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/.

Steam Boiler help needed.

So I have a Peerless Boilers steam boiler series 63/64 that was recently installed.

1.) I added 8-way boiler cleaner and skimmed the rust out. so the water now is a nice pink color.
2.) I turned on the boiler when the water glass shows the water level at the mark where the arrow is.
3.) after 2-3 hours, I come back downstairs and the water glass is FULL and the boiler stopped with flashing reset light. (my best guess is that water evaporated until it hit bottom and the automatic water feeder turns on and fills it up too much) but the interesting part is that it forced the machine to go to reset mode. (or auto shutoff)
4.) I take out what appears to be 5 buckets of water, to get the water level back to where the mark is.
5.) I turn on the unit and the water goes from where the mark was in the water glass and goes down to about the bottom of the water glass and stays there for awhile.

This is my first time with a boiler, and the guys who installed it cant figure out what is wrong with it. we replaced all the valves and turned off the 1 radiator that potentially has a leak.

any one have any suggestions? I'm at a loss here.

thanks

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,458Member
    There are so many things that could be wrong...

    Can you take some pictures of the boiler, from all four sides, so that we can see how it was piped? The Peerless boilers are excellent. Unfortunately, they are rather intolerant of incorrect near boiler piping.

    It would also help to take closer photos of the various controls.

    The symptom you describe suggests not that the water evaporated, but that some problem with the piping or control settings forced the water out of the boiler when it began to make steam -- at which point, as noted, the automatic feeder comes on and refills the boiler. Then when the boiler cools, the water forced out comes back and the boiler is overfilled. There are a number of reasons this could happen. The photos will help.

    Which reset light -- on which control -- was flashing?
    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
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,104Member
    Listen to @Jamie Hall 's advice and also stick around and watch the boiler next time you are able to during a call for heat. Watch the sight glass and see what the water level does during a heat cycle. See if the LWCO shuts down the boiler and see if it calls for refill water.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • pookeyepookeye Posts: 5Member
    Thanks, I'll make a video and post on youtube, maybe you guys can help, because both my boiler guys are entirely out of ideas.

    Im totally new to steam boilers, and I've research as much as I could, but need internet experts to give me an idea what the problem could be. Thanks you guys for being so responsive!

  • wz25wz25 Posts: 11Member
    How much 8-way did you add, and how many steam cycles (if any) did you let it run before skimming? In my experience, 8-way can result in a massive amount of surging when added according to the bottle's instructions when there is even a moderate amount of oil. You could see this as soon as the first cycle after adding 8-way; I've observed this with my Peerless 63, where after a re-pipe, 8-way caused a massive amount of surging, dropping the water level in the sight glass to the point where the LWCO would have almost certainly tripped if I hadn't been observing.

    For this situation, there's nothing more you can do but skim until mostly clear. You'll probably dilute the 8-way enough that you might want to add some more, but you can use the sight glass water color as a guide.

    I always wait for the first cycle after a skim, and especially after adding 8-way. Letting the water come to a boil mixes the 8-way (or any additive), which lets you observe the color in the sight glass. The first time I used it, I didn't realize this, and added 8-way until the sight glass was a light shade of purple. That turned into a deep shade of purple once the boiling process mixed the 8-way around (i.e. it turned out I added way too much).
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,656Member
    I'll second Jamie's request for pictures. It would also be useful to know the exact model number. It would be either 63 or 64 followed by a -03, -04, -05 or something like that, and possibly an L after the numbers. This will let us look up the specs and ratings and help us determine if it's piped correctly.

    While surging due to water contamination can send a lot of excess water up the pipes, it shouldn't be enough to cause a low water condition if the piping was done correctly. Good near-boiler piping should return that excess water to the boiler and should not allow it to accumulate anywhere in the system until the end of the cycle.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • pookeyepookeye Posts: 5Member
    edited December 6
    Thanks for responding everyone. attached are the photos of the unit. I'm trying to get an idea of what COULD be the problem before going forward with someone. thanks

    Model number I see is 63-06-SPRK-W/S

    also someone had asked what was flashing, it was the water reset button (you can see my controls with the black box and white paper, it is the second light on the right looking at the photo)
  • JPL941JPL941 Posts: 27Member
    edited December 6
    Sorry to be blunt but he didn’t read the manual. My suggestion, if you didn’t pay him, don’t. If you did, hire a lawyer and take him/her to court to get your money back. If I made the mistakes that people post on this site in medicine, I would be tied up in litigation until the end of time. Shameful.

    Attached is direct from their website on how it should look or very close to it...
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,104Member
    edited December 6
    I second this. This is probably the most insane and failure-prone near-boiler piping I have seen in the short but fulfilling 18 months I’ve been on this site. I can’t overstate this.

