Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall


Joined on December 20, 2010

Last Post on August 18, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

1 2 3 4 5 ... 22 »


@ August 18, 2014 2:37 PM in Replace gravity with pump in condensate line?

You might want to email steamhead directly to ensure he gets your message. Just click on his name on the sidebar and  you'll be taken to a for to send him an email. When he replies you'll receive one that says" Someone from The Wall has sent you a message".  then you can set it all up privately. It's a very nice feature of this forum. Most just have a pm feature , but you have to be on the foum to get it.

Yes, on old systems.

@ August 14, 2014 6:30 PM in radiator steam traps vertical pattern single union

Many, many old two-pipe systems have orifices and the metered valves. These were generally higher-end systems. My own two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system has the metered valves, but where some were replaced over the years, I'll be putting in orifices. I'm not sure if anyone still makes the metered valves.
I don't know the history of traps, either when or why they were introduced, but many early systems lacked them; maybe it's like today when there's planned obsolescence! Once you have traps, you have to maintain them. I also had some knuckleheads over the years tell me I had to ADD traps because my system couldn't possibly be working correctly without them!

I'd follow Jamie's advice and lower that pressure STAT, then look into adding a Vstat and orifices. Don't worry about lowering it further; it can go much lower. For comparison, the Empire State Building runs on about 2 1/2lbs of pressure! You can get a Vaporstat for less than the price of ONE new trap. The pre-drilled orifices are not expensive, but if you use the charts, you could custom-drill the blank ones that are sold for even less.

I might also add that a properly vented system will not allow the pressure to go too high. Without any vstat on my newly installed boilers, the pressure rarely reached over 1lb and generally never exceeded 1/2lb. I had the pressuretroll set for 2 with a cut-out of 1.

I also wouldn't be too sure your system wasn't designed to run in a vacuum as many folks here have discovered. Good luck.

Future plans...?

@ July 31, 2014 6:05 PM in Oil to Gas Conversion

Just goofed up my post. :( So the real ? is do you actually plan to add more radiation, and if so, how much? The smaller boiler already allows @26sq ft edr. If you truly do plan to add more than that the larger boiler may possibly be down-fired a bit in the interim. I also seem to recall that these boiler are the same except for the burners. Hopefully, the pros will read and verify this or correct me.

Bear in mind the larger IN6 is @35% oversized, which is quite a lot. As it stands now, the IN5 seems to be a perfect fit.

Future plans...?

@ July 31, 2014 5:54 PM in Oil to Gas Conversion


My experience...

@ July 29, 2014 6:49 PM in Another Steam Boiler Sizing Concern

First off, I'm a home owner like yourself, but I spent over two years studying every iteration of boiler/burner combos before settling on my install. With the help of basically every regular on this site, I designed an amazing system and installed most of it, with the exception of the burners which require a combustion analyzer and someone who knows how to use it. I went with twinned Slantfin TR50s Intrepids, which is obviously not applicable to you, but at one time I had considered the TR30 in a 70/30 split. It's definitely rated for gas. (FYI, the TR30H is for Hotwater, NOT steam.)

The technical lit on SF's site does not really cover the gas install at all. You have to call their tech department and they'll email you all the particulars. They're fabulously helpful, even to homeowners. They may recommend a few burners or the pros here can tell you what they use. I then called the burner manufacturer's tech departments to find out which particular burner would work with my chosen boiler size.
These burners are designed to be dialed in to the exact firing requirements. It's not a jacked-up fix; so long as it's approved for the TR30 the firing range should be good. For example, my two boilers have two different firing rates to match my attached edr. When I add back in some rads, we'll change it to accommodate them. I have the Riello G400 which is easily changed with differing orifice plates to fire between 170-400Kbtus!!! That's a pretty big spread.
Just to reiterate,This isn't a guessing game. The burner manu will tell you what burner will go with which boiler. The firing rate is then determined by the EDR. A combustion analyzer is used to dial in the correct ratio and then you'll have your efficiency rating.
BTW, I also believe their AFUE numbers are for oil. It's always slightly lower for gas, but it doesn't reflect the whole efficiency story .

I do not find my two power burners any noisier than my atmospheric boiler, but that differs depending on the brand. I've read here that the EZGas is noisier, but can be fitted with baffles? I'm sure the pros are more knowledgable, but I did check the dcb of all my options. The electricity usage is neither here nor there. The savings from a set-up like this is big. I can't imagine a boiler this size would require a larger gas main.
Lastly, many manufactures (like SF) do not list their oil boilers as gas approved even though they are. You have to call.
Feel free to look up my many posts. It was clear a wet-based power burner was the way to go, not just for efficiency, but for longevity as well.

