Joined on October 1, 2008
Last Post on April 1, 2013
@ April 1, 2013 12:55 PM in Need Help With Honeywell RelayThe main control relay on my Burnham IN-5 boiler started buzzing loudly this weekend. I replaced it with one from the old boiler I took out last year, and it's working quietly again. I'd like to get a brand new relay, but I can't find the exact match on any of the online supply house sites and the cross-reference information I can find is confusing.
This is the bad one:
Honeywell R8222K 1000, 24V 50/60 HZ
It appears to be a simple 2-pole normally open relay with just 4 terminals . . . 2 coil terminals and 2 contact terminals . . . but maybe it has an internal resistor or something.
There seems to be a lot of general-purpose R8222 relays out there, most of them with extra terminals I won't use. For example, the R8222 D 1014 seems like it would plug right in, but the solenoid coil looks larger, perhaps higher wattage. Could somebody clue me in on what would work?
@ November 12, 2012 5:19 PM in Hissing when boiler shuts off and issues on 2nd floorAt my house, I put faster vents on the upstairs radiators so they get steam faster. This may not be your issue, but it helped me.
As far as a vent making a whistling/sucking noise when the boiler shuts down, this is normal. As the last of the steam condenses, air has to re-enter the system somewhere. The first vent to open will let in the air, and if you have a radiator vent that never closed in the first place, then that will be the one. I've found that the cheap Watts style vents are especially noisy under vacuum, and the bullet shaped Hoffman vents are the quietest. The radiator vent in our main bedroom used to generally be the first to open and made quite a whistle. It just seemed to open more quickly than the others. I switched it out to a different room away from where we sleep and life is better.
@ October 18, 2012 4:28 PM in Alright, I need some sleep...Hmmm. My alcohol-filled vents didn't sound like that . . . more like a coffee can getting shot with a BB gun. Maybe I had a different brand. :-)
@ October 18, 2012 11:32 AM in Alright, I need some sleep...That's great! I'm glad to hear it.
I've got a different problem now that I changed out the boiler. My wife just told me that she always thought that the sound of the vents hissing and closing was reassuring and old fashioned. She misses the steam system sounds she had gotten used to and she wants them back. Oh well. No good deed goes unpunished, eh? The old boiler has already hit the scrap yard. She'll adapt. Eventually. I hope . . . .
@ October 17, 2012 8:44 PM in WM SGO-3 Counterflow RePipe...Lots of Photos!That looks like a McDonnell & Miller Uni-Match water feeder. I just put one in myself. The instructions state that the unit MUST be mounted upright on a horizontal pipe. I'm not sure why they want it this way, but I doubt that the instructions would be so explicit if it wasn't important. You might want to change that part.
@ October 17, 2012 12:57 PM in Alright, I need some sleep...I had the same problem for years. I added lots of main venting. It didn't help much. The radiator vents wouldn't make noise until after the main vents closed anyway. Even the biggest main vents vents flow exactly the same amount of air as smaller ones once they are closed. Zero.
I switched over the upstairs (bedroom floor) ones to bimetal radiator vents instead of the alcohol-filled snap-action style. (I prefer Maid-O-Mist, but the Gorton units are similar.) That helped quite a bit. They were fairly quiet. They would still open and close a bit, but at least they didn't clang shut. The alcohol filled ones (i.e. Hoffman 40) are actually designed to clang shut.
The biggest problem seemed to be an oversized boiler that would build steam too quickly. It doesn't take much pressure for radiator vents to hiss, so lowering your pressure limit switch may not do too much either. Last year I swapped out the orifices in my burner to reduce the output by 10%, and I added a radiator. That helped quite a bit. This year I replaced the boiler with a smaller (correct sized) one. Now my vents are virtually silent. The radiators all fill with steam more gradually and the vents don't have to open and close repeatedly because the steam doesnt get ahead of the air anymore. Unless I'm coming off of a deep setback, the thermostat is often satisfied before all the radiators are completely hot, so many of the radiator vents don't even have to close. (If I let the boiler run long enough, it eventually builds pressure, but that doesn't happen on normal cycles anymore.)
