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Tim_Hodgson

Tim_Hodgson

Joined on July 7, 2011

Last Post on October 24, 2013

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I would guess

@ October 24, 2013 7:00 PM in common returns on 2 boilers

you have a wet return system. If so, I would create a false water line and trap it into a condensate tank with a boiler feed pump. I would install a pump control on each boiler that controls a zone valve and let the end switch of the zone valve bring on a pump relay. Zone valves on the steam pipe are fine if they are dripped. I would install a vacuum breaker on each boiler and a high water float and thermostatic trap to prevent over filling of each boiler.

Good luck,

Timothy Hodgson

Most manufacturers

@ October 24, 2013 6:20 PM in modular steam boilers for multifamily hi-rise

will have case studies and piping arrangements for modular steam systems. Most of the problems I have encountered are due to contractors not following the manufactures recommendations.

Good Luck,

Timothy Hodgson

All good questions,

@ October 24, 2013 6:14 PM in First Timer

but not so simple to answer. Are the radiators 1 pipe or 2 pipe? What is the pressure control cut out and cut in settings? What is the water level doing in the sight glass as the system comes up to pressure? How many inches is "B" above the normal water line? Is there a vent on the "F" pipe (somewhere to the right ) and at what elevation above the boiler?

Good Luck,
Timothy Hodgson

Both

@ October 20, 2013 7:39 PM in Runtal Baseboard: Radiant or Convective?

Nuff said.

Tim

You'll need

@ October 20, 2013 7:37 PM in Trying to find new covers for recessed radiators

creative carpenter and radiator guy to build what you desire. Look at Runtal or Myson radiators. If you can increase the surface area of the radiators in the house, you can lower the water temperature and install a boiler with increased efficiency. Otherwise kcopp is correct keep them clean, painted and they will work as designed.

Best regards,

Timothy Hodgson

Your piping will be balanced

@ October 20, 2013 7:23 PM in Reverse Return balance question

since the TRV's are restrictive to flow. Gordy is correct that the reverse return piping is an added expense with little advantage. Your pump probably has more capacity in GPM  than the TRV's will allow. The first 3 TRV's will restrict the flow so there will be flow available for the last radiator. If you have already installed the reverse return piping, that is fine too.

Best regards,

Timothy Hodgson

It sounds like you have Ghost Flow

@ October 20, 2013 7:14 PM in Radiant Heat Return Lines are Cold but floor is hot

when the 2nd floor thermostat is operating you are getting some unwanted  parallel flow through the basement loop. Turn off all the heat for a few hours until the piping cools and turn the 2nd floor thermostat up and feel the basement piping to see if it warms up.

Best regards,

Timothy Hodgson

Steam Main piping

@ October 20, 2013 7:06 PM in Boiler sizing question

Your system piping was probably sized for the connected EDR of the radiators. Remember to size the boiler for the large mains AND the heat loss.

Best regards,

Timothy Hodgson

It is math

@ October 20, 2013 6:43 PM in Firing rate vs water capacity

I would calculate that 165K input would get a cold boiler to steaming in 10 minutes. It would then evaporate 2 pounds of water each minute until the system was completely filled with steam and the end of the main and radiator traps closed. At that point the pressure should start to build. All providing the traps and main air vents are working well.
Raising the firing rate to 195K will bring the boiler from a cold start to steaming in 8 minutes. It would then evaporate 2 1/3rd pounds of water each minute.
What were the CO2 and CO readings?

Best regards,

Timothy Hodgson

Thank you

@ October 20, 2013 6:21 PM in I'm finishing up the seminar part of our business.

for all the great stories. I'm glad they will still be waiting for me each month. I am sorry you will not be getting out to the west coast as often. I don't blame you for wanting to end the  seminar routine. Thank you for encouraging me to dig through the boxes of books my employer kept and introducing me to "The Dead Guys".

Best wishes,

Timothy Hodgson

Cleaining radiators

@ October 3, 2013 10:06 AM in cleaning steam radiators

Any method you discussed will work. Please take care to protect yourself, kids, neighbors and pets, since the paint most likely contains lead. Call the local DEQ office and find out how to handle and dispose of the old paint.

Best regards,
Tim

It sounds like Priming

@ March 27, 2013 9:15 PM in False water line

Clean the water side of the boiler. Surface skim the boiler until the crap on the surface is gone. That may help, but sell the customer on fixing the piping errors so the manufacturer will warrant their boiler. Do you have any photos of the piping? I know a boiler instructor, who would love them.
Good luck,
Tim Hodgson

Try a heat recovery ventilator

@ March 27, 2013 9:02 PM in Air Filtration for Radiant Homes

This will ventilate the house and recover 65% of the heat or cool in a controlled manner. Install a short return duct to the unit and put the long discharge duct running most of the way through your attic. if you develop a leak, most likely it will be exhausting house air into the attic instead of attic air into the house.

