.
    jch1