Joined on August 11, 2008
Last Post on January 31, 2013
@ January 31, 2013 7:28 PM in connecting Efm 520 to an oil burnerThe "little brother" to the 520 is a 350, and those jackets won't fit a 520. Unless you intend to heat the area that the 520 will be in, I suggest you buy a sheet of foil-faced hard foam insulation and make a "jacket" for the boiler with it....foil tape works well to seal it up.
Make sure the tubing you are putting underground is big enough to carry the btu's you need. Make sure that ground water can't get in the underground conduit.
Also, if you want to learn more about coal stokers and EFM units in general, I suggest you join nepacrossroads.com There is a special section just for EFM units.
@ January 31, 2013 1:42 PM in connecting Efm 520 to an oil burnerYou can add an expansion tank on the EFM piping if you would like...if you don't, you will need to install a larger one on the oil system. Redundancy is nice...I say add a second tank.
Hook the boilers supply to supply, return to return, and be sure to bury some control wire (thermostat wire) with the piping...that way you don't need to keep the boiler hot and circulating 24/7. You will save a lot of coal by letting the boiler idle at a lower temperature and only circulating/stoking when there is a heat call.
Do you have a set of jackets for the EFM?
@ October 31, 2012 11:31 AM in Beckett Heat Manager - usedI have a used Beckett Heat Manager that was removed from my oil boiler. It was installed in 2009 and removed this summer when I quit using the old (and oversized) boiler. Has original box, instructions, and works as it should. Asking $100, that includes shipping.
@ October 31, 2012 11:27 AM in interior rust and chunks in hot water radiatorWhat you have described is not uncommon, especially if the radiator was stored outside. I strongly recommend you flush it out and pressure test it before you install it in your home.
I remember you from last fall - the big Victorian with that couldn't get warm. Looks like you survived last winter, what is the plan for this one?
@ September 24, 2012 6:04 AM in help with heatingMy first thought is that there is no flow-check (or a non functional one) on the upstairs zone...this would allow hot water to circulate through the radiatiors via gravity.
@ September 19, 2012 8:21 AM in STEAM VS. HOT WATERA few questions for you:
What is the make & model of your boiler?
Can you tell what the pressuretrol is set at?
Do all of the radiators heat evenly?
Does the system make any odd noises when the heat is on? e.g. banging pipes.
@ May 23, 2012 1:46 PM in DPDT AquastatHi Jerry, will a Honeywell L6006A (or C) do what you're looking for?
I have an EFM plumbed in parallel with my oil boiler, and I just ran the signal from the zone relay's end switch through a three way toggle. It isn't automatic, but it is just the flip of a switch to fire the oil unit. I have seen others hooked up with relays, and one guy hooked up a thermostat in a cool part of the house to fire the oil boiler if the room temperature dropped too far. Lots of different ways to do it, just depends on what you want to accomplish.
@ April 27, 2012 11:21 AM in The Propane industryIn my area the two big propane "players" are Suburban and Amerigas...but the best prices are from the small independent propane companies. I would hate to see them get swallowed up by the big guys.
@ March 22, 2012 4:20 PM in indirectIt seems that a shower head upgrade may make a noticeable improvement.
I have an 80 gallon indirect in my home that is fired with about 100k btu's of boiler capacity. Even with multiple bathroom's in use at the same time we have never exhausted the hot water.
@ March 12, 2012 10:25 AM in boiler choice timeBobby, how many gallons of fuel do you normally burn per winter?
@ March 8, 2012 3:56 PM in Do I need a new furnace / boiler?It is odd that the boiler provides sufficient hot water in the summer, but not in the winter. That makes me think of two things:
1. The water from the main or well is considerably colder in the winter and can't pick up enough heat in the tankless coil... possibly from calcium deposits.
2. Any chance you have a zone calling for heat while you are in the shower and the boiler temperature drops quickly?
When you are taking pictures, please note the current settings in the aquastat and take a picture of the wiring.
@ February 29, 2012 5:56 PM in Actual heat loss vs. calculated heat loss....Icesailor, your mention of ODR savings vs. reduced firing rate rings true with my observations this winter. For a few days I doubled the firing rate of my boiler to see how it would behave...it ran almost exactly half as much. During November and most of December I experimented with running the boiler at 140/160 rather than the usual 160/180...that made more of a difference than scaling back the firing rate, and the reduction in pipe expansion noise was nice as well.
The only issue I have with ODR is that it can't tell when the wind is blowing. With a home like mine that sits out in the open, I would have to allow a "wind buffer" in the ODR curve.
