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Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on July 24, 2014

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You may be able

@ April 18, 2003 5:12 PM in Steam Boiler

to use the flash steam for heating water. I'm sure they need a certain amount of hot water in that facility, and if you can use the steam twice you may lower their fuel consumption. Or there may be somewhere else that you're using live steam where flash steam will work. Check with your supplier for more info. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Gary, does the pressuretrol

@ April 17, 2003 10:39 PM in Pressuretrol connection

stop the burner at all? If not, replace it. Also check the wiring, someone may have jumpered across it. Not common, but it happens. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

The bug bit you

@ April 16, 2003 6:46 PM in Elementary Steam Power Engineering

I just ordered a bunch of Dead Men's Books, and some of them came in today. Haven't opened them yet- whose heads do I get to look inside tonight? I need another bookcase.......... To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Flash steam?

@ April 15, 2003 7:30 PM in Steam Boiler

Do the traps discharge condensate straight from 65 PSI to 0 PSI? If so, you may need a flash tank or something similar. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Sounds like you're on the right track

@ April 15, 2003 7:22 PM in New homeowner had plumber rip out all steam piping

I assume there were at least two 2-inch mains. Each 2-inch pipe can handle 386 square feet. Make sure the near-boiler piping is correct. If the manufacturer is still in business, get the diagram from them and follow it to the letter. Leave a tee for a main vent before each end-of-main drip. Measure the length of each main after it's installed and we'll tell you what vents are needed. The main should pitch down from the boiler at least 1 inch in 20 feet. If this leaves inadequate headroom toward the end of the main, you can install a "rise and drip" which lets the main be raised and drains the condensate. Runouts to risers should pitch toward the main 1 inch in 10 feet, and if over 8 feet long should be one size larger than the risers. Insulate the main and runouts using fiberglass pipe insulation with 1" wall thickness. When you finish, and the system works perfectly, get ready for all the referrals you will get from this customer! Finally, Dan's old Wallace-Eannace book has grown into "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". You can order it on the Books and More page of this site. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Bruce, the best advice I can give

@ April 15, 2003 7:51 AM in I need basics for hydronic combo system

is to go to the Books and More page of this site and order "How Come?" which covers all forms of hydronic heat, and "Hydronic Radiant Heating" which covers radiant, and "Pumping Away" which covers pumping and piping techniques. Next you'll want to learn about steam, so order "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". Dan handles these subjects as well as I could ever hope to. And he offers a money-back guarantee! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I agree

@ April 15, 2003 7:43 AM in Condesate return on steam system

with everything Paul, BP and Mark posted. The problem is somewhere in the system, and can be corrected without a super-expensive pump. Try the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate a good steam man near you. If you're in the Baltimore area, e-mail me. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

And

@ April 14, 2003 9:03 PM in need new boiler:

you mentioned that the heat has not worked well for the past 5-6 years. If I were doing that job, I'd want to know why, and see that the problem is fixed. If you have a problem somewhere in the system, a new boiler will not cure it. Try the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate a Wethead near you. If you're in the Baltimore area, e-mail me! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Measuring Steam Mains

@ April 14, 2003 8:58 PM in Steam

For the vents located at the ends of the steam mains, just measure the horizontal portion. If you find you have trouble getting steam to the tops of the risers, you can measure and vent these as well. BTW- Noel's right about the 50% pickup being a bit much sometimes. But you can always down-fire a boiler that's a bit big, whereas you can't increase the fire in a boiler that's too small without major problems. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Ed, that Starfire is similar

@ April 14, 2003 8:04 AM in Boiler instructions vs mfg's

to the Columbia CSFH, and I saw the same thing on the last CSFH steamer we installed. I think the older M&M instructions did say to blow down at least once a month, but that has changed for the better! I'll mention that to the rep next time we talk. The installer ALWAYS needs to cover the blow-down procedure with the owner. We never leave a job without doing so. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Greg, before you even pick up a wrench

@ April 12, 2003 8:43 AM in steam radiator too hot water conversion

read the following article which will tell you some of the major pitfalls you can encounter when doing this....... http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=22 If this system is residential, it's probably Vapor. Vapor was the Cadillac of heating in its day and, when properly maintained, is still one of the best systems out there. Typically these systems run on 8 ounces of pressure or so. Trying to carry 12 pounds or more of water can cause major leaks in the old pipes and radiators. Changing those old valves and traps can also be a challenge. They sometimes break off inside the radiator, then you have to get the remains out without messing up the threads. This takes a lot more time and effort than you planned on. And you'll probably have to drill and re-tap the 1/8" plug openings. You may also have to re-pipe all the return lines. Most of these were never sized large enough to handle water- just air and a bit of condensate. I find it's much easier and less expensive to fix steam systems rather than to convert them. You can get replacement trap innards from Tunstall or Barnes & Jones, and Tunstall can also rebuild the radiator shutoffs (and change them to TRVs too if you wish) and even the return trap at the boiler if needed. Gorton makes high-quality main air vents which work very well on Vapor. And most boiler manufacturers offer efficient replacement boilers for steam and Vapor systems. If you're not that experienced with steam or Vapor, you've come to the right place for help. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Unfortunately I've never met Mr. Bean

@ April 12, 2003 8:23 AM in BRING BACK THE BEAN! - Dan H.

