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Vent on return line spitting water

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ghostf4ce
ghostf4ce Member Posts: 1
edited February 2021 in Strictly Steam
Edit: added some images at the bottom. First image is the vent, the pipe below it drops to the floor and runs the perimeter of the basement back to the furnace. The pipe to the left of that vent ties back into the main about 10 feet further down the line (main also visible in the picture). The image behind the furnace is where the pipe that runs the perimeter of the basement ties back into the pipes near the furnace (I keep calling this the return).

First time posting but lurking here for help over the years.

I have a gas burning furnace that we installed back in March of last year to replace a 25 year old oil burner. We've been using it for a few months now this winter and I've noticed in the basement on one of the return (I think?) lines there is a valve that would have water under it especially when the system was running a lot in colder weather. All the radiators hiss and get warm quite quickly after the system turns on whereas the previous oil burner never caused any hissing and was slow to warm so I'm guessing a lot more pressure from this new furnace.

The valve in the basement is on the side of the house further away from the furnace (~25 feet) and right below the valve which is in the rafter area, a pipe drops straight down to the floor and wraps around the basement perimeter and ties in on the ground to what I assume is the furnace return. If I follow the pipe to the left of where the valve in question is, it ties into the main line where all the rising pipes go up to the radiators in the house. So from what I've read I'm assuming this valve helps pull steam along the whole main line to the far side of the house for even heating up above.

The valve states Hoffman Specialties No 4 Quick Vent. When I looked it up, it states that it will close at a certain temperature but not due to water. I'm not sure if I should replace with the same valve to see if the valve is faulty or if I need to change the vent to something that closes with too much moisture? Really unsure about the options with vents. I have a glass jar collecting most of the water below the vent and I can see the pattern on the rafter where it is spewing steam/water droplets.

Appreciate any thoughts in advance.

Thanks,
Matt






Comments

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,112
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    that looks to be a older vent if it hasn’t been replaced in ions then replace it possibly w a main vent of more capacity like a gorton no 1 and if your mains are long then maybe a big mouth vent . Have you checked the pigtail below your pressuretroll it could be clogged and causing the boiler to run to high a pressure . From the few pic it looks like your wet return piping is old . Has it ever been flushed ? Is there any provision for doing so ,you could have a clogged return causing water to stack up into the main and make the vent spit water . If it’s original to the home it may be time to re do and replace them . Better to replace then to have to deal w 50 years old mud and rust having to be flushed out of the boiler . Mud will effect the quality of the steam the boiler produces and also waste Energy. Peace and good luck clammu
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    Mostly second @clammy . But in addition, the pressure is too high. Try adjusting that pressuretrol (adjusting screws on the top) so the differential -- left hand scale -- is at 0.75 and the main scale (right hand) is at 1.5.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ghostf4ce
    ghostf4ce Member Posts: 1
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    @clammy, @Jamie Hall thanks both. I attached a couple more pictures. There are two hose bibs near where the wet return piping comes back to the boiler which shows in the one picture. The lower one on the right near the water boiler was emptied but I don't think flushed when the boiler was changed last March. There is also a cold water return from another corner of the basement with a valve that actually seems to sit a few inches below the valve that is leaking when I measure up from the floor (assuming floor mostly level) which doesn't leak or blow water droplets at all. It's a different type of valve though.

    The water in my sight glass is normally clear or slightly brownish like it looks in the picture. I've drained water out of the furnace on the back side a couple time this winter and it's been dark and rusty at first then clears up.

    I think maybe trying the pressure adjustment first makes sense and if still having problems considering flushing? If I flushed would, removing the vent in question and shooting a hose in there with the bibs open near the cold water return and hoses hooked up to those into a bucket in one of my sump pumps work to catch the debris? Guessing if it is really blocked that might be tricky.





  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,112
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    You could also try flush water the other way also and possibly use a pump to suck while flushing from vent . Worse comes to worse you will have to cut in some isolation valves but at that point it Maynard pay to replace the returns . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating