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one pipe steam system ,boiler replacement

jarv Member Posts: 10
In my home I have a steam boiler for heat. This is a one pipe steam system,the boiler is old,it was coal fired but has a gas burner now. The boiler is: International Heater Company,Utica,N.Y.mod. No.86, Economy. Gas burner is: Roberts Gordon Appliance Corp. Buffalo,N.Y. burner no.84-X Nat.,seril no.27725M, min. input 45,000,max.210,000.  When the boiler cycles on the burner does not lite/burn at full capacity,but if I hit the gas supply line near the boiler with my hand the burner then flares up to full/ proper flame. Any ideas?  I would like to replace the boiler but i'm not sure  what way to go? cast iron or copper tube? keep one pipe system or go to another  type of heating system? I live in Upstate N.Y,the Finger Lakes Region.  Thank You  for any help or info. jarv.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,889
    Keep the one pipe steam

    but do get the books from this site ("A Steamy Deal") as you may find that your system needs some tuning and maintenance.

    There are a number of very good gas fired boilers out there; the main thing in picking a boiler brand, in my humble opinion, is to get one which is sold and serviced by a local professional whom you like and can deal with, and then make sure that it is installed and piped correctly.

    If you are fortunate, you may find a professional who does steam (try find a pro, on this site).  If not, educating a professional isn't that hard!  And sizing a steam boiler is really easy: it's done on the basis of the installed radiation in the building, not on the building heat loss, so it's a matter of going around and adding up what you have in the way of radiators, and figuring the load from that (the books mentioned above will help with that).

    That old boiler doesn't owe you anything, nor does the burner -- which sounds as though it may have problems anyway.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • heatguy
    heatguy Member Posts: 102
    that depends

    hitting your gas line is more then likely making you gas regulator open more, allowing more gas pressure ,not recommended ever ! if you post pictures we can tell you which way we think you should go,  new steam boiler or system.stay with a wet heat .Warm air heat sucks and blows  don't hit your equipment the reaction could be explosive 
  • jarv
    jarv Member Posts: 10
    jamie , boiler replacement

    Jamie,thank you for your input."A Steamy Deal" is this a new book from Dan? I thought I already had all of his books.{I have 6 that I bought after buying this house} I have some heating experience,scorched air in rv trailers,no wet heat experience. Thank You Again JarvFZ
  • jarv
    jarv Member Posts: 10
    that depends heatguy

    Heat guy thanks for your input. you mentioned photos, what would you like to see? the burner flame prior to rapping pipe? now that mention the regulator that does make sense.I have not put a manometer on to check pres. before and after.   Thanks Again Jarv
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,714
    Here are some photos

    of two of the most efficient gas-fired residential steamers available today. The red one is a Smith G-8, and the blue one is a Slant/Fin Intrepid.

    These boilers use powered gas burners rather than atmospheric ones. Their design gives them roughly 6% better thermal efficiency than the usual atmospheric boilers. They are called "wet-base" boilers since the flame is almost completely surrounded by cast-iron having water on the other side. The G-8 has a Carlin EZ-Gas burner, and the Intrepid has a Midco EC burner.

    If these look like oil-fired boilers, you're right- they can also burn oil. But they're also a great way to heat with gas.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • jarv
    jarv Member Posts: 10
    power burner boiler

    Steamhead,   Thank you  for the photos and info . on efficient boilers.sorry for the delay in responding to your post. I think I will try and nurse one more year out of this old boiler , it does heat very well,just not sure how much longer it will.  Any other comments on this old system,or things to think about for/to add to new replacement system{one pipe steam}  Thank You Again Jarv.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,889
    Only thought I have

    is that while you are nursing the old girl along, might as well spend a little time getting to really know the rest of the system and bringing it right up to snuff!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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