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Troubleshooting a some finicky 2nd fl radiators in a 1929 single-pipe system. Pictures included.

mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
edited December 2019 in Strictly Steam
Hi, this is my first post, but I've been reading for a while. I have a 1929 house with single-pipe steam in New Jersey, and I've been trying to get it working efficiently and flawlessly. Last winter I built an antler with one Barnes and Jones BigMouth on it to replace an ancient main vent with a little pinhole at the top. I don't know if it worked, but I figured more air out, faster, would be best. I built the antler with the ability to add on to it. With an 80ft, 2" pipe that runs in a circuit around the basement, does it sound like I did ok, or do I need more? I have a reason for asking this, but I'll get to that probably in another thread.

Thanks!
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Comments

  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,423Member
    One more would certainly help, is it 80' of pipe to the last steam run out connection or do you include the dry return piping?

    It is best to NOT start another thread, IMO.
    This adds to confusion and people do not want to jump back and forth.
    You can later modify your header/question at the top and it will keep all your postings together.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    Thanks, I will get a more precise measurement of the piping. I assume I should not include the header and start at the first horizontal part of the main and then stop measuring at the last Tee where there's a radiator runout?

    I think I'm getting wet steam in a couple of the 2nd floor radiators that are last in the loop. They're the furthest from the boiler. The vents (new Hoffman 1A's) seem to work a while and then get water in them and stop functioning. The pipes in the basement are all insulated with new 1" fiberglass except for some of the bends on the runouts, which I may still do if it will help.

    I have not yet tried skimming the boiler but the water isn't bouncing very much in the sight glass, maybe .5"?
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,423Member
    Have you checked pipe slope for no dips to trap water?
    Do you have any wet returns?

    Pictures of boiler piping showing all will get attention.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    I just remeasured, and it's just short of 78' from the beginning of the horizontal main pipe (from the header bend) until the middle of the last runout.

    I have just put a level in various places along the main piping and it seems to be sloped correctly, subtly up to toward the boiler, all around the basement. There are a few areas that seem more level than sloped, but it's hard to tell exactly because it could just be the way the pipe insulation is fitting on the pipes. There was not any obvious dip though.

    I'm attaching some photos of the boiler area and the piping. I'm not sure if I have a wet return.

    You'll see that I have a low pressure gauge installed. I have never seen it do more than just bounce the needle off the peg when running, and most times it doesn't even move.

    I have one radiator on the second floor that gets super hot and I have the Hoffman vent slowed as much as I can possibly do, and it seems to make no difference. There are only 4 radiators on the second floor. 3 are about the same size and one is smaller in the bathroom, and that one can be finicky as well occasionally (I have had to pour some water out of its vent once or twice), but works more than the other 2.







  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,928Member
    edited December 2019
    I assume this is a concurrent (aka parallel) flow main, correct?

    Make sure you have adequate pitch, especially at the end of the main, as the water gets deeper as you near the return, and the steam velocity also gets slower, so there's less "wind" to move it along.

    Any other problems other than wet steam? Are you hearing any water hammer?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    edited December 2019
    Yes, this is a parallel flow main. The pitch seems ok toward the end with the proper side of the pipe being slightly higher according to the bubble level. I'm not hearing any strange sounds from the system except for the very occasional ping that sounds like metal expanding and contracting, but it's rare.

    Really, the main objective here is to get all the radiators to heat roughly at the same time. The downstairs ones all seem to be fine and heat relatively quickly, but I've been tweaking the Hoffman 1A vents for a little while trying to get the balance right. I have the ones down there on the slower to medium side, while trying to make the upstairs ones a bit faster. It seems that when the upstairs radiators all do get hot, it tends to be after recovering from a setback (59 to 61) in the morning. However, they did not get hot this morning.

