Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Payback time for vaporstat vs. pressuretrol?

Options
Keith_13
Keith_13 Member Posts: 21
Set it to one ounce cut in. If you don't want to do the piping calculation, set it at exactly 1 pound cut out initially. If you don't get heat to the furthest radiator, raise it. If you do, lower it. Buyback on the vaporstat? I doubt it.

Comments

  • Charles_8
    Charles_8 Member Posts: 74
    Options
    Estimating fuel savings?

    My 3BR 1.5-story house in far northern Maine has an oil-fired single pipe steam system, including the usual PA404 pressuretrol. It's set to 0.5 psi cutin and 1 psi diff = 1.5 cutout. I have added a good 0-10 psi pressure gauge (to the useless code-required 30 psi one) and rarely do I even see as high as 0.5 psi during a heating cycle; the radiators heat and the thermostat satisfies before the cutout is ever reached.

    So my questions are:

    Could I save enough oil in the winter (close to $3/gal) by changing to the vaporstat to justify the cost (around $175) within a reasonable payback time?

    If so, would 4 oz/sq.in be a good starting setting?

    thanks for any estimates.

    -Charles
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Options
    That's a tough one

    I don't know if anyone's done a savings calc on that changeover. But you should get something, since raising steam pressure just compresses the steam.

    At that price I'd go for it, keep track of your oil consumption in gallons per degree-day, and let us know what you saved.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Options
    If you currently ..

    Rarely see even half a pound (8 ozs.) now, you'd never see enough savings to justify the vaporstat.

    I'd be real careful however in examining the vents! If one vent is weeping even a tad, it mayy be the true cause for the low 1/2 lb. observation(s).

    If you only add water once a month or so in the dead of winter, the system is in excellent condition and tight as hell. If however you add water to the boiler once a week or more in dead-of-winter operation, the reason you never see a pound on the gage is because of system leaks, not what you think...

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Charles_8
    Charles_8 Member Posts: 74
    Options
    It has an automatic feeder

    My boiler has an automatic feeder but I don't know how often it feeds. On rare occasions during heating season I have heard it kick on for a few seconds. It is so infrequent, at least during the day, that the first time I heard it (this winter) I was startled.

    To track consumption, I could shut off the automatic feeder and check the level on the glass each day until adding manually... just how much water (ounces or inches of waterline) should I expect to use on a good tight system?

    I have this year installed new vents on all the radiators currently in use (the spare bedroom and dining rooms are shut off). But the valve packings may need attention. I'll check them closely this fall.

    thanks.
    -Charles
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Options
    Automatic water feeders are a great convenience...

    But have a major shortcoming. Any system leaks are "masked" by its existence; the main reason we urged people NOT to install them. If the boiler operator was an 80-year old widow with a broken hip, of course we always installed an automatic feeder. But almost always explained the dangers of them, and the obligation of the homeowner to at least take a fast look at the boiler whenever theyhad occassion to go downstairs. Washers, dryers and little work-bench areas were used weekly. We always told them the "normal" rates water should be required and since part of any boiler job we did included replacement of all vents and examination of steam valve packing nuts - as well as rust stains from tiny leaks, many would go an entire heating season and only have to add water two or three times.

    Steam boiler life-expectancy is directly proportional to the "tightness" of the system; not just last year. Every year! There is no reason a tight system wouldn't last 30+ years.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
This discussion has been closed.