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Added Vaporstat and low psi guage

rrg Member Posts: 37
Just wanted to say thank you for such a great site.

18yrs in this house and I finally started to take a real good look at the boiler.

It has always worked great but I finally got tired of the replacing the vents on rads.

The psi was set around 3-5psi on the old pressuretrol and every few years the vents would start hissing and spit water.

See the the before pic of the original boiler setup:

Next the after pic:

In series a new vaporstat, microswitch 408j1009 (steam) with the old pressuretrol. The setting are currently at the recommended start of 10 and 6 diff.

This was just installed and it appears to heat more effectively. Never reaches the old 5psi on the old 30psi guage. I now watch the smaller guage when I flip the valve open.

Yes I know the loops should be red brass but I could not find the same loop configuration because I like the water line to be in the middle of the loop. The old black iron was clogging up pretty bad.

It's also a millivolt system so any power outage is a none issue because of the pilot light. I will now take better care of the boiler because the new systems seem to require some power.

I improved my main venting as well with a new Gorton D valve that is 1/4 fitting. Next spring I plan to replace the hex bushing with a 1" x 3/4" and use a proper Gorton No.1 for further venting. I'm choosing not to make changes to this in the middle of winter.

I'm also planning to take apart the LWCO to clean it out. It's never been touched. The pipe union appears to be sweating or leaking ever so slightly that it leaves water Calcium buildup deposits. No drips of water.

I'm also using the steam master pellets.

thank you very much.


  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    Is that a microswitch Vaporstat?

    If it is, you're okay, but if it has a mercury switch, you need to orient the face of the control perpendicular to the loop of the pigtail.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • rrg
    rrg Member Posts: 37
    edited December 2013
    yes microswitch

    Yes, it's a new type microswitch vaporstat.

    With the loop in that position there is a slight tilt toward the middle and I suspect any moisture/condensation that does build up above the loop will drain back down.
  • why keep the pressurtrol?

    RRG, that looks great.

    I just ordered the Hoenywell L408J1009 for my one-pipe system, and I plan to install it next week. I have an old pressuretrol.

    I see in the various posts that people tend to keep the pressuretrol and wire it with the new vaporstat in series. Why? Do vaprostats have a high failure rate? I'd prefer a simple swap, and rather not mess with extra piping and Tees to pipe both of them. Is it worth the effort to have them both?
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,381
    Added safety

    Having another pressure device in series with the one that control the boiler just adds another layer of safety. Both vaporstats and pressuretrols are pretty reliable as mechanical devices go.

    BTW it's best to have the other pressuretrol on a separate pigtail and a different boiler tapping if possible. That way no single point of failure can cause you grief.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,907
    steamaster tablets

    Glad to see another person using steamaster treatment!
    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
  • Dean_7
    Dean_7 Member Posts: 192
    Vaporstat and pressure guage

    Here is another way to do this. The unions make it easy to take each part off individually if needed. And no that is not a galvanized union on the vaporstat it was the light.
  • rrg
    rrg Member Posts: 37
    edited January 2014
    Better Picture

    Here's a better picture with descriptions.

    I agree it was a small pain to add the correct pipes to do a series configuration.

    I had to order the cross pipe fitting in the middle because I could not find it locally.

    In the end I like the way it came out.

    I can swap the pressuretrol with the pilot safety switch when I clean out the LWCO.

    I also noticed there are no other openings to move the pressuretrol away from the same connection. I did see someone here use the top of the water glass fitting.

    I like the Steammaster tablets so I added them to the pic of what they look like.

    The arrow shows, after removing the relief valve I shoved the blue tablet down and plan to use one or two a season.

    CLICK picture to see bigger version.

    If you get a little orange X just click somewhere else on the pic and it does open.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787

    I have a union under my Pressuretrol, because the wire makes it impossible to unscrew, but under the gauge I have a shutoff valve. I didn't think a union was necessary there because it can be unscrewed easily, but I thought it would save wear and tear on my low-pressure gauge if I shut it off when I'm not reading it.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    I just noticed your near-boiler piping.

    It looks like you have a copper riser coming out of a tee connected to the nipple connected to the supply tapping, and the bottom of the tee connected to something--presumably the return leg?

    Utica boliers are very sensitive to improper near-boiler piping, and this is pretty improper. Are you having any wet steam issues?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • rrg
    rrg Member Posts: 37
    edited January 2014
    Copper riser

    Hap_Hazzard, great eye on the copper riser.

    I have learned from the site that a copper riser is controversial. For now everything works.

    The return leg around the basement is mostly iron but does convert to copper just before it connects back into the system.

    I don't know how to check for wet steam.

    I did have problems with all vents spitting water from time to time in the past when the boiler pressuretrol was set high around 3-5 psi.

    I do plan to insulate soon.

    It's funny the more you learn the longer the to-do list gets.

    Thanks again for the great site.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    Near-boiler piping.

    Actually, the part of the return that's below the water line is one of the places where you can use copper, and many pros use it because it's less prone to rusting.

    But the part I was referring to was where the pipe goes from the bottom of the tee to what I assume is the pipe connected to the return tapping at the bottom of the boiler, often called the "mud leg." That shouldn't be connected directly like that. There should be a header at the top of the boiler riser that connects to the system riser(s) which are connected to the main(s), and then turn down to an equalizer that is connected to the return. The purpose of the header is to slow down the steam to allow water to fall out and return to the boiler.

    The way your boiler is piped might work okay if the velocity is low enough, because the long vertical rise allows the water to settle, but if the velocity is too high it won't do that. The water droplets get blown right up into your main and distributed to the radiators with the steam. This is called wet steam.

    Symptoms of wet steam include water leaking from vents, water hammer, fluctuating water level, excessive water contamination and high fuel bills.

    The water can damage the vents and shorten their lives. The water hammer can drive you bonkers and eventually damage the piping and radiators as well as vents. The fluctuating water level (the water in the boiler being several inches lower mid-heating cycle than between cycles) can shorten the life of the boiler.

    If you're not seeing any of these symptoms then you can probably let it be until the inevitable leaks appear in the copper piping, but I'm guessing that with only one riser connected, you're probably getting significant carryover into your system.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24