    During the last cycle and I pulled off the vent on one of the radiators upstairs that's giving me trouble. A quiet breeze of air came out of the port right away. I'm not sure why it's not venting properly through the vent though. There's no water in the vent right now. The heat cycled off before that radiator got hot though. Some of these Hoffman 1A's were replaced more recently. The one I just pulled off was a recently installed one, and the other I can't recall, but it wasn't long ago. I'm going to put one of the original Dole vents back on and see how it goes on the one that I pulled off and got the stream of air.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    Well, trying the other vent on the troublesome radiator didn't help, which isn't a big surprise. I did however take off a couple of vents from working radiators and they also had water in them, so I guess wet steam is definitely happening.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,423Member
    Looking at your boiler piping.....no header.....no equalizer....no Hartford Loop. Without the first 2 items you should have wet steam. IMO, your saving grace of it not being really bad is the tall steam riser going up to the main. A lot of water falls out back into the boiler.

    Skimming the boiler might help to dry the steam up.
    That plug in the front plate might be a good skim port.
    Has that been removed recently?
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,291Member
    edited December 2019
    Not necessarily. Steam will condense in the vents briefly as it reaches the vent. It gives up its heat to the vent in order for the vent to close. Depending on the vent, some water will remain in it.

    All steam gets wet in the radiator :)

    but looking at your boiler pictures, do you have no equalizer? No header? No Hartford Loop? That's not good!

    Edit: concurrent typing with @JUGHNE :)
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    Doh! However this thing is piped is how it was when I bought the house. I'm obviously still learning about this.

    For what it's worth, those radiators that are not working have worked in the not too distant past. It seems that they have gotten finicky after I replaced some of the older vents on various radiators. Not much else has changed recently that should have caused these radiators to start acting up.

    So without a header, Hartford loop, or equalizer what am I missing out on? Do I need to get these into the system? I haven't wanted to go crazy investing in this boiler because I'm hoping to switch to a gas boiler at some point.

    I thought the same that the plug on the front would be a good skimming port. I have not opened it, and I doubt it was opened anytime recently. I've only been in the house for about 10 months, but the house was a bit neglected in some ways before I lived here, so I doubt any skimming has been done recently.

    So should I spend the money on another BigMouth main vent? Will that possibly help?

    Is there any disadvantage to having the 2nd floor radiators set to vent fast on the Hoffman 1As? Should the 1st floor radiators be set to slow rather than medium or is that just wasting fuel because it takes longer to get them vented?

    Thanks for the help!
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,423Member
    Have you checked the pigtail loop. You have an easy one, with the boiler cooled, just remove the large gauge and blow into the opening. Should be clear once blowing thru the water loop trap.
    Add water to the loop and replace the gauge. This is the cheap trick, you should really check the bottom of the p-control to make sure it is clear also. That union helps that you do not have to unwire it.

    If you want to remove that plug, I would soak it with PB Blaster several times. The best tool would be an impact driver with the correct size socket. 8 point for square plugs. Then nipple and cap.

    Probably would not worry about the piping until you change boilers IMO. You could invest in the Lost Art of Steam Heating to study up preparing for a new boiler and piping.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    I haven't checked the pigtail loop, but I was the one who put on that assembly last year. I was trying to see what the real pressure was in the system (I didn't learn much since the needle barely gets off the peg), and the pressuretroll was not after the pigtail originally, just the large gauge. I don't know who did that. I did put water into the loop when I installed it, but I can try again per your suggestion. I also made sure the bottom of the pressuretroll was clear last winter when I put this together.

    Once the plug is removed, you suggested adding a nipple and cap... Should I leave the nipple there after the skimming? I read one suggestion of adding a valve at the end of the nipple. I'm guessing by what you said, to just use a nipple and cap it off when not doing a skim, correct?
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,291Member
    mrfusion said:

    Doh! However this thing is piped is how it was when I bought the house. I'm obviously still learning about this.

    Aren't we all! I'll answer the things I can:
    So without a header, Hartford loop, or equalizer what am I missing out on? Do I need to get these into the system? I haven't wanted to go crazy investing in this boiler because I'm hoping to switch to a gas boiler at some point.
    I wouldn't act on that piping until the new boiler. You should be able to get things reasonable...people have been putting up with it for a long time looks like.
    So should I spend the money on another BigMouth main vent? Will that possibly help?
    If it were me, I'd observe the big mouth during a call for heat. See if air is blasting out of it or just blowing gently or whispering. If it's handling it OK there won't be anything to gain by adding more.
    Is there any disadvantage to having the 2nd floor radiators set to vent fast on the Hoffman 1As? Should the 1st floor radiators be set to slow rather than medium or is that just wasting fuel because it takes longer to get them vented?
    It can be a problem to vent radiators too fast. I like to vent my quick to heat radiators very slowly (like a #4 Gorton/MoM) and then carefully increase venting on slower/upstairs ones, changing only one thing at a time and observing for a few days.

