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Water out selected radiators

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Hoping you folks can help. Long story, but please bear with me…
Been in an old house with oil-fired, single-pipe steam heating system for 10 years. System always serviced regularly by our oil company. It’s a drafty old place, but system always seemed adequate for the most part.
That was until a year or so ago when I noticed the water level was over the top of the sight gauge. Service guy examined system and suspected the automatic water feed was not closing off completely. He drained off some water to normal level and put some stuff into the boiler that turned the water green; said it was a chemical to help loosen any residue, etc. that might be hanging the feeder up.
Problem persisted. I was keeping an eye on the water level and periodically would see it overflow the boiler again. Service guy said it looked like I’d need to replace the automatic water feed but, rather than do it now in the middle of winter when they were busy, he’d just disconnect it and close the valves on either side. He said if I saw the water level go down any significant amount, I should open the manual bypass valve to add a little. I asked him if that was OK to do while the system was hot and he said that’s what the automatic feeder did.
So I did as he suggested to limp through the winter. But the water level was erratic. Sometimes it would be low, so I’d add a little; but other times it would actually be over full and I’d have to drain some off again. The service guy said it was likely the old-style gate valves in that water feed manifold were leaking and the whole thing should be replaced along with the automatic water feed.
I got through the winter and shut the heat off for the season. Mid-summer, I find the boiler leaking. A check of the overflow valve, attached piping, etc. showed no leaks – it was coming from the boiler itself. I removed the covers and it was clear it was leaking in several spots. Service said I’d need a new boiler. This seemed odd as it was only about 17 years old, but they said that was not unusual. Looking back, I suspect I cracked the boiler by listening to them and adding water to a hot boiler. Either that or the frequent additions promoted just enough corrosion to do-in an already compromised boiler (we’re on well water, which I know can be hard on a system, even though we do have a softener).
Between their lackluster attitude, the high price they quoted me for replacement and my general lack of confidence in them, I went to another company that had more experience with steam systems.
They installed the new boiler, including all new low-water cutoff and automatic water feed, valves and manifold. They also changed a number of radiator and main line vent valves. It wasn’t yet heating season, but I ran it periodically at their suggestion to check for any issues and they skimmed it a couple of times to get any crud out of the system. All seemed normal until one evening when I had just turned on the system, I noticed the water level was above the sight glass. Worse, I found two radiators spraying water out of their air valves. Thankfully I was there to catch them before the flooding got too bad and we had a real disaster. I shut off the system and called the installer back in.
The odd thing was the way just those two radiators had filled up. There are three main branches of the steam system once it leaves the boiler, each of which serves radiators in different portions of the house. The two that had overflowed were on the branch for the front of the house. That branch has three legs coming off it: one feeds a single first-floor radiator, a second runs up to feed two second-floor radiators and the third feeds a first-floor radiator and a second floor radiator. It was these last two that had overflowed – yes, one on the first floor and one on the second.
I thought there must be a blockage in that leg that allowed steam through, but slowed the condensed water from flowing back, thereby filling up the pipes/radiators of that leg over time until they overflowed. In the meantime, the boiler water level wouldn’t be replenished, so the automatic feeder would add more. Then, when the system was shut off and the water in the pipes had time to seep back down, the boiler would be over-full again. This was consistent with what I was seeing.
My installer said that was unlikely. He had never heard of a blockage in the actual steam line and that any blockages usually occurred in the return line, since it was the lowest point of the system. I pointed out, though, that the return line was down in the basement. If it had plugged, all three of the legs off that branch would have filled with water and the other first-floor radiator would have been spitting water before that second-floor one did.
But he felt that wasn’t necessarily so; that it could have to do with the orientation of the piping, etc. So he removed the return line, expecting to find it clogged. It wasn’t. He also flushed and skimmed the whole system again just in case there might be some remaining crud clogging things up. I’m again running it periodically while keeping a close eye on that water level and those two radiators that had leaked, but I have no trust in this system at this point. We’re heading into cold weather and I can’t be confident to leave the house with the heat on for fear of coming back to a flood.
Do you think it’s possible that the actual steam line for the leg that serves those radiators could be plugged? If so, can it simply be snaked out in some way? Any other possibilities? Many thanks in advance.
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Comments

  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
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    Sounds like you have a thing called condensate time lag.
    Basically that means the the condensate from the system takes to long to return to the boiler. This allows the auto feeder to install water into the boiler. When the condensate returns it mixes with the feed water and you have a flooding condition.

