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    New Furnace Setup - What do you think? (49 Posts)

  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 10:12 AM
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    New Furnace Setup - What do you think?

    Hello HeatingHelp!
    Your advice on venting has been impeccable this far.  Can you please take a look at my current steam furnace setup?  I recently converted from Oil to Gas and wanted to know your thoughts on my current setup.
    Thanks!
    This post was edited by an admin on October 11, 2013 3:47 PM.
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 10:37 AM
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    New gas boiler

    Was the new boiler properly sized from the EDR of the radiators?
    Does the supply piping conform to the manufacturers requirements, in regard to layout, and pipe diameters (the riser, and header look small)?
    The tee on the main should probably be eliminated, and each branch separately connected to a separate takeoff from the header.
    How is the state of your main vents? When you are satisfied with the piping, then you can insulate the pipes. Have you run it yet?--NBC
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 11:00 AM
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    Re: New gas boiler

    Please note: I didn't install the boiler myself.  The oil to gas conversion company installed it.  I firmly believe that they sized up the boiler from the EDR of the radiators. 
    I do not know if the supply piping conforms to the manufacturer's requirements.  I can only assume.  The boiler is:  BRYANT  BS2 (BS2AAN000187ABAA)
    I can suggest to the installer to eliminate the tee.
    I don't think I have any main vents.  I found, what I believe to be 1 vent at the other side of the basement (hidden behind a drywall, of course).  It is the only vent in the basement.  It looks like it sits on top of the wet or dry return.  I would like to add some main vents, but will seek a Steam Expert soon to do that.
    I did replace all my radiators vents with VentRite Adjustable #1s and balanced my heat pretty good.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 4:43 PM
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    That's actually a Dunkirk

    with Bryant's name on it.

    These boilers are extremely sensitive to improper piping. From what I've seen so far, the piping looks too small. At least they didn't use copper on the steam piping.

    Can you post some side-view pics of the boiler, so we can see what happens when the piping leaves the boiler?
    "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.
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 8:19 PM
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    Re: Dunkirk

    Hopefully, these pics will help you!  
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 8:34 PM
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    Photo gallery

    Can you take a picture of the riser pipe as it exits the boiler, to make sure the pipe is the full diameter of the cabinet cutout?
    Measuring the circumference of the pipes (risers and horizontal header) would be even better, as we can convert those measurements into diameters.--NBC
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 9:15 PM
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    Too small

    in the third pic you can see there is a bushing behind the steam outlet elbow. They dropped it from 2-1/2" to 2". FAIL.

    I tried to attach a PDF of the piping diagram, but it didn't work.
    "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 October 8, 2013 9:18 PM.
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 11:04 AM
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    Re:Too small

    Oh my!  These are serious allegations!  This boiler was just put in!  If you are correct in saying that a bushing was placed to reduce the piping from  2-1/2" to 2" then I am going to have a helluva time trying to tell my installer that his job was done incorrectly.
    What are the implications if the piping was reduced?  More energy wasted?  Less heat?
    Do you roughly know the cost of re-plumbing everything?  Is that even possible?
    Thanks for all your help and insight.  I really appreciate it, but getting quite concerned now about my new system and the upcoming winter.
  • Rod Rod @ 10:33 PM
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    Dunkirk Piping Diagram

    I think this may be the piping diagram that Steamhead is referring to.
    I've also attached table which will help you determine the pipe sizes. Measure the circumference of the pipe and consult the table for the pipe size.
    - Rod
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 10:29 AM
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    FAIL

    When you say:
    'there is a bushing behind the steam outlet elbow. They dropped it from 2-1/2" to 2". FAIL.'

    How much of a FAIL are we talking about here?  Should I have the whole thing re-piped?  Please advise.