    It's not really wasting fuel to vent the 1st floor radiators slowly. You need time to get the heat upstairs and to colder rooms.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,423Member
    I would do a 4" nipple, elbow pointing off to the right and then another long nipple going down at an angle so you can put a bucket next to the oil burner to avoid water hitting the burner.
    Then the cap until the next skim.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    Thanks everyone for the responses so far. I have periodically (and once again just now) observed the BigMouth vent during heating and air has never ever blasted out. It more like wafts out. This system seems to be running at a very low pressure. Just now when I was in the basement, I put my hand up near it and some moist air was wafting out slowly. If that's the case, then another vent won't help I guess?

    I also took off the big gauge and blew through the piping. There was definitely water in the pigtail, which blew down through so I added more water and put the big gauge back on. I don't expect to see any difference in reading on the small gauge, which is just about nothing, but I'll certainly check it out again soon.

    I don't know for sure that I will be able to get that big plug out of the front of the boiler. I don't have an impact gun at hand, but maybe I can get hold of one. Is there any alternative to skimming? I have seen references to some cleaning agents or chemicals that can be added, which I could add through the small port that the pigtail is connected to. I realize that this may be a bad idea, so that's why I'm asking and not just doing.

    On the last heating cycle, I went to the troublesome radiators and actually unscrewed the caps on the vents, and both of them had a bit of water blocking the little air holes. I blew the water out and air started venting immediately. I guess even though I had taken them off earlier and shaken them out, not all of the water was gone. I guess that explains something.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,648Member
    Is that an old Weil McClain? If so what model number?
    I never seen a front plate like that.
    steve
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,484Member

    Is that an old Weil McClain? If so what model number?
    I never seen a front plate like that.

    62 series. Looks like the burner is the ABC 45CU sootmaker. These boilers run nicely with Beckett AF burners.
    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
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,648Member
    Steamhead said:

    Is that an old Weil McClain? If so what model number?
    I never seen a front plate like that.

    62 series. Looks like the burner is the ABC 45CU sootmaker. These boilers run nicely with Beckett AF burners.
    Thanks for the info.
    2 pipe oil line too, 23 potential leak paths just at the burner, including a compression fitting.

    steve
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,484Member
    ISTR re-burnering one of these with an AF and a Lynn bathtub chamber. I had to use some large washers to make a standard mounting flange work, but the unit ran clean and didn't require much brushing and vacuuming after that. You don't need a high-static burner on a boiler of this type. Carlin's 100CRD was a good choice too but I don't think it's made anymore.

    @mrfusion , you really need a pro to go over this thing. What part of Joisey are you in?
    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
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    edited December 2019
    Steamhead said:

    62 series. Looks like the burner is the ABC 45CU sootmaker. These boilers run nicely with Beckett AF burners.

    It is certainly a Weil McClain, although I have not been able to find a serial number or anything to date it. There is some kind of data plate on the front that's had silver paint sprayed on it, so I can't really read it, but it seemed to be more of a specs plate. Since you say that that burner is a sootmaker, is there anything I should be doing in terms of maintenance? I haven't been in this house that long, and the fuel oil company, who are also plumbers, have been "servicing" the unit. I say "servicing" because I don't really know what they're doing in that service. Separately, we have had a few instances of the controller shutting the system down and they first replaced the controller with one that seemed to do it less last year, and then this year they replaced the transformer on the burner because it was still happening sometimes. That seems to have helped keep it reliable.
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,928Member
    edited December 2019
    Would there be any point in converting a boiler that old to gas?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    edited December 2019
    Steamhead said:

    ISTR re-burnering one of these with an AF and a Lynn bathtub chamber. I had to use some large washers to make a standard mounting flange work, but the unit ran clean and didn't require much brushing and vacuuming after that. You don't need a high-static burner on a boiler of this type. Carlin's 100CRD was a good choice too but I don't think it's made anymore.