@ October 10, 2012 5:54 PM in Help Me With Proper Maintenance PleaseOK, so I'm in my first heating season with a brand new Burnham IN-5. I'd like it to last. I'd like my whole system to last. In the past I've tested the float-type LWCO weekly and drained out another quart or so out of the bottom of the boiler at the same time . . . and then refilled to mid sight glass. The system doesn't lose much water by itself. The water line might drop 1/4" in a week. Feed water is generally good. It's Lake Michigan water with 5 grains of hardness and pH of around 8.
The boiler water is pretty rusty most of the time. When I drain it, it looks like weak coffee or strong tea. A couple of years ago I installed a used radiator in my kitchen that had previously been on a badly maintained hot water system. I loosend up and removed a half a coffee can full of rusty granular material from it before I installed it, but I suspect I only got out a portion of what was stuck inside. The boiler water got a lot more rusty after that. I suspect that that radiator is still shedding rust every time the boiler fires up and steam cleans it a little more, but maybe the rust is coming from elsewhere. When I disconnected the 12 year old piping from beneath the waterline of my old boiler, the bottom of the pipes were getting pretty thin. I hope the whole system isn't corroding too quickly.
I've done searches here on blowdown and water treatment, and have come up with some conflicting ideas about what to do. Sooo . . . here goes again.
1) Is my blowdown schedule too frequent, just right, or not enough?
2) Even with my minimal water use, would the system benefit from some kind of chemical treatment? What kind? I can buy a can of Squick for $20 shipped or a gallon of Rhomar 903 for about $100 delivered to a local supply house. What else might be out there?
@ October 5, 2012 10:34 AM in Installed My Own BoilerSure Hap. For example, after our kids flew the nest five years ago we moved into a wreck of a huge old house and much of my free time has been spent renovating it. Sometimes it seems like a burden, but there is also a lot of satisfaction when I get something done. I work in an OFFICE for goodness' sake! If I don't accomplish something real once in a while I'd feel pretty useless.
Sometimes I'll escape though. I'll gather up the flies I tied and the fly rod I made and go out in the boat I built to catch fish I can cook myself along with the vegetables I grow.
OK, . . . I'm extreme . . . it's an affliction . . .
@ October 4, 2012 1:04 PM in Installed My Own BoilerMaybe I spoke out of turn. I may be in an unusual circumstance. I’ve always just gone ahead and done things myself. My father pretty much covered all of the trades during his 86 years on this side of the sod. I grew up working with him doing everything from general carpentry, painting, plumbing, wiring,masonry, and even some furnace repair. There was nothing that old guy couldn't build or fix. He got me my first real toolbox in grade school and filled it with real tools that I still use. I took to it right away. I was rebuilding engines before I was old enough to drive. I spent my teens and early twenties working at a local machine shop building and rebuilding all kinds of equipment . . . and then I went off to engineering school. Mechanical and electrical things are just second nature to me, and what seems simple and straightforward to me seems to baffle a lot of other people. I also have the advantage that I work with a lot of mechanical and electrical contractors and made a lot of friends in the trades over the years who are willing to give me guidance if I get stuck. And . . . yes, if a heating appliance is installed wrong, it could be very dangerous. Maybe it is best left to trained professionals in most cases.
(Other things in life do frequently baffle me though . . . like understanding women and stuff like that.)
@ October 3, 2012 6:01 PM in Installed My Own BoilerI never installed a boiler before this one. I’m an office guy (mechanical engineer) but I have a reasonable amount of hands on experience doing industrial maintenance in my youth, and a lot of amateur home and auto repair work since then. Even though I don't do hands-on stuff for a living, I often deal with industrial heating and plumbing projects, so I get to see how things are done.
From what you’ve already done, it sounds like you probably have the skills, or could learn them as you go. You don’t seem to be intimidated by that kind of thing, and it sounds like you research the proper way to do things. I find that I can generally do a good job at this kind of work, but because I’m not experienced it takes me longer to get the job done than if I were a pro. I also find that because it’s my own house, I do a very careful and workmanlike job . . . even if I wind up doing something over a few times until I’m satisfied with the result.
That said, I did my boiler when it was still hot out. It took me a Saturday and a week of evenings to get it all done. I had access to a pipe threader and had a contractor friend who could get me the 2” black pipe fittings I needed. (Big box stores don’t seem to carry many black fittings over ¾”.) I had help carrying the old boiler out and getting the new one into the basement. They both weighed 500 to 600 pounds. The new boiler was similar enough to the old one that I could reuse aportion of the near-boiler piping.
