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Is my boiler underfired ?

car3
car3 Member Posts: 10
I have a 10 year old Peerless EC-06 boiler. The tag says BTU/HR steam output 347,000. IBR 261,000 BTU/HR. Net 1083 sq.ft steam. It is fired with a 1.25 gph nozzle on an oil fire burner. From a cold start it will take 15 minutes for near boiler piping to get hot and another 15 - 20 minutes for the mains to heat and for heat to start coming out of the radiators. The burner will run constantly for 2 hours as the heat in the house is rising 6 degrees (set back thermostat) and seldom reach the cutout pressure of approx 1psi. I have spent a lot of time straightening out problems that came with the system. All the traps work as they should. There are plenty of vents. All pipes are pitched correctly now and the waterline is stable. I have blown out the mud from the bottom and skimmed the top. The system is running silently and I love the heat. Could a bigger nozzle actually save oil with a quicker recovery?

Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,572
    How to economize

    If you had a good low pressure gauge, you could see if you are paying extra to remove the air in the system, so that the steam may rise. This gauge will tell you whether your vents are adequate or not. It will also tell you whether you are are spending extra money to maintain a pressure higher than a few ounces. From the speed of your steam arriving, it seems that the system is forcing the air out, after that, then choose a new nozzle.--NBC
  • car3
    car3 Member Posts: 10
    I have not replaced the gauge

    My pressure gauge is for much higher pressure than I am running now. The boiler used to be setup with a 7psi cutout and it would force the water out of the boiler along with other issues it caused. I believe the vapor-stat is accurate at less than 1 psi, but I should switch out the pressure gauge to confirm the operating pressure. As for the venting, I had extended the pipe for the vents well above the boiler and near piping so it is dry, and after reading some posts, I removed the vent and have been running with an open 1/2" pipe. Nothing comes out but dry air and the air comes out without being restricted.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,755
    How about the air venting?

    if the air can't get out, the steam can't get in.



    Sounds like you have a Vapor system. Are any of the original components- radiator valves & traps, Vent Trap or Return Trap or Differential Loop in basement near the boiler- still there? What make are they? Can you post pictures?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    Insulation

    Are your pipes insulated? It's very common to see steam systems without pipe insulation, because the original asbestos insulation was removed, but they never replaced it. At some point somebody usually turns up the firing rate to compensate, but the better approach is to re-insulate the pipes so it works as designed.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,432
    The key word is "seldom"

    If your boiler seldom reaches the cutout -- even coming from a deep setback (I regard 6 degrees as a very deep setback!) -- but does, in fact, get there eventually, then no, your boiler probably isn't underfired.  The other way to check this, though, is to go around your system -- sounds like it is a fairly big one -- and check and see that all the radiation is hot while it is pulling up from that setback.  If it is, you're putting out all the heat in the radiation that you can, and there isn't any point at all in hosing in more fuel.



    However, if not all the radiation is hot, then you do need to consider the other aspects: insulation on the mains?  All vents working as advertised?  All traps working as advertised?  But it does sound as though you have that covered. 



    With all that straightened out, if you have some radiation which is slow to heat, or doesn't heat all the way across, then you will be more comfortable -- probably -- if you increase the firing rate a little.  It's a balancing act...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Fizz
    Fizz Member Posts: 547
    Would connected load make difference?

    Wonder if connected load would enter into equation?  You say boiler is rated at 1083 sf of steam, but how much sq ft radiation is involved?  Don't know if it matters.  I have WM SGO-6, with rated 658 sf steam, which i recently converted to gas gun.  Now the oil nozzle was 1.75 gph, my connected radiation is 518sf, and my heat was too intense, as boiler was oversized, and think smaller nozzle would have been better.  Upon switching to gas, a Wayne gas gun, we fired at 189,000BTU/hr, though the conversion chart called for firing at 140,000 x gph, which would have been 245,000.  Glad we didn't because heat is even, not intense to point you would have to take shirt off, then put back on, swings were too extreme.  Not the case now.  Hope this helps.



    Fizz
  • Fizz
    Fizz Member Posts: 547
    Would connected load make difference?

    Wonder if connected load would enter into equation?  You say boiler is rated at 1083 sf of steam, but how much sq ft radiation is involved?  Don't know if it matters.  I have WM SGO-6, with rated 658 sf steam, which i recently converted to gas gun.  Now the oil nozzle was 1.75 gph, my connected radiation is 518sf, and my heat was too intense, as boiler was oversized, and think smaller nozzle would have been better.  Upon switching to gas, a Wayne gas gun, we fired at 189,000BTU/hr, though the conversion chart called for firing at 140,000 x gph, which would have been 245,000.  Glad we didn't because heat is even, not intense to point you would have to take shirt off, then put back on, swings were too extreme.  Not the case now.  Hope this helps.



    Fizz
  • car3
    car3 Member Posts: 10
    More details and pictures

    The traps are Warren Webster and I do get heat to all radiators and the dry returns are cold so they all work. The system is well vented with the long main steam loops having the same thermostatic traps as the radiators. The traps vent into the dry returns. Also I added extra vents at the far end of the mains. And there is venting where all the returns come back to the boiler. Most of the insulation is the original asbestos, but where it was missing (especially near the boiler) I added thick fiberglass high temp insulation. The new insulation keeps the basement cooler now. I have both cast iron radiators and tube and fin ones (I've attached some pictures). I don't know how to figure the output for these.
  • Fizz
    Fizz Member Posts: 547
    Figuring square footage of rads

    There are many good resource sites for figuring radiator square footage.  Here is a great site, and on the internet.  I uses a site called comfort-calc which is easy to get info.  Once on site, click tech info, then steam info, there you find what you are looking for.  It's easy, but remember to check to see if your boiler rating already includes the alowance for piping sq ft.
  • Fizz
    Fizz Member Posts: 547
    Figuring square footage of rads

    There are many good resource sites for figuring radiator square footage.  Here is a great site, and on the internet.  I uses a site called comfort-calc which is easy to get info.  Once on site, click tech info, then steam info, there you find what you are looking for.  It's easy, but remember to check to see if your boiler rating already includes the alowance for piping sq ft.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,432
    You've really answered your own question...