    Need pictures of the basement steam, return and near boiler piping to try to ascertain the problem.

    Jake
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    May well be slow condensate return. The autofeeder should have controls (usually dip swirches) which can be set for the amount to feed and the time delay. Set it for the lowest amount -- usually one gallon -- and the longest delay -- usually 10 minutes. Do NOT use the option to fill until the level comes up. That looks attractive -- and causes much mischief.

    On the leaky boiler -- probably adding fresh water regularly accelerated the problem, but 17 years isn't unheard of. I doubt you cracked it. However having said that, you also mentioned that you have a water softener. Do NOT, repeat NOT, use ion exchange softened water in your boiler. Take that feed from before the water softener. Ion exchange softened water is very corrosive, and will do in a boiler in short order.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Thanks to both and I will get some pictures to post. Yes, I believe it is condensate lag but the question is why it only recently started happening and why only on one branch off of one main leg of the system (?). To me, that suggests a clog and not in the return line for that whole leg (because the other radiators that are lower and closer to the boiler don't over-fill). It suggests a clog in the actual steam line that feeds the two affected radiators that have filled, no? Is that unheard of, i.e. the steam feed line clogging to the point where it allows some steam through to heat the radiators, but is clogged enough to slow/stop the condensate from coming back down, over time filling the lines and the radiators?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    A clog in a steam line is sufficiently unusual that it would certainly be worth documenting -- in detail.

    On the other hand, a radiator valve which is only partly open, or where the disc has finally fallen off the stem and is blocking or partly blocking the opening, is sufficiently common to be routine.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
    edited October 2020
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    Or piping that isn't pitched properly or has a dip in it that is collecting condensate.

    Is this one pipe or 2 pipe?
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Mattmia2, this is a single-pipe system. Jamie, the radiator vent valves are new. Tried sketching out this leg of the system, but tough to get the turns, etc. into a 3-D drawing, so below is a simplified version. Again, since radiators #4 and #5 on the drawing are the ones that are spraying water out their vents, it would seem that they might be clogged where they come together before attaching to the main steam line.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    It is much more likely that the return is clogged holding the condensate in the end of the main where it gets picked up by the steam going up to those 2 radiators at the low end of the main but it isn't completely clogged so the condensate slowly makes its way back to the boiler but not as fast as it is produced. It may also affect operation of that vent forcing the system to vent through radiators 4 and 5 instead of the main vent. Are there signs of moisture around the main vent like white crusty deposits?
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Here are some photos. First is the back of the boiler. Second is the main steam leg looking away from the boiler. The feed for rad #1 is going off to the left. The feed for rads #2 and #3 is in the background against the wall going into the ceiling. To the right at the end of the main is the tee where the two feeds for rads #4 and #5 branch off. The third photo is a close-up of
    that junction where #4 and #5 branch off and where I'm suspecting there might be a clog. You'll see the main air vent and the return line below.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    That is possibly the worst location for a vent I've seen in quite some time. Barring any other problems, that vent could be almost anywhere else and be more useful -- assuming, given its location, that it still works at all, which I rather doubt.

    And I completely agree with @mattmia2 -- the most likely problem given that geometry is that that return line is partly plugged. It wouldn't take much of a plug there to cause condensate to collect at that location and get forced up into those risers.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Aren't main line vents always placed at the end of the line like this?

