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SF TR50:New water level vs. Old

vaporvac
vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
Yeah! The two Sftr50s are IN THE HOUSE. I never thought a boiler could be cute, but these a so small compared to the current Dunkirk atmospheric. They were drop-shipped to my garage on Friday and we moved them today via a winch up two steps and into the boiler room. Whew...pics to follow of this install journey in another post.



However, I have a some questions stemming from prior posts.

1. I need to extend the current concrete base to accommodate the 2 boilers. the old one is a broken anyway, so we're pouring a new platform. SF gives the minimum exterior dimensions, but makes no mention of how HIGH it should be. Any thoughts on that? I don't think I ever seen that posted which leads to my next question...



2. I've always read that the water levels need to match, but somewhere I read this is only for atmospherics, NOT wet-based boilers as their water content is much less. Is this true and I don't have to worry about maintaining the current water level?



3. If I DO need to maintain the original water level ( which is quite high and would require a high base ie a lot of concrete), how does one put in a false water line. I've never found any actual schematics.



Didn't think this day would come...just in time for some 80deg. temps. Thanks everyone for your help thus far. i definitely wouldn't have had a clue what to do if not for this site and everyone who contributes to it with their questions and answers.

Colleen
Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,328
    Bravo!

    and just in time for spring, so you can fiddle to your heart's content without freezing to death!



    On your question 2.  Sometimes it is critical that the water levels match.  Whether the boiler is atmospheric or wet based makes no difference at all.  However, much as I tend to discourse on the subject, this isn't always true.



    The criterion is very simple -- but you have to go out into the whole system to see it.  What does have to happen is that the water level has to be above -- preferably several inches above -- the bottom of every single drip or descender that reaches any wet returns, and also, if the wet return goes up and down (some do) it has to be above the highest point in any wet return.  This ensures that each drip or descender is individually sealed off from all others, so that there is no way that steam can go whizzing down one and whizzing back up another -- say from a drip off a main into a drip off a dry return.



    There is no need for the water level to be higher than that.



    There is a diagram somewhere in Lost Art which shows how to set up a false water line.  It's a little like a Hartford loop.  Sort of.  One comes along with the wet return, and then one turns and goes up vertically to where you want the water line to be.  At that point there is a T; one goes into one side of the top, and the leg of the T goes out horizontally a short distance, then you can elbow down to wherever is handy, then over to the bottom of your Hartford loop.  The other end of the top of the T goes on up to a dry return (usually) or, if there is no dry return, could be vented at the top.  It's partly a vacuum breaker arrangement, and partly pressure equalization. 
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    False Waterline Diagram

    Hi Jamie- I think this is the diagram you are mentioning.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    FalseWaterLine Pitfalls...

    Hmmm. the false water line is interesting. SF doesn't suggest a Hartford loop with the Intrepids when caravanned unless required by code...not sure on that point yet. I wonder how venting it to the atmosphere and having it act a s vacuum breaker would affect the vacuum in my vaporvacuum system that I'm trying to keep? Do most folks just set the boiler to match the old line or just high enough to avoid the pitfalls you mentioned?
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    That's it!

    Thank you rod...Let me read and inwardly digest that diagram...looks like it might be simpler to pour a deeper base.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,328
    It really isn't that bad...

    thanks for the diagram, Rod -- I keep forgetting the pressure equalizer line.  Not that I do many of them!



    For vaporvac -- it really isn't that hard to pipe the thing, although it does look complicated.  Whether you need to do it, or whether it would be easier to raise the boiler base, I really can't say.



    The vent/vacuum thing is a bit tricky.  If you really are trying to pull a vacuum on your system as it cools down, though, you could put a vacuum tight vent on it instead of the regular vent.  It would still hold the false water line up properly under a light vacuum.  The potential risk that I can see, though, is that if the vacuum in the system is deep enough you could have the water trapped by the false water line siphon over through the horizontal nipple and on into the boiler.  The problem with that is that the system would hammer like crazy (and not heat properly) until the false water line and wet return refilled -- or you refilled it manually with the fill valve.  I don't see a good way around that, but I'll think about it.



    Got to admit that if I really wanted to keep the vacuum side of the whole thing, I'd raise the boilers and avoid the problem entirely...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,422
    New twin boilers

    As far as I can see, the only reason for a false waterline would be if the wet returns were now higher than the new boiler waterline.

    There is no problem with waterline height apart from that, and only a great advantage because of the height of the risers which can be installed, in a drop-header configuration.

    How excited you must be to finally be able to have your system renewed.!--NBC
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    I'm excited now...

    Thanks NBC. I can be excited now, but it was a bit intimidating figuring out how to move them from the garage into the boiler room. This is what we came up with. I'd sure like to know what the professionals do it as I sure they don't spend hours just moving them. My hat's off to ChrisJ who wrestled his WM-EG45 full-sized atmospheric down a skinny, steep flight of stairs. I can only imagine some of that conversation on the way down. Mine was difficult and time-consuming to move, but not nearly as dangerous.



