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Thread: radiator is filling up with water?

  1. #31
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    I read on heating help.com that the main vents on the main header should not be located at the very ends of the header (which is my current setup). He says to located them about 12" in from the ends of the mains and put them up on a 6" or 8" nipple this way the are protected from damage. He says these main vents very important to the system working properly.

    My only question about this is that a couple of inches from the ends of the main I have a couple risers leading to the radiators. Is it okay to put the main vent in more before where the risers go up? Does anybody know?

    Thanks,

    Gabe

  2. #32

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    My vent on the main is right at the very end at the connection to the pipe that goes up to the second floor. Funny thing is that I never hear any air coming out of the main vents, either this one or the other branch of main at the other side of the basement.

  3. #33
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Those vents are probably broken. When they are put on the end like that they get damaged by the incoming steam. They need to be installed 12" from the end and on top of a 8" or 12" nipple so that they are out of harms way.

    This is the next thing I'm going to do. Just have not had the money yet to do it. But I think it's guaranteed that the system will work better once I do.

    Gabe

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by GabeS View Post
    Those vents are probably broken. When they are put on the end like that they get damaged by the incoming steam. They need to be installed 12" from the end and on top of a 8" or 12" nipple so that they are out of harms way.

    This is the next thing I'm going to do. Just have not had the money yet to do it. But I think it's guaranteed that the system will work better once I do.

    Gabe
    Unfortuately, I have changed them also. Like I said, I give up and then every few years, I feel the need to take on the challenge, again. Maybe I have to let this go dormant for another few years. Right after I try the single pipe scheme.

  5. #35
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    any other thoughts?

  6. #36

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    Many areas of the country have rules and regulations concerning the care and maintenance of rental properties. In some of the areas, only licensed professionals are allowed to do any mechanical, electrical, plumbing or any other type of work.

    This is for the health and safety of the tenants who pay a fee to a landlord for habitable space that is required to be in working order and provides shelter, heat and sanitation.

    These laws and ordinances are designed to prohibit landlords from performing substandard work at the expense of the tenant who needs reasonable assurance that the property they are occupying is safe. Many municipalities have recently adopted the International Property Maintenance Code.

    You may want to check with your local code enforcement official to see what requirements you are held to. In my neighboring city, all rental properties are subject to annual inspection requirements. These requirements are the result of years of rental property neglect, a history of fires and other health problems created by landlords who performed substandard work without permits or inspections.

    I would suggest that you hire professionals to perform work on your rental properties for your own liability, but more importantly, for the safety and wellbeing of those who pay you to occupy those spaces.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  7. #37

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    I read through this thread and I was hoping someone could help me figure out what is going on with the radiators in my apartment building. Here are the details.

    3 flat apartment
    Gas Fired Boiler (I think)
    Steam heat

    I live in the third floor apartment. There are various radiators around the place, but the one one I am concerned about is the one in the middle of the apartment (basically above the boiler). I think the slope of the radiator is sloped away from the inlet valve. This is causing a lot of hammering, but nothing that I can't live with. However, recently I have been having problems where the heat won't come on for hours, and when it does, it stays on for hours. When the heat stays on, the boiler in the middle of the apt will fill up with water and the steam outlet on the side of the radiator will start dripping water out of it. If I turn it upside down, cold water comes streaming out.

    This is what I think is happening:

    the thermostat for the building is in the first floor apartment. I don't know exactly where it is, but I'm guessing it is near the equivalent radiator on the first floor. I think that when the boiler runs for a long time, the radiator on the first floor fills up and thus stops putting out heat, causing the thermostat to read like it is colder and continuing to tell the boiler to run.

    As for the periods of time where it doesn't run at all, I think this is a case of the boiler being too full of water. When I look at the gauge pipe, I can't even see the water level because it is up so high.

    The water inlet to the boiler is always on. From what I have read, it sounds like you don't need to put water into the boiler very often because the water from the radiators is supposed to drain back into it. Is the fact that the water is on causing it fill up too high thus preventing it from turning on when it should? And when it finally does come on, it has to run for too long because of the temperature in the apartment is so low. And when it runs for so long, the radiator fills up with water and becomes cold, tricking the thermostat into thinking it is cold in the apartment. It seems like a vicious cycle.

    I'm not exactly sure what to do. The problem is that the people who live on the first floor are not around for extended periods of time.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can or should do?

  8. #38
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    I think you just hijacked my thread. That's okay. This thread was pretty much dead anyway.

    Do you know if you have an automatic feeder or does someone do it manually by hand?

    The gauge glass should only be about half full. The valve that lets water in should not always be on or else that whole system will fill up with water.

    When the boiler in the basement is half full with water it boils and that's what produces the steam.

    That's the first thing I would check. If it's manually fed then close the fill valve and drain the boiler until the gauge glass is half full (there should be a mark for the water level). Don't do any work with the water hot. Shut it off and wait a while for the water to cool down.

    When you close the fill that water should stop. If the water is still running then that means the valve is broken.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by GabeS View Post
    I think you just hijacked my thread. That's okay. This thread was pretty much dead anyway.

    Do you know if you have an automatic feeder or does someone do it manually by hand?

    The gauge glass should only be about half full. The valve that lets water in should not always be on or else that whole system will fill up with water.

    When the boiler in the basement is half full with water it boils and that's what produces the steam.

    That's the first thing I would check. If it's manually fed then close the fill valve and drain the boiler until the gauge glass is half full (there should be a mark for the water level). Don't do any work with the water hot. Shut it off and wait a while for the water to cool down.

    When you close the fill that water should stop. If the water is still running then that means the valve is broken.
    I believe there is an automatic feeder for the water, but I think that it may not be properly calibrated if the water level in the gauge is showing that it is full. The water is not always running, but the water inlet valve to the boiler is definitely in the on position so that is why I assume there is some sort of automatic feeder.

  10. #40
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    While I don't know for sure, an auto-fill valve on a steam boiler would require some fancy controls to prevent it from overfilling the system. It isn't a problem with a hydronic system, since it should always be full; as steam boiler shouldn't.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    While I don't know for sure, an auto-fill valve on a steam boiler would require some fancy controls to prevent it from overfilling the system. It isn't a problem with a hydronic system, since it should always be full; as steam boiler shouldn't.
    What happens if the system overfills?

    There may not be an auto-fill valve. I'm not positive.

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