Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

An Epic Tale: I hear the Trane a comin'!

2»

Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,455
    Taco switching for lead lag

    I'm not sure how that Taco switching device would work. In a 2-boiler non-vacuum setup, each one fires until a different pressure is achieved. The 1st vaporstat for the lag boiler would cut out at 6 ounces, while the lead boiler continues to fire as long as there is a call for heat. When the output of that boiler is not enough to keep up with the heating requirements, the pressure will drop to 2 ounces, and the lag boiler will fire again, supplying more steam, until the pressure once again reaches 6 ounces, and cuts off.

    The 2-stage thermostat detects the difference between a small drop in temperature, and a large one. In the small drop, maybe the lead boiler will fire on its own, and if the temperature drops further, then the lag comes on line. This arrangement might be better suited to a vacuum system, as the extra power of the lag boiler is not always needed, since the steam is generated at a lower temperature . A reservoir tank might be needed to supply a bit of extra water towards the end of a long steaming cycle when only one boiler is needed.

    These control systems are fascinating!--NBC
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited February 2014
    Good Things Come...

    to those who wait. I'm sure everyone's been waiting on an update! The news is I may have heat before the end of the day! Maybe not staged heat quite yet, but heat! AND, the best news is that someone from THE WALL is doing it!!! Someone who REALLY loves steam and appreciates my system rather than questioning why I hadn't just converted it to HW. I still can't believe it; I was beginning to think I'd never have heat again.Stay tuned...



    In all fairness, another company had agreed to do the work once they felt confident the piping was all done correctly, but they couldn't even give me a start date until next week. Plus, they did query my decision to keep the steam...why not convert? I said that ship has sailed...and why would I want to anyway? However, I was tired of feeling cold and it really affected everything about life. Freezing is stressful, although studies now show that being cold keeps one slim! That's what I kept telling myself.
    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
    I have been patiently waiting!

    I'm so glad to hear that your project is coming to completion, and it sounds like you have lucked out in finding someone who loves steam to help you finish up! I'll be waiting for more news.
    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
  • What good news!

    You can probably start staging the boilers right away, and leave the taco switcher until later. All of us here want to know how the vacuum operation is going. Naturally we would also like to know the name of your Knight in Steaming Armor!

    I suggest that you have a christening party for the new twins,"Lead, and Lag", and invite the local boilermen who were not able to step up to the plate for you, (for whatever reason).

    Make sure we have some pictures too!--NBC
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited February 2014
    THE TRANE HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!

    Or when it rains it pours. Not only was I without heat, but a gate valve burst in my garage last night spewing out water at 100psi. Hopefully it wasn't for to long before I came home.. I temporarily fiixed it and when my heroes went to tighten it up it blew out! But they didn't leave me in the lurch. They put in a T and plug and I'm good to go until I can get a new one. I said, "You'll never come back to finish the stage-firing  now" to which they replied, "Sure, we'll just have to remember our swimming suits."



    I'm beyond grateful and can't say enough good things about their professionalism knowledge, speed and just general niceness.They just attacked whatever was thrown their way.



    I'll name my Knight in Steaming Armour  and post pics after I check with him to make sure it's OK. I had heat within 4 hours! Although it took a few more hours  to get everything running smoothly, cleaning it and finishing the finer points. I'll amend this after I decompress with all the details and what's left to be done., I'm feeling a bit teary.

     My 25 yr old cat is SO happy tonight. She actually got up off the bed and went to sit on the marble bathroom floor and then moved to the wet shower floor. Really.

    This pic is my kitty basking in the heat.
    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
    edited February 2014
    My Dickensian life is over!!! and some initial observations.

    I don't need to wear a down coat and open-finger gloves indoors! or huddle next to a warming pad!



    Initial thoughts....Louder, especially IN the boiler room, but more like the sound of forced air. I could only hear that in the room directly above mainly through the AC vent and chimney, but it's a large house. (Could hear a little in MB two floors up, although realized that's because there's a fireplace in that room too, so the small sound is coming up the chimney.) Oddly enough, one power burner was about as loud as two. As I've yet to insulate the NBPiping and reconfigured mains, I can't judge whether it will be much colder down there.



    He used two different orifice sizes (there was a reason, just don't remember exactly what.)...the .smaller one gave slightly higher combustion efficiency...both are around 82%. I thought this was good considering they're rated 83.4 for oil. Is there any way to INCREAE this?

