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Steam system replacement

Brad White
Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
1. As you stated, your boiler is at least based on actual radiation. I assume it is as close a selection as you can get.

2. Check the returns. Given that the condensate has been dumped for so long means that the returns have seen lots of raw water. The steam lines themselves may not have fared much better but had a chance to dry out now and again. I would recommend a good long cleaning and consider replacing the returns. "Guilty until proven innocent" as Dan Himself points out. Plus you have the ongoing water feed issue on top of that.

3. I would go with a duplex vacuum pump and receiver. Given that the first remained dead for so long tells me that maintenance is not their strong-suit. If a simplex failed they will be back to dumping condensate and adding raw water. Downward spiral.

4. Running 3 PSI is bad enough. A good vacuum draw will help fuel consumption greatly. Check for any vents which may have been installed to "correct" condensate return when the VP went south.

I am not familiar with the Bock line but indirects with their storage are to me good insurance against running out. Storage can compensate for lower generating capacity.

I am sure others will have more detail, this is just a quick view from here. My proverbial $0.02.
"If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

-Ernie White, my Dad


  • Sam G._2
    Sam G._2 Member Posts: 17

    OK, this one is so out of reality, I need confirmation. This is a 30 unit apt. house. Condominium (so they don’t want to spend any money, but I have told them that they don’t have any choice. Cost of fuel Vs. replacing the system in the middle of the winter.)

    Boiler has tag on it saying “10 section 86 series”
    Oil fired 18GPH Approx. 6800 sq. ft. steam 1976
    Some sections have been replaced over the years
    Boiler only has 9 sections Jacket is original
    Burner firing 9.5GPH Walking away with heating load 3PSI
    Vacuum condensate tank “dead” for 2 years
    All return water dumping into pit
    Domestic hot water from 2 tankless coils
    (1 other plated off) Insufficient hot water at times
    Measured radiation approx. 2300 sq. ft. total
    30 one bedroom apts. @ 76 sq. ft.
    TEKMAR outside weather control
    approx. 15,000 gal #2 fuel oil per year
    (heat plus hot water)

    My proposal included a new boiler (8GPH 2800 sq. ft. steam), simplex vacuum tank, and 2 BOCK 71E heaters.

    Question: Why am I still nervous and should I consider an indirect water heater off of the boiler?
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