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Steam Main Air Valve

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Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,028
    I have been piping 3 of these boilers all summer long...old slow guy.
    2 of them are 63-05L's which are same boiler block but one burner less.
    That looks to have been a 3" riser judging from the factory cut out. The boiler has 2 3" hubs on the top.
    I did reduce to 2 x 2" risers, the bushings fit nicely down thru the factory cut out of the jacket.
    So I would call those risers as 3".

    As for the dresser coupling, (IMO that is a real hack job, and I know Hack when I see it, maybe done some myself....but never that obvious) my guess is they could not unscrew the 3" 90's and sawed the nipple riser off under the 90. Butchered the jacket for the dresser fitting. The other 90 simply got a plug. (they send one with the boilers BTY).

    I would have heated that 90 to hell and back before sawing the nipple off.
    Or used a grinder to cut down almost to the threads. Heated again...bad language applied to some 6' pipe wrenches and tried again the next day.

    The steam mains are supposed to come into the top of the 3" header, at worst 45 off the side.

    And each steam main is supposed to come down and connect with the 3" header separately...on the top or at that 45 angle.

    Also did they lower the horizontal steam mains to get things connected?
    Assuming you have a parallel flow steam main system (it looks to be) the upper 90 should be the highest point in the steam main....if they changed that then you have new problems.

    I have to go fill my wine glass again!!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,637
    ChrisJ said:

    That's far from good enough.

    They cut into the top of the boiler to use a dresser coupling rather than cutting the old elbow off?  What is that about?


    I agree. That's a hack job. Dresser couplings always seem to leak when used on steam pipes. Call them back and tell them to do it right.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,620
    I doubt the Dresser is approved for steam. And the equalizer has those 90s in it above the water line. Supposed to drop down without any elbows above the water line although most use 45s with no issue. Equalizer should be 1 1/4" minimum looks small.....maybe not
  • Alex21htr
    Alex21htr Member Posts: 24
    First, thanks to all for taking the time to contribute and respond to my posts.

    My problem is this:
    • I have a fairly new boiler that has the potential to run really well.
    • This boiler was incorrectly piped when it was originally installed (header too low) several years ago.
    • Even though I'm a mechanically inclined do-it-yourselfer I myself am not a pipefitter.
    • I don't know of any skilled pipefitters in my area (Mid Hudson Valley, NY).
    Can anyone help me find a way to work through this situation?
  • Alex21htr
    Alex21htr Member Posts: 24
    So after last year's repiping of the header the boiler worked reasonably well through the winter.

    The thing that continues to be a problem is that the water level keeps rising.

    The strange thing is that even though the boiler hasn't yet been fired up for the upcoming heating season, over the last 24 hours the water level has still risen. In these past 24 hour I had to drain about 10 gallons of water to get the water to the Normal level. When I looked at it today there was a flashing "LOC." (safety lockout feature) on the water feeder because the system was overfilled.

    Could it be that the Low water cut off is somehow sending the automatic water feeder a false signal that the system needs more water? Or is this overfilling being caused by something else?
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,781
    edited September 18
    It looks like the LWCO probe might be a little too high. It’s above the bottom of the gauge, so it might be calling for water during a normal cycle. Have you ever sat and watched the gauge through a complete cycle? On my boiler, the water level rises as the water expands, but once it starts steaming, it drops well below the fill line and stays there until after the end of the cycle. If my probe was in the same location as yours, it just might trigger. 

    Since there isn’t a better location for the probe, the only solution is to change the settings on your feeder. Unless you’ve changed the settings since that picture was taken, it’s currently set to wait two minutes for condensate to return before adding water, and to add more water after the probe is satisfied. You probably need to allow more time for the condensate to return. 

    While it’s tempting to set it to the max and be done with it, you don’t want to do that, because it leaves your boiler idle while the thermostat is still calling for heat and creates a short cycle. You need to turn off the feeder, sit and wait for the LWCO to trigger, and see how long it takes for the yellow light to go out. Use this to determine the delay setting.

    You might also want to set the feed amount to LWCO so it doesn’t add an extra gallon every time it gets triggered. 
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Alex21htr
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 398
    Hello @Alex21htr,

    Just an observation, have you had the LWCO cover off ? Why is there what appears to be rust on the BX cable ? Maybe it is a bit contaminated inside causing undesired behavior.