    He thought it might be possible to stage-fire them that way based on the differing btus if desired.



    NO BANGING PIPES!!! Changing the pitch on the system equalizer did the trick!!! I've missed my little clangs and such which I still get. Don't know what they are.



    He may lower the probe LWCO position. We'll see if it cuts off on LW once it's entirely clean.



    He'll put on Vstats and 2-stage Tstat next time as the Tstat wire had a disconnect and needs replacing. I currently have to turn it on/off manually. That's fine.

    He set Pstrol to 2, but it never budged much above 0 (maybe almost .5) even when coming from a DEEP setback. Actually, the lower fired boiler never built any pressure and the other one (also slightly underfired) did get to 1psi.

    The great news is it went into a VACUUM of almost 10"!!! After 1 1/2hrs it was 5" and after two hours they were above 2". The radiators were still hot at5" and warm at 2". And that's with an air vent on one rad and leaky valves!

    The nipple for the skim port was HOT five hours later, but the jacket was cold...GOOD insulation apparently.



    Also, the condensate seems to be returning quickly enough so no condensate tank will be needed!

    We'll see if I need a different vent on my air eliminator after the boilers are fully cleaned. I didn't know I could replace that vent. I guess It will still retain the vacuum if replaced? It was running flat out so how would I know if it's venting fast enough?



    He blew it down couple of times...I'll do a soda wash later today, let it run and then skim or wand it. I am so glad he let me watch him do all that; it was a real confidence builder. I would not have felt at all comfortable as a newbie since that burner is crazy compared to the old one.



    He did have to tighten quite a few of the joints.:one is still dripping a slight bit. :( Oh well.



    I will say, especially after watching them in action, there is no possible way I could have done ANY of this. Holy moly, it's complicated. I also doubt most of the other companies would have been able to trouble-shoot the initial burner issues so confidently and mess around with the burner rates. He REALLY knew what he was doing and why and was happy to share it with me.

    I could have talked to him all day, although I tried not to get in the way. I love this sytem and can't believe people would trade it in for anything else. WHY?????



    Feel free to ask question!!!! C-
    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
    My knights in Steaming Armour!!!

    My saviour was Christian Egli of heatingwithsteam.com out of Dayton Ohio. He was a listed contractor here not too long ago, but his ad expired. I'm glad I tenaciously tried to remember/find his name. He will service the Cincy area to any one reading this nearby.

    I'm not kidding when I say saviour. The thermometer was the temp in my living room during the recent cold spell. It may have gotten even colder, but I just ran upstairs to my space-heated room so I wouldn't know.



    That is Christian to the left and his faithful sidekick Pablo, to the right.
    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
  • Good Swiss engineers!

    You are so lucky to have found the right person to put the decorations on your cake.

    I hope he will readvertise here so that others may benefit from his expertise!

    Are the boilers staged yet or is that yet to come?

    There may be a connection between the Eglis, and the Riellos, through the Swiss -Italian engineering history, in the 50's.--NBC
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited February 2014
    Specs and further thoughts and questions...

    How do these numbers look?



    Boiler: #1 #2

    Input CFH 200K, 240K

    Air Damper 1.6, 1.95

    Air/gas ratio# C2, C3

    O2 Level% 4.6, 4.6

    Co2Level% 9.2, 9.2

    Co Level% 30.0, 33.0

    Combustion

    Efficiency: 82%, 81.79%



    The pressure varies between 1psi (#I) and 2psi (#2) on start up falling to @0-2oz and 1lb respectively. What does this indicate about my system's venting? Should I upgrade it when I add the Vstats? I have 1466 edr to heat and a single 100+ ft main. Is this Too HIGH for a vaporvac system? Bear in mind, I am coming from deep setbacks at the moment due to lack of a Tstat.



    The vacuum varies between 5" and 9" initially. It does stay in vacuum for at least two hours and when the burner is restarted within that period it takes quite a bit of time for the vacuum to break. This reinforces my thoughts on what a great thing a staged burner would be for vacuum systems. One could really modulate the temps of the rads quite well... exquisitely so with a modulating burner, I would think. Am I missing something here?



