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Where do you draw the line when they're this bad?

Double DDouble D Posts: 288Member
edited May 2018 in Strictly Steam
They followed the instructions, just not all the way through. They must have needed them for a kneeling pad. They made it to the first fitting and made sure both boilers were the same. "Connect riser to boiler with 2-1/2" elbow and nipple (not shown)". That part is to the letter on both boilers.

Now onto the puzzle. In calculating the venting, I figured the short main (16' of 2" feeding 2 rads) would need 2 Gorton 1's. The long main came out to 1.8cuft. so I used a B&J Big Mouth on that one. On a start up with timing starting when the 4" riser is steam hot, it took 6min for steam to close the Gorton side. After 6min 30sec. The Big Mouth stopped venting. When you take the vent off, still nothing. The boiler continued to fire for the next 12min. At 18min., the B&J vent started venting again. 2min. after that, steam arrived along with the sound of the water draining and some minor water hammer until the vent closed. Roughly 25' of the piping in inside an oak soffit. When I look through from either end, I don't see where the dry return could have any kind of a sag that would allow enough water to collect and block the system from venting. On a start up cycle the auto feeder cycles 2 times on the warm up. On long off cycles the water level in the sight glass is about an inch from the top. Would it be worth while to check the fittings at the end of the main where it drops to the dry return to see if there is something restricting the flow and allowing water to stack. Or can I assume the whole problem stems from the improper near boiler piping? BTW I did put in a skim port and skimmed the boiler. I also removed the bottom plug and wand washed the boiler.


    For what it's worth, I would never try to sell improvements to such a system without fixing the NBP. You don't want to end up like a dog chasing it's tail. Years back,when encountering such situations, I tried to do customers a favor and play with the main venting....It never worked out in the customer did not end up saving any money. The system will never ever work properly with the current piping. Tell the customer that they first need to have the piping changed and then you can move on from there if necessary. If they don't agree then you should just walk and leave the trouble to somebody else
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,897Member
    yikes, now thats some seriously poor piping practice. :'(

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • delta Tdelta T Posts: 726Member
    But don't you know that if you turn the header so its vertical you don't need an equalizer?........


    I mean, come on, at least they used both supply tappings.....
  • ratioratio Posts: 1,886Member
  • ScottSecorScottSecor Posts: 178Member
    I'm laughing to myself as I read your post and view the photos.

    Around here, almost every 'modern' installer installs a single 2" riser (copper or steel, depends on copper futures market I guess) from the boiler to the old header. Could be 250, 350 or 450 square feet EDR, doesn't matter. Most often there are two 2" steam mains in the "standard" steam house around here. Not sure what book they are reading, but I doubt the Dead Men ran two 2" single pipe mains because they felt like it. I also doubt the Dead Men would ever consider using a single 2" riser from the boiler to the typical 3" header. I try to educate the customer by using this analogy; would you prefer the firemen uses a garden hose or a fire hose to extinguish a big fire at your house? Most seem to get it and appreciate the improvement in performance when we're done.
  • newagedawnnewagedawn Posts: 549Member
    wow, i bet that home owner saved alot of money on the install,lol
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,931Member
    It's not all bad, they took the trouble to install the skim port!

    I would save the iron cap and put a sawzall to the rest of it.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Posts: 1,707Member
    I think I've seen every one of those errors before, but just not all on one boiler, let alone on two boilers sitting side by side. WoW..... Just WOW.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 288Member
    There once was a time when Dunkirk actually insisted you use threaded iron or steel pipe only but that was many years ago.
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 729Member
    Funny how even as novice only knowing what I picked up here I can see a lot of errors.
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 626Member
    Everything lower then the (what is that 4") main gets replaced!
  • Double DDouble D Posts: 288Member
    Correct, 4" reduced to 2" copper with a 4" X 2" bushing.
  • SeanBeansSeanBeans Posts: 242Member
  • RomanPRomanP Posts: 101Member
    As someone mentioned above, that Home owner did save a lot of money on install. Looks like poor bastards that did the job didn’t own a G300 machine and learned soldering from YouTube. MASSIVE LOL here. Looks like home owner is about to pay for another proper install. IMHO, need a sawzall and a new NBP after that.

    I hope they sized the boilers to the system and not to their inner voice callings ;)
  • RomanPRomanP Posts: 101Member
    I cringe when I see steam boilers NBP done in copper
  • dean_20dean_20 Posts: 13Member
    I'm just a home owner that happens to have a steam system and all I can say is "Oh my God".
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