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Burnham KIN-5

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Comments

  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    Contacted Steam Doctor in Kew Gardens. Can't come over until next week but said to shut off valve to auto feed water line and drain excess water. Said low water cutoff seems to be working since it is triggering auto feed. 
    He said it sounds like boiler needs a flushing.
    Hmm, where have I heard that before!
    Thank you all for your time and help. 
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    Nelic, 
    Didn't see your detailed instructions until after I made the last post.

    This is what I was hoping for, instructions. 
    I will check into all this when I get home tonight. 
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,573
    Redvan said:
    This is the beginning of the branch line that has the shotgun sound. This is the remainder of the branch line (first thing the wife wanted was to hide "that ugly pipe" so I put up the recessed lighting.) The post it note (over on the right) is where it goes upstairs into the living room. This is the line I hear the gurgling and shot gun sounds. The cat tower is in the corner just to the right of the post it note.. Further on the right, behind the wall, I sometimes hear banging but not always. Piping above the boiler. The only vent I can find and it's on the return. As you can see, it spits water and rattles occasionally. The return line drops to the floor and then over to the boiler where it joins the piping on the control side of the boiler. The sight glass and gauges.
    Why are you running it at 8#’s?
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    Ok, here's the update...
    Had a steam heating specialist come in to flush the boiler. He found that the return coming into the boiler was clogged at the drain cock tee. Once he broke through this clog, the muck and crud that came out was boggling. Several flushes with cycling in between eventually produced clear water in the sight glass. He added SurgeMax and now I have a quiet system, except for the usual sounds of pipe expansion and, the sight glass is a bright green color but clear. Still have the gurgling in the branch line but I can remedy that by raising the radiator it goes to.

    Thank you everyone for your time, knowledge and patience.
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,096
    LWCO ?
    and
    current Pressure ?
    known to beat dead horses
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35

    Redvan said:

    The only vent I can find and it's on the return. As you can see, it spits water and rattles occasionally.

    That location is okay, but it should be mounted on a 6–10" nipple, as @neilc said. This will keep it from spitting. You'll also want a bigger vent. This is a US Air Valve 883. They had the model number printed on the body instead of engraved, so it probably rubbed off. They are ubiquitous because they're the only main vent sold at the orange bucket stores, but they think it's a radiator vent. (To be fair, it really is a radiator vent, but it has main vent threads.)

    The vent port is only about 3/32". That's about half the size of a Gorton #1. You might want a Gorton #2, which is three times the size of a Gorton #1, but you need to measure your mains, or time them, and figure out what you need on each main.
    Hap_Hazard,
    it's that time of year again and with the system coming on there's new developments.

    I remounted the vent, as you suggested, so it's now about 13" higher, in the same location( 2, 6" nipples and a coupling I scrounged up - couldn't find anything at HD, pipe or different sized vent). However, when the boiler comes on, after a few minutes THIS vent is pissing out steam constantly, not air like last year, and the return line is hot as far into the wall as I can see and touch prior to this vent. In other parts of the basement where I can get to the return line, it's hot too.

    The weird things is although there's a little banging in the main, it's nothing like last year and I can't hear the gurgling in the main like I used to.

    Last year the boiler was flushed several times after the SurgeMax treatment.
    Emptied the boiler of sediment several times periodically during the season from the low drain valve.

    Have emailed steam contractors in my area but have not heard back from them yet.

    The steam coming from this vent is concerning me. I'm thinking that there's a partial blockage somewhere and some of the steam being generated in the boiler is going through the return line rather than the main.

    Red.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,767
    Can you post a pic of your main vent setup?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,099
    edited November 2022
    A blocked return will show up in your water line. If the level stays in the normal range, nothing's blocked. Any vent from Home Depot is Chinese junk. It failed and is passing steam. They all do if they work at all. Get a Gorton #1 vent with the proper thread size and your problem will be gone. Keep the water clean and the pressure low.
    BobCRedvan
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,152
    Agree with @neilc
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35

    A blocked return will show up in your water line. If the level stays in the normal range, nothing's blocked. Any vent from Home Depot is Chinese junk. It failed and is passing steam. They all do if they work at all. Get a Gorton #1 vent with the proper thread size and your problem will be gone. Keep the water clean and the pressure low.

