Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall
Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on September 16, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

Branch steam line

@ March 17, 2003 11:03 AM in sizing steam pipe

I'd go with a 2-inch black steel pipe to supply those 1-inch risers. Also provide a place to install a vent at the end of the new 2-inch pipe. Vent the pipe with a Gorton #1 or Hoffman #75. Copper on steam lines is always a bad idea. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

There's probably a vent on the return

@ March 12, 2003 8:39 AM in Steam release

that you haven't found yet. Keep looking, it's there. 80 years is a nice long time, but it's not uncommon for problems like this to pop up unexpectedly. First, remove the new Hoffman vent and wash it out. If it still leaks, boil it in vinegar to clean it. If it still leaks, switch to Gorton #2 vents. Going to Wetstock, so I'll be off the Wall for a few days. www.gorton-valves.com To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Try cutting the pressure down

@ March 12, 2003 8:33 AM in Source for Orifice plates?..... Boilerpro

with a Vaporstat, and you won't get all that flash steam in the returns. Then you will know if you have bad traps. This would also eliminate the need for the Alternating Receiver, but I'd leave it in place as a backup. If it's not working right, Tunstall can probably rebuild it when the owner is ready. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

See you all in Chicago

@ March 12, 2003 8:29 AM in Wetstock or Bust!

and those of you who couldn't make it, will be missed! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Nice Diagrams!

@ March 12, 2003 8:24 AM in Conversion to one-pipe system

I see the trouble now. The steam lines were sized to be parallel-flow, fed thru the single steam main off the boiler that was removed. If you're running them counterflow, they have to be one size bigger so the condensate can flow back against the steam, and also they need more pitch- 1 inch in 10 feet- back toward the boiler. This is covered in Dan's book "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". I'm assuming the original steam line from the boiler was cutting into the available headroom, and that's why it was removed. Your contractor ought to find a way to re-install that pipe so it doesn't hang so low. Maybe it could run counterflow, pitching up to the center of the basement, and parallel-flow (downhill) from there to tie into the two steam mains. The alternative would be to repipe the present counterflow mains with increased pipe size and pitch. If you do this, you will also have to move the main vents to the ends of the mains. Going to Wetstock, so I'll be off the Wall for a few days. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Find out

@ March 12, 2003 8:09 AM in Hydronics Objections

who published the report. Betcha it was a scorched-air organization. The rest of the "objections" are easily refuted by any knowledgable Wethead. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If you don't have enough vents

@ March 11, 2003 8:11 PM in what would cause cast iron to disintegrate

the condensate will turn to a mild acid, which can contribute to this problem. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Can't remember who made our last set

@ March 11, 2003 8:08 PM in Source for Orifice plates?..... Boilerpro

but I'll try to find out. BTW, do those Sterling rad shutoffs have orificing or other limiting built into them? If you think they might, try just installing a Vaporstat and experimenting with the pressure settings. You might save yourself a bit of effort this way. I wouldn't remove the traps, BP. They probably won't see much action with the orificing, but if something goes wrong like a plugged Vaporstat pigtail, they'll act as a secondary defense against steam in the dry return. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Piping for two boilers

@ March 11, 2003 7:42 PM in Any steam experts in Utah?

should look something like this (Columbia's version). Note that the header that receives steam from both boilers and passes it to the steam system mains is a "drop header". To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Here are a couple of ways

@ March 11, 2003 7:37 PM in Piping two boilers

from Columbia. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Those Hoffman #75 vents

@ March 11, 2003 7:32 PM in radiator airvent failure

should do fine on those relatively short mains. For more info on vent sizing, order a copy of Dan's "Dead Men's Steam School" video and workbook. The workbook contains charts you won't find anywhere else. And the video takes you thru the process of designing steam systems, with Dan at the helm. I have those old Audel books- you'll love them too! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

What a good header should look like

@ March 11, 2003 7:09 PM in Any steam experts in Utah?

This one's piped in glass for demonstration purposes. The configuration is just right, with two 24-inch risers to the header, then the steam main takeoff, then the equalizer. The second photo is a "drop header" installed by Mad Dog on a Burnham boiler. This is used to make the risers to the header even taller. The third one is one we installed on a Columbia boiler. It has a slightly different configuration, but does the same job. With two boilers, each should have its own header (and Hartford Loop too). The steam mains from these should then feed into another header, which in turn feeds the steam system mains. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I think they are

