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Pipes banging after new steam boiler install

13

Comments

  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    @KC_Jones I can tell you there is NOTHING normal or easy with my house. I’ve driven my father n law nuts doing projects around the house. They tore up the kitchen floor to add the main out there I will add a vent when I redo the kitchen.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,555

    @KC_Jones I can tell you there is NOTHING normal or easy with my house. I’ve driven my father n law nuts doing projects around the house. They tore up the kitchen floor to add the main out there I will add a vent when I redo the kitchen.

    A vent is a maintenance item.
    It needs to be inspected from time to time and even replaced if it stops sealing or venting.

    like a Studor vent, steam vents have no business being buried under a floor or in a wall.

    Do what you can to ultimately get the vent into a serviceable location. Run 1" pipe back into the basement etc, but it'll need to be pitched back to the main to allow proper draining.

    I'm not there, so I can't see what's best, other than please don't bury a vent.
    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
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    @ChrisJ I will put a access door if I have to it’ll come in handy for plumbing as well.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,259
    Sounds like a converted porch not originally part of the main house.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    mattmia2
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    It’s an edition to the main house. They had no way to get back there to dig anything out so they built it without access.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,555

    It’s an edition to the main house. They had no way to get back there to dig anything out so they built it without access.


    I understand this isn't part of the problem at hand but you have me curious.
    Why couldn't they dig any?
    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
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,271
    ChrisJ said:

    It’s an edition to the main house. They had no way to get back there to dig anything out so they built it without access.


    I understand this isn't part of the problem at hand but you have me curious.
    Why couldn't they dig any?
    Probably could not fit a machine back there. and even low cost labor to hand dig might have been too expensive ...or the contractor didn't think of low cost labor to hand dig.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,555

    ChrisJ said:

    It’s an edition to the main house. They had no way to get back there to dig anything out so they built it without access.


    I understand this isn't part of the problem at hand but you have me curious.
    Why couldn't they dig any?
    Probably could not fit a machine back there. and even low cost labor to hand dig might have been too expensive ...or the contractor didn't think of low cost labor to hand dig.

    All of my foundations and the basement were hand dug.
    I don't think many were afraid of manual labor back then.
    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
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,259
    I guess Chris's confusion is the same as mine. This is in PA, there is a frost line, has to have been some kind of digging to put in the foundation. IF there is no foundation that's a much bigger problem in my mind. I've seen it done around here, but it's not right.

    It is presented as a wood framed floor, so that means there is something under that as it can't be on the dirt. I have seen plenty of weird stuff, but an inaccessible crawl space would definitely be a new one on me.

    All that said, PA didn't have state wide building codes until 2003, so the crazy would not surprise me.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    They have a stone foundation there but for whatever reasons they didn’t dig out anything else. I’m in Lancaster county so back then nothing surprises me. I have a very small opening for the pipes to run through but I’d never fit through it even without the pipes.
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    The contractor came this morning we had a discussion about what’s was going on and this is what he added and changed. I no longer have hammering , banging or other noises and can no longer hear any water sloshing in the pipes. Every radiator gets hot and more the radiators are hot compared to the old boiler.




  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,655
    Why do all that work on a callback and still not bother opening the manual?
    CLamb
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,654
    @Truckermike , that's better but it's still not right. What part of Lancaster County are you in?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,555
    That boiler piping....................


    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
    mattmia2
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,259
    The question I have for the guys doing the work, why put the effort into making it wrong?

    The exact analogy here is the tow truck showed up and changed the flat tire, to a flat tire.

    It's still wrong, but it's your house to do what you will.

    He could not, absolutely could not band aid it like this to get it right. He needed to rip out everything he did as nothing was correct. It's sad to see all this money and time wasted.

    Personally I wouldn't have let him take a wrench to it until I had it in writing he was going to pipe to spec, starting with showing me the 2 1/2" pipe and fittings as that is what is specified in the manual. Which, I'd bet money, he never purchased and probably won't ever purchase.

