Joined on November 24, 2007
Last Post on March 6, 2014
@ January 12, 2011 4:35 PM in balancing heat distributionthese controls are very important whether they be good thermostats, or more complicated controls with outdoor/steam sensors.
one thing is certain, no control can save as much as good venting, good low pressure, and constant temperature settings. they can only work properly after all the deferred maintenance has been corrected.
save your control replacement until the end, after you have got all the other ducks in a row. if your present control is non-functional, then a suitable short/long term replacement would be a honeywell visionpro with an extra sensor located in the top floor north corner, but not on an outside wall. when it is time to select one, then select the installer first and go with one he is familiar with.--nbc
@ January 12, 2011 1:23 PM in BEST REPLACEMENT OR SOLUTION?in a parallel-flow system, while the boiler is firing, the dry returns up to the main vents should stay hot, because they are full of steam.
in a counter-flow system the returns, such as they are, will be cooler, because they are basically unvented.
the wet returns are of course cooler than boiling point.--nbc
@ January 12, 2011 12:48 PM in gorton #2's backordered @ pexmain vents will aid the return of condensate, especially in wet-steam situations. the condensate is blown along by the escaping air. since the main vent is usually on the dry return, that's where the initial condensate will end up, ready to enter the wet return.
if there are no main vents, and just a lot of high capacity radiator vents; then where would the condensate be blown towards, if not back into the radiator?
you may be thinking of the effect of over-pressure, where the steam pressure pushes down on the boiler waterline, therefore raising the return waterline up 1.75 inches for each ounce of pressure. even at 12 ounces of pressure there is movement, and at 1.5 psi more so.--nbc
@ January 12, 2011 12:36 PM in One Cold Radiator (part 2)now you have the radiator draining properly. also now you know that in order for the radiator to get steam, you have to take the vent off, in order for enough air to be removed.
check the main vent for this line below, and see why it isn't doing its job. if you simply vent that line through that radiator, you run the risk of bringing back the excess water problem.--nbc
@ January 11, 2011 11:45 PM in gorton #2's backordered @ pexthey should certainly make a bigger vent, however shorter in stature for those low headroom locations.......and....
on this new model there should be a tell-tale showing when it has closed on steam arrival, as well as a temperature indicator showing the rising temperature. an option could also be a good low-pressure gauge to show the back-pressure during venting, so the optimum venting capacity can be more easily determined, for each dry return.
since you can never have too much venting, these will sell like hot cakes as well.--nbc
@ January 11, 2011 8:33 PM in Radiators Not Heatingi say re-pipe according to peerless own installation instructions.
that header will certainly need to be bigger [maybe even by 1 in.], and is there enough height for the "a" dimension?
if the pressure is kept down, and there is capacious main venting, in conjunction with a re-pipe, the system will work as the mfg. intended.
peerless have excellent tech support [610-369-3208], if you want additional advice to show the customer, as well as the original manual showing the required piping layout, which should have been followed earlier.
i believe that peerless monitor this site anonymously, so when talking to them, they may already have seen your pictures!-nbc
@ January 11, 2011 11:05 AM in tekmar steam control 279 helptekmar has excellent tech support, try them at (250) 545-7749 i spoke to daniel.
he may suggest you install the indoor sensor, and maybe that should be a plan for you.--nbc
@ January 11, 2011 10:58 AM in piping diagramscan you post some pictures of your present piping, so we can see what might be the cause?
a description of the symptoms would help too.--nbc
@ January 10, 2011 11:16 AM in Pressurtrol or Vaporstat?as long as you have enough main venting, you should have no short-cycling during the air escape, and that is where you want an uninterupted burn to fill the mains with steam.
depending on how closely your boiler is matched to the radiation, you may cycle on pressure as the rads are condensing the steam on a less than design temp day.
can you perform the open pipe test to see what the behaviour would be without whatever vents you have now? put a ball valve where the vent is so you can shut it down when needed. the low pressure gauge will show you the back pressure as air is leaving.--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 11:00 PM in New home radiator troubleswhen you tried to clean the mating surfaces, did you use scotch-brite or some-such abrasive pad? if sand paper, did you wipe off the sand?
how is the system pressure/ even the best seated unions can leak at pressures higher than 2 psi.
the mating surfaces will not seal with any extra pipe dope, or tape on them ,or the threads of the union nut. at the most, put some dish-washing liquid on the scrubbed mating surfaces, and the nut threads; and rock the radiator while tightening the nut. check to make sure that the alignment is close to being perfect between the rad and the valve, as a union can only stand so much misalignment in the vertical, and the horizontal!--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 10:49 PM in Steam Radiator Rattlinghave you tried the vent turning yet?
ask your landlord if he would rather keep a larger portion of the rent for himself, or whether he wants to donate it to the gas company. a bit of maintainance would cure this problem as well as some others i suspect are lurking there.
great video! i wonder if it will go viral.--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 7:46 PM in Steam Radiator Rattlingwhile the rattling can be heard rotate the air vent so that it points down. turn it as if to tighten it, and have a towel handy as i suspect it is full of water. it should immediately stop if it is the vent itself. if it takes a few seconds then the pool of water responsible is elsewhere.
