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    New System but short Cycling (27 Posts)

  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 1:58 PM
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    New System but short Cycling

    I just had a new Burnham IN5 unit stalled. I sized all my rads and the installer confirmed with his measurements. The new unit has one header up to riser split into 2 mains. Each main is insulated, still need to insulate the new riser/headers and loop.
    Started the new gas boiler and the unit stops after 20 mins then started up again within 3 mins. the mains were hot but the rads were not. after the second cycle, the rads got hot and the termostats reached temp and shut the unit off.
    Happened again the next day. I made adjustments to the temptrol with sub diff. to 1.5 psi main and 1 psi diff.
    My question concerns the main vents. New vents were installed., each on the 2 mains.  Vent-rite 33. They are convector vents rated to 6 psi. I calculated the  2 mains to .8 and .6 cf. Can't find out how to convert this to vent capacity. So is this ok? It hasn't been cold here in Massachusetts, but want to get the system ready.
    I can post pics later when i get home. So any additional info can be get. Just wondering if my install went well. Thanks in advance.
  • conversiontime conversiontime @ 3:05 PM
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    Gorton 2 is a good main vent

    Not familiar with the ventrite 33 but Gorton 2 as my main vents made a huge differences. I suggest looking at those for your mains.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 3:14 PM
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    auto fill?

    What type of auto fill device was installed? There is a type that shuts the boiler off to check the water level. I really don't like them at all!
    As for your vent... I don't find a Vent Rite 33, but there is a Vent Rite 35 listed. At 1 oz pressure it vents 0.110 cfm. A Hoffman 75 vents at 0.5 cfm, and a Gorton 2 vents at 1.10 cfm.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 4:13 PM
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    Main vents

    Hey Dave, can you tell me where you got the vent capacity rating from? Does the vent rating you state per 1 oz mean i have to multiply by my set psi to get the right size of main vent. Or as long as the value at 1 oz exceeds the cfm of pipe I am good?

    One more thing, my main vents are located at the end of the dry pipe, at least 15 feet from the last rads and just before the certical drop to the boiler. I will post pics tonight for clarification. Thanks.
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 4:47 PM
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    Besides venting

    I'm willing to bet you need to beef up your venting big time. But besides that, I'm also willing to bet that new IN5 has a Cycleguard low water cutoff. This will shut the burner off occasionally to test for foaming.

    I would recommend setting yourself up with a quality 3PSI WIKA gauge so you can see what is going on and after that you will likely be installing a bunch of Gorton #1 or a few Gorton #2 main vents.

    Personally, I found a Gorton #5 is a good starting place for venting rads. Most of mine have #5s while some have 4s or 6s and some even Cs depending on length of pipe and size of rad. But I found the #5 to be a decent speed for most of my rads.

    When my boiler is hot, as in has been on in the past hour or two, I can get steam to my radiators (first section hot) within 5 minutes or less.
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. Using Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment to greatly reduce corrosion in the boiler.


    Boiler pictures.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
    This post was edited by an admin on October 3, 2013 4:49 PM.
  • BobC BobC @ 6:55 PM
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    vents

    Under the shop header you will find books on sale, there is a Balancing Steam offering that lists the common radiator and mains venting capacities. If you buy the Greening Steam book it includes that information and a lot more.

    You would like to vent the air out of the mains in a couple of minutes so the Ventrites you have will take about 7 minutes to vent 0.8 cu ft, a Gorton #1 (or Maid o mist #1) would vent that main in a little over 2 minutes.

    Post some pictures of your boiler and the piping so we have a good idea of what you have.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @76,700 BTU, Single pipe steam


    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in


    3PSI gauge
    This post was edited by an admin on October 3, 2013 6:56 PM.
  • MarkS MarkS @ 7:09 PM
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    If you do have a CycleGard

    Caveat: the opinions that follow are those of an informed homeowner, not a pro. Your mileage may vary.

    If your new boiler does, in fact, have a CycleGard LWCO installed, and you are conscientious about checking your water level on a regular basis, then ditch the CycleGard and replace it with a SafeGard, which doesn't shut off the boiler periodically to check water level.

    When my boiler was replaced in '09 it came with a CycleGard. I found that each time it shut down the burner to check for foaming, it took three minutes or more to re-establish steam pressure. Shutdowns every 10 minutes over a 40-50 minute heating cycle mean more money up the chimney and not in your radiators. I'm pretty diligent about boiler maintenance, and replaced the CycleGard within a month.