    At the lower vacuum the rads are warm. That made me realize that that low a temp couldn't possibly heat my house without taking forever. Is this what a HW conversion

    would heat like? So glad I dodged that bullet.



    The water gauge goes all the way up when steaming. It comes down with the burner off and has never gone off on LW. There is no apparent foaming. What is this telling us? Skimming needed?



    While I don't like the sound of the gas meter whizzing round, it is wonderful to have heat.



    I'd love to hear the thoughts of those with a vaporvacuum system. Christian Egli, my installer, says he converts all his two-pipe systems to natural vacuum when possible. We did not have time to discuss how he does this.

    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
  • staging the Trane

    when you get up to temperature, you could see how the system behaves when you cut off the lag boiler with the switch. I imagine the lead boiler will purr along at sub-atmospheric pressures [maybe 0 psi].

    I would think that the start up pressure could be improved by a faster exit for the air, but once the vacuum is established, then venting is no problem.

    then when you get the thermostat installed, see if the lead boiler on its own can maintain the temperature. also, will the steam distribution be even for all the radiators with just the one boiler shouldering the load.

    what fun, and what a relief to be almost there!--NBC
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Steam

    Nice! How did you not find CG before?!?! And why did I think you were in California? Great news all around. Those combustion numbers look very good.



    What are you doing for venting right now?
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited February 2014
    Find a Contractor: NOT!!!

    Christian isn't listed under 'find a contractor', though he's joining now as he could have done the whole thing and saved me the trouble! Actually, he just never renewed when his ad expired. That's why I didn't find him initially, but this is how I finally did.

    I found mention of someone named Christian,who was from Dayton, back at the beginning of this saga through some 7yr old postings on THe Wall, but couldn't find anything for a contractor listing or under hvac in Dayton. In my recent desperation I renewed my Dayton search under steam heat and found a Christian Egli, back searched in heatinghelp.com and found pages of posts. I knew he was "The One" just from reading his heatingwithsteam.com site. All I had to do was mention HH.com and he agreed to come help out. The moral of this story, guys and gals, is POST YOUR COMPANY HERE!

    Btw, he speaks so highly of you, boilerpro, steamhead. Gerry Gill and Charles G that i felt like I was talking to a Steam rockstar!

    When I said YOU (Jstar) had shared you wiring diagram for the 2stage Tstat, he couldn't believe it. I think it really helped with my street cred. :)



    To answer your venting question, please see the attached pic. I can't get close enough to read anything, but will get a ladder back there if necessary.

    It's funny you thought I was from California because I was actually born there! C.
    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
    Duh!!! Shut one down!

    You're a genius...of course, i can just manually shut off one boiler. Duh!!! I'll try that tomorrow. the steam is currently getting places it probably has never seen, but I'm obviously running some long runs of maybe an hour. It will be interesting to see if they continue to receive heat with just one boiler running.



    I really must address the under radiation of my foyer (and kitchen) by replacing removed rads, reconfigure the rest of the built-in radiator covers, and seriously consider replacing the dividing French doors that were removed before I moved in to create a more "open plan" area. The temp differential is about 30+ degree!!! C.
    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
    How did you know?

    That is exactly what happened!!! I was worried this was a problem until i reread this post. So when I shut down the 200K burner, both went into a vacuum and stayed there although the 240K was creeping up to 0psi. I eventually shut them both off because no gas is always better than even a little gas. I'll try it next time with the 200K as the lead.



    Because these boilers stay so hot due to their insulation, I may try to wait a bit and then only start one. I think since all the pipes are hot, it should handle the load. We'll see. Having the burners at different rates really is like having a multi-staged burner, plus twinning.



    I think I'm crazy for this system. I know, it's nutty to be so hung up on one's steam heat, but I could talk about it all day! I really need a chair and a laptop down in that boiler room, although a broom and dust bin would be more useful. Did I say how much I like this system? 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
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,455
    edited February 2014
    Current projects of Mr. Egli

    He must be working for the Vatican, judging by the Latin explanations on his website!

    Devising a control system which will decide on its own which of two unequal sized boilers to fire depending on the outside temperature, and the vacuum in the system will be interesting-will Midco-Mark have any ideas on this?--NBC
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,764
    Your main vent??

    Colleen, Now you're really having fun!  And, staying warm too!  I don't know how you have tolerated not having heat for so long!

