Joined on November 24, 2007
Last Post on December 11, 2013
@ December 8, 2013 1:03 PM in system flood protection with Heat-Timer vents?If you have very generous main venting, and slow radiator vents, the excess water in steam is less likely to end up in the radiators, and spray out of your oversize vents.
Dirty water in the boiler can also cause a lot of water to go up into the radiators. Unfortunately, the oily dirt is floating on the surface of the water, and must be skimmed off. Draining and refilling cannot clean the boiler.--NBC
@ December 8, 2013 9:40 AM in Puzzler: Condensate Return Leak, LWCO, Auto FeederHas that lobby return leak got worse, or is it difficult to tell?
Maybe it should be on your New Years resolution to do some repiping!
Let's start a new thread on that.--NBC
@ December 8, 2013 8:53 AM in Burnham Question and Oil - Gas Steam ConversionEven the best car warranties stop at 10 years, so you probably will not have much luck in getting any manufacturer to replace his product after such a long time.
Now is the time to start measuring your radiators for their radiation capacity (known as EDR). From this figure the new gas boiler can be sized, and not from the ratings of the old failed one. Installing an improperly sized boiler can result in shortened life, unbalanced heating, and noisy operation. Do a search here for how to measure the radiators (EDR).
Get a real steam pro to do this replacement, and not just any old plummmmer with the cheapest price, as you are buying a service, and not just a piece of metal.
Post some pictures of your present boiler and it's piping and we can tell you what should not be duplicated with the new boiker.--NBC
@ December 8, 2013 8:18 AM in steam boiler water issueDrain some water out of the boiler, so that the sight glass shows the proper mid-point level, and see if it will start. Valve off the auto-feed, and observe the water level for an hour or two.
What may have happened is the pressuretrol allowing the pressure to rise, and forcing the water into the reurns. With most of the water in the returns, the LWCO triggers the auto/over fill, adding more water to the boiler. In several cycles , the system can have an over supply of water.
This over-filling can result in enough water pressure on the pressuretrol to trip it's switch preventing the boiler from firing.--NBC
@ December 7, 2013 10:11 PM in Another Twin System - 6" Drop HeaderWhen the lag boiler shuts down at a few ounces, do you notice any difference in the waterlines from lead to lag, since there is no Gifford loop to separate them? The pressure in the lead boiler could force return water into the lag boiler. It's only a few ounces, but at 1.75 in/ounce, there could be some water movement,, so is there anything to worry about with the return water stacking up a bit in the lag boiler, while the lead is firing?
In my 2-boiler situation, I had thought of isolating each boiler with a loop, rising up to the Gifford loop height, from wet return to the boiler return port. My equalizer would come down into the wet return, instead of the usual route.--NBC
@ December 7, 2013 9:05 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!Have you any pictures of the "-loop" question?
There would only be one equalizer from the header, so how are the loops piped in?
Still no reply from you for my question, and I checked my spam folder.
Keep up the good work, and the news of it!--NBC
@ December 7, 2013 9:00 PM in Another Twin System - 6" Drop HeaderDo you have any pictures of the way you ran the Gifford loops?
There is usually only 1 equalizer, and so I am wondering how the two Gifford loops were piped in.
I certainly appreciate all of your postings here, so many thanks!--NBC
@ December 6, 2013 7:51 PM in Regulating steam valveEvery bit of the interior is covered with tile and marble--NBC
@ December 6, 2013 11:01 AM in Regulating steam valveThere are 2 types, and the round handled non regulated turns freely. Somehow there must be a way of taking it apart.--NBC
@ December 6, 2013 10:52 AM in Honeywell Visionpro problemsI think in that case the thermostat would fall into a fail safe mode and just maintain some low temperature to protect against freezing but good idea , and I will change them out.--NBC
@ December 6, 2013 9:42 AM in Honeywell Visionpro problemsThe reason for choosing it in the beginning was because of the remote sensor. Mine may have been zapped with a static spark last winter, scrambling its little brain.
Maybe I will try the Ecobee next with internet access.--NBC
@ December 6, 2013 9:14 AM in Honeywell Visionpro problemsDown in the basement doing some washing, I noticed some odd boiler behavior.
The boiler fired for a couple of minutes, and cut off. In spite of my speedy venting, I am sure that the remote sensor in the northeast second floor could not have been satisfied.