    The return connects to the end of the main so why does the main have water in it?
    I can hear gurgling several minutes after the boiler goes on.

    If the fitting (most likely an el) at the end of the main was blocked that would explain the water in the main, no?

    The main is supposed to slope back towards the boiler to allow condensate to return to the boiler but as houses age and settle, this slope could decrease or begin to slope away from the boiler and isn't that part of the role of the return, to drain condensate?

    I will go on-line to find a quality main vent as suggested.

  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    edited November 2022
    Ordered a Gorton #1 3/4" vent just now. Should have it in a few days.
    A bit expensive but at this point, I don't care.
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    edited November 2022
    I took a close look at the boiler control side and I see what could be either string or remnants of nylon tape around several fittings going into the boiler. The low water sensor I replaced several years ago and I can almost guarantee I used white nylon tape on the threads(not knowing better). A plumber once told me that any fitting under water should have string wrapped around the threads before using pipe compound. Is this still true or have things changed?

    I want to inspect the Ptrol loop and valves as recommended by some in this post. What should I use on the threads before reassembly, pipe dope and string or just dope?

    (If I need string, what type, size, kind, etc...)

    I assume I need to turn off the emergency switch on the boiler itself before taking anything apart. Is there anything else that needs to be done beside letting the boiler cool off before dismantling controls?

    Red.
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    Steamhead said:
    Can you post a pic of your main vent setup?

  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 135
    Quote: "The return connects to the end of the main so why does the main have water in it?
    I can hear gurgling several minutes after the boiler goes on.

    If the fitting (most likely an el) at the end of the main was blocked that would explain the water in the main, no?"

    A steam main will very rarely become blocked. That el is likely not blocked. A main can develop a sag due to settling of the house or inadequate pipe supports. Water will sit in the sag resulting in hammer and/or gurgling. Returns can become blocked. A blocked or very slow return can cause condensate to back up to the main. Boiler pressure too high can push water out of the boiler up to the main through the return. Poor near boiler piping can result in wet steam which also can cause gurgling.
    Redvan
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    jhewings said:

    Quote: "The return connects to the end of the main so why does the main have water in it?
    I can hear gurgling several minutes after the boiler goes on.

    If the fitting (most likely an el) at the end of the main was blocked that would explain the water in the main, no?"

    A steam main will very rarely become blocked. That el is likely not blocked. A main can develop a sag due to settling of the house or inadequate pipe supports. Water will sit in the sag resulting in hammer and/or gurgling. Returns can become blocked. A blocked or very slow return can cause condensate to back up to the main. Boiler pressure too high can push water out of the boiler up to the main through the return. Poor near boiler piping can result in wet steam which also can cause gurgling.

    Excellent explanation and makes me understand a few things.
    Repliers have said that the boiler pressure is too high.
    When the previous owner finished the basement, he removed the hangers and supported the main with walls. Walls settle on their own and now with heavy weight on them...

    Thank you.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,767
    Redvan said:


    Steamhead said:

    Can you post a pic of your main vent setup?




    That should be fine with the Gorton #1 on it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Redvan
  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 135
    I should have specified a wet return can become blocked. Below the boiler waterline.
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    I was reviewing my original posted pictures and realized that the photo of the Ptrol was deceiving because, from the angle I took it, you can see the activating arm in the background. This photo from a different angle is better. 
  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 135
    Your Ptroll settings are higher then recommended. Cut out at 1.5 psi and differential of 1 is better. Your pressure gauge appears to show 10 psi?
    Redvan
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    edited November 2022
    jhewings said:

    Your Ptroll settings are higher then recommended. Cut out at 1.5 psi and differential of 1 is better. Your pressure gauge appears to show 10 psi?

    That pressure gauge is crap. In summer it ranges from 15 PSI to pegged. Even now when running in winter it varies by 10-20 PSI. Right now, as you can see in the photo, it's very high and the system has been off for a few hours.

    I made the settings changes you recommended...

