The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)
Joined on May 25, 2008
Last Post on May 16, 2013
@ May 16, 2013 8:26 AM in zone valve questionThey are basically a full port design. The 1 1/4 inch has a lot of flow capacity and are pretty inexpensive. They are what I used to use whenever I needed a lot of capacity.
@ May 8, 2013 6:56 PM in Hot Water to Steam ConversionVery small fintube, since the output is about 60% higher with steam than high temp hot water.
@ May 8, 2013 6:54 PM in Hot Water to Steam Conversion2 Slantfin TR-40s firing about 200,000 input each, stage fired with a two stage thermostat. All radiators are now orificed...system originally an early Warren Webster system (pre orificed supply valves). I am sure are gas is cheaper here, but the truth is the truth. Also, the system only runs one 1/6 hp motor on a single burner for most of the winter.... a fraction of the power needed to run hot air fans and even pumps let alone power the electronics and draft fans of "High Efficiency" furnaces or boiler. 1/6 hp is more than necessary to fire the boilers.
The new burners I expect to start using have ECM motors so the power draw for this same home would be about 1/2 again or less than it is now. I suspect power draw will drop down to about 40 watts with this boiler design.
@ May 8, 2013 7:42 AM in Hot Water to Steam ConversionI am going out to look at a possible Hot Water to Steam conversion. It sounds like a typical old gravity hot water system in a 2 flat. The owner is aware that it will be more expensive than just putting in another hot water boiler, but still wants steam. I suspect I just need to plumb the beginning of the old hot water supply mains with a drip, since they would be pitched back towards the boiler, orifice plate the supply valves according to room load, and use the old return as my condensate return. Probably a lot of system cleaning will be involved as all that old sludge gets steam cleaned out of the system. Anything else I should be looking for?
With Chicago going more and more green, I am seeing requests for Forced Air to steam conversions too. Probably will be putting in some of the copper minitube steam systems that Gerry Gill has done or my own variation of them. Already have the historic engineering data on the design. When I show people that I have a 10,000 sq ft poorly insulated 1930's mansion heating with steam vapor and gas bills only hit $500.00 midwinter, they are taking notice. (so does the gas company...they send someone out every year to "check" on the meter)
@ April 25, 2013 11:27 PM in The King Of All Crossover Traps!If the units have indiviudal gas meters, you won't pick up the reduction in gas usage due to people not using stoves for heating. Also, you won't see the reduciion in electrical use because electric heaters are no longer needed.
@ April 23, 2013 9:56 AM in A Steam Odyssey (Part 2): Midco Low-NOx BurnerYep, it there for flame imingement, but the flame is so tight on that burner it is probably not a problem. I don't know how big the chamber is, but it relatively easy to find out if it will work. In the Slantfins Iv'e put in, I don't run a chamber with the burners I've used, (Heatwise and PF XM) and haven't had a problem. Thier flame is nice and tight.
@ April 22, 2013 10:55 PM in A Steam Odyssey (Part 2): Midco Low-NOx BurnerAre you running a chamber liner? With that burner, it's probably unneccesary and removing it would probably help radiant transfer really improve. The radiant output for that burner is supposed to be very high compared to standard gas burners.
@ April 22, 2013 6:40 PM in A Steam Odyssey (Part 2): Midco Low-NOx BurnerA nice thing about the noise is that it is mostly from the air intake fan. You can connect the fan to an intake pipe from outdoors to really quiet the burner down. You could probably build a sound absorbing box and connect the intake to that with an intake opening to the box appropriately placed.
@ April 16, 2013 8:53 AM in Let's Try Again-TT Mini SmartI installed one and we were unable to properly regulate the temperature. The boiler could not respond fast enough to meet demand, so the water temperature would plummet and then when it did respond, water temperatures soared. Some water volume is necessary in order to provide stable temps. Also, with the introduction of the Excellence with on board tank, it was no longer needed.
@ April 16, 2013 8:36 AM in CondensateTank...Why?I believe it has a standard motor and uses 2 belimo actuators to operate the gas valve and air shutter. I think they get programmed from a computer.
@ April 13, 2013 9:09 AM in Drop Header:Which way to Go?Slantfin's diagrams do show a header with its own equalizer and then the steam supply comes off the top of the header.
I also don't like the two boiler risers tying together in a tee before raching the header. I haven't piped any mulitple boilers with 2 risers each, but my thought is to pipe each riser seperately into the common header. The goal of the supply piping to the header is to keep the pressure drop across the piping at a minimum and the same for each boiler, so the boiler water lines remain equal. To me, keeping the risers separate would better accomplish this goal. Installing the boilers back to back with the header in the center of the boilers would keep this piping as short as possible....but probably a little tricky when firguring the venting. You could offset the boilers enough for the venting to clear and still get the piping equal, but just slightly longer. Gerry Gill has done multiple boilers with two reiser on each boiler.