    Regarding your main vent.  That little vent on top of your return trap is not the ONLY vent is it?   I was thinking that you had a mercury pot on your system.  If so, the venting is running through that pot. 
    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
    Venting!!!

    Yes, that is the only vent! It's on top of the Trane Air Eliminator that houses the mercury pot. From my readings it appeared that the MP came in a number of guises depending on the age of the system. Given that Trane incorporated in 1913 and my system was put in in 1914/15 it must have been one of the first.

    Here are the specs which I had in my original post many moons ago:



    The original specs called for a "complete heating apparatus of the

    Trane Vapor system. (This must have been one of the first in 1914?) It

    called for a Bryant tubular boiler with positive fuel control Governor

    and equipped with Trane "specialties", including a Trane vapor

    regulator and receiver with air exhast valve. All Radiators to be AR

    Peerless and connected with Trane graduated radiator valves at the top

    of radiators and reurn fitting at bottom. All piping to be conealed

    in partitions and covered with "best air cell covering"

    Currently the inlet valves and fittings seem to be a mish-mash of

    Trane, Crane, Hoffman Specialties, Dunham and original Detroit! Some

    have handles with the little graduations and other the circular-type knobs that work like a gate-valve.



    I suspect that vent is original and is definitely working. How do I know if it's working well enough? I hate to replace it if it's not necessary.



    It was really starting to get me down, but more because I was so close. Plus, hard this the temps have been so low the house just kept getting colder. It seemed to max out at 32deg.. It's a good thing I've spent so many years in Montreal! I just pretended I was going skiing and dressed accordingly. The heating pad and down blankets helped, but I actually love sleeping in cold rooms. I always said I could sleep outside in winter. Guess I got my wish! It also kept those pesky guests away, but I've missed doing all the things I do in those first floor rooms. I'm sure I'll have to retune my piano.
    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
    edited March 2014
    Observations thus far...

    Mdmlansing hasn't posted in a while. Hopefully, he's working on his experiments for controls. :)



    I'm posting the larger question of controlling this system at my prior post:

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/147642/Stage-fired-boiler-controls



    However, I thought Id write some observations now that it's been running (albeit without a Tstat) for about a month now.

    I've done a couple of skims in addition to those Mr Egil did, but it needs more. Some of the piping is leaking a tiny bit. :( Will fix that when the weather breaks a bit more. I think it was the result of the first pipe threader being bad as those are the only joints with problems.

    It's not loud really, Actually, not much louder than my old atmospheric. It's just a different sound that can only be heard due to the chimney.

    It heats from 7-8deg setbacks really quickly with both boilers. Why do I have a set-back? Because I don't want to run up and down the stairs all night and sometimes just leave in the morning with it still off.

    I still have to have the Tstat wire renewed and hooked up. Then do the stage-firing with the Vstats.



    The pressure is the most interesting thing. From a big set-back on a VERY cold day, I get 1 - 11/2lb on the 230btu boiler and a couple of ounces on the 200btu boiler. These are is still the the factory 0-30 guages, but they are always the same under similar conditions. On warmer days, there no pressure on the 200btu and maybe 1/2lb. on the 230 one. I still get between 5-7 " vacuum regularly even with all the leaks in my system.



    I usually shut down one of the boilers once steam hits the rads. Even on VERY cold days, the larger burner will continue to raise the temp with a negligible pressure. However, on cold days the smaller burner will maintain temp at 0 lb, but will actually operate in a 2" vacuum if the weather is in the 30s!!!! And it will also raise the temp and the higher outdoor temps.It really highlights how useful ODR would be in maintaining a good indoor temp as that seems to be what's driving the pressures.



    Interestingly, One time I thought I'd turned them both on when it was coldish to bring the house temp up. It took a bit longer than usual, but I realized that was because i was only heating with the 230 boiler. I was surprised it would heat the house at all, (although I don't think that's the most efficient way to heat long-term).



    So now the question is how the heck to regulate this thing? It would be great to let it go into the vacuum to distribute the heat and maintain a steady temp. Currently the rads get hot all the way across and stay warm for a couple of hours when in vacuum. On warmer days, only the smaller burner would be needed to main temp.



