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Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on April 24, 2014

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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. 

Try this:

@ March 19, 2014 1:24 AM in Radiator manufacturer

Then browse the Library for more great stuff.

By the time that was made

@ March 17, 2014 11:06 PM in radiator identify

radiators were pretty much standardized across the various brands, though not all makers offered all conceivable patterns. So you'd find one whose height and section type matched yours, and get the rating from that table.

The gold color is one of the usual metallic-paint colors used at the time. Silver was the other popular one.

It's a five-column window radiator

@ March 17, 2014 4:39 PM in radiator identify

the tables for this can be found in Dan's book "E.D.R." .

It means

@ March 17, 2014 4:35 PM in is this the correct near boiler piping for burnham independence boiler

"reduced pressure zone" which describes a type of backflow preventer.

The bullheaded tee can cause steam to bounce off the back of the tee, sending pulsations back into the boiler which can make the water surge up and down. See chapter 4 of "The Lost Art of Steam Heating" for a detailed explanation.

I've seen a LOT worse

@ March 17, 2014 2:39 PM in is this the correct near boiler piping for burnham independence boiler

but as others have said, that bull-headed tee is not good.

Also make sure there is a backflow preventer (the RPZ) in the water line feeding the boiler. Its job is to keep boiler water from being drawn back into the house water piping. It may be installed in a part of the line we can't see, but if there is none, install it. It's relatively cheap insurance against water supply contamination.

I'm told some parts of the country don't require backflow preventers on residential boilers, but it's still a good idea to use one.

That's a Counterflow system

@ March 17, 2014 2:26 PM in Single (really!) pipe steam

the steam mains should have drip connections close to the boiler, so the water won't flow back into the header. Both drips must extend down below the boiler's waterline before teeing together- this keeps steam from getting into them and banging.

Like this:

Do the steam mains

@ March 17, 2014 12:20 PM in Single (really!) pipe steam

slope up from the boiler, or down?

Found it!

@ March 16, 2014 11:58 PM in Steam distribution pipe removal options?

it's in Alt's House Heating Plans. This book has been digitized- go here and if the page doesn't display immediately, scroll to page 100, or simply enter page 100 in the "Jump To" box at the top and click Go:;view=1up;seq=110

All the details one should need to install a non-pitched steam main are on pages 100 and 101- note that the digitized page numbers do actually correspond with those in the original book.

Let me get this straight

@ March 16, 2014 3:49 PM in Excessive Makeup Water Use/Proposed Elimination of Condensate Return Tank

the contractor screwed up the system, and now he wants you to pay him to fix it?

To put it mildly, this doesn't pass the smell test.

If you're going to pay someone, pay a real Steam Man. Where are you located? Have you tried the Find a Contractor page of this site?

Harper111, you never answered our question

@ March 14, 2014 11:51 PM in converting oil burner to gas

do you have anything to contribute to this board besides whining about conversion burners?

That Hoffman 4A is too small

@ March 13, 2014 12:20 AM in Not enough heat with new boiler set at low pressure.

at minimum I'd use two Gorton #1 or Hoffman 75 vents on the longer main, and on on the shorter main. 

Not sure which one it's in

@ March 12, 2014 12:13 AM in Steam distribution pipe removal options?

so I'll have to do some digging.

If you're in Joisey, get in touch with Thatcher. One of the owners posts here as JStar and he's really good with steam. Thatcher is on the Find a Contractor page of this site, under New Jersey.


@ 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?

Pretty much the same as Burnham

@ March 10, 2014 12:14 AM in 3-Pass vs Standard

they 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.

Probably because

@ 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.
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