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Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on July 28, 2014

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If near-boiler piping is done right

@ January 1, 2003 12:29 PM in exit velocity\"s

the header will catch whatever water comes up from the boiler and send it down the equalizer, where it will return to the boiler. That said, larger steam tappings are always better. However, some manufacturers get around this by providing more than one tapping. In this case, the installer must use every available tapping. The bottom line here is- RTFM (Read the freakin' manual) and follow the instructions when piping the boiler! Here are two properly piped boilers. The first is an oil-fired Burnham, with one 3-inch tapping. The header on this one is also 3-inch. The second one is a gas-fired Columbia with 2 2-inch tappings. These are brought together into a 2-1/2-inch header. These were both piped according to the manufacturer's specifications, and they run perfectly. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Flush it out

@ December 31, 2002 8:11 PM in Descale/Delime??

thru the bottom drain, with the cold water supply turned on. Turn the gas control to "Pilot" so the main burner won't light, this will save some gas. Let it run until clear, then place it back into normal operation. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Vince, what type of system

@ December 31, 2002 3:36 PM in Vaccuum on Steam Boiler

is that boiler connected to? One-pipe? Vapor? Your system probably has vacuum-type air vents on it that let air out, but not in. Besides causing the petcock to suck air when you open it, vacuum can expand any air that's left in the system. This can block the flow of steam. I'd find and replace any vacuum vents on that system. If it does not use air vents on the radiators, look for vacuum vents on the mains and dry returns. If that's a Vapor system with a Float Trap/Air Eliminator, look for a vacuum check on the top. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Conservation is part of the answer

@ December 31, 2002 3:27 PM in I've got gas s. milne

but doesn't get much press these days. The current adminstration has its head firmly planted in the sand on this issue, but we don't have to do the same. We Wetheads need to get into this area, we can do much to cut our customers' energy usage. Why wait for car companies and other large corporations to take the lead? Simple things like combustion testing (besides being toxic, CO is wasted fuel), proper sizing of new equipment, pipe insulation, reset controls, setback thermostats, air venting, stack dampers etc. are part of our Wethead craft. Watch your customer perk up when you say you can reduce their fuel consumption. Then do it! Those of us who don't do things like house insulation, storm windows etc. would do well to keep a list of contractors in these areas who we know will do good work. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

First thing I'd do

@ December 31, 2002 2:56 PM in Descale/Delime??

is flush it out well. This sounds like what happens to many water heaters over the years- dirt builds up in them, and steam forms between the dirt and the metal. Many times this will solve the problem. Also make sure the boiler is not over-fired, and the flame is not impinging on (touching) the boiler's metal. The next step depends on whether the system is steam or hot water. But whatever you do, don't use any chemicals of any kind without checking with Weil-McLain first. This boiler probably has gaskets between the sections and the wrong chemicals can damage them. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That's probably an old AmeriTherm

@ December 31, 2002 2:47 PM in Heat Activated Draft Control

I have one of these thermally-activated units on my water heater and it has held up well. But like any stack damper it should be checked periodically. This is best done by a technician with proper tools and instruments, as part of a yearly inspection- go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate one near you. Unfortunately, this type of damper is no longer made as far as I know. If it goes bad, I'd replace it with an electrically-operated one. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If the overfilling starts when you submerge the coil

@ December 30, 2002 10:20 PM in Boiler Overfilling

the water is probably leaving the boiler with the steam, which causes the feeder to kick in. A bad piping job is the most likely cause of this. Is the boiler piped according to the manufacturer's instructions? If you don't have the manual for your boiler, you can get the info from the manufacturer. How about posting a picture of the boiler so we can have a look? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Vents

@ December 30, 2002 10:13 PM in Need Contractor

I prefer to put both vents in the tee near the end of the main. This keeps the full venting capacity available until the steam has filled the main. The Gorton #2 vent has a capacity four times greater than the Hoffman #75. Two of these at the end of your main will help distribute the heat in a hurry! You may have to go beyond a 30 mile radius to find a steam man, but it will be worth it. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Dan's right

@ December 30, 2002 9:29 PM in Two pipe steam

the Dead Men who designed and installed your Vapor system were geniuses. Respect them and their creation. Have you been able to locate any manufacturer's info on the various components of your system? Based on what you've told me, it may be an early Trane, Richardson or O-E system. We love to hear about Vapor systems here! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