    @mrfusion , you really need a pro to go over this thing. What part of Joisey are you in?


    Thanks, can you elaborate on the need for "brushing and vacuuming" and what you're referring to?

    I'm located in Gillette, which is near the Morristown/Summit area.

    I'm not against bringing someone in who can tweak this thing to work a bit better, but I don't want to spend a lot of money and completely overhaul it since I'd like to convert to gas at some point when I can afford it, which could be in a year or two. What kinds of things do you think a steam pro could do or would want to do with this?

    The system is passable at the moment for now except for a couple of 2nd floor radiators that should be getting warmer than they are, or at least consistently getting warm.

    Thanks again for the discussion, folks.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member

    Would there be any point in converting a boiler that old to gas?

    I meant replacing the whole boiler with a gas boiler, not doing anything else with the existing one.
  • tomsloancamptomsloancamp Posts: 45Member
    I just replaced my ancient boiler with a new model because here in New England, National Grid offer 0% financing loans to upgrade to a more efficient model ( looks like New Jersey offers something similar..https://www.njcleanenergy.com/hp.) I only bring this up because I spent my first year in our new old home tweaking the vents only having to change the vents again. Also you could have the piping near boiler addressed.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    Thanks, I'll look into that. I did have an estimate done by PSE&G, the local gas utility to get a gas boiler installed. The price was about $12k and that didn't include removal of the basement oil tank and oil. I had another estimate from my plumber (I don't know if he's a steam expert per this forum, but he is a plumbing and heating guy) and the price was a bit lower and included the removal of the tank/oil. The PSE&G offer included 0% financing, while I'd have to pay the plumber all at once, whether in cash or financing on my own.

    Any idea of what it would cost to have the piping addressed near the boiler as it is now? I don't want to put a lot of money into this oil boiler if I don't have to, but may invest a little if reasonable.

  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    edited December 2019
    For now, I think I just need to address getting the air out of the runouts to the 2 troublesome radiators on the 2nd floor. This morning I woke up early during the recovery from setback, and the 2 radiators were not hot. I could hear quiet gurgles of air trying to come out of the vent on one of them, as though there was a little moisture in it. I removed the vent from each, one at a time and no water poured out of them though. However, steady cool streams of air flowed out of the radiators. I didn't leave them open too long and put the vent back on. Soon after, they got nice and hot. So there's obviously a venting issue here, right?

    These radiators both have fairly new Hoffman 1A's on them. Does it sound like adding more main venting would benefit? As a refresher, these two are off of the last leg of the main piping in the basement, and on the 2nd floor, so basically the furthest from the boiler. I've got about 77' of main in the basement.

    I was too late to get into the basement to check whether air was flowing out of the Big Mouth vent faster than it does during the day while the system maintains temp, which seems more like a waft than a woosh.

    Thanks!
  • FizzFizz Posts: 517Member
    Might want to try venting the problem radiators quicker; obviously the steam gets there; try one at a time to see if it works without upsetting balance or system. Also, where thermostat in reference to your rooms? Sometimes, venting system quicker doesn't always help problem radiators if they aren't vented properly.
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 563Member
    edited December 2019
    As others here have done, and I am considering doing in a cool room with a large radiator, you can tap the inlet side of the radiator and install a Gorton D to vent the run out and still have a relatively slow vent on the vent side to allow even heating of the radiator.

    I tried putting a D, C and a 6 on the vent side and the radiator would heat across the sides and top but the middle would stay cold. I put a 5 on it and it heated fully but had problems with it closing, actually had issues with 3 of them not closing. I ended up with a Ventrite #1 set to 8, it heats fully but late in the cycle so the room stays cooler. It is also the radiator furthest away from the boiler.

    That being said a Big Mouth on the main is good for about 50' so if you are at 70' you would also likely benefit from another one.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,291Member
    Howdy neighbor! There’s so much steam heat in NJ!

