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Joined on January 2, 2008

Last Post on December 30, 2013

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@ January 21, 2008 10:20 PM in Failed Heat-Timer Vents

I have had a number of them fail on me in this house as well. I guess I've replaced about 6 so far in 2 yrs. I have had some of my questions answered by them. I sent the following emails and got the following responses: Question: Could you please tell me what the drop away pressure rating of your VARIVALVE Radiator vents is? I am trying to adjust the pressuretrol cut out and cut in settings on my steam heating system and I need to know at what pressure the vents are able to resume venting so I do not exceed this amount in the system. Thanks. Answer: We are not affected by drop away pressure as some other valve's are. Our valve is a bellows type that is affected by the temperature of the medium in the radiator. The pressure in a residential system should not normally be higher than 2 psi. Raising the pressure in your system will only have negative affects on it's operation. Kevin Gabelmann ( Heat-Timer Technical Support 973-575-4004 xt.127 Question: Thanks again for your help previously. I have my pressuretrol set to cut-out at 1.5 psi and cut-in at 0.5 psi. now and it is working well. I was getting a false high reading from a clogged snubber on my factory equipped 0-30 psi gauge (fixed now) I have several old varivalves that I removed from various radiators over the past few years, because they were questionable. Was not really sure if they were bad or not. Now I am trying to test them. I cleaned them with some CLR (anti lime cleaner) and I am trying to test them by submerging them in a saucepan full of water and raising the temp while trying to blow through the valve through a hose (with varivalve fully open). So far I have tested 3 and got the following results: Varivalve #1 closed at 160 F, Varivalve #2 closed at 177 F, Varivalve #3 closed at 130 F. What would be a proper closing temperature in the fully open position? What about fully closed - is it the same? I realize that it may be pressure dependent, but by blowing you can only generate about 1 psi or so, so it should be fairly close to the conditions in the radiator. Thanks a lot. Answer: The only closure there could be an issue with is the 130. Closure starts around 155 but there is no set temperature it is dependant on the bellows. I would not condemn the valve unless they do not function properly on the system not in a pan with flame under it that the valve is affected by heat from the flame and not only by the temperature of the water. Kevin Gabelmann ( Heat-Timer Technical Support 973-575-4004 ext.127

Pigtail noise

@ January 21, 2008 10:01 PM in Pigtail-Related Question

I would try removing the pigtail and cleaning any and all crud out of it, with a piece of flexible wire or something similar. You may have a partial blockage, which is causing the noise, combined with thermal expansions in the pipe. While you're at it make sure that the pipes going to the vaporstat and gauge are completely clean also, and if you can, try to wash any crud out of the vaporstat and the gauge themselves. After you reattach the pigtail to the boiler make sure you fill it with water before assembling the rest of the stuff to it. Blowing through the pigtail is not what I would call a professional cleaning. Also, the upper part of the pigtail and everything attached to it should always be much cooler to the touch due to the water in the pigtail. Let us know what happens.

@ January 20, 2008 6:39 PM in Radiant Floor System Losing Pressure

How old is the system? The air separator could be doing its job. Venting the entrained air out of the system as the fluid is circulated. Depending on the system this could take days or weeks. When air is removed the pressure decreases. The fluid must be circulating for the air separetor to work.

@ January 17, 2008 8:26 PM in how much power Vitodens 200 uses

Can someone tell the various power usage in Watts or amps of the vitodens 200 6-24 under idle condition as well as lets say 50% and 100% output???

Vent-Rite #35

@ January 17, 2008 2:16 PM in Main Air Vents

I would recommend that you download from this site: Balancing Steam Systems Using a Venting Capacity Chart.pdf. The values for a Vent-Rite #35 are low compared to a Gorton #1. Here's some values for 1oz., 2oz., and 3oz. steam supply pressures: Vent-Rite #35 0.110 0.200 0.250

@ January 16, 2008 11:53 PM in superstore problem

You are correct Bobby and it's not what I would do either but, the system is in the money is collected and the man has a problem. Changing only the pipe at this stage won't save him. Suggesting to change the pipe would only dig his hole deeper at this point, he is short on storage.

