Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.

If you've found help here, check back in to let us know how everything worked out.
It's a great way to thank those who helped you.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Summertime heat up when calling for hot water

MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
I apologize in advance but I searched and could not seem to find any recent discussions covering this topic. I have a megasteam system that was installed in December 2010. It has a hot water coil as well. It seems this summer I have noticed way more than ever that the steam is progressing into the whole system when calling for hot water. In past seasons, I would barely notice it but this summer it's ridiculously often, to the point where I have gone around and closed all the rad valves trying to keep the heat down. This morning it was so bad I decided to come on here and see if I can find any help. I was doing dishes and even with the faucet just on luke warm, the boiler was making hot water and to the point where the further rad away from the system was hissing and the pipe was hot. Has something gone wrong that I need to attend to or is this somewhat normal and I just never noticed it before. It's kind of aggravating having the AC cranked because it's 90 out and I have the heat on!





Comments

  • ZmanZman Posts: 4,997Member
    The boiler running at 16 psi anytime of year is a problem. Chances are you have some miswired or failed controls. You will probably need a pro to sort this out.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
    It is a bit lower when off. Right now it's at 10psi. If it is overfilled would that cause psi to be too high? I've noticed when I have drained it the psi is lower.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 2,330Member
    edited July 28
    Is the gauge correct? When the boiler is idle the gauge should read 0.
    Your cut in is at 3.5 lbs. Too high. Lower it to .5 lbs. Lower the diff to 1.
    If your closing all the vents then you'll have pressure issues. I also see no reason to set the aquastat to 180°. 140° and mixed to 120° out to the house.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 7,865Member
    It’s not normal to have steam reaching the radiators in summer.
    I suspect the pressure gauge to be faulty, so change that first to a 0-3 psi low pressure gauge, and readjust the pressure control to cut off at 1.5 psi, and on at 8 ounces.
    There should be a aqua stat control which would prevent the boiler from exceeding 140 degrees or so, if there is no call for heat. This control may not be functioning properly.
    The internal coil is not as efficient as an indirect tank when producing hot water.
    Use the find a contractor button here to find someone in your area, who understands these systems.—NBC
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
    This all set by the installer 9 years ago but 3 or so years ago we took the cut out off and cleaned it because it was clogged. It was a new boiler in 2010 but old rads and 75% old pipes. We've since changed some pipes that sprung leaks but I am sure there is still lots of gunk in the system. Will clean a few things and lower the temp on the aqua stat and then find a contractor if still not working properly.

    Thanks guys!
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
    > @nicholas bonham-carter said:

    > Use the find a contractor button here to find someone in your area, who understands these systems.—NBC

    Tried but none within 30 miles!
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,787Member
    The "pigtail" loop under the adjustable pressure control often plugs and then the control cannot feel the steam pressure.

    Your water level looks low, you want the hot water coil to be under water in the boiler. As low as it looks now the steam would be what is heating the coil.

    Also, the sight glass assembly comes apart easily for cleaning.
    Especially check the valves that go into the boiler.

    There is more you can do, check back please.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,672Member
    There aren't any in your immediate area. However, you could try @Charlie from wmass . He's in Springfield, and I know he does some work in Connecticut -- and he's excellent.

    Also very busy...
    Jamie



    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
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > The "pigtail" loop under the adjustable pressure control often plugs and then the control cannot feel the steam pressure.
    >
    > Your water level looks low, you want the hot water coil to be under water in the boiler. As low as it looks now the steam would be what is heating the coil.
    >
    > Also, the sight glass assembly comes apart easily for cleaning.
    > Especially check the valves that go into the boiler.
    >
    > There is more you can do, check back please.

    The water is actually to the top of the glass. I think you are seeing the old scum line.
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
    > @Jamie Hall said:
    > There aren't any in your immediate area. However, you could try @Charlie from wmass . He's in Springfield, and I know he does some work in Connecticut -- and he's excellent.
    >
    > Also very busy...

    I did see him come up but he is like an hour at least away. Weird no one comes up as there are thousands of steam systems in my area. Maybe they just dont get listed on here.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,070Member
    I often go through out CT even as far as New Canaan to address faulty installations. The use of copper in this case has lead to excessive corrosion within the system. The probe mentioned is supposed to be cleaned annually. The gauge in question is simply clogged in it's internal syphon. If the system reached 15 psi the relief would be blowing off.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • FizzFizz Posts: 498Member
    All good advice, so listen to these guys. One of best adjustments I made to boiler concerning heating wataer was making sure coils were covered by water; since that time plenty of hot water. That advice gotten here!
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,972Member
    It looks like your aquastat is set to 180 degrees. make sure its firmly attached to the water pipe so it's sensing the temperature.

