Joined on December 1, 2002
Last Post on February 18, 2014
@ February 18, 2014 11:32 PM in Kickstart THIS!1) Hi-Lo firing in all size models.
2) Accurate low pressure transducers in place of pressuretrols or even Vaporstats with direct digital read-outs of actual system pressures.
3) A high temperature sensor in the flue gas stream to shut down boiler to prevent dry-firing in the event of LWCO failure.
4) Sightglasses with ALL brass components and proper blow-down valves.
5) A main vent with twice the venting as a Gorton #2.
6) An affordable single pipe steam TRV.
7) 3 small tube cast iron radiators made in the USA.
8) Affordable firing cycle/outdoor reset t-stat (as others have said above)
9) Add an O2 sensor in the flue gas stream, combine with the temperature sensor above add a processor (from an I-phone app) and get real time combustion efficiency...
Dream on, I guess.
@ January 30, 2014 8:06 PM in Radiator steam trap life expectancy.of "value engineering", I'm starting to see and hear references to 10 years or 100,000 cycles in regards to design life-span goals for heating parts at least. If the item in question doesn't last for 10 years...oh well, we tried. I seem to remember Dan H. talking about a 5 year life expectancy for steam traps.
Of course, if the all steam is condensed by the radiator before it gets to the trap, it will never cycle and it will last for 80+ years.
@ January 30, 2014 4:35 PM in Radiator Valvesare your discs? I have a few on hand for some of the Websters type "B". 0.92" od x 0.25" id x 0.25" thick.
@ January 30, 2014 4:30 PM in Radiator Valvessells rebuild kits for many Webster valves that may allow you to fix 'em without pulling that radiator spud or even removing the valve body. The only hard part would be removing the bonnet itself without distorting the valve body.
Give Jason a call at 1-800-423-5578
@ January 16, 2014 8:07 PM in Opinion on conversion from oil to natural gasDo not feed the troll.
Some boiler manufacturers have approved their oil-fired designed boilers to run on gas burners. A few manufacturers will say yes and no, depending on who answers the phone.
There is, so far as I know, no good engineering reason why any oil fired boiler in good condition cannot be converted to run safely and efficiently on gas. It has been done thousands and thousands of times.
For reasons which can be guessed at, Burnham has taken the position that they will actively oppose any gas conversion on their oil fired boilers. Period. NO good reason given.
They have put pressure on gas burner manufacturers to make it difficult to get gas burners to convert their equipment. It also seems they have contacted many Inspectors to be on the look-out for those who dare to convert a Burnham. They are indeed on the look-out for any contractor who dares to order a Megasteam without a burner and will refuse to ship such orders if they guess it will be used with gas.
Perhaps they are doing this so they can say to oil companies that if they install a Magasteam in a customer's home, that is one boiler that will not be able to be converted to gas legally.
Given this, it is not too far out of the realm of possibility that they would hire trolls, too.
@ January 13, 2014 4:07 PM in This is interestingSaying they were updating their web site and their certificate would be valid in a few days.
Just got off the phone after ordering two units. Very pleasant to deal with, they were.
The warning only seems to pop up when trying to complete an order, not when just visiting the site.
@ January 11, 2014 10:46 PM in This is interestingBut Firefox said the site was not trustworthy.
@ January 11, 2014 11:40 AM in Do you need to have a trap before a Boiler feed tank with wet returnsIt sounds like you are doing all the right things. My apologies to you if I sounded churlish.
You may try and flush the wet returns. If you can, run a hose to each end, remove the main vents and put on a hose fitting. If you can, open the wet returns at the boiler end and verify they are indeed flowing clear.
I can't see what you see, so I don't know if that is possible. It may not be due to piping or clearance issues.
Just a weird theory I've got...maybe when the old boiler dry fired, it somehow caused a chunk of sludge to be baked hard inside the temporally-no-longer-wet returns.
@ January 11, 2014 10:42 AM in Do you need to have a trap before a Boiler feed tank with wet returnsThe condensate returned via gravity only.
That WM rep is giving you VERY unsound advice.
Is there water hammer? Gurgling at the radiators? Spitting air vents? None of these things should be tolerated. Something killed that old boiler. It may now being trying to kill your new one.
@ January 2, 2014 9:25 PM in Dumb Like a Foxhard to believe in this story is that Mr. Frugal even thinks about signing the Pro's contract.
Usually they get thrown out and Mr. Frugal goes back to searching Craig's List.
The Craigulites usually don't show up. Or worse, they do.
@ December 9, 2013 9:40 PM in Atmospheric out, Power Burner into put the pressuretrols as high as possible to keep them out of the muck. Weil-Mclain likes, for reasons we cannot fathom, to call for mounting the controls on the front with 1/2" steel fittings just above the boiler's water line.
We have always thought this is radically unsound!
