Gas Boiler Problem

Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: Dann757 On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:07 am

With the recent storm, the power coming on and off, the generator etc. , my friend's furnace malfunctioned. I went in to the basement yesterday, and took 25 gallons of water out of the furnace. I think the auto feed might be not working. This furnace is a hybrid replacement. Half is the new baseboard heat, which serves the addition they had put on. The other half is steam, which serves the 5 old steam radiators.

The pics might not be enough info. Just trying to save them a service call.

When I went in yesterday, there was cold water condensate on the steel steam return pipes, obvious feed water was moving in to the system. Took five spackle buckets out of the drain before the sight glass showed half full, close to a proper level. It must have been filling the steam radiators! The pressure guage showed maybe 5 psi.
Yesterday I cut the main gate water in valve, the bypass valve, and the manual feed valve, so no water in to the boiler. Pressure guage close to zero now.

This morning I noticed the circulator pump was running, but no heat. I shut the electric to the boiler off.

Main question is, I don't know if I shut the yellow handle ball valve off, or if it should be on. This seems to be the return from the baseboards.

Also, I could try to open the auto feed and see if it functions.

Sorry for this vague info, can provide more pics. No manual for this rigged hybrid system. Just trying to avoid a service call.

Thanks if any of you boiler guys can help.
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Dann757
 

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: Jackman On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:19 am

Well I 'd did a lot of service years back and I never saw or even heard of a Steam/baseboard boiler so I am confused on that part, but one thing do remember is that on the steam boilers during our annual service we drained down the boiler and cleaned the auto feed because they tend to crud up and lead to an over feed situation and that kinda seems like what you have there with your friends unit but that said a steam and base board all in one might make your system totally different than what I have seen.
Jackman
 

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: jim d On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:45 am

if you fill and purge the bb and your check valves are holding and your circ is opperational the h20 will stay in the bb by vacume then you set the h20 level in the boiler and you should be all set to go
jim d
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska//coaljck
Stove/Furnace Model: liberty// cj3


Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:21 am

Looks like they are using condensate for the baseboards...are there boiler drains that you can use to fill & purge the baseboards? Like Jim posted, you need to get them filled and purged, and then isolate them until the water level in the boiler is correct. I would also guess that the automatic water feeder is messed up and overfilling the boiler...you need to troubleshoot that and see if the control is malfunctioning, or the fill valve is leaking by.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: Dann757 On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:29 am

Installer is coming tomorrow. I opened the main feed, kept the manual feed closed, opened the auto feed valve. Drained another 5 gallons out, which put the water level 1" below the cutoff probe. There's a 2 minute wait for the auto feed. It kicked open and worked properly. But now the Honeywell RA832A device is sitting there humming, and the circulator was running, so I shut the power off. The installer is the husband of a lady in Yvette's ( homeowner) church. I told her that won't stop him from ripping you off hahahahahaha. Beyond me so I'll let him fix it.

Thank you for replies.
Dann757
 

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: steamup On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:46 pm

" No manual for this rigged hybrid system."

Rigged, yes
Hybrid - Kind word.

I haven't seen this done before. Using condensate to heat baseboard is unorthodox but apparently works to some degree. However, it makes a system more complex and could cause issues with water levels as you are seeing. Nothing I would ever recommend doing but people do strange things to save money.

Best get Uncle Rube back to trouble shoot it.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: Dann757 On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:04 pm

I hear ya Steamup, wish they could have got you here to design something correct and efficient. When they had their addition put on, I went insane for the whole time. Really crappy G.C. My friend Yvette ended up doing most of the GC work!!! A lot of phone calls. Subs were mostly illegals from the urban areas. Her old steam boiler just served 7 radiators. They hooked the old boiler up somehow to also feed a loop of baseboards. They f'd up the placement too. There was no coordination. There's a baseboard behind built-in cabinets !

Then last year, the new foundation channelled water into the 15 x15' little basement and destroyed the boiler and hw heater during heavy spring rains. Still contending with that.
They got another guy "from the church" to install a new boiler. At that time they should have converted to all baseboards. Or possibly convert the radiators to hot water. But they can't even comprehend the simplest heating system concept, so it came down to cost.
By that time I had to keep my face out of it or kill somebody. :P . I only asked the plumber to put in an electronic ignition boiler. He refused ,saying he only installs standing pilot light boilers. So I backed off. :lol:
Dann757
 

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: jim d On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:28 pm

this was very common in this area when they would put an addition on or put heat in the basement ,it's not using condensate, it's using the hot h20 in the h20 leg of the boiler if you've got an old burnam or dunhham bush heating book it shows you how to pipe it
jim d
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska//coaljck
Stove/Furnace Model: liberty// cj3

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:21 pm

Page 22 of " the golden rules of Hydronic heating by Guess who???

Hot water zone off a steam boiler

By throttling the boiler bypass line (while making steam) you'll blend return water with boiler water and ensure the water into the zone will never be hotter than 180 degrees At this temperature the water can not flash to steam when the circulator shuts off

Fill the zone with a hose using two boiler drains and gate valves that should be in place

control the circulator via room tstat and a hi limit aquastat and a DPST switching relay

been there done that -- works great

if this is what you drained --- you now have the opportunity to replace it and resink the system

Kind Regards
Sting
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:25 pm

Dann757 wrote:I only asked the plumber to put in an electronic ignition boiler. He refused ,saying he only installs standing pilot light boilers. So I backed off. :lol:


now there was the smartest plumber in the room -- you were an uninformed fool --- aclkkkk HOMEOWNER that listened to to many Home improvement shows -- not to listen to him
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Gas Boiler Problem

PostBy: steamup On: Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:12 pm

I understand now what was done. Steam residential heat is rare in my neck of the woods.

It is a good way to get some heat to an area fast and cheap. Wait - good, fast and cheap! must be a winner! sold ! Any good New Yankee will buy the cheapest solution.

With todays energy prices, conversion to a straight hydronic system would enable the installation of more efficient heating equipment. Maybe at the next boiler replacement.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice