Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.

If you've found help here, check back in to let us know how everything worked out.
It's a great way to thank those who helped you.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

why do Honeywell vaporstats suck so badly?

gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
How come the new non mercury Honeywell vaporstats suck? why can't Honeywell make a simple switch that actually trips at 4 ounces when it says 4 ounces on the scale? why do the old black Honeywells work great when todays Honeywell vaporstats are pathetic? Is it because the company is ''to big to fail''..i'd love to see them go out of business and be replaced by a company that makes quality items..considering the cost of those vaporstats they should be dead nuts accurate..no excuses will be accepted! Lower the price to 10 bucks and maybe we can accept the terrible accuracy..i wouldn't hit a dog in the rump with a Honeywell vaporstat..junk..do i sound pissed?
gwgillplumbingandheating.com

Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

Comments

  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,626Member, Moderator, Administrator
    What are you seeing, Gerry?

    At what pressure is it tripping when you have it set to four ounces?
    Retired and loving it.
  • Do i sound pissed?

    You sure do, must be a bad day Gerry  ;-).



    I have a vaporstat the same,,, wanted-it to shut-off at 8oz.,, then start the burner at 4oz.,,, no way could I get-it to respond(comparing to a quality gage) ,,, ticks me-off too!



    I ALWAYS try to save my old mercury-ones.(as i`m sure you do) .



     We can only work with what we have available to us.  :-0
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    I have a test rig that uses a column of water,

    which i had to build so that i can ''set the device regardless of what the scale reads''..they may as well remove the scale entirely and tell you to play with the screws until you get it to work where you want it..i tested one today, and it was tripping off at 14'' when set at 4 ounces..set the differential at 2 ounces and the control never re-energized..unless i set both screws more towards the middle of the scale the control didn't respond correctly..whats most annoying is like Dave says, we reuse controls from the 30's & 40's that work great..weve been putting up with this for awhile now..thats what led Steve to his design..but his design is an expensive way to go..not justifiable on many of the budget jobs..is it to much to ask for a reasonably expensive control to actually do what its supposed to do..
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    p.s. i had one the other day

    that i installed to trigger a low fire valve, and the boiler went off on high limit first..the low fire vaporstat was set at half the ounces of the limit control..i took it off the boiler and was going to disect the piece of crap as i was furious..in the process i found a cap in the back which led me to this tiny screw which i started to play with and sure enough i was able to play with this screw which pushes on the switch and get it adjusted to trigger before the limit..this is a screw thats inside the unit and you need a jewlers screwdriver to access..i think the first guy they laid off at the factory was the quality assurance inspector..  :(
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Vaporstat

    Gerry- Once you reset them (regardless of the scale) do they maintain the settings?
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    yes,

    i guess i could give them that much credit..maybe the instructions should say to build a test rig and dial it in yourself!  ;)
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • GordoGordo Posts: 665Member
    Pressuretrols

    The new Honeywell non-Hg pressuretrols are basically just as accurate as the PA-404s at twice the price, and with a higher failure rate to boot.   Had one fail the other day within one week of field use.  The PA-404s are at least somewhat reliable.



    I've also found that the Hg vaporstats Honeywell put out just before they switched to the Hg-free type would become iffy below 8 oz. and simply not work below 6 oz.  I was very reluctant to field adj. them so as to not be feeding the lawyers. 



    And now the non-Hg vaporstats are even worse. 



    Gerry, should you and I go into the vapor pressure control business?  It looks like the market is wide open, since Moneywell  has dropped the quality of these controls below acceptable limits.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    I know!!

    if i were a controls company, like mercoid (hint hint) i'd be smelling opportunity.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • SteamHeatSteamHeat Posts: 132Member
    edited November 2009
    Timing Is Everything.

    I wish I saw this post before I bought a Honeywell vaporstat for my new boiler. I probably would have stuck with a regular pressuretrol.



    My pro has not installed the system yet. If I end up past the returns period for the vendor if it is defective, does Honeywell at least honor its warranty on the vaporstat?

     
  • GordoGordo Posts: 665Member
    edited November 2009
    We Tried a Mercoid

    Low pressure control on a vapor system, but it failed within a fortnight....not it's fault, really.  It just wasn't rated for it, for it had too much "pot metal" in the critical wetted areas around the diaphragm.   This is NOT meant as a criticism of Mercoid in any way!



    Mr. Gill, could you please send me a picture of your vaporstat testing set-up?   Thanks!



     
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • GordoGordo Posts: 665Member
    edited November 2009
    Keep the Vaporstat

    If that Vaporstat works, you will be better off with it than the notoriously inaccurate PA-404.  The problem is that the Vaporstat, so far as I know, is the only game in town for low pressure steam, and there is little economic incentive for Honeywell to make it as good as it should be.   They just cut too many corners, that's all.