    I have ta 2-stage Honeywell wireless Tstat and two Vsats with a 1-5lb gauge, but am now wondering how to set that up to maximize the two differing burn rates as well as the vacuum. Can they be used with an ODR and how would that be accomplished? Btw, my combined burn rate of 430Kbtu almost perfectly matches my current radiation. It's just a bit over and I have plenty of room if I want to bring some of the basement rads back on line, since it's pretty cold down there now!



    It's been great having heat, but more fun to watch this system everyone here helped design, working (almost) as planned.

    Please read and comment on the post http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/147642/Stage-fired-boiler-controls



    Thanks in advance for any comments and/or advice.

    Colleen



    P.S. Anyone have any thoughts on my venting as mentioned above?
    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
    Progress and observations:
    Hey guys and gals! I was waiting to "finish" everything before adding any updates, but a few Wallies have emailed asking about my progress. I haven't meant to be rude and not respond as I'm so thrilled that anyone is interested in this install. Now that it's blustery and snow actually fell today, I figured it was time for a progress report as yard work is probably done for the year.

    The main thing is I finally got a Tstat hooked up and have even upgraded to a two-stage wifi one to accommodate the boiler staging, although I'm still switching off boilers after steam is created until the vstats are hooked up.

    I went with the Honeywell RTH6580WF. I originally thought the wi-fi was just a gimmick, but I'm using it all the time. All the Honeywell models seem to be steam compatible, but I'm having a few problems that I didn't with my old Honeywell programmable Tstat. This one doesn't let me know how many hours a day the boiler has called for heat' I really liked that feature. I also think these newer models are TOO sensitive to small changes in temp. It turns on the burners when the temp still reads at the desired setting, and then only for a few minutes. Definitely not enough to bring any steam to the rads. I don't even know why they fire since the Tstat seems to be met and the pressure is generally negative when the gas is off. It's a waste of gas and I don't know how to deal with it. I try turning off one boiler (the larger btu), and that helps a bit. I thought it might just be in the recent shoulder season, but it's happened now that it's quite cold. I'd love to hear others' experience, but may post to another thread.

    I've also done ALOT of skimming and wanding. The latter is the bomb! It's incredible the amount of dirt and oil, but it's almost there.

    The main excitement is it totally fires sub-atmospherically and the rads stay warm for hours with no gas. When the initial heating stops, there's silence, the pressure goes negative, and then resumes boiling furiously just like MDNlansing experienced. Very impressive, especially considering the current leaks in the system.The vacuum is generally between 2"-5", although I've seen as low as 7". I'll post some further numbers tomorrow when I review my notes.
    I've yet to add any insulation where needed and can't decide what to do about the pipes that still leak. There's no tightening them without a complete dis-assembly. It seems to be due to the lousy dies on the first threader we rented. I'm thinking of welding them. Any thoughts on that?
    My last hurdle is wiring up the Tsats to stage them. Does anyone have a wiring diagram for that? I've yet to find anything. I know I'll have to redo the Tstat to the staged wiring (it's for single-firing now) and set the cycles to two-stage, unless I still keep it at steam/gravity. There's not alot of info on this aspect, so any help is appreciated.

    I really want to thank everyone that's helped thus far. When I think of last winter, it's overwhelming. Really one of the worst years ever in so many ways, but no heat just made everything SO much worse. Very hard to think back on, but the help I received from everyone here kept me carrying on. 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
  • Emeliza
    Emeliza Member Posts: 30
    O my gosh, your install was so much more complicated than mine and the fact that you did this last heating season, which was the coldest in a long, long time, my hat is off to you for suffering through freezing (literally) inside temps.

    I am curious, though, when you said you did a lot of skimming (which I have to do now but first I have to get a proper skim port and a manual valve on my automatic water feeder in order to skim said boiler), exactly when did you do this skimming? A couple of weeks after the install, through the spring and summer when you didn't have to worry about keeping warm?

    Today it is relatively warm out but I am not set up to properly skim and I am not sure when I can get the installer back out to get it set up in the next few weeks. I do have a drop header and I have my mains vented really well so I should be getting decent steam. Did you do any of your skimming when it was really cold or did you wait for a break in the weather?

    I love the idea of the wand to wash the boiler out but I have a dirt floor (a rat slab is another project that I want to do) and the water goes to a sump which is then piped out the window (permanently connecting it with piping thru the beam that is resting on the granite stone walls of the foundation is also on the project list), and the mess of mud and water is not something I really want in my cellar.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,616
    Perhaps vaporvac has over engineered? If system is airtight and you expel the air with a water or air powered ejector,then boiler is mainly controlled by thermostat rather than pressure stat.The steam transfers heat from the burner to radiators.Steam pressure builds up only enough to satisfy heating requirements.

