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Joined on September 15, 2010

Last Post on July 15, 2014

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mainly low frequency?

@ May 6, 2014 7:34 AM in Hot Tub Noise

If it's mainly low frequency noise you need vibration isolation mounts on the motor and pump. I'd ask at a hot tub dealers to see if they know of anything.

This would be impractical for this problem but is good to illustrate one solution. I know using a small inner tube under a turntable is very effective for isolating it from footfalls or heavy bass. The tube is lightly inflated, the higher the inflation the worse the low frequency effectiveness. 

Hopefully the new tub will have better balancing on the motor and pump.


Vent Rates

@ May 6, 2014 7:20 AM in end of return venting

At one ounce of pressure -
 Ventrite 75 is 0.116 CFM
 Hoffman 75 is 0.50 cfm
 Gorton #1 is 0.33 cfm
 Gorton #2 is 1.10 cfm

Note the Gorton #2 has a 1/2" thread all the others are usually used with 3/4" and the #2 is a large vent 7-8 inches so make sure you have room. I would start with a single #2 at each location but you may well need 2ea.

If you need more than one it's easy to use a 90 and the T off the horizontal to add more vents, just make sure that horizontal pipe has a bit of slope so water can find it's way back to the boiler.

The current location should be fine. If not available locally the vents can be bought from


Much bigger

@ May 5, 2014 9:22 PM in end of return venting

The first main contains about 1.7 cu ft of air and the ventrite you now have will take almost 20 minutes to vent all that air. I would replace that vent with at least 1 Gorton #2 vent, you may need two there but I would start with one and see how it goes.

Depending on the relative length of the second main it sounds like it needs less venting, perhaps 2ea Gorton #1's (one Gorton #2 equals about 3 Gorton #1's). The ventrites have about 1/10 the venting rate of a Gorton #2.

You want to balance the venting so the mains will vent all the air at about the same time so it may take some adjustments to get it right.


The location is ok

@ May 5, 2014 12:21 PM in end of return venting

but they might be to  small; they are slow vents and only good for short steam mains. How long are your steam mains?

If you suspect the vents might be closed, unscrew them and try blowing through them while holding the vent upright.


One saving grace

@ May 2, 2014 7:08 PM in "Kitchen Boiler Connections" from 1899.

of old equipment is simplicity. It's heavily built and the controls are usually pretty apparent, if something stops working it's usually easy to figure out what went wrong and pretty straight forward to get it working again.

Twenty years from now if something goes wrong with a complex controller I suspect you will have the devil of a time getting a replacement. If a LWCO or valve lets go on a simple boiler you will probably have no trouble finding a part that will work.

A case in point is an old 1980's amplifier (Hafler) I bought cheap with one dead channel, I took off the cover and made a few measurements and found a bias point way off. Looking at schematic there were only a couple of things that could cause this. In ten minutes I found two open signal diodes, I replaced them and had that amp singing like a bird 30 minutes after taking the cover off. A friend asked me to look at a 5 year old high end amp that had some pretty complex control circuitry and the manufacturer was out of business. That's probably not repairable at a price he would want to pay.

Sometimes it's worth trading some performance for good simple operation that can be easily maintained  You pays your money and makes your choice.


I have the EZ-Gas on a Smith G8

@ April 30, 2014 7:07 PM in Oil to gas conversion burner

It works fine but does have a rumble That might have something to do with the chimney length (a resonance perhaps) but I could be mistaken - my chimney is 25 to 28 ft tall from the breech to the top.. It seems this noise is mostly on small boilers like my G8-3.

The acoustic cover will do no good on any low frequency rumbling. I did downfire mine from it's initial firing rate and that did lessen the noise, it's not gone but is diminished.

I wonder if a baffle might help quiet things down on small boilers.


I lived with one of those

@ April 30, 2014 7:40 AM in "Kitchen Boiler Connections" from 1899.

My grandparents had one of those in the kitchen in the early 50's, I lived with them when i was about 6 years old. I can remember they would turn it on before doing the dishes or if someone was going to take a bath. i also remember them being very careful because if one was left unattended and started to make steam they were known for making nice round holes in roofs as well as stains in the seats of your trousers.

The gas fired ones were the best, a lot easier than trying to get a 5 gallon jug of kerosene onto the stump without spilling it all over the floor - just like replacing a 5 gallon glass jug on an old water cooler. If a fire started in a kitchen with a kerosene stove or heater the house was almost always a complete loss.


Gauge glass

@ April 30, 2014 7:22 AM in Peerless WBV03 Steam Boiler Warranty

We all start learning with a lot more questions than answers. The people on this board are happy to spread any knowledge they have with others,  don't ever be afraid of asking a question on this board.

The water line on a gauge glass will rise and fall somewhat when making steam, if it's more than 3/4" that means the water may still have oils in it. The water should be clear or have a tea colored look to it unless you have steam master in it - then it will have a violet hue to it.

When checking the pipes for slope be watchful for any dips along a run of pipe, a long dip can create a good sized pond. It's easier to spot dips buy stretching a string along a long length of pipe. Have a shorter level available for short runs, don't trust your eyes. While you have the levels out check all of your radiators for proper pitch.

Post some pictures of the new boiler and header so we can see if anything looks strange If you can localize the area the noise is coming from, post pictures of that piping.


Check the pitch

@ April 29, 2014 7:07 PM in Peerless WBV03 Steam Boiler Warranty

on every horizontal pipe you can reach in the basement and watch out for any sags in a pipe run. It's important that any water has a way to drain beck into the boiler, any trapped water can cause water hammer when steam comes across it.

