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1890 Steam System – Looking for St. Louis-area Expert and/or Advice

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I apologize in advance for this long post but wanted to provide as much background as possible.

My ~8,000 sq. ft. home was built in 1890 and has a Weil-McLain (LGB Series 2) 910k BTU steam boiler that was installed in 2015. This replaced a 1.26M BTU boiler that was installed in 1985. The boiler feeds 1-pipe radiators on the 2nd and 3rd floor as a mixture of 1 and 2 pipe boilers located on the first floor and basement. Most of the 1st floor is heated by a convection heating system that blows air over the below floor radiators and pushes warm air up through the 1st level floor grates as well as in wall vents on the 2nd and 3rd floor.

Half of these in-floor radiators have been disconnected over the years and no longer provide heat. The main issue has been finding radiators of the unusual squat rectangle size to replace the ones that have developed leaks and have been disconnected. Typical sizes of these units are 40”w x 30”d x 7.5” h for the larger ones and 36”w x 13.5”d x 7.5”h for the smaller ones. I’ve found a cast aluminum one which may work and have also considered adding heating coils within the ductwork in place of radiators but have not found an ideal solution yet.

When we started looking at the house in the summer of 2020, the main issue was significant movement and clanging in the 40’ 4” pipe running horizontally from south to north in basement. The previous owner claimed this started in 2019 but I suspect the issue has been lingering longer based on what their previous HVAC contractor shared with me. The clanging was so bad that the owners left their bedroom at 50 degrees rather than turn on the boiler and not be able to sleep. It was reported that the main pipe was showing 12+ inches of movement and they made several modifications over that summer as we were negotiating the sale including adding a pressure regulator and a drain and second condensate pump on the low end of the horizontal run.

I also verified there is more than an 8” drop over 40’ and have inspected the inside of the pipe which seems clean and does not appear to be collecting condensate.

After these modifications, I still observed 6+ inches of movement and an unacceptable jackhammering sound which never abated during the test fires. The Weis rep told me the issue is the boiler is oversized that even if we replaced the disconnected floor radiators the home would likely only need a boiler half the size of the current one (500,000 BTU max). He said the modifications they were making were primarily trying to throttle down the boiler and they believed the issue was too much steam being produced. The added a low fire/high fire control to allow them to turn down the amount of steam being produced. Since then the boiler has been running on the lowest fire and pressure setting (~450k BTU and 1.5 psi)

In August 2020, the previous owner’s HVAC vendor (who purchased the company who installed the new boiler in 2015) met with a rep from Weil-McLain who had them move the steam output higher above the water line – the suspicion was that water was flowing out of the system which was one of the reasons the clanging started so soon before condensate had a chance to build up. Their opinion was the boiler was never installed to manufacturer’s specs.

During the same time they were making changes, I had another company evaluate the system and it seems that there were still many pipes that weren’t pitched correctly. The company was of the opinion the boiler size wasn’t the issue, it was just the pipes were not pitched correctly.

Since we moved in December 2020, we have repaired leaks, leveled radiators, replaced steam vents and traps and have eliminated most of the hammering. The house heats fairly rapidly and there aren’t any cold spots even with the disconnected radiators.

The remaining issue is intermittent hammering at the end of the 40’ pipe in the basement. That pipe ends in (2) 2” pipes with one reducing to 1.5” and feeding two relatively small radiators. The 2nd 2” pipe fed a 3rd radiator but determined there was no way to pitch the pipe correctly without some significant construction work and it was to a second radiator in my son’s room which heats well enough with one radiator, so we disconnected and capped that 2nd opening and left it for a future project.

Things can run fine for weeks or months and then we start getting hammering at the end of the 40’ pipe that progressively gets worse and worse. We haven’t been able to figure out the pattern (outside temperature, amount of time off for condensate to drain between cycles, etc.). When it is really bad, you can hear wet steam as soon as heat reaches the end of the pipe and sloshing as things start swaying back and forth and hammering for 5-10 minutes before everything is heated and silent until the next cycle. When this happens, I would set the boiler to “pre-heat” the house close to 80 degrees before midnight and then turning things off until morning to let us sleep through the night.