    Thanks!
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 12:10 PM
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    Installation FAIL

    The installer should follow the boiler installation manual in regard to pipe sizes, and layout. Don't listen to any nonsense about "I've been putting in these here boilers for 20 years, and I know---etc"
    You will have wet steam, and an unsteady waterline if the pipes are too small.
    It needs to be re-piped, and since we don't talk pricing here, we can't say how much it will cost, but surely an honest installer will make things right?--NBC
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 5:04 PM
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    FAIL

    I'm not sure how I am going to convince my installer to change his piping?!?! He is going to think I am nuts! An amateur on heatinghelp.com is going to ask him why he placed bushings to lower the pipe size from 2 1/2" to 2"?

    This is going to be some hoot! I think I should hire a steam pro to call this dude!

    :-(
  • SWEI SWEI @ 5:53 PM
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    Simple question

    Was this boiler installed in accordance with the manufacturer's minimum requirements?
  • JStar JStar @ 5:50 PM
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    Steam

    Show him the manual. The boiler needs to be installed like the manual in order to qualify for warranty claims. This is no light matter. He has to fix it.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
  • Rod Rod @ 6:03 PM
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    BS2 I&O Manual

    Hi- You didn't mention whether you had an installation manual for your new boiler. As the Bryant website doesn't have I&O manuals available, I've attached one for the BS2 below.
       If you look at the piping diagram on page 8, it gives the pipe size requirements.  You best approach would probably be that as the owner, you have the right to expect that the boiler will be piped according to the instructions in the manufacturer's installation manual and that since the piping is smaller what the manufacturer recommends, it needs to be corrected.
    Keep in mind that the manufacturer's recommendations are usually minimums rather than optimums.
    Good Luck!
    - Rod
  • JStar JStar @ 6:13 PM
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    Piping

    Here's the same boiler (different name) that we recently repiped.

    2-1/2" boiler risers. 3" header.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
    This post was edited by an admin on October 10, 2013 6:14 PM.
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 8:56 PM
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    Pipe Size Question...

    Ok...ok...after let's take a 2nd look at this pic...
    now, please bear with me...I don't know anything about measuring pipes...but the circumfrance of the outside pipe on what I believe to the riser pipe measures:
    8 inches
    The riser pipe itself looks like it measures 2 1/2 " going across...I had my wife eyeball it with my tape measure and she confirmed what I thought as well...
    in my amateur opinion...it looks like the riser pipes (the ones coming out of the boiler at the top) measure at 2 1/2 inches...
    so...my installer may have done the job right after all? 
    I did notice the pipe at the bottom...near the Hartford loop...come out of the boiler are about 1 1/2 inches or 5 1/2 inches around the pipe...
    But I am assuming the concern at the moment is whether the riser is 2" or 2 1/2"
    please take a look at this closer photo...it shows the sign behind it that says:
    Attention: Be sure to plug unused 2 1/2" supply and return connections before filling boiler.  Plugs are furnished.
    Please let me know what you think before I make a fool out of myself with the installer!
    Thanks again steaming experts!
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 11:44 PM
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    Pipe sizes

    are expressed as inside diameter, rather than outside diameter. On this type of pipe the walls are 1/8" thick, so the outside diameter would be 2-1/4".

    It's 2" pipe, should be 2-1/2" inside diameter. FAIL.
    "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.
  • kevin kevin @ 9:24 PM
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    pipe size

    If it says to plug unused 2 1/2 steam tapping then it is 2 in because you can clearly see they used a bushing at tapping.
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 11:49 PM
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    What size pipes ??

    The measured size of the pipe is the internal diameter, so if you measure the outside diameter, it will not be correct.
    It looks as though the tapping in the block of the boiler is 2.5 in, and therefore, any sort of bushing will have reduced the diameter of the risers.
    Measure the outside diameter, and let us know what that is and we will tell you what the effective (internal diameter) is. It's quite likely that the installer has used the less expensive smaller pipe on your boiler, and with the results of that being bad, you may want to get this corrected by the installer before the winter sets in and he gets busy.--NBC
  • Rod Rod @ 12:34 AM
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    Measuring Pipe

    Hi- Take a look at the Pipe Chart I attached to previous answer above titled “Dunkirk Piping Diagram”.
      As you will see in the above chart:
     2 inch  pipe has a circumference of 7.461 inches.
    2½ inch  pipe has a circumference of  9.032 inches.
    These measurements are very accurate.
    Consulting the chart, you can see that there is NO pipe with a circumference of 8 inches!

