Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Yank it or fix it?

GW
GW Member Posts: 4,692
Gotta nother special one. Basic two story one pipe, but someone yanked the first floor rads and installed cast iron bb. 4 of them -about 8 to 10’ each, flat as a pancake. Supplys on one end then the return on the other end ties to the dry returns. Radiant vents at the ends tapped in. 

If I run each return into a wet main, does it have a better chance? 

Second floor is roasting and 1st fl eventually heats. 

Half tempted to build a hot water loop 

Thanks 
Gary Wilson
Wilson Services, Inc
Northampton, MA
gary@wilsonph.com

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    Yes. Drop the radiator returns into or make a wet return and it will work fine. Probably be cheaper that buying a pump and everything else you need.

    I have a friend wit CI baseboard hooked uo 1 pipe and they are ok level. But I don't think any of them are that long.....maybe 1 of them. He says the have no issues
    Hap_HazzardGW
  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 431
    I have a one pipe two story house with a 10 ft section of cast iron BB where the living room radiator used to sit, also dead level and tapped both ends into the steam main. I used to have big temp differences between first and second floors, mid 1920’s wood frame house, wood double hung windows, no insulation in the walls. I was able to get the first and second floor temps right, with second slightly less than first, by:
    1. Putting Big Mouth main vents at the ends of the steam mains where there were none previously.
    2. Using Ventrite #1 adjustible vents on the radiators with the second floor rads turned down to about 2,5 on the rad vent dial, and rad vents on the first floor turned to the fastest setting.
    3. Insulating the steam mains.
    4. Tapping a radiator vent into the front middle of the beast iron baseboard so the whole length wouod get hot fast. I also very slightly elevated one bed of the BB to help drain condensate. I get no banging or noise from the BB and it gets hot the whole length.

    In summary I was able to get my system to heat evenly without banging or noise, except for a little expansion creaking, despite the level cast iron BB (in the room with the testator). But it took all of the above to get there. So I’d say it’s possible, but of course your mileage may vary.
    GW
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,832

    In summary I was able to get my system to heat evenly without banging or noise, except for a little expansion creaking, despite the level cast iron BB (in the room with the testator).

    What's a "testator"?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    reggi
  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 431
    Thermostat, oops, spell corrector doing its evil thing.
    Dave in QCA
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,692
    Ok thanks gives me something to chew on😀

    my brain went into 2pipe mode- so in this case the dry pipes are steamed up 

    Ed you think dropping into water will gain much in this case? Perhaps the condensation may hang in the middle if the steam is coming from both directions? 

    I did tell the ho about dialing down the second floor. he said he’s into trying that, will buy ventrites

    System isn’t noisy

    boiler piping isn’t atrocious, but does have the classic two riser into one teed 2”connector in the middle of the two risers. Almost certainly oversized (didn’t measure rads or bb)



    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    GW said:

    Ed you think dropping into water will gain much in this case? Perhaps the condensation may hang in the middle if the steam is coming from both directions?

    A dry return is just a steam pipe if there's a vent available, so the steam can just come in through the "return" end and shut the vent before the baseboard even gets warm. The returns have to be piped below the water line independently.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    mattmia2GW
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    Gordo has a Utube exposing a dead man's trick of turning a single pipe BB into a 2 pipe.
    IIRC, the outlet was piped back into the steam riser, using pipe sizing reduction with a horizontal swing check.
    The condensate would build up in the horizontal pipe and with the steam pressure the check would open and pass the condensate back down the vertical riser.
    The steam would then hold the check closed until another batch of condensate was built up to overcome the pressure.

    I think that is how it worked.
    Someone here, (I am challenged by such maneuvers), can find that and provide the magic link to Gordo Land.
    Gordo
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    edited February 2022
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA_ZKNA-k-nA4eH5qNb3jXA

    I believe this is the video you referenced, @JUGHNE. https://youtu.be/m2ZGPa2frp8
    It's a neat trick when you can't run a separate return pipe. I believe these are already doubly piped, but the returns don't go to water as they should.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    JUGHNEGW
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,276
    You mention dry returns, @GW -- are they really dry returns, or are they extensions of the steam mains? And do you have any handy wet returns in there? There are ways to do this...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,631
    Couldn't you also put a steam trap on the outlet if you can't get them to water? I assume there is already a vent somewhere.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,517
    @GW

    There is about 5 different ways to fix it the question which is the $$$ way out that will work. Running a wet return if there is a simple way to do that is the most trouble free.

    And yes @DanHolohan shows a way of dropping down and making a loop seal and returning back into the bottom of the steam main.

    To me simple is always better and if it's not noisy now with a wet return it should be fine.

    If it was 1 remote baseboard I might try something else, if there are several why bother
    GW
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,692
    Jamie- they are extensions. I just call them returns becasue they drop in diameter and head back to the boiler
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,692
    Ed yes gonna walk the fine line of 'making it better' vs 'starting all over'. I'm a risk and reward kinda guy but sometimes it's just not in the cards. I'll shoot the ho some numbers to run a set of wet pipes. My fragile ego won't let me run copper, it's steel or nuttin ✔
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,692
    Mattmia hmm don't know, this is above mt pay grade, I would still need rad vents right? Or a dry system back to the boiler with an F-T? That would be more work that dropping into the water I suspect
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,631
    Copper once it becomes a wet return is fine and preferred.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,692
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/EjJJscLcj5sWoz5Y6

    I had to make a quick video, my audio captured the family interacting with each other
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,276
    GW said:

    Jamie- they are extensions. I just call them returns becasue they drop in diameter and head back to the boiler

    Then having a connection at each end and a vent really makes them into a version of a two pipe air vent radiator -- which should work pretty well. But they will need venting -- possibly rather aggressive venting. What's on there now? They also should pitch one way or the other, if only slightly. The condensate has to be able to drain.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,692
    Jamie the bb units are flat. The vents- not sure what they are, basic convector style vents. I’ll work on some ideas for this ranging in price and guarantee. Thanks for the tips 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,631
    Does it go back up and form a trap before it goes in to the dry return or does it just keep sloping down?

    I suppose if you wanted to get really fancy you could try an orifice plate in the supply that limited the steam to the amount the baseboard could consume.
    GW
  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 431
    @gw: Jamie the bb units are flat. The vents- not sure what they are, basic convector style vents. I’ll work on some ideas for this ranging in price and guarantee. Thanks for the tips

    I just drilled and tapped a hole in the front center of the baseboard for a regular angle radiator vent. Looks odd, but mine sits behind a sofa so is not normally noticible. You could instead drill and tap a hole for a straight vent in the top center of the baseboard. Either way the center position of the vent lets steam fill the whole baseboard.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,692
    edited February 2022
    mattmia2 said:
    Does it go back up and form a trap before it goes in to the dry return or does it just keep sloping down? 

    One of the 4 has a cute copper ptrap, the other are somewhat flat and no traps 
    new "quote" system is different??
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com