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Joined on October 25, 2004

Last Post on June 3, 2014

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Steam boiler

@ June 3, 2014 9:51 PM in Sizing New Gas Steam Boiler

First off never remove the insulation from the main piping. You end up with more water in the system and can cause water hammer or boiler flooding.
Heat the basement with a circulated water zone off the steam boiler.
Do not be concerned with the issues you discussed. The heat will increase as the radiator heat up and the only time it may be a problem on the coldest day. I doubt that as the home is probably over radiated anyway as most were plenty over radiated back when steam systems were installed.

Radiator lifts

@ May 21, 2014 10:33 PM in Radiator feet pedestal?

Us boiler usually has them in stock. I have gotten them there before.

Heat loss

@ May 9, 2014 10:52 PM in Heat Loss discrepancy

Yes I hear the same that manual j was all about warm air furnaces. All types of heat other than radiant heats with convection heat. The more air currents your system creates the higher the heat loss.
Radiant heat works on infrared radiation.

Boiler flow

@ April 27, 2014 9:36 PM in Boiler flow

I installed a cast iron boiler with two heating zones and an IWH. My concern is the boiler is about 42k. When I did the heat loss I need about 25K in one zone and 15k in the second.
Cast iron boilers should operate with flows between a 20 - 40f delta-T. That means this boiler should operate with a 2 - 4 gpm flow.If I look at the delta-T I see a delta-T of about 8-10f. I have a taco 007 and 2 Taco zone valves for heating and a 007 for the IWH. The hot water works fine but I am concerned about the flow through the boiler for heating. Should I reduce the flow with the gate valves on the returns to the proper flow?

DOE output

@ April 23, 2014 9:00 PM in Sizing

When you do a heat loss you use the DOE or Gross output not the lowest number net output.

Replacement boiler

@ April 19, 2014 12:50 PM in Peerless WBV03 Steam Boiler Warranty

The old boiler probably is not under warranty. Manufactures warranty covers manufacturer defects not LWCO failures.
I would replace with a Megasteam 3 pass boiler if staying with oil. It is the most efficient oil steam boiler out there.
Replace that main line steam vent with a good quick vent and make sure all the steam mains are insulated. It should be piping in iron and not copper.


@ April 18, 2014 6:49 AM in Mid range boilers

I would look at the US Boiler MPO 3 pass. Good quiet and efficient. I also like the plug in ODR control. Easy to install.

Reason for 10 minute shut-off

@ April 11, 2014 10:13 PM in Questions regarding the main vent and auto water feeder that cuts off the boiler every 10 minutes

I am not commenting if I like or dislike the 10 minute run time but the reasoning behind it. In all honesty there is not need for it on the atmospheric gas boilers due to making steam slower. The need was thought yo be needed on the oil boilers due to making steam very rapidly.
Here us the reason behind it, foam. When a boiler is foaming the probe will still operate as it is in water.nit could cause dry fire. The delay allows the foam to collapse and/ or allow water to come back to the boiler.

L/h/l firing

@ April 10, 2014 8:17 PM in Is my steam boiler way oversized?

In the meantime doesn't that boiler have a low fire hold switch. That would reduce it by about 40% until the gas comes and should still heat well.

Even another

@ April 7, 2014 8:23 PM in Wet/Dry based boilers?

Don't forget there are also wet leg boilers, water on both sides and back but not beneath the flame.
Than we have water tube boilers.


@ April 5, 2014 9:15 PM in Boiler Bypass and other

The bypass would only need valves due to since boiler water volume has been reduced the boiler bypass will protect the boiler. It's all about flow. New lower water volume boiler all you need to do is reduce the flow within spec's. Get the average water temperature through the boiler above 140f.
You could choose the US Boiler ESC, ES2 or Series 3 which can get 110f back without a problem. Probably wouldn't even need a bypass due to zoning.

Gas conversion

@ April 3, 2014 9:11 PM in Burnham gas conversion

A contractor friend checked with a local lawyer a few years ago and he stated that since the manual specifically says For #2 fuel oil only, do not burn gaseous fuels (not exact wording) it did make it a legal issue since it was in print.


@ March 30, 2014 7:29 AM in Boiler Piping questions

The one quick thing I see wrong with your proposed drawing is that your one Tee for system riser will be between two boiler risers. You never want a system riser between your boiler risers all your system riser should be after the boiler risers. Of course the second is no pipe insulation.


