Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
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/.

Steam Radiator single pipe air venting rusty smell

nier01
nier01 Member Posts: 56
edited December 2018 in Strictly Steam
Good day to all, I have a new boiler installed last March 2018. My radiator since been venting a rusty smell up to now. I tried to clean the water on the boiler a couple of times, but the smell is still there. All the pipes are the same old pipes before the new boiler. I should also add that all the vents hisses more than before the new boiler. It seems like it releases more air than with the old boiler. Please i need help !
«13

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,756
    Is it possible they removed your main vent when they installed your new boiler? Let us know if you don't know what your main vent(s) is/are.

    Is the hissing happening in the period between when the boiler fires up and the time when the radiator gets hot? Does it ever stop hissing?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    - Was the boiler properly skimmed?
    - What is the Pressuretrol set at?
    - Does this happen on all radiators or just some of them?
    - How many mains are there?
    - If there are vents on the main(s) can we see pictures of them?
    - Can we see some pictures of the near boiler piping to see how they installed it?
    ethicalpaul
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Thank you for your reply. Skimmed maybe not but I flushed the boiler many times that i don't see any oil on the water. The pressuretrol is set to 2 plus 1 differential. Most of the radiators hiss and vents air with rusty smell. There is only 1 main, it has gorton no1. i will sent pictures later... Could it be my return condensate pipe dirty? Im the 3rd owner of the house probably the pipes been there since the old boiler was installed.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Thank you ethicalpaul for the reply. My main vent is still there. I clean it last March with vinegar. I think it still works. Yes the hiss starts when the boiler fired up and also stops after venting, It opens and closes as it suppose to be. But the smell is there every air venting.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    I actually clean the boiler Utility Wonder Colloid Boiler Cleaner put it for 2 weeks and clean the water completely out of the boiler.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,355
    A few thoughts -- the pressure. Is that 2 psi cutin plus 1 differential ? It should be more like 0.7 psi cutin plus 1 differential. Flushing the boiler is not a substitute for skimming. They don't do the same thing at all.

    And a Gorton #1 is unlikely to be big enough to be the main vent...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    after 2 weeks clean it again. Water is not clean since . Maybe 1 month.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    What @Jamie Hall said. Get the boiler skimmed, reduce the Pressuretrol Cut-in and Differential, for sure.
    How long is that main and what diameter pipe? A Gorton #1 is only sufficient for about 10 ft. of 2" pipe. These things alone may well fix the problem.
    Is the condensate slow returning to the boiler? If not, the return is not likely a problem but they should be flushed out annually, if you have locations on the wet returns that can be opened for flushing.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Thank you. I'll ask someone to skim it. Pressuretrol to reduce to 1 cut in and 1 differential, is that enough? My main definitely more than 10 feet. My condensate maybe returning slow coz the water in the glass always increases without me adding water. in fact i have to remove some water every 2 weeks.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    edited December 2018
    Reduce the Cut-In to .5 or .7 and the Differential to "1". The lower you can run the pressure, the better.
    Skim the boiler. An unstable water line can trip the Low Water Cut-Off/Auto Water feed, just as a slow return can.
    Make sure all your radiators have a slight pitch, back towards the supply valve.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    edited December 2018
    ok, i'll try cut in to .5 and differential to 1. All my radiators are pitched.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    thank you.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,523
    @nier01

    Are you getting steam pressure on you gage at any time the boiler is running?? How is the boiler water line when steaming? It shouldn't bounce more than 3/4"