See above...

@ July 28, 2014 2:42 PM in Burnham IN4 steam boiler piping

I think Jstar addressed a couple of those issues above: wet steam, loss of steaming capacity = inefficiency and possible lack of heat at certain rads.
I might add that not only is the equalizer incorrectly placed to separate the steam and water, it's not even piped correctly ie. copper  with hoizontal mid-section. I don't understand as it could have been done properly so easily. My guess is he doesn't actually knows team systems or how they work. I'm just a homeowner like yourself, but even I can see that it's wrong.

The placement of the equalizer is clearly shown in the instruction.

Wash Tub boiler?

@ June 14, 2014 3:06 PM in Really old gas valve?

Hey Chris. My 100yr old house has a gas line that went to a little two-burner stove that was used to boil water in  copper wash tubs.  Not sure it they were still doing that in the 1940s, but maybe.   (It was really a cute piece, but unfortunately an idiot friend threw it out when helping me clean the basement. At least they kept the tub..)

they work great

@ June 12, 2014 1:34 PM in What are the implications of reducing radiator count on a one pipe steam system

These were common in older homes. I had one in my kitchen which I'm re-locating to my front hall. There's on for sale $20 at my local Building Value if you're in the midwest. It's may 69edr guestimating. Colleen

EricReynolds' Conversionburner Thread

@ June 11, 2014 5:51 PM in Mega Steam conversion

Hi Charlie,
Here's a post that deals with that exact question AND a link to Eric Reynolds post about his actual install. I believe he got his stuff through simplyplumbing as Karen originally told me about it. I had considered doing it, but given the difficulty I had getting someone to hook up my gas conversion powerburner with an APPROVED burner,I'm gladIi didn't. Please be sure to post any results for those that follow, although I hope I don't need a replacement for many, MANY years. :) Colleen

Jstar consults...

@ May 20, 2014 2:25 PM in Steam to Hot water

I believe Jstar (and someone else, can't recall) services the Philly area. He is the best and does consults. I'm just a homeowner, but he helped me so much on my install along with so many others. I have a two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system. I may be missing something in what you currently have, but steam boilers are used with vapor systems. Get some wet-based staged boilers and you'll be ahead of the game in efficiency and comfort.  I would think with such a large building that steam would be preferable, especially given vacancies, etc. My heat is very even and economical considering the large size of the house.

Converting to HW is a touchy subject around here. I had considered the same and am so glad I decided against. I will say I never called back the contractors who only pushed conversion, although I had a very tough time finding someone to competently hook up my system as designed. Give Jstar a call.

Cost for threading!

@ May 14, 2014 2:44 PM in Mixing copper and iron pipes for steam? Insulation?

I'm not sure what you're doing, but Home Depot  threaded my pipes for free on my recent install! (Or maybe it was Lowe's)  I just bought the long solid pieces and they cut and threaded them. Of course, that was only on the smalle pipes as they only stock and thread up to 2".  We had to rent a threader for the 3 and 4 in pipe.   It not that hard to thread smaller pipe if you have a lot of it to do, but check out Lowe's if HD really charging. Colleen

did not work...

@ March 24, 2014 7:20 PM in Plumbing Forum?

I'm sure it's totally user error and lack of experience, but blowing down the lines with the air compressor didn't work. It did dislodge some rust,but the hot on the sink and shower is still a trickle.Should I still try with a hanger as I only used the compressor?
I'm checking behind an access panel to see if there are any shut-off valves that I didn't know about, but am not holdin gout much hope. I'll report back on any change, but for now it's a fail. :(

I hope I didn't miss something in the instructions. thanks for taking the time to try to help. I'm still open to questions and advice.

Edit post

@ March 21, 2014 7:46 PM in Vaporstat sticking / biasing after vacuum

The easiest way to stop people from commenting on the water hammer is to delete the reference in your first post.
My original Vsat is a mercury one...very accurate., but delicate as are the new ones. There are posts here that deal with fixing them if you search. I'll do that if I have time later. I bought a "new" one from a fellow Wallie who kindly calibrated it for me as I found that to be the easiest route for my second Vstat. I now have an old and new one on my new twinned system with the old vacuum gauge that are hard to come by. I would love to have installed the water column, but my system took enough time to get running as it was and I really just needed mine for control. Time will tell if the "new" one works well enough.