    He can’t figure out the problem? It’s all right there. Two extremely short supplies instantly joining together, teaming up to shovel water out of the boiler almost if it were planned to do exactly that.

    I can’t imagine what this installer was thinking. The manual is very clear and even lists exactly the pieces of pipe required to do it right. This is gross negligence

    Here is the diagram from the manual that ships with this boiler. The header pipe is supposed to be 3” driven by a 3” supply (or two 2-1/2” supplies properly piped) . I also wonder how they arrived at the boiler size. It’s 746 sq ft EDR which is rather large, I hope you have a big house. You might because the old piping is big. We can’t see where the new piping connects to the old (it’s just out of frame) but I’m sure there’s a big reducer there.

    The pressure relief valve is oriented incorrectly for steam. The wiring can’t possibly pass inspection. Is the sight glass hardware upside down?

    Here’s what it ought to look like: https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/168066/large-oversize-replacement

    What part of the country are you in?
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • CanuckerCanucker Posts: 567Member
    That is the best set up I've seen for getting hot water to your radiators. Unfortunately for you, they require steam. I'll add to the chorus, that installer needs to RTFM and fix that piping at minimum
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,458Member
    Ugh.
    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
  • GrallertGrallert Posts: 345Member
    Oh boy. I will bet it's very unlikely you'll get your money back. Maybe. You might be able to get the installer to redo it. That's where I'd start. But it's important that he/she has the piping plan in hand and follows it to the letter. It's not that difficult really, in fact there are home owners here who without any previous experience, have done this kind of thing with great success. These are all depressing replies I know but all is not lost. Skim the heck out of the boiler and lower the operating pressure and this might get you through the winter heating season.
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Posts: 935Member
    Is that a steam LWCO? That is not the LWCO that comes with the boiler.
  • acwagneracwagner Posts: 353Member
    edited December 6
    I'm normally one that advocates trying to work with what you got first, but I agree that setup is unworkable. It might be to the point of non-functional.

    Among many errors, he didn't include an "equalizer" which is a pipe that connects the header back to the boiler below the waterline. Its function is to balance the pressure between the boiler and the end of the main/return. Without one, water is likely to be forced up your wet return into the main. This starves the boiler of water and forces the low water cut-off to trigger more water into the boiler.
    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

  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,104Member
    edited December 6

    Is that a steam LWCO? That is not the LWCO that comes with the boiler.

    Between that and the PRV I wondered if they bought or acquired the (possibly cheaper) hot water version of this boiler and slapped some steam controls on it.

    Looks like this one, an industrial hot water LWCO: http://mcdonnellmiller.com/boiler-controls/low-water-cut-offs/series-750-and-751p752p-low-water-cut-offs/
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • ScottSecorScottSecor Posts: 329Member
    I also question the boiler sizing and controls especially being that it is supposed to be new. Perhaps the boiler was slightly used and it was converted from a hot water boiler to gas boiler? For what it's worth boilers that can be ordered with steam or hot water trim are about the same cost, typically withing one to five percent.

    I think it's time to call someone that is familiar with steam and bite the bullet. I suspect the installer is not at all familiar with steam.

    I missed it, what area are you from?
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,115Member
    Just another installer who can't read. Or refuses to read.

    I think we need to teach a reading class for installers and homeowners. Read the install manual , it's all their.

    I really love the 2" header crow flyed between the two tappings. How do you even get that together without leaking? Not to mention the strain it puts on the boiler
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,280Member
    If they aren't willing to come back and start over on the entire thing, then you need to never let them on your property again.

    If you haven't picked up on it yet, that set up will never work properly and needs to be done over from scratch, that really is the only option here.

    It's sad that there is a clear picture in the manual of how to pipe it and people still can't do it correctly.

    "Professional"
    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
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 965Member
    Huge difference between "Professional One that paid to perform a service"
    and "Qualified"!
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,280Member
    pecmsg said:

    Huge difference between "Professional One that paid to perform a service"
    and "Qualified"!

    I couldn't agree more with this statement. The problem is in this society it is assumed that a professional is qualified and isn't out to steal our money.

    This contractor is a thief, plain and simple. Yes that's harsh, but it needs to be said sometimes.

    The OP said it clearly, "can't figure it out", that obvious because they don't know what they are doing, not by a long shot.

    Someone a few posts up mentioned this, but I wonder how the new boiler was sized? I'd bet it was sized off the old one and I bet it's too big. 63-06 is a fairly large boiler.

