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Burnham V-73 Steamer Goes Gas

Steamhead
Steamhead Member Posts: 14,858
This customer found his oil tank leaking- and that was the last straw. High oil consumption and lousy service from the oil company, along with the leaking tank, prompted him to switch to gas.



This boiler had been "serviced" every year. The oil company has at least one Testo analyzer- we found the print-outs on the service tags. Stack temp averaged 600 degrees. What we found inside the boiler was no surprise.



But the best part was behind the barometric. The 6-inch barometric covered a 3-1/2" hole in the chimney connector. The barometric was set for the lowest possible draft, but it was still above -.04. These old coal-designed chimneys can pull pets and small children up to the roof, and there was no way this setup could regulate it. In the pic, the barometric itself is sitting on top of the chimney connector, for comparison.
All Steamed Up, Inc.
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Consulting

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,858
    edited October 2011
    When we were done

    the boiler was as clean as we could get it. We used a Midco EC-200 burner this time, since there is limited room at the front of the boiler. The EC-200 doesn't stick out as far as a Carlin EZ-Gas would have. The barometric is a 7-incher, which will handle that chimney with ease.



    The boiler is oversized for the house, so we fired it at the same rate as the current V-83H steamer. This was plenty- all the radiators got hot! Stack temp was still around 500- I have a feeling there's still some schmutz inside the boiler that we couldn't reach, which should burn off over time. Pin-type boilers are like that, which is one reason we like the 3-pass design.



    We had to re-orient the gas valve so its inlet was at the side of the burner rather than the front, so the gas pipe would be out of the way.



    We also replaced the main vents and most of the radiator vents. The house now heats quickly and evenly.



    And Gordo did his usual piping artistry.



    One of these days we'll replace that copper header.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,481
    edited October 2011
    Frank,

    could you e-mail me a set of those pictures to show an energy auditor who does not understand oil to gas on steam and what a barometric should look like on the very same boiler you just did. Also it will show a copper header and have pictures showing a correct header so I will be able to show him the difference.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,858
    edited October 2011
    Sure thing

    and I'll send you the full-size ones for best resolution.



    And to hear you say this is what it should look like- that's quite a compliment. Thanks!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    ?

    What are those 2 little boxes on the barometric with the wires?
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    roll outs

    thermal roll outs..
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,858
    edited October 2011
    Otherwise known as

    blocked-flue or spill switches. If the chimney gets blocked, the barometric will swing out, and the heat from the flue gases will trip the blocked-flue switches. They're manual-reset, so if they trip the boiler will be shut down.



    I believe Code requires these on every chimney-vented gas appliance now, with the possible exception of water heaters- haven't seen one with blocked-flue switches yet..
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    edited October 2011
    They have many names

    I thought that's what they were.  Didn't know that 2 are needed.  Never saw manual reset type before.  I have to wait till monday to find out the whole story on my hot water baro.  Stay tuned you might see your first at my place.  Should be an easy sell, you want the 50% guarantee? or the 100%?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,481
    edited October 2011
    Every gas appliance

    vented into a chimney or any other kind of vent should have spill switches in place. It is the only real protection we have as related to poor combustion conditions.The manual reset will insure a service call that is why we use them and not one that resets automatically. Do not show the homeowner the reset as we do not want them resetting before testing the equipment for safe combustion. Oil has the Cad cell which is reactive to poor combustion and will not allow the burner to fire. With gas there is no visual detection system on residential equipment. We do have Ultra-violet detectors on commercial and industrial equipment. UV is just to expensive for residential use.



    Yes even water heaters should have blocked vent switches (spill switches. I like to see two one on each side to give full protection no matter which way the spillage goes. Things such as downdraft, back-draft, negative building pressure, blocked flue all cause spillage at the draft hood or barometric.



    Also while we are addressing this subject when installing a barometric on the heating equipment to replace the draft hood it only makes good sense to also change over all appliances into that flue. We have a lot of two family and three family situations with three boilers or furnaces and three water heaters. If you are going to do one do them all.



    I have a customer (my old landlord where my training center was located before moving to my present location)) that we changed over all the equipment to barometrics including three unit heaters inside the upstairs stores. The landlord pays the gas bill and over the years has reported a drop in his usage equal to 30%. This is calculated by his accountant so it is pretty reliable.
  • Ravensfan
    Ravensfan Member Posts: 1
    We were told this was not possible and full replacement was only way

    We have a similar oil unit from the same company. Our baseboard heat and hot water comes from ours. Looks identical to this unit in every way from the same company except for a black thing on the upper part that I assume is for our hot water.. We were researching and told that we need to do a complete 15 thousand dollar replacement on the entire unit to upgrade it from oil to gas. This seems a bit high. They quoted Wells boiler of some sort for high efficiency. Two questions. Can the hot water be separated off this unit to a separate hot water heater? If that is possible, how is that done in laymans terms? Would that feed the hot water from a standard 50 gallon heater into the current units tank or separate out completely? Could that unit be then configured to not want to heat the hot water sink use all the time and just for the baseboards? Other question appears to be shown here that the unit is capable of being moved over to gas. Oil prices are killing us. We are spending 900 a month to heat our place now and roughly a 100 a month for just hot water.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,858
    From your nickname

    I'll take a guess that you're in or around Baltimore, eh?



    If so, call us and let's have a look.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    spill switches

    always done in pairs?  Do they get wired to separate safety strings?  Just curious...
This discussion has been closed.