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New Steam boiler issues
I am a plumber with 40+ years experience installing boilers but I’m stumped and am asking for help resolving new install issues.
A customer came to me and asked for a price to replace a leaking 25 yr old 88 series Weil McClain steam boiler serving an apt house. He also requested that I reuse a 1 yr old gas Powerflame burner.
I surveyed the apts, counted radiators, and determined that the existing boiler was twice as big as the attached load. I recommended a Smith 19-6, explained to the customer that he might also require a feed water tank with pump if the boiler had low water/flooding issues. I received the project and replaced the boiler.
Just in case I needed to add a feed water tank after the install, I used a 150 lwco/pump control with an electronic feeder and time delay to prevent flooding instead of a 51-2.
The original near boiler piping had the header take-offs between the boiler risers which I corrected in the new installation
Due to potential flooding of the boiler area, I raised the boiler up on blocks. This brought me to 22” from the waterline to header, so I installed drop L risers to increase the height and create drier steam.
My 3” risers and 4” header feed the original 5” header and I corrected the Hartford loop height.
Upon firing the original burner, I discovered that the installed orafice actually supplied less mbh that my new boiler( indirectly confirming the required load). I corrected the firing rate and placed the boiler on line.
The boiler fires with a steady waterline, no surging, however as it steams, the waterline drops until it goes into low water condition. After about 30 seconds the water level rises, the burner fires, and the cycle repeats. After several cycles, it does make pressure.
Now the fun part…. Obviously the short cycling needs to be corrected. Is the boiler water backing out into the wet returns, is the boiler steaming out the water into the system, or am I getting a false water line in the front section?
Adding to the fun is the fact that even under pressure, only half the building is getting hot (directly as divided by the header steam takeoffs). I replaced 4 main air vents and the steam main now gets hot but not pushing steam to the upper floors even after several hours of running.
Are the 2 conditions related? I appreciate all feedback to the attached photos and video..
Note****. I can not get video to post. The total cycle from burner firing, to low water condition, to water level rising back up, to burner again firing is 2 1/2 minutes.
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