The only workaround I have found is if I close the vents on both radiators served by that pipe, then things heat up silently and if I then open the vents after things are hot, the radiators can produce heat with none of the hammering. I’ve put adjustable vents on those radiators but even one open to the slowest vent setting is enough to cause hammering during start up.

My suspicion is that steam is coming down that pipe so fast that it is hitting cooler pipe at the end and immediately forming condensate that causes the hammer until the entire pipe heats. The bulk of the pipe has good asbestos insulation (has been encapsulated previously and inspected and a couple of areas treated by an environmental engineering company in 2020) except on the end closest to the outside which goes into the 2” and then a 1.5” uninsulated pipe before heading up through the walls. I added fiberglass insulation around the uninsulated part of the 4” pipe as well as around the 2” and 1.5” pipes to try and eliminate the pipe from cooling as much between cycles.

If I can’t find a slower vent type for the radiators, at this point, the only “hack” I can think of is a motorized ball valve at the end of that pipe or some other type of motorized vent on the two radiators that I can have kick on based on time after the radiator runs or a temperature sensor at the end of the pipe. I have a fairly sophisticated home automation system and have other motors and sensors centrally controlled (gas fireplaces, ventilation fans, locks, lights, etc.)

I’ve had the previous owner’s vendor as well as one or two others throw out suggestions which usually come down to either putting in a smaller boiler or re-piping everything without any data or rationale that can convince me I wouldn’t just be throwing a lot of money at a problem hoping for a solution.

I’d love to pay a hydronics expert in the St. Louis-area for some of their time to take a look and suggest an approach. I tend to think I need someone with commercial/engineering experience since neither I (nor the previous owners) have made much progress with the top rated local residential boiler folks.

If anyone has any contacts or suggestions, I’d be really grateful.
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Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    Welcome! Did you try the Find a Contractor feature of this site?

    It's a lot going on here so I think your desire to find a good steam pro is the right move. As you've already seen, you really have to be skeptical of most folks out there who claim to know steam--the opinions are wild and varied out there and lots of contractors have wrong ideas out there.

    I like that it seems you are aware of the cause of water hammer (water being where it shouldn't be) and I like that you've looked for sitting water inside the pipes, that is pretty cool.

    I hope others know of a good contractor in STL but I don't offhand.

    If you send some pics of your boiler and near boiler piping from say 10 feet away from different angles, you'll get a lot of mostly good responses about how likely it is that your boiler is making dry steam, etc.

    By the way, are you this guy's neighbor? I've been waiting to see him try to get his boiler running: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjAFFiNfShE
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    swassbac
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    Thanks - I did check out find a contractor but only 1 listed in a 100 miles and that is just an AC company (their description says NO BOILERS). That house is about 5 miles from me - almost all of the homes in this area were built in the time leading up to and just after the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair. Here are some pics I just took of the boiler piping:




  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    Unfortunately the piping around the boiler looks like a mess.

    But since you only remaining problem seems to be the 40' 4" pipe and you can't get the pitch on it right I would install a small condensate pump in the area wher the pipe is banging and be done with the problem.
    swassbac
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    I have considered a condensate pump on the high end (there is already one on the low end). The pitch on the 40' pipe is good - 8.5" drop over 40' so wasn't sure if a pump on the high end would help?
    shyheim
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,739
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    Ok, a Weil Mclain rep looked at that boiler and said the piping was fine? Do I have that correct?

    BTW, it's not piped correctly, if a rep looked at that and approved it, honestly that is just sad.

    Also, is that an open pipe up on top of the boiler? It looks like an open pipe I just want to confirm.

    Banging is from water laying, either sags, or improper slope. It sounds like they sort of understand that but don't know how to solve it. A spirit level and string line are your best friends here. Pipes need to be straight, properly supported, no traps, and sloped towards the boiler. That last one is tricky.

    I'm assuming you have a parallel flow system which means the highest pipe in the system should be right at the beginning of the main (near the boiler) and is should slope down until it drops to a wet return, or in your case a condensate tank. That is what sloped towards the boiler means.

