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LWCO and Water feeder issue on Peerless Boiler series 63/64

pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
edited March 29 in Strictly Steam
ok, I'll try to explain my problem.

1.) I have a LWCO 67 and a unimatch electric water feeder http://s3.supplyhouse.com/manuals/1351002065510/84641_PROD_FILE.pdf

2.) What I noticed is, when we turn on the boiler, the water feeder kicks in, and continues to kick in for a while. it does stop at some point, and the water in the sight glass is real high, such that you can barely see the line. which suggests to me that there is a calibration problem, where the lwco doesnt think there is enough water in the system so keeps turning on the water feeder until it gets to a certain point where it stops, but it is well above the "manufacturer water line"

so what we ended up doing temporarily is since its filled with too much water, i closed the valve to the water feeder, and drained the water until it gets to the correct line per peerless's line.

then had the boiler run at least 2 cycles and it appears to be working well.

my boiler's installation of the lwco appears correct as its where it should connect to the glass gauge. my steam guy said possible the lwco needs to go up on the boiler to match where the line is? but then it wouldnt look like in the manual, so thats what is strange, he of course did not do this, as he had to research this before we consider that idea.

but it doesnt sound right, trying to get the master's suggestions. (ala this forum)

thanks


PS, another question. I have a 1 pipe steam system, that acts as a return as well, do we need to have a hartford loop on this system, as my research is inconclusive.

Comments

  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,790
    Pictures of your piping from floor to ceiling at the boiler, from several angles, would help with the piping questions.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,790
    I looked at your previous posts and pictures.
    You never did post any pictures that show all the piping floor to ceiling as I mentioned above.

    IIRC, you were going to have "The Steam Whisperer" come look at your situation. Did that ever happen?
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,418
    Pictures are always helpful. The McDonnell Miller #67 LWCO should be mounted with a Tee on the bottom of the Gauge Glass. The very top line engraved on the Cast Iron #67 is, in fact the Low water line. A water level below that should trigger the auto water feeder. You do not want to mount the LWCO higher than its proper mounting location. If I were you, 1) I would recheck the wiring between the LWCO and the auto feeder to make sure it is wired correctly and 2) make sure the float in the MM #67 is free to float in the cavity of the MM #67. When was the last time the MM#67 was taken apart and cleaned? That unit will build up crud and should be cleaned at least every couple years, once a year is recommended. The cavity can and will build crud on the side walls and the floor and prevent the float from lifting like it should, creating what looks like a low water condition. The float in the MM#67 could also have a pin hole in it, waterlogging it.
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    @JUGHNE I did end up finding someone to reinstall the piping on my house. (Unfortunately, I ended up going with another guy, but Steam Whisper is a legite place, its just I didn't have the funds to afford that guy. (he is a super nice guy, i just cant afford him)

    I have a photo now, its not entirely complete yet in this photo.




    PS I'll try to get more pictures from boiler to whole house.
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,418
    The LWCO is properly mounted. Check the wiring, have the cavity of the LWCO cleaned and check that the float is not waterlogged, I believe that water feeder has some dip switches inside it that allow you to adjust the amount of water that it feeds. If you have the owner's manual, check it and see if you can set it for less water feed. Has this always been an issue or something that just started happening?
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,263
    I see a line drawn on the gauge glass that's about 2–3" below the NWL, indicated by the sticker on the boiler jacket. What's that for?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    @Fred your suggestion was what plan on doing. its a Uni-Match Universal water feeder, which like you said has some dip switches, apparently there is an ofrice kit that we can buy, so potentially need to do that. and we'll open up the LWCO to check the float as well, since the initial install was done so poorly. the WFE-120 is new, and as far as I can tell it has been doing this since I got it, but to be fair, the original installer didnt know anything, and i didnt realize that until it was too late. he did however get me out of a bind and got it running, although the whole house some leaky pipes everywhere, and the near boiler piping was done all wrong. etc etc etc.
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    @Hap_Hazzard I'll ask my boiler guy why he point that line there,


    at this point, its gotta be a configuration problem..