@ March 11, 2003 6:58 PM in Steam release

return vents. But to confirm this, follow the steam mains from the boiler until they end. If they end at one of the pictured vents, we have a bit of a problem. The drop pipes from the vents join together above the waterline of the boiler. This isn't such a big deal if they're both returns, but if one or both are ends of steam mains there's nothing to keep steam from moving out of one pipe and into the other. This could close both vents before all the air is out of the system. The solution, if needed, is to drop both pipes below the boiler's water level, then come back up into the Hartford Loop. Water will stay in the lower part of this arrangement, which will keep steam from jumping out of one pipe into the other. Both of those vents should be replaced with Gorton #2s. I really think that new Hoffman is too small for your system. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

How did the steam

@ March 11, 2003 6:42 PM in Conversion to one-pipe system

get into main #3 before the change? Also, where does the second takeoff from the header (the one that comes up in back of pipe #1) go to? And what's on the other end of the tee that pipe #1 feeds into (which is a "bullheaded"tee, a big no-no)? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Intermittent for now

@ March 11, 2003 2:47 PM in The Circulator Experiment, Continued (Steamhead)_

which around here has more real-world application than continuous. But I'm not getting rid of the NRF-9, the next part of the experiment will be constant-circ with reset. I still haven't gotten around to running a heat-loss on this house, but I think the current boiler configuration is rather close to the load. I had some nice long run-times with single-digit outdoor temps. See you at Wetstock, BP! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

No, the 65 is a radiator vent

@ March 11, 2003 2:23 PM in Steam release

the #2 is the monster main vent. Go to http://www.gorton-valves.com/specify.htm to see the other Gorton steam system vents. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

The obvious problem

@ March 11, 2003 2:15 PM in Conversion to one-pipe system

is the return from the new counterflow main (pipe #2). It is hooked into the end of the other steam main (pipe #3) above the water line which is a no-no. Steam is rushing into pipe #3 and traveling up the other steam main the wrong way, which I'll bet is what's causing the banging. You must drop return #2 below the waterline and tie it into the bottom of the U-shaped pipe before the Hartford Loop. The water in the U will keep the steam from jumping into the other main. The counterflow main should have a properly-sized main vent at its end, just like a parallel-flow main would have. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I have three versions-

@ March 11, 2003 1:32 AM in The Circulator Experiment, Continued (Steamhead)_

1940, 1949 and 1954. There are more and bigger diagrams in the newer ones. But I almost threw 1954 in the fire cause it mentioned converting steam systems to hot water, which I have never agreed with! Thanks for the kind words on the chart. That's why I put it together- to be used. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

No Need

@ March 10, 2003 11:19 PM in Conversion to one-pipe system

to replace the entire system. You can use a dry return but be sure to pitch it back from the end of the steam main toward the boiler 1-inch in 20-feet, and drop it to the floor near the boiler before going into the Hartford Loop. This will insure that the water will flow out of the steam main and back to the boiler by gravity. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If the system has traps

@ March 10, 2003 11:15 PM in steam in dry return

there should never be steam in the dry return. What kind of Vapor system is it? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Some of you may remember.....

@ March 10, 2003 9:43 PM in The Circulator Experiment, Continued (Steamhead)_

that I've been trying out different circulator capacities to see what effect they have on a gravity-converted hot water system. I have concluded that it doesn't pay to go much below the capacities in the chart (see http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=125) since doing so may cause inadequate circulation at the ends of the system on mild days (yes, we actually have had a few mild, 50-degree days in Baltimore in the past week or so). And we know that overpumping any system will impair the heat transfer. Here are the specifics: System capacity: 545 square feet EDR Boiler: Burnham V-14 down-fired to 0.75 GPH Inside temp: 62 degrees Capacity of B&G NRF-9 at 3.5 feet of head: 7 GPM GPM per square foot EDR using B&G NRF-9: 0.013 Capacity of TACO 005 at 3.5 feet of head: 15 GPM GPM per square foot EDR using TACO 005: 0.027 Capacity of original B&G 100 at 3.5 feet of head: 27 GPM GPM per square foot EDR using B&G 100: 0.049 GPM per square foot EDR recommended in 1940 B&G Handbook: 0.023 (from calculations) GPM needed for 545 square feet EDR based on B&G's flow recommendation: 12.5 The 005 is slightly over the recommended flow, but not by much. But the NRF-9 is way under- by almost 50 percent, and the original B&G 100 is over twice as big as needed. The 005 hit the sweet spot on this system. All this effort to prove that the old B&G Handbook was spot-on! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That's

@ March 10, 2003 9:18 PM in Look at this!

an Ideal Sectional boiler. It appears in the 1911 "Ideal Fitter" catalog from American Radiator Co. Looks like it's been well cared for. Still circulating by gravity, eh? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"