@ January 15, 2008 11:28 AM in Hot Hartford Loop

See also my post in: 1) The Hartford loop shouldn't get hot because it should always be under the waterline for the boiler. It should be set up so that the top of it is 2 to 4 in. under the "normal waterline". I believe the "normal waterline" is defined as when the boiler has been not firing for a while and all or most of the condensate is back in the boiler. This is sufficiently low so that even when the boiler has gone on a long burn and a lot of water is up in the system in the form of steam and condensate, the hartford loop will still stay under the waterline at all times. 2) This could be an indication that (in addition to the fact that it gets hot) that the hartford loop is piped into the equalizer too high (or waterline is too low, during firing and/or before firing). At the end of the cycle, the waterline will be at its lowest. The gurgling could be because steam pressure is being applied to the hartford loop and causing the condensate to back up in the returns and thus, the radiators. Also, you need to make sure that your returns do not have partial blockages that could cause condensate to back up in them. You also need to check your pitch on all your radiator supply runners and on you returns and mains too (not just the radiators). 3) What vent is that? It looks like one of the old USAV vents. I don't think they are even made anymore. If the vent is venting noticeable steam, it is definitely no good. It is quite common to vent the end of dry returns, but it is my understanding that you should vent the end of the mains as well, if possible. The system should work with just the end of the dry returns vented though. The steam travels down the return because there is a vent there, it is above the "A dimension", and that is what defines it as a "dry return".

@ January 14, 2008 10:54 AM in need used viessmann burner

Was wondering if anybody would have a motor or the burner assembly for a BE-46 oil boiler. The burner model is VEI-O-46.I cannot seem to find parts to replace the motor help please. bill.

@ January 14, 2008 10:53 AM in LOUD Hissing Vents

Barbara, The two attachments below should explain what you need to measure. Hope I don't get anyone mad for posting this. I know I downloaded it as free sample pages at one time. Definitely 1 pipe steam, not 2 pipe, as Gordo said. Only 1 pipe coming out of your radiators. Maybe your plumber is unfamiliar with steam and he's saying it's 2 pipe cause you have the main steam supply pipes and then you have the dry return pipes also. The banging COULD be because your waterline is lower than it used to be before the flooding, exposing the hartford loop to steam. Just a guess. If you'll check the measurement and/or post a picture that is at eye level of the waterline in the sight glass (so no parralax) we'll be able to tell you for sure. Also: check this thread:

Hartford Loop, Bullhead Tee, and No insulation

@ January 13, 2008 1:28 PM in LOUD Hissing Vents

Barbara, You need to check the Hartford Loop. From the point where the inverted Y joins with the equalizer, it should be 2 to 4 in. below the normal waterline for the boiler. Measure it and tell us what you get. The near boiler piping is incorrect. The riser for the first main joins the header between the two takeoffs from the boiler. This is called a "bullheaded tee". It needs to be redone. It seems that all the steam pipes are uninsulated. This will generally cause lots of problems with wet steam and water hammer noises, gurgling vents, etc.. What manufacturer, model #, and size are the two vents near the boiler on the dry returns? You can read it on the side of the vent. What vents do you have on your radiators? Does each radiator have two pipes coming out of it or only one?

viessmann boiler

@ January 11, 2008 7:22 PM in vessieman boiler

Hi I have a BE-46 viessmann boiler. It is an oil burner model #VEI-O-46.I am looking for the blower motor. It seems it is no longer available from viessmann.If anyone has some info on this I would appreciate an email. Bill

Vaporstat - How Low?

@ January 11, 2008 4:51 PM in one-pipe steam how much pressure??

Good Question. Maybe you could try putting it at the end of your largest main, instead of on the boiler. Maybe you could also put a 2nd low pressure gauge there at the end of the main and then you would be able to measure the actual pressure drop in the main at various boiler pressures. Not sure why you'd need to know that but it'd sure be interesting. I think that it'd have to be more accurate to have the vaporstat at the end of the main as opposed to on the boiler and you could certainly set it lower there, because of the pressure drop in the main. Whadayathink? Has anybody out there tried this?


@ January 9, 2008 10:38 PM in main vents in wrong position

I'll give it a shot: The header is a predominantly horizontal (it actually slopes downward towards the equalizer) section of piping right after the takeoff from the boiler which helps to direct the condensate towards the equalizer and back into the boiler. It is an area of near boiler piping which helps to ensure that only dry steam will enter the mains and that the condensate goes to the equalizer. In your setup with no header, the condensate will just be falling back downward against the upward flow of steam, and is not encouraged to go into the equalizer. Any time you have steam and condensate flowing in opposing directions it is bad (sometimes you can't avoid it in a one pipe steam system). Also, the horizontal section of the Hartford Loop should be as short as possible (close nipple, downward Y or street elbow). Yours is way too long and will cause more tendency for water hammer here, especially if the hartford is too high relative to the waterline. The top of the piping for the hartford loop should be 2 to 4 in. below the waterline. Good Luck. I'm also in NJ - Springfield.

