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Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on July 31, 2014

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The first two

@ June 8, 2014 12:56 AM in Radiation Identification

are probably National Panel radiators. See page 152 of Dan's book "E.D.R." for dimensions and ratings.

The third is made up of several standard wall radiator sections, which appear in the same book.

That boiler

@ June 8, 2014 12:41 AM in Wife HATES old steam radiators. Don't care for covers. Alternatives?

can be fitted with a probe-type low-water cutoff that doesn't need to be flushed- just needs to have the probe pulled and cleaned once a year. You'd have to move the pipe connection to the indirect tank, but that's no big deal. Here's a pic of one of our W-M Gold installations with a probe-type low-water cutoff and a Carlin gas burner:

Once they are stripped and painted properly

@ June 8, 2014 12:08 AM in Wife HATES old steam radiators. Don't care for covers. Alternatives?

they'll look fine. You can also detail the elevated parts of the cast-iron in a contrasting color to make them really look sharp.

You will NEVER be happy with "scorched-error". Keep the steam.

What make and model is your current boiler?

If they're getting that hot

@ June 7, 2014 6:58 PM in Wife HATES old steam radiators. Don't care for covers. Alternatives?

the system may be running too much pressure. Have it checked.

Are you having a gas conversion burner installed or going with a completely new boiler?

If you can't find MILVACO's diagram

@ June 5, 2014 5:16 PM in Does anyone remenber the Milwaukee Valve Company

don't sweat it. If your system is like other MILVACO installations I've seen, it's pretty much standard Vapor, similar to Dunham, Webster etc. using an Air Trap and Return Trap. 

On this one

@ June 1, 2014 1:06 PM in One of the worst-maintained oil-fired boilers we've seen

there were several options for domestic hot water. We went over each one and this was what they went with, even though it cost more. I think they expected this equipment to last as long as they were in the house, and of course they had several future teenagers so abundant hot water at less operating cost was key. 

Some questions

@ June 1, 2014 12:28 AM in Sizing New Gas Steam Boiler

1- what make and model is your current boiler?

2- are all the steam pipes insulated?

3- regarding the rad in the pic, the chart in Lost Art does not cover it. How tall is this rad and how many sections does it have?

4- how long are your steam mains, and what pipe size? Do they have main vents, and if so what make and model?

A hot-water loop is pretty easy to do

@ May 31, 2014 10:15 PM in Hot Water Loop From Hot Water Tank Instead of Steam Boiler

here's one we did- this one operates an indirect water heater rather than a baseboard loop, but the boiler hookup is the same. It's all the way at the end of this thread:

Not bad

@ May 27, 2014 8:09 PM in Midco Radiant burner....results of first heating season

for just changing the burner. What was in there before? 

Multiple Circulator & Zone Valve Relays with Post-Purge?

@ May 25, 2014 5:06 PM in Multiple Circulator & Zone Valve Relays with Post-Purge?

Looked at a HW job yesterday with six circs and four zone valves. The control system for this looks like someone threw a whole bunch of spaghetti onto the wall and it stuck. Since we'll probably be re-wiring this, does anyone know of a mutiple circulator or zone valve relay that will allow the circs to purge some of the heat out into the zones after shutting off the burner?


She's near DC

@ May 24, 2014 10:57 PM in Need advice/ help for new heating system

so I gave her Dan Foley's info, and told her to get back to me if she needed to. Haven't heard anything, hope she made out OK. 

Slant/Fin 78 series boiler info?

@ May 24, 2014 1:54 PM in Slant/Fin 78 series boiler info?

Just looked at one of these today, a 78-280 - owner won't be replacing it any time soon, so I'm looking for anything I can find on it.... manual, what kind of chamber it takes, etc. before we get into it. Currently has a newish Beckett AF, but Beckett's OEM guide doesn't go that high. If you Google the 78 series, it shows it came with a Wayne burner.

This might be one of those boilers that carried over when Crane sold their boiler operation to Slant/Fin.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT- found it, and it came with a Sunray burner too.

You might be able

@ May 24, 2014 12:59 PM in Ran across this today....

to find a radiator that is slimmer but will give off the same amount of heat as the existing one. Check Burnham, Governale or OCS. Or, you could split the load between two smaller rads.

The only way you'll see water in that Return Trap sight glass

@ May 23, 2014 4:40 PM in Ran across this today....

assuming it isn't plugged, is if the boiler pressure rises high enough that the water can't return by gravity. Then it goes into the Return Trap, which is actually a pressure-powered pump, and gets forced back to the boiler. See chapter 15 of Lost Art for a more detailed description- the one in the book is a Dunham, but it works the same way.

The cold rad might be a trap that has failed closed- I'd check that first.

Looks like a Barnes & Jones Condensator return trap

@ May 23, 2014 12:52 AM in Ran across this today....

also looks like B&J's air trap too. Does the rest of the system use B&J components?

And it looks like Beavis & Butt-Head piped the boiler. 


@ May 22, 2014 1:58 PM in Peer review please...

we need a heat exchanger of some sort, assuming we don't want to fill the whole system with glycol..... were you going to go flat-plate or run the slab circuit thru the coil of an indirect, or something else?

You should get in touch with Spence Engineering

@ May 22, 2014 1:49 PM in Steam PRV Station

their steam pressure regulators are very common, at least in our area. We use them on buildings connected to the local district steam grid:

Spence also owns the Nicholson commercial/industrial steam trap line, so you might be able to deal with a single source on this job.

Sounds like it could work

@ May 22, 2014 1:10 PM in Peer review please...

but we'd still need anti-freeze in the slab loops, correct?

They must have followed the diagram

@ May 21, 2014 2:08 PM in US Boiler IN12 with 2 pipe vacuum steam built in 1929

on the page where they tell you what NOT to do. You can't fix stupid.

This boiler doesn't even have a proper header. They just ran the two pipes up into the existing piping, where the two pipes collide with each other, and put an equalizer connection on the right-hand one. This boiler needs a 3-inch header.

Go here- the second pic is of a similar type of boiler piped correctly. Notice how the two risers from the boiler connect to the header, after which the steam goes into the system piping and the equalizer drains any water that got up that far:

And, since you have two steam mains, each main should have its own takeoff from the header. In the following thread, the third boiler had this same problem, and you can see how we fixed it:

That boiler needs to be re-piped properly. If you haven't given the installers their final payment, do not do so until it's right.

McDonnell & Miller

@ May 21, 2014 11:19 AM in Boiler blowdown guide

usually includes a small instruction card with each of their float-type LWCOs. Maybe they can send you some. 

They need to get

@ May 20, 2014 2:33 PM in We got mentioned in Green Building Advisor.

some copies of "Greening Steam". 

Code has changed since that was installed

@ May 20, 2014 1:40 AM in Anti syphon reducing valve

you now need not only a pressure-reducing valve, but also a backflow preventer. The latter unit inserts a reduced-pressure zone between two check valves as additional protection against backflow.

Pretty much any standard unit will suffice. The Bell & Gossett FB-38 pressure-reducing valve is a decent unit, though others have their favorites. There are several different brands of backflow preventers out there, and they all perform about the same in my experience.

Good to hear from you!
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