    nier01
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Hi to everyone. So i did able to clean my boiler by skimming and flushing my condensate. My main vent has 2x gorton no2 and 1x gorton no1 (used to be 1x gorton no1). My pressuretrol set to about less than 1 psi plus 1 psi additive. My boiler cuts off at approx 2 psi. Water in the glass bounce less than 1/2 inch when running.Water also appears clear inside the glass. Change some of the radiator vents. But my problem is still there the rust smell when the air is venting. I think my pipes have rust all over. I'm thinking of using Rector Seal 8 way to remove the rust. Would this solve my problem? The house smells like a hint of rust because of this air venting. I really appreciate, everyone's opinion here. Good day!
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    Are all the radiators pitched back towards the supply valve so that water can drain back to the boiler? Even one poorly pitched radiator, could possibly hold enough water to maybe cause that rusty smell. I wouldn't use any chemicals in the boiler. It is a new boiler and that cleaner won't do a thing as far as cleaning pipes and radiators.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    edited January 2019
    Hi, Fred, Thank you for your reply.
    All radiator are pitched. I added like about 1 cm of wood to every radiator. Yes the boiler is new but my pipes including main and radiators are old. The boiler water is relatively clean when i try to flush ( slight brownish ). my new boiler is Weil McLain eg45.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,154
    Do you drain the water out of the bottom of the wet return in addition to the bottom of the boiler?
    With a Hartford Loop water and sludge is trapped in the wet return piping. Draining the boiler will not drain the wet return piping.
    Post a picture of the return piping on the side of the boiler, also floor to ceiling pictures of the piping, thanks.
    nier01
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    Hi @nier01 Do you hear any banging when your system is heating? Water could be pooled in a pipe or elsewhere. Most of us have 100+ year old steam pipes with no odor. Are you sure it's from the steam system? Is there any possibility that you have a plumbing drain anywhere that hasn't been used in a long time and maybe the trap is dry allowing sewer gases to back up into the house?
    Can you post a picture of a typical radiator connection? Sometimes some of the pipes are small and the radiator connection has been bushed down for that pipe and, even though you have 1CM of pitch (less than 1/2") it may not be enough. Also, if you can put a level on the top of the radiators and verify they have pitch, it would help. Floors settle, especially where heavy radiators sit and a 1CM shim just may make the radiator level with still no pitch.

    I know this started when the new boiler was installed and it may be somehow connected with that change but it could also be coincidental.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Hi Jughne, Thank you for your reply. I did flush the wet return aside from the draining the boiler, I could post picture later for I'm not home.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,491
    Every radiator holds water, quite a bit of it. I highly doubt that's the source.

    My system did smell some for a while after I installed a new boiler. It wasn't an iron smell though, I don't think.

    Has this improved since last year, gotten worse? Stayed the same? What about before the new boiler? Did it smell?
    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
    nier01ethicalpaul
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Hi Fred, Im sure its the air vents smelling coz i stick my nose near the vent when its releasing air. I actually dont hear loud banging but during the night when its really quiet i hear sound but not loud. I'm also thinking my steam is wet. Since the bathroom radiator vent has gorton no4 and i see water sometimes. (the bathroom is closer to the boiler so it heats faster.) Could it be wet steam making my pipes rusted? The mains are not insulated by the way.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    Why do you say the pipes are really rusty? The inside of a main typically has very little rust. Do you mean the outside of the pipes? They will show some rust, especially if the basement is damp. Those uninsulated mains aren't helping your situation as they will cause a lot more steam to condense before the steam can reach the radiators.
    If you see water on the floor, under that Gorton #4, that either means that radiator is venting too fast or that that radiator is holding enough water that when the steam flows into it, it pushes the water up into that vent. Too much pressure can also do that. Have you cleaned the Pigtail since the boiler was installed? Can you post a picture of the Pressuretrol too so we can see what pressure it is set to?
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Hi Fred, I say the pipes connecting the radiators rusty. Coz i seen the inside 2 of the pipes when i changed the radiator valves last weekend. I would say like powder rust on the inside of the pipe. (is that normal?) The pigtail wasnt cleaned since the install last March 2018. The pressuretrol is set to about .5 or more ( the gauge to me isn't that accurate to see. But Im pretty sure it is less than or equal to1. I'll post picture later. If its helps the boiler cuts of about 2 psi according to the 0 -30 psi gauge connected to the pressuretrol. Thank for your reply.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    Yes, a reddish coating on the inside of the pipe is normal and actually acts like a protective coating in that pipe.
    nier01ethicalpaul
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Oh, ok, if thats is normal. Where is the possible source of that smell and why does the vent vents more than it should. Could my pressuretrol deceiving me? Could the pressure be higher in actual? Sorry I'm really newbie when it comes to this.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    Yes, the pressure could be higher than you think. You really need a 0-3PSI gauge installed on your boiler to see what is actually going on. Here is a link to the gauge many of us use:
    https://www.pressureworx.com/product/low-pressure-gauge-25-0-3-psi
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    ok ill try the install 0-3 psi gauge. Install insulations on the main. Still if my pressure is high since all my vents higher. How to control my pressure then? Pressuretrol is set to supposed lower psi cut in and cut off. Should i change my pressuretrol too?
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    I would check the pigtail that the Pressuretrol is mounted on and see if it might be clogged.
    nier01
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    edited January 2019
    ok, i'll try that tonight. thank you very much Fred. Could the installer have oversized the boiler? ( I have read it from a different forum here)
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    Did the installer measure your radiators before he ordered the boiler? If not, the boiler could well be over-sized but that should not have any affect on the smell you are experiencing.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    Smell maybe, but venting higher? Could it be?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,491
    edited January 2019
    I did ask some questions but I guess I don't count?

