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.

Critique Our Work

Long Beach Ed
Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,143
The hardest part of this job was working in the he--hole crawlspace that was only 5'-3" tall.  It was rather hot in there to say the least.   Absolutely no fun.

This Burnham replaced a SEVEN section Dunkirk Series 8 oil boiler which fed a 1-1/2" header.  Hopelessly oversized.  Thankfully, it gained us some headroom. 

The Dunkirk had been installed in 1975 and endured its 35 years well.  The sections were still in perfect condition and its 8" top nipple design produced quite dry steam in light of the poor piping arrangement. 

Steam quality was crucial to this job.  The house had two horrible 1-1/2" mains, one of which served 295' of radiators.  To lessen the load, 120' of those were transferred to a new third main.  There are two risers from the boiler serving a 3" dropped header.  The equalizer is two inch.  Just about every fitting and part we use is American made.  Wish I could get a Steam Y. 

We would have loved to do more work on the system side of things, such as relocating some vents, changing pitch on some pipes, but the owner preferred not to do that.  All the returns, which were leaking badly, were replaced.   With all that iron hanging at the ceiling, the basement would have been 150 degrees without the insulation.  The pipe wrap was delivered in three days from <a href="http://buyinsulationproducts.com/">http://buyinsulationproducts.com/</a>

The job system now operates very well and should save the owner money for several future decades.

The job's in New York's Nassau County.  We're licensed in New York City and most of Long Island's villages. 

Pass along some criticism and suggestions.  We'd love to hear from you gentlemen.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,997
    Looks good!

    and we'll be interested in how their BTU consumption drops.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • That's beautiful piping work...

    the only things I would add (if budget allows) is a full set of blowdown and cleaning valves and moving the pressure gage to the/a  pigtail.  Full port ball valves on the wet return, bottom of boiler, gage glass, skim port and chemical  feed port make maintenance and startup alot easier.  Also, something I learned along the way, is when you take the take offs from header, if you start with a full size tee on the header and then reduce higher up, you have alot less chance of pulling water up into your piping from the bottom of the header. This, however, is taking things to the ultimate.   

     Is that a 140 or 175.000 input?  I expect to be putting one in next week or so to replace the current 360 input Weil LG.  My usual Slant Fin Galaxy choices were either too large 200,000 input or too small at 160,000 input and the Intrepid with power burner would have been too noisy ( Gotta see about adapting a Mod con burner to this boiler).
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,143
    edited August 2010

    It's a five section Burnham which is 140,000 BTU. 

    The header is 3" with 2" takeoffs to 1-1/2" mains. 

    We keep blowdowns valves, etc, off the customers' work and even cap the hose cocks to prevent them scolding themselves.   Instead, we use brass plugs and caps. 

    Our liability is reduced or tremendously eliminated when a homeowner must swing a tool before they hurt themselves.

    Thanks for the kind words, Steamhead and Bpro. 
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,058
    Thats a very nice install!

    I love the header work! Especially the angled takeoffs. Thats not that easy to do and you made it look very pretty!
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,143
    Thank you

    Thank you Gerry.  As you surely know, we broke our a--es on this one.  That place was a cave!  The compliment means much coming from you.  
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,143
    Make - Up Water

    Now the customer would like us to install a float low water cut off as a backup to the probe. 

    How do we do this when Burnham requires no more than 2 gallons of fresh water added per year?  

    We'll check water quality for salts, PH and all that, but this area's generally not a problem. 

    Two gallons per year??? 
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,058
    where the heck

    did burnham get that number from?
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,143
    I guess...

    ...they rolled the dice? 
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,143
    edited August 2010

    They describe the number as  2% of the water volume of the boiler per month. 

    We just wish they would explain how we can use a float low water cutoff and meet these requirements.  We can't get an answer from them. 

    Their concern is real, and we sympathize with the water quality problem but not everyone's feeding these boilers salt water.

    Goodness, there's a Jubilee next door from 1965 that hasn't been eaten up by the water so water quality doesn't seem to be an issue here. 
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Test the Water?

    The boiler water situation sounds like a typical " Catch 22"!  Just a thought, you might want to contact Rhomar Water Management.  http://www.rhomarwater.com/products/residential-steam-system/

    Give them a call and see what they think. You might get the water tested and get a written recommendation from them just to cover yourself.

    As I'm not a steam pro, I don't critique a pro's work, but even to an amateur it looks like a very nice piping job! 

    - Rod
  • HenryT
    HenryT Member Posts: 128
    Long Beach Ed

    Hi. Im in nassau county. Could you please tell me how I can find you? I can't seem to locate you under "find a professional".

    I need help on my steam system.

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,143

    I've passed along some contact information to you by email, though you should call some of the listed plumbing firms on this site first.  There are a few great guys who are supporters of the HeatingHelp website.  They are the best in the business.  We don't take on much residential work and limit most of our practice to New York City.  - Ed 
This discussion has been closed.