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Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on April 15, 2014

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Smith 8 series boilers

@ April 1, 2014 8:32 PM in To convert or not

run very well with Carlin EZ-Gas burners. Smith actually sold them with these burners.

But you say this is a steam system- is the circulator you mention pumping the Amtrol?

Not a draft hood

@ April 1, 2014 8:30 PM in Draft Hood

a double-swing barometric with blocked-flue switch.

If you're thinking of doing the conversion yourself- don't. This is not a DIY project. Hire a knowledgeable, experienced pro who has the proper equipment to set up a burner.

Especially if your budget is short

@ April 1, 2014 5:52 PM in Value of converting oil/steam to modcon gas?

keep the steam, and either replace the boiler or, if the existing boiler is fairly new and in good shape, install a gas conversion burner in it. There's nothing wrong with steam except to someone trying to sell you a tear-out job.

Where are you located?

First replace the vent

@ April 1, 2014 1:36 PM in Riser Venting damaging ceiling

that's probably a Hoffman #4A, 41 or 43- I can't see the thread size.

Then as NBC says, make sure the boiler pressure is not too high. It should never exceed 2 pounds, and should run on ounces on all but the coldest days of the year.

Not only does higher pressure shorten the lives of vents and other components, but it also wastes fuel. Low pressure is in both your interests.

That company is still in business

@ April 1, 2014 12:09 PM in McDaniel #16 Steam trap

Don't run the boiler

@ March 30, 2014 9:20 PM in what is it? where does it go?

until the new chamber kit is installed. Part of the reason it's there is to keep the flame from overheating the cast-iron at the rear of the boiler. Another part is that it keeps the flame temperature high enough to help prevent sooting. 

In the third pic

@ March 29, 2014 11:12 PM in Help! I have no main vents! + problem radiator

the first elbow is installed wrong. It's a reducing elbow turned on its side, creating a water pocket. A main vent installed there will be hammered to death.

Have it repiped, either with an eccentric reducer or by running the pipe full size to the wall and making the reduction where the pipe turns down toward the floor. While doing this you can add a tee for the main vent.

How long are those steam mains, and what pipe size?

Good place to start

@ March 28, 2014 10:18 PM in Herman Nelson, Trane unit heater sizing

is here:

If you can't find anything else, go by the capacity of the steam pipe feeding the heater.

The problem is the piping

@ March 27, 2014 11:33 PM in Steam problem

it's not high enough to separate the steam from any water trying to leave the boiler along with the steam. Also, each steam main needs its own takeoff from the header.

That looks like a small Peerless boiler. Here's one we installed- see the difference?

How long are those steam mains

@ March 27, 2014 11:18 PM in radiators hissing from vents, one valve shooting water

and what pipe diameter? If you're not sure of the latter, just measure the outside diameter- pipes are designated by inside diameter but we can tell this from the outside diameter.

This info will help us make sure your main vents are properly sized.

Also, please post a better pic of the steam piping directly above the boiler. It doesn't look right, but we would like a better view before getting more specific. This piping is crucial to proper steam production.

There's nothing inside that trap

@ March 27, 2014 5:27 PM in Steam Trap - Kelmac Jr. Retarder ?

because someone removed the element. So for now it's wide open with nothing to keep the steam from reaching the return lines. Check with Tunstall, see if they have a replacement that will fit.

That boiler is a re-branded Dunkirk, and it's not piped correctly by any stretch of the imagination. It needs to be repiped. I'll see if I have some Dunkirk install pics.

South Park?

@ March 27, 2014 9:20 AM in Do you ever get sick of looking

More like Beavis and Butt-head.............


@ March 26, 2014 9:35 PM in 10 PSI versus Maid-O'-Mist

don't put that much pressure on the vents.

Depending on what system you have

@ March 24, 2014 1:08 PM in END OF MAIN AIR VENTS

it might not need F&T traps. Post some pictures. 

Can't go wrong with either one

@ March 24, 2014 12:45 AM in Advice on Oil Boiler Replacement

as long as it's installed properly. That's most important.

I prefer chimney venting since it does not add any moving parts to the job, and you don't need to worry about finding a safe place for a sidewall vent. Definitely line the chimney with a proper stainless steel liner.

Both makers sell gas burners for their boilers.

I would say

@ March 24, 2014 12:33 AM in Want to move from oil to gas boiler. Best way forward?

that at least 70% of boilers we encounter are oversized, some by ridiculous amounts. This is what happens when people guess, or size boilers based on what was there, etc.

Why would you want to buy a boiler that's bigger than you need? It will cost you more to buy, will need bigger gas piping, and cost more to operate. Makes no sense to me.

A heat-loss calculation is not a big deal, now that we have computer programs to do them. Do yourself a favor and have a calculation performed.

If that cast-iron baseboard is only two feet long

@ March 24, 2014 12:22 AM in Adding cast iron baseboard to one-pipe steam system

it should work with just one pipe. We've gone up to three feet with no problems. 

You need a Steam Man to look at this

@ March 20, 2014 10:36 PM in 2 Pipe Steam Woes - Cold Zone Of House

the closest one to you that I know of is the Steam Whisperer, in Chicago. Not sure if he will come that far but it can't hurt to ask, since he's one of the best. Get his info on the Find a Contractor page of this site. 

It's an ASME approval symbol

@ March 19, 2014 8:09 PM in Brent Steamer

go here for more:

Only thing they did right

@ March 19, 2014 8:07 PM in Does this boiler seem piped right?

was to use black steel rather than copper. Hopefully you can re-use some of those pieces when you repipe. 

Same company

@ March 19, 2014 8:06 PM in Radiator manufacturer

but the ornate style was discontinued around 1920. Ratings were standardized by then, so if that's what you need, go ahead and use the tables for the plain ones. 

We do not

@ March 19, 2014 6:05 PM in Replace 2" x 10' cast iron steam pipe cost?

discuss pricing on this board. 
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