It's Gonna Bang, Gary

@ December 29, 2002 8:34 PM in One-Pipe Steam Boiler Piping Trouble

The above posts are correct. The boiler will never work properly this way. You could get away with this on older boilers since they had those big steam chests in them. But newer boilers need proper piping to catch any water that may come up with the steam. If your contractor won't do it right, find one who will. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate one. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Warranty issues

@ December 29, 2002 8:22 PM in Reinstall possible? (JRH)

Why not check with the manufacturer? For a worthy cause like this, they might be willing to stretch a point if needed. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Steam Boilers

@ December 28, 2002 9:18 PM in Need Contractor

The ones I know for sure that use push-nipples are Burnham, Columbia, Dunkirk, Slant/Fin and Utica. Can't remember if Peerless does or not, and Smith and Weil-McLain use gaskets. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site and follow the instructions to locate a contractor near you. When selecting boilers, remember that the 1.33 pick-up factor is already figured into the ratings. If the boiler you're looking at has a rating very close to your 542 square feet, it would make sense to go one size larger- especially with that 96-foot-long 2-1/2" main. That original 950-square-foot boiler would have been coal-fired. They specified the larger boiler as it would have had a larger firebox and grate, and the owner would not have had to shovel coal as often. I like electric ignition, since you never have to worry about the pilot light going out. Recent model EI systems are very reliable. Make sure you have properly-sized vents at the end of that steam main. I would use two Gorton #2 vents on a main like that- this will get the steam to the end of the main quickly. Gortons are made in Cranford, in North Jersey, so if you can't find someone near you who carries them you can run up to the factory! www.gorton-valves.com To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Interesting Idea

@ December 28, 2002 10:06 AM in Converting to a Paul system..

The Paul system was originally used on systems using exhaust steam from a steam engine. The ejector used a steam jet to draw air from the system. I believe the 35% savings (on coal) included the fact that the greater pressure differential across the system made the engine as well as the heating system more efficient. But there's no reason you couldn't get hold of a small electric vacuum pump to do the same thing on a modern system. You could even control the pump with a reset controller to vary the vacuum (and the steam temperature with it) acording to outside temperature. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Is that the same one

@ December 27, 2002 7:04 PM in December 26, 1865

that is part of a larger story, and appeared in the book "Used Stories"? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

and

@ December 26, 2002 3:06 PM in Steam not getting to risers

are the pipes pitched so water will drain out of all of them and back into the steam main? I would certainly install properly-sized main vents. The entire system will heat faster, and on less pressure. Both considerations will lower your fuel bill. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

You would have to

@ December 26, 2002 3:03 PM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

remove the trap elements and possibly drill out the seats so they won't restrict the flow. You may also have to repipe the return to the boiler since it may not be big enough to handle the amount of water needed. And the pressure will be about 24 times (assuming a 2-story building) that of the Trane Vapor system so that may result in leaks. Can you tell I love old Vapor systems? They were the Cadillac of heating in their day, and are still some of the best out there. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Try this

@ December 25, 2002 9:04 PM in Main venting for one pipe steam

put three or four Vari-Valves on the long main and one on the short main. Make sure there's nothing below them though, since these vents will not close against water. Drill and tap additional 1/8" pipe thread holes in the main as needed to mount the vents. Get enough Vent-Rite, Hoffman or whatever brand of good adjustable vent is available in your area and put these on the radiators. Watch how well it works. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I'd checked all that

@ December 25, 2002 8:37 PM in Sizing Gravity conversion circulators.....Boilerpro

and everything looked OK. They hadn't had a problem with the old boiler, which is what made me look at the circ. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

And

@ December 24, 2002 1:53 PM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

anything like this Float Trap/Air Eliminator and Return Trap on your system? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Or

@ December 24, 2002 1:49 PM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

like this? BTW- there are a lot of good steam man in New England. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site and follow the instructions to locate one near you. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Do they look

@ December 24, 2002 1:45 PM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

like this? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Performance curves

@ December 24, 2002 1:38 PM in Sizing Gravity conversion circulators.....Boilerpro

aren't identical but close. The B&G NRF-33 will pump up to 13 feet of head rather than 8 for the B&G 100 and Taco 110. The Taco 0010 pumps up to 12 feet. But in gravity-conversion applications these units are so close as to be interchangeable. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"