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    New Boiler at the Best Mansion (42 Posts)

  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 10:33 PM
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    New Boiler at the Best Mansion

    This thread is an ongoing saga of the restoration of the heating system at the Louis P. Best Mansion in Davenport, Iowa.  The previous thread on this project is long, too long to continue, but for background it can be read at http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/131216/The-Best-Heating-System


    Ok, the time has finally arrived!!  Contracts signed with J.L. Brady and Co.  Equipment arrived at the date and time I was told, and the very able, experienced, and cheerful crew set about the project at hand.


    From the discussions in the first hour, I am 100% confident that these men, Ben and Jim, know their steam, in fact, they know it quite well.  I am impressed to say the least! 

    The first workday has proceeded quite well!  And so far, they have not banished me from the boiler room!!  Ha!   I have tried to lend a hand on occaision, but mostly I have tried to stay out of their way!


    The boiler selected is a Weil-McLain 680, with a Reillo 900 2-stage burner.  Below, you can view the first days progress.


    You can see that the boiler is being installed in a new location.  Actually, it is the old location, where the home's original boiler was placed in 1909.  Everything old is new again!  Right?

    Stay tuned for further updates in this story.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on November 26, 2012 10:37 PM.
  • crash2009 crash2009 @ 8:43 AM
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    Suggestion

    for you to consider Dave.  It's a little design that I have been working on.  The cross T with plug, and end plugs, are for cleaning in the future.  Double 45's allow it to drain back.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 2:17 PM
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    That is pretty good!

    Crash,  I like what you're putting together, I think it looks like a good idea! 
    This install is going to be the WM setup that they use on their larger boilers.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 2:21 PM
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    Controls and Safeties

    Jim continues working on the controls and control wiring.  Risers temporarily in place, 34" above the water line then dropping into a dropped header.  Manufacturer calls for 3" risers, contractor installing 4".
    These guys love their work and it shows!

    Also, a shot of the original 5" building header with the fiberglass pulled off.  2 1/2" Supply coming off the top of the building header in the foreground heads to the garage.  4" Supply coming of the top in the distance, right behind the duct, feeds the house piping.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on November 28, 2012 2:29 PM.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 10:31 PM
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    End of Day, 11/28 report

    There won't be any progress to report for a week or so.  The burner is still not here.  The plan was once the boiler arrived, to get and get it erected.  The job will be completed when the burner arrives.
    Here is a shot showing the full 4" drop header, and also a panorama shot of the boiler room, camera near the window, looking down the room toward the old boiler and hallway door.   Ooops!  found out that panorama shots won't post. Here is a series of shots.

    I'm looking forward to this being completed.

    Also, I found out today that the Dunham Model 220 Air Check is available in a redesigned model from Mepco.  The secret of this check and any used on vapor heating is that it has an incredibly low cracking pressure and seals very tight.  I may be ordering one!!
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on November 29, 2012 10:43 PM.
  • Smith19 Smith19 @ 10:46 PM
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    Mansion boilers

    Ha!
    Must be interesting working in an old house like that. Where I come from on Cape Cod, we had an old house in the town where two MASSIVE BTU lochinvar knights were installed on a retrofitted hydronic system. Those basements can be creepy at night! Place must be haunted! haha!!
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 10:48 AM
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    Hurry Up Riello !!!

    Well, as I have said, when we ordered the new boiler, the old one was still working fine.  We just figured it was time for a replacement.  When the installation began, the old boiler had started to leak.  It was making a hissing sound while firing and upon inspecting, I found a small crack at the top of one section as well as a little corrosion at the sides of the same section.

    Now, we are still waiting for the delivery of the Riello Burner, which we knew was going to run late.  In the meantime, the little his has increased to more of a roar.  Now, we are VERY CLEARLY seeing lots of white smoke.   And, the temperature was only 41F outside. 

    I am looking forward to the switchover to the new boiler! 
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on December 6, 2012 10:49 AM.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 2:45 PM
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    The Hole gets Bigger!!

