Joined on December 20, 2010
Last Post on December 9, 2013
@ December 9, 2013 11:25 PM in Single Pipe VacuumI would think two stage boilers could take the place of a modulating burner, or at least l-hill0 burners.
@ December 8, 2013 12:01 PM in advice on boiler/header replacement?Those are pros who just gave you advice and some of the best steam people around. I'm a homeowner and am in process of replacing my boiler. Believe me, these boilers can leak like sieves and still make steam. It's just costing you alot to make it. Unless something drastic has changed, you may have had it for a while and not have known it. The leak would cause a lower pressure, I think, and so would keep some problems from appearing. It is expensive...I knew mine was going and saved for it. It sounds like you're lucky and have found someone willing and able to replace it correctly.
Maybe the pros can advise if there's any way to do part now and the rest later, to get you through the winter and absorb the cost better, but I'm betting they'll advise doing it right from the get go.
BTW. that is the craziest header I've seen on this site...none of them look correct. However, this points out the beauty of steam. Even when improperly done it can still give great heat, something that can't be said for most other systems. I might also add, that many newer boilers are configured differently for better efficiency and aren't so forgiving of these sorts of mistakes. You have a premium system that can run quite efficiently if given a chance. C
@ December 7, 2013 10:38 PM in Large Venting Job / Nicholson TrapIt will be interesting to see how the vent on the Trane Air Eliminator reacts to the new boilers. I've never read anything about changing that vent or if it's even possible without destroying the vaporvaccum system. I suppose in the old days the coal boiler would run pretty much all the time and air wouldn't re-enter too much? I wonder how it worked in my system with the original firetube boiler, since the coal boiler was only for "back-up".
@ December 7, 2013 9:24 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!Gee, i'll resend that...it was over a week ago. I sent you an email just now.
The loop comes up from the wet return to the equalizer which drops down and connects to the boilers exactly as if there were only one boiler.. I'll try and take a pic that shows the whole thing. Try checking my recent thread on Twin Boiler Schematics. DaveQCA pointed out my original mistake and SF verified it. The last drawings are correct.
Although that part is OK, we're changing a couple of things that didn't get done as desired because we were too tired to think or look at the drawings, I guess. Minor issues concerning clean-out & isolation, taking one boiler off-line. It's nothing affecting the functioning, but nice to have to help with day-to-day and year-to-year maintenance.
Thanks for the rah-rah. Everything that could go wrong has, so it's nice to hear motivational feedback. I hope to get the jacket on still tonight. Colleen
@ December 7, 2013 1:53 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!Finally got the water hooked back up and to make it a bit more accessible to me, we used a valve from the old set-up. This thing weighs a ton and is so beautiful with such attention to detail..even the washer has the Powell name on it!
I'm also including a pic of the coal feeder logo just because it's so freakin' cute! I'm really going to clean this area up when all is done and put back up the coal tools with their holders. it's pretty great seeing these two systems side by side: the "baby" Intrepids and "The Behemoth", the Ideal Arco boiler.
@ December 7, 2013 1:14 PM in ultra low pressure ARCO system maintained at higher pressureMarkS uses something he calls a "pressure transmitter" with his Midco radial modulating burner and loves it. In fact, he ditched the Vstats. Not sure if this is the same thing or would work as well without the modulating burner, but maybe someone who knows will pipe in.
@ December 6, 2013 5:08 PM in Name that valve!When dismantling the parts from the old boiler, we ran across this valve. It was already taken from its piping so I don't know to what it was attached and if I could/should still use it some where. It looks like it perhaps came from the original firetube boiler.What is this valve used for? I thought maybe for a water drip line of some sort. It's 3/4". It's a simple yet elegant design. I really want to reuse some of these beautiful old things if I can. Thoughts anyone?
@ December 6, 2013 1:54 AM in finished basement= trapped vent and cold radiator?would help in order to see how all the piping relates. C
@ December 5, 2013 8:40 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!We finished the wet returns today. I'd like to thank MarkS and Rod for the useful suggestion and diagram for the isolation valves. I know what's there isn't exactly as suggested and won't perform as planned, but we'll change it in the Spring. I guess I should have been paying more attention. There's maybe one other thing I'd change about the general piping, but if it works I'll try not to let it bother me. I didn't think it was "allowable", although seeing everything together makes me realize I should have just asked and not been worried about too many specific questions, as I'm fairly sure it would have been OK. Shoot, what's one more post!
Down to one helper, but the heavy work is done. Now we just need to figure out the controls and find another burner person, since the one scheduled backed out. That's a total drag because I'm itching to get this system up and running and put it through its paces. Not to mention there's snow scheduled for tonight.
Btw, are steam systems male or female? I've noticed some Wallies name theirs. Is this common? C
@ December 5, 2013 4:31 PM in Regulating steam valveHi NBC, I have some of those too and have downloaded some of the lit. I know there is an exploded view somewhere.
@ December 5, 2013 4:20 PM in High Humidity/Boiler Leak?Sounds like your boiler is rotted out at the water line...the most common thing. It's toast. when i had my sections replaced years ago, i now realize I probably paid as much as a boiler replacement, but it broke on Xmas Eve.