    Corners are being cut everywhere.  All kinds of different controls, motors, pumps, etc. are failing right out of the box.   Every install we've done has had something fail.

    My personal favorite was the un-taped rear boiler section.  That was fun.



    I do hope you lucked into a reasonably good Vaporstat.  If not, as far as the warranty goes, it largely depends on your local rep or wholesaler.  
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    picture of my test rig.

    I hook up a multimeter set for continuity to the vaporstat terminals and mount the vaporstat to the left most 1/4 pipe..the plastic tube is 3/8 od clear tube on a standard plumbing straight stop that is how i measure the water column height (using a wooden ruler that i stand next to the tube. 1.75'' of water to one ounce). the third from the left valve is a hose bibb that i use to drain water down to test the differential setting..the far right valve is where i hook up a garden hose to supply the water...hope it helps..i also use this rig to test pressuretrol settings..i throw the tubing over a pipe in the customers basement ceiling.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • siemens controller

    what about this device, recommended by boiler dr?--nbcimage The Boiler Dr. October 22, 2008 @ 8:16 PM

    Contact this user Siemens RWF40Optimized temperature/pressure integrated electronic controller for use by OEM Good for multistage and modulating burners, easily integrated with outdoor sensors and building management systems. I was sold on the product because I was told I could set ultra low pressures. NOW, I am a believer. I actually had the controller set to modulate @ .2 psi. The building actually had heat in places where there hasn't been any for years. The burner idled at about 20% after a 23 minute warm up - 4 story 5946 EDR Installing 2 more boilers with the same control system and have solid orders pending for 2 additional units which may not happen until next year.
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    interesting,

    i've never heard of that unit..can you post more info about it? schematics and such?
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • edited November 2009
    RWF 40

    Gerry- Attached is the spec sheet.  I ran across it earlier this year. Interesting unit though way above my level of need - sort of like using turbo charged fuel injection on a lawn mower.

    I saved it because I was wondering if Siemens made a something like it for the residential steam level. I looked around on the internet but found it rather hard going  as it would help if one could read German which I don't. The RWF 40 unit runs about $1200 and this may have been the price before the dollar tanked.

    This brings up an interesting point, one which you might have some ideas about. What do the European steam boiler manufacturers like Veismann use on their boilers? Maybe the question is better phrased as, Are there European companies make residential steam boilers?  If so then maybe we can find out what they use for accurate pressure control.

    - Rod

    Edit: I looked on my old harddrive and I have the RWF40 user's manual if you are interested in that.
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Posts: 5,844Member
    Yeah, why not TEMPERATURE instead of pressure...

    Leave the un dependable, un reliable, totally archaic control in line to act as a code approved high limit, and install a set point controller down stream of that logic.



    You would definately need a sensor that was located within the steam drum to reflect correct and accurate operating conditions, but it seems to me that the control accuracy would be light years ahead of the mechanical, bellows activated controls that are subject to SO many fouling conditions...



    A simple tekmar 150 has a range to 239 degrees F, with a one degree F differential.



    I would bet you a box of donuts, if asked them, they could produce a unit with 1/2 degree differential...



    If the differential is split around the set point, and you set it to maintain 215 degrees F with a 2 degree F differential, it would MAKE at .1 PSI and break at 1.1 PSI



    This is a slideable scale. There is a +/- 1/2 degree F accuracy, but if you set it for a 1 degree F differential, it should be covered.



    Here is the spec sheet http://www.tekmarcontrols.com/prod/150.shtml



    For around 150 bucks, you get extremely accurate control...



    Coupled with their duct sensor http://www.tekmarcontrols.com/prod/083.shtml you could have the ultimate in steam temperature/pressure control.



    Of course, if it's electrical or mechanical, it IS subject to failure, but it HAS to be one heck of a lot more accurate then what is currently offered, NO?



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Temperature as a Control

    Mark- You make a very interesting point. I'm trying to think of what problems you might run into with this. Possibly changes in barometric pressure, differences in altitude and contaminated water which can raise or lower the boiling point and some things like barometric pressure are constantly varying, These can all be compensated  for however that would raise the cost of the control

    .

    It just seems to me that in this digital age, someone, somewhere puts out a better control than using the movement between two pieces of beer can to activate a mechanical switch.

    - Rod
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Posts: 5,844Member
    A beer can is a terrible thing....

    to waste :-)



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    edited November 2009
    Okay guys, here is our chance to make a difference..

