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Third floor is cold

2

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,883
    I’m with Jamie. If a D vent isn’t letting steam get there, something else is at play
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    I'm not sure I agree.  Looks like 3" uninsulated main(s) to me.  Not sure how long main(s) but that is a lot air to evacuate through two large radiator vents.  


  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,028
    One could also add that if water is in the way, then even air will not get out first.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,883
    I'm not sure I agree.  Looks like 3" uninsulated main(s) to me.  Not sure how long main(s) but that is a lot air to evacuate through two large radiator vents.  


    She said her main vents were ok 🤷🏻‍♂️
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    @Jamie Hall, I THINK I have followed best practices the best I could. the mains are insulated, and the risers have EIFS (styrofoam) on the building envelope side and rock wool between the wall studs.  I oversized the shutoff valves to each radiator, everything is pitched nicely.  

     In struggling to figure out how to vent that problematic main.  Even if I break open the wall, there just isn’t room to put bigger vents or more vents.  I had to use the shortest skinniest  radiator vents because there was no vertical or horizontal room for even a Gorton 1.  Does it matter that that main feeds three radiators that no longer exist? (Two on the first floor, on on the third floor). I have access to one of the first floor radiator locations.  There is a shutoff valve there right now.  (Will eventually be enclosed with a built in banquette.). Could I stick a main vent off of that somehow?
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    On one of my three mains I do have an antler of vents on an old feed for a radiator that was removed. It was the very last rad on that main. So if this is your situation I say try it.  

    D's have same hole size as #1's but may plug up easier.  I remember the  rule of thumb is that you should have one of these for every yard of 3" main so if you go this route you'll have a nice size antler of vents.  I did add some D's to my antlers that were practically free, think they are still doing ok after 20 years, I could take a closer look after Christmas.

  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,005
    were you able to double vent both of these cold radiators ?
    A fast one, main vent even, up top to clear the air, from the main,
    then a slow vent down at the appropriate 6 inches up port ? to heat the rad

    looking at the rats nest where your mains are now,
    would you consider breaking into the soffett before the wall,
    and adding a vent tree there somewhere?
    yeah, would be kinda odd decoration in that ceiling area,

    and I am assuming, please confirm,
    the main / lateral is actually the horizontal in the header soffett, not the vertical shown in the rat nest hole
    known to beat dead horses
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,028
    Did you consider ED's posting:

    Venting the risers is discussed in the LAOSH as removing the 90 deg radiator valve and installing a tee with a riser vent on it and reconnecting the radiator with a straight radiator valve. Frank Gerrity's method

    No wall cutting required for that.

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,582
    edited December 2021
    could you tighten that ell for the main vents so it comes off at a 45 then use a longer nipple and a 45 (and maybe a union) to get the vents under a more open joist bay?

    That vent with the rust stains doesn't look healthy.
  • Mike Cascio
    Mike Cascio Member Posts: 143
    I would look for the vertical riser going to the third-floor in the basement and find out where it is on the steam main. I suspect you may have water sitting at the base of that riser which is the reason why it’s taking so long for it to heat up, check for a sag in the main and or a concentric reducer where an eccentric reducer should be. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,533
    edited December 2021
    I would look for the vertical riser going to the third-floor in the basement and find out where it is on the steam main. I suspect you may have water sitting at the base of that riser which is the reason why it’s taking so long for it to heat up, check for a sag in the main and or a concentric reducer where an eccentric reducer should be. 
    Would'nt this cause hammering more than anything
    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
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,903
    ChrisJ said:



    I would look for the vertical riser going to the third-floor in the basement and find out where it is on the steam main. I suspect you may have water sitting at the base of that riser which is the reason why it’s taking so long for it to heat up, check for a sag in the main and or a concentric reducer where an eccentric reducer should be. 

    Would'nt this cause hammering more than anything

    Not if there's enough of it to actually block flow.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,533
    I would look for the vertical riser going to the third-floor in the basement and find out where it is on the steam main. I suspect you may have water sitting at the base of that riser which is the reason why it’s taking so long for it to heat up, check for a sag in the main and or a concentric reducer where an eccentric reducer should be. 
    Would'nt this cause hammering more than anything
    Not if there's enough of it to actually block flow.
    Then it wouldn't slow the steam it would stop it.


    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
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    edited December 2021
    hope everyone had a great holiday.  