    Also, we did remove the return line section that runs down along the floor, as the installer said that would be the place where it would clog. But it was clear. And if the return was blocked somewhere, wouldn't it cause that whole portion of the system to fill with water and leak out of the other radiators, especially the other one on the first floor?

    I think I also misunderstood your earlier suggestion that the disks may have fallen off in the valves. I thought you meant the air vent valves, but I guess you meant the valves that feed steam into the radiators, right? Tried to take the tops off them to see if that had happened, but they are really on there? Any tricks for getting them off?

    Thanks to all for the help and patience. Trying to reason through this one.
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Mattmia2 - Sorry, didn't see your earlier comment before my last reply to Jamie. There were no crusty white deposits around that vent at the end of the main, but it was all covered with insulation with just the vent sticking out before I took it off for this photo.

    From your comment and Jamie's, sounds like the next step is to take apart that return and ensure it's clear, then at least replace that main vent with a better quality one (rather than the H.D. version currently on there).
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Forgot to mention: Just to explore my earlier thought that there might be a clog where those two risers for #4 and #5 come together to meet the main, I took the vent out and probed up in there with a stiff wire. Didn't seem to hit any obstruction and it moved around pretty freely, so don't think it just pushed a small hole through one. That's what led me to think perhaps the disks did fall off the steam feed valves for these two radiators, though it would seem strange to have it happen to two at once.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    Did you do anything to ensure the vertical portion of the pipe and especially the tee or ell at the bottom of it were clear? It could be blocked somewhere in that area. The water isn't backing up in to the radiators directly, as the steam moves over the water it carries some water with it and that is the water that is getting in to the radiators.

    Does the system bang?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    Yes, main vents are place at or near the end of a line. They are NOT placed in a tapping on a T right smack dab at the end of the line, near the bottom of a the leg of the T on the other side. Any water at all flying along that steam main will go right into the opening for the vent.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Mattmia2 - are you talking about the vertical portions of the risers to radiators #4 and #5, or the vertical portions of the return line or both? And I hear what you're saying about the steam picking up the water, but it sure seems like the radiators themselves are full, given the steady stream of water (not just spitting) shooting out the vents... Have some banging in other parts of the system, but not on these risers/radiators, at least it doesn't seem so.

    Jamie - I get what you're saying about that main vent. Understand it should ideally be after the last outlet to a radiator and before the final elbow, mounted up high. Problem is there is no place in the piping to do that. The tee for the last two radiators is the end of the line, with the other side leading into the return. Also, the vent that is on there is a 1/8" angle vent that I gather is too small (more like a radiator vent). So sounds like the system should be improved.
    All that said, however, it was working for the first 8 years or so that we were here, so this trapping or backing-up of condensate that is now coming out of those 2 radiators must be the result of something having changed, like a clog, etc., no?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    The piping and tee that are on/near the floor and the pipe coming up off that pipe or possibly the convoluted elbows just off the bottom of the main.

    The valves on the radiators are all the way open, right?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    "All that said, however, it was working for the first 8 years or so that we were here, so this trapping or backing-up of condensate that is now coming out of those 2 radiators must be the result of something having changed, like a clog, etc., no?"

    Always a good way to start! So think back -- what did change? What work was done?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 393
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    main vents can be anywhere on the main, but are most effective at the end of the main. But they will still work further upstream to supplement the main vents.

    I;ve added vents by drilling and tapping the top of horizontal elbows 1/4” flows a fair amount of air. Vertical Varivents work descent as main vents.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    To check for a possible clogged return path, remove the main vent and devise a method so you can feed a gallon of water into that open pipe. Before adding the water mark the water level at the sight glass so you can see if the boiler water level changes.

    If the water does not appear at the boiler in a few seconds you know you have a problem.

    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
    mattmia2
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Mattmia2 - We had the piece of the return that runs across the floor off and it was clear. Will see about checking the rest of the return.

