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SOS Help Plz. Installed new vaporstat and not working right

tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
i have a 1 pipe steam system with a pressuretrol set at .5 and 2.0. i cant set the cut out any lower than 2 because if i do, the boiler wont fire until i raise it to 2....

i been having banging at startup so i was thinking if i lowered the pressure, itll maybe ease the banging.

well, i bought a 0-16 ounce vapor stat today. i set it at 8 and 14.

when i set it to call for heat, it turns on and when the pressure hits about 14 ounces, the system shuts down.

what am i doing wrong?

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,943
    Nothing. If you set it for 14 ounce cutout, and it cuts out at 14 ounces, it's doing exactly what you told it to. Or do you mean that it shuts down and won't refire?
    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
    ethicalpaul
  • FredFred Member Posts: 8,503
    It sounds like the vaporstat is doing exactly what it is suppose to do; kick the boiler on when there is a call for heat and the boiler pressure is anything below 8 ounces and kick the burner off if/when the pressure reached 14 ounces. What do you perceive your problem to be?
    ethicalpaulChrisJ
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,636
    edited January 12
    The High limit on the vaporstat is set at 14 and the burner stops at 14. I believe that is the way it works. The burner should start when the pressure drops to 8. is that the case?

    Are you getting enough heat at less than 1 PSI? If no... you may need to use the old pressuretrol.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
    hmmm. but my radiators didnt even get hot yet. the steam didnt even reach my radiators. what can i do? i guess i cant use a vaporstat on my boiler?
    ethicalpaul
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
    i thought that the cut out setting will maintain a lower steam pressure until the thermostat has been satisfied. NOT when the pressure has been reached...
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,636

    the only way the control maintains pressure is to stop the source of the pressure creating device. in your case, the pressure creating device is the burner.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 279
    edited January 12
    Vaporstat pressurtrol. Saftey devices.
      What kind of safety device let's you continue to run just becuse the thermostat says to? A bad one. Lol 


    EdTheHeaterManChrisJ
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94

    Nothing. If you set it for 14 ounce cutout, and it cuts out at 14 ounces, it's doing exactly what you told it to. Or do you mean that it shuts down and won't refire?

    when it reaches 14 ounces, the boiler shuts down and my rads arent even hot yet. it hasnt satisfied my thermostat temp and it shut down. i thought the vaporstat is supposed to keep making low steam until my thermostat is satisfied, whatever temp i set it to. i didnt know it shuts down when the pressure setting has been reached.
  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 279
    It will make low pressure stream until it hits 14, hence the 14. If your gathering pressure too quickly and you go above 14 your saftey device doesn't care how hot anything is. 
    ChrisJ
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
    edited January 12
    what can i do then? how can i use low steam and make it heat my rads!!..??

    its cold as hell right now in NY..... i guess i cant use this vaporstat that i paid $$$ for... i didnt know.......
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
    can someone actually help me because i really need it right now...
  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 279
    What do you want? More heat? Use the pressuretrol. Your sytem needs more pressure than 14oz to heat. So that until it's warmer. Then find a way to make effeciant changes. 
    ethicalpaulChrisJ
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94

    What do you want? More heat? Use the pressuretrol. Your sytem needs more pressure than 14oz to heat. So that until it's warmer. Then find a way to make effeciant changes. 

    can you tell me what kind of changes i need to do to make my system more efficient to run at lower pressure? i have vent rites on all radiators and barnes big mouth vents on my mains. they all heat quickly and evenly in about 15 minutes or less.

    the reason i got the vaporstat was because i had banging in my pipes and i thought lowering the pressure could help.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,617
    What was your pressure “pattern” before with the pressuretrol? As in what was the pressure before steam hit the main? And before the radiators got hot? And how long before it started cycling on pressure?

    Have you sized your radiation? How does it compare to the size of your boiler?

    don’t panic. 

    Isn’t your boiler continuing to cycle and heating your radiators?


    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 279
    So... No I can't. I do not have the experience necessary to tell you what you need. If I studied your sytem and read up and went through the sizing of your pipes, boiler, and radiators, then I could. 

    I would get through the winter if I were you and play with it when you don't actually need it. 

    Or you can hire a qualified professional in your area. 

    Or you could put your pressuretrol back on and take pictures of the entire system and ask specific questions on here.

    Like you did tonight. You asked why your vaporstat isn't doing what you want it to and those guys answered you. 

