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New Boiler Install Results

4Barrel Member Posts: 125
Here are pics from my recent install. The new boiler is up and working, just in time for the chilly fall temps.

I'd like to acknowledge the assistance I've received, in particular from Steamhead, Rod and NBC, among others.

I still have issues to resolve though, which I will describe later, but I am now operating from the basis of a boiler that isn't constantly leaking, and with the input I've gotten here, made some improvements that will hopefully help resolve my other issues.

The first three pics are before (first pic) and after (second two pics) of the boiler. The most significant change here is the addition of the drop header. My EDR modeling indicated that I could use the same model Dunkirk, so I was able to reuse much of the existing piping, after careful disassembly and cleaning, which saved on expense. Thanks to both Steamhead and Rod for their advice here.

The next two pics show the Near Boiler Returns, Before and After. I reoriented the new boiler such that the access panel is better positioned for serviceability, something the prior installer had not considered. This allowed me to simplify the return setup and gives more room around the boiler. More significantly, per Steamhead's advice, I separated the returns for each main, and tied them together below the waterline.

The next two pics show the Main Venting Before and After. I installed new Gorton vents for each main (a Gorton #2 and 2 #2's), replacing the old single, and overworked, Hoffman 75.

Next are pics that show the Boiler Flue Before & After. I added a Tjerlund D-3 draft inducer to assist with positive ventilation of combustion gases. The issue here is the system has a chimney pipe 2" smaller than recommended by Dunkirk. I consulted with a chimney expert and a HVAC engineer and the D-3 was the best option. It's pretty slick: once all other conditions are satisfied, and the boiler vent is open, the D-3 turns on and pre vents the flue, only then the boiler fires. At the end of a cycle, the D-3 stays on to "post" vent. You can program different pre and post times based on the situation.

The next pic shows that I also added a vaporstat, and low pressue gauge. Will eventually install the pressuretrol as a high limit. And, I installed a new VXT low water feeder, so I would be able to measure how much water the new boiler is taking on - an issue that lead to the demise of its predecessor.

The next pic shows that I also added a radiator vent test station - Thanks to NBC for inspiring this idea. I found a box of "old" 1A vents and after a good cleaning, was able to validate their operation. this saved me a couple hundred bucks on new rad vents. And I've eliminated that as contributing factor to remaining issues.

On first turn up, the new boiler fired up nicely. I removed all the radiator vents, and validated that I was getting steam to each one. I then closed the rad valves, and removed the (new) main vents to make sure my returns weren't clogged. I then tested the LWCO, water feeding and flue venting. I ran into some wiring issues, but Dunkirk and Tjerlund support were both great.

After testing, cleaning and reinstalling all the rad vents, I now have somewhat equivalent, perhaps a little better, heating performance compared to the old system (when it was working). Generally, the system is quiet - only a little, very mild, hammer at one rad on initial steam start up.

But the system was slow to heat before and still is. The main difference is that there is consistency across the radiators in their time to heat, with the exception of 2 rads that are very close to one of the mains. One odd outcome is that I seem to be steaming at very low pressure; the new gauge hardly bounces off a few ozs.

Next Steps:

- Evaluate the "hot" rads: See the pic labeled "in boiler room"

Piping for the two rads that are getting fast heat is very close to a main - pretty much a straight shot from the boiler room to the second story. Perhaps reworking this piping might be an approach.

- Dry return drips: Lost Art talks about using loop seals or float traps on the dry returns. See the pic labeled as such for a typical drip to one of my dry returns. I wonder if these drips should be altered.

- Relocate Main vents. Before I do anything else though, I am going to relocate the new main vents to the ends of the mains. Steamhead suggested this, but I hesitated, as I wanted to see if locating the new vents on the returns would solve my slow heating issue (and besides, it was easier). Now, I'm convinced I need to make this change. I believe that if I vent at these locations, the steam won't have to push the air in the mains all the way through the runouts, to the drips and back through the dry return piping. And maybe since I am not venting the segment with the "hot" rads, the steam will be coaxed instead towards where there is more demand. See the attached pics for where I propose to install the main vents in three locations. I could use some input on their orientation. I am also wondering if I should still place smaller vents in the dry returns where I currently have the new vents installed.

Lastly, after relocating the vents, I'll be re-insulating all the mains and runouts.

As always, input and suggestions are welcome and appreciated. I couldn't have gotten this far without the folks on the wall and all the great info on the heating help site! THANK YOU!

Now I'm off to perform the first skim!


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