    You get heat to all the radiation.  That's the key to it.  You can think of it like driving to get good mileage: you can roar away from a stoplight, come up to the next one which is red, and slam on the brakes.  And waste gas.  Or you can match your speed to the lights and ease through town without wasting gas...



    You needn't have bothered with the vents at the ends of the steam mains, if the crossovers to the dry returns are working as advertised -- if you needed more venting, it could have (and perhaps should have) been added at the boiler, with the original vents.  Won't do any harm, though, so leave them.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • car3
    car3 Member Posts: 10
    Vents and thanks

    You guys have been great. It is nice to get answers for nagging questions. When I began this odisy I had a system running at 6 or 7 psi that would bang like crazy and spew water and steam out of the float trap above the boiler and all the water in the site glass would disappear causing shutdown by the low water cut out. As I learned I changed to a vapor-stat, added vents, added a Hartford loop, added insulation and repitched piping where condensate would settle. Now the system runs silent and the water level in the site glass remains constant. The system is happy and I am happy. My biggest mistake was buying a vapor-stat with a range of 0 to 5 psi, so I am operating at the low end of it. I will get a proper pressure gauge. So all is good for now. Thanks again.
  • car3
    car3 Member Posts: 10
    Jamie Hall vapor stat

    Jamie,

    Looking at your tag line at the bottom of your posts I see you are using a vapor - stat with a range of .5 to 6 oz. If I switched to a vapor-stat in that range would I be better off? As I said mine goes up to 5 psi. I hate to replace it if there is no benefit

    By the way, I from the Boston area, where is your museum?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,432
    Your vapourstat

    is OK -- but you should be operating at the low end of it.  0.5 psi is about the highest pressure that you want to run a Webster at.  It would be nice to go lower, but not mandatory (on the Hoffman it really is...).



    Nice to have things working, though, isn't it?



    The museum is in New Hartford, CT, and is open once in a while on a whimsy, really -- no regular hours.  E-mail or call, or contact the New Hartford Historical Society for an apopointment.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    edited March 2012
    Output of radiators

    can be calculated by doing an EDR survey.  You likely have to get a pro in with an analyzer to figure if you are underfired or not.  Here is the EDR calculator.
  • hotpipe
    hotpipe Member Posts: 24
    peerless ec-06

    Peerless specs the 06 with a beckett burner using a 2.25 to 2.50 gph nozzle at 140 psi. Are you sure its a 1.25 gph?
    Don't blame me, I voted for the old war hero and the business expert!!!!
  • car3
    car3 Member Posts: 10
    Nozzle and Fin and tube radiators

    The nozzle is 1.25gph. I pulled it out of the tube to confirm it's size.

    All the charts I come across show calculations for cast-iron radiators. Mine are a copper tube serpentine 4 times through metal fins. These heat exchangers are different sizes depending on the size of the room. See the picture posted above.
  • Fizz
    Fizz Member Posts: 547
    Check out fin-tube radiation article

    Excellent article on this site entitled "Fin-tubed radiation for steam heating" by Noel Murdough.  Just search site.  Will answer some questions for you.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    Fin-tube article

    Here's the url: http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/322/Steam-Radiators/162/Fin-tube-Radiation-for-Steam-Heating



    Unfortunately he only mentions the EDR of your basic 2" elements.



    Probably the best way to find out the EDR of these units would be to go to the manufacturer, but I don't have any idea who made these.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • car3
    car3 Member Posts: 10
    Steel fin radiators

    After some research, My radiators could be part of the Webster system as are my radiator valves and traps

    Webster System Radiation combines in a single structure a lightweight heating element like an automobile radiator with the radiator supply valve and an orifice to scientifically balance distribution, a radiator trap and a metal enclosure. This unit is installed in the wall and the only parts visible are the inlet and outlet grilles and the handle for steam shutoff. Although introduced at the depth of the depression Webster System Radiation has already been manufactured °and installed in more than 400 residences and other buildings.

  • philski
    philski Member Posts: 1
    peerless ec 06 owner

    Dear friend ,it's been awhile since you posted question ,,,I 've done a lot of work on mine,,,,,just bought a new beccket cf 375 burner   that's what it is supposed to have from factory.........2.5 gallons perhour fired at 145 psi......that gives you 2.96 gallons an hour like the tag on the front of boiler says it should be.......mine has about 16 radiators heating a 8300 sq foot building in nh,,,,,,I gunned it down to 2.25 and lowered fuel pressure to 125,,,cuz it was real hot ,,it was fired at 2.00 gals  an hour before ( with 100 psi pump,,,but the flame was out of control cuz the head was way wrong as well as nozzle angle,,,,,had major flame i mpingment on sides of chamber as well as rear and top,,,,,,somewhat dangerous,,,,cost 400 delivered as I got it wholesale,,,,,,but I wanted to run it proery as engineered,,,,bought a analyzer as I have over ten furnaces to maintain,,,tryin to keep em efficient an save fuel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,797
    1.25

    1.25 GPM X 140,000 = 210,000 BTUH Sounds under fired to me?
    Steve Minnich
This discussion has been closed.