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Near boiler piping-equalizer

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jbouchard
jbouchard Member Posts: 5
Hi All,
First of all, I'm a big fan and thank you! We have a single pipe steam system and the Holohan books have really helped me understand, balance, and get our system working properly.
Issue: We just converted to gas. New boiler. The system was balanced before, but now 1/2 of the radiators do not heat up. I am attaching pics to help explain. The radiators that are not heating up are after the equalizer in the picture. That is the pipe that controls the radiators at the rear of the house.
Question: Does the equalizer return off of the header coming out of the boiler always have to be at the end of the line?
Basically what is happening based on a feel test is that the steam is coming out of the boiler and working well into the first pipe which goes to the front of the house. Those radiators are screaming with steam. But, in the secondary line which goes to the radiators that are not working, the steam gets up to the bend of that rear line and then the pipe gets cold.
I am suspecting that the steam is condensing and then returning through the equalizer.
Any thoughts?
Thanks,
JB


Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,153
    edited January 2023
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    I believe the equalizer must be located after all the risers to the mains. In this Figure 5 illustration there is only one main riser and it is located between the boiler riser and the 1-1.2" equalizer drop. There are no mention of additional risers. You need to go to other sources to find a piping diagram with 2 risers to 2 separate mains.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,429
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    The equalizer does have to be the last drop from the header, so it’s piped incorrectly. Additionally, the header doesn’t look to be 24” above the waterline. To be fair, there could be other reasons that main doesn’t get hot, but the equalizer/header height need to be addressed regardless. 
  • jbouchard
    jbouchard Member Posts: 5
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    Ok. That is what I am thinking too. I did review the manual that came with the boiler and it looks like the drop is 24' inches. In the manual they measure it from the bend in the header to the riser. Thank you for this information. I will mention it to the company when they come back to repipe.
    JB
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,429
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    The header height is measured from the waterline to the bottom of the header. The waterline in that boiler is 28-5/8 so the bottom of the header should be at least 52-5/8 from the floor, assuming the boiler wasn’t raised on anything. 
  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 433
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    What kind of main venting do you have at the ends of the two steam mains? And, are the steam mains insulated?
  • jbouchard
    jbouchard Member Posts: 5
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    Hi,
    The boiler is raised on a cement block. I can easily remeasure based on the specs you mentioned above Dany.
    Smith, in terms of venting, the main venting is with the big Gorton pancake looking things. I redid that after reading Holohans books. I also have mapped out and vented the individual radiators with Gorton valves based on their location within the system.
    As I mentioned before, the system was balanced and working well before the new boiler went in. I even tried removing the vents on the radiators which come from the second riser, but to no avail. They still remain cold.
    My best bet is that it is the equalizer.
    The company said they need to repipe and change the pitch, but I am thinking its the location of the equalizer and the steam is condensing and returning as it tries to go up that second riser.
    JB
  • jbouchard
    jbouchard Member Posts: 5
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    Also, yes, I insullated the mains.
  • jbouchard
    jbouchard Member Posts: 5
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    Thank you. Sucessful repiping and both sides of system work well.

  • TonKa
    TonKa Member Posts: 104
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    Just so you know, it's still not piped correctly. Your boiler risers go straight to the header without a 90 degree horizontal turn first to create the swing joints. No boiler made today should be piped that way even if the only issue is that it voids your warrantee.

    Look in the boiler install manual. There may be other requirements (pipe sizes, distances, header segment lengths, etc).
    Snowmelt
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,089
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    Is there only one boiler riser or two?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,737
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    if there is 1 riser I don't believe that new piping will be an issue