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pressuretrol and automatic water feeder causing possible banging.

tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72
ok guys i have 2 questions about my banging. i actually posted this already and someone told me to raise my pipes. someone else told me that since my home is renovated, i either have to live with this banging, or i have to start ripping walls off to check for proper slope in the pipes. I just want to try a few other things before i do that.

i have a 1 pipe steam system and i have banging for about 15 seconds when the boiler first fires up. my home was renovated so i cant see the piping, but i tried to pull all my radiators as high as they can go, and they are all nicely sloped back to the valve. all my radiators has vent rites and i added 2 x barnes big mouth vents on the 2 mains that i found behind the walls. my system heats up evenly and fast, but it just bangs... enough to wake me up at night.

Theres 2 things that i think are contributing to the problem. The banging is louder when theres extra water in my boiler. I know this because i drained the water and the automatic water feeder will add the water back to the LWCO level and i marked it.

1) the automatic water feeder works normally, but sometimes when i up the thermostat a few extra degrees higher and the boiler runs longer, the automatic water feeder will think that theres less water in the boiler therefore adding more water. this little bit of extra water makes the banging louder...... I guess when the system runs longer, the water in the sight glass fluctuates more, tricking the automatic water feeder into thinking it needs more water. so when the wet return comes back, theres extra water. when this happens the banging is louder......... the banging is less when i drain the water back to the regular level again at the LWCO where its supposed to be. How can i fix this problem???

2) the pressuretrol is set to .5 and 2. I would like to set the cut out at 1 , but when i do, the boiler wont fire up. the thermostat will call for heat and the boiler wont start until in raise the pressuretrol back to about 2! this pressuretrol that i have is hard to exactly dial in the numbers..... I added a picture of it. can you tell me if theres anything wrong? Or why is it that when i set the cut out to 1, the system wont fire up?

THANK YOU GUYS FOR ALL YOUR TIME AND HELP!






Comments

  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72
    my water in the sight glass is purple because i added rectorseal water treatment. all my pigtails and cleaned and my dial works fine.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,715
    You may not be able to set that cutout much lower. Try it at 1.5 psi, though. But -- that isn't likely to be the problem.

    The automatic water feeder, though, could be, as could too much chemical in the water. On the water feeder, dig out the manual for it and see if it can be set for a time delay. Many of them can. If it can, see what it's set for -- and if possible set it for 5 to 10 minute delay. That will prevent bounces from activating it. Some boilers are more sensitive to high water than others. Also, make sure that the water level isn't bouncing too much -- too much being anything much over a 2 inch total range, top to bottom. If it is, have you skimmed the boiler thoroughly? And if you have, try reducing the amount of water treatment in there. A little is fine -- but too much can cause foaming and surging, which you don't want.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,518
    edited January 8
    I can't remember if we saw your near boiler piping on your other threads, but the first thing I would look at given what you have said would be the question: Is my boiler throwing water into my mains?

    The thing that points me to that question is this:

    but sometimes when i up the thermostat a few extra degrees higher and the boiler runs longer, the automatic water feeder will think that theres less water in the boiler therefore adding more water.


    There is nothing about running longer that would make the water feeder "think" there is less water in a well-piped boiler. The amount of water that is steam at any given time is very little compared to the water in the boiler.

    But what CAN change over the time of a call for heat is how much water is getting carried over into the main. And that much water CAN definitely have a dramatic effect on the water level in the boiler.

    The LWCO doesn't "think" (and you may know this but I say it for emphasis). Unless the water level is low, it won't come on (if it's working correctly). So the water must be getting low. And the way that happens often is from carryover. You have to prevent carryover in order to address this problem IMO. Bandaids such as changing the water level, or adjusting the time delay to adding water will not get you there.

    I will add another possible cause is too much pressure pushing water out of your boiler. Do you have a trusty low-pressure gauge on your boiler so you can see what pressure it's running at throughout a long cycle?