    On the other hand, if your expectations of your heating system are in the "set it and forget it" camp (which I doubt given your interest in venting), then leave the CycleGard in place. It will give you peace of mind, but at the expense of higher fuel costs.
    Homeowner, Royersford PA | 1890 one-pipe steam system | 3009 sf | 3 floors | 14 radiators | Utica SFE5200S boiler
    NEW Midco LNB-250 Modulating Gas Burner | EcoSteam modulating controls | 70 to 300 MBH |
    607 sf EDR connected load | Operating pressure: 0.5 oz/in2
    Four main runs (insulated) totaling 135 ft in length | All Gorton vents on mains & rads |
    A Steam Odyssey | Odyssey 2 | A Steam Enthusiast's Outdoor Reset Control
  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 8:08 PM
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    Pics of new system

    Attached are some pics of the new system. I do have a cycleguard lwco attached, and I do check water level during the winter every day or so. The old boiler was original converted to gas system, so i got in the habit of checking everything.

    The pics are of the new riser/header and main, the whole system and the returns. I confirmed the main vents to be vent-rite 33's. I have access to some piping so I have already started to build an antler for new, bigger, more main vents.

    At this point just trying to see what I will need in the way of main vents. My old system would 45 mins on ave. to cycle complete, the about 30 min during the cold season with 1.5-2 hour cool downs. Trying to better that of course.

    Any and all comments welcome.
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 8:14 PM
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    Not good

    Ok.

    If I were you, and you're not going to like this, I would have the header re-piped correctly and have the second riser from the boiler tied into it as well.

    Each main should pull off from the header separately, the way it is now stinks. It should also have a full size elbow drop down to the equalizer to allow proper draining.

    I would also swap those main vents out for a single Gorton #2 each. This may be too much venting (no such thing really), but its an easy swap and will make the system perform nice. Make sure you buy some nipples and couplers to raise the vents 5 inches or so above those tees. You don't want water and junk spraying up into the vents.

    There may be things I missed, but this is what I saw right off the bat.

    Whoever piped that boiler did not read the instructions. They even give you pictures! :)
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. Using Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment to greatly reduce corrosion in the boiler.


    Boiler pictures.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
    This post was edited by an admin on October 3, 2013 8:16 PM.
  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 8:27 PM
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    Ok, lets begin

    Thanks for the commets. Chris, why #2's, trying to get my head around the numbers i guess. I understand the theory. Any comment on my new settings. 1.5 main and 1 differential. Not sure how they both interact with the system

    My understanding is to be as low as possible overall. Do these setting allow that. I mean, 1.5 psi to cut out and (1.5-1=) .5 to cut in.
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 8:34 PM
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    Pressuretrol

    You are correct, in theory, you should be running between 0.5PSI and 1.5PSI now. However, those pressuretrols are far from accurate and this is why a 3.0PSI gauge is required for fine tuning. Right now, I would leave the gauge off of the list and correct the header and venting.

    Gorton #1s and #2s are main vents. A Gorton 4 is the slowest while a D is the fastest radiator vent. A D is the equivalent to a Gorton #1 main vent but has different threading. Now, a Gorton #2 is just a monster. I believe a single Gorton #2 is the equivalent to something like four #1s.

    The reason I recommend using #2s is because it looks like you have the room for them and they will give you plenty of venting for the price.


    Gorton vent sizes are like this.

    Radiator vents.
    4 - SLOW
    5 - a little faster, good normal speed vent
    6 - pretty fast, works good on many radiators.
    C - really fast for a radiator vent.
    D - a bit much but necessary on some radiators / piping.

    #1 main vent, which is the same speed as a D, but has 3/4" x 1/2" threading instead of the 1/8" connection

    #2 - fastest main vent on the market and by far the biggest bang for the buck.

    Personally I have four #1s on my long main only because I can't fit a #2 due to height. I have a single #1 on the other main because of how short it is. One is 11' while the other is 29' and there was a little tweaking necessary just to get everyone to get along together.

    Pexsupply sells Gortons and will give you some pictures to look at to compare differences.

    http://www.pexsupply.com/Gorton-Air-Valves-302000
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. Using Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment to greatly reduce corrosion in the boiler.


    Boiler pictures.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
    This post was edited by an admin on October 3, 2013 8:35 PM.
  • fixitguy fixitguy @ 8:31 PM
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    Mods needed

    Among some of the improvements noted above, how about a king valve, a valve & drain on the return & a close nipple on the Hartford loop
  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 8:48 PM
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    Thanks to all

    So for now, I am getting either Gorton #1's on both mains, hopefully attached to antler piping for adding and maintainence, or Maid-o-mist #1, the price difference is worth the thought. Can justify Gorton #2 yet, most numbers tell me that even 2 #1 will be sufficient if need be and that still is less than a #2. Told you about the numbers.

