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Joined on February 27, 2010

Last Post on September 1, 2014

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@ July 27, 2014 10:27 AM in Burnham IN4 steam boiler piping

You are correct that the piping is NOT correct. The equalizer/drip back to the return should be located after the main take-off. The way it is now, you are not going to produce dry steam and may lose a considerable amount of steam capacity going out to the system. It needs to be redone.


@ July 27, 2014 10:24 AM in Another Steam Boiler Sizing Concern

Under-firing a burner in a wet-based boiler will INCREASE heat transfer and combustion efficiency. So, it's actually better to use a slightly oversized boiler, and use the correct sized firing rate.

I thought that the Intrepid was approved for gas. A quick call to Slant/Fin would confirm that.


@ July 27, 2014 8:18 AM in Another Steam Boiler Sizing Concern

Any power burner, whether its oil or gas, will run around 85%.


@ July 26, 2014 8:23 PM in Another Steam Boiler Sizing Concern

Most atmospheric, natural gas, boilers will not operate above 82% combustion efficiency. A wet-base and power burner combo will achieve 84-89%, with the added bonus of being able to fine tune the proper input rating. You can "under-fire" and power burner by about 20% without any problems.


@ July 26, 2014 12:36 PM in Burnham IN4 steam boiler piping

Can you post a few pictures? We'll be able to tell you exactly what is right or wrong with it.

Gas Valve

@ July 26, 2014 7:41 AM in new home owner from philadelphia

Low Fire is 60%. It is non-adjustable as far as the manufacturer says. Though, I'm sure there is a way to adjust it with a new spring under the Low Fire solenoid valve. However, 60% seems ideal for steam because Low Fire almost always matches the connected EDR load.


@ July 26, 2014 7:37 AM in Sanyo-Panasonic Rep

I'm a trained installation/service contractor for Panasonic. Are you looking for sales or service?


@ July 25, 2014 7:14 PM in new home owner from philadelphia

Well, this mess was finally cleaned up today.

We replaced all of the piping. Corrected the bad venting connections. Added a massive amount of main vents. And installed a 2-stage GCV with Vaporstat to run on High/Low. After firing, the 60-70ft main was hot in under 5 minutes.


@ July 23, 2014 6:03 PM in Homeowner

Which contractor measured the radiators to find the right size?
Is the existing boiler sized correctly?
Did anybody find out what might have caused the old boiler's failure?
Are there any other upgrades that were mentioned about the entire system?


@ July 16, 2014 5:53 PM in Converting One Pipe Steam Rads to 2 Pipe Hot Water

If it's not connected on top, it won't work very well. Do you have a picture of the entire radiator, or a name on it?

Are you converting a steam system to hot water?


@ July 15, 2014 7:47 PM in Mod/con poll. Installers only.


We don't install low-efficiency anything. It's just not our style. If properly installed and maintained, the mod/con will deliver all of its promised results with the same amount of maintenance and service as a CI boiler. Yes, SOME of the parts are more expensive, but that's the risk we take for improved comfort and fuel consumption. I see it as a good reason to get your customers signed up on a service plan that will dramatically decrease their service costs.

Plus. natural draft is an evil mistress. I'm all for anything that uses sealed combustion and releases a home from the inefficiency of a chimney.


@ July 10, 2014 9:19 PM in CO deaths because someone cut off the exhaust:

I'm going to print this article and hang it around our shop. A horrible event, but a good reminder for everyone else to be smart, and never leave a system in an unsafe condition. I always encourage my guys to spend the last 10 minutes of every job just standing back and looking around the basement/attic/house/whatever. Sometimes it takes a relaxed mind to notice something that was right in front of you all day.


@ July 9, 2014 6:10 PM in Getting into mod/con business

...this threads going to be deleted, too.

Maybe just keep the first couple of posts?


@ July 9, 2014 3:10 PM in Watts

Otherwise, that would be a pretty boring display.


@ July 8, 2014 1:30 PM in Can I add hydronic furnace to steam system with IWH?

You can tie a circulated loop off of the steam boiler as long as the capacity does not take away too much from its ability to maintain steam for the rest of the system.

Where are you located? We may know somebody who can handle all of your systems.


@ July 7, 2014 6:55 PM in New Radiant System

What city? You obviously have not found a true steam professional.


@ July 7, 2014 6:52 PM in Getting into mod/con business

I lose you when you say that a mod/con can't reduce fuel consumption by 50%. How is that impossible? I can turn the boiler off completely, and it will save 100% fuel.


@ July 7, 2014 5:40 PM in Getting into mod/con business

Let's say that the average mod/con does only save $300-400 per year. The cost of my mod/con install versus a conventional boiler is maybe $2500. So the payback on cost difference is about 6.5 years. That seems VERY smart to me. Plus, each future install will be cheaper than the original one; venting and piping being salvaged for the next boiler.

Combustion efficiency may only be 20% better, but modulating can add another 30-50% in fuel usage reduction.


@ July 1, 2014 6:14 AM in New gas boiler sizing

Luckily you have the whole summer to find the right contractor; one that will perform a heat loss, and analyze the entire system to make sure that you'll be operating as efficiently as possible. Any heat loss numbers that we offer here will be a complete guess.


@ June 27, 2014 7:12 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

You might be able to install 3/4" pipe. That's my point here. You can waste a lot of time and materials and money by guessing.


@ June 27, 2014 6:24 AM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

We're neglecting half of the concern here. Yes, the 1" pipe might satisfy RESTRICTION and FLOW, but will it handle the required VOLUME?

It's not about's a healthy concern for implementing proper calculations learned from experience and study.


@ June 25, 2014 7:33 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

It doesn't sound logical. You are just guessing at the 1" being the correct size. That is illogical.
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