    The plot thickens, because my daughter started complaining her radiator in the second floor is not heating up.  I don’t think it has ever heated up properly, she just hadn’t said anything until now.  Here is a diagram.  The two branches I’ve circled are the ones giving me problems.  The third floor one has two fast vents, and the second floor has one fast vent.  But steam is only getting to those locations when I raise the settings on the vaporstat to allow for a much longer cycle.  

    The odd thing is that the other radiators, which are further along the main, heat up just fine, including one on the second floor. 




    Here is a picture of the second floor radiator that is very slow to fill. 



    Here is a picture of where I used to have a radiator in the first floor, just above the end of the main.  I will be adding a radiator here later, but for now I wanted to add some venting here.  But the outlet to the shutoff valve looks like something was broken off in there, and the whole thing is really tight.  I can’t seem to loosen any of the fittings to add anything anywhere.  Any tricks?  Do I just need bigger wrenches?  

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,582
    The outlet of that valve fits a spud that comes with the vale that is probably in the radiator. they are not standard, you need the one that comes with that valve.

    that valve where there is a horizonal reduction from the radiator is wrong, it will hold condensate below that fitting. it could be your problem.
    cross_skier
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    Harbor Freight. 36" aluminum pipe wrench is a great bargain at $50.  You'll probably want two pipe wrenches if you want to tangle with the big pipes.  I also have a 24" crescent which works on pretty brass fittings with a pipe "helper" to give additional leverage.  You'll likely need heat for any really stuck fittings.  A propane torch works well.  I always try to protect nearby wood and paint from burning.  Fire extinguisher and 5 gallon bucket half full of water are a must.
    foresthillsjd
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    Agree with @mattmia2.  They should have used a smaller valve in your daughter's room and been more sensitive to condensate pooling and pipe pitch.
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    I can't see the riser but the input for your daughter's radiator looks like 1-1/2"

    If your riser is 1-1/4" max edr of radiator it can support is 55 sq feet.  If the radiator in the photo is bigger than that then I would swap it for a smaller radiator.

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,028
    Are those true steam valves, (which I believe should be gate valves) or are they globe valves for hot water heating. Big difference in operation.
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    @JUGHNE

    Looks like Legend steam valves to me.  Nothing terrible about them, they do have an epdm seal that Steamhead says lasts about a decade.


  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    Now I have a problematic main vent.  I recently installed a Gorton #1 on one end of my mains (the other two are Matcos) and it would leak steam even at low pressures.  I replaced the leaking Gorton with a brand new one, and it’s still leaking steam.  

    Side note: I tried replacing the Matcos with Gortons and Hoffmans, but they won’t physically fit in the space. 

    Thanks for all your help.  I’ve been working from home these past two weeks, so I’ve been trying to fine tune the system.  (hence all the posts as of late.)

  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,005
    have you shown your boiler, the header, and all that near boiler piping ?
    also your sightglass,
    known to beat dead horses
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    It's very strange to hear about a bad #1, Gorton's have been super reliable for me.  Where did you buy it?  I am worried it might be a return.
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    @neilc i cleaned the pigtail and installed the vapor stat a few weeks ago.  The water in the sight glass is cloudy because I just drained some water from the blowdown valve.  

    @cross_skier I ordered three of them (same order) from supply house. Two were bad.  I didn’t try the third.  I have put a Hoffman 4a there for now.  Fingers crossed it was just two bad vents?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,582
    Wasn't there someone that posted about getting a run of bad main vents a year or so ago? Maybe these are older stock from that run.
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    @mattmia2 The Hoffman is holding up beautifully, so I just guess I won the lottery on a set of dud vents.
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    I'd give supply house a call and let them know you aren't happy.  They may make things right
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,005
    the sight glass water condition bothers me,
    have you ever taken water from the dirt leg / boiler drain, under the sightglass ?
    or from the wet return ?
    and what about skimming?
    I see the plug inplace above the LWCO, I'm guessing no ?
    I would hope for clearer cleaner water,
    known to beat dead horses
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 790
    There are some good ideas mentioned. I have a couple of points to ponder.
    1. Tapping into a elbow or tee or section of pipe may not be allowed by code. Has anyone tried a saddle tee, with a gasket appropriate for the temperature (250 degrees F, which corresponds to the relief valve setpoint of 15psig) and pressure (not really an issue)?
    2. I don't think I read any mention of where the thermostat is located. One common rule of thumb is to locate it in the coldest room in the house, get it working right, then tweak the vents. Of course, this assumes piping arrangements are not a cause of the problem(s).
    3. Tweaking vents can be a lot easier with adjustable vents, especially in a primary residence (no messing around by the tenants in a rental house). Vent Rite#1s go from fully shut to a #5 and Heat Timers go from a #5 to larger than a #1 (never fully shut).
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    neilc said:

    the sight glass water condition bothers me,
    have you ever taken water from the dirt leg / boiler drain, under the sightglass ?
    or from the wet return ?
    and what about skimming?
    I see the plug inplace above the LWCO, I'm guessing no ?
    I would hope for clearer cleaner water,

