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Made a vdeo of a steamer job I did.

Hey Guys, I've been around here for a few years now, and want to share a recent job I did with y"all. I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, and even criticism you have about this job. I made a video while I was doing the job, and posted it on youtube. The video is about 20min long, condensensed down from a job that took me 11hrs to complete. My comments about this job are adressed in the discription of the youtube video I posted. Please take the time to check it out. This board and "sensai" Dan, have been a great help to me over the years. I have attended Some of Dan's classes, bought several of his books and he is a real insperation to me in my quest to master the lost art of steam heating. Here are the youtube links of my install.

hvacdude in Detroit.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE0sxyukueo">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE0sxyukueo

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP9XbAl-ZVM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP9XbAl-ZVM</a>

Comments

  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,693Member
    A few things.

    The header looks like it's going to be a future problem. You have the supply coming off on the run of the equalizer tee. The equalizer should be the last line on the header. The supply tee is now bullheaded and has what you could consider a drip leg on it. I foresee water pooling up in that "skim port" and causing dead, or noisy steam later on during the mid cycles.



    You mentioned that you should have put a skim port right off the boiler supply tapping. That would have been ideal. The way you skimmed it probably didn't do a whole lot. First, you shouldn't fully steam the boiler while skimming; just get it hot. And all of that steam can't be good for the basement or the home-owner's psyche. Secondly, since the equalizer drop was piped before the main supply rise, all of the dirty water that should have been skimmed out, just went right back down to the return.



    You said that you piped the boiler to manufacturer's specifications, but if you compare the piping diagram that you had in the first video to your finished project, they are not the same.



    You also found it important to mention how much money you made, and how little time you spent on the job, so your motivations are pretty clear. I'll trade time and money for a proper system any day.
  • hvacduderickhvacduderick Posts: 9Member
    Thanks JStar

    Thanks, JStar . I'll remember your advice on the next one. That main was low. Keeping the 24" spec for the water line put the header really close to the main. That drawing I made was put together with no measurements from the actual job, I didn't have the phsyical space to pipe it the way I wanted to and keep the 24" water line spec. It screwed me up. Luckily, the boiler runs quiet. As for me mentioning how long the job took and how much I made, that was for the sake of an ending to my video. Nobody in this biz. wants to make a decent amount of money in a reasonable amount of time. My real motivation of the ending of that video was so people could see the bumper stickers on the back of my van, lol. Thanks again. You tought me someting.
  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Posts: 1,739Member
    edited September 2010
    Let's Stick to Steam

    Dude, Thanks for taking the time to make the video and for sharing it on the wall!  In the first video, you told the home owner that he should have drained the boiler very week.  That should be corrected to flushing the LWCO and perhaps the mud leg every week.  The boiler definitely should not be drained every week.

    The subject of steam heat, with all of it's amazing engineering innovations and system idiosyncracies make this a great place to discuss something that we all enjoy, and for the most part agree upon.



    Another great thing about the wall is the total lack arguing about politics and religion.   
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
    http://grandviewdavenport.com
  • hvacduderickhvacduderick Posts: 9Member
    I get your point, Dave

    Since the LWCO is electroinic there is no way to flush that. I told the owner to drain a bucker of water out of each boiler drain once a week. I guess it did sound like I was saying to drain the whole boiler. I'm going back there soon to replace a couple of radiators. I'll make sure he understands what I ment. Thanks for pointing that out. The whole reason for me posting the video was to learn more from you guys. I'm learning steam as I get the work. I don't have anyone to teach me. Just my books, this fourm and other service guys I meet at the supply house. I'm more into service, but I have been installing 6 or 7 steamers every winter for the last 5 or 6 yrs. Some of the stuff I run into is older than me ! ( I'm 49yrs old). I really do enjoy the work and not running away from stuff I don't understand. I am always trying to learn as much as I can about the types of steam systems I run into. I also get your message about sticking to steam on the forum. I'll keep my Libertarian rhetoric on my facebook page.

    Thanks, Dave
  • hvacduderickhvacduderick Posts: 9Member
    another way to skim it...

    would be to do it at the relief tap. I'm going back to replace radiators, I'll skim it like that when I go back. I know how to tell when the system is clean, the water should not surge into the top of the sight glasss.  Boiler runs quiet. I'm sure he would have called me if it was knocking.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,365Member
    edited September 2010
    Another problem I see

    is that your equalizer is piped into the header before the steam takeoff. This can cause the moving steam to act like a jet pump and pull water up higher in the equalizer than it should be.