@ March 30, 2014 7:23 AM in Main Vents

The bigger problem that I see is the Bullhead T on the supply that should be broken into two risers. It's kind hard to see from the picture but it looks like the tee going up to the system riser is between two risers coming out the boiler. Both of these are no no's in steam piping.

Steam leak

@ March 30, 2014 7:15 AM in steam section broke at the top.

The bigger problem is why does this happen. Usually happens due to excess water being fed into the boiler thank car rides attaches to the iron. Check your vents, check your valve packing for leaks and check for any underground returns that may be leaking

Burnham and Alpha pump

@ March 26, 2014 9:23 PM in My first ALPHA pump

Thanks hot rod

Burnham Alpine

@ March 26, 2014 7:17 AM in Sizing a boiler in Watertown, MA

The Alpine at least you can turn down the input rpm's to match the heat loss and leave the fan rpm's higher for the domestic if you want. Almost like two boilers in one. They do turn down to 16k input which may be about 14k output.
The other thinkg I like about the newer version is the low fire hold for two minutes. Any Alpine produced since the beginning of this year has the option of choosing number one on the response speed, in the central heat menu, when the boiler fires it drives it into low fire for two minutes. this allows time for the water to circulate and hopefully coming back to the boiler. Then the boiler only modulates up to the required rpm's. The same can be for DHW but it is a one minute hold time.
The new IQ control you will be able to input down to the 1000 btu heat loss but the boiler will still only fire at it's minimum, say 16k. It will total all zone demands and not release from minimum input until the total of zone demands is above the minimum firing rate.
The biggest problem with oversized mod/cons is not going low enough. Sure they modulate back when firing but the most efficient operation is the bottom side of the operation. If you have a 16k zone and the boiler modulates to 16 that is great. But if the minikmum zone is 16k and the boiler only turns down to 30k that is where you are loosing the most efficiency. So the statement that over sizing is not as important could be no further from the truth.

Taco 0011

@ March 25, 2014 10:46 PM in New boiler supply/return question

This is a pretty unusual circulator for baseboard hot water.
What is the cycle time on the boiler?

Free Alpha

@ March 24, 2014 7:54 AM in My first ALPHA pump

Snowmelt - I like the Sentry zone valve. It works rapidly after a short charging cycle which is usually a few seconds. Very quiet and easy to wire and install. The powerhead comes off with a push on a tab and unplug the wiring. Insert new head and plug the wiring harness back in.
The reason I used the Alpha insteqd of the Taco Bumblebee is Burnham is having a special on their cast iron boilers. Order with the Alpha and there is no up-charge. So I could get one to try with no extra cost above what I would have paid for the Taco 007.

Tom -  Tried all the settings. If they want you to try high speed first they should default to that. I think it is just a dud. Not a good first impression. Just a green  - -.
BTW Taco resolved that noise issue.

My first ALPHA pump

@ March 23, 2014 8:11 PM in My first ALPHA pump

I have read many good posts about the Alpha pump. I had a job with 2 zone valves and an Indirect. The boiler is a cast iron 40K. I used 2 Taco Sentry zone valves, Alpha pump and a separate pump with IFC.
I must say the first experience with the Alpha was less than positive. I felt the wiring was a bit tough as I have big hands. After getting through that turned on the boiler. All the lights came on on the pump once the zone valve opened. Went into the default auto adapt. About 30 seconds later I got 2 dashes on the pump display.  Read manual check for flow, voltage locked rotor. Recycle power.
Re-purged and the same thing. The display says 1 watt and 0 gallons.
After trying different things I put one of the old Taco 007's in place of the Alpha. Did not even re-purge and all took off and heated.
Not real impressed with the first one.

Look at the I&O

@ March 20, 2014 8:38 PM in boiler bypass

The manufacturer wants a boiler bypass why would you disagree with that? You are putting too much emphasis on return water temperature as many do. To quote Gil Carlson who invented the boiler bypass. Thermal stress and flue gas condensation is a result of extremely cold water entering the boiler or cool water at a high flow rate" The return temperature is not as important as the flow. We should be trying to get the average water temperature of the boiler above condensing temp. When the boilers switched to low water volume the bypass switched to a boiler bypass. System bypasses are for higher water volume.
I agree that with an old gravity hot water system you definitely need boiler protection.
How about p/s and using a delta T pump for the boiler secondary piping set to 30 - 40 delta-T.


@ March 18, 2014 10:07 PM in Confused

Not sure what the difference between a hydraulic separator and low loss header is. Any help here?
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