Your new boiler will probably come needing some assembly and a fair amount of wiring. Are you comfortable in following a wiring diagram and making the right connections? Not being in the HVAC or plumbing trades, in the middle of the job you might find that you need to order certain fittings, parts or valves from out-of-town suppliers. It might take time to get them. Will you be able to do without heat for a week or two when the boiler arrives? If I had my own house cold for a week, my lovely bride would be unhappy to say the least. She seems to think that I undertake these kinds of projects myself because I'm a tightwad. (She's right , but I also enjoy learning new things and like working with my hands.) Would your wife tolerate you tying up a lot of your own time and having a cold house until you're done? Do you have somebody who could help you out if things didn't go well? Would it be worth the grief? If so, go for it!
@ September 19, 2012 3:37 PM in Installed My Own BoilerI've actually had better results with Maid-O-Mist than Gorton. Some people on this board might say otherwise. Maybe I just got a bad couple of Gortons, but they didn't always seal off that well. They've been recycled.
@ September 19, 2012 2:50 PM in Radiator valve bushed down?I know the OP is satisfied with the answers already given, but I thought I'd share my experience.
I have two radiators bushed down like that. One, a fairly tall one, does make some noise. It isn't banging or anything like that. If you listen very carefully while it is filling with steam, it sounds like there is a miniature waterfall inside. Once the vent closes, it gets quiet again. The larger amount of condensate from steam hitting a cold radiator must be trickling into the little pool of water at the bottom. It's a pleasant sound, really . . . unless I need to use the bathroom.
@ September 19, 2012 12:29 PM in Installed My Own BoilerI have mostly Maid-O-Mist vents, with a couple of Hoffman #40s.
The Maid-O-Mist vents have a variety of orifice sizes, with the faster ones upstairs where we probably don't have enough radiators. If you don't know what sizes you need, you can buy all slower ones, like #6, and remove and drill out the orifices a little for the radiators you want to heat more quickly.
The Maid-O-Mist vents have the advantage that they don't make a pinging noise when they shut like the Hoffman's do. However, the Maid-O-Mist vents can whistle a bit when the first one opens up under vacuum at the end of a heating cycle. The Hoffman vent's don't seem to do that. It must be their pointy shape or something. My solution was that I found one Maid-O-Mist vent that seemed to always open back up a little later than the other ones. I put that one in the bedroom where we sleep.
@ September 19, 2012 9:10 AM in Installed My Own BoilerWell, it was in the 30's ovenight here and the house was cold, so I cranked up the thermostat and let the boiler run. (Since the pictures were taken, I insulated the near boiler piping and moved the Pressuertrol to a higher tapping.)
I let the boiler run about an hour. The waterline was steady. The radiator vents were silent. Alll the radiators got hot all the way across. And . . . the pressure gage didn't visibly move. I think I finally have a properly installed and balanced system. Whooooeeee! I'm going to be warm this winter!
@ September 4, 2012 2:04 PM in Installed My Own BoilerThanks again for the input! The leak is fixed and the relief is piped in copper. The scrap guy hauled off the old boiler this morning,
I'll insulate the new piping after I run the boiler for a week or two and everything seems good. It's 82 degrees here today. I may have to wait a while.
@ August 30, 2012 10:01 AM in Installed My Own Boiler1) No wash. I may have to skim. We'll see.
2) I have a piece of 3/4" copper left over from re-piping the house that I could use for the relief valve pipe.
3) On my old boiler, the tapping for the drain was a full 2". On this one, it's 3/4". That's too bad, because on my old one, I could insert a hose into the mud leg and flush it out well. The drain valve came with the boiler. It is a ball valve, albeit not full ported. At least thee boiler now does have drain valves on both ends, so that's a plus.
The bigger problem is that this morning there was a small puddle next to the boiler. The good news is that it's just a rusted nipple, and not one that I put in. The bad news is that I will have to disconnect the boiler and pull it out of the way to get access to fix it. Nothing is ever easy.
@ August 29, 2012 9:36 PM in Installed My Own BoilerThanks for the comments. Let me try to address them.
I'd rather have a probe LWCO, but the float type came packaged with the boiler. I'm not one to throw a brand new unit away. I also saved the identical one from my old boiler as a spare. I had replaced that LWCO late in 2010, so it's practically new. I flush and test it weekly and have never had an issue with it.