    I suspect your method of measuring is inaccurate. (It can be hard to measure using a stiff metal tape) Try using a strip of paper approximately 1 inch wide and wrap it around the outside of the pipe. Where the end of the strip of paper meets the strip of paper make a mark. You can then use a straight ruler and measure the length of the paper from the end of the strip to the mark on the paper.

    As Kevin mentioned, there is a reducer bushing installed in the boiler port thread and since the boiler port thread fits 2 ½ inch pipe thread, that means the pipe attached to the bushing is less than 2 ½ inch pipe. (From the looks of it, It is 2 inch pipe)
    - Rod
  • jonny88 jonny88 @ 7:29 AM
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    steamheads

    fail,,,if counted a few times he failed it,thats enough for me.fail is fail no guess work.call installer hopefully he will do right
  • BobC BobC @ 7:40 AM
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    Does he have the equipment

    There are some installers that simply don't have the equipment to thread anything larger than 2" pipe. In that case he would have to buy the cut and threaded pipe and nipples from a supplier (can take a few trips to the supplier) or rent a larger capacity threading machine for a day. That 2-1/2" pipe has to be for the entire header until it turns down to meet the equalizer.

    In any case that boiler should be piped per the installation manual, no if and's or buts. Use Rod's measurement technique and confirm that he did not use the 2.5" pipe and tell him it has to be redone in 2.5" pipe.

    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
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 8:22 AM
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    you were right...

    I just measured the pipe using a piece of paper...and the results were 7.46 inches...effectively making the pipe in question...a 2" pipe as you all have thought...im slightly embarassed but was hopeful I didnt have to engage in a technical match with my installer...
  • BobC BobC @ 10:04 AM
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    No technical match

    The boiler HAS TO BE installed per the manual, the manual is very clear about the pipe sizes to be used. A properly installed boiler will work well and last a long time, if it's not done properly all bets are off - as is your warranty if anything goes wrong down the road.

    Hopefully you still owe him some money, if not I would not hesitate to tell him the next step is to call the manufacturer if he balks about doing it right.

    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
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 11:06 AM
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    and the saga continues...

    So, I called Bryant and asked them about the risers...stating that the manual says it should be 2 1/2"...and if they could confirm that 2" was not correct...they told me to talk to another local installer...because there could be an 'allowable variance'
    SO, I called another Bryant Installation company, and they said they could not determine the issue without coming by and charging me for the diagnostics.
    I have no choice but to pay them for their 'Bryant' opinion.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 11:05 AM
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    You could

    throw him a bone by offering to pay the difference in materials cost for upgrading the header from 2-1/2" to 3" pipe.
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 11:20 AM
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    Throw who a Bone?

    I apologize SWEI, but I don't quite understand.  Who am I throwing a bone to?  The original installer?  The 2nd Bryant vendor doing the diagnostics? 
    In addition, nobody ever mentioned 3'.  We were discussing 2" riser pipes that should be 2 1/2" risers.
    Please advise if 3" is a better option.
  • vaporvac vaporvac @ 2:55 PM
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    Technical support

    Another homeowner here...when you talked to Bryant did you talk to the Tech support people? These are the folks that help test these parameters and often write the spec manuals. Talk to them and go by what they say. Often the sales reps will not know the whys of the specs and may pass the buck.

    The 3" pipe is for the header; this is generally piped in at least one size bigger than the risers to allow space for the expanding steam, and for the condensate to separate out. This is a BEST practice and may not be suggested by Bryant so perhaps you could offer to pay the difference. Watch this great little video that clearly explains correct near boiler piping.
    http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/107/Steam-Heating/118/Steam-boiler-near-boiler-piping
    It's a shame we all have to become expert these days, but if you don't make the changes now, you'll be paying for the life of your boiler in gas bills and less comfort.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 3:20 PM
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    Bones

    2-1/2" is required for the risers and header.  The installer should be on the hook for the cost of remedying that.

