Joined on September 15, 2010
Last Post on March 7, 2014
@ February 3, 2011 11:10 AM in New Boiler, Old Problems, Lots of QuestionsThose settings sound correct.
The pressuretrol is acting as a backup to the vaporstat hence it's high settings. Does the pressure gauge read anything when it's steaming?
@ February 3, 2011 10:25 AM in New Boiler, Old Problems, Lots of QuestionsThe pressure should be low - 1.5PSI cutout and 0.5PSI cut in. That is the pressuretrol set at? If it's the PA404 should have the tab on the front of the case set to 0.5 (that's adjustable with the strew adjustment on top), The white dial inside should be set at 1.
If it is a vaporstat then the setpoint would be set at 1.5PSI and the differential set to 1PSI (both adjustable with screws on the top of the case.
Post a close up picture of the pressuretrol and or the vaporstat.
@ February 2, 2011 10:47 PM in Draining problem with Steam BoilerThe drain with the hose on it is for the return line not the boiler. See if there is amother drain down low on the boiler, it maybe on the other side.
@ February 2, 2011 7:46 PM in Draining problem with Steam BoilerThere should be a lower drain than that on the boiler itself. Usually there is a drain on the mud leg which is the lowest point on the boiler.
We have a few months of winter to go and you really should drain some water off every week or two for two reasons. First to make sure the sight glass is really seeing the water level in the boiler and second to help keep the LWCO probe from crusting up.
@ February 2, 2011 4:50 PM in Cause of dry firing consideredYou could probably just lay that on top of a boiler casting and use a good thick bat of insulation (between the casting and jacket) to hold it in place. Problem is the capillary tube is very short. I wonder if they make one with a longer tube?
Maybe like the L4008 - http://customer.honeywell.com/honeywell/ProductInfo.aspx/L4008A1015
@ February 2, 2011 4:28 PM in Cause of dry firing consideredIt would not be rocket science to set up a temperature sensing chip on the surface of the boiler and use some circuitry to alert you to a potential problem. It would probably take about $20 worth of parts and some solder. You could use the output to trigger an alarm or trip a robocaller.
35 years ago i noticed a "hot smell" in the back hall of the apartment I was living in at that time. I went downstairs and found the landlords boiler with a cherry red spot on the side. I killed the power and cut the tank safety line to stop any more fuel from feeding into it just in case. That cost him a boiler but at least we saved the house from burning down.
@ February 2, 2011 12:02 PM in Weather report from Ann Arbor, MichiganMy NE colonial (any house that fits no other description) has some good sized ice dams front and back and the rain is just pouring off the roof right now. This old house (1918) has 1X6" roof rafters supporting the 8/12 pitched roof; I'll just pray that most of the snow gets flushed away before the weight becomes a serious problem.
@ February 2, 2011 11:14 AM in Weather report from Ann Arbor, MichiganIt is pouring rain south of Boston right now. i just finished shoveling the drive and walk of 3-4" of slushy snow, my neighbor was trying to use his snow blower but it just continually plugged up so he put it away and got out his shovel. It's not easy lifting up that crap to sit on 5 foot banks of snow, I guess that's my stress test for this week!
@ February 2, 2011 11:09 AM in plugged riser?I'll bet there is a short horizontal run that is pitched wrong bestowing you with a water trap. the fact you can get it to work fine for a while indicates removing the water lets the steam flow.
An old building like that may have settled over the last 80-90 years. Maybe a 1/2 - 3/4" shim under all the radiators (both valve and vent sides) on that run will help, just check the pitch on each radiator as you go to see if you have to add a bit more under the air vent end. Be careful so you don't crack anything.
@ February 2, 2011 9:28 AM in uneven heatingRadiators are usually vented according to the size (in sq ft), if your radiators vary from 3-10 sections you will probably need more venting on the large ones because there is almost a 3:1 difference in size. Upper floors may need more venting also because the piping starts to get a little more significant. Always remember best operation is usually achieved when you vent the mains fast and the the radiators slowly but completely.
Once you get the basement mains venting straightened out (at least 2 Gorton #2's on the long main and maybe a Gorton#1 on the short one) you might want to try some adjustable vents (Hoffman 1A's or Ventrite #1's) so you can dial in the venting. just leave the Hoffman 40's on the small radiators and use the asjustable vents on thae large radiators that don't heat up fast enough. That way you should be able to get them all to heat up at about the same time.
@ February 2, 2011 9:06 AM in Cause of dry firing consideredCan you post some pictures of the boiler and the piping around it? Take
the pictures from a few different angles so we can see how it's piped.
It would be nice to catch any serious piping errors before they can
cause more problems. Also what make and model is the boiler and what is
it rated at in sq ft of steam?
Does the boiler have an automatic water feeder on it? If not, do we know
if the homeowner ever added water to the system and how often?
