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    Intrepid vs Galaxy: Why? (9 Posts)

  • vaporvac vaporvac @ 1:07 AM
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    Intrepid vs Galaxy: Why?

    Still trying to figure out the  burner...the modulating is out as apparently it's only for commercial and very loud. Anyone  ever heard that? So it looks like something with a hi-lo setting. We're looking into Becket and another brand I'm not familiar with. I should know tomorrow.

    My question is this: I've requested the SF intrepid50x2 with power burners, but I'm being strongly pressured to go with the caravan Galaxy with a normal burner.. I never bothered looking at the Galaxy because it seemed really similar to the Dunkirk I currently have.My understanding is that the wb boilers with pb are superior for efficiency, and longevity. I've never read anything else here. Why would the Galaxy be pushed...even when I've said I want the intrepid. Any insight would be appreciated as I don't know how to respond when asked (repeatedly) why I don't just get the caravan Galaxy with normal burner. 
    If I do that I might as well just get new sections and a new gas valve for my current boiler and save myself a lot of trouble, but not much cash in the end.

    I was getting excited over this install, but now not so much.
  • Hap_Hazzard Hap_Hazzard @ 5:46 AM
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    When they ask

    Tell them you expect this boiler to last for the next 30 years, and if energy prices go up as much as they have in the past 30, you'd feel like an idiot for not insisting on the most efficient system currently available. That's how I feel about it anyway.

    You've done your homework, and you've come up with the best solution currently available, and unless they can propose something better--or unless they want to pay for the extra fuel you'll be wasting--you're not interested.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S

    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 9:39 AM
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    I am surprised there is no staged burner available for your new boiler, as the power burner seems designed for control of combustion air intake.
    Among the atmospheric burner boilers, the peerless offers a " mod-pack" burner option for the 211A.--NBC
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 10:08 PM
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    Galaxy is good, but......

    Colleen, I'm sorry to hear the confusion being thrown your way.  You are attempting to build a smart, efficient system, it should not be made to be so difficult.

    If going with slantfin, a gas gun in the intrepid is the  most efficient thing that thy offer.  Last year, JFP321 installed one with a Riello burner.  I am also installing a Riello burner on a WM boiler.  I'll be able to tell in by the end of next week how well I like it.  One thing nice about the Riello is the sound attenuating cover that it has.

    As far as modulating and hi-lo-hi, I think that is an important feature especially in an orificed type of system, which yours is.  But, remember that a modular system is staged and therefore inherently hi-lo.  You can run one boiler, or both boilers, depending on demand.  In my system I installed a large commercial boiler with a 2 stage burner.  If I had installed 2 boilers in a modular setup, I would have stayed with single stage burners.  There is a limit to how many times you can split a hair, and I think that hi low is good enough.  I know that a few of the pros have put together a modulating burner on a single boiler, such as a TR-60.  However, at very low pressures, modulating control is a challenge and it is my understanding that there is no off the shelf component for this application, but rather it has to be built in the field.  Something that is perfectly good for a pro, or for his customer as long as he is available to service it.

    Back to the subject of 50/50 or 70/30.   The concept of the the 30/70 for running the pickup factor is a poor idea in your case.   Remember, you do have an orifice type system and most of that pickup factor is not needed in your sizing.  This is what has been written by all who have done orificed systems.  This has a huge impact on sizing a boiler---you would not use the EDR ratings on the boiler.   I can't confirm it on my old system because of how my old boiler was firing, but I will be able to confirm in about a week.

    Now, back to the subject of your Trane system.  By the 1920s, Trane had developed a steam trap and all of their two pipe systems were using it, along with the Trane Direct Return Trap and Trane Quick Vents and the Trace Float Vents, both with air checks.   But, you have stated that yours does not have traps.  The information that I have found about the early Trane systems without traps describes them as having a "Fractional Valve" that meters the steam.  This "metering" of the steam is why they could get by without a trap.  Moline systems did the same thing, that had a metering ring in the inlet valve the basically made it equivalent to an orificed system.

