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Pictures of existing system that needs replacement

KC_Jones
KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
I have pretty much decided my uncle and I are going to replace my boiler

(he has 30 years experience).  Anyway I was told in another post I

should put up some picture of my existing system for people to critique

what issues I could currently have.  One thing I noticed is my header

seems low.  It is about 24 inches from the water level to the TOP

of the header which I think is low according to the Weil Mclain

instructions.  Additionally I have no isolation valves for blowing the

boiler down, so obviously that has never been done.  Some complaints of

mine that will be fixed is the, I think you guys call it "mud valve" on

the condensate return line is a PITA since it's upside down and almost

on the floor.  Of course maybe you will tell me it's supposed to be like

that.  Still learning here.  Oh and not sure if this matters at all,

but by the date of the boiler this installation is 32 years old or so

and in an at least 100 year old house.  Anyway opinions are welcome

thanks!
2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    edited February 2014
    Project

    I went through the same thing in 2011.  There is a link to some pictures of my project in my signature below this message.



    I installed a WM EG-45 which is much like your current boiler.  What are the reasons for replacing it?  Oversized?  Leaking?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    I already saw

    Your installation and I've been studying it. I even bookmarked that page!  I have an EG-45 now and it's leaking that is the reason for replacement, but it is also over sized for my application.  I am stepping down one size to an EG-40 which is still over sized, but I am planning on partially finishing my attic and I have at least one room (8x8) that needs a rad added to it so I am giving myself some cushion.  An EG-35 would actually be just right for what I have now, but if I put that in and added load it would be undersized which is a problem.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    One question for you

    Just for reference about how much does the cast iron weigh on that boiler?  It looks like 2 of you are handling it?!  I am trying to figure out how much muscle I will need to maneuver it.  I was thinking 4, but that might be overkill?  I won't be doing the work for a while, but I like to figure out all details way ahead of time.  lol My wife thinks I am weird like that....of course when we had to plan our own wedding back in 2006 she wasn't making fun of me then!
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    edited February 2014
    How many

    Just me and my dad brought it down the basement stairs but that was due to my dad coming up with a way to do it. The block alone is in the neighborhood of 400lbs I believe.



    Once it was in the basement, I moved it around alone but it wasn't easy. I think I mostly slid it on the concrete.



    As far as sizing, as long as your numbers are accurate, if it was my system I'd probably go for the EG-35 and insulate the piping really well. You can get by with a slightly undersized boiler as long as you vent radiators slowly and your piping is all insulated. Of course it depends on how undersized you will be and as others will tell you running a slightly undersized boiler takes patience. If you just slap large vents on the radiators especially something like a heat timer varivent and don't insulate the piping it will never work.



    If you're 100% sure you're adding that extra radiation and are sure it will be in use most of the time and it works out with an EG-40 then that is definitely the safer route but not necessarily the most rewarding.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    I understand

    Just for reference my current calculated load is 63,600 based on 265 sq. ft. of radiation.  I will for sure be adding one small radiator in our laundry room on first floor, possibly when I do this replacement.  And the attic is a couple years away for sure, but that will be about 350-400 sq. ft. of living space, not sure how much load that will add?  Anybody have thoughts on that?  I want to make the attic tight good windows foam insulation etc.  At my current load the EG-35 would just barely be making it.  To be honest the slight savings on the smaller boiler (about 300 bucks) doesn't seem worth it to go smaller.  I think the 40 would do me best with the future planning.  Your mention of slightly undersize makes me think about the way over sized the local contractor wanted to put in...he didn't mention replacing my pip insulation at all?!  And yes I plan on doing a thorough pipe insulating job once I am finished.  I like the idea of the pvc covers because my whole basement is a workshop and that would be a lot easier to keep clean than my current set up (which basically doesn't get cleaned).  My posts are getting so long I keep thinking of questions as I type!  lol  I must say I have only been here 2 days, but this site is fantastic!  I love how open people are with advice and assistance.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Wet base boiler

    You could use a wet based boiler with a gas gun with a lower firing rate to match your current setup. When you make the additions, you could then increase the firing rate appropriately.--NBC
  • Maine Vent
    Maine Vent Member Posts: 130
    Wet Based WM with Riello Gas Burner

    Hi KC,

    Just a homeowner, here is my wet based SGO 4 Steamer.



    I put a Riello Gas burner on it, OK'd by Manf. not to null the warranty.



    This is the way to go, wet based, NG, most important. GET IT SIZED RIGHT.



    You will read that on here over & over.



    Next get a set of Dan's books on steam, on EDR or radiators, and STUDY them.



    I have a link below to my install pictures also.



    Good Luck.
    Weil McLean SGO4, Riello Gas Burner
    404 sq ft EDR
    Old Burnham V8 Removal
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    edited February 2014
    Opinions

    You know what I absolutely love about these threads?



    You have many homeowners and pros who respond with slightly different opinions and ideas and not one of them is ever "rip it out and put forced hot air in".





    Maine Vent : your Picasa links no longer seem to work. :(
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    Links?

    Are both dead?  I ordered the 4 pack of books yesterday and I can't wait for them to arrive!  I have a thirst for knowledge that I am sure a lot of people on here can relate to.  Since I am new this forgive me here, but what do you mean by "wet based"?  Oh and this site is helping me keep up my basic math skills as an added bonus...lol
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    Wet based

    Wet based means the water surrounds the flame like you see on oil fired boilers. If you look in my photos you can see the oil fired Burnham I removed and see how the block differs from my new one. On atmospheric boilers all water is above the flames.