    I talked with a gentleman who knows some of Honeywells engineers, and he is willing to take our issue with the vaporstats up with them, but what we need is documentation on specifics..thats all they will listen to..they won't react if we just sound off, tho they should..so if you could write up any instances of vaporstat problems preferably on your letterhead and e-mail them to me i will forward them on with my paperwork..be specific, such as model # such in such when set to 4 ounces actually was triggering at 12..you get the picture..okay guys..send them to me at [email protected]
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,405Member
    I suppose it's very un PC

    or something... at least not environmentally sound... but I love that old mercury switch, quietly tilting as the diaphragm expands on changing pressure... I can see the dang thing, and it works.



    But mercury is so bad for you!  Right...



    Glad I have one of the old ones.



    Now Gerry.  If you can get the price down on your magic toy, that's really the way to go!
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    I'm with you Jamie..

    The same mercury mom used to give to us to play with on the kitchen table..never broke a vaporstat bulb..funny how its now going into our light bulbs...ever break a light bulb? hmmm..strayed off subject..hehe..sure can't beat liquid metal...maybe we can get the cost of Steve's device down if we could get the raw parts directly from the manufacturer...might be worth looking into.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • jpf321jpf321 Posts: 1,551Member
    my vaporstat works/is calibrated out of the box.

    I just installed a new vaporstat (L408J1009) on Wednesday. Ordered it from partriot-supply via ebay. I have to say though that when the pressure is nearing trigger point, the pressure gauge really starts to bounce .. probably due to a rubber diaphram or something .. then as soon as it triggers the gauge needle really bounces a bit.



    I see the little brass screw that can be adjusted for calibration .. but mine didn't need it out of the box. Perhaps as time goes on, it may need adjustment.
    Entire Site | MAIN WALL | Strictly Steam | Off-Wall



    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm

    venting worksheet download | Lost Art Of Steam Heating | my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics | old patents | pipe size chart | Copper Size Chart: K,L,M

  • Mike40Mike40 Posts: 1Member
    Has anyone tried a t775U with a pressure transducer

     Has anyone tried a Honeywell T775u with a pressure transducer as an operating control?

     I have a vapor system in an apartment building the boiler has a burner capable of modulation is it worth modulating a burner on a vapor system, and has anyone tried a T775u with a pressure transducer and use the series 90 output to control a firing rate of a burner?
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,922Member
    Boilerpro is doing something

    with something along those lines he talked about in this thread. [url=http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/128430/Converting-a-Church-to-Hydro-HE-from-steam]http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/128430/Converting-a-Church-to-Hydro-HE-from-steam it really has peaked my interest.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Nick_CNick_C Posts: 19Member
    edited January 2010
    Vaporstat Adjustment

    I woke up this morning and my vents were absolutely hissing.  I normally operate a very quiet system around 2 oz of pressure (I changed from an oil to gas boiler last year and had it properly sized).  My vaportstat never kicks in (thermostat is temp satisfied before pressure builds), but I have it set to kick out at 8 oz and back in at 2 oz.  I went downstairs - my gauge was reading 14 oz of pressure.  WTF!  I played with the screws on top and realized I was having the same problem as gerry.

    Pig tail is fine (ie, not clogged - because the gauge is on the same tail with a T).  I had to really crank the top screw down to get it to trigger, and then it wouldn't re-energize.  Where is the adjustment screw that can make this p.o.s. work?  I would actually like this thing to work so that the few times a year I need it (coming on from a deep set back when out of town for a  few days, for example), it works.  Where is this special adjustment screw you speak of?
  • jpf321jpf321 Posts: 1,551Member
    how hard?

    just curious .. did your test rig reveal how hard a person (you) can blow? I'm interested in getting a rough idea of lung power...thanks
    Entire Site | MAIN WALL | Strictly Steam | Off-Wall



    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm

    venting worksheet download | Lost Art Of Steam Heating | my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics | old patents | pipe size chart | Copper Size Chart: K,L,M

  • did honeywell listen?

    was there any success in giving feedback to honeywell engineers about the vaporstat  accuracy problem?

    it seems to me that the alternative pressure control you invented could be the answer to these problems. maybe it could be less expensive if the water-column height were monitored by a light beam and photocell, similar to a bugler alarm.--nbc
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Posts: 2,620Member
    How hard, guessing

    Back when I was interested in how pipe organs worked, I found it was pretty easy to blow into an organ pipe (if it was not too big, where my volume would not be enough). These pipes run in the range of 2 to 6 inches of water pressure. There is one rank of pipes that runs at 50 inches of pressure at St. John the Devine in NYC, but I am sure they would not let you touch it. It is a bad idea to blow in organ pipes (can damage them). But anyway, blowing 6 inches of pressure is no problem.
This discussion has been closed.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!