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See wet steam in the wild

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ethicalpaul
ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
OK gang, I did it. I put a sight glass on my riser, check it out: https://youtu.be/Si-FoRQVIpA
NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
SuperJSuperTechZman

Comments

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Wow, that's more than wet steam! Seems like that side tapped Utica must have both tappings in use and I bet the one that is used has been bushed down. Velocity seems to be the real issue??
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    Yes I’m sure the single tapping isn’t helping. I was warned about that way back when I first came to HH. But 2” is full size.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
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    Wow indeed! One of the best arguments for big enough risers -- and even bigger headers -- one could ever want!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaulNew England SteamWorks
  • SuperJ
    SuperJ Member Posts: 609
    edited February 2019
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    Why does all the water almost disappear sometimes? Like around 8min in?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    Great question, @SuperJ , I noticed that too. It could be pressure or water level changes that settled down the boiling for awhile, or it could be something to do with the movement of water or steam between the sections of the boiler. Not sure!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    I guess I made the assumption that it had thrown enough water up into the main that the water level in the boiler was low enough to minimize throwing much more into the side tapping, at least until the water returned back into the boiler.

    It would be interesting @ethicalpaul if you noted the water level in the boiler when it reaches the point of little or no water in that riser and started the boiler with that amount of water in it and see if it still throws water into that riser.
    ethicalpaulCanucker
  • coelcanth
    coelcanth Member Posts: 89
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    what does your waterline in the regular sightglass look like during all this ??
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    Not bad. I aim the camera at it briefly during this video. It moves but nothing crazy (but I only know my boiler so take that with a grain of salt)
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,194
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    Makes a great armgument for a drop header to seperate that out.

    What’s the pressure on the system.

    I wonder if mine look like this inside. I can see on the gauge and fee and a very soft rumble even with pressure at<1/2oz.
    ethicalpaul
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
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    I see a lot of those Utica and every other brand piped wrong even w the video I doubt it would change the ho mind as to why they have unfixable issue s unless u correct the near boiler piping .i believe Fred is right on the wEt steam halting at some point it seems when lower the water line bout 1 inch or so on those Utica’s the sight glasss and boiler behave a little better It just seems to be imposssible that no one would pay extra for the right job but I guess people love drama and having a issue to complain bout is a major thing these days so instead of complaining bout neighbors ,kids or wife u can complain bout your steam boiler and crappy heat blame it on the whole steam heating industry or pay the higher price and get the right job or live and complain Not to be a **** but didn’t need the glass pipe to know u making wet steam just go to the lash and do the math Paul I have to admit love your stick to it ism peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    ethicalpaul
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,515
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    wow @ethicalpaul Thanks for sharing That was amazing Amazing
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    I dumped about a gallon which was about an inch lower for resting water level and now no boiler water appears in the riser during boil. Just a very small amount of condensate coming back.

    I was at 24” above the bottom of the boiler, about 3/4 in the glass. So now I’m about 1/2.

    I was at 8 ounces during the video but without the water in the riser it’s running at about 2 ounces on the gauge!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    1MatthiasCanucker
  • 1Matthias
    1Matthias Member Posts: 148
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    Dang. Mind if I use this video to show people what happens when you have improper piping/water level? I've had a couple clients that think the water should be right to the top of the sight glass.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    Absolutely! Anyone can use it for any reason!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    SuperTech
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 753
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    I think with steam there is an art to dialing steam heat in since every system has it's own temperament. You have to find the correct waterline that works with the header, the operating pressure that works with the mains and the vents, the correct vents for the mains and the radiators, the correct pitch for the pipes and the rads. I actually found myself tracking down a water hammer with a long screw driver like I used to do to diagnose problems and tune an old water cooled car engine I had that people don't know how to fix anymore.

    The problem is whoever you have come to fix it is there for an hour or so and likely has limited knowledge of steam so is just doing whatever the text book says which is also likely wrong. There are very few people in the trade that actually know what they are doing, I am happy to have found one of they few.

