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Replacement boiler - new issues

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Dooma00
Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
edited December 2020 in Strictly Steam
In short was forced to replace our old Utica boiler due to major leak. A new boiler was installed. I was not home at the end of the job and they set the subtractive pressuetrol to 3 main wif diff of .5. My old boiler ran at much lower settings around 1.5 and 1 and our home was very well balanced.

I have been adjusting the pressuretrol but still I’m having What seems like higher psi than I used to have. Upstairs radiators are blazing hot and hissing and downstairs not Warming rooms enough. I i’m basically at 1 and .5 now on the pressuretrol. In my mind psi is psi so I’m not sure why I’m having so much hissing and unbalanced now
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  • SteamCoffee
    SteamCoffee Member Posts: 123
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    Pics are worth a zillion words.....btw the pressure is probably to high....pics...please
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    And another thing to consider is the accuracy of the old gauge and control compared to the accuracy of the new gauge and control. Your problem may be in the near boiler piping.

    Pictures will help... and do you have any pics of the old piping?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    I had to run out for work but can post pictures later. I agree the The pressure is clearly too high but now I have it turned down so low and I still getting hissing at many of the vents.
  • mikespipe
    mikespipe Member Posts: 36
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    you may be running with a dirty head of steam. that can be fouling your vents and causing the problems you describe the new boiler needs to have the oils from manufacturing and plumbing removed. this is done by skimming from the top after the boiler has run for a while if there is a port above the water line that you can put a pipe and a valve in do so run the boiler till its hot but not steaming and then shut it off and open that valve. bring the water level up till water starts to flow out keep it going slowly till it is running clear. this should give you a clean head of steam. of course if the piping is inadequate you may still have issues. the tech who installed the boiler should have come back to perform this task.
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    I am starting to think it's dirty steam also.  Sight glass has a big sway, full when off and looks empty when running.  Can actually smell an oil smell when radiators running.  And the we have this similar noise coming from multiple vents, sounds like some body sniffing during the entire time boiler is running.  I am attaching some pics.  Thanks for the help.
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,295
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    That boiler needs to be repiped, its all wrong and I wouldn’t even bother bringing back the company that did the work to correct there hackary. 
    E-Travis Mechanical LLC
    Etravismechanical@gmail.com
    201-887-8856
    SuperTechSteamCoffeeNew England SteamWorks
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 629
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    That's methed up.   :#
    CanuckerSuperTech
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    They are coming back.  They claim they just piped in to what was already the setup.  Can you tell what in particular is wrong?
  • BillyO
    BillyO Member Posts: 277
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    who ever piped that boiler struggled big time
    SuperTech
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    That black foam pipe insulation will be cooked eventually and turn into a gooey mess.
    If you removed it at the boiler piping there may be clues hiding under it.

    The gas piping right at the boiler is interesting, they must have been short of 1/2" fittings.
    The control wiring looks to have been done by the cable guy.

    But, they did install a skimming port, that indicates some awareness of the need for cleaning. :)
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
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    Dooma00 said:

    They are coming back.  They claim they just piped in to what was already the setup.  Can you tell what in particular is wrong?

    Grab the install manual, ask them to have a look.
    You can also go into the Steam Section here and see many amazing, and of course correct, examples of how it should be piped.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    Dooma00 said:

    They are coming back.  They claim they just piped in to what was already the setup.  Can you tell what in particular is wrong?

    They are coming back? Well... good luck.

    First off, you have two risers coming out of the boiler. One of them is capped. They both need to be used. Then you have that lovely big old header overhead -- and it has an unused connection just to the right of where the one riser which does go up there is attached.

    It's not ideal, but the header is big enough to make it work. The riser which they didn't connect should connect to the fitting they didn't use. The needed offset must be done with 45s, so the intermediate pipe is sloping, not horizontal. They did that right on the riser they did connect.

    They need to check the pitch of the riser. It needs to be at worst horizontal; preferably pitched slightly to the end where the equalizer comes down -- but only slightly. Don't disturb the overall height of the header, as that will mess up the pitch of the steam mains coming off it.