    So, the thing is that drain under the sight glass is a disaster. It doesn't project out far enough from the jacket, and the jacket is rusting out from it. I have asked two local plumbers to extend it for me, but no one wants to touch it. I bought some parts from the home store thinking at the very least, I could extend the flow a little farther out and down. Would this work?





    I’m afraid that if I open that valve, it’s going to be so sludgy that I won’t be able to close it again. Would a hose end cap work in that situation?

    Again, I’m happy to pay a professional to do this if anyone has anyone who comes to Queens!!!
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,005
    ok, that does look like a spring summer project,
    but, lookey to the left,
    that one under the LWCO looks serviceable, even if it is elevated that little bit,

    a washing machine hose would direct either to a bucket,

    and yes, I would not be shy about using a cap if you need to,

    known to beat dead horses
    BobC
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    Agreed, I would cap it and wait until summer.  If you are worried about sludge and muck you could put a really big 1-1/2" full port valve in place of the small valve on the left.  
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    edited January 30
    Okay, so I temporarily put this in my third floor radiator just so we would have heat, but I’m trying to make it to the riser goes into a t, above which there is a vent and then the straight shutoff comes out the side.  (The way it’s currently set up, water collects in the T no matter how I pitch the radiator). Unfortunately, I can’t get the existing shutoff valve out.  I have an 18” and a 24” pipe wrench, but the jaws are too thick to grab either the bushing or the shut off valve or the pipe.   Do I need to buy a thin profile pipe wrench?  Also, I can’t seem to get these pieces to budge, even a little bit.  The shutoff valve needs to turn to the right, and the bushing underneath needs to turn to the left to loosen it, right?  


  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 790
    Late to the conversation, but where is the thermostat located and is it the coldest room in the house? One of the guidelines is to put it in the coldest room, satisfy it with proper venting then trim the others.

  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    edited January 30
    @SteamingatMohawk the thermostat is on the first floor, which have the slowest maid o mist vents.  The second and first floor heat pretty evenly and are well balanced (we will set my daughter’s radiator on the second floor aside because it has separate issues.). On the third floor, there are two radiators.  I have a recessed radiator which heats quickly, and this freestanding radiator which is the bane of my existence.  Despite having a Hoffman 75 before the radiator and a varivalve and a maid o mist D on the radiator, this thing fills about five minutes after all the other radiators in the house, which is a problem because the heating cycles are pretty short because of the vapor stat settings. 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,582
    Can you see how that riser runs? Is there someplace further down that is trapping water and needs to get heated with steam before the steam makes it to the radiator?

    Can you lift the riser enough to get a pipe wrench on it below the bushing when you disconnect the spud? You could use a pair of open end wrenches and pieces of pipe or large emt as a cheater.
    cross_skierethicalpaul
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    Getting the shutoff valve off can be really tough.  I would remove all radiators on that riser, pry up gently and perhaps the pipe wrench will fit.  Even then it can be a battle.  You might need heat which will require additional steps to protect the valve and the varnish/wood on the floor.  You may need a pro.

    I think tapping the riser with a street elbow is a bit easier.
  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 411
    Two suggestions. If it works ok as is, no banging, leave it. Two, cut the brass shutoff valve apart with a sawzall. You must have purchased a new straight shutoff valve and spud for the setup you are proposing so no big deal if you lose the existing valve. Make sure you turn off the boiler while working, dont want steam to come out unexpectedly.
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
    If you do hire a pro you might try downfiring your boiler 10%.  This is easy to do, simple turn of a screw on the gas valve followed by a combination check.
    BobC
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 790
    For the problem radiator, have you verified the radiator supply valve is not intact. There are stories about the non-metallic disc that seals the valve shut decaying and becoming separated from the rest of the valve stem. If this is the case, and it just sits on the opening, it is a restriction that can affect how the radiator gets steam.

    It only takes disconnecting the radiator from the valve and looking inside to see what is going on, if anything. If you do it, make sure the heat won't come on while you have the radiator disconnected.

    If you remove all vent valve(s) does the radiator heat up?

    Checking both can help toward isolating the problem and maybe further justify venting the riser.