    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 398
    Hello @Alex21htr,

    You may find this video informative.

    Your VXT Flooded My Steam Boiler!



    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
    Alex21htr
  • Alex21htr
    Alex21htr Member Posts: 24
    So, back to the problem of the rising water level.
    • A couple of weeks ago someone replaced the 60 foot long (and very old) wet return pipe
    • Yesterday I cleaned out the pigtail
    • Yesterday I also cleaned the probe on the low water cut-off
    Today, I filled the water to the Normal line. Two hours later the water level in the gauge glass was 1/4" higher.

    At this point the only way that I can think of that water is slowly seeping into the boiler is either through the the valve on the automatic water feeder, or on the bypass valve that goes right around the automatic water feeder. I'm thinking that if I replace these two valves then I should have no increase at all in the water level.

    Is there any other thing that I might be overlooking here?

  • Alex21htr
    Alex21htr Member Posts: 24
    Just after posting my latest comment I realized that a few of you had sent some helpful replies. I didn't notice that I was only on page 1 of 2 of this thread. I'll read through the latest responses and report back.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,781
    Don’t overlook the effect of temperature on the volume of the water. Thermal expansion could easily account for a quarter inch rise in the water level. My water level goes up about a half inch on the gauge glass at the beginning of every heating cycle. 
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Alex21htr
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,533

    Don’t overlook the effect of temperature on the volume of the water. Thermal expansion could easily account for a quarter inch rise in the water level. My water level goes up about a half inch on the gauge glass at the beginning of every heating cycle. 


    Water expands roughly 4% from room temp to boiling.
    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
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,781
    ChrisJ said:
    Water expands roughly 4% from room temp to boiling.
    But the glass gauge only shows about 20–25% of the volume from the bottom of the gauge to the normal water line. Add another 4% to that and you get about a half inch. 
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,533
    edited September 26


    ChrisJ said:



    Water expands roughly 4% from room temp to boiling.


    But the glass gauge only shows about 20–25% of the volume from the bottom of the gauge to the normal water line. Add another 4% to that and you get about a half inch. 
    Yeah,
    I know it goes up I just never knew how much. I'm also sure some of it is from gas mixed in the boiler water raising the level, no?

    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
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,781
    ChrisJ said:
    Yeah, I know it goes up I just never knew how much. I'm also sure some of it is from gas mixed in the boiler water raising the level, no?
    Or maybe the gases coming out of solution and forming bubbles? I’m sure there must be steam bubbles all over the surfaces of the sections before they start rising and releasing steam into the air. 
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,533
    edited September 26


    ChrisJ said:
    Yeah,
    I know it goes up I just never knew how much. I'm also sure some of it is from gas mixed in the boiler water raising the level, no?


    Or maybe the gases coming out of solution and forming bubbles? I’m sure there must be steam bubbles all over the surfaces of the sections before they start rising and releasing steam into the air. 

    I'm fairly sure there's tons of bubbles forming near the block and condensing before they reach the surface just as it starts boiling. I believe that's what makes the tea kettle noise rumbling noise at first just before it starts actually boiling.
    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
    Hap_Hazzard
  • Alex21htr
    Alex21htr Member Posts: 24
    The problem I was having last winter was that the water level was rising by about 3 inches every 24 hours, and I'd have to drain it every day. Thanks to the suggestions and links that everyone on this forum has sent me, I can now say that this problem has been solved. The main cause was a slow leak in the bypass valve behind the water feeder. Thank you all. I'm sure that I'll have new questions before too long!
    jhewingsBobCreggi
  • Alex21htr
    Alex21htr Member Posts: 24
    As promised, I do have another question.

    The water level is holding steady now that the bypass valve next to the water heater has been replaced.

    But, much to my surprise the Hoffman valve that I referenced at the very beginning of this thread is still leaking. This morning I collected about a pint of water from underneath it. I checked the water in the gauge glass of the boiler, and it was at the normal level.

    Could it be that the condensate that's coming back on that pipe is coming back so quickly that it temporarily flows up into the valve? Or, is it something else altogether?
  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 126
    edited October 4
    I think the first reply on this thread asked "what is the pressure?" The only way to really know with steam is to get a 0-3 or 0-5 psi gauge. That pressuretroll might be out of calibration. It might be allowing higher pressure than you think but you will not know without a lower pressure gauge. You have to leave the 0-30 gauge there for code.