    The black foam insulation is, as has been noted, wrong. It is not easy to properly insulate a header like that, but there are compounds which can be used to do it. The risers and the steam mains can be done in regular fiberglass.

    That's just what I can see offhand in the pictures...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    @Dooma00

    Unfortunatly another lazy installer who can't or won't read the install manual. Look at it it's in there

    If he knew what he was doing he would have piped it according to the boiler installer manual.

    What you have will not work and it will never be right. You need someone who will pipe the boiler right and skim it
    SuperTech
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited December 2020
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    Here is the illustration from the installation manual that you want them to see.

    It is important to follow the minimum requirements for dry steam to get to your main and to the radiators.

    It does say that the second riser found the boiler is optional on the smaller sizes. You don’t want to cap that off. You want to use it because you are experiencing problems. If they don’t agree, then a letter to the Attorney General’s office is in order. (They have a division for this type of issue in most states)
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
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    If they can’t solve the problem, you want some money back to pay for someone who can!
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    Thank you very much for the detailed responses. I really appreciate it. With them not including the second riser what is the potential downside? Just so I know when I have a discussion tomorrow.
  • BillyO
    BillyO Member Posts: 277
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    How about you cut your losses and hire a steam guy. That looks like the landscapers uncle who does plumbing on the side installed it
    SuperTech
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
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    @Dooma00

    If they follow the manufacturers minimum piping requirements for the size boiler you have you should be fine. If using the second riser is optional adding it will help it produce dry steam but they probably don't owe you that.

    When the piping is done it is important to skim the boiler. When that is done and the boiler is steaming the water level shouldn't bounce more than 1/2-3/4"
  • BillyO
    BillyO Member Posts: 277
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    Why would you even let that contractor back in the boiler room, clearly he wasn't capable the first time. And for him to not do it correctly the first time and take your money, in my circle, that's a thief!!!!!!!
  • BillyO
    BillyO Member Posts: 277
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    And why does the homeowner have to show the heating contractor the diagram he needs to see? Are you dillusional?
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    Yeah not that helpful.  I needed heat in a blizzard.  I am looking for what I can do now.  I have money spent and want to make them do the right thing.  You offer no details BillyO.  What exactly is wrong  according to you? According to the manual a single Riser is acceptable for this model. Clearly the electrical connections are not phenomenal but that is a simple fix.
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
    edited December 2020
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    do you see in the diagram above, the 2 boiler risers go to the header, then the header goes to the house main, then to the equalizer back down to the boiler return ?
    any water carried up with the steam separates in that diagramatic header and pushes to the end of the header, back down the equalizer, dryer steam goes up the main and makes someone warm.
    what do you have?
    a boiler riser, which may be ok being the single, goes up to the middle of that relic header, then to the left, 2 or 3 house mains(can't tell), those are where all your water is going, and to the right, another main, then the equalizer,
    the right side "might" be ok, diagram wise,
    the left side is a water pump.
    then there's those relic boiler riser plugged ports, which will fill with condensate, and rob steam energy, and probably hammer.
    the guys here are only trying to help you,
    don't bite the messengers
    known to beat dead horses
    ethicalpaulSuperTech
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    Thank you very much for your detailed response.

    My point was not to belittle any of the responses. It's just not helpful when they just passed the installer with nothing else. I'm out a lot of money and I just want to the armed with all of the possible information so I can correct the situation without being out more money.

    The manual says that for this particular model the 2nd Riser is not required. But what you're saying about the evaporator makes a lot of sense to me. That is certainly something I will discuss with them.

    I really do appreciate everybody who took time to work with me.

    One further question. Is it common and expected that the installer will skim the new boiler. And what time frame would you expect that to happen? I cannot find that in the installation manual
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    That boiler looks too big for a single 2" supply (if that's what it is). What model is it?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
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    yes it should be skimmed, by the installer, just as it should be piped, properly, by the installer,
    pretty sure skimming is in any manual, operation, check out, service,
    it's in there,
    as for when, maybe day of, after firing, or a day or 2 later,
    you, or they, will likely need to skim more than once
    known to beat dead horses
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    Burnham Independence IN6
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    According to the Burnham manual, the use of the second riser is optional on the IN6. Is it good practice? Yes. Is it required, no. Also, the minimum single riser size is 2 inch diameter, even for just one riser.

