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Steam Boiler 0-3 PSI Gauge Install

Hello everyone! Tonight I installed a 0-3 PSI gauge on my boiler. Check out the install pictures and let me know of any concerns or ideas. Also I ran the boiler tonight for about 45 min and got no reading on the gauge. What do you think? Thank you everyone for your input!







Crown Boiler Bermuda Series model: BSI103, BTU output: 85,000, single pipe steam system

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,176
    1. 45 minutes running a totally cold system might likely not produce any pressure
    2. Was the valve closed the whole time?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • BrianT1077
    BrianT1077 Member Posts: 108
    @ethicalpaul Yes I did open the valve for a few minutes to see if any pressure registered.
    Crown Boiler Bermuda Series model: BSI103, BTU output: 85,000, single pipe steam system
    ethicalpaul
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 681
    The installation of the gauge and pressure control looks great . However, I prefer to have the gauges and pressure controls being mounted as far above the water line as possible to insure that the piping has less chance of getting plugged. This comes from being mostly into high pressure industrial steam.
    Bill_Kitsch69BrianT1077
  • acwagner
    acwagner Member Posts: 505
    Many systems run under an ounce or two of pressure (<0.125 psi) before the radiator vents start closing. That likely won't register on a 3psi gauge.

    You might be in the low pressure club. If you want to know what pressure you're operating at, go to a lower pressure gauge.

    Also, I would leave the valve open for the whole test. The pigtail should protect the gauge.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

    ethicalpaulBrianT1077
  • Bill_Kitsch69
    Bill_Kitsch69 Member Posts: 34
    edited September 2019
    Are the radiators/returns getting hot?
    Have you clocked your gas input?
    Is your boiler undersized..?
    Ultimately if the system heats (with a load on it), and you don't get pressure reading, you may want a gauge that reads in inches and ounces, and put a vaporstat (eg: L408J1009 Honeywell) on the boiler for your operating pressure control.

    Aside: hoping everyone is using a digital (eg: Hydrolevel VXT with bypass piping and shut off valves) feeder on your steam boilers

    PS: To my understanding only brass control trim may be used on steam boilers everywhere. Eg, all control nipples 1/4" - 1/2" (beyond factory installed at tappings), tees, pigtails, etc control/gauge train shall have clean outs. Technically that steel pigtail should be brass.
    BrianT1077
  • BrianT1077
    BrianT1077 Member Posts: 108
    @bill_kitsch69, yes the radiators and returns did get hot and my boiler is slightly undersized. I did not clock any gas input. What do you recommend for that? I do not use any auto feeders, my boiler is manual feed only. When you say that the steel pigtail I have should be brass, is there a specific reason for that? Thank you for your help.
    Crown Boiler Bermuda Series model: BSI103, BTU output: 85,000, single pipe steam system
  • BrianT1077
    BrianT1077 Member Posts: 108
    Thank you everyone so far for your input.
    Crown Boiler Bermuda Series model: BSI103, BTU output: 85,000, single pipe steam system
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,176
    edited September 2019
    He suggested clocking the gas meter to ensure you are getting approximately the expected amount of fuel burned so you see if the boiler is putting the expected amount of heat into your house (in BTU). Like if half of your burners were clogged up, or if someone had cranked down the gas pressure on your boiler that would be bad and you could tell because the fuel use rate would be way less than expected.

    Check google, or here is a thread about it: https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/65095/clocking-a-boiler

    The brass pigtail is said to better resist clogging (and certainly rusting). They can clog up amazingly fast depending on water conditions. Lots in the field are steel though, including mine before I replaced it.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    mattmia2
  • EdwinD
    EdwinD Member Posts: 157
    edited October 2019

    Hello everyone! Tonight I installed a 0-3 PSI gauge on my boiler. Check out the install pictures and let me know of any concerns or ideas. Also I ran the boiler tonight for about 45 min and got no reading on the gauge. What do you think? Thank you everyone for your input!







    @BrianT1077
    FYI - Currently, Grainger has a clearance on a center mount, 0 to15 oz. low pressure gauge - at a super low clearance price. I just bought one.

