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The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

Joined on May 25, 2008

Last Post on September 7, 2014

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These are not conversions....

@ September 7, 2014 7:08 AM in burner conversion Peerless EC/ECT via Carlin EZ pro?

but complete new gas installations. This is a considerable upgrade over standard gas boilers.

We install gas EC/ECT's all the time

@ September 6, 2014 7:29 AM in burner conversion Peerless EC/ECT via Carlin EZ pro?

As long as everything is cleaned up, the proper barometric damper installed, and the chimney is up to snuff, converting shouldn't be an issue.  The EC/ECT is nothing more than a smaller version of the SC/SCT which can use oil or gas just like most boilers.  It is also nothing more than a small version of the big commercial boilers that also use gas or oil.  The EC/ECT is a much more efficient design than a typical atmospheric gas boiler (like the Peerless 63/64), so about 2/3 of my new boiler installs are the EC/ECT with a gas burner ( I use Midco burners since they are made right here in Chicago).   The EC/ECT with a good gas burner is a significant upgrade over the 63/64 in terms of efficiency, so I sell it as a high efficiency steam boiler alternative.   The majority of people want this upgrade.
My guess is the contractors that want to put in a "gas" boiler, don't have the expertise or equipment  to set up a gas burner properly.
I am probably going to be putting in an EC boiler with gas burner in my own home when I install a new steam heat system to replace the big, bulky hot water system I have now.

A bit of advice...

@ August 21, 2014 6:47 PM in Steam versus Hot Air

why not let them install the forced air, but leave the steam in place until next year, so when they find out all the problems, they can put it back into use.

Just put in a TR-60 a month ago.....

@ August 19, 2014 8:06 AM in Not the Usual Failure

but had to pay large shipping fees and quite a premium for the boiler, since the local rep doesn't stock them and sees no need to be competitive.  The Slantfin Intrepid has the lowest waterline of any power burner type  boiler I could find, which is why I used it instead of my standard Peerless EC or SC.   I had only 38 Inches above the floor to the lowest dry return....leaving a maximum operating pressure of only 7 ounces.  It replaced a grossly oversized and incorrectly piped Peerless 62.  I got 82.5 % combustion efficiency firing at 300,000 and 9.5% CO2 with the Midco EC300's I use.  The EZ-gas seems to get slightly better numbers.

Thanks! (NM)

@ August 13, 2014 12:01 PM in Identify these radiators......


Identify these radiators......

@ August 12, 2014 6:04 PM in Identify these radiators......

I am not sure if these are wall hung single tube radiator or wall hung sectionals.  I have two different EDR ratings for these two types.  They are 4 1/2 inches deep and I was assuming if they are simply wall hung single tube radiators I just need to add about 4 inches to the height to get the equivalent floor standing radiator output.

Water condittion....

@ August 10, 2014 3:51 PM in Need to kno everything about Twintube...

It was black, but not thick when we flushed it and after a relatively short period started coming out just about clear. So I guess we'll leave it be.
I remember that glue and will give it a try.  Thanks so much for your help!  I do very little hot water any more ( almost all steam), so I need a little help sometimes!

H. R. Should I use tire sealant?

@ August 10, 2014 9:28 AM in Need to kno everything about Twintube...

Or something like form a gasket.  Should I worry about losing the plasticizers if I flush it with cleaner?

Up and running

@ August 9, 2014 10:14 AM in Need to kno everything about Twintube...

However, we can't get the leaks stopped with just cleaning up the barb and hose and a clamp.  The tube is very stiff so I think we will need some type of sealant on the tube.  It sounds like I should try the tire sealant per Hot Rod.  Also I could not find any clamps under 1/2 inch that were heavy duty.  Any suggestions.   Water still flows in the tubing, but at the manifold was about 2/3 closed up.  I am hoping with the tubing now isolated, that the debris will start slowing eroding out and we can clean out the strainers occasionally.   I am afraid of using may loosen up too much debris and plug the tubing.
I have plate heat exchangers, brass pumps, air separators, strainers, relief valves for the radiant floor, a new cast iron boiler with variable speed mixing pump for the main system. 

Corner radiator valves...

@ August 3, 2014 10:20 PM in Looking for a replacement for these....

The piping comes in at 90 Degree to the radiator and below it and goes into the valve assembly.  The steam then goes up through the valve passage and then 90's into the radiator.   Very expensive buggers.

Looking for a replacement for these....

@ July 28, 2014 2:48 PM in Looking for a replacement for these....

My chief supplier found them last year, but neither of us can remember where.

Sorry, picture won't post

why not fix the steam

@ July 23, 2014 7:13 PM in Cemetery chapel improvements

and put in some ductless splits.  For 90 people you shouldn't need more than 5 or 6 tons, if you precool the space before service and the building is only heavily occupied for about an hour at a time.

You could force thier hand.....

@ July 21, 2014 9:30 AM in Lovely Lane Methodist Church- A Steam Heating Museum

Hook up the gas and install a pressure booster to suck the gas out of the mains. Not nice to the neighbors, but it would force them to upgrade.   Or at least install a small gas lead boiler that could handle most of the typical loads, and leave the big pick up loads on oil.


@ July 10, 2014 4:47 AM in Looking at Split systems

With the currently low attendance, the vast space, short occupancy time and high air leakage rates, ventilation is unlikely a problem at this time.  When attendance begins to increase, ERVS will probably need to be looked at.