    So, if your system has no restrictions in the inlet valve, if you can examine them and you can see that the passageways are about the same as ordinary valves, they you are going to have a real big problem when you go to run your system on a boiler that does not "leak like a sieve", as you have describe your present boiler.  What will happen, is you will begin to build enough pressure to force steam in and through the radiator.  As the radiators heat up, the steam will flow into your return lines and once it is in there, it will impede the elimination of air from the rest of the system.... it will be a real mess!

    So, as I have said, if your valves are essentially wide open valves, I would very strongly suggest that you order orifice plates from Tunstall.  3/4" plates are a snap to install.  They are inexpensive.  And, you just have to measure the EDR of every radiator and order a plate for each one.   Size the orifices for operating at 8 oz pressure.

    The standard calculation for sizing a boiler for a conventional 1400 EDR 2 pipe system running at 2 psi is as follows:   1400 x 240 BTU/EDR x 1.34 Piping and Pickup allowance x 1 BTU input/0.81BTU Output (combustion efficiency 81%) = 555,851 BTU Input required.
    The calculation for an orificed system of the same size is as follows:  1400 x 225 BTU/EDR (at 0 psi in the radiator, output is slightly lower) x 1.10 Piping loss (no pickup factor) x 1 BTU input/0.81BTU Output = 427,778 BTU Input Required.
    With this, a couple of the TR-40H models would be sufficient.  Although, if you ever decide to heat the garage and rent the driver's apartment, you might want a little more capacity as you'd get with the TR50s.

    Colleen, again, I am not an engineer, not a pro, but have had a lot of experience through the years.  The calculations that I have given are based on reports by those doing work with orifices and orifice type system such as the Moline system.   I cannot confirm on my own present system because of the fact that it is reportedly VERY inefficient at reduced firing rates.  I will have accurate information to report as soon as the new boiler is operating.  I am expecting to effectively effectively operate my system that currently has 1269 EDR in use with an input rate of 370,000-390,000 BTU/HR.   I will let you know how it turns out.

    Best wishes in your process ----  I understand your frustration!  I've been planning for 4 years, and I'm glad that I did not jump a head 4 years ago because I would have selected something completely different from what I chose in the end.
    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.
  • vaporvac vaporvac @ 12:08 AM
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    Thanks again everyone for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm

    sure I'm not the only homeowner to have these experiences, just one of

    the lucky ones who chanced to discover this site.

    NBC. You're right, of course. The power burners are with HLH setting.

    Latest update on the burners: the Beckett is apparently out, as the

    commercial is too large and the residential ones are too small. I seem

    to remember reading this was a popular choice for the SF, but that may

    have been in the smaller sizes.  Thoughts?

     The rep is revisiting theMidco line, as apparently he didn't look into the residential powerburners, only modulating ones...don't know why not. He doesn't normally

    deal with Riello as they're more of an "East-coast thing", but he

    would if I knew what I wanted. What do I want in a Riello?
    The main burner he's suggesting is called Wayne. They make what he called a normal in-shop type with fan and another more complicated type which is 2x the $, that he's waiting for some information on. He indicated all the PB for residential probably have some sort of sound dampening thing, but I'm not so sure. I hadn't really put the study into the burners that I did with the boilers. It seem like we have to become experts in everything these days!

    I do believe I must be one of the few or only one asking for this

    combo as it's taken 2+ weeks to get this much info.

    I still don't know what size condensate tank I'll need. The tech rep

    at SF said Hoffman made a good one. Thoughts?

    Thanks for your support HH. I think he's dropping the push for the

    Galaxy as I'm hanging tough on the SF. I still don't know what to make

    of it, but I hate the pressure. He mainly said I should go with it

    because it's cheaper.

    Dave...your posts provide so much food for thought. I am definitely

    going 50/50.. Since the boiler won't be putting off as much heat and I

    will be insulating the main that runs through the CH's room (who knew

    it wasn't?), I'm afraid the basement will be cold, so I'll probably

    use the overhead radiator. Plus, I would like to run a HW loop to an attached

    partially sub-terranuium area in order to use it year-round. However,

    the other owne,r who's an ME with practical experience, is pondering

    your numbers, so we'll see if we go with the TR40s or 50s.

