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Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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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!

Your quote

@ May 20, 2014 1:31 AM in Steam to Hot water

"I was hoping to use the radiation as HW and control each room. 
Regulation on temperature now is opening windows.  I think next step may
be to rip the whole system and use heatpumps ( PTACS )"

tells us you expected our responses to reinforce your original proposal. When they did not, your answer was to rip everything out and install PTACs. Think about it- you asked for our advice, then said you were going to do the exact opposite. What are we supposed to think?

First off, keep the steam

@ May 18, 2014 3:13 PM in Indirect Off Steam Boiler or Condensing High Efficiency Gas Water Tank

and use thermostatic radiator valves in the tenant space to give them some means of control.

A coil-type indirect off the steam boiler will work well as long as all of the coil is below the boiler's water line, and as long as you don't want to bill the tenants' hot water separately. If the tenants have their own gas meter, they should pay for their own hot water. Whether to use a standard tank-type heater or some other type will depend on how much gas the incoming service and meter will handle, also whether there is a safe place to sidewall-vent a unit that cannot use a standard chimney.


@ May 18, 2014 3:04 PM in two devices, one outdoor sensor?

some of the outputs could use a DIP-switch setup to match them to different units. 

I don't recognize the brand

@ May 18, 2014 2:57 PM in ID this steam unit heater

but have seen similar units. You'll probably find an aquastat or pressure switch inside the unit that locks out the fan unless there is heat in the coil.

As far as its capacity, if you can't find a label that shows it, go by the size of the supply pipe. Use the 2-pipe charts in "Lost Art".

What type of Vapor system is this hooked up to?

This really isn't the place to ask

@ May 17, 2014 9:49 PM in Pricing New work

since we don't discuss pricing on this site.

Thanks, Chris

@ May 17, 2014 3:40 PM in Three Recent Steamers

and, if the house where the pool is located has A/C, a "desuperheater" on the A/C system can heat water for the pool. 

Where are you located?

@ May 17, 2014 12:47 PM in Steamhead,Chris

I'm sure someone carries them........

I remember you asking

@ May 16, 2014 10:56 PM in Steamhead,Chris

and that's not bad- in fact, it's a whole lot better than 95% of what we find out there.

The pic isn't as clear as I'd like, so I'm not 100% sure of a couple things.

1- it looks like you have one 2-inch takeoff from the header that tees off in the ceiling to feed two mains. I would have used an individual takeoff for each main, or a 2-1/2" riser from a 2-1/2" header (see #2 below) up to the tee, to keep the velocity down in the takeoffs so there's less chance of pulling water up into them.

2- it looks like the header itself is 2-inch. Even though it isn't mandatory, I would have used a 2-1/2-inch header. This does a better job of drying out the steam by slowing its velocity. 

But as I say, I usually see a lot worse. Even better if this was your first try.

You can control a Vapor system room-by-room

@ May 16, 2014 6:21 PM in Steam to Hot water

same way as you'd do with hot-water: using Thermostatic Radiator Valves and an outdoor control to cycle the burners. It's really not that difficult.

But it occurs to me that you wanted to push the PTAC method all the while, and were never serious about anything else in the first place. If this is true, why did you even bother asking us what we thought?


@ May 15, 2014 9:08 PM in Steam to Hot water

We don't do steam-to-water conversions. Too much liability.

I hope that guy has a good lawyer

@ May 11, 2014 9:27 PM in how prevalent is this?

and a doctor who knows how to diagnose Legionnaires' Disease. Since he knows the risks but is going ahead with this anyway, his expertise and judgement are questionable at best.

And you're right, ME, we don't want to give Dave's cardiologist any extra work.

If you go with Weil-McLain

@ May 11, 2014 4:30 PM in Buderus vs Weil McLain Questions

get the Ultra Oil (UO series) rather than the Gold (WGO). The Gold is a pin-type boiler which is harder to clean. Yes, a modern oil burner should run all year without creating smoke or soot, so little if any cleaning should be needed, but a 3-pass like the Ultra Oil or Buderus is much, much easier to work on.

That Pensotti

@ May 9, 2014 11:12 PM in Oil to gas conversion "direct vent"

probably has a Riello burner on it. I'd check with Riello- they now market a gas conversion burner. 

Our info is here:

@ May 5, 2014 4:40 PM in Help me ballance my 1 pipe steam Please!

Looking forward to hearing from you!
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