    Jamie - That's the thing; nothing was changed -- radiators, vents, lines; nothing. As noted at the start, we did just have a new boiler put in, but this over-filling situation was going on with the old one. Just didn't realize it at the time; thought it was a faulty automatic feed.

    Motoguy - Problem is, on my current set-up there is no vertical portion past the last radiator riser to drill/tap. It's a tee, with steam coming in one side, the last riser out the other and the return going out the third. Someone had drilled/tapped the side of that tee and put in a 1/8" vent. Think I could enlarge it and put some nipples and an elbow to mount a larger vent up higher above the main?

    Bobc - You read my mind. I did exactly that, though I didn't add a full gallon of water -- not even a quart. Didn't see a rise on the sight glass, but might not have been enough to detect. Seemed to go down the return, but may be a clog down far enough for the piping above it to hold that small amount. But DID find that, after I put the vent back in and started the system, as it got hot it started leaking water out THAT vent (at the end of the main), suggesting that the water may indeed have been sitting at the mouth of the return and was now being pushed out as the line vented. I'll go back and do it again with more water to see if I can verify a clogged return.

    Thanks again to all for sticking with me on this.

  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Update: took Bobc's suggestion. Marked the sight glass water level, took out the vent in the main, poured in a gallon of water. Didn't back up; seemed to go down the return just fine and sight glass water level rose accordingly. So, a plug in the return is not the culprit.
    ethicalpaul
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Further update: Did same as above, but this time from one of the problem radiators. Disconnected it at the union; made sure steam valve was open and the disk hadn't fallen down and blocked the inlet. Then poured a gallon of water down the pipe. Went without any backup and ended up in the boiler as it should have. Can't check other problem radiator since that union requires a bigger wrench that I don't have. But suspect it will also drain fine. Now I'm really stumped. If there are no blockages in that leg of the system, the pipes and radiators all have proper pitch and the radiators have new vents on them, why am I getting water spilling out of those vents when things heat up?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    Good job verifying that there probably aren't any clogs. I was highly dubious of that explanation.

    I'm not clear on this despite re-reading everything: Do you currently have an auto feeder activated on your system?

    Also, have you posted a picture of your near-boiler piping? It might be good to verify that your boiler isn't throwing gallons of water into your mains, which might explain why your autofeeder was (or is?) flooding your boiler.

    You need one of these maybe :)https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/169320/see-wet-steam-in-the-wild
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    Is the water line in the boiler stable while it is steaming, or does it bounce up and down?
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Ethicalpaul - Yes, do have an autofeeder on the system and see above for photo of back-of-boiler piping...

    Mattmia2 - The water in the sight glass is fairly stable when steaming; there's a little bounce, but nothing radical.

    I plan to do a similar return water test to the other radiator that was leaking water (don't have a wrench big enough to open that union, but will remove the air vent and feed a gallon of water through the hole as I did the first time).

    I'm also going to similarly check the return on another leg of the steam main. Again, my house has three main legs: the return on this one has been checked, one of the others was recently replaced so should be good, but I'm going to check the last one for the heck of it. Wondering if maybe I'm wrong in my assumption that the boiler over-filling and the water spilling from these two radiators are part of the same problem. Maybe there are two things going on here. We'll see.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    If the boiler is building high enough pressure, especially if the end of the main isn't much higher than the boiler, could be pushing water up the return near or in to the main. Did we ask about the boiler pressure or if you even have a low range gauge that will accurately read the ~1psi of pressure the system should run at?
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    Ethicalpaul - Yes, do have an autofeeder on the system and see above for photo of back-of-boiler piping...

    OK if it were me, I would disable with valves the autofeeder while I was working on this issue.

    The photo above shows only the below-the-water-line pipes. I am very interested in your steam supply and header pipes that lead to your mains. Those pipes determine if water can get thrown into your main.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Thanks guys. Went ahead and checked the return flow for the other radiator in question and, as before, flowed back to the boiler without issue. Also checked the return for that other main leg of the system; it too was clear.