If you are noticing a lot of movement in the gauge glass the boiler probably needs more skimming. It takes several skimings to get rid of all the oils in a boiler after it is installed.


Convert the present boiler and add a gas hot water heater?

@ April 25, 2014 6:09 PM in Oil to Gas Conversion

I think your boiler is a very good candidate for conversion to gas using a gas power burner like the EZ-Gas because it should have a lot of life left in it and could last longer burning gas rather than oil. Your chimney might need a liner but that would be true with any boiler burning gas.

If your hot water needs are modest a stand alone gas water heater might be a good idea. My 40 gallon gas hot water heater only uses 5-6 therms of gas a month when the heat isn't running, it's awful hard to think anything would be much better than that.


File sizes

@ April 25, 2014 3:53 PM in eg-45 start up questions on surging and wet steam

Some of the newer cameras are high resolution and create very large file sizes, lower resolution pictures might be better. Also make sure there are no spaces in the file names.

I agree that if the manufacturers piping directions were not followed then it was done wrong. Further skimming is probably required but don't bother if the piping has to be done over. Is the pressure set to 2 PSI or less?


Use a die

@ April 21, 2014 6:29 PM in Replacement Radiator vent doesn't seat well

A 1/8" NPT die can be used to chase the valves threads. You can exert a reasonable amount of force on the vent, often the last turn is hard., I just use a couple of wraps of teflon tape.  I would never try using a wrench because you could over torque it and break something



@ April 21, 2014 6:55 AM in Skimmer valve failed!?

That is setup as a skimming port. The plug to the left would be better because it's larger but the setup you currently have should work.


Look in the manual

@ April 20, 2014 7:22 AM in Skimmer valve failed!?

to see if they call out a skimming port. It should be at about the level of the upper gauge glass fitting and 1-1/4 or 1-12" in diameter. It could be on the side or back depending on what boiler you have.


What is it made of?

@ April 16, 2014 8:01 AM in Skimmer valve failed!?

I looked at mine last week and it was fine, my 1-1/4 Watts ball valves ball looks just as clean as it did when it was installed in October of 2012 - no signs of any deterioration. I do have a threaded brass plug on it's output just for safety, I think it was only about $7.

I assume it's chromed brass but I really don't know.


Don't try to store oil

@ April 15, 2014 8:21 PM in Is my steam boiler way oversized?

for much beyond a year. The new heating oil is not stable long term so It should be used up in a reasonable amount of time.

When I installed the Smith G8 / EZGas boiler I knew I always would have the option of going back to oil if anything happened with natural gas  cost long term. I'd have to buy an oli gun and get a tank but the option is there.


Could save a lot on fuel

@ April 13, 2014 7:59 AM in High Vac Readings caused by BioFuel 20

I switched on 2012 because my tank had developed a slight weep and i knew my Burnham v75 boiler was not known for having a long life.The new boiler is roughly the same efficiency as the old and my fuel costs went down by almost 45%.

The cost of natiural gas is not going to stay as low as it is now but oil will get more expensive too; the demand for both is just too great for prices to drop. If you can get the line into the house for zero cost I'd do it in a heartbeat.

If you put a conversion burner in your present boiler make sure they do a thorough job of cleaning the boiler and chimney before and after the first heating season. They will also have to line the chimney in most cases.


Your closer to it than I am

@ April 11, 2014 10:45 AM in Vents spraying water

To my eye it looks like the pipe is reduced but I'm not there so as long as the copper is the same size as the boiler outlet that part is ok. With only a single boiler outlet being used, there shouldn't be any issue with pipe expansion issues on the casting but If you do decide to do any piping work I would suggest using threaded steel. Most boiler makers specify threaded steel pipe for the boiler header.

 The way the equalizer is tied in is not going to do much for keeping a steady waterline or making dry steam and that could be adding to your problems.


Bad piping

@ April 11, 2014 9:27 AM in Vents spraying water

thae boiler is not piped properly, The output has been reduced in size, they used copper pipe (it should be threaded steel and configured like the diagram in the manual) and the header is too low (it should be 28" above the boiler water level. I can't see how the equalizer ties in but I suspect that is wrong as well.


Take them off and test them

@ April 5, 2014 10:04 AM in Bad new gorton valves?

Try blowing through them when they are upright and again when they are upside down. Air should pass easily when they are upright but be blocked when they are upside down.

How did the air valves that were originally on there perform? make sure the radiators have a little slope so any water can flow back out of them and be sure the valve at the input of the radiator is open all the way. Next check any horizontal pipes in the basement to be sure they slope to feed any condensate back to the boiler.

If all that checks out post pictures of your boiler, the piping around it and one of the problem radiators.


Go with the smaller boiler

@ April 4, 2014 5:27 PM in Steam boiler sizing dilemma

If you insulate the piping in the basement all you have to do is select a boiler that has the sq ft rating to feed the radiation you have. That rating already has a 30% pickup factor figured in so you don't have to worry. Using a larger boiler would just be inefficient.

It sounds like the installer that told you to use the smaller boiler knows what he is talking about. Make sure the new boiler is installed per the installation manual or better and that all steam carrying pipe is threaded steel. Have the pressure set as low as possible (1.5PSI) and you should be all set. Make sure any lines that are not going to be used are capped off so no mischief can come from them and insulate any piping you can reach with 1" rigid fiberglass pipe insulation.


Alternative skim port

@ April 4, 2014 10:52 AM in Vents spraying water

I would remove the safety valve and the elbow it sits on; then replace the elbow with a T, nipple, and ful port 3/4" valve- put the safety on the top tapping and then you will be able to skim.

A larger tapping would be nice but you have to work with what you have.

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