    I am barely able to maintain heat in the house.  Most is going up the chimney!  Eeeek.   I going to be glad with this ride is over!!
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Well...

    at least the chimney is getting a steam cleaning!
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)
    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert


    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 8:05 AM
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    The Piping continues

    From the get go, we knew that there would be a delay on the burner.  As a result, the crew has left several times to do other installs.  We finally got word that the burner is supposed to arrive in the Quad Cities Tuesday.  Cutover should happen this week.

    Here are some more progress pictures showing near boiler piping, end of main manifold and return piping.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on December 17, 2012 11:06 AM.
  • gerry gill gerry gill @ 10:12 AM
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    Nice, really nice

    looking job. I already like your crew.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 11:11 AM
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    Thank You!

    Gerry, the lead man on the job is great -- Hi level of skill, pride in his work, and lots of brain power to go with it.   I am especially pleased to receive your compliment.  The lead man also reads this website and I know he will be please as well.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Henry Henry @ 11:41 AM
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    Nice piping

    Over here, your are not allowed to put 45s nor 90s on control piping. All connections must be cross Tee so that inspection and cleaning can be easily done.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 11:57 AM
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    Over Where?

    That is a good idea Henry.  These have all been installed according to the manufacturer's guide.  Cross tees on the floats, wet manifold for the controls, removable for cleaning and inspection via a union.  Also, last device is removable to clean manifold.  Tee and cap would have been a good idea.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 9:43 AM
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    It's a BOY! -ler

    Yes, just about as proud as a new papa...     

    10:15 AM Wednesday 12/19, the Riello burner was delivered.  Cut-over began immediately.  This job was complicated somewhat because the location of the boiler was being changed and this required some work to the main where the old boiler connected.  By 4:30 the last of the piping was completed.   There were plenty of details to keep the installer busy while we waited for the burner tech.  About 7 PM, the burner tech arrived after having been tied up on another service call and by 8 PM we had steam!

    The preliminary numbers are quite good!  Boiler is rated at a max of 780,000 BTU input, firing at 390,000 on low fire.   Combustion efficiency is coming in at 83%.  Boiler is maintaining 8 oz. of pressure in mains against orifices with a total capacity of 1269 EDR at 8 oz.  On an extended steaming time of more than 30 minutes, the radiators fully heat and the condensate returning to the boiler is  less than 100F.   My calculations were as follows: 
    1269 Sq Ft x 225 BTU/Sq Ft (at 0 psi) x 1.1 (Piping loss, NO PICKUP FACTOR) x 1 BTU (input)/0.81 BTU (output) = 387,872 BTU Input Required.    

    Explanation:  Pickup factor not used on an orificed system because the radiators are separated from the boiler and mains.

    So this is what the numbers told me I needed.  Several of the pros, as I recall Steamhead and Boilerpro, told me that my old Pennco boiler running at a reduced firing rate was very inefficient, probably around 55% as I recall.  I really didn't think it could be that bad, and therefore really didn't have complete faith in the calculations for the new boiler.  Keep in mind, the old boiler was firing at 600,000 BTU to hold 8 oz in the mains and the numbers said that all I needed in an 81% efficient boiler was 387,000 BTU to do the same thing.  As you can see, the numbers were correct because I am firing at 390,000 BTU on Low Fire and the system is holding 8 oz.  This means that the old boiler was about 52% efficient!   Ugh!   Don't you just hate it when the pros are right?  Who woulda thunk that they could toss out a number and hit the nail on the head?   Ahhh... Knowledge.  It is an amazing thing!

    Hi fire will give me plenty of reserve capacity to add the old garage and apartment to the load at a future date.  The EDR added will be 425.  With garage added and the old indirect radiators in the main house, the total firing rate needed will be 643,595 BTU, which is well within the capacity of the WM 680 boiler's 780,000 max firing rate.

    Additional things I like about the boiler:  It has big thick sections, lots of mass and beefy cast iron.  The weight empty is 1843 lbs.  Large steam chest and nice big passages between the sections.  Large water content of 53 gallons.  The Riello 2-stage burner with acoustic cover is considerably more quiet than other power burners I have seen, and it runs on a little 1/8 HP motor.  2-stage firing will give me flexibility in the future to heat the whole property.  Hi-Lo Vapor-stat with manual override switch will allow the system to automatically adjust firing to match the load, as occupants may turn off radiators in bedrooms, etc.