Has anyone else noticed odd Visionpro operation?--NBC
@ December 6, 2013 8:43 AM in Probably a question you are asked alot..The heat problems in this building would never have been tolerated when the building was first built. It sounds like a real steam pro is needed here to make some relatively inexpensive changes to undo the years of neglected maintenance.
If you have a car with dragging brakes, do you automatically buy a new car; or fix the brakes?
The baseboard will not be as good a match for a mod-con boiler, as cast iron radiators. Post some pictures here of the boiler, and it's piping, and we can advise.--NBC
@ December 5, 2013 11:08 PM in Regulating steam valveIn some old movie, I saw an old diamond cutter spending time deliberating on the cut of a large stone. He was having trouble making up his mind making the decision as to where to cut. He worried and complained. Finally, he got ready for the cut, and made it right.
Maybe I will do that. I will agonize for days before I decide!--NBC
@ December 5, 2013 9:15 PM in Regulating steam valveThanks for your replies. I am sure that this valve has a bonnet, and I will try to loosen that, and use a bit of PBBlaster. I'll post pictures later.
There is a graduated ring, with a stop. This ring is held down with a big nut to the valve bonnet body, and has a small pin on it's underside which can fit into several indentations in the bonnet body. This probably enables the valve to stop opening at the point where too much steam is being let into the radiator. There are 2 big radiators in the Apse of the chapel, with this valve. I suppose that in the original coal burning days, these big rads could have been needed when it was very cold, and maybe not when it was milder.
They are just too nice not to use.
The only problem with my project is in providing the air conditioning (oh curse our hot summers!) if I would use a Mitsubishi mini-split system with 4 indoor units each up in a coffer in the ceiling, I will have to give the order to drill through some of the most exquisite mosaic tile work I have seen. Even though somewhat small (2 in,), it's daunting!--NBC
@ December 5, 2013 8:35 PM in Frozen radiator valveCan you post a picture?
Sometimes the packing nut can be loosened, and that will free the valve stem.
Make sure the fill valve is closed!--NBC
@ December 5, 2013 12:36 PM in Regulating steam valveI have a steam valve with a straight handle on a 1913 Dunham system, which is frozen. I can remove the handle and graduated dial, but do not know what else can be taken apart.
I can soak it in Kroil, or PB blaster, if that would not degrade some old rubber piece inside.
I am sure I saw an engineering drawing of this type of valve in some literature here, but, now I cannot . Can anyone help?--NBC
@ December 5, 2013 11:09 AM in Rotation IndicatorsThese would be perfect imprinted with the heating help logo ....Dan??--NBC
@ December 5, 2013 10:48 AM in Rotation IndicatorsWhat is the use of this?
Doesn't the rotation always follow the arrow on the case?--NBC
@ December 5, 2013 10:40 AM in Got an estimateWinter time is always a bad time to make any changes which are non-emergency.
A drop header, which is mounted reasonably high., and to the back of the boiler, makes a changeout much easier, as the new replacement only needs the two risers, and horizontals reconfigured when the old boiler meets it's maker. There should be a union in one of the verticals between boiler, and header to make that possible. The other great advantage of the drop header, is in its separation from the boiler, so keeping the oily water coming out of the boiler from all returning to the boiler itself. A tee with a valve in the equalizer, slightly below the waterline height, can drain off a couple of inches of junk floating in the equalizer. The oil from the riser, which drains into the boiler itself will eventually end up trapped in the surge column from the skimming port, which can also be drained periodically.
Murphy's law will make your new boiler fail prematurely (graphitic corrosion) if you do not make this accommodation, and conversely, the replacement will outlast the grandchildren of Methuselah if you do!!--NBC
@ December 5, 2013 10:32 AM in fixed the big problem, now what?Leave the rad vents until later, and replace what you have now on the mains with Gorton 2's. You can't over vent mains and you will be more certain of having enough.
Get a 0-3 psi gauge, and put it on next to the pressuretrol, so you can get the pressure maximum down.--NBC
@ December 4, 2013 7:28 PM in Probably a question you are asked alot..Make the steam work with good main venting, and maybe a better thermostat in a better location. Take some pictures of the boiler, and it's piping, and we will have comments.
If you change to hot water, the system sees 20 times the pressure, and will leak. In addition, the radiators may not be large enough to heat with hot water. Some radiators are for steam only.
This system worked well in the beginning, and your job is to fix what changed.--NBC