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Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on April 23, 2014

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This is a candidate

@ March 3, 2014 10:08 AM in What's wrong with this?

for the Darwin Awards.

You can't fix stupid!

We use them

@ March 2, 2014 8:47 PM in Will expansion and contraction cycles of a radiator mar the tile the radiator sits on?

all the time. Never had a problem. 

Which model

@ March 2, 2014 8:08 PM in New Gas Conversion

was this?

Add to that

@ March 2, 2014 7:56 PM in Beating a dead horse.

Columbia, whose CI boilers are supplied by Utica. On Weil-McLain boilers it depends on who you talk to.

But I'd go ahead and convert it- if done right you won't have a problem.

That main vent

@ March 2, 2014 11:19 AM in Vapor System

is probably a Hoffman #11. The best replacement is a Gorton #2.

B&J or Tunstall cage units/capsules will work in those traps. Be sure to get the right ones. Don't forget the crossover traps at the ends of the steam mains. If one main is longer than the other or is a larger pipe size, replace its crossover trap with a B&J #122A so it will vent out faster.

It depends on the chimney

@ March 1, 2014 8:24 PM in Eliminateing a GVD-6 Damper

If the chimney is fairly modern, it probably doesn't build up a lot of draft in the first place. This would limit the off-cycle losses if the damper is not used, since it might not pull much air thru the boiler to cool it down when the burner is off.

But you have a steam system, which means your chimney was probably built before World War 2, and would have originally had a coal-fired boiler. Coal-fired boilers needed a lot more draft than oil- or gas-fired ones, because you had to pull the air thru a bed of coal. This level of draft can cool down a gas or oil boiler fairly quickly after it shuts off, so the damper would be much more effective in this situation.

Field does market a replacement motor for your damper. I don't remember the part number but one could call them up.

Who, exactly

@ March 1, 2014 8:13 PM in Beating a dead horse.

told you that?

I have

@ March 1, 2014 8:08 PM in Short Cycling

almost all of them were Trane, in which the orifices were cast into the convector elements. There's a neighborhood just north of Baltimore that's full of them. 


@ February 28, 2014 10:18 PM in New Gas Conversion

is so predictable.

Even after I posted pictures of conversions we did that passed inspection (and we have NEVER had one that didn't), he hasn't changed his tune.

Is this an example of "being in denial"?

The answer changes

@ February 28, 2014 10:09 PM in Beating a dead horse.

seemingly according to who you talk to.

There really is no technical or safety-related reason it won't work, if a current-model burner such as the Carlin EZ-Gas is used. What model Burnham was this?

And, anyone want to start a pool on when the consistent naysayer shows up in this thread? I'll take Monday morning, when Burnham's offices open again.................

Can't remember

@ February 26, 2014 11:53 PM in Proper AFG head?

it's been a while. We don't see too many Hagos around here- Sid's packed up and left, and R.E. Michel no longer carries Hagos.

Gorton #2 main vents

@ February 26, 2014 11:36 PM in Two pipe Steam with no traps

will outperform those Hoffmans. 

There actually is (or was)

@ February 26, 2014 9:48 AM in Proper AFG head?

a Hago "B" nozzle, but it's pretty rare.

And if someone is just going by the color of the cap, that's pretty pathetic...............

One way that can happen

@ February 26, 2014 9:46 AM in Proper AFG head?

is if they supply a burner with the wrong nozzle in it. This happens more frequently than one might think. But the installer is still at fault even though it came like that from the factory- because they didn't check it before putting it in. 

Icy, the 66 series

@ February 25, 2014 5:30 PM in New burner for oil fired Weil McClain steam boiller

originally came with the ABC 45CU burner- a sootmaker if there ever was one. The diagram is over on OTT on the Just for Teks page, and it looks like what you're describing. I've replaced a bunch of these things too.

But I get good results from the Blue Angel burners.

So what advice would you give

@ February 23, 2014 10:54 PM in Adding automatic vent damper to old cast iron boiler?

if this was a steam boiler?


@ February 23, 2014 10:48 PM in Short Cycling

on convectors like this, the trap is either installed at the convector's return connection, or it's installed in the basement under the floor. I'd bet on the latter since I didn't see one in your convector pics. See if you can locate a trap or two, and post pics of them.

If there are no traps, you have an Orifice system. Let us know.

The Redflash boiler

@ February 23, 2014 10:31 PM in Help with Steam Efficiency

is a three-pass unit designed for coal firing. So the flue passages inside the boiler are fairly large. This was needed for coal, but NOT for oil or gas firing.

The old oil-burner guys used to put baffles in these big passages to slow down the hot flue gases and make them rub the cast-iron better. This procedure was especially popular during the fuel shortages of World War 2. Without the baffles, the hot gases would stay in the middle of the flue passages and the heat would go right up the chimney.

I've done baffling too, when a complete boiler replacement wasn't going to happen for whatever reason. I'd bet your boiler has no baffles, which is contributing to its prodigious fuel consumption. But even a standard atmospheric steam boiler (to say nothing of a power-burner wet-base type) would be much more efficient than that Redflash, so I'd recommend you replace it.


@ February 20, 2014 7:58 PM in New burner for oil fired Weil McClain steam boiller

a Wayne model HS burner, otherwise known as the Blue Angel. Like the Carlin, Riello, Beckett AFG with L- and V-heads and the Sunray burners, the head is adjustable. If the head is out of adjustment, properly tuning it will be very difficult.

These aren't bad burners if set up right. You can find the manuals online. Looks to me like you need a better service organization.

Once again

@ February 19, 2014 11:44 PM in How to vent oil

you can't fix stupid!

Once again

@ February 19, 2014 11:44 PM in How to vent oil

you can't fix stupid!

Best way


is not to convert it at all- unless you like living dangerously.

A conversion will raise the system's operating pressure over ten times. This WILL uncover any weak points in the piping and radiators, causing leaks which may damage the building.

Also, any given radiator on hot-water will only give off roughly 2/3 of the heat it will deliver with steam. The ability to use smaller radiators for the same heat load was one of steam's many advantages. If you convert, you run the risk of not being able to heat the building during really cold weather.

And if you plan to use a condensing boiler, it will not condense in all but the mildest weather, since you have to get the radiators so hot to provide any heat at all.

Keep the steam and use thermostatic radiator valves. It's just as effective, and a LOT less risky and expensive.
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