    @ethicalpaul there are very few people who would have thought to lower the water line to solve your problem. I had the same experience, couldn't see the water in the risers but could hear it. I lowered the water level, chocked down the autofeeder, massed out the venting to lower the operating pressure and the problem was solved.

    I think your experiments and visuals like this are really helpful for non professionals on this site to actually understand what is going on inside their boiler.
    ethicalpaulSeanBeans
  • jhrost
    jhrost Member Posts: 57
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    Very informative. I knew something like this was happening in my wrongly piped boiler, but more from hearing than seeing. So when you lowered that water level an inch were all your radiators still heating adequately? It shows that even a flawed system can be improved if you have a handle on what is going on, because many of us have to work with the installations we have, and not the ones we wish we had.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    Here it is with the water line lowered by about 1”. No other change!!

    https://youtu.be/IjPLN2NO2n8
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    LS123
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
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    So cool. Did you get the parts machined locally?
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 2,184
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    I like your sight glass, that's pretty cool. I want one for my hydronic boiler, it's got me thinking about how to do it...

    Why does your boiler water look so nasty? Don't you flush your boiler out every once in a while?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    It’s Rectorseal 8-way to keep the ph up (which if too high can exacerbate this situation so I’m still dialing in the right amount)
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    > @amitjm1980 said:
    > So cool. Did you get the parts machined locally?


    No, they are a readily available fastening system called tri-clamp. Used in brewing, etc.

    2-1/2"Sanitary Sight Glass Tri... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J67MFBF?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    SuperTech
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    > @jhrost said:
    > Very informative. I knew something like this was happening in my wrongly piped boiler, but more from hearing than seeing. So when you lowered that water level an inch were all your radiators still heating adequately?

    Yes. The steam is fine. I was running that level or lower for a year.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,231
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    > @amitjm1980 said:

    > So cool. Did you get the parts machined locally?





    No, they are a readily available fastening system called tri-clamp. Used in brewing, etc.



    2-1/2"Sanitary Sight Glass Tri... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J67MFBF?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

    I guess there are NPT adapters of some kind for this fitting?
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Intplm.SuperTech
  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 649
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    Thanks for those videos. really cool to watch. Almost makes me want a steam system in my house.
    Miss Hall's School service mechanic, greenhouse manager,teacher and dog walker
    ethicalpaulLarry (from OSHA)SuperTech
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,996
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    What inspired you to do this? Go to all that trouble?

    Have you seen the videos of the see threw working steam boilers? Bet you have.

    I gotta say this is an excellent visual ! Nice video. @ethicalpaul Thanks for showing it.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
    edited February 2019
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    I was just really interested to see what was going on in there :)

    I did see that WM video with the big demo boiler on a trailer with the glass header and I'm sure that was an inspiration.

    The first step was the little glass on the return...that one was super easy--the glass was about the same length as a nipple that was above a union in the drop to the wet return, so it was an easy swap. Then when I saw there were times that boiler water was running down it, I had to have a look at the main's riser!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Intplm.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,725
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    Grallert said:

    Thanks for those videos. really cool to watch. Almost makes me want a steam system in my house.


    You can have one!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • amitjm1980
    amitjm1980 Member Posts: 33
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    I may have to see if I can get a small version to add to the bottom of my pigtails....would be good to monitor gunk building up to prevent damage to the pressuretrol and my low pressure gauges!
    SuperTech
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 753
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    @ethicalpaul thanks for the videos.

    Your boiler water looks pretty nasty, when was the last time it and the boiler and returns were flushed? Water quality issues can add to wet steam.
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
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    Saw the title thought of this........ wet steam in the wild.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=19&v=LWrklFuYnb0
    Intplm.ethicalpaul
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
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    @Leonard that was what I thought!

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • brandonf
    brandonf Member Posts: 205
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    That makes me want a double drop header. Lol
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
    ethicalpaul
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 2,002
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    Hats off to @ethicalpaul. Makes one think. Why shouldn't these be mandatory on all boiler installations?
    Intplm.ethicalpaulNew England SteamWorks