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Pressure + Temp gauge...and pig tail is still acting up

LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
Hello All...
As some of you might have seen... I recently put a new pigtail, clean the pipes that connect to Pressuretrol and gauge...

Q1) it seems like I have to keep use the compressor to push air in to the pig tail (boiler) to get steam... at least at 1 psi there is not steam coming out of it unless each time I push air in to the boiler) What could it be doing that?

Q2) I would also like to replace the pressure gauge on the pig tail that give me both temp and pressure... but I do not know how hot residential steam can get. Attached is the one I am considering (it has max temp to be 225F... or should I look for pressure and Temp gauge that give higher temp .
Thank you!
LS123



@LS123
Steam Heat Enthusiast
-- In Learning Mode --
"Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
*Always Safety First*
** Not Everything Is DIY**
***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,797
    That double gauge you show is completely unsuited to steam heat -- it's meant for hot water heat.

    There is no need for a temperature gauge on steam heat (unless you want it to check the performance of an indirect water heater). Steam will be between 212 F and 215 F. Pressure will -- hopefully -- be below 2 psi.
    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
    LS123
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    thanks @Jamie Hall about the pressure/Temp gauge...

    any thoughts about why I have to keep blowing air in to the boiler to get steam out and in the the pig tail?

    Before I put the new pigtail... I poked inside of the boiler for a long while with a metal stick thing... I am confused about it... At one point I flood the boiler until water come out of the pig tail... and the water comes out pretty fast.... Any thought..... anybody? Thank you!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,500
    WShat exactly do you mean by "You have to push air into the boiler to get steam out" ? If you are talking about the pigtail, the loop is designed to hold water (condensate) so that steam does not hit the pressuretrol or any gauge attached, That is to protect those devises from the 212 degree temps. You should not expect steam to come out of the pigtail.
    LS123
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,797
    Try this. Find a piece of transparent tubing -- pretty much anything will do; this is a one shot! And bend it into a U shape with the legs of the U about 28 inches long, and some extra on one end. Bend that end and figure out a way to hold in the opening in the boiler with the U right side up and the legs more or less vertical. Fill the U tube with water. Now -- fire up the boiler. The U tube you have created is actually a sensitive manometer -- pressure gauge. The water in the leg attached to the boiler should start to drop as steam is created, and the water in the other leg rise. If it overflows, no big deal. The actual pressure which it is sensing is equal to 0.57 ounces per square inch for every inch of difference between the water level in the two legs.

    Note that if the tubing can't stand boiling water, it will get pretty floppy pretty quickly... be prepared!
    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
    LS123
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    @Fred thank u!... Silly me... so little I know about big tail.... i thought steam should come from pig tail.... in that case I was just driving myself nuts... ( when I say push air... I connect my compressor to the pig tail and let some air from the compressor push in to the boiler...I guess... what has been coming out of the pig tail is the air i forced in to the boiler)
    @Jamie Hall thank u! i will try that out tomorrow morning/... I think I have 1/8 soft copper tubing in the garage... Thanks again for both of your responses!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    @Jamie Hall , @Fred , @EdTheHeaterMan @JUGHNE , @Steamhead ... I could use some help here... Pressure gauge in the front of my steam boiler reading is about 1.5 ... but the pressure gauge on the pig tail has about few ounces of pressure... I had replaced the pig tail, did what Jamie suggested above, clean the P-trol, clean the all the pipe connected to pig tail... put a new pressure gauge ... ... I also tested boiler running with little pressure build up and took the pig tail out .... and steam come out of the hole where the pig tail would get mounted... because of pressure in the pig tail is much lower, old mercury P-Trol would not get engaged.... any feed back is appreciated ... and by the way happy weekend to all! Thank you!
    * House get heated and no issues with that...



    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,500
    @LS123 That old 0-30 PSI gauge is worthless for an accurate reading when the system pressures are low. They just are not accurate. The 0-3 PSI gauge is the one to rely on. In addition to being designed for lower pressures, it is attached to the pigtail that your Pressuretrol is mounted on. I am not sure why you continue to take the pigtail off, looking for steam. That doesn't tell you anything except that steam comes out of that opening. The pressure in the pigtail and at the gauge and pressuretrol is equal to the pressure in the boiler. When you open a hole anywhere in the boiler or system, that by itself will affect the pressure and reduce it, maybe to zero, if the hole is big enough. If your Pressuretrol is a mercury type, it must be perfectly level to be accurate and the loop in the pigtail must be perpendicular to the Pressuretrol because that pigtail will expand, when heated and tilt the mounted device. tilting front to back doesn't have an effect on the Pressuretrol like tilting side to side does. When it tilts side to side, the Pressuretrol is no longer level.
    LS123
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    @Fred .... thank you!.. now I know why I was keep looking for steam from the pig tail... because I thought somehow reading on the pig tail pressure gauge was wrong because something was wrong with back part of the boiler .... now its clear I was looking at the wrong pressure gauge(30 psi) thinking there was something wrong with the pressure on the pig tail and looked for steam to come out... I hole is about 1/4 inch... I will make sure that pig tail P-Toll is level horizontally and vertically... thank you again! I will try that and let you know... only question is when would the pig tail pressure would be 1.5 psi so T-tol would engage and stop the burner... in my case now with better understanding (reading wrong PSI)... my burner would run until temperature on the thermometer is met... will let you know what happens...
    Best!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,861
    You need to stop unscrewing things when the boiler is running!
    Someday you are going to get a real surprise.....I have blow down valves on strainers for F&T traps, I am always amazed how violent just 1.5 LBS of steam can be when it is really cooking.