    Things I don't like about the boiler:  Well, I really thought that I wanted a boiler with cast iron push nipples.  However, I have heard so many comments from the pros, both pro and con, and it seems that the vast majority seem to think that WM gaskets are fine if they are installed correctly in the first place.  I monitored the assembly of the block and I can say it was done precisely according to the book.  I am comfortable that the gaskets will be just fine.

    So that's it!   I'll be posting some pictures as soon as the insulation is completed.  Still have a few fittings left to wrap up.  Looking for an old easy chair for "the super" (that's me). And thinking how great the boiler room would look with a fresh coat of paint!  I keep thinking maybe Crash will come over and show me how it's done!

    A great big thank you goes out to J. L. Brady & Co. and the crew, Ben, Jim,  Jimmy, and Jake.  You guys do great work!    Oh, salesman Scott deserves a thank you too, because he is the one that convinced me his crew would do a great job.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on December 22, 2012 10:01 AM.
  • Exceptional Job!

    That boiler will be there 100 years.  Congratulations to you and the skilled tradesmen that put that piece of artwork together.

    I've got one questions: How were they able to tighten the fitting without wrench marks?
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 4:47 PM
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    First Report

    Well, I have been working on installing the new insulation and painting the old, trying to get the boiler room ready for the camera.  Was down several days with a bad cold and then when I was about over that I came down with the stomach flu bug that is going around.  Today, back among the living, I was ready to go take some pictures, grabbed the camera, and its dead!  Battery won't charge.  I guess that's what happens when it gets dropped.  I'll go buy a new camera and post soon.

    Utility Bill Just In!!!  It was a 36 day billing cycle, UGH I hate when they do that!   The entire billing period has only the new boiler on it.  Total Therms = 1168, Total Degree Days = 1525.  Cost = $885.  Therms/DD = 0.76.      Same Period Last Year w/Old Boiler, Therms = 1412, DD = 1262,  Therms/DD = 1.11. Last year was a mild year, previous January bills have had usage as high as 1,800 therms.  I guess we're seeing savings of about 1/3, which is what I was expecting.

    Still not able to draw a real significant vacuum.  Have been chasing down a few leaky valve stems, found a small leak in a main and will have it repaired soon. 

    Lots of skimming!!!  I've got it pretty clean and not much is coming out of the skimmer anymore.  I guess its time to dump the water and fill it up with a fresh batch as per the installation manual.  Water line is pretty steady, but should still be a bit better.

    I have the final burner settings turned out to be 360,000 BUT Lo Fire and 680,000 Hi Fire.  Second Hi-Lo Vaporstat is set up and works fine, but so far I've been running only on Lo Fire and it has been working fine.  Hi Fire was really for the future restoration of the steam system in the garage. Were getting good even distribution.  Prolonged firing will completely heat the radiators.   I've also noticed that the chimney does not stay as warm, and therefore it is not the uncontrolled source of heat that it has been in the past.  Also, the floor of the room above the boiler room is not longer a radiant floor!  I took the temp of the concrete ceiling in the boiler room the last day the old boiler was running and it was actually 110F!  Now, its about 85F.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • moneypitfeeder moneypitfeeder @ 6:58 PM
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    Your efficiency is great!

    I've been following your whole story, and its great to see the new boiler go in, and that you will reap the benefits of a lower gas bill. Fantastic house, and your installers did a fantastic job with the new boiler! I look forward to your future posts when you really get to know your new system, and more photos of the finished results!! 
    steam newbie
  • vaporvac vaporvac @ 9:11 PM
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    congratulations!

    So glad to see it's paying off in $ and not just sense. Your story has been an inspiration. I hope mine ends as well; I'm still trying to convince the supply house I want to stage-fire 2 Tr50s. They want me to buy one atmospheric and have basically refused to order me what I want. Oh well, I guess that's why we have the web. The install was inspiring as well. Very professional, but the results are really the end goa,l so I'm glad it's working out. Every penny counts in these big old houses.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 8:40 PM
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    Insulation Finished!

