Joined on September 15, 2010
Last Post on May 16, 2013
@ March 16, 2013 10:15 PM in noisy gas valveWhen my carlin EZ-Gas / Smith G8-3 was installed in October the sound of the gas valve closing was clearly heard all over the house, it sounded like the pipe was being hit with a 2X4.
Realizing the sound was being amplified because it was clamped to the floor joists I used some sliicone rubber sheet to wrap the pi[e at the clamp points and isolate the pipe from the joists. That helped but it was still much too loud.
I recently noticed the noise is much less, if I listen closely I can hear the valve open but if I'm not listening for it I don't hear it. I assume the valve has just worked its way in but I really don't know why the noise is markedly lower.
Now if I could figure out a cure for the combustion noise I'd be a happy camper.
@ March 16, 2013 9:54 PM in Ceiling rads and Thermostatic Rad ValvesAs I understand it thermostatic valves work best with slow air vents on them. If you vent them too fast and the radiator fills with steam it's to late to control the output of that radiator by shutting the vent off.
@ March 16, 2013 9:29 PM in DIY Maintenance Advice for Burnham V8 SeriesIf that pipe near the end has bad slope it has to be corrected, trapped water will cause water hammer. Go over any exposed piping you can reach and check it with a level to see if it's sloped correctly.
You said the water gets low in the sight glass and that triggers the auto water feed, does the water eventually find it's way back to the boiler and cause it to overfill? If the autofeeder is coming on consistently and the water is disappearing you have a leak somewhere.
Any oil in the water will cause problems, If you can get some water from the skim port you can see if it has oil in it by boiling some of it on the stove. The pipe at the rear looks like it might be a skim port, is there a plug in that elbow you can remove?
Is that main vent working? How long is your steam main and what size pipe, with that information we can tell you what size air vent you should have. There seems to be a lot of corrosion on the piping is there salt or other chemicals stored near the boiler?
@ March 14, 2013 9:00 PM in air valves spitting water not fixed, and more..As steam begins to fill a radiator it will start to condense, in a single pipe steam system that water has to go back down the same pipe that the steam came up. The pipe feeding the radiator is rated for the amount of radiator it can feed, if you put a large radiator on a pipe meant to feed a small radiator it might not be able to handle the condensing rate of the large radiator and that might be the water you hear.
Try turning the vent rate on the VentRite air valve down to 2 or 3 (1 is off and 6 is maximum) so steam enters the radiator slowly. If you have the vent turned up to a high vent rate you may be making the problem worse.
It sounds like there are problems with the system in general but see if slowing the venting down helps your problem.
@ March 14, 2013 5:09 PM in Help in Queens NYCReading and understanding those books will put you in a position to tell if a contractor knows what he is talking about and will give you the knowledge to do a lot of the maintenance yourself.
I would skip the We got Steam Heat and go with the other two, they are well written and easy to understand.
@ March 14, 2013 11:30 AM in Help in Queens NYCRust in old systems is common, is the water just rusty or is it full of rust particles?
radiators are sized the square feet of surface area they have, when the house was built radiators were sized to fit the heat loss of the room they were in. If you add a lot of insulation along with your remodeling you would then not need as many square feet of surface area to heat a given space. You could select smaller radiators for these spaces but you want to do it in a balanced manner so you can heat evenly. Usede radiators are available in large metropolitan areas but you can't just buy one and hook it up because the valves and radiators have a spud betwwen them so if you change the radiator you have to change the valve and the spud that threads into the radiator 9spuds and valves are sold as a set).
You can put a radiant floor in and use the steam boiler as a source for the hot water that heats the floor. It takes a knowledgeable person to do this so it works right. Make sure whoever you hire to do the work knows steam.
If your air vents on the radiators are hissing a lot it usually means the steam pressure may be too high and the main steam vents are too small. Steam systems operate best below 2PSI, if it's higher, turn it down.
As others have said you need to find a steam pro to go over your system and make suggestions. Once we see some pictures perhaps we can offer specific advice for your system.
@ March 12, 2013 8:48 AM in New to the boiler sceneI've never seen one of these but I think this link will take you to the manual. on page 51 you'll find a chart showing a fault table vs indicator lights, does yours match up with any of these?
The troubleshooting section starts on page 66. If you can narrow the problem down somebody might be able to help you. Just don't start taking things apart if you don't understand what your doing, gas fired appliances have to be treated with care and respect.
@ March 8, 2013 7:38 AM in For your entertainment...I used to train new guys when they came to work in my last job. i always told them they would make some stupid mistakes and that was ok, just try to not make that same mistake again.
That method works because i have learned there are LOTS of stupid mistakes you can make so there is no need to repeat them.
@ March 7, 2013 10:04 PM in Steam Boiler Nozzle Size and Spitting VentsThere is another post about someone wanting to add a steam baseboard to their system. Charlie brought up a good point when he said it should be added as a two pipe baseboard; that would get rid of the fight between the steam and the water. Maybe yours could be converted to two pipe for the baseboard radiators.