    ^^ I bolded this because the near-boiler piping looks decent and based on the poster's words that the water level dropped during longer cycles I am wondering more about the pressure
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    acwagner
  • acwagneracwagner Member Posts: 502
    I agree with @ethicalpaul.

    How far does your water level fluctuate when it is steaming?

    You may also have a mostly clogged wet return, so the water isn't returning fast enough to the boiler when it's steaming, dropping the waterline during operation.

    Also, hammering on startup likely means you have a sag in your main someplace or it's not draining properly for some reason.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,956
    @tumbz

    Post some pictures of the boile r piping. Stand back so we can see it
    tumbz
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,518
    They are in the other thread. They don't look too bad.


    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72

    They are in the other thread. They don't look too bad.


    thanks guys for answering.

    so i guess it isnt my pressuretrol, so ill just leave that alone and to the lowest cut out in which itll turn on, which is about 1.5 to 2. anything lower, it wont turn on....

    my pressure gauge is new and works well. when its steaming, its about 1.5 tops. it stays at about 1.... the glass fluctuates about 1-1.5 inches tops... all pigtails are cleaned out perfectly.

    If i have water in my mains, how can i get rid of that? because, when its banging on startup, i can feel the vibration in 1 of my main pipes near where i installed the barnes big mouth vent. what can i do about this?

    I have a wet return drain valve close to my boiler which runs all the way SLOPED back to my boiler into the hartman? ( im not sure what thats called ). i never drained it fully, since i have to connect a hose to it, but it drains when i open the valve.
    Should i drain it fully? Ill post a pic of it.
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72
    i think this is the wet return valve. should i drain this fully? WWoudl it make a diff?

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,715
    No need to drain the wet return... well, perhaps once a year. However, I have to ask: the wet return is sloped. Is the far end of the wet return definitely still below the boiler water level? If not, that can cause banging depending on how the drips to it are piped.

    Is the main where you can feel banging well insulated? And does it have a good slope to a drip or back to the boiler? If not, it is possible that steam is getting into that main and condensing, on warmup, faster than the condensate can drain (particularly it is counterflow). That will cause banging, but only while the main is warming up. This is an exception to the maxim that it's hard to overvent a main, and if this is the situation, simply shows that while hard, it's not impossible.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,552
    How much water treatment did you use?  If you followed the directions you could be surging badly.
    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
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72

    No need to drain the wet return... well, perhaps once a year. However, I have to ask: the wet return is sloped. Is the far end of the wet return definitely still below the boiler water level? If not, that can cause banging depending on how the drips to it are piped.

    Is the main where you can feel banging well insulated? And does it have a good slope to a drip or back to the boiler? If not, it is possible that steam is getting into that main and condensing, on warmup, faster than the condensate can drain (particularly it is counterflow). That will cause banging, but only while the main is warming up. This is an exception to the maxim that it's hard to overvent a main, and if this is the situation, simply shows that while hard, it's not impossible.

    haha. thats the problem! i cant see it! my basement was finished! all i can see is the wet return coming back to my boiler. and it looks like its sloped correctly going back to boiler.

    same with the main. all the ceilings were drywalled. only if i knew this before , i wouldof told contractor to give me drop ceilings. this is my first home and i didnt know before.

    and you said it exactly jamie hall... it only bangs for like 15 seconds on startup in one of the 2 mains. i can feel it and see where its banging. its partially insulated... i found this main and installed a barnes big mouth vent so it actually heats upvery fast and all the radiators works well and heats evenly. its just this intial banging, wakes me up every night.

    i think im out of options.... ???
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72
    KC_Jones said:

    How much water treatment did you use?  If you followed the directions you could be surging badly.

    i followed directions. it has probably less than needed since i been draining and refilling with regular water. i think its supposed to be blue/violet. its turning light purple now.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,518
    If you're sure you can tell where the banging is, can you see if there is a "low spot" or "valley" or "sag" in that area that could be holding any condensation? That is a typical cause of hammering.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72

    If you're sure you can tell where the banging is, can you see if there is a "low spot" or "valley" or "sag" in that area that could be holding any condensation? That is a typical cause of hammering.

    nope. i tried to move the main vent that has the banging. it wont budge.... theres only a small area that i cut out in the finished drywall when i installed the barnes big mouth vent that i can see.... everything else is blocked off.

    i think im out of luck.... i tried everything...