but all you Wallies can't be wrong. By all accounts it looks like Danfoss has made a major mistake here. Maybe it's time to show our collective displeasure in other ways, such as when we have the opportunity to choose between Danfoss and another brand. We've done this kind of thing before, and it certainly got noticed! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If your boiler was made in 1947

@ April 11, 2003 7:55 PM in What should I set my water temp at for hot water, on my boiler?

you could probably cut your fuel consumption quite a bit by replacing it. Even with a Beckett burner that thing probably doesn't have an annual efficiency over 65 percent or so- unless it was an unusually good design. At the very least, consider installing a tank to go with that coil. This way the hot water could be stored, and the boiler would not have to run unless the aquastat on the tank called for heat. You could set this aquastat wherever you wanted. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I'll bet

@ April 11, 2003 7:34 PM in Hartford Loop is afoot above the water line

you find a close nipple at the tee where the Hartford Loop connects to the equalizer. With such a short piece of pipe, the water can't get up enough force to bang if steam hits it. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Good Question

@ April 11, 2003 7:12 PM in Service Contract! To have or NOT?

I'm sure if the problem resulted from something they did, they'd take care of it. One year they had a bad batch of nozzles and one of them ended up here- when I called them they got right over here to change it. Also, until recently I was more into systems (especially steam!) than combustion. That has begun to change, but it's another reason I kept the service contract. It's also an excellent reason that when Tim McElwain or George Lanthier speak, I listen! Around Baltimore, the oil suppliers I know of only cover the burner and associated controls with their contracts. When they find a system problem they refer it to a contractor who mostly handles systems, like us. We get quite a few referrals this way. I've also noticed that oil suppliers in this area seem to be abandoning the boiler-replacement business. This of course is something we've always done, and as they leave the market we can step right in. I agree with Al (post below) that if you have someone good, you stick with them. I also agree that in most situations, you really need a good oil supplier AND a good independent heating contractor. Who does what will vary from place to place. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Sounds like

@ April 11, 2003 2:02 PM in When my boiler turns on to heat house I lose hot water? why?

cold water returning from the system is hitting the tankless coil and chilling it. This may be due to improper piping connections. Try looking on the Find a Contractor page of this site for someone near you who can straighten this out. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Keep the service contract

@ April 11, 2003 1:53 PM in Service Contract! To have or NOT?

I still have mine. Reason: If something goes wrong on a Saturday afternoon, and we don't have what I need at the shop, I won't be able to get into a supply house until Monday morning. But I can call Carroll-Independent (best oil company in Baltimore area) and they usually arrive in a couple of hours. To me, that makes the slight extra cost worthwhile. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Sounds like you've got it

@ April 11, 2003 1:43 PM in Knocking sound in heating System

and I agree that electric baseboard is not a good heat source in a closet- or anywhere else. Slowing the flow in that baseboard loop is probably not a good idea. You need a minimum of 1 gallon per minute (GPM) for baseboard to work properly and preferably more. The expansion sounds like it happens very quickly. Do you have a boiler that maintains temperature (180 degrees or so) all the time? If so, the very quick temperature change in the pipes may be part of the problem. If your boiler has a tankless coil for hot faucet water, consider switching to an indirect or adding a storage tank. This will lower your fuel consumption too. Let us know how you do! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Try to find out

@ April 11, 2003 1:35 PM in Banging Steam Pipes

where the banging is coming from. Then go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate someone who can fix the problem. It's not hard to do if you know what you're looking for. If you're in the Baltimore area, e-mail me. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Mike, that's an interesting idea

@ April 11, 2003 3:29 AM in Emissions and Fuel savings

but it may be more difficult to measure long-term efficiency gains on an oil-fired heating system since the proper controlled conditions may be harder to maintain. On the other hand, with current digital test equipment as used in the field, it's simple to tune a stock oil burner, then change something and watch the readings appear right there on the screen. This would result in a "snapshot" of what's going on in the boiler at that moment in time. In order for such a device to be accepted, it must show a noticeable gain in efficiency relative to its cost, be simple to install and maintain, and dead-reliable. It must also be acceptable to Code authorities, which may mean getting approval from UL and other sanctioning agencies. How about telling us more about your equipment, and maybe putting a few units out in the field for evaluation? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Possible Virus?

@ April 11, 2003 3:11 AM in Attention Brian Hauck of Minnesota

I keep getting the same e-mail with the same Magee photos attached. Now I love pics like these, but after getting them 10 times or so after I sent my reply, it might be time to make sure some nasty piece of malware isn't constantly re-sending them...... To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

TRVs

@ April 11, 2003 3:05 AM in Steam

serve as limiters. You are correct that the boiler needs some sort of automatic control such as a thermostat or outdoor-reset system to fire it according to the building's needs. TRVs then limit the heat going to areas where it's not needed. The boiler must be sized to the radiation. This is because on a cold night all the TRVs will likely be open. Do not simply get the same size boiler as what's there, since the old one may be oversized. Use a 50% pick-up factor rather than the usual 33%. Those valves on the steam mains serve to isolate parts of the system for servicing while keeping the heat on elsewhere. It would be a good idea to make sure they are working. Measure the length and diameter of each steam main. From this info we can determine what vents each main needs. Proper main venting speeds up steam distribution, saving fuel. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"