    Anyways, thanks for the settings confirmation, will also hold off on the gage. Let's see how new vents work. I will post updates on the new set up once installed. Hopefully in a couple of weeks and before the weather get cold here in Massachusetts.
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 8:51 PM
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    MOM

    Personally I only use Gorton vents on my system now. Some guys like Maid-O-Mist but they arn't for me.

    Whether you go with #1s or #2s Gorton or MOM please, make the installer fix that piping. It will NEVER work right and it is their responsibility to make sure it is installed per the instructions.

    Besides possibly making noise, it will be draining your wallet, forever.
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. Using Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment to greatly reduce corrosion in the boiler.


    Boiler pictures.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 8:57 PM
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    On the piping

    The installer said that it wasn't necessary to have both risers in use. Not sure of that but will look at the install manual for the diagrams as stated earlier.

    After re-re-reading.. it was said to put a strait nipple from the t, does it matter if I put an elbow then nipple, just curious. I do have space above, but i don't like the idea of any venting into the floor boards above, the house creeks enough because nothing was insulated before. Thanks.
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 9:02 PM
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    Vents

    I assume you're talking about the main vents? Gortons vent sideways (out of the side), not sure about MOM. What I did is I put foil tape on the floor above the vents just in case. The vents must be verticle and an elbow MIGHT be ok but I would suggest two 45's not a single 90.

    The second riser is optional, but highly recommended. That part you probably won't win.
    However, the way he has the mains and the equalizer plumbed are flat out wrong. Those MUST be fixed. Both mains should come down into the header separately and the equalizer must be piped into the header via a full size or reducing elbow not a bushing into a tee.

    The water must be able to drain out of the header and down the equalizer, the way it is now it causes the water to lay in the header.
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. Using Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment to greatly reduce corrosion in the boiler.


    Boiler pictures.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
    This post was edited by an admin on October 3, 2013 9:03 PM.
  • JStar JStar @ 10:22 PM
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    Short Cycling

    Sounds like symptoms of wet steam. As stated above, the header is never going to drain completely. It will fill with water and destroy the capacity of the steam leaving the header. Every time it shuts down, it will condense very quickly in the header and possibly pull the steam backwards through the system or cause it all to condense.

    The two main take-offs are not ideal, but should work. We would never install them this way. They should go back to the header individually. I would have installed a 3" header. Better steam separation.

    The returns are incorrect as well. They should only join together under the water line, never above. This may cause uneven heating of the two mains.

    As for the venting...spend the money on the Gorton 2's. They will be paid back within the first season. Worth every penny.
    - Joe Starosielec
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac



    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.


    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.

    Consultation anywhere.

    (Formerly "ecuacool")
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 11:04 PM
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    Bad install

    Have a look at the manual for the boiler you have, either hard copy or from the manufacturer's website, and compare their required piping layout with what you have. Then, get the installer back to go over the piping with you. As he said the boiler needs only one riser, ask him to show you in the manual that information. Since he is so familiar with the installation instructions, ask him why he deviated. If he is someone of integrity, he will repipe the boiler; but if he is a craigslist operator, he will offer excuses, and leave, never to be seen again. Don't forget that after any installation, or subsequent repiping, the boiler should be skimmed to remove any oils left over from threading, etc.--NBC
  • BobC BobC @ 7:25 AM
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    Drawing

    I've attached the piping diagram from Burnhams manual and the second riser is optional for IN-6 and below.

    Tell him the boiler has to be piped like this diagram AT A MINIMUM.

    Once he has agreed to that you could offer to pay him to add the second riser and perhaps to build the header with 2-12 or 3" to reduce the speed of the steam. Note that the entire header must be the same size till it turns down to meet the equalizer. The larger pipe and fittings will cost several hundred dollars so you have to decide if you want to spend the extra $$.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @76,700 BTU, Single pipe steam


    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in


    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 9:05 AM
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    Example

    To give you an idea of how a system can work the only time I ever saw mine cycle on pressure was during a 9 degree recovery.

    It took an hour and 20 minutes for it to build up 1.5PSI and finally shut the burner off once. It fired back up at 0.5PSI, all according to a 3PSI gauge and ran for a few minutes longer before the thermostat was satisfied

    This means probably for a good hour the system had very little pressure in it which means increased efficiency. Cycling on pressure after 20 minutes is unacceptable and actually, assuming the boiler was cold it sounds like right after it started steaming it built pressure and shut down.

