Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall
nicholas bonham-carter

nicholas bonham-carter

Joined on November 24, 2007

Last Post on August 27, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 213 »

Moving wet return

@ August 13, 2014 11:12 AM in engineer

If the wet return is below the waterline of the boiler, then it can be easily rerouted without regard to slope. Make sure there is a valve and tee on it for flushing purposes.
Is this 1-pipe, or 2-pipe?--NBC

Hoffman system

@ August 13, 2014 11:06 AM in radiator steam traps vertical pattern single union

I wonder if the system was designed to run sub-atmospherically ie. vacuum.
Perhaps the pressure was raised to push the air out of some badly maintained main vent.--NBC

Finding alternative heat sink

@ August 13, 2014 10:57 AM in Geothermal vertical loops

Why was the lake installation unsuccessful? Does it at least work during any season in the year?
Several systems have been described here, using the North Sea as a heat-source/sink, so why not a lake?--NBC

Below the waterline

@ August 8, 2014 11:14 PM in Replace gravity with pump in condensate line?

No slope requirements are needed below the waterline.
If you have an opportunity to have Steamhead look at your system, take advantage, as he is the Dali Lama of these systems!--NBC

In the way

@ August 8, 2014 10:39 AM in Replace gravity with pump in condensate line?

You could drop those returns to the basement floor, under the waterline of the boiler, and route them that way.--NBC

Boiler homework

@ August 7, 2014 5:37 PM in kicking the city steam habit

The first thing to do is to look for a real steam man for the installation. Try the find a contractor button above here, or go to your local plumbing /heating supply house, and ask an older counterman who is good with steam.
Even before the steam guru arrives, do a search here for EDR, which is the heat radiation capacity of radiators, and boilers. As the new boiler must be matched to the total radiation (EDR), the radiators must be measured and compared on a chart to determine what the value is. Finally all the radiator values must be added up for the total. Boilers are not only sized in BTU, but also in square feet of EDR. Soon you'll be doing it for your friends who are in the same boat. The important thing is to avoid having a boiler which is too small or large for your radiation.
Is this 1-pipe, or 2-pipe steam?
Do a search on the internet of various brands (Peerless, Weil McClain , Burnham, etc,) to see if there is a stocking distributor in your town. The distributor may have some names as well.
Make sure you have adequate Main vents on the system to let the air out!--NBC

Choices choices

@ August 4, 2014 5:23 AM in choosing (1) Integrated Boiler Hydro-Air and baseboard, vs (2) Separate Furnace and Boiler

I would certainly combine all the heating/hot water units into one system, with one control.
First of all, have any of the contractors calculated the heat-loss of the house? This should be a first step, and you can do it yourself using the SlantFin boiler sizing app available on their website for nothing. This will take into account the new insulation, windows, etc, and point the way towards selecting the right boiler for the whole house. The right boiler will have the capacity to keep up with all the heating/hot water needs, therefore not oversized.
Modern boilers can vary the firing rate, so that the output matches the heat load at any time. However this requires they be chosen carefully. They will also be able to vary the temperature in the hot water loop to suit the outside temperature (outdoor reset), which would be of even greater benefit if you had large cast iron radiators.
Make sure that the contractor has enough hydronic experience. You can use the find a contractor button to see if such an expert is in your area. The benefit of finding someone on this website is the ability to read any postings that person may have written here, and by his writing, know the measure of the man.--NBC

Condensing cast iron

@ August 2, 2014 4:56 PM in Condensing cast iron?

There must be two separate heat exchangers, with the cast iron being the primary, and a smaller secondary stainless one to suck the last heat out of the flue gases.
Probably the return water goes to the secondary exchanger first, and then to the primary..
There is probably a low limit on the primary/secondary loop temperature though.--NBC

Old boiler repair

@ July 31, 2014 11:53 PM in Cast Iron chambers needed

It would be best to bite the bullet, and replace it with a new wet base boiler, and a burner which can be fired within the ranges of the present radiation, and any future additions you may make.
Is this a 1-pipe, or 2-pipe system?
When you dismantle a 40-year old boiler, there can be unpleasant surprises. Finding new press nipples to rejoin the new sections (if even they can be found), could be difficult.
A 7 section boiler is in the range of 1,000,000 to 1,300,000 btu, and could be replaced by a pair of smaller pre-assembled boilers, staged by pressure.--NBC

Mysterious sensor fault

@ July 30, 2014 6:33 AM in Slant-Fin Monitron 2 problem

Sounds like everything electronic inside the boiler has been replaced, so could it be a wiring problem between the boiler and the panel. These mod cons seem to be very sensitive to electrical noise, and grounding problems (especially when used with cheap generators).
If that is the case, then the electronics should be programmed to analyze the incoming power to show a power supply problem.--NBC

Bad piping

@ July 29, 2014 6:41 AM in Burnham IN4 steam boiler piping

The risers coming off the boiler may also have been reduced in diameter to a size too small. With the present arrangement, the steam and water exiting the boiler are being unsuccessfully forced to go in opposite directions, which they will not do.
Contact your local Burnham rep, and see if they will honor the warranty with the boiler piped in this way. What sort of warranty was offered by the installer on his contract?
You probably will have an unstable waterline, which puts abnormal thermal stress on the sections of the boiler. Was the boiler ever cleaned (skimmed), following the install? Draining and refilling 20 times does not count.--NBC

Pictures necessary

@ July 28, 2014 11:27 PM in Near boiler piping issue?