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,715
    No, you're not out of options. There may well be a sag in there, but neatly tucked behind drywall... difficult. However, just for laughs, if you can't insulate it, try putting a slower vent on it (yeah, I know, we always carry on about fast main venting -- but there's an exception to every rule!).
    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
    tumbz
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,552
    tumbz said:
    How much water treatment did you use?  If you followed the directions you could be surging badly.
    i followed directions. it has probably less than needed since i been draining and refilling with regular water. i think its supposed to be blue/violet. its turning light purple now.
    If your using the tablets and put more than 2 in you are most likely surging.  I usually run 1-1.5 tablets.  Others on here get away with 2, but any more than that and I’d suspect surging with a boiler that size.  I doubt it’s all your issue, but could be exacerbating the problem.
    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
    tumbz
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72

    No, you're not out of options. There may well be a sag in there, but neatly tucked behind drywall... difficult. However, just for laughs, if you can't insulate it, try putting a slower vent on it (yeah, I know, we always carry on about fast main venting -- but there's an exception to every rule!).

    can you suggest a vent for my main that vents slower? It currently has a barnes big mouth vent.

    i think your on to something here... because i have 2 radiators upstairs that were banging at the valves. i corrected this by slowing down the vent rites and they dont bang anymore.

    could you suggest a vent for my main? I CANT WAIT TO TRY IT~
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72
    KC_Jones said:


    tumbz said:

    KC_Jones said:

    How much water treatment did you use?  If you followed the directions you could be surging badly.

    i followed directions. it has probably less than needed since i been draining and refilling with regular water. i think its supposed to be blue/violet. its turning light purple now.

    If your using the tablets and put more than 2 in you are most likely surging.  I usually run 1-1.5 tablets.  Others on here get away with 2, but any more than that and I’d suspect surging with a boiler that size.  I doubt it’s all your issue, but could be exacerbating the problem.


    i just drained another bucket of water to get rid of more chemicals then ran the boiler, just to cross all my t's and dot all my i's. :smiley:
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 2,597
    That boiler as just about all should be piped using both supply tappings and I would also say the header should always be larger then the size of the mains you are connecting to .you have 2 2 inch mains your header should have been a min of 3 inch also that long horizontal equilizer running across the boiler isn’t the most desirable usually we drop directly down w a equilizer not across the top of the boiler and down . I would get rid of that pressure troll and get a Honeywell pa404 at a min , install a 0-5 psi gauge and dump the chemicals out . Personally I add no chemical to steam boiler just install a demineralizing filter and use that water , but on a new install the boiler needs uto be cleaned which includes flushing the returns ,wanding the boiler out and then a quick skimming and your done aside from checking main and rad vents .peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • coolfx35coolfx35 Member Posts: 70
    edited January 9
    I am having the same issue, when the steam heat first comes on. for about 20 seconds, I heard popcorn popping sounds. not banging..

    I found out if I add insulation on the steam pipe in the basement, the sounds go even stronger, I just learn to live with it for now.

    I don't mind the sound, but I kind of worry about pipe old leaks in the future, and if it's hidden behind the wall, it will be painful to find the leaks.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,715
    Popcorn? Almost certainly expansion noises. Hard to track down, but something that can be done -- and often fixed.
    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
  • Chris_LChris_L Member Posts: 200
    It might be expansion noise--or it might kettling in the boiler. I thought I had the latter, and was all ready to start changing a pipe hanger, when I found out it was the former.