@ February 29, 2012 4:23 PM in Actual heat loss vs. calculated heat loss....Steve, I think a total heat-loss calculation tends to be more accurate on new construction...because (if everyone did their job) you should know how much insulation is in the walls, etc.
For an old house like mine, a "best guess" heat loss calculation is needed to size the radiation per room and such, but historical fuel consumption and/or boiler run time seems to be better at telling 'the real story' on the heatloss of the entire structure.
When I first moved into this house I did a heatloss calculation with the Slant Fin software. I had to guess at the insulation values and came out to 120,000 btu's per hour at -15F...no wonder the 250k btu oil boiler tended to short cycle! I installed a Beckett Heat Manager to help with the short cycling (it did) and an hour meter, so I could keep track of the burner run time. I soon learned that the boiler rarely ran more than 5 or 6 hours per day.
For a while I kept a log book next to the boiler and tracked the burner run time vs the high & low temperatures of that day. I don't have the numbers right in front of me, but from memory I think the coldest day I had in the log was -22F in the morning with a "high" of -5F in the afternoon...even with those temperatures the btu INPUT to the boiler didn't even average out to more than 100,000 btu's per hour. I now know that the wall cavities are filled with rock wool and/or cellulose, so the old house is better insulated than I originally thought when I did the heat loss calculation.
One winter of buying $3+ fuel oil was enough, so I installed an anthracite coal stoker boiler, and I have it set at approximately 100,000 btu's per hour. To-date it has never run more than 15 hours out of 24, and that particular day wasn't the coldest of the season...it was cold and windy.
@ February 23, 2012 7:25 PM in New Amtrol Boiler Mate running out of hot waterI agree with Steve, the indirect is undersized for that kind of load. I have a fast-fill fixture in our tub and it would quickly exhaust a 30 gallon indirect...I have an 80 now and have never gotten ahead of it.
@ February 23, 2012 10:57 AM in circulator sizing for wood boilerThe brochure for that boiler shows an expansion tank in the diagram...are you sure it is an open system?
That seems like a lot of circulator just to pump water through a solid fuel boiler and a storage tank, but maybe there is something I'm missing inside the boiler. When in doubt, follow the directions....or call the manufacturer and see what their reasoning is.
@ February 23, 2012 10:39 AM in Moldy Smell in Office w/ steam heatIf you think the plants could be at fault, remove them from the office and see if they still complain. Is there a drop ceiling in the office? Pull a few tiles and look around, it wouldn't be the first time someone hung a bucket under a leak and it got the "green disease".
@ February 14, 2012 1:27 PM in System 2000 or Buderus?The rules of the site are: Please be nice; don't discuss pricing, and don't post advertisements.
Both systems have a good reputation. Did each of the contractors do a heat loss calculation of your home? Did then mention a chimney inspection or relining?
@ February 10, 2012 9:26 AM in Help pleaseJason, do you live in coal country? I assume you were considering anthracite and not bituminous coal. Nothing against Icesailor, but if someone with a modern stoker boiler is getting ashes all over the house they are doing something terribly wrong. The best thing for you to do is visit the home of someone that is running the unit you are considering and make up your own mind about the pros/cons.
I heat my home with an EFM stoker boiler, and everyone that visits is shocked that the house is heated with coal. My house is 72-73 degrees, there is no dust in the living area, and it saves me about 60% compared to heating oil. I have installed two others in my neighborhood, the last one was in a house that was previously heated with electric baseboard.
"Coal" is a dirty word and most people have zero experience with an anthracite stoker. Here is a video of an EFM like mine...if you think one of them would look good in your basement feel free to send me an email.
@ February 2, 2012 1:04 PM in cold radiator"The Burnham cycles every 12 minutes to check the low water limit and the old boiler just ran until the thermostat shut it off."
I'm no steam expert, but that sure doesn't sound right. How did you determine the LWCO is causing the burner to stop? Are you sure it isn't due to something else, such as the Pressuretrol?
@ January 18, 2012 4:32 PM in Hot water loop questionIn addition to a properly sized circulator, you should have a bypass installed on the condensate loop to keep the temperature manageable. Here is some good reading.
@ January 17, 2012 10:02 AM in radiant heat loss because of pex placement?If I understood your post correctly, are you are saying that the pex is entirely beneath the slab in sand? Is there is insulation and vapor barrier under the pex? Having the tubing not in the slab itself is a big problem, and if it is heating damp soil...all you are doing is wasting fuel.
@ January 11, 2012 1:43 PM in Pressure Booster on Hot WaterHow much water pressure do you have in the basement?
Any chance the screen in the shower head is clogged with debris?