Two risers would have been better, but Burnham lists the second one as optional for the In-5 and IN-6. The existing riser to the main is right in the middle of the boiler and I didn't want to tear into it, asbestos and all. The also first branch line to a radiator comes off the main about 18" from where the boiler riser connects, further complicating the situation. There is one main that loops around the perimeter of the basement. Nearest the boiler, it's 2 1/2". It's old, but seems to work well, no banging or other issues. I'd rather leave it alone. I have multiple Hoffman main vents on an antler and have sized my radiator vents (mostly Maid-O-Mist) to balance the heat pretty well.
To size the boiler, I used a Burnham chart and measured and added up the sizes of all of the radiators in the house, added the pick up factor, etc. I am friends with a really good steam guy, and had him double check my calculations. I'd like to add one more radiator in one unheated room someday. The IN-4 would be marginal with my existing radiators. The IN-5 has a little capacity left for another radiator.
I didn't see the need for a union on the relief valve. I can spin this one off without a lot of disassembly.
@ August 29, 2012 3:09 PM in Installed My Own BoilerI've been posting here off and on for the last couple of years, complaining about issues stemming from my oversized boiler. Over the summer, I got a great deal on a new Burnham IN-5. Being pretty handy, I decided to install it myself I also added a water feeder that I didn't have before. The assembly and wiring were pretty straightforward. One of the maintenance guys at work showed me how to use a pipe threader, and that worked out OK too. I wanted to save as much of the existing piping as I could, so I opted for a drop header. The system has an overhead dry return, and I used the original connection without a Hartford loop. (I've had this discussion before, and it serves no real purpose on a dry return other than to collect sediment.) I just made sure that the return connected well below the water line. I washed all the oil out/off of every piece of pipe I put in and used Teflon tape instead of pipe dope, so I hope I don't need to do a lot of skimming. I also added a capped stub out of the second (optional) steam outlet for using a hose to flush the boiler and for adding chemicals (Squick) if necessary. I re-used the old mercury style pressuretrol from my old boiler, since those seem more reliable than the micro-switch unit that came with the boiler. I fired it up this morning, tested the LWCO and feeder . . . and all seems good. Whoooeee! Can't wait for cold weather!
@ August 20, 2012 10:49 AM in RTV?I'm finally going to fix my oversized short-cycling boiler. I added three radiators already and am switching out my boiler. I'm staying with the same brand and series, going from a Burnham IN-6 to an IN-5, so the steam piping changes will be minimal, basically a longer nipple on the return connection and a little shorter header. I'm an engineer, generally pretty handy and it will be configured right. I can use a pipe threader where I work, and the maintenance guys will help me set it up right. I'd like to minimize any oil contamination to get away from a lot of extra skimming. I plan to wash out any new pipe before I install it. Can I also stay away from oil-based pipe dope? Can I use high temperature silicone RTV gasket sealer as a pipe sealant? What would be the downside, other than it might not lubricate the threaads as well as conventional dope? How about using teflon tape with or without a little RTV?
@ January 4, 2012 8:25 AM in Cracked Radiator VentI just thought I'd pass this along. I still have a few Watts radiator vents I bought a few years back. I replaced most of them because they were so loud and clanky when they closed, but I still had one in a downstairs bathroom. Recently, i could hear a slight hiss from it, like it was failing to close. I discovered an inch-long hairline crack along one side of it. No, my boiler isn't running at excessive pressure. I checked. One more reason I won't buy Watts vents again.
@ January 4, 2012 8:19 AM in Why does my radiator clang after releasing steam?I think the OP is hearing the air vent opening and closing. Depending on the brand, some of the alcohol-filled snap action ones can really make a loud clank when they actuate. I still have cylindrical Watts branded vents on a couple of radiators. These are just like the imported ones available at the local big-box stores. They sound like somebody shot them with a BB gun when they close. The Hoffman #40 vents are a lot quieter, as are the slow-acting bi-metal units by Gorton or Maid-O-Mist.
@ November 10, 2011 8:50 PM in Basic steam questions.If you don't want to spring for a Gorton, you might want to tee in a second Hoffman 75. I've been able to find them brand new on eBay for less than 50 bucks.