Joined on March 11, 2004
Last Post on March 10, 2014
@ March 10, 2014 1:16 PM in Steam distribution pipe removal options?are you located? Have you tried the Find a Contractor page of this site?
@ March 10, 2014 12:14 AM in 3-Pass vs Standardthey are under the same corporate ownership.
The CL is a pin-type boiler not unlike the Burnham V8 series. The heat exchanger uses vertical passages with pins that absorb the heat. These can be very difficult to clean properly, so many times they aren't cleaned properly which reduces efficiency.
The CI-HGS 3-pass unit is similar to the MPO. Its flue passages are much more accessible since you can access almost everything by opening the door on the front, and there are no little pins which are so hard to clean. Therefore this boiler is more likely to be cleaned properly and maintain its efficiency.
For this reason, we favor 3-pass boilers.
@ March 10, 2014 12:03 AM in Cleaning a boiler.it doesn't get as hot in Cranston, RI as it does in Baltimore.
If you happen to have an appointment to set up a burner when the outside temperature is in the high 90s, as often happens here, that burner will be operating under conditions quite different from when the outside temp is in the 20s. The air and the oil will both be colder and therefore more dense, making them more difficult to move and therefore to control. And the chimney will be pulling a lot more draft because of the greater ΔT between the flue gas and the outside air. Sure, we have barometric draft regulators to regulate this, but a high wind on a cold day or night can overcome the barometric's capability.
Probably the best discussion of this I have seen is in George "Firedragon" Lanthier's book, Advanced Residential Oilburners. He goes into a lot of detail which I won't duplicate here, since he covers it much better than I could hope to.
When we go back to a burner we have set up in this way, there is little if any cleaning to do. That boiler will have maintained its efficiency all season, without the drop-off associated with soot and sulfur deposits. I remember opening up such a boiler when the customer was in the basement, and having her remark that it was clean enough to eat off of, which never happened when the oil company was "tuning" it. And the oil company noticed she was using less- I just smiled.
@ March 9, 2014 11:19 PM in Adjusting a Gas Controlby a pro with a combustion analyzer and the know-how to use it properly.
That Wayne burner may not be a good match for that particular boiler. It was designed to convert older boilers with larger firing zones than the RS112 has, so it does not have the compact flame pattern that you need. It may have been down-fired because it was making a lot of carbon monoxide at higher firing rates, due to the flame striking the firebox surface. If I were going to convert that boiler I'd use a true flame-retention type burner like the Carlin EZ-Gas.
The other consideration is the boiler itself. The RS series are dry-base steel boilers which were not terribly efficient. Unlike a wet-base cast-iron boiler, the RS does not have any water circulating thru the base, which means any heat lost in that area is wasted. The usual atmospheric gas boilers have this same fault.
Also, if the firebox lining needs replacing, you have to disconnect the piping, jack up the boiler and unbolt the base to get at it- at least on the ones I've seen. This involves labor which almost equals that needed for completely replacing the boiler. And if you don't replace the lining, the base will burn out and you'll need to replace the boiler anyway.
But landlords love this type of boiler because it's cheap to buy.
Again, you need a pro to look at this. You may find that completely replacing the boiler is the best option.
@ March 9, 2014 10:51 PM in Steam distribution pipe removal options?to run a steam main without pitch of any kind. Basically, you run it tight to the ceiling and every runout (branch line) comes off from the bottom, thereby serving as a drip point to get rid of condensate. Each riser to a radiator is then dripped into the return line, with a water seal if it is a dry return rather than a wet one. This involves a bit more piping, but solves the headroom problem.
I've never actually seen this done, but one of my Dead Men's Books describes it. There's no reason it shouldn't work.
@ March 9, 2014 12:01 PM in Radiator to baseboardis a differently shaped cast-iron radiator that will not stick out so far from the wall, but will give off the same amount of heat.
Take a picture of the side of the radiator and tell us how tall it is. From this we can determine its heat output.
You will also need an access panel where the main vent is, large enough to permit easy replacement. If there is more than one steam main, you need access to the other main vents too.