    I was too scared to answer first those guys are good and they intimidate me, lol. 
    ChrisJ
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,617
    Well you did answer and laughed though. Which I can understand in a way, but we can ask some questions and give some guidance.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 279
    @tumbz yeah ask ask @ethicalpaul he knows. 
    STEAM DOCTOR
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94

    What was your pressure “pattern” before with the pressuretrol? As in what was the pressure before steam hit the main? And before the radiators got hot? And how long before it started cycling on pressure?

    Have you sized your radiation? How does it compare to the size of your boiler?

    don’t panic. 


    Isn’t your boiler continuing to cycle and heating your radiators?


    my steam hit the main when the pressure got to like almost 1 lb. the highest the pressure goes to is about 1.5 and all the radiators gets hot.

    my heating system actually works very well. heats quickly and evenly, and all radiators on both floors gets hot.

    the whole reason how i got in this situation is because my pipes bangs, especially at night. its wakes us up every night!

    i thought buying a vaporstat and running at a lower pressure would help the banging. i wasted 200$.

    i tried what jamie said to maybe slow the main venting, so i bought a GORTON #1 . i was using barnes big mouth vents before. Well, i tried this just now also and fire up the boiler, it still bangs....

    i have all my radiators pulled up as high as they can go and sloped correctly.

    my only problem is that i cant see my pipes because my basement was finished!

    i think i will try to skim the boiler tomorrow and see if that helps...
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,617
    edited January 12
    OK take a breath :)

    I went and read your old discussions. In 2019 you didn't have any banging. Then you replaced some radiators upstairs (you previously weren't using the upstairs ones which can cause its own problems with pressure but set that aside). Your piping to up there was small. At first you said it was 3/4" but I think it was 1", which is typical for small rooms upstairs, but you can't drive large radiators with it, as you were told in the 2019 thread.

    So today you have banging, but I don't think you've made it clear where the banging is. Is it indeed upstairs? Please answer this question!

    You had two mains with a Big Mouth on each, but then you took one or both off and put on a Gorton #1 I think. Put the big mouths back. There is no way you should be cycling on pressure while still getting steam to the main vents, and since removing the big mouth(s) didn't help, put them back.

    I really don't like the look of your piping on the new radiators. I also wonder how big these new radiators are. Here's what I don't like:



    See that yellow dimension. I think the way you have your street 45s is putting your valve much lower than it used to be. This could be creating a "valley" just below it in the short horizontal section of pipe that is usually found in the floor on a second floor radiator like this.

    That valley could be holding water that is causing water hammer when it gets hit with steam.

    It would also kill a lot of steam that tried to go up there. It could even totally block it unless you did something rather insane like install Gorton D vents on your upstairs radiators...which you did it turns out. Letting that much steam so fast up to a water trap could definitely cause hammering and gurgling noises (have you heard any of those?)

    So fix your valve height and see if that helps. Put something more reasonable like #6 on your upstairs radiators and see how they do. Raise a banging upstairs radiator a bit per day (like 1/4" inch) to see if the banging lessens. And put your big mouth back.

    And you are very enthusiastic with the changes, which as anyone here knows, I can appreciate, but try some moderation and change one thing at a time for awhile until we can get a handle on this with you :)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,617
    edited January 12
    Also read this entire thread below slowly. It was one of the first issues that these fine folks helped me solve. If you read this thread you will have a chance to learn so much just like I did only two years ago :)

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/167233/fixing-pitch-issues-in-old-house

    PS: there are still some unanswered questions about your system: How much radiation in Sq Ft or EDR do you have? What is the size in Net Sq Feet of steam of your boiler?

    I'm a little shocked that your boiler can get 1 lb of pressure before steam even gets to your #1 main vents. So the vaporstat cuts out before the main vents even close?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    tumbz
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
    wow paul. you did home work and you gave me the best answer thus far.


    i replaced the upstairs radiators with larger ones because the older ones were too small and didnt really heat the room.