    I'd suggest turning on the boiler after it has been off for a few hours. Do this while you are standing at the boiler, and then listen carefully to find out just where the noise starts from. (It can easily be transmitted through the pipes.)


  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72

    Popcorn? Almost certainly expansion noises. Hard to track down, but something that can be done -- and often fixed.

    jamie, can you please advise a MAIN VENT that can vent the main slower? Gorton 4?

    Or Should i first try skimming the boiler?
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72
    i thought of something else. how many main vents do i have? i cant see it since its a finished basement. the 2 main vents that i changed to big mouth vents, i followed the pipes and used a flash light to find them.

    Could i possibly have more than 2 mains? Are there mains right by the boiler? So there are 2 pipes coming off my boiler, and the banging is only on 1 side. maybe theres another main vent there thats clogged?

    The 2 main vents that i found, which is on the other side of the basement had old hoffman vents which looked broke,.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,715
    The Big Mouth is a very big vent. If you have a handy Gorton #1, try that.

    A stuck closed vent is one of the few things which is rarely, if ever, the culprit in hammering. So I'd only worry about having some hidden main vents if you have some radiators which you can't figure out where they feed from and are slow.
    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
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72

    The Big Mouth is a very big vent. If you have a handy Gorton #1, try that.

    A stuck closed vent is one of the few things which is rarely, if ever, the culprit in hammering. So I'd only worry about having some hidden main vents if you have some radiators which you can't figure out where they feed from and are slow.

    all my radiators heat quickly and evenly, so i guess its not he mains. i will try a gorton #1.

    Should i skim the boiler? Its funny how the banging is louder at night than in the am also.
  • neilcneilc Member Posts: 1,086
    edited January 9
    tumbz said:

    KC_Jones said:

    How much water treatment did you use?  If you followed the directions you could be surging badly.

    i followed directions. it has probably less than needed since i been draining and refilling with regular water. i think its supposed to be blue/violet. its turning light purple now.
    tumbz said:

    Should i skim the boiler? Its funny how the banging is louder at night than in the am also.

    and as Clammy suggested also,
    try dumping all that water treatment,
    or save it in buckets to put back later, but,
    run straight water and see if that doesn't help with the banging,
    too much treatment, even when following THEIR directions, can make for a violent(and violet) boil, throwing water where you don't want it.
    how much bounce are you seeing in the sightglass when boiling?
    tumbz
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,342
    Before you go to the trouble of changing the vents, I would suggest you valve off the water feeder, and watch the behavior of the water level in the sight glass, as it is steaming.
    Does the water level get so low as to cut off the boiler? How long does it take for the water to come back?
    The water additive may well have shaken some dirt loose, which has now plugged up the wet return, which hopefully can be flushed out. In addition, it can also cause the boiling to be more violent, throwing water up into the mains.—NBC
    tumbz
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 72
    edited January 10

    Before you go to the trouble of changing the vents, I would suggest you valve off the water feeder, and watch the behavior of the water level in the sight glass, as it is steaming.
    Does the water level get so low as to cut off the boiler? How long does it take for the water to come back?
    The water additive may well have shaken some dirt loose, which has now plugged up the wet return, which hopefully can be flushed out. In addition, it can also cause the boiling to be more violent, throwing water up into the mains.—NBC

    I will skim the boiler and flush out all the water treatment. The water in the sight glass fluctuates about 1 to 1.5 inches when boiler is on, so tricks the auto feeder to add more water.

    I will try to turn the feeder off and run a cycle to see how that goes.

    How will i go about flushing the wet return? Theres a valve at the end of the wet return by my boiler and it drains fine. SHould i drain all the water out?

    On the main pipe that is banging, i already took jamies advise and bought a gorton #1 to try to slow the main venting a little. I currently have a barnes big mouth vent on it now.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,715
    If the level is only bouncing an inch to an inch and a half, but that is enough to trip the water feeder, something may be amiss in the level which the boiler is running at vs. the feeder trip level.

    Photos please.
    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

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