Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Did PO royally screw me?

Options

I have been getting that itchy feeling in my brain lately that strips the veneer of content off everything and replaces it with the strain of possible inefficiency. After a battle with a few other projects, heating hit my list and after a couple days surfing this forum I am beginning to think the previous owner liked to hire the cheapest guy for everything.

A look at a diagram regarding a Utic on another thread made this look practically labrynthian and wrong so... how bad is it? And I looking at a costly repiping? I am not a plumber by trade but know a couple and am slightly beyond handy, is this something I could tackle on my own if it needs fixing?

Figure I should mention that I started web surfing when I noticed pressure getting up to 5lbs or more during cycle and remembered hearing that steam should be low low pressure. Also, water likes to well in my radiators and make my vent closures bounce without sealing.

I have a lot going on I think

Tear me apart guys, any help/criticism is appreciated

SR

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,795
    edited January 2021
    Options
    The near boiler piping is wrong. The order of things needs to be:

    Steam supply(ies) from boiler -> header -> (one or more main risers) -> equalizer

    In your case, the steam can easily carry water up to your main. The header's job is to separate water from steam, and yours is definitely not doing that. Are you getting banging or water out of your radiator vents?

    I can't see your pressuretrol setting, but 5psi is way way too much. It's indicator should be run right down the bottom of its travel.

    As to your question, I wouldn't assume the previous owner screwed you, but his installer might have screwed both of you.

    NJ Steam Homeowner.
    Free NJ and remote steam advice: https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/new-jersey-steam-help/
    See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el

    mattmia2
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 518
    Options

    I am beginning to think the previous owner liked to hire the cheapest guy for everything.

    I can't comment on the steam system as I know less than zero about them, but I do read the steam threads, and I've seen people like you having the same type problems you are after hiring the most expensive contractor..


  • ScreamingRectum
    ScreamingRectum Member Posts: 3
    Options
    I have all sorts of issues was banging/water at the radiators and I did suspect that the near boiler piping had something to do with it (one of the mains travels thru a U on return of a smaller size, why is it pushing steam thru water?)

    Is this something that a licensed plumber ought to take care of or is this something a patient individual with some specialty tools could manage? How worth it would changing this be if I only plan to live here another few months to a year?

    Also, I think my vents are fairly old and underperforming (Hoffman 1As on all radiators except one on third main which is I think a ventrite 1) but would it even be worth the money to replace them with my piping like this?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,959
    Options

    I have all sorts of issues was banging/water at the radiators and I did suspect that the near boiler piping had something to do with it (one of the mains travels thru a U on return of a smaller size, why is it pushing steam thru water?)

    That likely is (or at least was)a water seal that allowed condensate to drain out of 2 different sections of main without steam traveling between the sections. It should be attached to the returns. The u part likely was below the water line with an older boiler with a higher water line (or with near boiler piping that raised the water line in the returns). Some pictures would confirm this.

    You could re-pipe it with enough skill and planning. Much of the skill is in seeing how it all needs to fit together and ordering the correct fittings and nipples to put it together.

  • ScreamingRectum
    ScreamingRectum Member Posts: 3
    Options
    Jeez, thanks guys, just got back around to looking at this. First floor radiators have pinhole leaks near their valves that I need to correct, one at the joint radiator to valve and one in the mating of two fins. Can I putty/jb weld these? If not, is taking apart the radiator to change the gasket or tighten the connection likely to do more harm than good?

    Also, a first floor radiator's vent seem to be sticking open during the whole cycle but will close easily if I invert it and will hold pressure (not a scientist, sealing with lips and blowing into it nearly pops my ears). It has begun gurgling, which I tried raising front end of radiator to counter, but it continues to fill with water and "bounce" or almost get forced open in cycle. Is water being forced in and cooling just enough to open the valve all cycle?

    As far as near boiler piping, does anyone know a good Co. in central MA that could give me a quote on correcting it? As MaxMercy mentioned, even "quality" guys might just create a different problem and if the price it right it will easy be worth it since I have plenty of other projects to do that I already know how to do, this one would be a whole new area of research for me.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,839
    Options
    The guy you want is @Charlie from wmass

    You can find him in "find a contractor" on this site