    An oversized boiler, with poor piping can exacerbate the issues, so I wouldn't totally discount that.

    Did they skim the boiler after all the pipe work? New boilers and repiped boilers need skimmed to remove the oils. The oils from manufacturing and installation can cause surging and priming, which will push excess water into the system and cause some of the issues you are having.

    I would speculate you, at minimum, have a laundry list of the above causing all the problem. To be clear, these systems should be 100% silent. The loudest thing I hear on mine is the burner firing off, and that's only when it's quiet in the living room, directly above the boiler.

    Could you post a picture of a typical radiator in the house, maybe several? You mention some 1 pipe and some 2 pipe, I have an idea of what you might have, but the radiator pictures would help. Mainly because we are old house geeks on here and enjoy seeing this stuff, especially an 8000 sq ft mansion from 1890. ;)
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    swassbacethicalpaulwmgeorge
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    McClain reps have been out at least 3 times. The last time is when they had them adjust things to make sure steam was being pulled farther above the water line and when the low fire / high fire switch was added.

    Yes, that was a piece of pipe that was removed to replace a leak. This photo shows the boiler without that piece on top:



    I'm not sure if the boiler was skimmed - not since I moved in about a year ago.

    It is a parallel system with two condensate tanks with all pipes leading back to one or the other.

    Here are some typical radiators:




    Notice the grill to the left of this one - those are ducts that send the hot air from the convection radiators in the basement to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors.



    The only 2 pipe ones are this circular table radiator:



    The other 2 pipe one are those squat rectangular ones that are the in-duct units that air is pushed over for the convection heating. Here is a pic from outside the ductwork and one looking inside.




    Lastly, here is the condensate drain and pump the added on the low side of the 40' 4" pipe. This pumps in to the main tank by the boiler. They could have done a better job routing it then through the middle of the basement...

    WMno57ayetchvacker
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    Your 2 pipe rads look to be 2 pipe air vented types.
    They had no trap on the outlet and were easy candidates to pass steam thru them and into the returns which could water hammer.

    If you could shut those off temporally and see if the hammering subsides with them out of the circuit.

    The steam main looks counterflow at the boiler, does it slope up and hump down above the ceiling?

    Did they lower the water level by moving the MM150 pump controller down.

    Do you get water hammer when the feeder pump at the boiler comes on,
    not impossible that it sends water up that equalizer into the steam main?

    Those pumps always feed water to quickly.
    Hap_Hazzard
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    The boiler header is all wrong and it may be counterflow
    Hap_Hazzardayetchvacker
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,739
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    The boiler header is all wrong and it may be counterflow

    You might be on to something.

    Let's pretend for a minute the mains were originally counter flow, being 1890 that's plausible is it not?

    If that is true, the it could possibly explain a whole host of issues. Honestly, if they did that "equalizer" at the boiler based on some original piping they encountered that would actually fit with a counterflow.


    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,739
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    Based on at least one of those radiators I'd speculate it is indeed original to the house.

    @DanHolohan would they have had condensate tanks and pumps back in 1890 when this system was put in?

    If not, then this puzzle gets even more interesting.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,527
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    No. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,739
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    No. 

    Interesting....

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    JUGHNE said:

    Your 2 pipe rads look to be 2 pipe air vented types.
    They had no trap on the outlet and were easy candidates to pass steam thru them and into the returns which could water hammer.

    If you could shut those off temporally and see if the hammering subsides with them out of the circuit.

    The returns go directly to the condensate pumps and I don't see a way anything could get from them to the long 4" pipe which seems to be the issue. There is really nothing between the boiler and that pipe.
    JUGHNE said:


    The steam main looks counterflow at the boiler, does it slope up and hump down above the ceiling?

    Not completely sure what you are asking. This piece goes up and then straight back and leads to the 40' pipe going across the basement. This is one side of it:


    This is where it comes out to continue across.
    JUGHNE said:

    Did they lower the water level by moving the MM150 pump controller down.

    I was never able to get that information from the previous owner.
    JUGHNE said:


    Do you get water hammer when the feeder pump at the boiler comes on,
    not impossible that it sends water up that equalizer into the steam main?