    Mattmia2 - Yes the boiler is set a little under 1 psi, but it is not a low-range gauge. It's a 0-35 psi gauge.

    Ethicalpaul - Below is a photo of the above-the-boiler piping leading to the mains. In the picture, the main that's in question is the one coming toward you. The one going out to the left behind it is the second leg that feeds 2 radiators and the one going back and to the right feeds 4 radiators.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    edited October 2020
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    Thanks, that's a good pic.

    It's as I feared. The boiler is improperly piped and water carried/pushed by steam can definitely be pushed into one or both of those first two legs (the other main, riser, coming out of the middle of the "header" is in better shape).

    This could cause water to spurt out of your main vents and/or the radiators on those mains in my opinion.

    What happens is the system looks like a coffee percolator from the old days where water is pushed by the steam much farther than you think it would be likely to. In a correct header, the steam is separated from the water. But not in this one.

    To minimize it, make sure your water level is on the low side, and the PH of the water must not be much higher than normal tap water. Also, the water must be free of floating oils (achievable via skimming)

    But really this boiler needs to be repiped.

    PS: another thing that can happen is that if a lot of water gets pushed up into your main(s) then the LWCO can trigger the autofeed to add water to your boiler, which then appears to flood when the condensate finally returns at the end of a heating cycle. But you would see that happening if you watched some heating cycles so maybe that's not happening.

    PPS: What model Peerless is this? I wonder if the installer followed the recommended number and size of steam supply pipes. The steam supply looks larger than 2" but I can't be sure from here.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Thanks, Ethicalpaul.

    It's a Peerless WBV-04 and the steam supply is 2". Interesting that you spot deficiencies in the steam supply piping because when they first installed it the main steam supply coming out the top of the boiler made its initial turn much lower. When these problems came up, he had looked into it and actually came back and re-did it to put that initial turn up higher to no avail. How would it need to be changed to make it right?

    Also, the situation you describe with the water level IS what I'm seeing. It's still warm here in CT so I've only run the system in short bursts to take the morning chill off the house, but the water seems to increase a bit each time until it eventually is out the top of the sight glass.

    If, as you suspect, water is getting pushed into the main, resulting in leakage at the radiator vents, wouldn't ALL the radiators on that main be doing it instead of the last two on the main (see diagram posted earlier in this thread)?
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    As someone said, "Well, there's your problem" -- and @ethicalpaul 's got. it. Let's consider an ambitious drop of water flying out of the boiler (there will be a lot of them). It is carried up the riser, fast -- no way it can drip back down. Now it comes to the T on the riser. What happens to it? It keeps going straight up -- water's heavy, and it just can't make the turn t the left there. Then it gets to the T at the top, and it can't go straight; the back wall of the T is in the way. Instead, it hits there and gets pushed off to the left or the right.

    Now it's in one of the mains. Again, it can't make the turn to any of the risers coming off the main -- until it gets to the end and has to go somewhere. So.. it goes into one of those end radiators and pops out the vent...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    edited October 2020
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    Yep, that's well described. My concern was indeed mainly with the design of the header and its pipes, not so much with the height.

    Height is a factor, but the header only has to be 24" above water line which yours definitely is (now). But here's the diagram from your boiler's manual. The supply should enter the header at the side, then after that, the risers for the mains should come out the top of the header via Tees.

    I'm a little shocked that a boiler as big as yours has a single 2" riser and a 2" or 3" header recommended. I'm pretty sure the good installers on this forum would go larger on the supply. But with the way the header is now with its layout, all bets are off. Hopefully your installer will do the right thing and learn something too!