i hear that frisco is colder in the summer than the winter, so as you say, you can leave it off this way. when you turn it back on, then loosen it half a turn.
tell the owner that he could save up to 15 % of his gas bill if he corrected a few problems with this system! direct him here so he can start saving by tuesday!--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 3:53 PM in Piping check pls?when cold, you can overfill the boiler, watch for a drip or a seep. that would confirm the need for replacement of the sections, or the whole boiler.
if you replace it, make sure the piping layout in the manual is followed--not the present layout!--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 3:47 PM in Need Help please!!!get out your wrenches, hacksaw, and hammer. some combination of el's and nipples should make it fit. do a search for "spud" here and there should be a description of the work to be done.
how is it that an under-sized radiator had been installed?--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 3:42 PM in balancing heat distributionthe answer is to change one thing at a time, starting with mains. when that main venting is proper, then start on the radiator vents. otherwise, you wont know what has improved what, without following these one-at-a-time steps.--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 3:38 PM in new to steamyes, replace those vents with 3 gorton #2's to start with. they are cheaper than hoffmans and much more capacious. save the hoffmans, for later cleanning, and checking. later, as you get to know the system better, you may find a better location for them such as the dry return closer to the boiler.
the videos found here will show you what goes on in those vents:
@ January 9, 2011 3:31 PM in Need Help please!!!you will need to install a new steam valve on the pipe, and a new spud into the radiator. the spud is unfortunately matched only to its original valve, and no other. it is a difficult job.
can you buy the old one back? the new owner will have the same problem, so there could be a chance of redemption.
why did you think it was too small? perhaps it had some problem which prevented it from reaching its potential.--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 2:16 PM in new to steami'm not sure what i am seeing in the red circle, but it appears to be some sort of vapor system vent. if that is the case, we should see some better pictures of it and the radiator valves. what are the 3 hoffman vents attached to?
a vapor system thrives on low pressure-2 ounces-12 ounces, and may not work at all at higher pressures. the air must be let out by good vents, or forced out by the gas company, [for an extra 10-15%]
a visit from a real pro would be beneficial, but let's see more pictures.--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 1:30 PM in balancing heat distributionyour present main venting is in need of more capacity. those dry returns would be the best place for them, on an antler, which you can probably do yourself. start out with a couple of gorton #2's on each dry return, and leave provision for more to be added later. this would be a perfect use for a good low-pressure gauge, as you can see from the back pressure during air removal, when you have enough venting on the mains. in cases like yours, i think the cost of correcting the venting could be paid back in a month or so of reduced gas bills!
your risers may also benefit from more venting, and it may be possible to do that by putting one large radiator vent on one of the radiators served by each riser.
try getting the mains up to speed first, and then see how evenly the steam arrives all through the radiators on top floor, before adding anything at the top.
i see that a couple of the returns appear to be joined together at a point.above the floor, and i hope below the waterline.--nbc
@ January 9, 2011 11:03 AM in Need Help!!one 3 hour skimming may not be adequate. when we installed our new boiler, i think i skimmed about 5 times. luckily there is a floor drain nearby, so with some temporary extensions to the skimming port, it did not require constant supervision, during each 4 hour period!
see if you can take the cover off the pressuretrol, and attempt to trip the lever inside, with a pencil, or other non-conductive tool, while the burner is on, to verify its basic function.
has the meter been clocked to show the btu's of gas used. if the gas valve has been adjusted incorrectly, you could be over-fired!
next verify your pressure at no more than 1.5 psi. a good low-pressure gauge [0-2 psi] would be more accurate, and show you whether your main vents were adequate to give a low back-pressure. on mine, during venting, the back-pressure is 1-2 ounces, and when the 17 gorton #2's, and 6 hoffman 75's close, the pressure will rise slowly to the 12 ounce cut-out [during really cold weather-brrrr!].--nbc
@ January 8, 2011 11:49 PM in Need Help!!what is your pressure?
how many main vents do you have, and are they all working?--nbc
@ January 8, 2011 8:45 PM in Improper near boiler piping and other issuesdo #2 first with the installation of a low-pressure gauge [gaugestore.com 0-3 psi]. ordinarily, the main vents [gorton #2's] are mounted on an antler at the point where the dry return ends [if you have one]. keep adding vents until the back-pressure is as low as possible.
wait on #3 until the end. you may be able to use a larger radiator vent [gorton d]on each very top radiator.
do #4 and leave the radiator vents alone for the moment.
#5-you may be able to repitch this pipe, as it has probably sagged. water should not be allowed to collect in the middle of this pipe, but if it sagged, it is probably possible to straighten it out.
this doesn't seem to be racking up too much expense yet, so consider a vaporstat for the boiler, set for 12 ounces, [proper main venting essential for this]. savings from this and venting will pay for corking the boiler room holes! what sort of boiler room "holes" are there now.
yes you should have combustion air at some point, but until you have it installed, install a cabon monoxide detector asap!--nbc