Besides the possibility of an improper piping issue, there is always the chemistry contractor. Would he ever say that it is not fine? The best additive to our heating boilers is H2O, unless there is some clear water problem which needs a Ph adjustment.
Drain off some of the boiler water in to a pan, and place it on the stove. It may behave like a pot with potatoes, covered and boiling too fast. The resulting overflow, will swiftly empty the pot of water, and dry out the potatoes, just as it can empty the boiler.
What is the steam being used for-process, or heating purposes?--NBC

Old chapel

@ July 24, 2014 5:49 AM in Cemetery chapel improvements

The existing system is a Dunham vapor, with a leaking, mis-piped Bryant (Dunkirk?) boiler. I may even do a little vacuumizing with it.
Interesting that you mention Cleveland, because there is the beautiful Wade chapel there. Someone from Cleveland was telling me how beautiful it was, and then when he saw our chapel; said ours is more beautiful!
As this is a part time project, we have been first stopping all the leaks into the basement and crypt, and completing other deferred maintenance, before replacing the boiler.
A City-Multi Mitsubishi could handle the cooling.
Like any historic project, you make a list at the beginning, and as you cross off some jobs at the top, you discover more jobs popping up on the bottom!--NBC

This publicity should help

@ July 23, 2014 2:19 PM in Cemetery chapel improvements

The steam rejuvenation is still on hold, but hopefully will get to a couple of ounces this winter.
My son was married there this weekend-NBC

no steam-no oil

@ July 20, 2014 4:47 PM in Advice needed on heating system install

why is it you are rejecting steam? when steam systems were being regularly installed, they were sometimes regarded as superior to gravity hot water, because of their efficiency. those old systems were quiet, even, and economical.--NBC

Buried in a 10 year old thread.

@ July 15, 2014 7:23 AM in Steam heat and Programmable Thermostats, good idea?

Why not start a new thread for your question in the steam section, stating the type of system you have, what you wish to do, and any symptoms you encounter.
We really don't know if you have resistance heat, or steam, and is it a barn or an old hotel?--NBC

Unknown pipe length

@ July 15, 2014 7:19 AM in How Long

Can you put a funnel on one side, and then fill the pipe with a 5 gallon bucket, to find its volume?
Then it should be a simple matter to determine its length.
Figuring out its depth underground before it enters the lake, would prevent freeze ups in winter as well.--NBC

what a good idea

@ July 12, 2014 12:20 AM in Suggestions for new forum

Maybe they will go over to those unreadable, distorted letters and numbers!!!!--NBC

May not work

@ July 9, 2014 10:58 AM in What do you think of this new product?

Unlike English toilets, our domestic varieties have a separate passage (I believe) up to the ball-cock in the tank, which allows the trap to fill after a flush.
I am sure this will prevent any pressure from being applied to the blockage. Most of the time it is the suction stroke which pulls the debris up enough to loosen it.
This device follows the arrangement of a well-known English practical joke, wherein some clear plastic sandwich wrap is stretched across the porcelain bowl. The next user is in for an unpleasant surprise.--NBC

Choosing a replacement boiler

@ July 9, 2014 7:56 AM in Old Vaillant boiler info needed

Remember to follow the proper procedures for sizing the replacement water/steam boiler, and not merely go off the old specifications!--NBC

Repair or replace

@ July 5, 2014 5:44 AM in Can this boiler leak be fixed? (homeowner w/ pictures)

Replacement is the lowest hanging fruit you will find in this. The new boiler, whether it be cast iron, or mod con must be chosen for its ability to keep up with the heat loss of the building, so use the SlantFin software to calculate that.
Use the find a contractor button here to find an expert in your state, and compare his heat loss calculation with your own. Check his references for such installations.
Do a search here for gravity systems, and read the various post on the adaption of new boilers to old systems. Many manufacturers will provide recommended piping diagrams for gravity system installation.
We do not discuss pricing here as the costs vary state by state.--NBC

Boiler replacement

@ July 3, 2014 10:16 AM in Replace the header or supply it.

It would be wise to do a survey of the radiators to check on the sizing of the new boiler, since the old one may have been incorrect.
The manufacturer's piping instructions should be followed at a minimum. A drop header will solve many problems of installing and running, especially with a large header, and both risers being used.
If there are 2 mains, then pipe a separate takeoff from the header for each.
Pictures of the current setup would be very helpful.--NBC
I think I now understand your exact question, so let's definitely see some pictures.
« 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 213 »