    Increasing the size of the header to 3" is recommended.  You could offer to pay the additional cost for this.
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 3:45 PM
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    Amazing

    You are all amazing! I was able to talk to both tech support people from Dunkirk and then from Bryant. They both supported your claim that the risers should be 2 1/2".

    I sent an email to my installer (owner) and he is going to send out a manager to take a look and make the necessary material list if necessary.
  • Rod Rod @ 3:59 PM
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    Good News!

    Great ! I'm glad you were able to get on the path to getting this resolved! Definitely a thumbs up for both Dunkirk and Bryant.
    - Rod
    This post was edited by an admin on October 11, 2013 4:05 PM.
  • Jeff Jeff @ 1:08 AM
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    Question Per Steamhead's commet

    I too have a boiler just like this - although it's labeled Dunkirk. I just noticed that the installer did the same thing and put a bushing on the return, reducing it from 2 1/2 to 1 1/2. We've had the boiler in place for seven years and have been happy with its performance. What is the effect of having the return piping reduced. I would like to make this right on my system. The installation manuel says that the return pipe should be 1 1/2 but when you look at the drawing there is not instruction for where the reduction from 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 should be.

    Thanks.
  • BobC BobC @ 7:54 AM
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    Should be ok

    As long as the boiler risers and header are full size (2-1/2") until it turns down to the return you should be all set. It makes little difference if the reduction takes place where the piping turns down or at the boiler return.

    If the boiler is working right you should be ok.

    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
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 3:43 PM
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    and the saga continues...

    just got notice from the installer:

    ------------------
    I hope all is well. I have been in touched with Bryant in regard to the size of your header. The Bryant territorial manager said he is willing to stop by call and or give you a letter stating that the 2” header is the proper size for up to a 299,000 BTU boiler.

    If you want us to replace the header we will do it but in my 19 years I have never seen a residential boiler installed by us or any of our competitors in anything but 2 “.

    --------------
    Thoughts?
  • JStar JStar @ 4:33 PM
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    Thoughts

    How has he been in business that long? Yikes.

    Get the manufacturer out. Show the rep the installation manual. Have the rep sign a contract saying that the manul is WRONG in his opinion. Then you will be protected. I would not accept any of this lightly.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 2:18 PM
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    Manufacturer Evaluation - 1 employees viewpoint

    Manufacturer Evaluation - 1 employees viewpoint:
    One needs to understand that not all steam systems are the same and do vary from installation to installation that is why the term “recommended” is use and not “required” (in the manual)
    Your installer did use 2 – 2” risers along with swing fittings. I would have been concerned if he utilized 1 – 2” riser with no swing fittings. By utilizing the 2 – 2” he increased the steam volume over a single 2.5” OD riser, along with maintaining a consistent level within the boiler with the 2 risers. By having 2 risers along with the swing, which isn’t noted in the diagram, it provides a greater distance between the riser and take-off to the system to separate the water carried up with the steam producing dry steam. As previously noted your system take-off is after the 2 risers so there is consistent flow of any water carried up leading back through the equalizer and return leg piping.
    As I noted, the piping needs to be sized based on system as much as boiler. I do believe the current piping configuration would provide you of years of quality service though.
  • JStar JStar @ 2:48 PM
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    Steam

    Rubbish. R-u-b-b-i-s-h.

    I would demand to talk to engineering, or find out exactly why the manual says one thing but tech support says another. Again, have them send a written and signed document stating that the manual is wrong.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357
    j.star@thatcherhvac.com
    http://thatcherhvac
    http://facebook.com/thatcherhvac


    Guaranteed performance. Guaranteed energy savings.

    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
    Consultation anywhere.
    (Formerly "ecuacool")
  • N/A @ 3:25 PM

    bullhead tee

    With the entire length of this post.. no one mentioned a major flaw before this installer did! There's a bullheaded tee on the main at top of the boiler.. that must be changed too!
  • N/A @ 3:26 PM

    bullhead tee

    With the entire length of this post.. no one mentioned a major flaw before this installer did! There's a bullheaded tee on the main at top of the boiler.. that must be changed too!
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 11:37 AM
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    What?