    Not that I've noticed but I am down here now going through a cycle and I'll try to see if there is any linkage there.



  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    That "equalizer" actually looks like a counterflow drip.
    But owner said there is 8" drop to the other end of the 4" 40' main.
    My guess that above the ceiling is swing 90 to head down in that direction.
    If not and at that angle it would be coming up thru the floor.

    I see that is not ceiling right there, rather is duct work.

    Is the main exposed on the other side of it?

    One wonders if there were any under floor wet returns. Since abandoned.

    Does that air/convector box in the picture have any trap on the outlet?
    It's outlet looks to be piped into a return shared by something else.
    Perhaps that pipe goes into a single F&T??

    St Louis would have just barely had electricity in 1890.
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,269
    edited January 2022
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    Hayes Mechanical is not as old as your house, but close. Started in 1918 in Chicago. Commercial. They do have a St. Louis area location.
    Hayes Mechanical
    201 Tower Plaza
    Belleville, IL 62220
    Phone: (618) 277-1245
    www.HayesMechanical.com
    I DIY.
    swassbac
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    Just a vague wonder... at the end of that long, big main, how is the pipe reduced to the smaller sizes? Can you take a picture of that an post it?

    Love those radiators!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    That boiler piping is a mess..... look at the install manual for a proper layout. Also, if that drip line where the main angles up is a low point, then water cannot drain from that point completely. The fitting is rolled to the side so water can't drain through the reduced branch. Also the strainer is probably oriented incorrectly, so water is backing up behind the strainer too. A 910,000 but /hr input boiler is almost certainly grossly oversized.... especially for a home built pre WWI which almost always have very small radiators. That boiler is bigger than the total capacity we need for my 17,000 sq ft church in Chicago which has about 40 to 50 foot ft ceilings in the sanctuary . Low fire on that boiler is probably about 550,000 btu/hr if it has the blue topped gas valves ( under about 18 years old) If silver topped, low fire is probably about 465,000 input. Knowing the age of the home, probably a 350,000 btu/hr boiler is close to the proper size. A simple radiator review would allow the proper size to be determined.

    We're up in Chicago and may be the closest steam specialist that is part of this community. About 9 hour drive to and from.

    I would see if all those traps and pumps could be removed and the system returned to gravity return. They are almost a sure fire sign of a contractor that does not know what they are doing with steam. A properly sized boiler would likely be shorter and usually make a gravity return easier to install.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    wmgeorgedelcrossvethicalpaul
  • wmgeorge
    wmgeorge Member Posts: 222
    edited January 2022
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    St. Louis is a lot like the corn center of Iowa, Des Moines where I live, Surely the local folks would not have built that grand of house without plans or drawings. The steam would have been way out of their league also so those folks could have been from Chicago, as above. It would be interesting to find IF those old drawings were still at the old house someplace.
    Old retired Commercial HVAC/R guy in Iowa. Master electrician.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    I think St. Louis was a major trade center real early on being that it is the Mississippi. There was probably plenty of steam installed there as there was probably alot of industrial development there. One of the largest steam companies was Moline, out of Moline, Ill, again on the river, with systems installed all over the US and maybe in Europe.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    Low fire on that boiler is probably about 550,000 btu/hr if it has the blue topped gas valves ( under about 18 years old) If silver topped, low fire is probably about 465,000 input. Knowing the age of the home, probably a 350,000 btu/hr boiler is close to the proper size.

    The panel on the side of the boiler shows low fire as 455,000 which is inline with your statement


    We're up in Chicago and may be the closest steam specialist that is part of this community. About 9 hour drive to and from.

    Thanks - I am going to try that commercial steam company across the river in Belleville and see if it is something they would take on and/or see if any other contacts surface. Wish you were closer.
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    Just a vague wonder... at the end of that long, big main, how is the pipe reduced to the smaller sizes? Can you take a picture of that an post it?

