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Not the Usual Failure

SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 9,160Member ✭✭✭
We've been working for this family since before we started All Steamed Up, Inc.- they were customers of my former company. This is the house where the family patriarch lives- he is 97 years young, and the house is 90. The Vapor system was originally Hoffman, possibly with a Differential Loop, but was updated with Illinois F&T traps, air trap and return trap, and Honeywell zone valves. We believe that was done sometime in the 1940s, same time they installed radiation in the converted side porch. We've seen one other Hoffman-to-Illinois system in Baltimore so far, and I suspect there are others.



The boiler was installed in the 1980s, with the usual incompetent piping job. The basement has severe water infiltration issues, which finally rusted out the wet return. But the boiler didn't rot out in a section- one of the section seals near the boiler steam outlet failed. It still kept the house warm thru last season, though.
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All Steamed Up, Inc.
"Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
· ·

Comments

  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 9,160Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2014
    Since we had that lovely 4-inch header

    we decided to keep it. After removing the old boiler and zone valves, we tilted the header the other way. It now pitches down from right to left, instead of left to right.



    That's Gordo in the second pic, showing the piping coming together.
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    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    · ·
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 9,160Member ✭✭✭
    And this is how it worked out

    two 2" mains off a 2-1/2" riser from the header, and one on its own 2" riser. The header at the boiler is 3", and increases to 4" where it meets the old one.



    We had to re-pitch one of the steam mains as it was holding a lot of water. That of course affected how it tied onto the header.



    The boiler is a Slant/Fin Intrepid TR-50, which requires a second 2" riser to the header. It's fired with our usual Carlin EZ-Gas, with an "A" diffuser this time. Still registered 84% on the combustion test print-out.



    The sight glass fittings from the old boiler were in very good shape, so we put them on the Return Trap which had tappings for this purpose. But with the Vaporstat, I doubt that Return Trap will see much action unless the pigtail plugs up.



    The gentleman who lives here enjoyed watching this come together. We set up a chair in the basement so he could sit comfortably.
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    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2014
    Usual Fineness/Crooked Threads:

    You and your guys really know how to screw pipe together. Fun with threads.



    Do you know how to make crooked threads? The 2" drop to the return from the 4" to 2" can be threaded to fall into a perfect plumb and vertical  plane with a crooked thread. You need this die stock and only one like this one:

    https://www.ridgid.com/us/en/65rc-manual-receding-threader



    It HAS to be a receding die stock without "True Centering" with just one lever to center the pipe in the die stock tail piece. It MUST have the single centering screw. With the R-85r-c, you can make any pipe from 1" to 2" crooked, including nipples if you make a backyard nipple holder. You can make nipples from close to whatever size you need or want. In the case of the 2" pipe that connects to the 4"X2" coupling, take a longer piece of 2" with no thread and set the centering collar on the back for past 2". Pick a spot (like a 1/2") past. Set the die stock on the pipe and tighten the centering screw. The pipe is now centered in the threading dies, but crooked in the tail stock. When you start the machine, the handle will osculate from front to back on the tool holder. Because it is not centered on the pipe. But when you take it out of the die stock and put it in the crooked fitting, it will osculate in an arc of whatever you have that is crooked. The reason you use a scrap piece is so that if you didn't make it crooked enough, you can adjust it. Adjust it into a plumb or level plane so that you don't need an offset joint to get it so you can measure and pipe accurately.

    If you use an All In One Power drive, you can't make it. You have to use a die stock that you can fudge up the centering feature. You can make crooked threads with geared threader's if you can slip a washer under a centering bolt. I've done it way back when. I look at your fantastic piping jobs in envy. I loved threading screw pipe. Unfortunately, where I worked, threading pipe was something that few did. Too complicated and who they learned from, didn't know how or had a power drive. Besides, why screw pipe when you could use 2" Type M Copper. Every boiler I ever did was in screw pipe.

    If you want to know how to make back yard nipple holders so you can make your own nipples for that one nipple you don't have and don't want to make a trip back to the shop or the supply house, ask.

    It is said: You can't keep it unless you give it away.
    · ·
  • Just put in a TR-60 a month ago.....

    but had to pay large shipping fees and quite a premium for the boiler, since the local rep doesn't stock them and sees no need to be competitive.  The Slantfin Intrepid has the lowest waterline of any power burner type  boiler I could find, which is why I used it instead of my standard Peerless EC or SC.   I had only 38 Inches above the floor to the lowest dry return....leaving a maximum operating pressure of only 7 ounces.  It replaced a grossly oversized and incorrectly piped Peerless 62.  I got 82.5 % combustion efficiency firing at 300,000 and 9.5% CO2 with the Midco EC300's I use.  The EZ-gas seems to get slightly better numbers.
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert





    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
    · ·
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 9,160Member ✭✭✭
    Good eye

    but it's not as bad as the camera makes it look. This was taken with my 14-year-old Casio, which has been known to make things look off-plumb in the past. I haven't replaced the Casio because the new ones are so much smaller, they don't fit my hands well. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    · ·
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 9,160Member ✭✭✭
    How about

    posting some pictures? 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,460Member ✭✭✭
    Gordo

    Another beautiful install! However, I do see you're getting sneaky with the placement of the wrench in the classic Gordo picture.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
  • GordoGordo Posts: 391Member ✭✭
    edited August 2014
    I'm not sure

    but I suppose it's hard to be sneaky with a 4 foot pipe wrench ;-).



    The one I'm holding is named "Skuld".  Our other 4 footer is named "Stewart".



    Thank you for the praise and kind words.
    · ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,460Member ✭✭✭
    Wow

    I didn't even notice the wrench you were holding. For some reason my eyes caught the other one standing in the corner and that's why I thought it was sneaky. Because you're normally holding it.



    Sorry, slow moment.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    · ·
  • TechmanTechman Posts: 2,056Member ✭✭✭
    Pipe wrench's

    I gotta ask, what's the difference between "Skuld" and "Stuart" ?
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    Good Eyes:

    If I did that, you would have noticed it too.

    Its because it is the only thing in the whole piping array that isn't plumb and square to the rest of the piping. Some unknowing person off the street will see it instantly. They don't know what's wrong, just that something isn't right.



    Parallel measurements and the Square Root of 2 (1.414) are a pipefitters best friends.
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    Difference:

    One's for the left side and the other is for the right side.
    · ·
  • GordoGordo Posts: 391Member ✭✭
    "Stewart"

    Is named in honor of Robert Stewart (sorry for my misspelling earlier) of Stewart Plumbing.



    We bought it on e-bay from his son, who very kindly sent us a picture of his Dad holding that very same wrench. 



    That picture is now resting to the left of my computer monitor.



    We promised him that we would use his wrench with honor and with pride.



     
    · ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2014
    Wrenches:

    So, "Stewart" is the left hand wrench. The Skuld wrench is the right hand one.

    You always use two wrenches. One goes on the left side and the other on the right side.
    · ·
  • RobGRobG Posts: 1,541Member ✭✭✭
    Good times

    That 97 year old gentleman probably had more fun watching you two craftsman do your magic than he has had in a long time. I'm sure it brought back memories of dead men and he was sad to see you finish.



    Rob
    · ·
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