    Now I just need to get the burners sorted out and ordered. I get a different answer each time I ask the same question, but that's another story and I'm almost at the end of it. It will take plenty of time just to get these properly piped.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,166
    put it on a two wheel

    hand cart and lower it one step at a time.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,764
    Woo Hoo! New Boilers are FUN!

    Congratulations on getting the new boilers on site!  You are going to be quite happy with the results although there will be a bit of tweeking and cleaning I suspect.



    Regarding false water line and Hartford loop issues.  Are you going to be using a pumped return or gravity?  I believe the Slant-fin shows a pumped return, but gravity also works according to Dave Bunnell. 



    Slant-fin shows how multiple boilers are to be connected to a Caravan Header, equalizer, and return header.  Each boiler does not have its own header and equalizer.  If you are going to use a gravity return, it stands to reason that it should be connected to the Caravan Equalizer as a Hartford loop type connection.  This will insure that a sudden leak or failure in your building piping will not drain your boilers dry.  I believe if you can find some of Dave Bunnell's photos of similar systems, he has piped them this way.



    As for the false water line issue, please focus on the prior posts where they have noted the elevations of any wet returns, (if they exist) compared to the normal boiler water line.  The only time a lower water line in a new boiler is an issue is IF it causes a wet return to be near or above the boiler NWL.  If that is not the case, don't worry about it.  It doesn't apply.  I most two pipe systems, both steam and return piping runs near the ceiling until it drops to the floor level.  In these typical installations, the water line is not a concern.



    I just stopped and re-read the entire post and realize that I am repeating much of the good advice already given.  nbc and Jamie and Rod, please realize that I don't mean to diminish in any way, the advice you have already given, but rather, to reinforce it.



    Colleen, please FLOOD US WITH PHOTOS!!!!   You have put so much thought, study, and effort into this project.  I am sure that I speak for many when I say that I feel like I have an investment, albeit small, in your great project.  

    Also am dying to see pictures of the overall property in addition to the steam piping.

    Dave
    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
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,764
    edited April 2013
    Here is a photo

    This is one of Dave Bunnell's installs using a pair of Slantfin TR boilers.  Look at the Caravan Equalizer on the right.  It is hiding from view, but the copper Tee, located just above the lowe water probe, has the Hartford loop coming into the backside. 
    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
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Gravity return,BreakingApart/RemovingSections

    Thanks for the kind wishes. I'll try and flood you all with pics after I finish mopping up the flood on the floor! Anyone know why the drain isn't at the absolute bottom of the boiler instead of a few inches up? Not fun!

    I have a gravity return...no pumps at all and if/when I need the condensate tank it will also be piped in below the waterline at SF's suggestion to maintain the vacuum.

    Funny you should post that pic, as when looking for a good example of a modular install, I came across that and was wondering if that fancy pipework was the Hartford loop. Two bad I can't find any pics with the TR50 showing the two tappings coming up. One is on top and the other is on the rear.



    I always pretty much ignored my current near boiler piping knowing it would be obsolete with a new boiler, but now I realize I had no header! The tappings came off from either side and after a small jog went directly to the mains. Was this a common practice? The good thing is I can probably eliminate that whole section and go into the furthermost tapping, if that makes sense. I'm photo-documenting the tear-down being careful of the existing vaporstat since I'll be reusing it. As I need another for the second boiler, I still need to read some old postings as to which of the new ones is best. I'll post some good pics once I download them. I have to go provide a second set of hands.



    My BIG QUESTION of the moment is how do you get the cast iron sections apart? They seem to be rusted together. Is there a trick or tool we should be using? I can not imagine taking it out in one piece as it must weigh at least 1200-1500 pounds. I think the winch wouldn't hold it. :(
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Update: removal DONE!

    So thanks to this post: http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/90421/removing-old-cast-iron-steam-boiler-from-cellar...

    the behemoth is almost out the door. No smashing needed just yet, only a two wheeler as suggested by Charlie. The heavy-duty crowbar and sledgehammer worked like a charm and the tire was a great help. Good thing I've been hoarding that. The left over pallets also came in handy. I can't wait to post the interior of this boiler...it will put some others I've seen posted here to shame.



    Now to pour a new pad. The old one was unbelievable. I think that will be fortomorrow...it's on to yeasted waffles tonight. Have to keep the helper happy.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,764
    Pass the Waffles Please

    Sounds good to me too!
    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
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited April 2013
    It's all good!

    So I think we're good with the waterline. The old one was 29.5" and the new is 25.5, but the height of the new concrete pad will raise that a bit. The wet return is 11.5" at its lowest and the new TR50 has its inlet at 4.5". So I think we're in the ballpark with this part of the install, at least.

    Thanks for explaining everything so well. I'm glad to avoid putting in a false waterline.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
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