    If I’m understanding all the info here, your main remaining issue is two radiators that don’t heat and have gurgling sounds.

    First, your near boiler piping could be putting water into your main pipe and maybe runouts. The header and equalizer that you don’t have would exist to prevent this. To keep water in the boiler your water should be clean, at not too high a waterline, with not too many additives, and a burner firing rate that is not too high. I may have said this already.

    Second, the runouts to those radiators may have pitch issues. If they have a valley or backwards slope the water that lies there will kill most or all of the steam. Try to find out if you have places where water would collect
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • srmaiettasrmaietta Posts: 33Member
    I’d put fast vents on those two (one at a time as mentioned). See if they get hot. It’s a start at least to really learning how and what these two rads need to get the steam to them.

    And yeah, check the piping that leads to those two.. old houses settle and things sag and shift. It’s amazing what 1/4” can do here and there to help water drain from places it shouldn’t be.

    As I mentioned in another thread my near boiler piping isn’t that great and my system really responds well to a skim. I skim from the top port of my sight glass. Set the water feed to as slow as possible, a very thin stream into a bucket.

    Steve
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    Fizz said:

    Might want to try venting the problem radiators quicker; obviously the steam gets there; try one at a time to see if it works without upsetting balance or system. Also, where thermostat in reference to your rooms? Sometimes, venting system quicker doesn't always help problem radiators if they aren't vented properly.

    I do have them venting quickly, or at least as quickly as you can do with the Hoffman 1A. I think I may have helped it a little by slowing a couple of the downstairs radiators down even more. They were already slow, but now they're even slower. The two offending radiators have gotten hot in the last day, but I'll see if that keeps up. The only trouble is they seem to get hot late in the heating cycle, relative to the rest which get hot much quicker. That may be helped by the second main vent, I guess. I wonder if changing out to the new Hoffman 1A's just upset the system if I had a few Doles that weren't venting properly. They may have been helping, and then I put new vents on various radiators and suddenly they were venting faster, even at a slow setting.

    The thermostat is downtairs in the dining room, roughly in the center of the house layout. I have tried slowing that room's radiator down as much as I possibly can. Some of these seem to still get hot quickly, even with slow venting settings.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member

    As others here have done, and I am considering doing in a cool room with a large radiator, you can tap the inlet side of the radiator and install a Gorton D to vent the run out and still have a relatively slow vent on the vent side to allow even heating of the radiator.

    I tried putting a D, C and a 6 on the vent side and the radiator would heat across the sides and top but the middle would stay cold. I put a 5 on it and it heated fully but had problems with it closing, actually had issues with 3 of them not closing. I ended up with a Ventrite #1 set to 8, it heats fully but late in the cycle so the room stays cooler. It is also the radiator furthest away from the boiler.

    That being said a Big Mouth on the main is good for about 50' so if you are at 70' you would also likely benefit from another one.

    That's an interesting idea, and perhaps something I can explore once I've ruled out everything else. I'm getting them to heat now, but late in the cycle, so maybe another Big Mouth could help with that.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member

    Howdy neighbor! There’s so much steam heat in NJ!



    If I’m understanding all the info here, your main remaining issue is two radiators that don’t heat and have gurgling sounds.



    First, your near boiler piping could be putting water into your main pipe and maybe runouts. The header and equalizer that you don’t have would exist to prevent this. To keep water in the boiler your water should be clean, at not too high a waterline, with not too many additives, and a burner firing rate that is not too high. I may have said this already.



    Second, the runouts to those radiators may have pitch issues. If they have a valley or backwards slope the water that lies there will kill most or all of the steam. Try to find out if you have places where water would collect

    Hello fellow New Jersey dweller! Thanks for the info. I have been making sure the water is clean, draining out rust particles regularly. I haven't put any additives in. Are there any that I should have? The waterline is about 3/4 up the sight glass. If that should be lower, please let me know. I don't know about the burner firing rate, but the fuel oil company has been servicing the unit. I'll double check the runouts, as the piping isn't very long before it goes vertical inside the wall up the 2nd floor.
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    edited December 2019
    srmaietta said:

    I’d put fast vents on those two (one at a time as mentioned). See if they get hot. It’s a start at least to really learning how and what these two rads need to get the steam to them.