    The first reply to the thread mentions it.
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures updated 6/5/14.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
    This post was edited by an admin on October 23, 2013 11:37 AM.
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 12:22 PM
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    My Installer is Back!

    So, my installer, had agreed to change the near boiler piping from 2" pipes to the 2 1/2" pipes, to 'make me happy.'  However, they think I am a complete wacko and tell me that 99% of all companies never use more than 2" near piping.

    But, they are changing it today...

    However, they just refused to change the bullhead.  They said nobody changes old pipes.  It can screw up the whole system.

    The installation manager said that 99% of installations never mess with the original piping.

    He also said that any Dunkirk rep will back up his claims.

    I showed him the manual...about the 'COMMON MISTAKES' section...which clearly states separating the mains...

    He thinks I am absolutely insane...says that just because I bought a book...and read the manual...

    He tells me he needs special 2 1/2 " pipe fittings...that nobody carries...

    He also tried to scare me away...by saying...any change to the bullhead...might render my whole heating system useless...

    I don't appreciate being threatened that this change might render things useless...especially since I have 2 babies in the house...and it's 30 degrees outside...

    I called the owner...he told the manager to change the bullhead...as per my request....and agreed upon through email...

    so...it will hopefully happen (on another day)...but not before...I had to put up the arguments...with this installation manager

    I guess I knew this was going to happen...just so annoying...
     
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 12:27 PM
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    Great

    Hang in there!
    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
  • ChrisJ ChrisJ @ 12:36 PM
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    Wow

    In the amount of time he spent arguing he could've had that tee changed.

    Its good to hear you didn't give in. Please let us know how it turns out!
    Weil-McLain EG-45 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures updated 6/5/14.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#
  • HelpMyHeat HelpMyHeat @ 5:03 PM
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    refusal to change the bullhead...unless I take responsibility...

    My installer's official statement is:
    I am sorry with your difficulty with our installation manager. Between him and my other installer, there is over 60 years worth of experience and what they both told me is that there is a possibility that if they change the bullhead it will have a domino effect with the rest of the system.
    In my estimate it does say that we will re-use the existing supply and header but if you want it done we will do it but I don’t want to be held responsible if it leads to other issues.
    ----------
    Is this true?  Will it screw up my system? 
  • Dave in QCA Dave in QCA @ 5:43 PM
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    Fear is a powerful weapon

    This guy REALLY wants to get his own way. Now he's using fear as a weapon to scare you out of your request.
    Do you think the manufacturer would require something that would harm your system? No! Of course not!
    Bull head tees sometimes work ok, but they are prone to problems. Changing it out will not create any new problem.
    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
  • ALIGA ALIGA @ 5:06 PM
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    i am not an expert

    but think of steam as a blindperson, that hits the tee, which way does it go?

    versus steam traveling two distinct paths.

    i dont think it will hurt, but can only improve the efficiency.

    i had a bullhead tee, and was removed and reconnected with two 90 elbows
  • Evilengineer Evilengineer @ 11:10 PM
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    Take off and tee

    This is the work of a contractor who wants to get in and get out. Installs of boilers are quite easy if you can use original tie in to system and use 2" pipe due to threading machine. With that said I do agree that the T should be removed and they are correct it can run into issues if to much moves, but I see unions on both sides and simply cut the bull side.I don't foresee that a huge issue because steam is pressure and will push both ways eventually. That t is what size? because the system looks to be 2.5" and the T is much bigger than that. Were you having any issues with heating before the contractor came back and changed to 2.5"
  • rmoore007ri rmoore007ri @ 12:23 AM
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    bullhead T's

    See some common "don't do this" at this site:
    http://www.comfort-calc.net/Steam_Piping_Donts.html
    The problem with the bullhead T is that when the steam splits the pressure drops by half in each branch. So the steam speeds up. When that happens, Bernouli effects pick up more water from the bottom of the header and make your steam wetter.

    I've had a contractor install my new system this way. Could not get them back until the next season. Got them to come back and do it right. Immense improvement.
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