You might mess yourself up

@ January 9, 2008 9:20 PM in *******Dribling main vent after all I have done*********

if you move the vent to the one radiator, especially since it's takeoff from the main is before the takeoff for the upstairs radiator. Air won't completely evacuate the end of the main then. Also, your two tees that provide the takeoffs for the 1st floor and upstairs radiators are not oriented optimally. It is best to have the takeoff at a 45 deg. angle with respect to the vertical instead of directly at the top of the main. That way condensate will slide down the bottom edge of the pipe instead of dropping directly down on top of the steam in the main. If you did this, you could also move the new and improved larger tapping for the vent to the top of the tee and eliminate the elbow (and reducer)entirely. You want to make it as easy as possible for the steam and the condensate to stay out of each other's way, and prevent any trapping of condensate, as well.

A couple suggestions.

@ January 9, 2008 12:18 PM in *******Dribling main vent after all I have done*********

Before you try moving that main vent, maybe you could get someone to weld in a full size tapping for the vent so that you could eliminate the reducer. I think that you are trapping condensate in there. Also, I would insulate the cr***p out of the pipes, including the extension nipple that leads up to the vent. Maybe some of the pros here could help you better, but that is what my thoughts are.

Gas Boiler Firing Rate Determination

@ January 8, 2008 9:39 PM in bigger nozzle, still no pressure

I love this site too. My boiler manual (Peerless 63-04L) gives the procedure for checking the firing rate. My boiler was installed by the previous homeowner (Yikes !!!) and so I don't know if he ever properly commisioned it after installation. I'm going to try to check it according to the following: 6. Check the burner input by reading the gas meter. a. The required input rate is listed for each model in Section II, Dimensions & Ratings. b. Determine the input by multiplying F Meter Reading (Cubic Feet of Gas) times H Heating Value of Gas (Btu per Cubic Foot) times 3600. Divide by T the time in seconds at the meter reading. Rate, Btu/Hr = (F x H x 3600)/T For my boiler the required input rate should be 147,500 Btu/Hr The heating value of the gas can be obtained from the gas company, or as an approximation you can use: 1. Natural Gas Based on 1000 Btu./Cubic Foot, LP Gas Based on 2500 Btu./Cubic Foot. If you check this for yours, let us know what results you get. I would be interested in knowing.

@ January 8, 2008 9:14 AM in bigger nozzle, still no pressure

The kind of pressure that will be enough to show up on the gauge wouldn't show up until the vents on the mains and the vents on the radiators close. At that point you may get up to a pressure that will be readable on the gauge. If your radiators are heating all the way across, the vents on them should be closing. Are they?

viessmann headache

@ January 7, 2008 3:06 PM in Viessmann boiler - tech spec?

Hey Rory, I also shut the power off to my Viessmann and have no idea how to reset the digital control panel. Its been running for 2 months now on whatever default settings it goes to whenever this happens. I have been burning some serious heating oil. I just realized the reason why this evening(the blinking digital readout). The control unit I am working with is a Trimatik-P and I have all the manuals, unfortunately there are in deutsch. Where are you in Germany? I'm near Ansbach(close to Nurnberg) Dustin

@ January 7, 2008 11:04 AM in Installing pressurtrol and vaporstat together . . .worth it?

It looks like your 0-30 psi gauge is reading about 3.5 psi and your 0-5 psi gaurge is reading 0.0 psi. Is this just because of the angle? Someone here also posted a source for a 0-3 psi gauge, but it only has a max. temp. of 140 F. I don't know if this is a problem or not, when you use a pigtail and extension piping too.

@ January 7, 2008 10:33 AM in Installing pressurtrol and vaporstat together . . .worth it?

I guess I was on the right track before (but he says to put it at the end of the main). Has anyone out there done this before and can comment? What kind of fuel savings can you get, if any? Is it better to put the vaporstat at the end of the main? Less short cycling, better end process control? from: "If you want real economy, buy a vaporstat that operates from 0-1 PSI, and is graduated in ounces. Install it at the boiler, or even better, at the end of the steam supply main. Wire it to break one leg of the thermostat wire through it, and leave the pressuretrol as is, as a high limit. Set the vaporstat as low as you can and still heat every radiator."


@ January 5, 2008 4:14 PM in One radiator no heat

blowing air out of radiator. if i take the radiator of the hand valve, i can feel some air sucking back in. not sure if venting is an issue because i took the whole radiator off with system running with the result being no steam pressure.


@ January 4, 2008 9:45 PM in One radiator no heat

yes. there is plenty of pitch. Also from what I understand, I do not have a main vent anywhere. The only vents that I have are the return vents(vent-rite) and radiator adj. vents. Could this be a cause of the problem?
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