    I'm not trying to beat you up here, but the lack of banging shouldn't be the only criteria. You should heat up in a few minutes, keep the house warm, and not cost you a fortune to run. I'm pretty confident in saying this system won't check any of those boxes.

    Send him a link to this thread, we can educate him. Or inform him he should never quote another steam boiler ever, until he either chooses to do it correctly, or chooses to learn to do it correctly.

    I knew it was bad in our area, just didn't realize how bad. It's just sad he can't understand an actual picture of the piping, actually it's sad at a level I can't even put into words.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    It is heating up pretty quick I didn’t time it yet but I will. It might not be perfect but it’s a lot better then it was. It was short cycling for the last couple weeks today It cycled twice before shutting down after reaching the temp.
    CLamb
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,259
    It also appears the pressurtrol is set way too high. That should be as low as it can go, appears to be at the max. If you are hitting that safety, you are surely wasting a ton of fuel/energy.


    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    It’s back down to .5 I had it up last night.
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    Without coming at me about the piping I have some questions. I’m getting heat to every radiator they aren’t getting completely hot so with that said I’m adding pictures of my mains.
    1. Should I add Groton #2 vents?
    2. If so where should I add them?
    3. What I’ve noticed since they got the piping better is my basement is warm as hell so I’m going to insulate the pipes to get the hat to stay in the pipes longer. I also notice my downstairs is warmer then my upstairs. I had the basement door open but shut it to keep it from not allowing the furnace kick on. I was thinking because the basement is so warm am I radiating that much heat through the floor which is keeping the thermostat at the set temp?
    4. Do I need to get new valves and adjust them to allow more heat into the upstairs and less into the downstairs? The main that goes out under the kitchen drops down from 2” main to it looks like 3/4 or 1” inch pipe that goes to the last two radiators.





  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,259
    You need venting.  You could start with adding one where that hot water component is now.  Towards or at the end of main would be good too, but it seems you don’t have a place for them, so maybe hold back for now as that would require piping changes to add them.

    You may need more than 1 vent in that location, but can start with 1, to at least have something.

    I will say, adding the vent and getting the steam moving, may have unintended consequences and bring other issues to light, or even get it moving enough to cause banging again because of the wet steam you are most likely producing.  Or nothing may happen, it’s a crap shoot.

    To my knowledge they don’t make adjustable valves anymore so you are basically stuck there since someone mistakenly replaced them with the wrong valves at some point.  To balance things out you’ll have to work with what you’ve got, or possibly explore revamping it to an orifice set up, but you need someone knowledgeable to do that.  Not sure how well throttling with a standard valve will work, it’s just not what they are designed to do.

    Anything you do, to an extent, will be a bandaid, or lipstick on a pig so you speak.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 486
    edited November 20
    Insulating the steam carrying pipes will save considerable fuel, reduce the heat in the basement and deliver more steam to your radiators, and should help with the 1st/2nd floor imbalance as well. The rest of the balancing is about venting.

    there is no need to insulate the condensate return pipes.

    Bburd
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,655
    The returns at the boiler that were connecting below the water line and now are above the water line will put steam from the mains in the returns early in the cycle and keep some air from venting and some radiators from heating.

    With the radiators and the metering valves missing you have 2 options, either put orifice plates in the inlet or put steam traps on the outlet. The steam passing through the radiators and in to the returns will also stop other radiators from heating.
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    edited November 24
    I added two Groton #2 where they put the water valve. Insulated my pipes ( feeling like I wasted money at this point) but I wanted to get the heat out of the basement. Throughout the week my wife was hearing the ocean in the pipes again not much else maybe some tinging but mostly ocean. I ran it after I got everything on yesterday and I’m still not getting heat to the last 2 radiators of my longest run. Got fed up and called it a night. Tried again this morning and I noticed as it’s going along I’m not getting heat going into the radiator but the return line is getting hot. I’m getting beyond frustrated at this point. Is it possible that during the week with no venting that it back’s itself up with these two radiators not being able to move steam through the whole system?
  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 70
    Untill the near boiler piping is installed as the manufacturer of the boiler designed (and instructed ) it to be installed, you are just spinning wheels.