    That temp/pressure gauge you pictured above is worthless for steam. The pressure would not even budge the needle....look what it does for the 0-30 gauge. And temp is not needed, it is going to be 212-215 degrees depending upon the pressure and we all know it should be under 2 PSI.

    And the water in the pigtail loop may hold back some steam but eventually it will push it up and onto you.
    You can be burned badly.

    Pay attention to what Fred said about the orientation of the pigtail loop. If wrong it will tip your HG P-trol off level when heated up.

    And do you mean the boiler would run until the temp on the tstat was met??
    LS123
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,500
    LS123 said:

    @Fred .... thank you!.. now I know why I was keep looking for steam from the pig tail... because I thought somehow reading on the pig tail pressure gauge was wrong because something was wrong with back part of the boiler .... now its clear I was looking at the wrong pressure gauge(30 psi) thinking there was something wrong with the pressure on the pig tail and looked for steam to come out... I hole is about 1/4 inch... I will make sure that pig tail P-Toll is level horizontally and vertically... thank you again! I will try that and let you know... only question is when would the pig tail pressure would be 1.5 psi so T-tol would engage and stop the burner... in my case now with better understanding (reading wrong PSI)... my burner would run until temperature on the thermometer is met... will let you know what happens...
    Best!

    @LS123, if the boiler is properly sized, the Pressure may never reach 1.5PSI to shut the boiler down. That is the job of the thermostat, when temp is reached. The only reason the Pressuretrol is there is 1) as a safety device to ensure the boiler pressure doesn't run away if something else fails or 2) the boiler is over-sized and produces more steam than the connected radiation can condense. It sounds like your system is right-sized. Appreciate that and don't look for problems that aren't there.
    LS123
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    hi @JUGHNE ... I know steam can burn... I am careful I did not open the pig tail while the boiler was on high pressure .. I only did that few times but only thing I have to do is make sure Ptrol is level... both gauges are pressure only (no temp)... I decided to put max 3 PSI on the pig tail, I was told the front mount one should be max 30 PSI.. the front one is old... yes right now boiler would run until temp on tstat is met... I keep the temp at 70, and boiler would run about 3 or 4 times a day to keep the temp at 70. It runs about may be 30 0r 40 minutes max... I was told I have a .85 GPM nozzle. I have put two new Gorton 2 main vents and it seem to help a lot on the burner run time be less... I will time next time how long burner run time average... My basement and house, and steam pipes are well insulated... I have not seen the pressure gauge go above 1.5 on the 30 PSI meter for a long time... thanks you!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    @Fred thanks for the clarification... I was thinking that P-Tol should be the primary to control the burner... in this case everything is working as design... So the primary control Tstat, P-tol for safety shout off if tstat fails... shaking my head... I am getting very good at driving myself nuts... thank you all!!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    also I was under the wrong impression that the boiler should run until it reach 1.5 PSI instead of burner running for 30 or 40 minutes ... just a little details on why I was asking for pig tail and Ptrol... thank you all!
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    Hello All!

    Just to conclude...

    This is a resolved matter now... ... I had the incorrect understanding that Steam boiler should run until it hits what is set on the P-trol (max 1.5 PSI) , then shut the boiler (and continue to run steam until the boiler pressure returns to min setting... or temp setting on Tstat has met (like a water boiler with radiators and circulator... which reach max temp, burner shouts down and cycle water until it hit the min temp settings or tstat settings... then run the burner again if needed.

    It is very clear that P-tro is for safety, Tstat is primary control for burner, until Tstat send a signal for boiler to shut down when temp setting has met. Pigtail, P-Trol, pressure gauge on it is on correct physical position and settings. Although old(really OLD) Front mounted 30 PSI states boiler is reaching about 1.5 PSI, on the Pig Tail new 3 PSI pressure gauge (certified for Steam boilers) indicate far less pressure build up ( like less than 1/2 pound of pressure.)

    To clarify Burner runs more than 3 or 4 times during 24 hour period. My observations is burner runs about 30 or 40 (+ or - 10) minutes to bring radiators to be hot enough ( I mean really HOT) to meet the Tstat settings.

    Since the two main vents has been replaced with Gorton #2 yesterday evening, I am confident the boiler, main pipes are at best settings, and performance of the system will only get better...

    Thank you all for all the helpful information.
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


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