    at the end of the day we cutoff the water feeder and water from the boiler, and drained the water to the correct level, then ran the boiler for several cycles a day or two and level has remained in tact. which tells me the system was installed correctly, just need to figure out the situation with low water cutoff (fairly new) and water feeder (which is also fairly new)

    at any rate will clean the 67 and make some adjustment with dip switches in the WFE 120.
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,263
    When you say "correct level," are you going by the line next to the sticker or the line on the gauge glass?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA

    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    We are going by the line on the boiler. (Sticker).
    Hap_Hazzard
  • New England SteamWorksNew England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,352
    1. The LWCO is not installed correctly. It is too low. There are horizontal lines/ridges on the LWCO. The center of these is the point where the switch trips. It should be at the level of the middle of the gauge glass.
    2. Those 67s are notorious for filling up with gunk and clogging or slow to switch. I’d replace it with a 110v SafeGard and be done with it. Problem solved.


    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    @new england steamworks, I'll let my boiler guy know, so you think it should be further above the gauge glass? we suspected this but the manual looks like this, so im getting confused...

    i have a 110V safegaurd, but i dont know which water feeder works for that?
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,418
    @pookeye , see my comment above. The MM67 is mounted properly and it will shut the boiler down if/when the water level gets below the top line etched in the side of the cast iron body of the unit. The amount of water your Auto feed allows into the boiler, when the LWCO shuts the boiler down is determined by switch settings in the Autofeeder. Setting that correctly will bring the boiler water level up to where you want it.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,703
    Another way to wire the MM67 is to take advantage of the two switches in it: the upper level one trips the autofeeder, while the lower one is the LWCO.

    One should note that the autofeeder, if it's the VXT type, will turn off the boiler if it tries to feed twice and it is still getting a low water signal. This is not a substitute for a low water cutoff! It is intended to protect against a variety of evils, but low water isn't one of them. You MUST have a positive low water cutoff -- could be the low switch on the MM67, or could be a separate probe. But not the logic on the VXT feeder.
    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
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 6,935
    @pookeye The issue is that the MM #67 mounted in it's normal location is a "low water cutoff" that's it's main function to shut the burner down at the "lowest permissable water level"

    Can you hook a water feeder to it? Yes, but it will not keep the water level at the optimum 1/2 a gage glass level, it will only keep it at a safe level.

    If you want it to keep the boiler at 1/2 a gage glass you need a separate control mounted at a higher level to run the feeder
    pookeye
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    @EBEBRATT-Ed YES!!! What is this control? I need this.

    So what I am noticing is,. If I have the gas valve at full blast, my water in the gauge starts to go down real fast and then activates the low water cutoff,. Then after a minute the water comes back the boiler turns on and the water disappears again,. And the boiler shuts off,. This happens like every 4 minutes, this cycle,. So we lowered the gas by like 40% and the water level now stays the same, but it's taking way longer to heat up my radiators.

    I'm wondering if this extra control you mentioned would do the trick.


    https://photos.app.goo.gl/BEvpjADELtmDkFZG6

    Link above shows the issue.

    If I lower the gas it stops doing that. But I'm afraid that isn't a real fix. Any one else have an idea how to stop it from cycling so many times
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,400
    It sounds like you are surging, which has nothing to do with the function of the LWCO. Is this a relatively new installation?
    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
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,703
    This is NOT a control problem -- most likely, as @KC_Jones says, surging, and rather severe surging at that.

    Picture of piping.

    Has the boiler been properly skimmed after any new work?
    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
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,391
    pookeye said:

    @JUGHNE I did end up finding someone to reinstall the piping on my house. (Unfortunately, I ended up going with another guy, but Steam Whisper is a legite place, its just I didn't have the funds to afford that guy. (he is a super nice guy, i just cant afford him)

    I have a photo now, its not entirely complete yet in this photo.




    PS I'll try to get more pictures from boiler to whole house.

    What's the EDR of that boiler?

    What's the total EDR of the residence?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,703
    Well... nice enough. Pity your installer decided to use only one of the two boiler riser tappings, though. Even so, you may be able to get the surging under control... need to know the boiler make and model and the actual firing rate at full power.
    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
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,391

    Well... nice enough. Pity your installer decided to use only one of the two boiler riser tappings, though. Even so, you may be able to get the surging under control... need to know the boiler make and model and the actual firing rate at full power.

    I pity him when he has to come back and undo those joints.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 6,935
    @pookeye

    adding another control at this time is the wrong thing to do. You never mentioned the boiler water line surging.