    This is the Burnham requited minimum. Does it mean that it's good practice? No, it doesn't. Two risers will give much better quality steam -- and thus more satisfactory heat. However, many contractors will pipe to the minimum required.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Dave T_2
    Dave T_2 Member Posts: 64
    edited December 2020
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    @dooma00 you are correct the second riser is optional. The installer should be given the chance to step up and correct any faults. Everyone here has had to 'fix' a mistake or poor decision, as time goes on mistakes are made less often. Not knowing who did the work, how he corrects things will tell you alot about him.

    He probably did pipe it like the boiler he replaced, but the newer boilers are smaller and near boiler piping becomes very important to the sucessful operation. The correct way to pipe it would be to follow the manufacturers diagram to construct a new 2" header and equalizer with a 2" supply pipe to the existing piping. The existing pipe being used as an equalizer will be a drip and should be connected to the return below the water line.

    Be sure to confirm he adequately skim cleaned the water. And like has been mentioned, doing it a few more times may be the right thing to do. Ask hime to do it again. Good luck.
    ethicalpaul
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    As already stated using the 2nd riser is optional on that size boiler.

    If you want that 2nd riser used I would offer him a little more money to accommodate his time and out of pocket material costs. That might make him more agreeable and get this install fixed quickly.

    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
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    Just to be clear the addition of the second riser would give me more Steam equaling more efficiency?
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    The second riser would give you drier steam, not more steam. It would make the system more efficient, just how much is hard to say.

    It's alo important the right sized risers and headers are used. If these are to small (in diameter) the system will not be efficient. A manufacturer tells you what size should be used but these are minimums, larger is better - problem is not all installers have pipe threading machines that can accommodate larger diameter pipe.

    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
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    I’m surprised it just needs one 2” riser but ok. Pretty sure the manual demands a header and equalizer though
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    So what I have is a header no?  Ugly but is it not considered a header?  I understand the lack of equalizer for sure 
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    It’s hard to discern. 
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    Dooma00 said:

    So what I have is a header no?  Ugly but is it not considered a header?  I understand the lack of equalizer for sure 

    What you have does qualify as a header. A bit unusual, but a header. It isn't hooked up quite the way it would be for a new header, either... but it's large and, as I say, if it is no worse than level (better very slightly sloped to the end which has the pipe -- the equalizer -- going down the the return fitting on the boiler, it should work.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Neild5
    Neild5 Member Posts: 167
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    Dooma00 said:
    So what I have is a header no?  Ugly but is it not considered a header?  I understand the lack of equalizer for sure 
    Yes, the contractor connected to the header from the old boiler.  However the contractor that installed the  old boiler with that header piped it wrong.  The proper order of pipes connected to the header is riser in, second riser in ( optional but highly recommended), main(s) out, equalizer down.  When the steam leaves the riser and enters the header you want it to travel in one direction and not tee into 2 directions.   
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    Would you say that it has to be changed to incorporate the equalizer or is it possible it’s ok. It has been like this for a long time I imagine
  • Neild5
    Neild5 Member Posts: 167
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    Dooma00 said:
    Would you say that it has to be changed to incorporate the equalizer or is it possible it’s ok. It has been like this for a long time I imagine
    It has to be changed if you are interested in the system ever having a chance of running quiet and efficiently.   My favorite comeback when someone says "I have been doing it this way for 30 years!" is, so you've been doing it wrong for 30 years, does that justify continuing to do it wrong?  In order for the system to work it needs to at least be piped to the manufacturer's minimum,  yours is not even close.
  • Dooma00
    Dooma00 Member Posts: 24
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    Talking to them shortly.  What I need addressed:

    1.  No equalizer
    2.  Possibly adding 2nd riser
    3.  Header is incorrect

    Is this what I should be specifially insisting on being done?