Steam boiler vent overflow

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    • #276000
      Brad Collins

      I have a two family house with two old steam boilers. I have noticed that after one of the boiler runs for some time…sometimes I get water coming out of what seems to be the main vent. The furnace has one large pipe coming out the top, what I assume to be the main steam line, and two smaller lines coming out from each side of the boiler. Each of the smaller lines goes up just after is comes out of the boiler, it then has a 90 and goes into the system…just after the 90 there is a vent on each line…this is where the water comes out. The water in the system is at the top of the site glass..could it be there is to much water in the system and this is overflow???

      Rob

    • #293254
      Harold Kestenholz
      Participant

      Yes, the water should be somewhere in sight in the glass – about 3/4 of the glass after the boiler has cooled and the water has returned from the readiators. You need to check to see if the gauge glass can be drained down to assure that the level in the boiler is also within the level you can see at the glass. Now that dirty water went into the main steam vent, it might need cleaning or replacement. Read the Steam Tips at: http://www.hydronicnetwork.net

      Have you had the required yearly service of cleaning the low water cutoff and safety checks done this year?

    • #293255
      COLIN108
      Participant

      I have schedule maintenance next week…is the line that the vent is connected to the return condense line? Why would water come out of this line?

      rob

    • #293256
      Harold Kestenholz
      Participant

      The main vent is mounted on the main steam line. Condensate does run in it, but it is to distribute steam and should not be flooded with water.

    • #293257
      COLIN108
      Participant

      The system I have is a single pipe system with what I am told is called a Wet Return. The main steam line comes out the top of the boiler and these return lines return into the bottom of the boiler on each side…it looks like the is one return going to each end of the house. These returns are T’d into the main steam line near each radiator. I have lowed the water in the site glass to about 3/4 full and yet when the boiler runs for extended times water comes out of this vent.

    • #293258
      Harold Kestenholz
      Participant

      You do not state if you have a Hartford Loop. the pictures of the results of not haviing one are at: http://64.226.150.132/hydronic/steam/nohart.html

      When a Hartford Loop is there, the results are better: http://64.226.150.132/hydronic/steam/yeshart.html

    • #293259
      COLIN108
      Participant

      There is some type of loop in the return line but it is higher than the pictures I have seen that should the loop coming into the main header 2inches below the water line. My return line comes out of the bottom of the boiler and goes up, it mades a 90 turn about 1.5ft from the ceiling. It then goes straight and before it connects to the main steam line there is a loop. The loop is below the main steam line. The vent in question is just after the 90.

      I cannot see the pictures on the web site..I must be missing some software.

    • #293260
      Harold Kestenholz
      Participant

      Flash Player is available from Macromedia for free downloading at: http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash&P5_Language=English
      Some Macs and Linux boxes don’t have them.

      From your description, you do not have a Hartford Loop, against the recommendations of all boiler company instructions and the Hartford insurance company for the last 75 years.

    • #293261
      COLIN108
      Participant

      I will have to speak to the guy who installed the system 75 years ago and ask why…? There is though some type of looping going on. I will discuss with service technician next week.

    • #293262
      Harold Kestenholz
      Participant

      When the system was installed 75 years ago, it was a wood and coal system. Manufactured gas was available, but mostly used for lighting and cooking. Oil came in the 50’s. Wood and coal took such a long time to bring the boiler to heat that is could be adjusted by the fire size. The newer burners and boilers steam faster, so quickly over-run when the Hartford Loop is missing. Dead men tell no tales, especially to new plumbers. Old-Timers keep the information flowing.

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