Joined on September 15, 2010
Last Post on December 4, 2013
@ December 4, 2013 5:13 PM in New boiler noisesMost cleaners are meant to be used and then flushed out once they have done their job. What company makes this additive, is this cleaner specifically meant to be left in the boiler forever?
Your best course might be to completely empty the boiler and then flush it out good. Then refill it and let it build steam with clean water, if that cleaner has not cleaned the boiler after a year it never will.
@ December 4, 2013 7:23 AM in Riser is getting hot but rad is not.....would venting the riser solve this problem?How slow does that valve inlet get hot compared to the other second floor valve inlets? Has this radiator always been like this? Are you sure the valve on this radiator is a steam valve, it it different than the other radiator valves?
The D is an aggressive valve, maybe using a slower vent on the other second floor radiators would encourage this bad boy to behave. Since the boiler is cycling on pressure it seems you have the capacity it sounds like it's a matter of balance.
Also be sure to check the takeoff from the main with a level for good slope.
@ December 3, 2013 9:18 PM in Something NewI was a tech down at Ft Benning in the sixties, we got a call that an amplifier was out at one of the ranges. I put a spare in the truck and took a drive out to the range.
When I got out there i climbed up the ladder to the range control tower to look at the amplifier. When I pulled it off the shelf I found a bullet hole in the shelf and a 7.62MM shell lodged in the power transformer. The range control offices (SFC) was somewhat upset when I showed him the amp because it happened as he was climbing the ladder to the tower, all he knew was that the amp stopped working while he was climbing the tower. The tower was behind the line of fire so it was kind of interesting that a bullet ended up there.
I've always assumed any gun I handle is loaded and that there might be a shell in the chamber.
@ December 2, 2013 8:09 AM in NEW BOILER IS BANGING! HELP!To me it seems the header is one size smaller than the boiler risers, but I might be wrong. Make sure the header is at least the same size as the risers. It would be best if the header was a larger diameter than the risers but that is not required by the manufacturer. I've attached a picture of the piping for your boiler and one of the preferred piping as well. This might not be your exact boiler but it's the same series.
Make sure the pressuretrol is set as low as it can go and if it is a vapor system the pressuretrol should be rep[laced with a vaporstat and operated under one pound of pressure.
If the boiler works fine for a couple of days it sounds like more oils are working there way into the boiler water. If you notice increased movement in the sight glass after a couple of days it's a sign the water is contaminated again. It sounds like it will take more skimming or maybe using the "magic wand" is is order to get the boiler clean.
After looking again I think I'm wrong about the header being smaller but check it just to be sure - better safe than sorry. Also if the skim valve is not a full port valve and the same size as the T it comes off it will take a very long time to skim so maybe the installer should use the wand to wash the inside of the boiler down if he is not going to use a full size valve.
@ December 1, 2013 12:12 PM in Basic Safety QuestionI would just install them when the radiator was cool or just warm (with the system NOT calling for heat) if you can because you don't want to start messing with a valve that has not been used for God knows how long. Also wrap some teflon tape on the vents threads before putting them in.
@ December 1, 2013 7:31 AM in Oil to Gas conversion 2 pipe steam system low heatfor getting back to us with the outcome. Now that the piping has been addressed and the boiler skimmed you should have quiet economical heat.
@ November 30, 2013 5:35 PM in Converting oil burner to gas burner questionsI have a smith G8 boiler that has an EZ Gas burner on it that was installed last year. What model Smith do you have?
@ November 29, 2013 6:13 PM in Steam Heat with Subtrative PressuretrolThe pressuretrol sets the level at which the boiler will shut off and the pressure it will turn back on - assuming the thermostat is still calling for heat. The newest ones rarely go below 2 PSI while the older ones will go a bit below 1.5 PSI. Usually you set the wheel at one and turn the main down as far as it will go.
Be warned that the 0-30 gauge on most boilers is useless for reading pressure that low.
@ November 29, 2013 4:03 PM in one pipe steamI assume your looking at this -
The way they work is to stop steam getting into the radiator by blocking the air from leaving the radiator. If the air can't leave the steam can't get in.
What kind of air vents are on the radiators now? It might be worth trying Hoffman 40's first because they cost a lot less than a TRV does. If they still get too hot you can install the TRV's.
@ November 29, 2013 8:00 AM in Gas Conversion/ Deteriorating Smoke Pipei know JSTAR has downfired the Carlins on the Smith G8 to match the connected load with good results, hopefully he will find this thread.
I suspect having an exterior chimney could be a problem. If that is the problem maybe you could use an insulated liner or surround the liner with vermiculite.
@ November 28, 2013 3:23 PM in Happy Thanksgivikahh !!!they are playing Alice's Restaurant on the radio.
Anybody reading this is still with us and hopefully in good heath and that is always something to be thankful for.
@ November 28, 2013 7:40 AM in Jacobus - Maid O Mist #1Most of their vents use this design so you can clean or change the orifice, one of the lines great strengths is you can buy the 5L radiator vents that come with 5 different screw in orifices so you can set the vent rate where you need it - that can save a lot of money when balancing a steam system.
In the case of a main vent you want it as fast as it can be, I suspect it's built like this because they could use the same machinery on radiator and system air valves. That design should also make it easier to clean the valve if it ever becomes necessary.
@ November 28, 2013 7:24 AM in reduce fuel consumption?That boiler can only be down fired by 10% by reducing the gas pressure or replacing the gas orifices; in either case a combustion test would have to be made to make sure it's working correctly (carbon monoxide levels) after any changes. Saving fuel is great, being alive to tell about it is better.