    See "GRAINGER APPROVED 2-1/2" Low Pressure Pressure Gauge, 0 to 15 oz./sq. in."
    Weil-McLain EG-55 2 pipe Vapor System
    OP Pressure .02 - .05 oz.
    8-Way Boiler Treatment
    Barnes & Jones Big Mouth Vents
    BrianT1077
  • BrianT1077
    BrianT1077 Member Posts: 108
    @EdwinD, thank you for the info, I will check it out.
    Crown Boiler Bermuda Series model: BSI103, BTU output: 85,000, single pipe steam system
  • JohnBeemer
    JohnBeemer Member Posts: 40
    I found this thread when search for a low pressure gauge for my steam boiler. I would like to have a similar set up. After reading your post, I'm thinking maybe I should get a gauge that only goes up to 1 psi.

    Also, wouldn't the gauges both be better protected from the steam if you used a tee above the pigtail and then installed the gauges?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    JB
    BrianT1077
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,052
    edited October 2019

    I found this thread when search for a low pressure gauge for my steam boiler. I would like to have a similar set up. After reading your post, I'm thinking maybe I should get a gauge that only goes up to 1 psi.

    Also, wouldn't the gauges both be better protected from the steam if you used a tee above the pigtail and then installed the gauges?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    JB

    Not necessarily. One is manufactured with an integral internal siphon.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting
    Plumbing in NYC or in NJ.
    Take his class.
    BrianT1077
  • JohnBeemer
    JohnBeemer Member Posts: 40
    Ok, The 0-30 on the boiler shows nothing so I'm thinking about getting a gauge that measures 0-30 wc which is about 1 psi.

    Thanks for the info,

    JB
  • PRR
    PRR Member Posts: 68
    > no reading on the gauge

    If the "house" (all radiating surface) is "bigger" than the boiler or the BTU demand, you won't get gauge pressure. Steam can rise with really insignificant pressure loss, if it condenses in the radiators real fast.

    I had this in a house where one owner apparently added several radiators to an already over-raditatored system, and the next owner converted to a Right-BTU (for the house) oil boiler. In cold weather it would steam freely, the oversize radiators got hot at one end and cold at the other. Pressure never happened. House got warm perfectly well. It was just more radiator area than the house needed. It could have heated fine with half the cast-iron installed.

    In COLD windy weather the needle just budged, so I knew it wan't stuck.

    I don't see a need to know exactly how low the pressure is, as long as there's good heat in the radiators. The pressure gauge is there to tell you about dangerous HIGH pressure. Installing a 1psi gauge seems dubious in case you ever do need 5psi on a super-cold day- the gauge could burst.

    Also remember "vacuum" systems. While they could build pressure, they were intended to be leak-tight so you could recover steam heat even as the boiler cooled to 170 degrees, saved coal, might heat through the night without stoking.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,416
    I'd go with a 0 to 3 or 0 to 5 gauge. You need to keep the 0 to 30 as well to keep the insurance company and building inspectors happy.

    You don't state whether your system is one pipe, normal two pipe, or vapour; all three will be fine with a 0 to 3, assuming the pressuretrol or vapourstat is set correctly -- and working.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JohnBeemer
    JohnBeemer Member Posts: 40
    Not sure what you mean if the system is 1 or 2 pipes.
    There's only 1 pipe going to each radiator.

    Thanks,
    jb
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,416
    Then it's what is called a one pipe system, and each radiator has it's own vent. They generally run best at pressures not over 1.5 psi.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Jakek
    Jakek Member Posts: 51
    edited November 2019
    FYI: That pressure gauge looks like a cheap one they are selling on Amazon. I found the calibration out of the box to be off, about 0.2+ PSI lower than the more expensive Winters gauge I got from SupplyHouse. (Which isn't a high precision gauge either.) I wouldn't be surprised if others are ever further off new in box. So it's possible the system is generating some pressure but the gauge isn't showing it because it's calibrated too low.

    It's easy to adjust the calibration screw on the Amazon gauge to at least get it closer to reality.