    Yes the upstairs piping is 1 inch. I believe that large radiator was a 1 and 1/4 and i used a reducer bushing to make it fit and i used 2 x 45 degrees to make it connect to the 1 inch valve. I do indeed have slight banging here because i believe a little water get stuck in the 45 degree brass connectors, but i kind of fixed the upstairs banging by using vent rite #1 and letting the radiator vent slower...

    in terms of your yellow dimension, i actually used the street 45s because i could not pull the vavle up any further so i used the 45s to make them connect, or else it wouldnt reach.! My house was renovated and the new flooring made it so that the valve really has no more pull! i already pullled it as high as it will go. i even elevated the whole radiator before tilting it.

    my main banging thats really loud is in the basement, in the main, right by my boiler! thats the loud one that wakes everyone up every night.

    i will put the big mouths back on. and i already reinstalled my pressuretrol. i guess the only other things to do with the basement banging is to try to skim the boiler.
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94

    OK take a breath :)

    I went and read your old discussions. In 2019 you didn't have any banging. Then you replaced some radiators upstairs (you previously weren't using the upstairs ones which can cause its own problems with pressure but set that aside). Your piping to up there was small. At first you said it was 3/4" but I think it was 1", which is typical for small rooms upstairs, but you can't drive large radiators with it, as you were told in the 2019 thread.

    So today you have banging, but I don't think you've made it clear where the banging is. Is it indeed upstairs? Please answer this question!

    You had two mains with a Big Mouth on each, but then you took one or both off and put on a Gorton #1 I think. Put the big mouths back. There is no way you should be cycling on pressure while still getting steam to the main vents, and since removing the big mouth(s) didn't help, put them back.

    I really don't like the look of your piping on the new radiators. I also wonder how big these new radiators are. Here's what I don't like:



    See that yellow dimension. I think the way you have your street 45s is putting your valve much lower than it used to be. This could be creating a "valley" just below it in the short horizontal section of pipe that is usually found in the floor on a second floor radiator like this.

    That valley could be holding water that is causing water hammer when it gets hit with steam.

    It would also kill a lot of steam that tried to go up there. It could even totally block it unless you did something rather insane like install Gorton D vents on your upstairs radiators...which you did it turns out. Letting that much steam so fast up to a water trap could definitely cause hammering and gurgling noises (have you heard any of those?)

    So fix your valve height and see if that helps. Put something more reasonable like #6 on your upstairs radiators and see how they do. Raise a banging upstairs radiator a bit per day (like 1/4" inch) to see if the banging lessens. And put your big mouth back.

    And you are very enthusiastic with the changes, which as anyone here knows, I can appreciate, but try some moderation and change one thing at a time for awhile until we can get a handle on this with you :)

    replied.

    Also read this entire thread below slowly. It was one of the first issues that these fine folks helped me solve. If you read this thread you will have a chance to learn so much just like I did only two years ago :)

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/167233/fixing-pitch-issues-in-old-house

    PS: there are still some unanswered questions about your system: How much radiation in Sq Ft or EDR do you have? What is the size in Net Sq Feet of steam of your boiler?

    I'm a little shocked that your boiler can get 1 lb of pressure before steam even gets to your #1 main vents. So the vaporstat cuts out before the main vents even close?

    yes, i sit there at the boiler and watch the gauge. when the pressure is about 0.8-1, the banging at the boiler mains bangs for about 5 -10 seconds then stops. that is what wakes us up everynight and everytime the boiler fires up. i dread this sound.... then my pressure hits about 1.5 tops.. it hovers around 1 to 1.5 the whole time the boiler is running before it shuts off. my whole house heats up pretty quickly, in about 15 minutes or less.

    i have no idea about the sq ft and EDR and the net sq ft of my boiler, im sorry.

    but yes, the vaporstat turned off before any radiator even got hot. turned off in about 5 minutes. and the banging was still there.

    maybe in the end, i have a pipe sag somewhere behind the walls that i cant see and get to... i hope i dont have to live with this or break the walls randomly.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,617
    edited January 12
    Ok so the banging is near the boiler after all, thanks! Well that’s good news for your radiator piping then. Forget everything about them for now.

    but you never had banging until you started using the upstairs radiators? That is confusing. It made a lot more sense when it seemed like your rads were banging 😅

    Edit: sorry I missed where you said you don’t know your EDR. You should add it up. 
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
    edited January 12

    Ok so the banging is near the boiler after all, thanks! Well that’s good news for your radiator piping then. Forget everything about them for now.

    but you never had banging until you started using the upstairs radiators? That is confusing. It made a lot more sense when it seemed like your rads were banging 😅

    do you have your radiated EDR and boiler net sq ft? (Third try’s the charm)

    no ethicalpaul. i dont know the radiated EDR and boiler net sq ft.

    but yes, the banging is in one of the 2 mains that i have. i can feel the banging vibration when im standing there. it happens every single time the boiler fires up about 3-5 minute later when the pressure builds up a little.... im reading your thread... LOL.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,617
    I wish you would have left your vaporstat on. It should have cycled your boiler, but your system should have kept heating
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 279
    @ethicalpaul its cold out. Remember? 
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,617
    edited January 12
    Yes. But the vaporstat doesn’t kill the boiler forever. Only for a few seconds. The steam would remain, heating the house.

