Joined on February 27, 2010
Last Post on December 8, 2013
@ October 20, 2010 5:17 AM in one or two pipe riserThe loop tee can be as low as you want, so long as it isn't lower than the boiler's return tapping. I usually tend to go a minimum of 4", and sometimes more, below the water line. Most people take the 2-4" dimension very conservatively because it's in the instructions. I would never argue with the manufacturer's recommendations...I will, however, interpret their idea of what is correct. It's the same idea as piping the header 24" above the water line. That dimension is also a minimum distance. The higher the better.
@ October 20, 2010 5:03 AM in Some basic questionsYou've just found the cause of your surging. That near boiler piping is very far from correct. The sad part is that it seems to be working...sort of.
It's time to open up those books, and get an idea of what a near boiler set-up should look like. Then you'll have to decide if it's worth the investment to repipe. You'd have to remove any steam lines in copper and start over from there.
@ October 18, 2010 9:12 PM in Sight Glass / Water Level QuestionGet a couple of buckets ready and spin out the whole boiler drain. The boiler should hold less than 10 gallons or so.
@ October 18, 2010 9:09 PM in what is this?... that the return trap was more likely to be in operation with the original boiler which undoubtedly had a high water line, and more frequent issues with condensate returning properly. If it operates now, I would suspect a clogged return somewhere near the boiler. It's so high above the water line, that it really should never fill all the way up, assuming the boiler pressure is under 2 psi. My guess is that the original boiler was as tall as that unpainted section of wall behind the current boiler. You can cut it out, if you're comfortable with all of the dimensions after the F+T traps. Personally, I would keep it because it's a neat part of heating history. If I did cut it out, I'd hang it on my office wall.
@ October 18, 2010 6:59 PM in L608A vaporstat hi low fire set upWell, at least I know it's a good idea. For whatever that's worth.
@ October 18, 2010 5:40 AM in zoning second loopIf you use an RA832A, you will wire the pump as usual, run the thermostat to T+T, and wire the boiler circuit to the dry contacts X+X for a 24 volt burner, or the number 4 (I think it;s 4) contact for a 120 volt burner.
@ October 18, 2010 5:35 AM in L608A vaporstat hi low fire set upI was just thinking about this concept the other day. Made a post about it. Figures, it already existed somewhere.
@ October 17, 2010 9:56 PM in Cold zone in hydronic systemDo you have access to all of the piping in the basement? Is there the possibility of a hidden zone valve somewhere?
@ October 17, 2010 9:47 PM in what is this?A condensate return trap. If the boiler pressure gets too high for the wet return to get back, the water will stack up inside that tank, trip a float, and pressurize the water back into the boiler.
Those two devices near the ceiling look like air vents, with a piping configuration designed to minimize any water/steam damage to them.
Can you see name on any of these parts? The return trap is maybe a Hoffman? Looks like it had a sight glass at one point (the two plugs on the side).
You should be able to get rid of it, if the new boiler's water line allows for the proper A or B dimension. The whole system piping should be carefully assessed prior to a replacement.
@ October 17, 2010 9:32 PM in another questionThat is the supply main's air vent. The thermostatic trap will prevent steam from entering the dry return. You don't have an F+T trap because the main drops down and probably goes into a wet return, creating it's own water seal, preventing steam from going into the returns.
@ October 16, 2010 7:24 PM in Steam Rad Not Working?Is the room warm enough? You might not want the radiator to be completely hot all the time.
@ October 16, 2010 7:22 PM in Boiler ProblemInvest $10 and buy a "Li'L Popper". It's a resettable fuse that allows you to make a few mistakes when you are finding a shorted low-voltage circuit.
@ October 15, 2010 5:39 AM in HELP! Feeder Keeps kicking in...leave that plug where it is, and skim from the relief valve opening. 3/4" is a lot easier to take apart than 1 1/2".
@ October 14, 2010 8:02 PM in Thoughts on the modern "Steve's Receiver"Just wondering if this was ever a concept for staging steam.
Two separate pressure controllers / vaporstats. Each one controlling the High or Low fire on a two-stage gas valve. Could also add a throttling valve on the manifold to create a third stage. You see it on some new hot-air furnaces.
Does this wind up being too inaccurate? It would really only save the trouble of installing two gas control valves and what appears to be a lot of extra, cumbersome parts.
My other concern was, with lack of useful information, how the two stage gas control operates. I'm not 100% sure if the Low fire coil is energized in High fire mode.
@ October 14, 2010 7:20 PM in Where to put the fill falve in near-boiler piping?The fill valve has very little to do with purging, other than being the source of water for the purge. You could just as easily run a garden hose to a hose bib, and purge the system from there. The reason for piping the feed to the expansion tank is to eliminate the possibility of the circulator pump over-pressurizing the boiler.
If you install a purge drain, isolation valve, and water feed, in that order, you can purge from anywhere in the system. It is more convenient to have it all right in the near boiler piping.
@ October 14, 2010 7:09 PM in Pressuretrol and standing pilotThermoPILE. Not ThermoCOUPLE. Now it makes sense doesn't it?
@ October 14, 2010 7:05 PM in cast iron radiatorsYou are good to go. The give-away is the plugs on the top, and the rounded out part between sections.
@ October 14, 2010 5:50 AM in HELP! Feeder Keeps kicking inThe Hartford Loop is piped incorrectly. The equalizer should go directly into the boiler, and the wet return should rise up to the tee with a short nipple on the bull. The tee is also too high.
I am suspicious of the pipe size going into the boiler return tapping - seems a bit small. I always pipe as close to the size of the tapping as needed by the return load.
I bet the equalizer is pushing condensate back up into the return lines. And the way the return is piped is probably causing the violent water line.
What pressure are you set for? I would definitely skim the boiler first, and try to clean the wet return before doing anything else.
@ October 14, 2010 5:25 AM in Cold zone in hydronic systemWhat floor is the cold zone on? Do you have zone valves?
@ October 13, 2010 7:58 PM in blocked lines...you take the main vents out. Will the steam make it to the open pipe? Is the boiler cycling on pressure? Have you cleaned the pigtail to make sure it isn't short-cycling?
@ October 13, 2010 7:41 PM in What is the name of this part?Cut the loose union nut off with a hacksaw, lay the radiator down, and get a big wrench on the spud. You can use a spud wrench to install the new one, but they rarely help in getting the old spud out.
@ October 13, 2010 7:38 PM in Where to put the fill falve in near-boiler piping?The expansion tank defines the point of no pressure change. Piping your water feed to the expansion tank ensures that the boiler cold-fill pressure will never be affected by the circulator pump.
The air separator can be anywhere in the system, but it works better on the hotter supply side.
The fill valve position has no affect on purging the system. You can purge the lines from any point if you have an isolation valve and drain in the right spot. You could purge it from the basement or the attic, if set up properly.
You should always pump away from the point of no pressure change. In a one pipe system, that point is the tank on the supply piping. In a P/S loop system, the common piping (the two closely spaced tees) represent the point of no pressure change to that particular secondary loop.
If you want to eliminate all doubt about the water feed...pressurize the system and close the feed valve.