    If it is too big it should be resized and changed out now, I doubt seriously if the OP will be made right by this installer, but who knows stranger things have happened.
    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
  • SeanBeansSeanBeans Posts: 451Member
    **face-palm**
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,656Member
    This is the worst near-boiler piping I've ever seen. Not only is it responsible for all the problems you're experiencing, but it will DESTROY your boiler and void your warranty to boot! The way the two risers are connected is totally inflexible, and it will pry the sections of the boiler apart or possibly even crack them. This has to be fixed IMMEDIATELY!
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Let's be optimistic. Maybe the installer is willing to learn something and will return and do it right. After all, this site is about teaching people, no?
    Often wrong, never in doubt.

    Click here to learn more about this contractor.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,365Member

    Let's be optimistic. Maybe the installer is willing to learn something and will return and do it right. After all, this site is about teaching people, no?

    One can only hope- but you can't fix stupid!

    @pookeye , where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 965Member
    > @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes said:
    > Let's be optimistic. Maybe the installer is willing to learn something and will return and do it right. After all, this site is about teaching people, no?

    I would like to think so but not holding my breath.
    This make me think of Machelle and the little job we did last year.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,215Member
    Just to add a little more optimism, the OP stated that the "boiler guys" have come back changing vents trying to rectify things.

    So they must still be answering the phone. ;)

    Could you back up and post pictures showing all the piping?
    Just so we can get the complete picture.
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,656Member
    JUGHNE said:

    Could you back up and post pictures showing all the piping?
    Just so we can get the complete picture.

    Nightmare fuel?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Posts: 1,043Member
    What am looking at? Is the header silver and a single 2” pipe goes out, slopes down then comes back over after the equalizer. Oui!!

    If there was ever a case for a drop header, this is it.
  • pookeyepookeye Posts: 5Member
    edited December 8
    @Steamhead I'm in chicago, it also looks like the guys installed a Low water cutoff that is a manual reset, and the water feeder specifically state do not use with manual reset. so looks like the supply store didn't help matters as well.

    if anyone has a recommendation for someone in chicago, I'm all ears.

    thanks again for the responses you guys, you guys have been really helpful and Ive learned a lot. (that is dont trust no one who says they can do whatever.. the guy made it sound like he knew what he was doing, but obviously did not. )

    I'm looking for another steam boiler guy, since the guy i went with is obviously incompetent. the piping was there originally, so all he did was replace the old one with what appears to be the same model. problem is all the controls he got were obviously wrong, what strikes me with confusion is why the HELL did the supply store knowing he got this boiler even sold him these controls. since he got everything from the same supply store.

    the house is big, basement, and 3 floors. so its fairly large, as for if it was properly sized, unfortunately i dont know that.
  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Posts: 637Member
    It isnt about the supply store.

    It is all about the installer.
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,656Member
    pookeye said:

    if anyone has a recommendation for someone in chicago, I'm all ears.

    Try @The Steam Whisperer https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/the-steam-whisperer-boiler-professionals-inc. He posts lots of pictures of his work here. You'll be impressed.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,104Member
    It will be worth it to size your boiler and it’s quite straightforward. Get the Lost Art of Steam book which has tables for sizing your radiators.

    It’s so easy even your installer could do it. And should have!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1546603131/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_uXy7DbC7B5EQY
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,365Member

    pookeye said:

    if anyone has a recommendation for someone in chicago, I'm all ears.

    Try @The Steam Whisperer https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/the-steam-whisperer-boiler-professionals-inc. He posts lots of pictures of his work here. You'll be impressed.
    This.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • pookeyepookeye Posts: 5Member
    edited December 12
    thanks for feedback, it turns out the low water cutoff was the problem, and you guys figured it out pretty fast. ended up getting a 67 lwco, which worked with the WFE-120 water feeder. now the unit at least appears to be running and has water in the glass at all times, is the expectation the water glass will always be within 1 inch of the line marked in the boiler? or is the expectation that it can go pretty low but stay in the same place, (low as in 1-2 inches below the bottom when running) also I was wondering if steam pipes should be insulated? as it does not appear to have insulation in these pipes.

    if they should be insulated, who do I call to get this job done?


    I emailed steam whisperer, but they wont be able to come until 2 months from now or something..
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,104Member
    I’m glad things are better but your boiler’s piping is still dramatically wrong. The water level shouldn’t drop much. That piping is causing water to be carried into your main piping. That’s why your level drops. Other problems may result like water hammer and spitting vents and steam distribution problems.

    Are you still in contact with the installer? Did you tell them the piping is incorrect?
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,458Member
    "I emailed steam whisperer, but they wont be able to come until 2 months from now or something.. "

    I'm surprised he can make it out that soon. I'd still get him lined up to come.
    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
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,280Member
    pookeye said:


    I emailed steam whisperer, but they wont be able to come until 2 months from now or something..

    Make the appointment and be patient, I promise you it will be worth it. Get someone sooner and you will most likely get what you already did.
    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
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!