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Steam Piping

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EStark
EStark Member Posts: 18
Wanted to figure out what was needed in a system to work. Are my 2 returns needed one pipe to radiators mains loop the basement on both sides with risers to radiators pipe for each a few have been removed lines capped. Water added  manually to system when low in site glass and  boiler not connected to hot water tank. I'd like to remove the return under the stairs. thanks no problems other than the radiator in pic leaks abit but i believe that is because my floor slants away from pipe still need to put a level on it by eye it looks low. Also only line out of basement comes from cold crawl space of addition. I think that's it sorry new home owner.

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  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    Oh can a pigtail be cleaned or just replaced? not sure of maintenance done to system,. stuff I should be doing to maintain system?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    edited December 2022
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    The boiler is piped horrifically poorly. That LWCO should be "blown down" every week or so and probably hasn't been for probably 10 years. There is obvious neglect, the spiders tell the tale. You should look on the Find a Contractor tool on this site to find a good steam professional to give it a going-over, then after that you can worry about ongoing maintenance items.

    The pigtail can be cleaned and yes that's one of the many things that should be performed.

    Those are my opinions as a steam homeowner.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    mattmia2
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    I've been taking water out of the system and added new to get the crud out but not done a full flush and yes not evicted the spiders yet
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    Oh the boiler is not original to the pipes old boiler is still in basement part of why I was asking about pipes don't believe pipes are right for this one and don't think the person who replaced it really cared
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    The system pipes look like they are more or less ok, whoever replaced the boiler didn't know what they were doing and the boiler piping is very wrong. There are a number of safeties on the boiler that should be tested, that is why a competent tech should look at it.
    ethicalpaul
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    Should I raise it ,any other ideas for making near boiler piping better 
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
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    it's not just your header height,
    you don't seem to have an equalizer,
    which makes your steamer a water pump,
    and if there was an equalizer,
    your system "riser", which should be both or all mains coming down on their own to header,
    your system riser is between the 2 boiler risers, and that, also makes your steamer a (wet steam) water pump,
    you seem to know your header is too low,
    do you have your manual ?
    and do you see the piping descrepancies also?
    known to beat dead horses
    mattmia2
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    No I don't have a manual ,can't find my model on manufacturer website 
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    Ya I've been watching videos, been trying to figure out what was done here ,is a wet steam system a thing the way it should be ?
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
    edited December 2022
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    EStark said:

    Ya I've been watching videos, been trying to figure out what was done here ,is a wet steam system a thing the way it should be ?

    No,
    wet steam is your enemy,
    poor performance ,
    poor efficiencies,
    noisey pipes,
    noisey vents,
    rads that don't heat,

    I forget,
    what issues are you having?
    known to beat dead horses
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
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    I don't even know really where to start.

    My first concern, and it's a big one, is that judging by the cobwebs the low water cutoff may not have been blown down since Noah took a cruise. That is a good, reliable, low water cutoff, but not if it's not maintained -- and I am concerned that it may be stuck in the up position. That would mean that it would not shut off the boiler if the water level dropped too low. Best case -- cracked boiler. Worst case? Let's not talk about it.

    There is a valve on the bottom of the low water cutoff. Or at least there should be. Try opening fully. Water -- probably very cruddy water -- should come out in some good quantity. More important, if you do this with the boiler operating, the boiler should shutoff.

    If no water, or very little, comes out, or if the boiler does not shut off. that low water cutoff needs to be taken apart and cleaned. In the meantime, turn the boiler off and leave it off until you can get a qualified tech. out there to service it. This is a critical safety control.

    As to the rest of it, as has been said the near boiler piping is completely wrong, but we can worry about that later.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    bburd
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    Low water shut off works tested it by opening valve with boiler running ,the boilers not been the main source of heat for a few years now ,just bought the house but have been living here for some time, heat pumps where installed about 5 years ago 3 of them 1 on 2nd floor and 2 on main level ,have two rooms in the house that don't have rads or air flow from the heat pumps so they have propane heaters try to keep the door open so these don't run so much get heat from adjoining room ,I like using the steam heat to get the chill out of the house then let the heat pumps maintain though out the day so boiler runs about 2 times a day ,but I've not got my first bills yet so I don't even know the cost between the electric and the oil or which one is better...just was paying rent heat was included ,don't believe the boiler is cracked I've not seen a big loss in water ,been running more lately just to watch it see what it does make a few tweaks here and there ,I got the water from the blow off drain to run clean after some time 
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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     some testing I found last in 06 but I know someone has looked at it in the last 8 years or less but not in at least 4 
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    badges I could find
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    Here's the manual on your boiler -

    Bob

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    EStark
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    The boiler has no tag saying what it is other than smith so not sure where they got 8 series from
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,478
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    I own a smith g8 and yours looks just like mine.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    Any reason for the 90s at the top of the risers
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,425
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    It’s called a swing joint. If you didn’t use them, you would have a crowbar effect between your sections/risers/header, like you current setup. 
    mattmia2Long Beach Ed
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,204
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    As Mr. Scully says, swing joints allow for movement. The steel piping and the cast iron boiler expand at different rates when heated. By having piping that can absorb movement, stresses on the castings are reduced, avoiding cracking.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
    edited December 2022
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    They also allow the steam to feed into the header from the side rather than from the bottom, which means any condensation/carryover in the header will flow out the side back into the boiler through the equalizer, rather than being tempted to flow back down the supply lines.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    Maybe this is why I have no banging with it the way it is, also pic of old boiler for those who like that kind of stuff 
  • EStark
    EStark Member Posts: 18
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    So the leaking rad is not only at the valve its also somewhere below the floor as I have steam coming out the pipe hole ....this is the cold crawl space one not looking forward to having to go in there...
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
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    There may be a failed vent down there.