Until you can afford to address whatever might be wrong with your steam system you should consider using an electric heater in one room to bring that room up to a livable temperature. The old quartz heaters were great in that situation as long as they were used safely. The rest of the building could be left in the 50's but do everything you can to seal any and all air leaks. I assume it's a brick building, don't bother with deep temperature setbacks on that system because the mass of all that brick makes it a fools errand, it takes huge amount of energy to move all that masonry.
If you want more help, post some pictures.
@ November 27, 2013 8:10 PM in reduce fuel consumption?Until we how that boiler is piped it will be hard for anyone to help you. Take pictures that show the boiler and the piping around it. Is this single pipe or two pipe steam? Where are you located, you will probably need a pro like Joe to go over the system and tell you what has to be done.
All of the exposed piping should have a minimum of 1" of fiberglass insulation on it, this is work you can easily do yourself but the materials are not inexpensive.
Until you seal up all the drafts and get some insulation in that building it will cost a fortune to heat. You can pay for sealing and insulation or you can pay for the excess fuel to make up for it - the choice is yours.
@ November 27, 2013 7:55 PM in need help with one pipe steam system,, rookie!It depends on what the rest of the piping in the basement looks like. From your description I assume you have a single pipe steam system (one pipe feeds each radiator). Dry returns are common on two pipe systems; either system needs a way to remove air from the pipes; two pipe systems can have air vents or main traps, single pipe systems should have a main vents near the ends of each steam main
There are two types of mains you could have.
A parallel flow system starts high above the boiler and drops gently as it makes it's way around the basement at the end of the main (after the last radiator takeoff) it drops down to the floor into a wet return and back to the boiler - the steam and the condensate both flow in the same direction. If you have more than one steam main be very sure they don't tie together above the new boilers waterline, you old boiler may have had a higher waterline than the new one does
A counterflow main gently slopes up from the boiler as it works around the basement - the stem flows one way and the water flows the other way. You could have one main that is parallel and the other one that is counterflow bat as close to the ceiling as the main above the boiler is that is not likely.
@ November 27, 2013 6:51 PM in need help with one pipe steam system,, rookie!Modern steam boilers must have the near boiler piping done correctly, the old boilers could work with this kind of piping because they had huge steam chests.. Your boiler has no header and no equalizer and that is why the system is misbehaving, call the installer and tell him he has to configure the piping so it looks like the diagram in the installation manual.
Tell him to install a skim port while he is redoing the boiler piping.
@ November 27, 2013 4:09 PM in Oil to Gas conversion 2 pipe steam system low heatIf you turn to page 17 of the manual you will see the minimum piping requirements and a warning about DOING IT WRONG.
I would tell the installer that the boiler has to be repiped and that you want both boiler tappings used. I would offer to pay him for materials if he does it like the alternative piping method, the alternative method costs a few more dolars but the labor savings pay for it. At the same time tell him he has to install the skim port which he should have done in the first place.
The boiler does need to be skimmed but I would get it repiped first. This is a great link to the does and don'ts of boiler piping.
While your waiting for the installer to come back tell us how long the mains are so we can tell you what size main vent you should have. Don't worry about radiator vents till the piping is fixed, the boiler skimmed, and the right size main vents are installed.
@ November 27, 2013 8:25 AM in sandy revisitedIt's just a sad fact that vultures follow natural disasters as sure as the sun rising in the morning. The shame is it brings condemnation down on all the hard working tradesmen that do a great job day in and day out.
i don't know how they can look at themselves in the mirror.
@ November 27, 2013 8:04 AM in Minimum distance to take-off to Mains?I recall a thread where Jstar said it just isn't possible in a lot of installs to use the recommended riser spacing. If you look at the pictures of installs done by the pro's on this site I think you'll see it just isn't possible in many situations without tearing apart a lot of existing piping.
I wonder what the difference in performance would be between the recommended and the possible.
@ November 27, 2013 7:36 AM in Oil to Gas conversion 2 pipe steam system low heatYour pictures did not load, they have to be JPG and the file size should not be huge. If your using a DSLR or high end compact set it for reduced resolution so the files sizes are modest.
It sounds like your system is cycling on pressure and you say you found the main vent behind a wall, do you know the vent make and model? What make and model is the boiler? New boilers make steam fast and can build pressure quickly if they are oversized. How long and what size pipe is your main, I'm thinking the main venting might be inadequate.
What kind of vents are on the radiators? Make a list of all the radiators (height, number of columns deep, number of columns wide) and what kind of vent each one has. From that list we can calculate the sq ft of each one (EDR) and see how well the total matches your boiler.
Your boiler has a pressuretrol that controls what pressure can build inside before it shuts down. You should not see more than 2 PSI, if you do the pressuretrol settings are wrong.
Has the boiler been skimmed? Is the water in the sight glass bouncing around more than 1/2"? Installing a boiler introduces oils into the system and those oils have to be removed for the system to work right.
Post some modest sized JPG's of the boiler showing the piping above it from a couple of different angles. Also post a picture of a representative radiator so we can see both ends and the piping that feeds it.
@ November 26, 2013 4:24 PM in Please help with a crazy systemErin,
What make and model boiler do you have?
What pressure is it running at when making steam?
What kind of radiator vents are you using and what kind of main vents?
Is the water moving around a lot in the sight glass?
Is there any water hammer?
Post pictures of your boiler and the piping around it, stand far enough back so we can get a good idea of how it's installed.
@ November 26, 2013 2:44 PM in HELP! New to steam and have some issuesThis link will take you to the manual on the boiler -
The steam piping starts on page 37. Depending on exactly what boiler you have the piping requirements tell you what size piping should have been used and how many boiler risers should be used. Burnham does not do a very good job with the drawing on this model so don't be afraid to ask if you don't understand something.