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Introducing my upstairs boiler

Dsisson Member Posts: 73
OK, this is my followup from this thread:

<a href="http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/146822/Introduce-me-and-my-2-steam-boilers/success">http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/146822/Introduce-me-and-my-2-steam-boilers/success</a>

I sized the radiators for this system with the following results:

179.5 SF of radiation x 240 net BTUH = 43,080 total BTUH load

The boiler is a 1 year old Burnham Independence by US Boiler Co. Model #PIN5SNI-ME2.

It *appears* to have an input of 140,000 BTUH. I couldn't understand the numbers on the name plate, but I've attached photos of them.

I'm attaching a PDF of photos of all the radiators and of the boiler, burner and piping.

My questions:

1) does anything look WRONG, should be fixed?

2) Is this boiler over or undersized? Is it installed correctly?

3) can I extend the system to add 2 radiators to a small addition (say approx 25 sf rad to a bedroom and 15 sf rad to a bathroom); and also add 2 radiators to the attic (say approx 25 sf in one bedroom and 40 sf in another room)?

Thanks in advance.


  • Dsisson
    Dsisson Member Posts: 73
    forgot to mention

    I also have an 'extra' radiator that I found in the house - not connected to anything. It might have been in the stairwell (a pipe there with no radiator on it) or it might have been in the attic (some evidence there once was another radiator there...) It has 23 SF of radiation. I did not include it in the calculations for the system size / total BTUH load.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576

    that boiler is rated for 358 square feet of radiation total, and your radiators have a total of half that. so over-sized but not the end of the world. there will be a bit of short-cycling. use a marker to write the radiator footage on the boiler, so in the event of later replacement they don't make the same mistake in sizing.

    check your main vents on the returns, and post some pictures of them. most likely, more main venting will be needed. the radiator vents are probably ok, as it is the main vents which do all the work of getting the air out of the system.--nbc
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    You have the capacity

    If you add 115 sq ft to the existing 180 sq ft you will still be below the boilers rating of 358 sq ft so that should work fine. Be warned that adding 4 radiators to the second and third floor means you will have to run four 1-1/4 to 1-1/2" inch diameter pipes from the basement up to the second and third floors to feed the new radiators. All those pipes should be threaded steel pipe, not copper. Trying to feed more than one radiator off a riser is usually not a good idea on a single pipe steam system.

    Make sure you get someone that really understands steam, this has to be done right. but it requires a lot of pipe and labor - not cheap. Get several quotes and make sure you understand what has to be done so you can tell if the contractors you interview know what they are talking about. Winter is only a few months away so if you plan to have this done for this heating season start planning now. The Lost Art of Steam Heat has all the information you need to figure all this out.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
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