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    Latest Smith G-8 Steamer (18 Posts)

  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 10:39 PM
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    Latest Smith G-8 Steamer

    We replaced this Burnham 404, which had rotted out above the waterline- on both ends! First time we've seen that.

    The system had the usual small leaks, with no way to track feed-water input. One of the leaks was actually in a plug screwed into a radiator! First time we've seen that too. It wasn't obvious until the new boiler was running and could build some pressure. Thank God for impact wrenches.

    And it's hard to believe someone actually put their name on such a lousy near-boiler piping job.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 10:49 PM
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    The new 3-section Smith G-8

    first time we've done one with the EZ-Gas acoustic cover. This is the quietest power-gas steamer setup we've done yet. The folks at Carlin have made a serious effort to make the EZ-Gas burners run quietly.

    The second header takeoff feeds a counterflow main with more than enough pitch and (for now) just one radiator. Tying it onto the new header was an interesting exercise in getting the angles just right. But with the angle the way it is, the returning condensate won't shower the steam in the header- it just trickles down the side of the riser nipple and runs into the equalizer.

    We had replaced the main vents on this system a couple years ago, which made the steam distribute much faster, but at the time there were no leaks showing. I have a feeling the boiler was already starting to rot out at the waterline when we were first there. This time there was that leaking plug in the living-room radiator, as well as a couple loose rad valve unions. It's plenty tight now!

    There are two second-floor rooms that do not currently have radiators. This young family has two children and will eventually need to move at least one upstairs. This boiler has enough capacity for the added rads when they are installed.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    This post was edited by an admin on March 15, 2012 10:53 PM.
  • The Wire Nut The Wire Nut @ 4:11 PM
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    Tappings

    As usual, a work of art... How come you didn't use both boiler steam tapings?

    Alex...
    "Let me control you"



    Balmy Whites Valley PA and Lost in SOHO NYC.
  • Hap_Hazzard Hap_Hazzard @ 10:45 PM
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    It's only a 3-section boiler

    I'm not that familiar with the Smith boilers, but a 3-section boiler generally doesn't need two risers. Peerless recommends one riser on their 3–5-section boilers.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S

    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 4:53 PM
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    Only need one riser on the 3-section

    but since the extra tapping is there, why not leave it accessible for a flush-put port? 
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • Hap_Hazzard Hap_Hazzard @ 11:06 PM
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    That's fancy piping all right

    He got pretty creative with the far-boiler piping too! :-) Nice diagonal main. Very inspired use of Y fittings--you don't see that every day. And those hangers: very custom. This free-form sculpture should be hanging in a museum.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S

    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Gordo Gordo @ 11:10 PM
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    That Wye Fitting

    Belongs to the sink drainage pipe.  I know, it's very confusing!
    This post was edited by an admin on March 15, 2012 11:13 PM.
  • Hap_Hazzard Hap_Hazzard @ 11:34 PM
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    Even better!

    So that spool-o-wire hanger is being used for a liquid application. What could possibly go wrong with that?

    Did the same guy do all this plumbing or did the owner have to cherry-pick the best man for each project?
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S

    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 12:26 AM
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    That drain pipe

    might be original to the house. If we replace it, we'll reroute it. 
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • steampunk steampunk @ 12:04 PM
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    on the smith G8 boiler

    just out of curiosity guys, does the smith G8S-3H 350 sq.ft. steam boiler have
    two  2" supplies or only one?
    thank you all
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 7:12 PM
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    I think

    you still only need one. But check my reply to your e-mail.... I think you'd do better with the 4-section at the lower rate.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • Cris_in_Sunset_Park Cris_in_Sunset_Park @ 8:56 PM
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    Define bad piping job?

    thanks for posting the pics!  What defines the old stuff as a bad near-boiler piping job?  Also, is that copper??  I thought it was supposed to be iron?

    The pics of the new one show white marks at all the joints - is the PFTE tape? I haven't found any in my house done that way, and I've been wondering if it's allowable or advisable.

    (I have found a lot of plumber's putty applied around joints in an attempt to stop leaks... is that weird?)
  • Hap_Hazzard Hap_Hazzard @ 11:02 PM
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    Bad piping

    I'm not an expert--most of what I know I've picked up from reading the things pros like Steamhead and Gordo have posted here and asking them questions--but I can tell you a few of the things the previous installer did wrong.

    First, since you asked about copper, you don't use copper above the water line. Soldered joints crack and leak due to the differential expansion rates between solder and copper when they're repeatedly exposed to live steam. Below the water line you're fine with copper. It's cheaper and doesn't rust, and if you know what you're doing, it's less costly to install. You can cut the pipe to any length, sweat the joints, and you're done. Personally, I prefer black pipe everywhere because I hate sweating pipe and I suck at it.