Looking at Split systems

@ July 9, 2014 10:34 AM in Looking at Split systems

I am looking at ductless split systems for use in my church and have been talking to my cooling tech.  What we are looking for is a simple, high capacity, high EER non-invertor type unit, that may also provide heating.  We will be using wall mount indoor units.   It seems the EER ratings on most new equipment are pretty dismal, typically below 10, which is worse than a decent window unit.  We want the high EER, not SEER, because the unit will essentially be running at full capacity or off (since it will be technically very undersized), so the EER rating really matters for energy cost.  In addition the building has very limited electrical capacity.  We will be working to upgrade the lighting efficiency to free up power for the air conditioning and to cut the cooling load. Non-invertor units also should be easier and cheaper to maintain due to the simplicity.  Something with wall mount units capable of a minimum of 3 tons and are quiet are needed.
If we do go to an invertor type unit it looks like the Mitsu City Multi is the best bet, with EER ratings around 15, allowing use to run 6 tons on only 12.2 amps(230v), with COP's near 4 for heating.

Your suggestions would be appreciated

coolintg calcs....

@ June 28, 2014 5:57 PM in Cooling load, heating load, sizing equipment

You don't need to provide cooling for that 800 people when they are only there for an hour or so, particularly in the morning.  The mass of the structure will absorb heat and your solar gain has not built up for the day.   When you run a full ASME cooling calc that takes into account length of occupancy, mass of structure, time of day, and the activity level of the occupants   the cooling loads drop enormously for a typical church setting.    The last church I ran the calcs on ( about 6 pages of numbers) had about 120 on a Sunday morning for a single 1 hour service in a high mass building and only needed about 6 tons of cooling.  It's been in use for ten years and works just fine.

I'm in Chicago

@ June 23, 2014 6:09 PM in Need help rating these radiators.

A full geothermal system for heat really does not make financial sense.  You will end up putting in a system probably three times bigger than if you left the steam heating in and used the geothermal in more moderate weather which occurs for 90% of the heating season. Or in other words, you will end up putting  in a system 3 times larger so it can heat the building for an additional 5 to 10 days a year.  In addition, churches usually set temperatures back deeply and need large amounts of heat to recover, making it very difficult for a geothermal system to be cost effective.
The other problem I usually find is grossly oversized cooling equipment.  If you are looking to keep a typical high mass building sanctuary at reasonable comfort you only need about 3 to 4 tons per 100 people.  If you want full cooling, maybe double that.
Also, if you are using the geothermal for forced air, you will have about a 20 to 30% higher heating need than if you used an efficient system such as steam or hot water ( just check out the DOE testing)  There is a reason why most of the world does not used forced air for heating and what little is left outside the US for cooling is disappearing from use as more efficient systems are installed.
If you have an existing steam system, and spend some money getting it working properly, you will have about the most efficient heating system available, especially for two pipe steam.  
If you are interested, I am currently scheduling some seminars in the Beverly and Rogers Park or Edgewater areas  ( and maybe in the Bronzeville areas )particularly addressing churches with steam heating on how to upgrade, restore and maintain these incredible systems.  
I already have a standard seminar scheduled at the Rebuilding Exchanger and will be teaching at the Chicago Center for Green Technology again this fall.

I believe it changes

@ June 14, 2014 8:46 AM in Radiators

AT low temps, the output is more radiant since the convective air currents are weak,  As the water temps rise, the convective currents increase, increasing the convective output.  I believe the convective output forms and more u-shaped curve when plotted against water temp because of the increased air speed through the radiator, where the radiant output is essentially linear.  This would parallel the heat loss characteristics of a home.  The heat loss through building materials is essentially linear, but the air leakage rate accelerates more as the outdoor temp drops.

It's orange

@ May 29, 2014 7:01 PM in Need to kno everything about Twintube...

I spoke to the Watts rep and he said it is pre- 1990 and the suits are settled.  Are the spring clamps available  ( 5/16 right?)  The system has a cast iron boiler, CI pumps and a mix of cast iron radiators...all on the same main supply loop.  Make take some work to split the CI rads off and maybe install a heat exchanger.

Need to kno everything about Twintube...

@ May 29, 2014 7:30 AM in Need to kno everything about Twintube...

Just came across a twintube system in need of a boiler replacement. It was obviously a very expensive system to install and was piped incorrectly.  There are leaks at the manifold with screw type clamps.  Oxygen Barrier? , expected life ?

Wow, that was quick....

@ May 27, 2014 8:11 PM in Midco Radiant burner....results of first heating season

I think it was a Power Flame

Midco Radiant burner....results of first heating season

@ May 27, 2014 8:02 PM in Midco Radiant burner....results of first heating season

My Burner Tech, Brad,  installed a Modulating Midco LNB1000 on an old Pacific Steel boiler. While the combustion numbers on high fire were almost the same as the existing modern conventional burner, the fuel usage was dramatically different.   Brad ran the numbers, correcting for degree days, and found over a 30% drop in fuel usage with the new burner.  I suspect about 1/2 this drop is due to the modulation, but the other half is probably due to the better heat transfer of the radiant design.  The installation was on a larger single zone, single pipe steam TRV's.
Looks like I'm going to start selling a lot of these
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