I think the best rule on this Wall is to be nice. People really try to give the best advice and sometimes it's difficult to convey what one really means so that everyone understands. My posts go off topic all the time and I gently try to bring it back to the original question. I'm just happy that anyone is taking their time to help at all and that it generates interest and discussion.

Did that...

@ March 15, 2014 10:14 PM in Easy way to clean pigtail / siphon

Thanks  to suggestion here, I did put them on just that way and also on the kpressure relief valve. Since my Vstats are on my header they did need a pigtai, but I used them anyway! Pigtails rock, but the little ones are really difficult to find.

The higher the better...

@ March 14, 2014 6:41 PM in wet steam /vent spitting

Just another homeowner, but my understanding is the higher the better. This is working out great on my recent install. The price of straight pipe isn't much if you have the head room. I only increased the header part to give the steam and water more space to separate. Don't go down in size on the equalizer until you go vertical.
You might try Karen at for the 1-3lb. gauge.
Sorry for your loss.

Just a homeowner...

@ March 14, 2014 6:33 PM in Sight glass "empties" when boiler is firing

Im just a homeowner and even I managed to pipe my boiler better than this!!! What is the problem reading the instruction manual? Probably the manufacturer won't warranty it with this piping so perhaps you could use that as ammunition. i would start off nice and not put their back up against the wall. Others have posted with similar problems and were able to have the installer repipe correctly in steel. The drop header is usually in the manual as a "best" install practice so you might have to pay a bit extra to get that done and I WOULD pay extra. My install has them and it's working amazingly well.
I would post any plans here first to make sure it's going to be done correctly. (Unless Thatcher does it. We're all learning from his installs).

I apologize...

@ March 14, 2014 6:14 PM in Plumbing Forum?

I'm sorry for how confusing this thread has become with all the different topics covered. The gaskets on the shower were fixed so it doesn't drip tand here isn't any crossover anymore. Mine doesn't have cartridges as it's before they had them...100yrs old. Here are two pdfs for it that Speakman sent me. They were made for a really long time.
I'll try the sink first because cleaning it might help out the shower and it's easier since there are independent shut-off valves. thank you for taking the time to help.

LWCO type?

@ March 14, 2014 5:46 PM in Burnham Independence Boiler sight glass is full

I might also add, that unless you have a probe-type LWCO you should be blowing it down at least everyother week if not every week. If not, it's a no wonder it's clogged.
Another homeowner...

Thank you! Will try...

@ March 13, 2014 11:18 PM in Plumbing Forum?

I'll give this a try when I have some help next week and report back. Thank you!  I do have shut-offs under the sink and bath and toilet, just not to the shower or to the entire bathroom in the basement for the hot. I'm digesting these instructions and hopefully it will work...that would be much better that ripping up the ceiling below. How would you suggest I go about the shower or do you think fixing the lav will accomplish that?
 I think you're correct about the HW to the toilet. That was wild!


@ March 13, 2014 6:30 PM in Plumbing Forum?

We're basically baffled by it. The one odd thing, thinking about it, is that the toilet water got really hot before fixing the shower gaskets, but the shower and sink HW is just a trickle.
I jwould like to eliminate any easy solutions before decided it's clogged lines.

Continuation of problem...

@ March 13, 2014 3:15 PM in Plumbing Forum?

thanks icesailor,
This is actually a continuation of the same post, just an update on what got fixed and what's still not working. I posted as a reply because i hadn't seen the comment regarding loflo shower heads.
This post started as a question on my 100yr old Speakman shower Mixometer t and morphed into the addition of the Plumbing Forum to The Wall. Then a few others jumped into the Speakman fray with newer models. If you can bear it, skim through my post on the peior problems and their resolution.

The lack of hot water (other than a trickle) is now the issue. Thanks in advance for any insight you may have.

Hadn't read this....hmmmm

@ March 12, 2014 7:47 PM in Plumbing Forum?

So I do have a low flow and wonder if this contributed to the problem.

Well the bath is fixed (Turn-odd in wrong direction), the toilet is no longer hot and the hot water is no longer heating the whole assembly...BUT the HW flow to both sink AND shower is VERY weak. Really not suitable for a shower. The HW pressure in the separate tub is great as is the cold water throughout the entire bathroom. There is no main shut-off to the hot water for this bathroom, but I don't think that's the problem as the bath get hot just fine. I believe the line head from the bath to the sink and shower, but it's hard to see in the access area.

What could be causing this very low pressure? These pipes are galvanized, I think. Could it just be debris and how could I trouble shoot this short of ripping out the plaster ceiling?
Thanks for any help. It would be wonderful to use this bathroom m again.
1 2 3 4 5 ... 22 »