    You need to solve that problem first. Either the piping is not right for that boiler or the boiler is dirty and needs skimming. Look at the boiler install manual and compare the piping to what you have. If it's not right fix it. Then skim the boiler if you need too
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,418
    It sounds to me like the boiler just needs to be skimmed.
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    edited April 20
    ok my apologies, I'll try to get all the data for you guys.

    1.) original issue, bought a house right before winter and the boiler broke cause long story short a transformer was broke and it didnt activate the water feeder when the boiler ran out of water. (ignorance and not having any clue about boilers) so I had found a guy who installed it and well lets say the guy didnt know anything....... soo there is that...

    2.) so I ended up getting an oversized boiler for my place, (obviously I had no idea what i was doing, i was in a bind) the btu is rated like 236K, and the house really needs maybe 125K. so thats problem number like 10.

    3.) the piping was installed incorrectly as he just claimed he replaced the boiler with the same size and just reconnected the pipes to the original system. which this was not working because he installed an electronic low water cutoff and an auto water feeder, problem with that was they were not compatible.

    4.) it turns out the low water cutoff and the water feeder was incompatible, so we ended up getting a 67 low water cutoff.

    5.) so since i posted it on this forum, you guys mentioned how horrible the piping was, so I ended up finding another guy who helped me replace all the piping in my house, cause there were leaks in a lot of the old steam piping tubes, so since I was remodeling it was time to consider HVAC or continue with this system, it turns out you guys convinced me that if i like the steam system then continue using it.

    6.) so all my pipes have been replaced. and the installer used the boiler piping kit from peerless.


    so the situation I have now is,

    1.) I'm seeing some surging, possibly due to oil still in the system, so it sounds like i need to skim, however I dont see any oil in the glass, is it possible that i still need to skim.

    2.) we lowered the gas line to a point where there is no more surging, but it seems to take a bit longer for all the radiators to get hot,

    the videos here is to show the piping, and you can see some surging still.

    video 1
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/LT4avMdqKtQHZcwP8

    video 2
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/5DhfQ1Zq5kSTi6yn9

    video 3
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/vCUEaXHXAstPvPso9
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 6,935
    Hard to follow the video with the camera moving around.

    Is this thing counter flow? I am trying to find the returns. If it is counter flow and the returns are dumping in the header that's your problem
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,418
    edited April 20
    Turning the gas valve partially off is not the way to down fire a boiler. That is just wrong! In any case, lowering the gas supply into the boiler won't cause the water bounce you are seeing. The boiler needs to be skimmed. Doesn't matter that you don't see oil in the sight glass. That glass shows streaks indicating that water is flowing from the top of the glass. It needs a good skim to fix the water bounce.
    As @EBEBRATT-Ed says, where are your wet returns? At the end of the mains with the mains pitching away from the boiler (high end at the boiler) or pitching towards the boiler (low end at the boiler)? If the mains pitch towards the boiler, that is counter flow and there should be drips on each main, near the boiler to allow water (condensate) to drop into those drips and not into the header.
    Get a real steam Pro in there and fix it right.
    SuperTech
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    edited April 26
    you guys were right, the boiler needed to be skimmed, there is no return line, everything comes back to the main, but the main is large diameter, the boiler was skimmed, and that appears to be working, looks like the switch in the low water cutoff was not working either, which was activating the water feeder incorrectly. that was also replaced. the system officially running without issues for the last 3 days. will continue monitoring. thanks again you guys for giving your input.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,790
    edited April 26
    It looks counter flow. The boiler riser is dropped into a second header/manifold the looks to have drip off the far end.
    Looks like a 1 1/2" drop to the return.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,790
    Somewhere, perhaps, in your basement in the installation manual for that size boiler.
    There are piping diagrams for counter flow also.

    How and at what port was the skimming done?

    It looks like you might have a skim port to the right of the top fitting for the sight glass. If so you need to get that plug out and install a nipple and valve for skimming.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 6,935
    There is a pipe in the picture can't see either end of it I suspect it is the counter flow drip.
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    edited April 27
    yes its a counter flow drip (not sure what the technical term is, I presume what you mean is the return comes from the same pipe where the steam goes)

    and yes the main header from the boiler goes above the main that comes back from the radiators, and falls down in 2 inch pipe back to the boiler.