    Out of even more curiosity, which WBV-04 is it? The -125 or the -150?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    For some reason, Peerless draws a much nicer diagram for their 63 and 64 series boilers. This one is easier to visualize with the same basic layout (but of course your installer should use the other one for your boiler because the ports are in the correct place on the boiler):


    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    One more thing to look at, and to show your installer. Peerless makes a FANTASTIC educational document called The Color of Steam. Everyone should read the whole thing, but you should especially have a look starting on page 19, it tells how the header piping is vital to separate water from the steam:

    https://www.peerlessboilers.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/OnePipeSteam.pdf
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    I will certainly go back to my installer with all this great info. However, the question I have is why did this start now? We've been using this system for the last 9-10 years with that header/main arrangement without any water out the radiators, etc. Why did just the switch to a new boiler have this effect? Is the size of the new one a factor (bigger; old one was a 3-section that seemed barely adequate and based on the EDR total for all the radiators the system supplies, both quotes I got were for a 4-section)?
    ethicalpaul
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    One clarification: you said the supply should enter the header from the side. Mine right now goes in from the bottom, so that should be corrected. You also said the risers for the mains should come out the top via Ts. Isn't that what mine are doing now, or does that configuration need to be altered, too. Just want to be clear on what I'm going to need to ask my installer to correct... Thanks again.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    edited October 2020
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    I will certainly go back to my installer with all this great info. However, the question I have is why did this start now? We've been using this system for the last 9-10 years with that header/main arrangement without any water out the radiators, etc. Why did just the switch to a new boiler have this effect? Is the size of the new one a factor (bigger; old one was a 3-section that seemed barely adequate and based on the EDR total for all the radiators the system supplies, both quotes I got were for a 4-section)?

    The size could definitely be a factor, but so could lots of other things. I'd have to see pictures of the old boiler to see some of those factors. But even then, there could be unseen differences--on this forum there have definitely been boilers that had no business working at all that worked for decades. It can be a mystery exactly what happens in some of these situations...that's why I put sight glasses on my pipes :)

    I was in a situation similar to yours two years ago, look at my piping!

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/168038/diy-near-boiler-piping-improvement-hopefully

    What is the total EDR of your radiators, and what was the model or BTU rating of your previous boiler? (again, my curiosity knows no bounds)
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    One clarification: you said the supply should enter the header from the side. Mine right now goes in from the bottom, so that should be corrected. You also said the risers for the mains should come out the top via Ts. Isn't that what mine are doing now, or does that configuration need to be altered, too. Just want to be clear on what I'm going to need to ask my installer to correct... Thanks again.

    I understand the question--until you are used to looking at these, it can be difficult to see these differences.

    As @Jamie Hall said, your steam and water is coming up to the header. Some of that water just keeps going upward straight through the tee and continues up to the other tee that feeds your mains.

    That is the "violation" in the specification. These designs are not random, they are based on many decades of engineering and experience, and their sole purpose is to get steam and not water to your radiators.

    Your third main is connected correctly: the steam and water are flowing horizontally in the header, right? Only the steam will make the turn upward, leaving the water continuing horizontally to drain back down into the boiler.

    to fix it, the diagram shows the path toward the header should go up from the boiler, then turn horizontal, then turn a corner remaining horizontal, then go down to the equalizer. The main risers should come vertically off the header, after the water flow is already horizontal. This is what allows the steam to separate from the water droplets.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • transplant
    transplant Member Posts: 28
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    Ethicalpaul -Total EDR I calculated for my radiators was 336. Old boiler was a 3-section Utica, model SFH3100SL. The tag had several BTU/hr numbers: I=B=R Output: 116,000 and Input 140,000; Heating Capacity: 115,800; Steam feet squared: 363; and Steam BTU/hr: 87,000. Actually, not sure whether my new Peerless is a 125 or a 150 (?). Sticker on unit shows specs for both and don't see any other identifier on the boiler or in the documentation.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    edited October 2020
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    I really like the size of your old boiler. The new one at its smallest is 471 sq ft of steam (EDR), and if it's a 150 model, it's 558 sq ft, so to me it's oversized either way.

    I wish your new one was a WBV-03-85-S (321 sq ft of steam)

    But it's oil so maybe your installer adjusted the burner orifice to size it to your radiated EDR?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el