@ April 13, 2013 8:46 AM in CondensateTank...Why?that vaporvac is talking about a pumpless reservoir tank piped at the water line of the boilers, equalized between the supply and return. It may be a good idea, as these boilers do hold a small amount of water. I have found they run right on the edge of water capacity, especially if you are downsizing the radiation with orifice plates or pushing the capacity limits by using small pick up factors. I'd suggest at least provide the connections for it (a couple of plugged tees) and add it in later if you need it. If the water starts getting dirty, the boilers will throw water up into the system, and then you start having overfilled boilers. A tank should provide a nice sfety factor for less than optimal operating conditions.
@ April 7, 2013 8:18 PM in A Steam Odyssey: Midco Low-NOx Burner Oil to Gas Conversion ProjectIt's great to see the Midco finally going into a real life application. I've been hoping to install one here in Chicago, but oil fired boilers are not stocked here in Chicago, so winter replacements with that burner are out...for now.
I looked over your website with great interest and was wondering if you considered using pressure reset as a control strategy. For one pipe steam this would be difficult to maintain balance in the system. For two pipe systems, it has been done in the past, but not with a direct control of a mod burner (that I am aware of). This is something I have great interest in and am currenly working to set up several large systems to be able to operate in this way in the future. The pressure reset could be based on outdoor temp or indoor temp feedback. It would probably be much simplier to program than your current one pipe programming.
@ April 7, 2013 7:54 PM in Water boils into pipes.if you have a gravity returen and follow minimum pipes sizes from the manufacturers charts. Larger is better. Probably for your boiler that would be 2- 3 inch risers from the boiler into a 4 inch header, with a 1 1/2 inch equalizer. Also, despite that the manufacaturer (it looks like you have a Weil McLain EGH boiler) says nothing about it in the install manual, do not use welded piping for the header. Using welded piping can pretty much guarantee boiler failure within 14 years and leaks well before that.
Looks like you're up in Milwaukee....its been a few years since I traveled up your way (really nice downtown and botanical gardens). I'm up in Winnetka, Glencoe and Highland Park failrly regularly.
@ April 6, 2013 8:55 PM in Water boils into pipes.The supplies must come off the top of the header or at least 45 degrees up.
@ March 24, 2013 7:37 PM in Ceiling rads and Thermostatic Rad ValvesI have come to understand that the Danfoss one pipe TRV does not have a very effective vacuum breaker. You may want to try a Macon/ Tunstall TRV which has a dedicated vacuum breaker that can let the radiator fill with air when the steam shuts off on a cycle to help prevent steam from entering the next cycle.
@ March 8, 2013 10:30 PM in Problems with new(er) Honey well spark controlRon had said that it has become a problem again because they are not prebaking the cables. Also, this is an induced draft model, so chimney draft is not involved.
I'll run the other checks when I get the factory pilot assembly. The pilot and cable in the boiler now are only 2 weeks old.
@ March 8, 2013 6:43 PM in Problems with new(er) Honey well spark controlI spoke to Ron at Burnham and he filled me in on a couple of potential issues. Burnham no longer uses the spark ignitor with separate ignition wire because the higher temperatures in the combustion zone are causing problems with the connection coming loose. In addition, Honeywell is not properly heating the ignition cables to eliminate offgassing, so they off gas in the boiler coating the ignitor. This appeared to be my current problem. After only 2 weeks in use, the boot was brittle and cracked, and the ignitor was partially shorted out by all the debris beteen the electrodes. I cleaned the debris out and polished the electrode and the pilot light instantly.
What I don't get is why, after Burnham knew about the substandard quality of the Honeywell components they would choose to replace them with other Honeywell supplied components.
@ March 6, 2013 9:18 PM in Problems with new(er) Honey well spark controlI noticed there is no direct gorund to the pilot burner....bad idea. They have the pilot ground attached to the gas valve and then it had to make its way through the loose fitting burners where they rest on the orifice. Would a bad ground give the wild readings during spark and then stablize ounce the spark ends?
I got your e-mail Timmie, thank you.
I sure don't like that the control is proprietary to Burnham! I think I may leave the hot water field altogehter if the boiler manufacturer's are going to continue make everything proprietary. I think I'll just stick with steam.
@ March 4, 2013 5:09 PM in Problems with new(er) Honey well spark controlan S8670E 3003. The one with the green and yellow troubleshooting LED's.
@ March 4, 2013 9:03 AM in Problems with new(er) Honey well spark controlI have a Burnham boiler with the new self diagnosing spark control that is having problems. First check we were getting short cycles and the control indicated weak flame signal. Checked for excessive resistance in the pilot circuit, found the connector somewhat loose and tightened, but still same problem. Also, noticed pilot would light immediately when boiler was cool, but not when hot. Replaced pilot assembly and attached wire with new pilot assembly and spark plug style wire and weak flame signal indication was gone and boiler operated normally. I did find that the pilot was not completely seated on the burner moun, so I may have been getting a bad ground. Got another call a week later... no heat. Owner powered down the boiler several times for as long as 1/2 hour, but control did not reset. I came in and checked a couple wires to be sure they were tight and everything seemed ok. Hooked up meter between transformer common and PV and started boiler. I was getting readings all over the place during spark, then once the pilot lit, stable. Boiler lit fine and has contrinued to work for several days. Is the wild reading normal during spark ? Any other ideas?