    It's been a long time coming, but the insulation and other tidying up is nearly done.  Then the camera died and I had to go buy a new one!  First a boiler, now a camera!  
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on January 28, 2013 8:43 PM.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 9:30 PM
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    She's beautiful!

    Wait -- you already said it was a BOY! -ler.

    Questions arise:

    img0010 - are those your crossover traps?

    img0030 - is that the "trap used as vent" you described a couple of days ago?

    img0036/37/38  all show capped pipe stubs.  Are these part of your future garage/apartment plan?


    thanks~
    This post was edited by an admin on January 28, 2013 10:41 PM.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 10:28 PM
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    Yes, for future use

    When I click on the images and then right click and check properties, the image numbers I get are different than what you have shown for the crossover traps, but yes, theere are two images of the crossover traps.  They are all in a row.  House main rises off of the original building header, goes through a wheel valve, right there a 2 1/2" main branches off and runs back past the boiler and loops around the end of the boiler room, the main run of the 4" main continues to the other side of the house where it splits, one branch looping around the front and the other running to the back.  These 2 mains come back to the boiler room and all 3 merge at the front corner of the boiler where they are vented by crossover traps right before dropping to the the floor.  

    The capped nipple in the wet return at the floor beside the boiler is for a drip line on the indirect that is on that same side of the room.  The vent line is still hooked up.  The indirect on the other side of the room will connect to the returns with a drip and also a vent line.  Both use an air service valve or paul type valve. 

    Other future connections are for the wet return from the garage which comes back through a clay tile that terminates at the boiler room wall and a vent line that comes back a few inches lower than the garage main.  Also, there is a drip line from a low point in that main that comes back to the boiler room and will connect to a wet return at the floor.

    Image 30, System vents through a 1/2" swing check valve.  The other check valve in the same view that has piping in both openings, is the Dunham specified vacuum equalizer.  It allows vacuum formed in the mains to be transferred to the returns, i.e., allows flow from the return to the steam main, but not in the reverse direction.

    I guess I should have marked them up with labels and arrows.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on January 28, 2013 10:35 PM.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 10:45 PM
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    oops

    I fumblefingered 0030 into 0040 -- fixed.

    Thanks, still wrapping my head around these vacuum/vapor systems so I ask a lot of questions.

    image0030 - I see what looks like a swing check left middle of photo, to the right of a ball valve.  Whatever it is, both ends are piped.  It's the other brass valve with one end piped into consecutive bell reducers that that I'm curious about.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 10:58 PM
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    That's the vent

    yes, the open swing check valve is the vent for the entire system.  Today, was running the system after it was down for a couple hours.  I noted that my oz gauge showed no pressure at all at the boiler until all 3 of the crossover traps had closed.  Within a few seconds of the time the steam arrived at the last crossover, the needle started to lift off the peg.  I slowly rose up to 8 oz, where it remained.

    Ya, this is unique to an orificed system.  The mains pressurize to the design point of the orifices (8 oz) because the firing rate is also matched to the system orifice load.  It just sets there an purrs along.  The radiators have no pressure.  Firing at 375,000 BTU  I slowly and efficiently heat up 1259 EDR, keeping a 8,000 sq ft building toasty warm.  So far on our coldest day, 0 F outside, the rads never heated more than 60%.  70-72F space temperature.

    2-pipe vapor systems, running on no pressure most of the time were a puzzle for me too!  A real mind twister for a guy that was used to working with institutional type systems with much higher pressures and a constant supply of steam.  If I had not found Heating Help, I would never have figured it all out and who knows how many stupid mistakes I would have made.  Thank you Heating Help!!!
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on January 28, 2013 11:02 PM.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 9:51 AM
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    aha

    Fascinating that a standard swing check turns out to open at the right pressure for venting the mains.  I was mixing up the two valves.  The "Dunham specified vacuum equalizer" looks new - they still make those?
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 5:04 PM
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    It's just a check valve

    As per the Dunham diagrams, and the fact that I had a capped off 3/4 pipe coming from my steam main running in the direction of the return stack, This is simply a cross connection between the steam main and the return piping, with a check valve and a shut off for service purposes, that allows flow in the direction from the returns to the steam main.