@ December 9, 2013 9:29 PM in Atmospheric out, Power Burner inworks very well to help keep the uniform from getting too grubby.
Along with the suspenders, it also adds to the "old fashioned" professional look.
Thanks for the comments!
@ December 9, 2013 9:13 PM in MegaSteaming by the riverand questions. It helps us learn, too!
There is not a close-up picture of the sightglass blowdown valve we added ( it is from Dahl), but in order to put it on without using a 1/4"street 45 ell, we ground off the unused door lug for clearance. It just makes it, but there is much better flow.
In the past, we've brought out the sightglass fittings with extended nipples and tees to clear the door. In this case, the support column was in the way.
While it was certainly convenient for running the electric wiring, that column caused a few problems positioning the boiler, as well as blocking the sightglass.
@ November 17, 2013 12:41 PM in Steam System Rescue at the Baltimore Rescue MissionThe instructions call for the pressure control tree to be mounted from a tapping on the front of the boiler.
We think that is radically unsound!
It is too close to the waterline and the 1/2" pipe and fittings supplied are more likely to get filled with rust and sludge rendering the controls inoperative.
As an aside, Washington D.C. codes require all steam piping 1" and under to be sch. 40 brass! That may be going a bit far, and it still does not answer the issue of sludge.
We therefore mount the pressure controls off of a top tapping and above the active waterline.
@ October 15, 2013 10:49 PM in Webster Sylphon steam trapI don't have any that I know of that show the 20* delta T (more or less) across a good trap. Sorry.
Have you gotten new parts for that trap?
@ October 7, 2013 6:31 PM in Webster Sylphon steam trapusually require the seat to be removed, if it is indeed removable. When the seat is removed, often there is a bushing included in the kit to match the existing trap seat threads with the Tunstall unit.
If one was rebuilding a Sarco 1/2" H pattern trap with the Tunstall product, a bushing would not be needed, for the Tunstall unit threads directly in to where the old seat was removed (1/2" x 20 tpi).
If one has the joy of rebuilding a Trane B series trap, you could run into a beast that either has a removable seat and bellows, a removable seat & non removable bellows, a non-removable seat & non-removable bellows...etc. etc....take your pick.
When one runs into the non-removable seat type, the Tunstall product for that trap looks like the Barnes & Jones type of trap repair kit, namely a spring-loaded device and (all too often) a whole new cap to buy as an extra.
Some spring loaded kits can be used with the old seat in place (they usually are restrictive in output, however), but most kits require the seat to be removed.
The FLIR often picks up a blown trap. It depends on the emissivity of the outer covering and that can throw off the measurements.
When it does, it's easier to sell a trap rebuild, because most customers can see it, too.
Many folks, unless the trap is spraying water & steam or burst into flames and speaking in tongues, tend not to believe their traps have failed open.
@ October 5, 2013 9:41 PM in Webster Sylphon steam trapAnd say it looks close to the Webster 512 series of traps. If you can get the old seat out (it should need a 1" hex socket) the threads on the seat should be 13/16" by 18 tpi. and a 1/4" hole.
The element should come out, but you may have to work at it, as it will come out in pieces.
Tunstall should have replacement parts for most Webster series traps. Don't forget to order the special Tunstall tool to insert the replacement part (nominal cost).
Say hi to Woody Tunstall for me.
@ August 1, 2013 4:55 PM in Sweating for our MoneyON their V9 series boilers offers pre-cut channel steel riders (as an extra) for making installation easier. And it's in their manual.
It most certainly does work.
@ August 1, 2013 4:47 PM in Sweating for our MoneyMakes a considerable effort to enlighten their installer customers as to proper boiler near boiler piping. They have no reps or stocking distributors in Maryland, unfortunately.
Their excellent "The Color of Steam" books come to mind.
Weil-McClain and their boiler-on-wheels piped in glass is another example which must be mentioned.
Burnham and their little (free) heating booklet does a reasonable job of getting info to their installers.
By contrast, Smith doesn't appear to give a hoot.
@ August 1, 2013 4:35 PM in Sweating for our MoneyWe didn't have to make any major allowances for the height the return piping. It was coming in below the min. water level so we could keep it a wet return, slope it and drain it properly and have few issues returning through the Hartford loop.
Thank you for your question and happy steaming!
@ July 25, 2013 7:18 PM in Sweating for our MoneySpell out IN WRITING threaded sch. 40 pipe for their steam boilers.
They are very coy about it, at the very least.
@ July 22, 2013 5:51 PM in Sweating for our MoneyAs with all of our installlations, a proper sightglass blowdown valve is added for testing and cleaning.
Also, the brass-coated steel sightglass gasket washers are replaced with proper brass washers.
The return piping into the boiler is a cast iron tee and the nipple is sch. 80/extra heavy to tolerate the corrosion in that area.
The "boiler drain" as supplied is scrapped and replaced with a full-port valve.