Joined on July 25, 2011
Last Post on April 5, 2014
@ September 4, 2013 7:25 PM in Pressure testing a radiatorYou can see my needle scaler in the top right of the first picture. It works great for chipping areas that look mostly intact, then you can scrape away what's left with a variety of scrapers and wire brushes. I also used a "painter's helper," which is a scraper with ad couple of curved edges that work well on the tubes, and I have some narrow wire brushes that reach between the tubes.
I like to sandblast last thing before painting. A sandblasted surface holds paint really well.
@ September 3, 2013 11:37 PM in Near boiler piping, re-do it?In this case he's got enough vertical that a drop header isn't necessary with two risers, but they are easier to build.
@ September 3, 2013 11:33 PM in Near boiler piping, re-do it?First, the main branches can't both be pitched right if they're joined by a tee.
Second, water coming up that riser hits the bull of the tee and drops right back down the riser.
@ September 3, 2013 11:24 PM in Pressure testing a radiatorBut it wont accomplish anything. A high-temp epoxy might stand a better chance but would still be a temporary solution at best. These push nipples, as I understand it, are slightly tapered and pressed into slightly flared sockets. If rust gets into the joint you need to scrape down to bare metal and machine it back to round with a straight reamer, then turn the new nipples slightly oversize so you get a good, tight opposition fit.
@ August 31, 2013 9:51 PM in Pressure testing a radiatorI knew that address was here someplace but hadn't gotten around to looking for it yet. Now I don't have to!
I also have a source for seamless steel tubing, so I might take a shot at making my own just to see what's involved. I'll post pictures for comic relief. :)
@ August 30, 2013 10:55 PM in Pressure testing a radiatorIt looks like I'm going to need three new push nipples, and depending on how they look, I might get new upper nipples for the sections I have to knock apart.
@ August 30, 2013 10:51 PM in Pressure testing a radiatorIt lets you increase the pressure gradually, and it holds the pressure, allowing you to remove the air hose and watch the gauge to see if the pressure drops.
I'm not sure how much air you can safely put into these things, but I thought 20 psi was more than enough to test for leaks. I had taken the truss rods out to clean them, but I put them back in to make sure I didn't launch a section or two into the pool.
Sure enough, the pressure started to dip after about 10 minutes. After half an hour I could see it definitely wasn't my imagination, so I got my bottle of soapy water and put a few drops on each of the joints. As you can see the radiator is upside-down. I figured the leaks would probably be on the bottom.
The section I suspected turned out to have a very slow leak. I also found two other leaks that were more serious in joints that outwardly looked perfectly normal.
@ August 30, 2013 10:40 PM in Pressure testing a radiatorbut if I'd zoomed in on the suspect I would have narrowed it down too much. :)
Anyway, it's the one furthest to the right. You can kind of see that the junction looks a little cleaner than the others. That's what made me suspicious.
So I built myself a pressure tester so I could pressurize the radiator and check for leaks. I used a blow gun, pressure gauge and a 3-way manifold, but a tee or wye would work just as well. I just used what I had lying around.
@ August 30, 2013 10:32 PM in Pressure testing a radiatorI've had a spare Arco radiator in my garage since I bought my house, and I've been wanting to put it in my bedroom, replacing a similarly sized but lower EDR Burnham. This summer I finally dragged it out and started stripping it. While it didn't look like it had been leaking, one of the joints started looking suspicious once I'd gotten most of the paint off. See if you can guess which one.
@ August 21, 2013 11:06 PM in 15 feet per secondIf it is that would mean 12 ft/sec per riser. If your risers are > 24" of vertical above the maximum water level, the droplets should fall back at < 15 ft/sec. I think 15 ft/sec is the minimum velocity for entrainment.
@ July 4, 2013 8:21 PM in Never saw this LWCO beforeHomart was a brand name owned by Sears and used to market heating equipment manufactured by Dornback Furnace and Foundry of Garfield Heights, Ohio from the mid-40s to 1968. Sears let the trademark expire in 1992, and Dornback was acquired by Adams Manufacturing that same year. They are still in business but today only make hot-air furnaces which they sell under their own name.
Of course, this is probably all academic since it's unlikely that Dornback manufactured the controls or even chose which controls and trim Sears packaged with their boilers.