After about 12+- yrs it happened again and am getting a boiler with a better design and learning how to really take care of it. You can see what it looked like here:
This is probably what yours looks like inside. It was also a Dunkirk. If you have oil, I'd look into the Burnham Megasteam. It's guaranteed not to rot by design.
Be careful with that humidity and cools temps, or you won't have any plaster left.
@ December 4, 2013 11:29 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!No criticism received.:) I know you're going to do a new boiler yourself and just want to know. I asked SO many questions and most all of them were answered. I think it all depends on the most convenient layout and the boiler itself. We also wanted to go high to accommodate the venting which comes out of the middle of the boiler. The SmithG8 comes out the back so it's a bit more convenient. Had we used that boiler we may have gone lower. And you're right... with one boiler there's not so many ways to do the header.
I must say, working with someone 6'4" has also pushed things up a bit high. I keep having to say i'll never reach the water turn-off without a ladder, etc. I do wish my vstat was going to be a bit lower, however.
@ December 4, 2013 9:03 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!I hope so, Mark. We had the height and the cost of straight pipe isn't much compared to the fittings, so we said, "let;s go for it!"
@ December 4, 2013 9:01 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!There were a few reasons for that decision, MDN. Due to the configuration of the boilers and the available space, we have a header for each boiler connected to the swing joints; they then connect with 45s to the common drop header. The size of the pipes and the 45 with the king valves pushed the header out in front of the boilers. It would have been a head banger to have it lower, although MUCH more convenient to read the gauges. I've read that the main reason for the drop is to separate the steam and water better and that it's the drop itself rather than the length of the drop that matters. Plus, I think we used enough pipe on those risers!
@ December 4, 2013 8:17 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!We also reconfigured the main a bit rather than go through some screwy piping to get it to fit right. It's like putting together a watch in Switzerland, but with really heavy pipes.
We also piped in the Hartford Loop. It's short, but that's all the space that was available. My old system had neither an equalizer nor a Hartford loop.
Thank goodnes it was in the 60s today and we could "warm" up the house.
I think there's light at the end of the tunnel.
@ December 4, 2013 8:03 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!After a sleepless night worrying that after all this work, i'd messed things up with the equalizer, I put in a call to Slantfin. We discussed, I sent sent pics etc, and discussed a few other minor changes that I'd hoped were minor. They assured I shouldn't have any problems. Whew!
I've been trying to thicken my skin for this moment, so please be gentle with any comments, (although I'm not sure if anyone's reading this).
@ December 4, 2013 6:46 PM in An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!I was going to wait for the beauty shots, but decided to continue with the progress shots since we so rarely see the install process. I'll keep them to a minimum as my friends have told me HH isn't my personal blog. This was quite a few days ago and we were happy to get this much done given the UPS delays, and faulty threader that couldn't be replaced until Monday.
@ December 3, 2013 5:35 PM in Thoughts on dense packing plaster walls?this is a great link to issues and pros of various insulations.http://www.oldhouseguy.com/blog/insulating-old-homes-toxic/
Old house guy is a must read for owners of old or merely "vintage" homes, and his blog continues the conversation. The best links for fixing old window via the doe and parks service.
@ December 3, 2013 12:34 AM in Hidden steam leak between floorsI think he posted in his intro : That 3rd floor room has an asbestos tile floor that I really don’t want to have to cut. Not that I’m eager to tear up walls and ceilings from below, either.
Maybe there's a gap around the rad itself that you could get a scope down. I have quite a bit of a gap.
@ December 2, 2013 7:12 PM in Thoughts on dense packing plaster walls?I'd appreciate hearing how well that is working out... superbly I would imagine. My old Chambers stove is insulated with rock wool and it "Cooks with the gas turned off"! It really stays completely cool so i can only imagine how well that would work inside a house.
@ December 2, 2013 2:03 PM in Downsizing an Equalizer on 45: Bad?Thanks for that very clear description. Hopefully others can benefit. from it.
I, too, don't think this will be a problem in this case.. We did NOT transition from 4" to 3" until AFTER the elbow and it is a steeper incline that 45. I'm sure you've seen the many installs with the transition actually on the horizontal. This is NOT the case here.
Additionally, my drop header has been upsized, so I'm still using the recommended 3" on the equalizer until we go down to the hartford loop which is 2". The reducer we used (see above pic) has smooth transitions inside. Unfortunately, we have already hung the header and it would have been very difficult to redo and I'm not sure it will make a huge difference. 4" fittings are hard enough to get, much less on a Sunday. Since noone responded saying, " NO, no, no!!! ", I figured it
We've had so many set-backs with the install (broken threader, UPS delays, etc, etc) that I'm just happy to have something to show for all the effort and time. I'm hoping today is more productive.
p.s. After having read the Wiki description and image of eccentric reducers, seems I'll be OK, since we are not on the horizontal. Makes perfect sense for that.
@ December 1, 2013 10:38 PM in Another Twin System - 6" Drop HeaderHi Jstar. I like this arrangement, but noticed the controls don't use a pigtail like you used on the Veco system and most others that I've seen. How is that? Is there some principle one should follow? Also, is the Honeywell control on the far left the 2-stage Tstat? Really beautiful install.