    Some guys like atmospherics, some hate them.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    lmao

    I get that from my family already!  If I got that here I probably wouldn't be here!  My brother in law the plumber wants me to go hydronic.  He's like just convert your rads to hot water it's more efficient!  I'm like sure and a crap load more money, which i would probably never recover in my energy savings?!  Another brother in law said put in forced hot air with central A/C.  While the central A/C is on my wish list, it's not in the budget right now.  I like the comfort of the steam having grown up with forced air, which I now hate.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    Hydronic

    Steam is hydronic heat (uses water to transfer heat) and forced hot water isn't necessarily more efficient but I have a feeling you already know that.



    I have plans on doing some kind of central air or mini-split setup when I can afford it but my steam will never leave. I'm also sure if we ever move the next house will have to have a steam system.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    Excellent

    Thanks for the explanation when I hear wet I think water not steam.  Makes sense now.  Personally I would rather just stick with something similar to what I have.  Since I am a novice it seems like the route with the least questions.  Though I am not totally opposed to the idea.  I will need more education before deciding.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    Thank you for correcting me

    I always hear hydronic in reference to hot water systems...of course most people don't talk about steam that much either.  Yes as far as efficiency I see more loss due to old house than the heating system itself.  When you look at the power of steam it's hard to argue.  Oh I guess it's useful to mention most of my steam knowledge relates to power plants.  My father, grandfather and I all worked for the power company.  I worked on the electric side and they both were in fossil fueled power plants (total of 77 years between the 2).  I have a pretty good basic working knowledge of steam, but these house systems are so different I still have a lot to learn!  I am actually kicking myself why I didn't learn more years ago when I first bought the house.  Better late than never I guess.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    Wet Base

          Wet base boilers weigh close to double, but that thermal mass is a good thing. If I remember correctly, my 5 section series 8 was 750lbs skidded. I lowered it off my pickup with a die table I borrowed from work. Got it hanging over the basement stairs in the Bilco door. Then tied braided nylon rope to the skid and the back of my truck. I tied the rope taught, then got in the truck. I put it in neutral and put my foot on the brake. I told my buddy to push it, so it teetered down the stairs, and get out of the way. I heard this ZING and then I could feel the weight pulling the truck. I eased up on the brake and the truck moved back about 6 inches.

         I failed to consider a couple things...the change in direction meant the rope got loose, and the nylon rope stretches a lot. I knew it wouldn't break. My buddy said it was unbelievable. It took off down the stairs like a shot, then slowed down and stopped about 6 inches above the basement floor. We stopped and had a couple beers after that one.

       
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    Too heavy

    For me.  I think I will steer clear of the wet.  I don't have an outside entrance to my basement so this thing has to go through my house and lets just say it's tight.  I am worried enough about 400 lbs let alone 600-700.  Well glad that decision was made...lmao.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Maine Vent
    Maine Vent Member Posts: 130
    Picture link, Chris

    Tried it this AM, seemed to work ok for me, that's a mystery.
    Weil McLean SGO4, Riello Gas Burner
    404 sq ft EDR
    Old Burnham V8 Removal
  • Missing link

    I also had no luck with the link-maybe it's an Apple vs PC problem--NBC
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Sectional boilers

    are regularly carried into basements one section at a time.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    Tear apart

    Just remember the block should be pressure tested after reassembly.



    On WM blocks with gaskets they told me to install new gaskets if I had to pull the block apart. Not sure how it works with push nipples on boilers like Burnham.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,306
    Ditto

    My iMac can't access those links.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    Nope

    I'm a PC man and the links don't work.



    I suspect you need to go into your Picasa account and somewhere in there you can click to get a link for sharing the album. I can't remember exactly where right now but I know that is what I had to do.



    I believe it gives you a different link than what you get when logged into your own account.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Maine Vent
    Maine Vent Member Posts: 130
    Gallery

    I have to make a "Gallery" like you did to attach to that link. I'll try again.
    Weil McLean SGO4, Riello Gas Burner
    404 sq ft EDR
    Old Burnham V8 Removal
  • Maine Vent
    Maine Vent Member Posts: 130
    Picture link test

    I think I figured out the link problem.



    Can I get test from the field please.



    Thanks
    Weil McLean SGO4, Riello Gas Burner
    404 sq ft EDR
    Old Burnham V8 Removal
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Both links work for me

    Firefox 27 on Mac OS X.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,032
    please, please, tell me your going

    to redo that pipe insulation in something more , shall we say, normal....makes my eyes hurt.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,081
    Hahahaha

    It isn't pretty, but it's been getting the job done for 12 years.  When I moved in there wasn't anything...blessing and a curse.  Most of the houses I looked at in this area had one of two choices...asbestos or nothing.  I personally preferred nothing since I didn't want the headache of having Asbestos.  Since I knew nothing about the heating system at the time I went to the home center, knew I needed fiberglass and found that stuff.  The new install will be much prettier I promise!  Of course I think I can save some of it to reuse on the new fittings under PVC covers, but all the straight pipe will surely get new.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15