    EDIT:
    Photo didn't come through, I'll try again.
    jhewings
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    Photo... 
  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 135
    If you would like more information about how your system is operating, consider adding a 0-3 psi gauge. The easiest way is remove the pressuretroll, clean the pigtail while you are at it (and add water to the pigtail), add a union above the pigtail to make future pigtail cleaning easier, then a tee, connect the new gauge and the pressuretroll to the tee. Then you will know what your pressure really is and if you cycle on pressure or even better if you don't. You can also verify the accuracy of the pressuretroll.

    Redvan
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    Just to be clear, if you have a return pipe off the end of the main, then the main should slope down away from the boiler not towards it.  So the highest pipe in a parallel flow system is the beginning of the main right at the boiler, it’s all downhill from there.

    Your description of it sloping towards the boiler makes it sound like the end of your main out in the system is the high point.  Just want to make sure we aren’t missing any details here.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    KC_Jones said:

    Just to be clear, if you have a return pipe off the end of the main, then the main should slope down away from the boiler not towards it.  So the highest pipe in a parallel flow system is the beginning of the main right at the boiler, it’s all downhill from there.

    Your description of it sloping towards the boiler makes it sound like the end of your main out in the system is the high point.  Just want to make sure we aren’t missing any details here.

    My homeowner mentality. I do not know anything about steam boilers or the piping system. I assumed that since there was a loop from the output of the boiler top down to the return line coming back to the boiler, with a downwards slope, the main should be sloped back to the boiler as well.

    I'll post a photo to show what I mean.
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    That uninsulated pipe tee'ed off the output on the boiler in the photo #1 has a slight downward angle. 

    Others wanted a floor to ceiling photo so that's #2. 

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354


    Main is highlighted in red, circled what should be the highest point in a parallel flow system.  If the other end of the mains has a return pipe that comes back to the boiler you have parallel flow.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    KC_Jones said:



    Main is highlighted in red, circled what should be the highest point in a parallel flow system.  If the other end of the mains has a return pipe that comes back to the boiler you have parallel flow.
    AH HA, so I have a parallel flow system. Thank you.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but this means that the almost level main leaving my utility room and running through the remainder of the basement is not an issue. It's more about poor maintenance, incorrect settings and worn out vents?
  • jhewings
    jhewings Member Posts: 135
    Well, the almost level main should be sloping down the whole way to the return and no sags where water can remain in the pipe instead of flowing to the return.
    Redvan
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    Here's an update...
    Took the advise offered and adjusted the Ptrol to suggested settings and then the system revolted with excessive steam, yes steam, not air, coming out the main vent (the one I had replaced with the Chinese crapola from HD).
    Every time the system started, steam would turn my utility room into a sauna from 3-4 minutes after the boiler fired to almost 8 minutes after it shut down, until today.
    Today, the Gorton #1 vent arrived and after installing it, I have not heard, seen or smelled steam coming from the main vent at all.
    Much to my surprise, the banging , hammering and other sounds have almost disappeared. Bearing in mind that the boiler has only come on twice since installing the Gorton #1 vent (been a warm day in these parts), I'm seriously impressed that the advise I took has made such a dramatic difference in the performance of the system.
    I know I'm not home-free at this point but WOW, what a difference so far.
    I have a steam professional coming in about 10 days to review the entire system and I'm looking forward to that day to hear what he has to say (I found him through the service this site offers).
    I'll post updates as they develop.

    Thank you all very much for your time and experience to help me.

    Mike.
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,096
    have you checked that the pigtail is clear?
    or be sure the steam boiler guy does , , ,
    known to beat dead horses
    Long Beach Ed
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,099
    Don't be surprised if you now know more than the 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘮 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 who's coming to check your system.
    CLamb
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    No, I haven't checked the pigtail yet. Concerned that something might snap while trying to get it apart and then I'd be lost and have to listen to the wife telling me I shouldn't have touched it.
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,099
    edited November 2022
    Handle it gently. It's steel. If it doesn't want to come off the boiler, don't force it. The control will come off easily.
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    If the pigtail was clogged, wouldn't I have big troubles by now?
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,096
    you mean like a gage that is 15 - 20 psi ??? #smiling
    known to beat dead horses
    ethicalpaul
  • Redvan
    Redvan Member Posts: 35
    Neilc, that gauge reads greater than zero in August. If anything is clogged in the entire system, it's that gauge.