    If the supply piping is full of water, it wont allow steam to reach radiators.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,259
    You should not be getting water into the main at all.  If you are the boiler piping is to blame.

    If you are getting steam into the return it means somewhere the path of least resistance is for the steam to flow backwards into the return.  If the steam is trying to go through the return piping and the supply piping, at some point it’s going to trap a cushion of air between the two flows and stop.  I’d speculate that’s happening towards the end of the mains, which would explain your inability to get those radiators to heat.

    I know you asked to not comment on the boiler piping, but honestly the installer has screwed you really bad.  I’d be exploring legal action at this point, or at least telling them that and see if they react to it.  You’ve paid a pretty penny for work that is flat out wrong, not off, not sort of right, it is absolutely without question wrong.  They should either fix it right (I’m pretty sure they aren’t capable of that), or refund all their labor cost.  Then you could explore hiring someone competent to pipe the boiler.  The person you hired should not be working on steam, ever again.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    edited November 24
    I know the piping is wrong but thought with what they did last time after venting would help at least a little bit. I disconnected the return on the radiator and got a good amount of water out I thought it was from the radiator above it but I’m thinking it was from the steam pushing it from under the floor. And still got nothing at the valve. The last radiator was heating the radiator from the return towards the valve. I’ll give the contractor a call tomorrow and see what their next actins are going to.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 655
    Two wrongs don't make a right. He added pipe (second wrong) but didn't fix the piping. When having issues with a new steam boiler you always make sure that you have the near boiler piping correct. Your just chasing your tail if you don't. You just can't move past the near boiler problem. everything starts there. That's why we stress that the near boiler be done correctly from the start.

    You see the thing with steam is that the problem is not always at the location of the issue. That's just the symptom. the noise or lack of heat at a radiator is not where the problem is. It's the result of a bad installation. It's like jacking up the pressure on the pressutrol. All of a sudden you have spitting radiator air vents and banging pipes. As kc has said fix the near boiler piping. The sad part of this is that the hard wok has already been done. Doing the demo, getting the new boiler in the basement, and doing the clean up is all the hard labor. Assembling the boiler piping is the easy part.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,334
    edited November 24
    the only one that wins is the one who can afford the higher priced Lawyer!
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,259
    I truly think he either won’t do a proper job, or is incapable of doing a proper job, either way you are stuck with an improper job that won’t be fixed by him.

    Start the conversation with this.  The boiler HAS to be piped with 2 1/2” pipe, period.  Ask him flat out if he’s willing to do that, which is proper, and that will be all you need to know.  No means he is refusing to do a proper job that he was paid for.

    If you had a truck route to deliver to Texas, could you say “no I’m delivering it to Oklahoma.”?  Of course you can’t.  He delivered your Texas load to Oklahoma and thinks you should just accept it.  Honestly, he’s a thief plain and simple.

    If he wants to learn, that needs to happen before he starts installing boilers, not during or after.  In this case it feels like he has zero desire to actually learn, if he did, he would rip out all his piping (because it’s 100% wrong), start over and do it right.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    I just wanted to enjoy not having oil to deal with and have a warm winter with a new furnace. I’m tired of stressing out while I’m o the road and my wife is home dealing with ocean pipes and no heat. I know she’s ready to flip **** on these guys as well.
    ChrisJ
  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 70
    This is simply unacceptable piping. It will trap condensate on the upstream side of the piping. It can not drain back past the copper.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,555
    I just wanted to enjoy not having oil to deal with and have a warm winter with a new furnace. I’m tired of stressing out while I’m o the road and my wife is home dealing with ocean pipes and no heat. I know she’s ready to flip **** on these guys as well.
    Well
    I guess you could do like KC, @ethicalpaul and my self did and just do it your self.

    As ridiculous as it is sometimes that's easier and I have no idea why.  It shouldn't be that way.


    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
    109A_5CLamb
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,655

    Tried again this morning and I noticed as it’s going along I’m not getting heat going into the radiator but the return line is getting hot. I’m getting beyond frustrated at this point. Is it possible that during the week with no venting that it back’s itself up with these two radiators not being able to move steam through the whole system?

    mattmia2 said:

    The returns at the boiler that were connecting below the water line and now are above the water line will put steam from the mains in the returns early in the cycle and keep some air from venting and some radiators from heating.