    Then adjust it down to 160 and see if that corrects the radiators heating up. If that does work you can adjust it up in 5 degree increments if you need hotter water.

    I agree about the probability of a clogged pigtail and gauge.

    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
  • Zipper13Zipper13 Posts: 94Member

    > @nicholas bonham-carter said:



    > Use the find a contractor button here to find someone in your area, who understands these systems.—NBC



    Tried but none within 30 miles!


    Keep looking and extend your search radius. I had someone willing to drive 90+ miles each way(for no extra charge because he was already working a couple towns over on a repipe job anyway that day) to to do a boiler cleaning and overall evaluation for recommended upgrades.

    I suspect more often than not, though, you'll get hit for a good bit of that travel time, but I do know some of my friends in the trades will waive their travel costs if it might get their foot in the door for other substantial work.

    The biggest thing I've learned here is that the community of qualified steam heat pros is small....and that can mean that it will probably cost more to get it done right, but it's worth it!
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 768Member
    edited July 29
    respectfully, in the summer, the pigtail and pressuretrol shouldn't even be coming into the equation for this issue. I'd be focusing on the aqua stat and the actual temperature of the water in the boiler (maybe drain some out to measure it during a call for heat by the aqua stat).

    It seems that the water temp is getting to 212 and that should never be happening if the aqua stat is seeing the actual water temperature and not failing. No?

    Oh, and get a water heater so you don't have to run your boiler in the summer.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
    So far I turned down the water temp on the aquastat to 150. I really don't need super hot water in the summer! I'll leave that for a few days and see what happens.
    How can I tell if the hot water coil is covered with water? Since it is internal I can't see it.....
    Next weekend we will tackle cleaning the pigtail as I know it needs it. House was built in 1840 and heat added somewhere around 1950 or so. When I bought the house there was an old Arcoliner Boiler. Took 6 guys to get it out of the basement and it about killed them! I'd still have it if it didn't have cracked plates from the former owners letting it run out of water. That thing CRANKED out heat even with cracked plates.
  • Alan WelchAlan Welch Posts: 159Member
    Hook up a hose to the drain on the rear of the boiler and drain until you see the water level in the glass show an air space. in the summer you want to keep the water level almost to the top, maybe down an inch or so, that will fully cover the coil. the gauge should read zero at that point. if not its not accurate. its possible if the system is way overfilled the hot boiler water is causing radiators to give off heat, but the hissing probably means its making steam.water doesn't flow uphill,so you can use the hose to determine how overfilled it is while the drain is open.
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member

    Hook up a hose to the drain on the rear of the boiler and drain until you see the water level in the glass show an air space. in the summer you want to keep the water level almost to the top, maybe down an inch or so, that will fully cover the coil. the gauge should read zero at that point. if not its not accurate. its possible if the system is way overfilled the hot boiler water is causing radiators to give off heat, but the hissing probably means its making steam.water doesn't flow uphill,so you can use the hose to determine how overfilled it is while the drain is open.

    It's hard to tell in my pictures but currently the water is about 1/4 inch below the top of the site glass, so I will probably drain some off anyway when I clean the pigtail etc this weekend. I just realized something too...I always wondered why on the side of the boiler there is a metal plate saying low water level yet the installer used a marker to put a higher one....I bet the higher one is for the coil...duh! lol.....
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
    oh and I have drained it before. One time the site glass was clogged with gunk so we thought the water was low....added water then realized the site glass was clogged so drained some out, cleaned the glass then realized we had still put too much water, so drained a lot more. I can't even imagine the sludge at the bottom. Should that all be cleaned and flushed or is it better to leave it and not drain it completely? I have heard both ways. Some people say to drain it and flush it out and others say that can hurt the plates as it strips all the oils and can cause them to deteriorate faster.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,070Member
    There is no oil to strip. If you flush a boiler and it leaks it already had a hole in it before you got to it.the coil is likely caked in sludge. A deep cleaning is over due.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member

    There is no oil to strip. If you flush a boiler and it leaks it already had a hole in it before you got to it.the coil is likely caked in sludge. A deep cleaning is over due.

    thanks. I guess I'll be calling you!
  • MicheleNECTMicheleNECT Posts: 11Member
    Wanted to thank everyone....so far turning down the water temp for hot water has resolved the issue, but will go forward with cleaning etc :)
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,917Member

    Wanted to thank everyone....so far turning down the water temp for hot water has resolved the issue, but will go forward with cleaning etc :)

    Best to setup an appointment with Charlie now and not wait. When the fall comes everyone will be flooding him with heating work.
    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
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 375Member
    I had a similar issue years ago and it was caused by a faulty relay. Have Charlie check the wiring.
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!