    I'll take more pictures with a bit more clarity, the basement is a bit dark so its hard to get a good photo.

    at any rate, this forum convinced to continue going with steam, and use a mini split A/C system.

    this does make the house nice and hot. which is awesome.


    and yes the skimming was done based on the pipe on the right above the glass gauge. ended up adding a couple more pipes to have it point down.
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 5,101
    I have steam heat and when I got too old to handle the 14,000 BTU window shaker i installed a minisplit heatpump. It cools and heats (on mild winter days) the first floor of my house just fine.

    It's a shame they cost an arm and a leg,

    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
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    @BobC I know, its a bit ridiculous how expensive these are here in the states, in mexico these units cost like 200 bucks. but here its like 1000 bucks. and to have it installed thats another arm and a leg. however I did figure out you can buy from online dealer, you can do the install, but just need to an HVAC guy to vacuum the copper lineset and connect to the compressor, which is sufficient enough for warranty. (anyways thats my plan)
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,703
    I remember so well wen Japanese cameras first started to appear in the US (mostly Nikons and Mirandas). You could get them from a US dealer -- and they weren't cheap. You could get them from mail order from abroad (no internet in those days!) and the they were much cheaper. Much less than half. Perfectly legal. Problem was... if you got one from abroad and had a problem with it, you discovered that there was no warranty and no service.
    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
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 5,101
    edited April 30
    I bought my Nikon F2 used in 1975 from a Vietnamese kid who worked for us at the time (he bought in in Vietnam before coming over here for school), never had it serviced and it still works fine - built better than anything available now. I also have a Miranda Sensorex that I bought in the PX in the 60's, that still works just fine also..

    My Nikon d70 digital camera developed a sticky shutter in 5 years, not worth the price to fix it. I replaced that with a reconditioned d7100 that is still working fine, luckily the lenses i bought for the d70 work fine for the d7100.

    Today I'd be leary of buying anything new without a warranty but back then it didn't seem to matter.

    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
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,571
    I bought mine from Ingrahm, bought a vacuum pump on Amazon and did the whole thing myself. Quite reasonable for 3 rooms of cooling on a single compressor I thought.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • dopey27177dopey27177 Member Posts: 276
    First things first.

    Boiler water looks like you have an oil well in the boiler.
    1. You need to drain the boiler several times to remove most of the dirt and oil from the boiler.
    2. You need to chemically clean the boiler. I recommend Steam master and follow the directions on the can, but use half of the recommended dose. Let the system operate for 3 days and drain the system till the water run clear. Install chemical again. The water should appear blue or purple. if the boiler surges again drain some water from the boiler. You may have to do this several times. When the boiler operates without surging the water will be tinted. This means there is sufficient chemical in the boiler to prevent corrosion.

    Secondly, it appears that you have some counter flow conditions in some of the branch lines ( water flow returns against the flow of steam). This condition at best will not cause banging but the return of water to the boiler is slow from those branches.

    On your walking tour I did not see any quick vents at the end of the steam mains. Quick vents allow steam to circulate faster in the system also keep the system from going into a slight vacuum which slows the return of water to the boiler.

    Yes a Hartford loop should be in place as often will prevent the boiler from a dry fire.

    Lastly the boiler is is not piped correctly and most of your piping is not insulated.

    See attachment

    If you are interested you can purchase my book " Steam The Perfect Fluid For Heating And Some Of The Problems"

    Jake
  • pookeyepookeye Member Posts: 33
    edited April 29
    @dopey27177 thanks for responding, what part of the boiler is not piped correctly? as we did use the boiler kit from the manufacturer. as for insulation, yeah i know, im working on it, i dont live in the house so its taking a lot longer to insulate, since I have a day job, and the house is being remodeled.

    and yes the counter flow conditions, the pipe going up is 2 inches from most of the branches. but some are 1.25 (the ones going to the first floor)

    i'll see what I can do about the hartfort loop, and yes there is a vent at the end of the main, i might not have shown it in my tour.

    as of right now, the system is working like a charm, and the water is nice and clear now. (we did use 8 way boiler cleaner.) I'll check out your book. (i do love these steam books, learn a lot!)
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