That second LWCO should insure fail safe operation as long as the boiler gets blown down on a regular schedule.
@ February 2, 2011 8:41 AM in water hammer in low returnI'm just a homeowner with a single pipe steam system but I was wondering what pressure is the boiler running at? If it's too high it will find it's way into all kinds of places it shouldn't. Be careful, that 30PSI gauge might be lying to you.
Are those vents large enough for that size and length of pipe/
@ February 1, 2011 2:48 PM in found two vaporstats which to buy?FWIW I picked up a NOS 0-4lb mercury bulb vaporstat on ebay a couple of years ago and it's worked fine ever since i installed it. Right now my cutout is 12 oz and my cutin is 4oz. The operating pressure is off from what I have it set for but it is very consistent in operation and that's all I care about.
If you had a vapor system the 16oz version would be the way to go but for a normal steam system the 4 lb version seems the way to go in my opinion.
@ January 31, 2011 1:15 PM in Cause of dry firing consideredFor a 3 month old burner to have enough crap in in it to foul the LWCO I would think the system was never skimmed after the install. After installing a new boiler it has to be skimmed a few days after the install to remove any sediment caused by the installation and some times it has to be skimmed several times. I would ask the installer some very pointed questions.
This reinforces my habit of inspecting the boiler no less then every other day. The owner should contact the boiler manufacterer and scream bloody murder.
@ January 31, 2011 8:35 AM in Uneven Main VentingYour running at about 96.4% of the rated firing rate, when they come to service the boiler ask them to see if they can crank up the gas pressure a bit; just don't expect a significant change.
Rather than replace the original gauge just add another one on the pigtail. Go to http://www.gaugestore.com/prodinfo.asp?number=33020 to see the generic low pressure gauge a lot of us use. Pipe it like the picture but add a 1/4" union between the pigtail and the T if you can, it will make dis-assembly for cleaning a lot easier.
@ January 30, 2011 5:28 PM in main venting -- 2 mains that are uneven lengths -- and producing uneven heatThe 2-1/4" OD is 2" pipe.
I would assume you need about 1 Gorton #2 for each 40 ft so it looks like you need one Gorton #2 where the Dole 4A is and one more Gorton #2 added to the existing Gorton (total of 2 for that main).
You want to get the air out of the mains very fast and then vent the radiators relatively slowly. The radiators want to be vented by their size in general,m faster venting for larger radiators. Hoffman !A's and Ventrite #1's are nice because they are adjustable over at least a 4:1 range at 2oz of pressure.
@ January 30, 2011 3:59 PM in Boiler size advice for confused homeownerAlways consider that the quality of your installer trumps the choice of boiler. A well installed boiler will be efficient, quiet, and long lasting.
@ January 30, 2011 11:32 AM in Uneven Main VentingIf that capped pipe is hot to the end you may well have a steam leak in that pipe.
@ January 30, 2011 8:11 AM in Uneven Main VentingJeff,
Check the slope of the slow heating main to be sure it all has the correct slope so you don't have any pooling water, The slope rate of both mains should be about the same.
What kind of vents are you using on the radiators? You may be venting the radiators on that first main too fast. Can you slow the venting down on the radiator near the thermostat so the boiler runs longer?
Also the check the slope of the antler you have the gortons on to be sure you have positive slope back to the boiler.
Do you see any signs (drops of water above the water in the gauge glass) of wet steam?
How long does the boiler fire to satisfy the thermostat and how high does the pressure get before it shuts down?
@ January 29, 2011 11:59 AM in Upgrade Steam Boileri agree with all the points that nbc made and would add that the gas company often gives with one hand and takes away with the other.
Why don't you start a post on the "Strictly Steam" area, with pictures of the system, so the pro's can advise you about what should be done before you install a new boiler. take shots of the boiler that show all the controls as well as the piping that comes and goes from the boiler, include some shots of the steam mains that show the main air vents. Also tell us about any issues the system has now and if the water gauge shows dirty or jumping water.
There may be some things you can do that will trim that fuel bill and they will only help make a new boiler run more efficiently if you decide to replace it. Remember one important fact, the people who install a boiler make the biggest difference, you need to find an installer who knows steam.
@ January 28, 2011 2:51 PM in Adjusting Pressuretrol OptionsI assume you have the internal wheel set to one.
Pressuretrols are just not very good and the newest ones appear to be worse than the old style was. A vaporstat gives much better low pressure control but they cost about $80 more. Also trying set either one using the 0-30PSI gauge is usually fruitless, try installing an auxiliary 0-3PSI gauge so you can see whats really going on.
@ January 27, 2011 6:42 PM in Removing a PressuretrolDave,
I worked as an engineer in the power supply field for 35 years, those are just some of the treasures I've collected over the years. When I croak, it's going to take a LOT of work to unload that cellar.
Finally finished shoveling out, time for some bourbon (for medicinal purposes of course)
have a great night,