    And yeah, check the piping that leads to those two.. old houses settle and things sag and shift. It’s amazing what 1/4” can do here and there to help water drain from places it shouldn’t be.



    As I mentioned in another thread my near boiler piping isn’t that great and my system really responds well to a skim. I skim from the top port of my sight glass. Set the water feed to as slow as possible, a very thin stream into a bucket.



    Steve

    They're now getting hot (late though, so on shorter maintenance cycles, they don't always heat) with fast settings on the Hoffman 1A's and with the downstairs radiators all set very slow. So at least I'm making some progress! I'll check that runout piping though. Skimming from the top port of the sight glass is an interesting idea. I will take a look and see how I can do that.

    Thanks!
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,291Member
    mrfusion said:

    Hello fellow New Jersey dweller! Thanks for the info. I have been making sure the water is clean, draining out rust particles regularly. I haven't put any additives in. Are there any that I should have? The waterline is about 3/4 up the sight glass. If that should be lower, please let me know. I don't know about the burner firing rate, but the fuel oil company has been servicing the unit. I'll double check the runouts, as the piping isn't very long before it goes vertical inside the wall up the 2nd floor.

    Don't drain too much too often, it's not good to add a lot of fresh water to your boiler (it promotes rust).

    It's good to put in some additive to increase the ph which retards oxidation. Common ones are steam master tablets and a liquid called 8-way. But don't use as much as the directions say. Use like 1/4 of what they say then measure the ph with litmus paper and keep it at 9-10.

    The waterline is determined by a measurement from the floor according to your boiler manufacturer, but if I were you, I'd keep it on the low side of the range, like around 1/2 up the sight glass, to try to minimize water getting into your main.

    If you were natural gas you can clock the firing rate in cubic feet/minute with your gas meter (see the internet), and then convert that to BTU input to compare to your boiler's spec plate to see how it lines up (I forgot you were oil). Your oil service tech may be able to let you know? Or his combustion report might say?
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    edited December 2019
    Ok, is three to four weeks ideal for draining out the water until it runs clear? I'll try the water level you suggested. I keep an eye on it and it doesn't seem to lose water quickly. I'll also look into the 8-way solution. I'm not sure I can get a tablet into the system easily, but liquid should be ok if I remove my large gauge and use a funnel.

    I've never seen a combustion report from the oil service company, but I can ask them next time they service. Thank you.

    I may take a chance on getting another Big Mouth and see what that does for my last radiator to get it to heat quicker. Not cheap, but I guess it can't hurt.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,291Member
    Before you buy another one, observe your existing one during a call for heat and see if air is shooting out of it fast. If it's a gentle breeze things aren't going to get much faster with another one.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "is three to four weeks idea for draining out water..." I just mean don't make a regular habit of draining the boiler for no real reason. Drain, skim, treat, wash it out with a wand, whatever you have to do to get the water clean for the short term, but don't keep draining it just for kicks. Old water is good water.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • mrfusionmrfusion Posts: 32Member
    Ok, gotcha. At the moment, air is not shooting out fast. It is just a gentle breeze.

    Sorry, I meant to say something like, "Is 3-4 weeks an ideal interval to drain the rusty water from the LWCO, until it runs clear-ish?"
    I was under the impression that one should regularly drain the rusty water out of the boiler LWCO. Is that wrong? At what point is it too long to leave all of those particles in there and have them keep building up? Perhaps I'm following the wrong advice.
  • coelcanthcoelcanth Posts: 89Member
    not wrong..
    i think your float-type LWCO calls for a weekly blow down,
    if sludge builds up inside there, it could become a safety issue.

    you might see conflicting advice because this procedure is not required with the modern probe-type LWCOs
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,291Member
    edited December 2019
    OK timeout, I don't think you mentioned LWCO before. I was talking about boiler draining, this sentence I was replying to:

    > I have been making sure the water is clean, draining out rust particles regularly.

    If you are talking about float LWCO then I have heard a lot of people say a weekly blowdown is required, but consult your model's manual for timing and procedure.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
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