    Purpose:  When the boiler first shuts off, vacuum begins to form first in the areas with the most steam, i.e., the mains and the radiators.  This check allows the vacuum formed to equalize with the returns, so that the vacuum is even through out.   Without this equalizer in place, it causes any air in the return piping to flow backwards and up through the radiators traps and into the radiators, thus interfering with the normal return of condensate.   I believe that Dunham is the only system to call for this type of equalizer connection.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on January 29, 2013 5:06 PM.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 5:16 PM
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    just a check valve

    it _looked_ like a swing check, but then I got lost in the 'Dunham specified' bit.  Thank you for clearing that up.

    What I'm tinkering with is a 'modern retro' vacuum/vapor design based on currently available or easily fabricated components.  It should be able to be retrofitted onto a conventional two-pipe system in the field.  It may also be useful in rehabilitating vintage vacuum/vapor system which have suffered from knuckleheading.

    I should probably start a new thread...
  • Pumpguy Pumpguy @ 5:12 PM
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    Equalizer lines....

    as you describe are a standard piping feature on 2 pipe systems.
    Specializing in vacuum pumps for steam heating systems, especially older Nash Jennings units. We build new ones too!





    Please visit our website www.nashjenningspumps.com for more information
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 5:18 PM
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    that's good to know

    I did not know that.  I do know that Dunham always shows them in their drawings.  But, others that I have looked at such as Trane, Hoffman, Webster, Moline, Mouat, etc., have not shown them in the drawings that I have looked at. 
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • vaporvac vaporvac @ 10:37 PM
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    trane too

    I believe by trane system has the same.
  • MarkS MarkS @ 7:07 AM
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    What's the purpose

    of the High / Low / Auto switch?
    Homeowner, Royersford PA | 1890 one-pipe steam system | 3009 sf | 3 floors | 14 radiators | Utica SFE5200S boiler
    Midco LNB-250 Modulating Gas Burner | EcoSteam modulating controls | 70 to 300 MBH |
    607 sf EDR connected load | Operating pressure: 0.5 oz/in2
    Four main runs (insulated) totaling 135 ft in length | All Gorton vents on mains & rads |
    A Steam Odyssey | Odyssey 2 | Odyssey 2014 | A Steam Enthusiast's Outdoor Reset Control
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 8:00 AM
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    Burner Control

    The purpose of the Hi-Lo-Auto switch is to provide manual override for the burner firing rate.  The burner is a 2-stage burner.  In the auto position, the firing rate is determined by the Hi-Lo Vaporstat.  At a pressure of 5 oz or less, the Hi-Lo Vaporstat contacts close and the burner goes to hi fire.   If the pressure rises to 11 oz, the vaporstat contacts open and causes the burner to go to Lo fire.
    If the switch is placed in the Hi position, the burner will fire in hi fire as long as there is a call for heat or unless the boiler pressure rises to 14oz, at which time the Operating Vaporstat will cause the burner to shut off until the pressure drops to the cut-in of the Operating Vaporstat, which is 3oz.
    If the switch is placed in the Lo fire position, the burner will remain in the Lo firing rate as long as there is a call for heat.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • MarkS MarkS @ 8:44 AM
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    Overrides & Tekmar

    Does running in either of the override positions have any effect on the adaptive algorithms in the Tekmar control?
    Homeowner, Royersford PA | 1890 one-pipe steam system | 3009 sf | 3 floors | 14 radiators | Utica SFE5200S boiler
    Midco LNB-250 Modulating Gas Burner | EcoSteam modulating controls | 70 to 300 MBH |
    607 sf EDR connected load | Operating pressure: 0.5 oz/in2
    Four main runs (insulated) totaling 135 ft in length | All Gorton vents on mains & rads |
    A Steam Odyssey | Odyssey 2 | Odyssey 2014 | A Steam Enthusiast's Outdoor Reset Control
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 12:51 PM
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    Indirectly

    I am not exactly sure what your question is, but I'll do my best.  My Tekmar is set up with 2 interior space sensors.  One is located in the first floor north apartment and the other in the first floor south.  The Tekmar is set to look at whichever sensor is the coldest.  That varies on weather conditions, direction of wind, and whether the sun is shining.