    ;)
    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
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    nier01 said:

    Smell maybe, but venting higher? Could it be?

    Very doubtful. I'd love to see the boiler and the water in the sight glass. Is the water clear or is there some color to it? I'm thinking the installer may have put some type of cleaner in the boiler and you are smelling that. Has the boiler ever been skimmed or drained and refilled since it was installed?
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    ChrisJ so sorry I didnt mean to offend you. Im reading the forum while working. (sneaking) .So i might have not read your question. with reagrds with the smell its been the same. The water in the boiler is better kinda brown little red. But compared the first months it is better. With a little smell, but i think thats normal. The sight glass water is clear. I actually cleaned it a week ago, flush the rust down. And thank you for your participation.
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56









  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    edited January 2019
    these are the pictures of the pressuretrol, boiler main line and the main vent i just added a week ago. Sorry kinda late.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,622
    Boiler piping isn't correct, which is most likely leading to wet steam that could possibly be the cause of the problem. Even if it isn't the cause it's very likely amplifying the issue.

    1. Header is supposed to be 2 1/2" minimum, I can clearly see a "2" on the tee fitting.
    2. Header is reduced in the horizontal going back to the equalizer which can back up water into the header.

    Both of these things can lead to wet steam and a new boiler that could be surging will make it even worse. You don't have minimum spec there and the installer needs to resolve that first IMHO.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
    nier01
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    edited January 2019
    KC Jones, thank you for your response.
    So the the header is wrong size and the angle of the pipe is also wrong. It seems like the installer doesn't know the minimum specs. (me either). I think the wet steam is causing the rust on the pipes not just the main but also the small pipes. Now since the pipes have rust on it when the air vents some of that rust goes with it. Causing the smell when radiator vents. Could this be the scenario I'm having now?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,622
    That is plausible, like I said it might be your problem, or it may just be amplifying it.

    The minimum spec is in the manual, there is literally a picture of how to pipe it and the pipe sized are listed.

    On that boiler he would have been better off just running 3" pipe from the outlet through the header IMHO. I can't tell with the riser pipe size is, but it appears to be 3" already.

    The horizontal reduction to the equalizer is bad piping practice, it's not specifically mentioned in the manual, but if the contractor is running the pipe I would consider it basic knowledge to do the job.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • nier01
    nier01 Member Posts: 56
    edited January 2019
    Yes the outlet is 3'' but reduce to 2''. It seems that my installer may have designed the pipes not good to the specs. Could correcting this will be difficult and thus cause me money?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!