@ July 4, 2013 10:21 AM in Never saw this LWCO beforeIf I looked it up right, the part number is 651.9228, but they say it's no longer available.
@ June 26, 2013 9:40 AM in radiant radiator with no vents?I guess it's not a new one on Gerry Gill.
It would be fun to have a contest to see if anybody can find one thing about steam heating out there that none of our pros know about.
@ June 26, 2013 9:34 AM in radiant radiator with no vents?It's a Burnham Radiant Radiator, but there are several other models made by other manufacturers (e.g. American Sunrad), so see if you can find a name on it to be sure.
Burnham radiators are sold by US Boiler: http://www.usboiler.net/products/baseboard/radiant/
(not to be confused with US Boiler and Tube)
What exactly do you mean by "restore"? What condition are they in and what would you like to do to them?
You might want to start a new thread and post some pictures of your radiators. We like pictures.
@ June 18, 2013 9:02 PM in LWCO ReplacementYou do want the automatic reset. If you have low water, the reset will allow it to cycle. You'll hear the burners going off and on and realize something's wrong, and you can fill it up so you can stay warm while you hunt for the leak. You don't want low water to make you lose heat in the dead of winter, especially if you're away for a few days.
You want to get the pressuretrol as high as possible. When you replace the pigtail, get a straight one and lose the 1/4" elbow. That will give you another 3-4".
That LWCO is an old one. The newer ones have a yellow blow-down lever on the ball valve, not that green spoke handle. (The ball valve with the yellow handle on yours is a separate valve.) The flange for the blow-down valve has four evenly-spaced bolts so you can mount it four different ways.
But Steamhead is right. You should really ditch the paperweight and put a probe-type LWCO on there. They're inherently more reliable and cheaper too. I recommend the Hydrolevel Safgard 400, but any 24-volt residential steam primary cutoff should work for you. You'll need to redo the trim piping, but that's easy, and we can help you if you need it. The hard part's going to be getting that plug out, but you can do it.
@ May 20, 2013 4:15 AM in whatever happened to the development of a steam assoc.?I posted a link to a DOE-sponsored study of steam system balancing and tuning a few months ago, but it didn't get as much discussion as I expected. You guys were probably pretty busy at the time, and the subject wasn't very descriptive, but here it is, in case you're interested.
@ May 20, 2013 3:35 AM in The good old days and a Boiler Explosionsafety doors on elevators.
@ May 9, 2013 10:29 PM in Water LossA better test would be hardness or specific gravity, but this assumes minerals aren't already at their saturation points at 212°F, and I wouldn't assume that. In my experience, and the experience of a lot of the pros who post here, most tap water forms scale in boilers. In other words, minerals come out of solution at boiling. So the addition of makeup water to replace lost steam or condensate wouldn't produce higher solute concentrations; it would just produce more precipitate. One of the pros here once described the effect over time as being like pouring concrete into the boiler. That sounds pretty accurate. You would sooner notice a change in volume than a change in water chemistry, but by then you'd need a new boiler.
@ April 29, 2013 2:14 PM in LWCO Clean out or Replace?You'll find that replacement parts cost a lot more than you'd think.
I have a used MM 67 with about two seasons on it that you can have for the cost of shipping. (I replaced mine with a probe-type unit, so I have no use for it, but it's too good to throw away.)
@ April 29, 2013 11:24 AM in Mysteriously Drained BoilerDo you have an automatic water feeder on your boiler?
If so, does it have a bypass valve?
Have you been relying on the feeder to maintain the water level instead of refilling it manually?
@ April 14, 2013 10:56 AM in Old videoNo one said you have to stop running your boiler just because it's getting warmer outside. Just turn the thermostat up a few degrees and sit around the house in a speedo, or go outside and jump through the lawn sprinkler. I never suspected you were anything but a hard core steamophile. :-P
@ April 14, 2013 10:38 AM in Flushing out boiler with inexpensive and easy toolIf you don't have a drain in your basement or you just don't want to get the floor wet, you might want to get one of these: http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202086174 (concrete mixing tub) or a couple of the smaller ones. They hold 20 gallons, but they're only about 6" tall, so you can usually position them under the return, and they're wide enough to catch water from the return and drain if they're on the same side of the boiler.