@ March 7, 2013 8:42 PM in Steam Boiler Nozzle Size and Spitting VentsIf you look at the install manual piping manual you can see the way the boiler should be piped and for your boiler both boiler risers should have been used. Using both risers and a 2-1/2" header would reduce the velocity of the steam and deliver drier steam. If you look at Dan's books you will see some good examples of how a boiler should be piped.
What size are the pipes that feed those baseboards? Baseboards can condense steam quickly and if the pipes feeding them is too small the condensate gets into the way of the steam trying to get into that baseboard and that leave the water with no place to go but out the vent. make sure the pipes that feed the baseboard have adequate pitch.
It sounds like that boiler has been severely downfired, do you know if they ran a combustion analysis with that small nozzle? Do you know what the EDR of your radiators and baseboards are?
@ March 7, 2013 8:48 AM in Looking for feedbackIn a house with one occupant I use a standard 40 gallon AO Smith gas water heater that has 1" of foam insulation. In non-heating months I use 6 therms for the water heater and stove.
I considered installing an indirect when I put in the new Smith / Carlin boiler last fall but decided it just would never pay back in my case.
@ March 6, 2013 8:20 PM in Water coming out of main ventWhile your figuring out how to repipe that near boiler piping tell us a little bit about it
- what pressure is the system is operating at
- is the water level in the sight glass bouncing around a lot
- is the water in the boiler clean and is it free of oil
- what make and model boiler
- what is the system EDR and is it matched to the boiler EDR
- is it a single pipe steam system or a two pipe steam system
- how long are the steam mains and what kind of vents are on them
@ March 3, 2013 6:44 PM in Pressuretrol problems?Pressuretrols are not precision devices and a 30PSI gauge is not at all accurate at one or two PSI. You would need a low pressure gauge (0-3 PSI) to determine what the pressure really is and then you are still left with the idiosyncrasies of the pressuretrol.
@ March 3, 2013 10:08 AM in And just when you think you have seen it all.......is that it was still trying to work. Steam systems are amazingly resilient but that install is sure one for the record book.
@ February 28, 2013 9:33 PM in How to size a steam boilerThis is a good article about an alternative way to size a steam boiler
@ February 28, 2013 9:21 PM in How to size a steam boilerGo over all the steam piping and make sure it is all pitched correctly, if there are any sags in the piping that will stop the steam in it's tracks. Don't trust your eyes, use a level.
How much baseboard is being fed by the boiler in addition to the 400 EDR radiators? If that load is significant it could be a problem.
@ February 28, 2013 9:00 PM in How to size a steam boilerYour boiler EDR is 95% of it's connected load. If it was installed correctly and the steam piping is insulated it should work. I suspect there are issues with the system piping. Are there any signs of radiators being removed?
Post some pictures of the boiler and the piping around it.
@ February 28, 2013 5:56 PM in How to size a steam boilerA steam boiler has to be sized to drive all the radiators in the system. Each radiator has a surface area called it's EDR. The boilers EDR (sq ft of steam) should be equal to the sum of all the radiators EDR.
List all of your radiators by size (height, length, width) and the number of sections as well as the number of columns in each section. From that we can determine the EDR of each radiator.
@ February 28, 2013 7:15 AM in Burnham V7It's not universal. That block had flaws but some did survive a good while.
I replaced my v75 after 16 years because it was much to big and i was switching to gas. The sections looked pretty good when they dismantled it but I had always been pretty careful with that boilers care and feeding.
@ February 27, 2013 9:49 PM in Steam Boiler Nozzle Size and Spitting VentsThe radiators should be pitched just enoug to encourage the water to find it's way back to the boiler, if it's pitched too much it can cause water hammer, those finned convectors want some slope but not too much..
As long as the boiler isn't hot you can just kill the power and drain it down, then refill it back to the normal level. You should bring the system up to steam after filling to drive out the dissolved oxygen.
The pressuretrol should be set so the boiler cuts out at less than 2 PSI (if it will go down that low) and it should cut back in at 0.5 PSI if the thermostat is calling for heat. It's important that the pressure control can "see" the boiler pressure and to do that the pigtail has to be clear. Does the boiler ever shut down on pressure?
What kind of main vent is on the steam main? These systems usually work best if the mains are vented fast and the radiators are vented relatively slowly.
What make and model is that boiler and what does the name plate say it's oil consumption should be? You can downfire by maybe 20% but going further than that gets you into uncharted territory.
@ February 27, 2013 12:03 PM in Venting rates for Hoffman 1A ajustables and Gortons all sizesThe Hoffman #1 ranges from 0.04 (at 1) to 0.225 CFM (at 6). The Gortons are #4-.0.04, #5 - 0.13, #6 - 0.24, C - 0.45, and D - 0.54CFM.
Usually you want to vent the mains fast and the mains slow.
@ February 26, 2013 10:35 PM in Steam Boiler Nozzle Size and Spitting VentsOne thing about draining and refilling a boiler, do not do it when the boiler is hot. You do not want to pump a lot of cold water into a hot boiler.
Once you do refill it the boiler should be brought up to steam to drive off any oxygen in the water.