    Some of my valves are the metering device you describe. I'm sure

    they're still intact. I've only opened the one plain valve when the

    radiator didn't heat up. I had thought I could do this orifice "stuff"

    after the install, but since I appear to have some time I will do

    that. I would love to get valves like the original...does anyone know

    if they're available?

    That's today's report! At least the weather is cooperating.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 6:04 PM
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    sizing and burners

    Does Powerflame make a two stage version of the X400?  Pairing with a single TR-70 would save a bunch on installation cost.

    I'm still hoping to experiment with full modulation and vacuum.  Does pickup drop out of the equation when the burner just ramps down instead of shutting off?  It would be quite interesting to find the optimal boiler size under those conditions.
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 1:13 PM
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    regulating valves, orifice calculations, condensate tank

    Colleen, Here is a very useful article on orifice systems by Henry Gifford.  At the end, he explains the manner in which boilers are sized for orifice type systems, which yours is.  In my own calculations, have reduce the BTU/EDR from the standard 240 to 225 to correct for the lower temperature when there is no pressure.  You friend the ME should find it useful.  Of course, Gifford is prescribing 2 psi systems and yours as well as most all of the old vapor systems were intended to not exceed 8 oz. 

    Regarding regulating valves in lieu of orifice plates, Mepco makes two valves of this type.  You can find them at  

    Regarding the condensate tank ?????   What????   Remember, a condensate tank is only needed when the boiler has too much pressure and the condensate cannot return by gravity.  Figure 30" above the boiler water line for every pound of pressure.  In other words, if your condensate lines are 30" above the boiler water line, the condensate will return by gravity as long the boiler pressure does not exceed 1 psi. (16 oz).  Original compenents to overcome this pressure differential that might occaisionally occur were divices like your Trane Direct Return Trap.   It does the same job as a condensate pump.  So, if your direct return trap and associated check valves are working correctly, it will return the condensate even if your pressure rises up to 2 psi.    If you are using a vaporstat and controlling the maximum pressure at 8 oz, then the return trap is just an extra measure of insurance in case the vaporstat malfunctions because the condensate will flow into the boiler via the forces of gravity.  In either case, you don't need a condensate pump.  Also, it you did install a condensate pump, they are vented to the atmostphere and would completely interfere with any attempt to pull a vacuum, if you chose to explore that avenue in the future.
    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.
  • vaporvac vaporvac @ 2:06 PM
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    Condensate tank/Mepco valves

    Thanks for the reply, Dave. I should have been more clear about the condensate tank. It is a tank only , not a pump and will tie in well below the water line so as to maintain any vacuum. This is what the SF tech guy, who actually set the requirements for the intrepid tank  recommended.  He studied the vacuum system literature and said this should work. There is some sort of feed pump that works off this, but he said that isn't open to the atmosphere.The new Intrepid boiler will accommodate less water so it will likely need this, otherwise the boiler will flood. I think it probably acts as some sort of metering device and the condensate still returns by gravity, it just goes to the tank first. Does that make sense to you?  I think it's simple. I also think Gerry Gill installed something similar recently and that may be in  your post on Vacuum systems.
    This was a major concern for me and a bummer if it needed to be vented. I would have gone with something else had that been the case, so I'm hoping this works. It's shown in the piping diagram he sent me . Experience here, anyone?

    I'll check out the Mepco valves, but depending what I find this week the orifices are probably less of an invesment and would keep the look of the originals.

    Anyone have any experience with the Wayne vs. Riello burners?  BTW Dave, when does your burner arrive?
    Thanks again. Colleen
  • Rod Rod @ 3:02 PM
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    "Supplemental Boiler Water"

    Hi Colleen - Here is what I have on “supplemental boiler water” tanks. From what I can see you don’t need a open vent. Keep in mind that the usable volume of water in the tank is only that which is located at the same level as between the boiler’s designed water line and the water level where the Auto Water feeder or LWCO (if no auto feeder is used) activates.
    This is a link to a page on the subject at Gerry Gill’s website:
    Attached below is a pdf of a page from the Weil McLain Manual.
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