    But maybe the cycling was ridiculously fast. I didn’t get a chance to find out.

    the changes to this system also are happening too fast—maybe too fast to troubleshoot remotely
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
    edited January 12

    Yes. But the vaporstat doesn’t kill the boiler forever. Only for a few seconds. The steam would remain, heating the house.

    But maybe the cycling was ridiculously fast. I didn’t get a chance to find out.

    the changes to this system also are happening too fast—maybe too fast to troubleshoot remotely

    so i set the vapor stat to cut off at about 14 ounces. the boiler reached 14 in about 5 minutes and it shut off my boiler, " like it was supposed to ". but that wasnt enough time to heat my rads. my mains were hot though. what could I have done for this to work!?

    SINCE i have many of my rads venting very slow ( i have vent rites on all of them, so its easy to control venting. ), how about if i OPENED all the rads fully? I vent my first floor rads slow so the my 2nd floor rads can heat before the thermostat which is on the first floor was satisfied.

    please advise.
  • YoungplumberYoungplumber Member Posts: 279
    That sounds like it could work. 
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,943
    The vapourstat wasn't the problem. Pressure, by itself, does not cause banging, nor can changing it relieve banging. In general, that is -- there are exceptions, but this isn't one of them.

    You mention banging in the mains in the basement about 5 minutes after the boiler starts. OK. That is very helpful. That is about the timing one would expect there to be banging in the mains -- if somewhere in those mains there is a section of pipe which is pitched incorrectly or sages, so that condensate -- which will accumulate as the mains warm up -- cannot drain properly.

    I had hoped, in suggesting that you try slower venting on the mains, to reduce the speed with which condensate built up to an amount and rate which the poor drainage could handle without banging. Evidently, this didn't work; it was, admittedly, a bit of a long shot, but you have indicated that your basement is all finished and the piping is difficult to access and correct.

    So... we have found that changing the operating pressure of the system hasn't helped the banging.
    We have not found that the system won't operate on the lower pressure (it will, by the way, but may be slower).
    We have not found the source of the banging because we are reluctant to access the piping and find it.

    Not sure what to suggest now.
    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: 4,562
    Perhaps getting back to basics here would help give the OP the baseline that's needed.
    1. Pressure in a steam system is a function of the boiler size, to the connected load and the venting on the system.
    2. Over sized boiler means more pressure
    3. Slow venting means more pressure
    4. The vaporstat or pressuretrol simply turn the boiler off when pressure is reached, they are technically a safety not an operating control, when things are proper

    So given the above slowing the venting as you did and adding a vaporstat might help with banging (for me this is a stretch), but it's also going to slow the system down and give the performance you are seeing. It will fire, hit pressure, turn off, pressure drop, fire again, and repeat until the thermostat is satisfied. Given that you mentioned the rads aren't even hot after the first cycle on pressure, you will most likely be burning extra fuel due to all the cycling. If the cycling is dramatic enough you may have trouble heating the building on the coldest days.
    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
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,617
    so i set the vapor stat to cut off at about 14 ounces. the boiler reached 14 in about 5 minutes and it shut off my boiler, " like it was supposed to ". but that wasnt enough time to heat my rads.

    Then what happened?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,914
    What do you mean when you say "if I opened all the rads fully".
    Are you talking about the air vents or the steam inlet valve?
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,481
    JUGHNE said:

    What do you mean when you say "if I opened all the rads fully".
    Are you talking about the air vents or the steam inlet valve?

    I thought the same thing, but I'm assuming they mean the vent-rites.
    I'd open them all fully and then back off the rooms that heat too much. Ultimately, keep them open as much as you can. How is your main venting?

    Personally, I'm running Gorton vents and have G5's on many, G6's on a few and C's on two because I vent my radiators as fast as I can without causing issues.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • neilcneilc Member Posts: 1,118
    so if the banging is at the boiler,
    how about some pictures of the boiler, and where you hear that hammering
    tumbz
  • tumbztumbz Member Posts: 94
    neilc said:
    so if the banging is at the boiler, how about some pictures of the boiler, and where you hear that hammering
    I fixed my problem.  Its in new thread.  
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