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Near boiler pictures.

acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
Someone on the board said that I should post pictures of my whole system so they can get a better picture.
3 small radiators and 10 big radiators. Boiler is Enerjet 262,500 BTU input, 214,000 output and the Square Feet rating is something like 663. I currently have a pressuretol set at .05 and 1. Two story brick house built around 1920 heated by steam and basement heated by hotwater baseboard. 1st floor has 7 radiators {small one in hall and bathroom
} 2nd floor six radiators and one riser pipe in kitchen. Bathroom has a small one all others are nice big ones. Most have Gorton valves.


Return under main going to back of house


  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    Return from back of the house which is near ceiling meets return from front which runs on floor.

  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324

    From return back into boiler in two places one on top and one on bottom

  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 4,057
    edited February 11
    Well, I hate to tell you this, but the near boiler piping is totally wrong. Look at this diagram. It looks like your near boiler piping is done backwards from what it should be.

    Here's another:

    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,642
    link this post to your original so people know what issue's your having...
  • I bet those wet returns are 85% clogged and need replacing...
    Serving Rhode Island & Eastern Massachusetts
    Old Houses & Steam Heat Our Specialty
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    I actually put a snake thru them a few years ago and I can feel that the water is coming thru them. I do plan on replacing them because they have a lot of rust inside. Can I put copper returns instead?
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    I know its wrong but thats the way I got the house and until I change the boiler I have to make due with the piping the way it is. The steam is working.
  • neilcneilc Member Posts: 301
    Basically, there is nothing correct with near boiler piping.
    You have no header, just a boiler riser(should be, could be, 2?, with a proper header) direct to your system main(s).
    This means you have wet steam, which is one reason your vents might spit,
    Doesn't look like the pressuretrol or its pigtail have been serviced, so piggy could be blocked, or needing cleaning , , ,
    and your boiler pressure could be out of range.
    Are you blowing down the low water cut off? it looks lonely down there, like it doesn't get it's required blowdown, that's a safety device that needs weekly, bi weekly attention.
    What is the pressuretrol set to? and differential wheel inside set to?
    What pressure do you see on the gage when boiler cycles off?
    If more than 1.5 psi and there's another reason why water is dumping from your (odd) vents.
    What you have as an equalizer is pushing back on your wet return, and that's not a hartford loop.
    What's that brass vent, behind the boiler, venting ?
    looks like it drops down to a wet return(?)
    That vent needs to get raised up to the ceiling at least, or be removed, or, ?, what's it venting?
    Pressure more than 1 1/2 psi and your raising water in the wet returns up to ceiling height, and causing your flooding vents issue.
    Each PSI raises your water 28 inches above your boiler water line(in the sight glass).
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    edited February 11
    I cleaned the presseretrol this year and it was clean. set to .05 and 1, I do blowdown the low water cutoff all the time. The valve on the black pipe in back of the boiler is venting the return. I hear it let out air for a few minutes when the system goes on. It doesnt spit out any water after that. I dont get water out of the valves anymore. I may have slightly wet steam. Ho do I tell if its wet steam.
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    How long should it take for all the radiators in the house to become hot from the time the boiler goes on.
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    edited February 11
    Is the boiler size correct for the amount of radiators I have and the basement baseboard included?
    I am open to constructive criticism. When I get a new boiler I will make sure it is done right.
  • NTL1991NTL1991 Member Posts: 77
    The only way to know if the boiler is sized correctly is to calculate the total EDR of your installed radiation. There are many charts out there that'll help you calculate this.

    When replacing a steam boiler, you aren't concerned at all about the hot water loop load. Steam boilers need to be sized based on their connected steam radiation. If you add the hot water load to the boiler, it'll be oversized, and you'll get problems on the steam side.

    The hot water loop is utilizing the "pick up" load of the steam system. This energy is needed initially to get all that cold metal up to temperature. Once everything's hot, you then have that ~40K BTU to use for your hot water loop.
    Nick Lester, Cranston, RI
    Just a homeowner who loves to learn from others.
    1948 3-Family Colonial - 2650sq ft - Originally 1-pipe steam - Removed in 2008 for 3 separate hot water baseboard systems. Wish I had known what I know now! :(
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    Does my boiler have an equalizer?
  • Neild5Neild5 Member Posts: 54
    It has a bad attempt at one or at least something that trys to look like one but fails.
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    Since I extended the pipe with brass pipe a few feet above the return of the baseboard on the right side of the boiler with a hoffman 75 vent about a week ago my system is working the best it has ever been. The reason I used the hoffman 75 is in case for some reason water shoots up it should block it with the float and at the same time let the air out for the baseboard and block steam coming out. No water reaches the top anyway because there is not enough pressure to push it up so far. When the pipe was lower it did but now that I added some more pipe and made it higher it doesnt reach the top even when the boiler is on without the baseboard. The water only goes about three quarters up. I have no more banging water hammer on startup, no spitting vents. The steam may be a little wet but the boiler didnt come with a header and I dont want to take apart the pipes unless I have to put a new boiler in. When the boiler is on full I see the pressure can reach 1.5 to 2 on the Gage if its working properly. Sinc the return is much lower I dont think the water would empty out even if they broke. I did change some parts of the returns and the underground pipes a few years ago because they were leaking. When the boiler is on the water in glass is about halfway up most of the time. It takes about a half hour for all the radiators to get fully hot on the 2nd floor.
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    I also set the VXT water feeder to 8 minutes so it doesnt flood the boiler if the condensate is slow to return. I used to have that with the other Water feeder which only let a 2 or 4 minute delay
  • acl10acl10 Member Posts: 324
    My theory why when I added the extra pipe the water hammer stopped is what I read in the article on Gifford loop. "A boiler
    with the waterline too high has insufficient
    space for steam to separate out
    from the water. Instead, the steam will
    carry water up out of the boiler and
    into the system, causing hammer."
    By adding the pipe {which I did just to experiment for the baseboard and I didnt know it would eliminate the bang from the water hammer} I think I gave the water somewhere to go when the boiler starts up and the steam gets a chance to separate thus eliminating water hammer. Does anyone think this theory is correct?
  • NTL1991NTL1991 Member Posts: 77
    edited February 14
    To be honest, there are many posts here about your system and its difficult to follow your train of thought with your attempted solutions. I think you might have some confusion on the fundamentals of your system. Dan has many many articles on the Systems Help Center page here. I'd spend some time reading through those articles to get a better understanding of your system.

    There's one that I know will benefit you with your system, it's the Hot Water Loop with Steam article. It explains all you'll need to know about that baseboard loop you have installed.

    We're here for you, but you've got to consolidate these posts into one main thread listing your symptoms and what you've done as well as clearer pictures of the near boiler piping and overview shots that aren't too close.

    I would also make a list of your radiators. Find their EDR and total them all up, see where you stand as far as sizing is concerned. You'll likely only have a few sizes of radiators throughout the whole house, it's not as much work as it sounds and it'll be good to have this info for the future.
    Nick Lester, Cranston, RI
    Just a homeowner who loves to learn from others.
    1948 3-Family Colonial - 2650sq ft - Originally 1-pipe steam - Removed in 2008 for 3 separate hot water baseboard systems. Wish I had known what I know now! :(
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