  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    @mattmia2 he did bring the lines back down to below the water line. Are they still not right?
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,334
    There are press fittings for steam but unfortunately those are not the ones.

    I wouldn't even allow them back to correct that mess. Find a different steam contractor!

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,806
    Not to beat the subject ,a improperly piped steam boiler will never produce dry steam as it should it will forever make wet steam . Costing more to operate and giving less of the desired results ,quite heating, lower fuel bills . Now even though He ‘s a young guy just starting out it’s not a real excuse being he has gotten paided for half assed non professional job . Now you can fiddle around for a decade on that boiler until it s time to replace or really bite the bullet and get it re done properly . No good will come from operating a boiler piped completely incorrect over time all that wet steam being tossed up in to the steam mains will start to grove the bottom of your piping And create leaks on the thinnest part of the pipe the bottom and where the thread is cut ,you will be in time making repairs and replacing sections of pipe . I know this because I ve been doing this for over 30 years and have nothing to gain in being a alarmist or lying just laying the truth down . Weather or not it s that kids first .or last steam boiler he ever installs he needs to read directions which he clear does not do . I find it insane that guys do work that’s they are clearly not skilled or tooled To do .. I personally stick to one or two mantras stick to what you know and are good at and never lie about what you’re capable of doing . Your contractor has failed the 2 primary rules instead focusing on the $ . Just follow the piping diagram And repipe it your self being there seems to Be no one In your area w the required knowledgeable or skill set . I do simple change out s in an day usually and never encounter or put my customer through the bull you have been going through .in all honesty you really need a new contractor . On a smaller note a standards replacement boiler entails some new main vents and all new radiator vents no exception it’s part of getting a new steam boiler those contractors who do not replace mains and rad vents are short changing the customers and the performace of the system . Nothing last forever including main and radiator vents and in not replacing and up dating them performace suffers . Mis piped boiler producing wet steam do not let vents live a long fruitful lifespan only become water logged .
    Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    Truckermike
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    edited November 25
    A couple questions. I did a very detailed picture of the last two radiators on the longest main the top one being the last radiator. I wanted to know since I have no access to my main could I put some type of air vent on the return from one them to help get the steam through the them better? They are heating up but the top one isn’t getting completely hot it’s only about 1/4 to not quite 1/2. The Groton valves are making everything else heat up great but wanted to know if I could do more. The other pictures are from the water return. Why are they getting hot right away then they will cool off after the furnace runs a few minutes.


  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,016
    that relocated copper, across your sightglass, is most likely STILL your problem,
    it's still at, very at, your water line, (was above previously)
    it's no better there than where it got relocated from,
    it needs to go to the floor, then come back up to a return connection,
    from the dry return and its vent, straight down to the floor first, then back to where it's connected now.
    known to beat dead horses
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,655
    The loop should be a certain amount or more below the water line. Others will know what that distance is.
    If the water line falls or if there is any pressure difference between the supply and return the steam can push through that water seal and get into the return and close the vent before the system has vented. Was the boiler skimmed after the new piping was added again> surging will take water out of the boiler and put it in the mains. Your header leaves any water that leaves the boiler no place to go but in to the mains.




    The returns should connect something like this:



    Anyplace in the system that has return connections from the main should be checked to make sure it is far enough below the water line.

    The hot water vent never closed so it kept venting after the steam reached it, it was leaking water from the system in the form of steam but it was also eventually letting the air out with the leaking steam.

    You have several things that are very incorrect, you will need to fix those to get the system to work correctly.

    The order of connection to the header is wrong too, the equalizer has to connect after the main and the risers have to connect before the main so that liquid water moves pas the main connections and to the equalizer and back in to the return.


    realliveplumber
  • Truckermike
    Truckermike Member Posts: 43
    @mattmia2 it was skimmed a couple times since installed. They did improve it from what it was but needs to go lower ok thank you.