    Given that the Tekmar recalculates its slope based on the condition of the coolest sensor, yes, it would potentially be affected by the mode in which the burner was operating.  If the burner was in lo-fire hold, and that setting only produced 3oz of pressure in the mains, the delivery rate of steam into the radiators would be slowed.  If the Tekmar sensed a slight decrease in the space temp, even a fraction of a degree, it would cause the next steam cycle to be slightly longer, and so the Tekmar would compensate.

    My experience with the Tekmar is that the digital readout for the space usually does not fluctuate at all through the course of the cycle.   At the beginning of the steam cycle, there is still residual heat in the radiator.  When sitting quietly in the space, one does not sense that the temperature has dropped at the beginning of the steam cycle.  Likewise, at the end of the steam cycle, there is no perception that space is warmer - just constant and smooth.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • MikeyB MikeyB @ 5:02 PM
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    Boiler Flue

    Hey Dave, thats a real nice install your crew did for you, thanks for sharing the job with us. Do you think that the length of the flue pipe from the boiler to the chimney is too long, any issues with draft? is that single wall pipe?
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 5:26 PM
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    Plenty of Draft

    I think the distance would have been way to far for an atmospheric with a large flue size, but on this, the 8" forced draft works fine.  Yes, the pipe is single wall.  The chimney is about 45' tall and produces plenty of draft.  The barametric damper is kept a little open in still weather and a LOT open when it's windy.

    The original boiler sat in the same location, in fact it was much longer from firebox to back end.  It must have been a fire tube boiler, probably brick set and two pass, which would have put the smoke pipe about where the steel support post is that is now supporting the original building header.  Anyway, in that spot on the floor, instead of concrete it appears to be fireclay cement and I figure it is under the ash collection area.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • MarkS MarkS @ 8:29 PM
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    Cycle times

    Thanks Dave, that's the information I was interested in. I take it you're not running the setback/recovery program on the Tekmar, those would be affected too. Sounds like you've got it dialed in just about perfect. I'm curious what sort of cycle times you're running for preheat, heat on, heat off.
    Homeowner, Royersford PA | 1890 one-pipe steam system | 3009 sf | 3 floors | 14 radiators | Utica SFE5200S boiler
    Midco LNB-250 Modulating Gas Burner | EcoSteam modulating controls | 70 to 300 MBH |
    607 sf EDR connected load | Operating pressure: 0.5 oz/in2
    Four main runs (insulated) totaling 135 ft in length | All Gorton vents on mains & rads |
    A Steam Odyssey | Odyssey 2 | Odyssey 2014 | A Steam Enthusiast's Outdoor Reset Control
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 9:16 PM
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    No Setbacks

    I tried to run setbacks back in 2008, but had so many compaints that I gave it up.  Too many different personal schedules in the building.  Also, the huge amount of masonry and reinforced concrete in the structure tends to act as a huge heat sink, slowing the cool down, and the warm as well.

    I will be at the building tomorrow and will time some cycles and make some notes.   Today, I noted that while it was bout 26F outside, the cycles were ranging in the 28-30% area.   As I recall, from the point the boiler started to fire until steam to to the end of the main took about 8 minutes.  It is running one hour cycles, so at 28%, the heat on time was 17 minutes and the heat off time was 43 minutes.  The radiators heated about 1/3 of the way, then began to cool over the remainder of the hour.

