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Returns a bit dirty......

adamfre
adamfre Member Posts: 122
Good thing they are getting replaced. Check out the pic. :smile:
Just want to stay warm in the winter. :D

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,771
    I'd say it's time.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,495
    I wonder where all that solid deposit came from.
    Was there constant makeup water bringing calcium into the system?
    Certainly shows the importance of blowing down those returns.--NBC
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,011
    Yup, like Steamhead said, its time for replacement. Good call on that.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • adamfre
    adamfre Member Posts: 122
    This system had been abused through lack of maintenance for quite a while. The fun part will be replacing the buried returns in the crawl. Not much room to dig them out, so I think I am going to try to use a borit tool to bore in the new pipe from the basement into the crawl, stay tuned to see how that turns out....
    Just want to stay warm in the winter. :D
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,708
    If you are replacing them do you need to keep them buried?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • adamfre
    adamfre Member Posts: 122
    I need to keep the return beneath the waterline of the boiler, so yes. To compound the issue I have in floor radiators mounted beneath my floor joists, causing my "A dimension" to be pretty tight, preventing me from moving the waterline up by installing the boiler higher or creating a false water line.
    Just want to stay warm in the winter. :D
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,495
    Why not make the new return dry, and then drop down to the floor as it exits the crawl space?--NBC
  • adamfre
    adamfre Member Posts: 122
    @nicholas bonham-carter , I don't think I can, my system is an old two pipe air vent design, each return has to connect beneath the boilers water line..?? I think Dan has an illustration showing this on page 125 of his 'The Lost Art of Steam Heating' book.
    Just want to stay warm in the winter. :D
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,714
    So would a new dry return work if traps were added at each rad...or even less money...... inlet orifices in each supply valve. Air vents on the dry return of course.
    A dry return is a happy return and would make for an even happier pipefitter. IMO
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,495
    The orifices would keep the amount of steam down in the rad, so I thought the dry return solution would work.--NBC
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 743
    Yep, If this is two pipe orifices make a lot of sense on nearly all old systems. They will allow you to adjust the radiation size down to the current heat loss, typically allowing you to install a much smaller boiler that runs much more regularly. This gives you a nice boost in efficiency.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,771
    This is "two-pipe air-vent", so the usual rules of two-pipe don't necessarily apply. Adamfre, the main difference between the two is that the usual two-pipe system vents air from the radiators into the dry return along with the condensate (water) and out a central air vent in the basement. On your system, which is an earlier design, the returns only handle condensate and the air is vented at the radiators.

    Switching the system to the later two-pipe configuration might work if there is enough height between the boiler's waterline and the lowest point on the new dry return. You need at least 30 inches, more if you can get it. Then you'd orifice all the steam inlet valves, install a Vaporstat to keep the pressure low and you'd be good to go.

    But the simplest way is just to replace the returns as they lie. I wouldn't bury them unless there's no other way, as when running past a door.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • adamfre
    adamfre Member Posts: 122
    Thanks for the info @Steamhead . The only reason I am considering burying the returns in the front of the house is because it's the only way I can keep them wet. (Half the house is over a basement, half over a 24" - 30" crawl) If I lay them out on the ground it will work fine in the basement, but will put 30' of return that goes out across the crawl space above the waterline. I don't think raising the waterline is an option because it will put the in floor radiators well within the 'A dimension'. Unless I am understanding this wrong, I'm doomed to trying the Borit tool, and a lot of digging :o

    Attached is pics from the weekend, removing the old boiler.





    Just want to stay warm in the winter. :D
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,714
    I have come very close to seeing a pipe or tool stuck into the open electrical panel. I always made a policy to keep the cover on panels. Pipefitters and plumbers are especially at risk. :|
    adamfre
  • adamfre
    adamfre Member Posts: 122
    Good point @JUGHNE. The cover is on it now. In those shots I had not cut power over to it yet. Back in the day I had an experience with a power factor correction cabinet that 'welded' the importance of keeping cabinets closed and covers installed into my subconscious (and I'm lucky that's all it did)
    Just want to stay warm in the winter. :D
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,714
    Those welding events are forever burned (sometimes literally)into your survival instincts.

    Glad you got things covered!
    SWEI