    If your mains are lower than you'd like, the proper solution is a drop header. The drop header is also easier to pipe since you have a swing joint at either end of your horizontals. It's also not a bad idea to make the header one size larger than specified, to slow the steam down more and separate the water out more easily. I've attached pics of similar boilers I've installed to show what I mean. These were all done before we started our company; nowadays we'd install wet-base power-burner units for their better efficiency.



    Finally, I'm not sure what the laws are in your area, but in Baltimore we would have had to have the asbestos removed by a licensed asbestos contractor.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • hvacduderickhvacduderick Posts: 9Member
    A drop header did cross my mind...

    I've never done one, but I have read about them and seen examples. That center picture you posted looks pretty simple. Thats great advice, thank you. As far as the asbestose goes... this job was for a friend of a friend. The city doesnt know about it. I told the guy how much $ I wanted and he paid for all the materials. I hid the truck behind the house when I did the job. Inspectors drive around looking to bust ya. If the job was for a regular customer I would have let the city know. I think i'll be alright on this one. It heats up quick, dosen't knock, doesn't surge, doesn't short cycle on low water or pressure (set at 2lbs). Hope nobody here "narcs" on me. You guy's wouldn't do that, right ?
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,365Member
    On the center one

    we moved the boiler closer to the chimney so the chimney connector wouldn't be so long. The old boiler sat right next to the water heater. So the risers to the steam mains ended up on the left side of the boiler instead of the right. We reversed the header direction and ran the return line around back to the tapping.



    Try a drop header on your next job. It's great not to have to fight the piping together, and it handles expansion and contraction better. For more drop header pics, go here and check out them all:



    http://www.heatinghelp.com/article-categories/164/Steam-Piping



    I doubt anyone here would rat you out, but realize that anyone can access this board- even inspectors.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • hvacduderickhvacduderick Posts: 9Member
    ratted out

    Yeah, I took the video down. Have to edit out a couple things.
  • hvacduderickhvacduderick Posts: 9Member
    A couple questions about dropped headers.

    Using that center pic you posted as a guide. Would the min. height from the water line be measured from the top pipes (going across the top of the boiler) or from the pipe that ties into the main ( the horiz. pipe, towards the back of the boiler)  ?

     The equalizer always comes off the end of the dropped pipe and, the steam supply comes after the point where the two pipes feed into the horiz. header, right ?

     Also, am I to use an eccentric coupling on the equalizer connection, at the horiz. header ? I thought I read that some where. I remember reading that eccentric couplings are hard to find too. Does it really matter ?

    The next job I post here, I want to be just perfect. You guys are very observant. Thats a good thing.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my posts, Steamhead.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,365Member
    edited September 2010
    Answers

    "Would the min. height from the water line be measured from the top pipes (going across the top of the boiler) or from the pipe that ties into the main ( the horiz. pipe, towards the back of the boiler) "



    The critical height is that from the highest permissible boiler waterline to the top of the risers coming out of the boiler. In these examples, the two riser horizontals are at that same height- this is the usual setup for a drop header. So the bottom of the two horizontals, before they drop and connect to the header, is the point that should be 24" or higher, measured from the boiler's highest permissible waterline. I like to measure from the top sight glass fitting when building headers, this gives some extra "insurance".



    "The equalizer always comes off the end of the dropped pipe and, the steam supply comes after the point where the two pipes feed into the horiz. header, right ?"



    That is correct. The reason is that everything in the header moves in the same direction, and when the steam turns up into the mains, the water keeps going toward the equalizer.



    "Also, am I to use an eccentric coupling on the equalizer connection, at the horiz. header ? I thought I read that some where. I remember reading that eccentric couplings are hard to find too. Does it really matter ?"



    Yes it does. The header must be the same size all the way across, so you wouldn't use an eccentric coupling on the header. You can make your reduction to the equalizer with a reducing 90 at the end of the header, pointing down. Or, a full-size 90 pointing down and a regular reducing coupling below it.



    If you live in a larger city, someone should carry eccentric couplings and possibly bushings too. We can get them in Baltimore.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • hvacduderickhvacduderick Posts: 9Member
    Thank you so much.

    I have learned so much about installing  from this thread. I am definitely going to start using drop headers on my steam installs. Your work is very nice, Steamhead !

    I really appreciate how you guys explained why I should pipe boilers a certin way and what is going on in the pipes the way I piped it. I have a much better understanding of whats going on in the near boiler piping now.

     I've installed alot of boilers and never had any problems, call backs, complaints or inspectors knock down my jobs. With the tips and understanding  I've gained here, I feel much more confident in my abilities. Thank you all so much.

    Rick in Detroit.

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=763219040&v=wall&story_fbid=164934543520273&ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/profile.php?id=763219040
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