Good Luck,
Tim Hodgson

iron fireman

@ March 27, 2013 8:49 PM in Iron Fireman

Good day Shawn
I have worked on Iron Fireman gas-oil burners. I am not sure in which box my manual is, but I have some copies of electrode/ burner head settings and wiring diagrams for service in my burners file. Let me know how to help.
Tim Hodgson

Ploypropylene soffit

@ March 27, 2013 8:32 PM in hot water registers

What does the manufacturer of the polypropylene soffit recommend?
Tim Hodgson

Double Trouble

@ March 27, 2013 7:55 PM in Lead lag set-up for two steam boilers??

I have always found that parallel steam boilers without automatic boiler  valve and feed water control valves will have water level problems. Does it have a gravity return or does it have a condensate pump? I have installed float and thermostatic traps at the high water level on the equalizer pipe to drain the non-firing boiler into the condensate receiver when it overfills. Like you I prefer staging controls in a lead-lag set up.
Good luck,
Tim Hodgson

Stopwatch

@ March 27, 2013 7:38 PM in Turning off radiators

I do not think it will have much of a negative effect. But... if you are worried about it try timing a cold start in the morning with all the radiator vents open. time how long it takes to get steam to the end of the main vent then to the radiators. The next morning close the radiator vents and time it again. If the rooms warm up just as fast, then it had little effect.
Good luck,
Tim Hodgson 

Everyone has a good idea.

@ May 3, 2012 12:09 PM in Steam Oil to Gas Conversion - which boiler?

Your steam system is sized by the EDR rating of your radiators( sq feet of surface area)
PLUS the connected piping. You need to create enough steam to fill ALL the piping first then supply even more to fill the radiators. It is common to add 33% - 50% load to handle the steam piping. Your 150,000 btu/hr OUTPUT radiators will probably need a 200,000 - 225,000 btu/hr output rated boiler to handle it all. The key phrase is "output".
The second issue is how do you handle the condensate returning to the boiler. Most newer boilers have very small water content and the retuning condensate at the  end of the cycle may flood the new boiler. Older boilers could handle a lot of returning condensate  while raising the water level in the sight glass only 1 or 2 inches.
A small boiler feed pump and water level control on the boiler will solve that issue if you need it. I always try to utilize gravity first, but get a $ on the feed pump as an option so there are no surprises later.

Good Luck,
Tim Hodgson

I'm glad

@ May 3, 2012 11:45 AM in Venting Issue??

the installing contractor is taking care of your problem. Most CO problems are caused by lack of air or too low of temperature. Excessive air can create problems too. Take an O2 reading along with the CO and temperature. A draft reading at the breech and over fire is good to have when all is set correctly. Deviations from the proper readings will also let you know when service is needed, Check them once or twice a month.

Good Luck,
Tim Hodgson

Not really

@ May 3, 2012 11:26 AM in furnace sizing

Look on the web and down load a heat loss calculator and spend an hour or two with it.

Good Luck,

Tim Hodgson

Radiators?

@ May 3, 2012 11:22 AM in Most reliable radiant boiler?

Does the house have a heating system yet?
If yes, then what type of radiators do you have? Cast iron, copper baseboard, radiant floor...
Do you have a multi-level home?
What is the pump motor horsepower?

The most reliable system is a gas fired, milli-volt powered, gravity flow system.
They are 80 plus years old and still working... without electricity.
Unfortunately many existing systems will not work that way with out major control or piping revisions, so the back up generator and a standard natural draft, gas fired  boiler would probably be easiest to do.

Good Luck,

Tim Hodgson

Installing Contractor

@ May 3, 2012 10:55 AM in has thermosiphoning snuck up on me?

Have you talked to the installing contractor? You are correct that the tank thermostat should keep the tank up to temperature. Your cold boiler will simply keep the recovery time longer. if your tank is too small for the tub, you must rely on the recovery rate to cover the small tank limitations. It sounded like it was not a problem when the boiler was heating in the winter. I usually size the tank so 75% of the tank volume will fill the tub. With blending at the tub this gives a cushion of warm water left in the tank. Some 40 gallon indirect water heaters only have 32 gallons of storage.

Good Luck,
Tim Hodgson
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