    Tekmar also has an adjustment called "Boiler Design Percent".    I believe that I have this set at 50 or 55%.   This was necessary to prevent overheating. 
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 4:30 PM
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    Data for MarkS

    Mark, I have taken some time both yesterday and today to make observations and notes through the course of several cycles.
    Yesterday, arrived during off time.  26% cycle, 15F OD, Sensor 1, 72; 2, 70; 3, 72.  End of main=192   4" vacuum at boiler
    New cycle began, 26%, Low Fire Hold. OD and room temps unchanged.   3 minutes, boiler steams.  5 minutes, steam at end of main "steam established" sensor (located at last lateral takeoff from main)  8 minutes, crossover venting traps closed, boiler pressurre = 2 oz.  9 minutes = 4 oz.  11 min=6oz.    22:15 off

    Today.     8:32AM  boiler in off mode, cycle=49%.  OD=2F, sensor 1=71, 2=70, 3=72.
    8:45, boiler on.  Low Fire Hold.  48% cycle, OD=2, sensor 1=71, 2=70, 3=72  vacuum=5 1/2"
    2 mins, boiler begins to steam, vac=3".  3 mins, vac=2, 4 mins, vac=1 and steam arrives at steam established sensor.  4:20, steam sensor reaches 190F, heat cycle begins.  5 mins, pressure =0, begins to vent very slowly.   6 mins, crossover traps close, boiler press=0.  7 mins, slight venting.  8 mins, 4 oz press at boiler.  9 mins, 5oz.  10mins, 6 oz.  11 mins 6.25 oz.  12 mins, 6.75 oz.  Pressure remains same until 34 minutes, boiler shuts off  Rads have heated 62% of the way across.

    9:51 Boiler Start,  Burner control in AUTO mode, firing on HI.   47% cycle  space sensors unchanged from previous cycle.  2:45 steam arrives at steam established sensor.   3:15, crossover traps close.  4, 6oz pressure. 5, 10.5 oz pressure, burner switches to LO fire.  7, pressure at 7oz, boiler switches to hi fire.  7:15, 10.5oz, switches back to LO fire. hi and lo repeats.   31:30, OFF
    15 minutes after cycle, space temps up to 73, 71, and 72.  Vac=6"  Next cycle  25% to compensate for overshoot.  
    Put Burner control back at LO FIRE HOLD>

    Sorry for this being so cryptic.  Hope it makes sense.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • MarkS MarkS @ 7:41 PM
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    Thanks!

    Thanks, Dave. I appreciate your taking the time to do this. I'm always interested in getting empirical data from other systems to supplement what I'm learning from my own. This will no doubt keep me busy for a while; I'm not up on vapor vacuum systems so it's time to crack open the Lost Art book again.

    I had a look at your website for the mansion. What a great building and history! Fantastic that the 1928 conversion was done with such care, and how well it's been maintained over the years.
    Homeowner, Royersford PA | 1890 one-pipe steam system | 3009 sf | 3 floors | 14 radiators | Utica SFE5200S boiler
    Midco LNB-250 Modulating Gas Burner | EcoSteam modulating controls | 70 to 300 MBH |
    607 sf EDR connected load | Operating pressure: 0.5 oz/in2
    Four main runs (insulated) totaling 135 ft in length | All Gorton vents on mains & rads |
    A Steam Odyssey | Odyssey 2 | Odyssey 2014 | A Steam Enthusiast's Outdoor Reset Control
  • KarenSImes KarenSImes @ 11:52 AM
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    Thanks for all of the photos and details Dave...

    Most of it is over my head, but the photos tell the entire story.  I've posted your story on our facebook page. Thought I'd share with you.  Thanks again!!! 
    http://www.facebook.com/WMBoilers
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 12:55 PM
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    An Honor to be featured by Weil-McLain

    Thanks Karen. 
    This project has been a long an interesting road.  What an incredible website this is here at Heatinghelp.com.  Dan's books along with a ton of help and advice from all of the pros and wallies on here provided invaluable help.   That, combined with several years of study and planning, finding an excellent contractor with very talented and capable techs, and the outstanding Weil-McLain product has made this project very successful.  

    As they say, the proof is in the pudding... and with the first full months gas bill in hand, after accounting for heating degree days, the new boiler and system restoration is producing savings of 30-34%  I think that is pretty darned good!
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
    This post was edited by an admin on February 8, 2013 2:21 PM.
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