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Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on April 19, 2014

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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.

You need to have that burner checked

@ March 9, 2014 11:19 PM in Adjusting a Gas Control

by 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.

There is a way

@ 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.

What you need

@ March 9, 2014 12:01 PM in Radiator to baseboard

is 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.

There are some boilers we wouldn't convert either

@ 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.

What I see from looking at the picture in the manual

@ 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.
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