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2 pipe system what do I have?

EightyAM
EightyAM Member Posts: 12
Hi all, recently moved into a new home with a 2 pipe steam system. Trying to work my way through figuring out how the system works and how I can improve the setup.

Boiler was replaced 2014 with a Weil Mclain EGH115S.

I have lived with the system for one heating season and noticed water hammering, leaking radiator, main vent not closing on steam causing the automatic water feeder to cycle, some radiators not heating. 

So I set out the learn more about the system. Bought the lost art and started reading. 

The entire system has only 2 vents, a main vent recently replaced with a Gorton #2. And a vent on the return piping Hoffman 75H which is near a Trane Number 2 Direct Return Trap. 

The boiler has an WR pressuretrol which was originally set at 3psi with a .5 diff. I have turned it down to around .7psi 1 diff for the time being. Also changed the pressure gauge to 0-5 psi to verify the cutout. Tested last night and ran with no hammering. The return vent never stopped passing air on heat and never shut on off cycle kept allowing air back into the return is that normal??

Looking into the piping I am a bit confused on the condensate return piping. I have a long 20' pipe teeing straight down off the main header and running below the water level back to the condensate through some check valves? (See picture)

Will be testing the PH this weekend, and also just skimmed the boiler. Bought some 8-way as well.

I'd anyone could give some insight on the type of system I have and how its operating that would be great. Any advice is also appreciated. 






Comments

  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,345
    can't see picture
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,345
    low(er) pressure is your friend,
    and got rid of the hammering, right?
    post a picture, showing entire boiler, floor to ceiling, so we can see piping,
    and a picture of your controls, sightglass, and any vents,
    do your rads have one pipe, or two, to them ? a picture of your typical rad,
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    All 14 radiators have shut offs and steam traps
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,758
    It's a Trane Vapor system. Looks like there are two steam mains leaving the boiler area. There should be a main vent at the end of the other one, too.

    The piping at the boiler is all wrong.

    Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    Located in western NY. There are lots a branches off the "main loop". I will post some more pictures or a drawing tomorrow.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,660
    i sort of wonder if you have enough radiation to condense all that steam that boiler the size of a volkswagon produces.

    Steamhead would know, but if the traps are water seal traps you will need a vaporstat to keep the pressure low enough that the steam won't blow right past the water seal traps and get in to places it doesn't belong and cause water hammer.

    You need to fix the leaks on top of any knucklheading that was done by someone that didn't understand the system, the fresh water to replace the lost water will quickly kill the boiler.
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    Leaks have been found and fixed, one radiator has been removed due to a major leak that was "repaired" with JB weld. Other leaks were main vent not sealing and a couple radiator supply valves unions. 

    The water hammer was happening with the higher pressure the system was running last year. I believe there to be a few bad traps throughout the house with do some more diagnosis/inventory this weekend on the traps. 

    Sounds like the system would could benefit from a vaporstat in series with the pressuretrol...

    Question about the operation of the Trane vapor system. Is the return vent suppose to shut on vacuum? I noticed that it seemed to try and shut but just continued to suck and let air back into the return. 


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,582
    Neither the Gorton nor the Hoffman will hold a vacuum. It's very likely that the Hoffman -- which is on the return? Isn't really big enough, but if the Gorton vents all the mains it should manage.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    Jamie,

    Does the Trane vapor system need to operate under a vacuum in between cycles? 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,582
    EightyAM said:

    Jamie,

    Does the Trane vapor system need to operate under a vacuum in between cycles? 

    No. In fact, contrary to some belief, while a vapour system can work under any atmospheric pressure, and can be forced into a vacuum, they were designed to run at a few ounces of pressure above atmospheric -- and many had simply an open pipe rather than a main vent on the returns!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,660
    As @Steamhead said, your header is wrong. The way it is piped it leaves any water that get pulled out of the boiler no place to go other than out in to the mains or collecting in the header to collide with the steam and cause water hammer.
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    I got them both just need to do some more reading!

    Here are some more pictures of the steam mains. Found another vent on the return, will check operation this weekend. 

    Not sure where to locate another main vent.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,758
    Check the end of the other steam main.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    I can only find the one main vent. Will look more into possible locations for a second vent
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,345
    look for plugged or capped Tee's
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    I found a location just off the main that I can pipe a 90 fitting and install another vent, I have a new Gorton no. 1. Is it worth using this location for now until I am able to safely remove the piping insulation and find a better location down the road. 

    Thanks 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,660
    What insulation are you referring to? The insulation in the pictures with the yellow core and white reinforced paper jacket appears to be fiberglass that has been somewhat poorly applied.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,582
    mattmia2 said:

    What insulation are you referring to? The insulation in the pictures with the yellow core and white reinforced paper jacket appears to be fiberglass that has been somewhat poorly applied.

    The insulation in the pictures is definitely fiberglass. No question. Leave it be.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    Yes the yellow fiberglass insulation was applied over the original Abestos that was left in place by the previous homeowner or boiler installer I don't know.

    My question is about the location of the "temporary main vent" would this location be beneficial given that is off a riser and not directly off the main. 

    I hope to uncover a plugged tee once the insulation and Abestos is safely removed. 

    Also I just wanted to mention that every thing you guys do on here is really appreciated, the fact that you will work with homeowners and give professional advice for free is quite amazing.

    I am located in western NY if anyone knows of any professionals out this way.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,660
    There may not be another vent tapping, the venting was likely adequate when it was coal fired which heated more or less continuously at a lower output.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,582
    Western New York? Afraid you may be in an earn while you learn situation here.

    If it were mine, though, I wouldn't disturb the asbestos except where I absolutely had to to get access to something...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • NYtimebomb
    NYtimebomb Member Posts: 10
    Reach out to Dave at Excel Heating in Kenmore. He's pretty busy but he made time to help me at least understand the one pipe I just inherited.
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    Thanks for the tip I will give him a call!
  • EightyAM
    EightyAM Member Posts: 12
    Jamie, 

    Is it standard practice to just insulate directly over the existing Asbestos with a bigger sized insulation??
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,582
    EightyAM said:

    Jamie, 

    Is it standard practice to just insulate directly over the existing Asbestos with a bigger sized insulation??

    I can't possibly recommend that you do that, since it leaves a hazard in place. But... I'm not going to say it's never been done.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England