    Another thing to note is you should barely hear air vents. Mine kind of huff a little and make small noises from time to time but you need to be close to them. If yours are hissing like letting the air out of a tire that is an immediate sign that it needs more venting. Let it breath!
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. Using Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment to greatly reduce corrosion in the boiler.


    Boiler pictures.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 9:29 AM
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    Looking at the install now

    Bob, I am looking at the install diagram right now. I will have to get home and measure them to see if the pipes at least meet the min size. Just a side note, wouldn't good insulation minimize the steam condensation from the riser and header as currently piped?

    As for the main vents, If straight up is the best for venting then I will put something above to protect the flooring. What is the min nipple distance for the main vents? Thanks everyone.
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 9:39 AM
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    Venting and header

    The problem isn't condensation in the header and riser but rather water being pulled out of the boiler. Even with both risers you will get some water out of the boiler with the steam especially on start up. The headers job is to remove that water and return it back to the boiler. Two risers means less water and less for the header to drain back via the equalizer. This is why Dan says to ALWAYS use all available tappings for risers no matter how small the boiler is.

    Venting. I believe the general rule is for the vent to be installed around 5 or 6 inches above the tee. Essentially, do the best you can. The higher the better but if you can only do 3 inches that will still be better than how they are now. If you look at the pictures in my signature you will notice where my 4 main vents are they aren't that high above the main. I just don't have the room for it but it works.

    BTW, I think my boiler is approx the same size as your IN5.
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. Using Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment to greatly reduce corrosion in the boiler.


    Boiler pictures.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
    This post was edited by an admin on October 4, 2013 9:41 AM.
  • BobC BobC @ 10:20 AM
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    Far from good

    When your header turns the corner the installer used a reducer and
    smaller diameter pipe to feed the 90 that turns down towards the
    equalizer. It's important that entire header is the same size until it
    turns down to feed the header. Also it is preferred to come up and then over because those swing joints reduce stress; if you use both risers from the boiler it's mandatory to use the swing joints. What you have now may work but it won't
    produce dry steam and that will cost you fuel. The same goes with the
    way he tied in the mains because it's going to be hard to get steam into
    both mains at the same time the way it's configured now. It would be
    nice to see a drop header used on that but that will cost you extra
    money.

    The vents should be as high up as you can reasonably get
    them. I have a Gorton #1 and a MOM #1 (got that for $2 at a yard sale)
    and I came up and then over to prevent any slugs of condensate hammering
    into the vents, this type of setup makes it easy to remove an elbow and
    replace it with a T to add another vent. If your concerned about an
    moisture from the vents staple some foil on the wood above them. The
    Gorton vents to the side from a button on top of the vent, the MOM vents
    straight up.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @76,700 BTU, Single pipe steam


    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in


    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 9:45 AM
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    What the header does

    This is a thread showing a glass piped header.

    It should give you a good idea of what goes on inside.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/136423/Glass-piped-steam-boiler-pictures
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. Using Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment to greatly reduce corrosion in the boiler.


    Boiler pictures.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 11:26 AM
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    I see the piping

    Ok I understand a little better now. Just have to measure. Back to the vents. The ones on now have 1/4 thread. That should not be a problem, right. Just get fittings that enlarge to either 1/2 or 3/4 to make the elbow and t's. Would you consider that part of the install of the system? Trying to see if the installer would be responsible for that. Install instructions don't necessarily state venting as part of any warrenty. But he did call out workmanship and labor as covered.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 7:31 PM
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    returns piped wrong too

    The installer did connect the piping where it head down from the end of the mains to the return, as i can clearly see that it is new pipe. However, it is critically important that these two lines NOT be connected together until well below the normal water line of the boiler. As it is presently piped, if one of the mains is slightly shorter than the other, steam form the main that reaches its vent first will travel through that improper cross connection toward the vent on the other main, causing it to close before the air in that main has had a chance to escape.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Liftforward Liftforward @ 7:56 PM
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    I see what you mean

    So here are my measurements. Main A is 26 ft, 2.39" od pipe with 12 ft, 1.67" od dry return. Calculated to 1.02 cf. Main B is 16.5ft, 2.39"od pipe with 9.5 ft, 1.67 od dry return. Calcuated to .685 cf. This puts Main A with 3 #1 vents and Main B with 2 #1 vents. Does that sound close? I have the brass fitting now with the main 1/4" with nipple to 1/2" for the elbow, t's and vents.
    Hopeing that helps alot at least with the vent part of things. That should also help keep the connected dry mains even.

    However I think you are right, the drys should be connected below the water line. And the little nipple for the header to the equilizer is not the 2" min. od as the install requires. Thanks.
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