    My hat's off to Colleen.Modern steam has advantages over hot water and it's comforting that steam heating hasn't died off entirely.
    vaporvac
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Update on Vstats! They're hooked up!!!!. Seeing how it's done, I'm sure I could have done it myself, but the guy who replaced my fridge compressor did it in a flash. However, to get the full staging as designed, I have to switch out my 3-wires going from the Taco relay to the Tstat for 4-wire. This wasn't explained very well in the Honeywell manual or I would have done it already as I have easy access to that. Since, I'll do that myself, Matt nicely wrote out a diagram telling me exactly how. We can also switch the lead boiler on a yearly basis. I love this company and have encouraged them to advertise here. They know their stuff and really liked my system. Yeah!

    Now that I fully understand how the staging works I can share that and put some of the discussions we've had to bed. A type of staging can be done WITHOUT a two-stage Tstat (or just wired that way, as in my case). The staging is done strictly through the Vaporstats. Both boilers come on together everytime, with one dropping out as it reaches its set point and coming back on when reaching its cut-in.

    With proper two-stage wiring, EITHER one or BOTH can come on first, depending on the temperature differential. This differential is predetermined by the actual two-stage Tstat's algorithm. 3-4 degrees seems to be the standard. So coming back from a set-back of 4 deg, both boilers come on until the Tstat is met. (Of course, if the Vstats are set differently, the additional staging still applies.)
    After the set-back, only the lead boiler comes on to maintain temp. This also applies in the swing seasons which is great as the longer, slower burn time a single boiler provides helps expel all the air and gives a nice even heat. It's obvious this is a much more economical way to heat and suits steam very well.


    My only question is should I use one or three CPH (my only options) to try and maintain the system in a vacuum. Maybe next year if I can hook-up a gas meter thingy, I can do that experiment.
    Next up is the garage mains insulation and welding the leaking mains. JBWeld helped, but it still leaks some. At least there's still some cold weather to observe the changes this will make.
    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
  • MarkS
    MarkS Member Posts: 75
    What brand//model thermostat do you have? Some of the Honeywell's can be set in between Steam (1) and Hot Water (3) CPH, though they don't spell it out very well in the documentation.
    1890 near-vapor one pipe steam system | Operating pressure: 0.25 oz | 607 sf EDR
    Midco LNB-250 Modulating Gas Burner | EcoSteam ES-50 modulating controls | 70 to 300 MBH |
    3009 sf | 3 floors | 14 radiators | Utica SFE boiler | 4 mains, 135 ft | Gorton & B&J Big Mouth vents
  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
    I think I'm falling in love with you Colleen...........married? :*
    vaporvac
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    @Don, if you listen really hard you can hear me belly laughing. I think it counts instead of sit-ups and definitely more fun!

    @MarkS, my Honeywell is the RTH6580wifi. It has 1 AND 3 CPH. (My bold one had 2C:PH and gave boiler on time. :( ) What are you thoughts on CPH for vacuum. BTW, I currently have it set to 1CPH. The instructions were stupid, but their tech support sorted me out.

    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
    Don_197
  • MarkS
    MarkS Member Posts: 75
    Colleen, I don't have a good answer for you other than "try them both and pick the one that works best". There's a fellow near me with a Trane system he's trying to get working under vacuum again. He's thinking of running multiple short cycles versus one long one, which for a vacuum system seems to make sense. My question would be whether those are shorter cycles are over a longer period of time. If I correctly understand the awesomeness of vacuum systems correctly, you get a good head of steam going and when you shut down the boiler the vacuum keeps the heat coming for a couple of hours longer. I'm not sure how a regular thermostat would adapt to that mode of operation.
    1890 near-vapor one pipe steam system | Operating pressure: 0.25 oz | 607 sf EDR
    Midco LNB-250 Modulating Gas Burner | EcoSteam ES-50 modulating controls | 70 to 300 MBH |
    3009 sf | 3 floors | 14 radiators | Utica SFE boiler | 4 mains, 135 ft | Gorton & B&J Big Mouth vents
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!