    The other problem is the way the riser goes into an elbow barely a foot above the top of the boiler. That almost guarantees a lot of water will build up in that horizontal section. Then, where the riser comes off, the diameter of the pipe reduces too much going to the equalizer, and he uses a concentric reducer, so the water can never drain completely into the return. Instead it will tend to get carried up the riser with the steam and build up in the next horizontal section. Then he reduces the size of the pipe where the first system riser comes off, insuring that the velocity stays high so the water can't settle out. By putting in horizontal sections too close together, he's kind of created a ladder to allow the water to keep following the steam up into the mains. Wet steam, in case you hadn't picked up on it yet, is a Bad Thing. Wastes money, makes noise, shortens the life of the system, bad, bad, bad.

    I'm sure I've probably overlooked things. There are so many ways to go wrong, but if you want to see how to do it right, even in a cramped basement with a literal plumber's nightmare hanging over your head, take a look at the "after" pictures. These guys do really outstanding work.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S

    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    This post was edited by an admin on March 19, 2012 11:03 PM.
  • Gordo Gordo @ 10:24 PM
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    Good Piping! / !gnipiP baB

    Hap_Hazzard, thank you for your kind words.  You spelled out the major issues with the old boiler's piping.  That piping was removed with alacrity!

    Cris, PTFE tape is fine on threaded steam pipe.  In fact, it helps the joints to be able move just slightly to relieve expansion stress and you can take the joints apart even after years of use, unlike with many other types of pipe dope.

    I would like to point out some details that were added to the new boiler's piping:

    First, on the return line where the 1-1/2" copper male adapter threads into the tee, please note that tee is non-foreign cast iron for corrosion resistance.  Also, the non-foreign 1-1/2" steel nipple that completes the connection into the boiler is sch. 80 to provide long leak-free life.

    Next, the header has been increased by one size more than called for in the instruction manual to promote drier steam ( i.e. 2-1/2" from 2").


    Finally, the sight-glass is provided with a proper blow-down valve, as they all should.
    This post was edited by an admin on March 27, 2012 10:36 PM.
  • SCHausSELB SCHausSELB @ 8:55 PM
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    Smith G-8

    Good day to you all.  This is a fascinating forum.  Based on what I've read over the past few months, I am strongly considering replacing a very old, huge, oil-fired Texaco (Dunkirk) steam boiler with a gas-fired Carlin EZ Gas/Smith G-8.  The house in question is a bungalow fitted with older tube- and column-style radiators in a one-pipe system (not a great one but it functions).  I've looked at many of the "standard", atmospheric gas-fired boilers (dry-base?) but am not overwhelmed by their efficiency ratings.  [Plus, with a Smith, I can always switch back to oil if the price somehow falls dramatically.]  Assuming that the Smith has been properly sized and will be properly installed, might I expect the AFUE efficiency of such a set-up to exceed the 80 to 82 % published for the "standard" gas-fired, steam boilers?

    [An aside... If the reliability of the latest Honeywell pressure limit control can truly be called into question (as it seems to be), have any of the pros ever used low pressure switches from, say, Bailey & McKey - Series 1000, 1491 or 1481, for example?]

    [Do the pros have any steam associates familiar with the G-8 working way up in southern Maine?]

    Thank you very much.
  • BobC BobC @ 8:09 AM
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    Sb at least 85%

    All the information I've seen indicated the Smith G8 and a carlin ez gas should be better than 85%. I'm about to do something similar, I'm just south of Boston so we will be using different installers.

    That control looks interesting, I found the spec sheet on it and it looks like it would work. I think it might have to be used as an additional control just because inspectors are probably not familiar with them on this side of the pond. I'm currently using a mercury bulb vaporstat and I'll remove that from my current boiler and install it on the new boiler after the inspector has left just to avoid any stupidity caused by the mercury bulb.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 84,200 BTU, Single pipe steam

    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in

    3PSI gauge
    This post was edited by an admin on March 30, 2012 8:23 AM.
  • SCHausSELB SCHausSELB @ 4:54 PM
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    G-8

    (I had a bit of difficulty finding my way back to this post.)  Thank you, Bob, I am getting quotes now.  Cheers.
  • Rod Rod @ 5:38 PM
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    Maine Steam Pro

    Hi-  Good Steam Pros in Maine are very hard to find. You might want to contact:
    Ken Viger
    K&J Heating, Inc
    168 Lewiston Rd
    Gray, ME
    04039
    (207) 415-0873
    He comes very highly recommended.  I haven't used him myself as I do my own steam work but would be the one I would call if I needed a good steam man.

    As for boilers - you might also want to take a look at the Slantfin Intrepid. Like the Smith, it is wet based oil boiler approved for power gas burners. Both are good boilers though one might match your system's EDR better than the other.
    - Rod
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