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Joined on February 27, 2010

Last Post on July 27, 2014

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Pipe size

@ May 1, 2014 6:23 AM in Please critique this layout

In regard to the pipe sizes....

According to my own charts, you can use one 3" riser or two 2" risers. The single 2.5" riser wouldn't be adequate. And a 3" header, which you have already. I'm not convinced that bushings are a problem for performance, although a good point was made about the ease of removal at a later date.


@ May 1, 2014 6:18 AM in New workshop- Help with options

They will upgrade the meter for free but the 100ft of gas line might be tens of thousands of dollars.


@ May 1, 2014 6:13 AM in Heat Load assessment different from quuted Boiler Size

What program did you use for the heat loss?

If you need 62,000 to heat the house, then you should choose a boiler that is about 75,000 BTUH INPUT. The NET rating of the boiler should match the heat loss. I would stay far away from any contractor who wants to oversize a system by that much. They obviously do not have your comfort or wallet in mind.

Triangle Tube

@ April 30, 2014 9:55 PM in Triangle Tube Prestige Solo

It's the only brand we use right now. Huge thumbs up!


@ April 30, 2014 7:03 PM in Please critique this layout

It's really no extra work. You just install one riser and the header. Then install the second riser backwards from the header to the boiler.


@ April 30, 2014 5:19 PM in Oil to gas conversion burner

We convert a lot of those boilers with great success. We only use Carlin. The Wayne is VERY temperamental and not a great fit for those tall and skinny Peerless boilers.

Gas will heat the house exactly the same as oil. It will be as efficient or more. It will just cost you a lot less to do it.


@ April 30, 2014 5:17 PM in New workshop- Help with options

Air to water heat pump? Could also run a chiller for radiant cooling!


@ April 30, 2014 5:15 PM in Radiator feet pedestal?

If anybody here ever opens their own foundry, count me in for voluntary work.


@ April 30, 2014 5:14 PM in Please critique this layout

I would avoid putting unions on the horizontal. They aren't necessary, and they are more likely to leak.


@ April 29, 2014 8:25 AM in Vaporstat meltdown

Did the wires short to ground? Were the control wires replaced the first time this happened?


@ April 28, 2014 9:04 PM in Gravity conversion

Mod/cons and converted gravity systems go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Why bother installing a cast iron boiler, only to install P/S piping or a bypass to purposely make it less efficient? The whole concept is backwards to me.


@ April 28, 2014 5:36 PM in DOLE Flow Control Steam Vent Model 20(?) (stainless)

We take care of systems that are 100 years old that don't have leaky pipes. There is usually a reason for the leaks. Is there any copper piping in the system? Are all pipes pitched properly?


@ April 28, 2014 12:55 PM in Please take this survey

Done and done.

Where are the results of this survey going?


@ April 28, 2014 10:33 AM in DOLE Flow Control Steam Vent Model 20(?) (stainless)

We don't discuss pricing here, but I can tell you that it costs me almost $200 per hour to operate and maintain my business in NJ. Every company has different policies and mark-ups based on their own overhead.

This sounds like the pricing scheme of the puke-green colored company.


@ April 25, 2014 8:51 PM in Oil to Gas Conversion

Either the burner or new boiler is a good option. We do a lot of both. At 10 years old, the existing boiler still has a good amount of life left in it. Add on the outdoor reset control and you can see a big savings. You would save even more with a 95%+ boiler, but the price needs to be justified with a quick return on your investment.

Agreed that you should keep the indirect tank. That is your most efficient way to make hot water.


@ April 20, 2014 8:51 AM in Twin Steam Boilers - 4 Stages of Firing Rates

The boilers are matched to the orifice plate sizes, but the orifice plates are not sized to the home's heat loss. That is something that I've yet to expriment with. My instinct tells me that this house, that has had no insulation or air sealing upgrades, needs the radiators at the size that they are. Eventually, I will be conducting a heat loss and that will give me a chance to compare the numbers.

I agree that the Low Fire ratings don't bother me. The combustion efficiency is lower, but we're only using something like 20% of the total BTUH's for the majority of a run cycle. That has to equate to reduced fuel consumption. With staged controls, even if fuel use isn't reduced, comfort is always increased.

Interesting idea with the modulating vacuum. Are you controlling the actual pump speeds or run times? Are you essentially modulating the time that it takes steam to reach the radiators?


@ April 19, 2014 4:42 PM in New Jersey hvac license

Same here. I called in and they said that they have an approval meeting once a month. You can imagine just how much, or how little, gets done in only one meeting per month. Thanks, NJ!


@ April 18, 2014 5:22 PM in Three flashes, then okay again.

Well, two things could be happening...the pressure switch could be bad, or the pressure switch could be doing its job. An error code will not tell you which one is correct. Usually, pressure switches are fairly reliable and only cause an error for a legitimate reason, such as a blocked chimney, or faulty inducer motor. It is indeed something that needs to be investigated further.

Did your tech perform a combustion analysis or inspect the chimney?


@ April 18, 2014 5:08 PM in Twin Steam Boilers - 4 Stages of Firing Rates

The 2-stage t-stat can control two boilers, but it will only stage them based on indoor temperature. If we added the 2-stage t-stat functionality into our system, we might see the Lead boiler running alone for 90% of the season. Sometimes, the indoor temperature can fall behind for a long enough time to notice and become uncomfortable. With both boilers firing on every call for heat, the piping heats up very quickly and the Lag boiler only runs for 5-10% of every cycle. We've had better performance without the 2-stage t-stat so far. Although, it seems to depend entirely on the individual system. Who knows, I might integrate into this system at some point to see how it works.

Haven't done a full heat loss yet, but plan to for the EcoSteam control installation. The house holds its temperature VERY well, and the last few weeks of mild weather has seen no lack of indoor comfort.


@ April 18, 2014 5:02 PM in Twin Steam Boilers - 4 Stages of Firing Rates

We haven't settled on the next wet-based gas boiler that we like. Our PR war with several manufacturers is still pending.


@ April 18, 2014 8:40 AM in Twin Steam Boilers - 4 Stages of Firing Rates

Staging is controlled by three Vaporstats and one Pressuretrol. The firing sequence is:

Themostat brings both boilers on at 100% capacity.
Lag boiler triggers Low Fire at 4 ounces.
Lag boiler shuts off at 6 ounces.
Lead boiler triggers Low Fire at 8 ounces.
Lead boiler (never) shuts off at 1.5psi.

I didn't go with a 2-stage thermostat this time because it has been kind of unreliable on another twin system we installed. Although, that system was 1-pipe and this is 2-pipe. 2-pipe seems to respond A LOT better to a thermostat controlling some of the initial staging.

Combustion numbers show that Stack Temps are always above 350F. There is way more O2 in low fire, so we lose combustion efficiency, but our heat-transfer and system efficiency go up by an immeasurable amount.

Old boiler

@ April 17, 2014 9:45 PM in Twin Steam Boilers - 4 Stages of Firing Rates

The old boiler was a 5 section 78 series Weil McLain oil boiler. It was about 30 years old and leaking from every single section.
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