@ March 9, 2014 11:54 AM in Beating a dead horse.if the boiler is undersized (just ran into one the other day), grossly oversized, in poor condition, inherently inefficient etc. But most recent wet-base boilers run very well with good conversion burners.
If we do replace a boiler, especially a steamer, we lean toward a wet-base/power burner unit because of its better thermal efficiency. And we stock parts for the burners we install, so there should not be any servicing issues.
@ March 9, 2014 11:47 AM in Beating a dead horse.is that the coil does appear to be above the "lowest permissible water level". But the probe-type low-water cutoff will stop the burner and call for water well above that point. And, on a gravity-return system, the water level will rise above the cutoff level as the water returns from the system, so the effective working water level should cover the coil.
That said, we've never installed a MegaSteam with a coil.
@ March 8, 2014 11:44 PM in Radiator to baseboardto equal the output of that radiator. I doubt it would be practical.
Since this one warms up last, you need to check to see whether there is a main vent on the steam main feeding it, and if so, whether it is the right size.
@ March 8, 2014 9:37 PM in Cleaning a boiler.is the temperature of the oil- which will affect atomization if it gets too cold.
We first locate the point at which the burner starts to make smoke by reducing the air supply, then back off until the smoke disappears.
Take a CO2 reading. Then, if it's summer, add enough air to drop the CO2 by one percent, if it's cold you can usually get away with half a percent. Note that some people do this slightly differently, but the principle is the same- we never leave the burner set up so that any slight reduction in air or increase of oil will make the burner produce smoke. This allows for any such variations while maintaining good combustion efficiency.
That's what we mean by headroom.
Of course this assumes the boiler is in good condition and equipped with a flame-retention burner. And it requires the use of a smoke tester and electronic combustion analyzer. But the result is, or should be, good efficiency and little if any cleaning to do next time the boiler is opened up for service.
@ March 7, 2014 10:34 PM in For all you steam heads out thereis awfully brave.................
@ March 7, 2014 10:24 PM in Beating a dead horse.along with the PVG and SCG:
@ March 7, 2014 10:19 PM in Carlin Gas Conversion or new oil tank?the 9-slot diffuser on the EZ-Gas, as it gives the shortest, most compact flame.
@ March 7, 2014 12:46 PM in Beating a dead horse.he is involved with Burnham. He refuses to tell us anything, but one day we'll find out for sure.
@ March 7, 2014 12:26 PM in Beating a dead horse.the conversion burner is listed for conversion use- which they all are- and is installed according to the procedures set forth in the burner's manual, there's no problem.
You really need to read your history. Decades ago, when oil and gas began to replace coal as the fuel of choice for home heating, boilers were rarely replaced. Instead, they were updated with listed conversion burners. Many such boilers were made by companies that did not survive the Depression- the one that began in 1929, not 2008- so it would have been impossible to contact the manufacturers. The solution was for UL and other agencies to specifically approve these burners for conversion use when installed according to very specific instructions.
This system still exists today. Look in the I&O manual for any current-model conversion burner, or on the burner itself if you encounter one, and you will see the listing information.
Tim McElwain, a gentleman who we all respect, has said he has never had a problem with the many (thousands?) of conversion burners he has installed. He is one of the best in the business, and has set many examples for the rest of us to follow. I am certain that if there were any issues with these burners he would be all over it.
We haven't installed nearly the number of conversion burners Tim has, but like him we've never had an issue- just a lot of satisfied customers.
Harper111, do you have anything else to contribute to this board besides anti-conversion-burner zealotry?
@ March 6, 2014 11:19 PM in Beating a dead horse.he hasn't posted here at all except to try to scare people away from conversion burners. Info is here:
But we just got two more conversion burner contracts. Go ahead Harper111, keep on telling people to waste their money by throwing away their relatively new boilers- they'll just sign with someone like us who can offer them a better deal. Trolls do have their usefulness.
@ March 6, 2014 11:12 PM in Beating a dead horse.two more days... I would have lost the bet.
@ March 6, 2014 12:03 AM in Burnham recall?is part of US Boiler. I think the recall applied to their ESC model series, but can't find it quickly.