    I'll take some pics tonight and sketch out a diagram - might be useful to illustrate the connections to the section that is hammering from the other 75% which is running silently.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    I've traveled to La Crosse, WI for steam consulting in the past which is about the same travel time as you. LaCosse was home of the huge, respected Trane steam heating company.... now all they do is low budget forced air and nobody in the city knows steam.....really sad and pathetic. A few hours of looking over the 9 story building and nearly all the banging was gone with a few tweaks.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    wmgeorgeveteransteamhvac
  • Shahrdad
    Shahrdad Member Posts: 120
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    swassbac, I know exactly where your house is. Jim Fozzy is one of few, if not the only, steam expert in our area. I sent you his info in a private message.

    S.
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
    edited January 2022
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    Shahrdad said:


    swassbac, I know exactly where your house is. Jim Fozzy is one of few, if not the only, steam expert in our area. I sent you his info in a private message.

    Thanks - Jim has been out here before and offered to try and look at repairing one of the disconnected radiators but didn't seem to be able to take on further analysis/troubleshooting since he is a 1-man shop and pretty backed up. I can definitely reach out to him again.

    wmgeorge
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    I've traveled to La Crosse, WI for steam consulting in the past which is about the same travel time as you. LaCosse was home of the huge, respected Trane steam heating company.... now all they do is low budget forced air and nobody in the city knows steam.....really sad and pathetic. A few hours of looking over the 9 story building and nearly all the banging was gone with a few tweaks.

    Sent you a PM.
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    Just a vague wonder... at the end of that long, big main, how is the pipe reduced to the smaller sizes? Can you take a picture of that an post it?

    Love those radiators!

    Here is where the main from the boiler connects into the 4" pipe that runs that length of the basement and seems to be where almost all of the clanging is from.



    I am going to try and sketch a diagram this evening and post it.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    Usually the wouldn't run counterflow mains very far but anything is possible. I don't understand that brass strainer being upside down
    wmgeorge
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    I really appreciate everyone's thoughts and comments although some of it is definitely over my head at this point. I am sure there is a LOT that can be cleaned up in the system, but I am hoping there is a more focused fix for the only area giving me recurring issues since I am hesitant to disturb the overall system which generally is heating well (and quietly).

    Most of the time, the entire system is quiet. When I get into a period of hammering (which I am in now), it is only when hot steam reaches the high end of the 40' 4" pipe. I can stop the hammering completely by closing off the vents in the two radiators at the end of that run. After the system is hot, I can reopen the vents with no hammering which is what made me think it was the speed of the steam I needed to slow. EBEBRATT mentioned adding a condensate pump on that end (there is already one on the low end) - not sure if there are any other suggestions along that route?

    To give you an idea of the overall piping and what feeds the various in duct, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floor radiators (and well as disconnected radiators marked with an X), I did a quick sketch:




    wmgeorge
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    You may have boiler water " racheting" going on. When the boiler is steaming, distilled water is being sent out into the system. This leaves all the pollutants behind in the boiler. If there are leaks out in the system, the pollutant levels gradually rise in the boiler until the water can't boil properly. This is when teh sytem starts getting noisy. I drain the boiler completely, let it cool down, and refill and rinse again, then refill and see how the noise is.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    swassbacwmgeorge
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
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    You may have boiler water " racheting" going on. When the boiler is steaming, distilled water is being sent out into the system. This leaves all the pollutants behind in the boiler. If there are leaks out in the system, the pollutant levels gradually rise in the boiler until the water can't boil properly. This is when the system starts getting noisy. I drain the boiler completely, let it cool down, and refill and rinse again, then refill and see how the noise is.

    I think you are on to something. I let the boiler cool down today, drained it, rinsed, drained, rinsed and then filled it back up. I let the water get the clearest I have ever seen it from that boiler. Just started the first heating cycle and the first time there was no hammering in that 40' pipe with none of the radiators at the end of the pipe turned off. I'll see how things behave over the next 24 hours - thanks again!

    wmgeorge
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    Then the boiler may need "top" skimming to remove any oils and floaters.
    There looks to be no ready made port for that.
    But above the pump feeder or the secondary LWCO are 1" crosses that are piped into the steam chest.
    A 1" X long horizontal nipple into one of the cross plugs, with a 1" tee with plug on the end to retain the clean out abilities of the purpose of the cross.
    Then a pipe down from the branch of the new tee with ball valve-nipple-cap, would be a good skim port for future use.

