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110 year old 2 pipe steam system, help needed. Area code 68901

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  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    I was out of town, a better photo was needed. There was an outlet added, what you see is the romex going to it.

    #2. There is a chimney cleanout below at floor level.

    #3. The wire is not connected to anything coming out of the box like addition to the chimney. The white material appears to be asbestos. 
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    Another update. Finally got the area cleaned up and coated the house with dust doing it.

    The tee with return below was adjusted lower to keep pipe to drain and raised the return pipe to have positive drainage. Loud hammering fixed!
    Still have one rad vent to install. It is inside the cabinet in living room. The cabinet was built after and I'm trying to figure out how without destroying the cabinet.

  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,173
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    did you find someone local to install the mega-press coupler?
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
    edited February 2022
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    Yes, I did. I have never seen one before. Made pretty quick work of it. No threading needed. But I don't know the cost yet.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,173
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    yes, they are very nice. I have the smaller Ridgid unit with 1/2" and 3/4" mega press jaws.
    JHamburger
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    John, when you work on that last rad, remember to leave an access to the vent and also to the inlet valve.

    Could you post a picture of that rad and cover, showing the entire cover?
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    The rad dimensions are 16" high, 12" deep and 6 foot long.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    I see you got into the cover.
    Do you have one of those Hoffman 40 vents, I think you want a slow vent on that big one.

    Is this the last rad with the small tube connected?
    So lets see if things change as far as the return pipes getting steam right away, after this one is converted.
    PC7060
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    Check out the following photo. The 1/4" connection is not good at all. I did not even get the chance to unfasten it.
     The union below would just spin, the half inch to elbow below unscrewed by hand. Totally surprised there was no leak before removal. I installed plug in elbow. I had to wrap rad vent probably 10 times around before it stopped leaking. Only vent left to use was 1a Hoffman. Set it at smallest venting. I had to rock the rad to screw in vent.
    I was hoping the site glass would stop topping out after this change, no such luck.
    I capped where the c 40 Gorton vents had been, should I try to reinstall them? I'm not sure where they would work.

    I have lowered cut in pressure as far as I can without the control screw completely coming undone. It runs under 1 pound at start up and sits at half pound pressure when settles down.



  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
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    Is that a brass or bronze elbow as it looks threaded to the 1/2" pipe and soldered ? to the 1/4" tube (snapped piece)
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
    JHamburger
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    I have added a photo. All pieces attracted a magnet. I think all were painted to match the radiator. 
    I think the 1/4" pipe is all there, just not perfectly round on the end.
    Also showing the vent.

  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 522
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    That 1/4 " is correct as is the fitting  NPT 1/4x1/2 .. I'll have to go through your thread to catch up
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
    JHamburger
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    I don't have hammering any longer, which is quite a change. Now, I believe I can hear a very light hiss in the supply piping above the boiler. I have removed the insulation trying to see where. Is there a way to locate a leak when pipes are hot? 
    Another quick question, about gas line proximity to steam lines, what is the minimum distance between them?
    PC7060
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    John, you can use a small mirror to look for a steam leak, it will fog the glass.
    Or a cold tablespoon, will work also.

    I wouldn't worry about being close to the gas line with the steam pipe.
    Just so they do not touch and rub....might make noise.
    You could insulate the steam line if wanted.

    How are your large main vents working now?
    You said that one of them would get hot right away as steam seemed to be entering the return manifold from the bottom.

    It was a guess that the small piping was passing steam into that return water manifold, did that seem to be the case, now that all the small lines are capped?

    You might add those small vents on those return lines you tapped.
    Just do one at a time to check the results.

    So was the pigtail partially plugged or clear?

    So your pressure control is set way down on the grey box?

    And remember the upper pressure control is a high limit shut down that requires manual reset. 5 PSI for that one should be good.

    It was an good improvement to stop the hammering.

    You have a very interesting system there.
    Unfortunately no one here has seen one like it.
    It would have been interesting to see where the air vent pipes went to, but that is lost to history.

    PC7060
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    @JUGHNE
    Only 2 of the 3 vents heat up now. The lower 2. All of the small lines tied into the taller vent, the one where the disconnected pipes in the floor joists that appear to go to the outside wall with the 2 90 degree fittings with the Rome in a recent photo. They tied in just below the vent. The bottom of that vent was separated from the wet return by the one way flapper(can't remember the term for it). The 2 that heat, take just minutes to shut.

    The pigtail was not blocked.

    The pressure is set as low as it can be without having the control fall apart. The cut out is still set at 5 psi. After starting and vents shut off it runs at .5 psi.

    The hammering stopped when I finally got plumbers to lower the tee and raise the return line on the shelf as shown in recent pictures with the new style clamp.

    Now if I could get the sight gauge to not top out at start and briefly fall below the low water fill level and turn on the auto water fill, I could feel much better.

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    John, are you ending up being over filled after heating cycles?

    IF, you are certain that your LWCO's both work and shut down the burner when activated, you could shut off your water feed and then assure that the boiler, when cool, has the correct water line.

    Then if cool, all the water should have returned to the boiler.

    You could fire the boiler and watch the water line.
    It may go off on low water......but none would be added.
    The water may return shortly to normal level and boiler fire again.

    And maybe then resume normal operation.

    Just be sure that BOTH LWCO's are functioning as they should.

    See what that does for you.

    JHamburger
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    The water does come back. I do have the water turned off. Sometimes it still calls for water, that is why I had to drain the whole system, not to long ago when I was quarantined. When I first joined this discussion, I mentioned the float was sticking in the lwco, but it is free. There must be a loose connection to the waterfill? I have woken up to a very cold house in the past when lwco with the probe has shut the whole thing down.

    I've searched through a lot of discussions but haven't found anything about why the sight glass over fills like this. I haven't found the source of the slight hissing noise, would a steam leak make the problem with the water going up to high and falling too low?

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    The LWCO with the probe requires you to add water and then reset the LWCO.

    Have you tried the mirror or cold spoon for the steam leak?

    Even if you had the steam leaking/hissing I doubt if it would affect the rapid rise and fall of the water level.

    Could the hissing be the air vents passing air?

    When is the last time you skimmed the boiler?
    I believe you have a skim port?
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    I only have too big of a mirror at this time, although I tried.

    No it is not the vents.

    I skim at least once every week. I also dump the lwco at the same time and open the valve where sediment gathers.

    Is it because the boiler itself is too large?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    Are you using the yellow handle ball valve for skimming?
    What procedure do you use for skimming?
  • JHamburger
    JHamburger Member Posts: 86
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    No, I use the red handled valve for skimming the boiler, the yellow handle I use for the blow down for the lwco while running to clear it as per the instructions of the boiler. I run the water until they both run clear.