    You bring the boiler up to steaming, shut down the power then slowly add water until just a small pencil size stream flows thru your new ball valve.
    You use the manual by pass water feed valve for this.
    Let this skim run until water is cool. Perhaps hours.
    Drain back down to normal and fire the boiler to drive out the oxygen from the fresh water.
    That cleans the top of the boiler water.
    swassbac
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    Thanks for the picture! Check the pitch of that short section of pipe coming off the main to the left at that cleanout. That needs to have a real pitch back down to the big main -- an inch or 2 over its length is going to be none too much.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEAMFITTER597
    STEAMFITTER597 Member Posts: 9
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    In 1900 this system worked.  
    When the boiler fires and runs. What does the water level in the sight glass do?  
    In your system map left side. Is that where the hammer happens? Or elsewhere too?  How does condensate get out of the pipe? Does it have end of main vents?  I don’t have any idea about the round radiator with two valves.  But I would close one. I love the curved radiator. The piping is a mess. Too much pitch is just as bad as none.  I’m pretty sure the sight glass will flood above top. Main steam takeoff looks to be only on one side.  Causing water to slug into header. More than that odd main header drip tee could handle.  
    Steam is moving around 40mph. It will push water to the end of mains. Until it can’t. 
    When built they had no concern with start up load. It simmered all season.  Gas is like a shotgun.  Cycling several times an hour. Each being a start up load moving lots of condensate.  Condensate must get out of the way of high speed steam.  Using only low fire might help.  Running traps could help. 
    I love the upside down strainer near the white heel tee and float trap. 
    wmgeorge
  • swassbac
    swassbac Member Posts: 26
    edited January 2022
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    JUGHNE said:

    Then the boiler may need "top" skimming to remove any oils and floaters.

    I agree completely - after I saw the immediate improvement from a double flushing, I downloaded the boiler manual and read through the section on skimming. I put in a call to the guy I have do the piping maintenance and already set a time with him next week to work on configuring a skim port.

    Things have been perfectly silent through 3 heating cycles since the flushing and I am getting optimistic. If things remain stable, I can start working through other items on my list. I am really glad I came across this forum.

    My next project is likely sourcing replacements for the odd shaped, in duct radiators that have been disconnected after developing leaks.
    wmgeorgeBoon
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    The flushing out I was talking about has almost nothing to do with oils, etc on the top of the boiler. It has to do with the steady accumulation of pollutants actually in the water ( not on top of the water).... all the stuff left behind in the boiler when it boils off pure water into the system. This problem is particularly acute on boilers that are designed or piped poorly and especially on oversized boilers in counter flow systems. For the typical 60% oversized and incorrectly piped boiler, we will encounter this "racheting" when the system has a lot of leaks that bring in too much fresh water that has pollutants that build up over time in the boiler.

    Another common example is a boiler with "over treated" water....many will not boil properly with massive carryover into the system. Same fundamental problem... too much pollution in the water for a proper boil.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    JUGHNE
  • Steve_210
    Steve_210 Member Posts: 646
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    This is a screenshot from the LGB manual hard to see why anybody would say it was by piped correctly.
    I haven’t read all of this thread but I have had some success by installing two vapor stats and getting the pressure down as low as possible that’s if you’re having water hammer issues which I presume you are.
    Only long-term fix is re-pipe the boiler I have one I need to do in the spring and they’re just suffering through the noise right now
  • Steve_210
    Steve_210 Member Posts: 646
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    While cutting out on high fire around about half a pound
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    If the boiler is oversized on a counterflow system, repiping still may not stop banging. the water simply can't flow back against steam that is moving too fast down the main
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • FStephenMasek
    FStephenMasek Member Posts: 88
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    Beautiful radiators, especially the round ones! I lived my first 29 years in the St. Louis area. In what neighborhood is your home located?
    Author of Illustrated Practical Asbestos: For Consultants, Contractors, Property Managers & Regulators