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burner conversion Peerless EC/ECT via Carlin EZ pro?

I recently acquired a large leaky house with a 5-7 y.o. Peerless EC/ECT oil fired steam boiler with a Becket burner, and for reasons I don't need to go into, need to switch to gas fuel before heating season gets serious.  Not considering DIY, don't have experience.  Have ordered and will read over weekend one of Dan's steam heat books but seeking general opinions too.



I understand successful conversions have been done by changing the burner alone to a Carlin EZ Pro gas burner.  I have talked to three contractors, two said forget burner replacement, just get a new gas boiler, and cited multiple problems/issues with burner replacements.  The third was helpful, checked boiler and radiators, said it could be done and gave me reasonable prices for installing new gas burner OR for installing new gas boiler. 



My main reason in favor of doing the burner switch is that the house still needs much basic insulation work (e.g. envelope, exposed pipes in unfinished basement and elsewhere) and I feel my $$ would be far better spent there.  I also don't really know how much heat I will need until that's done.  Wouldn't spending $$ on a new boiler at this point mostly assist me in wasting yet more $$$ on heating the winter air outside the house?  But, if there are valid and unbiased reasons to switch the boiler, I could do it.



Was hoping some experienced people on this Wall can weigh in --thanks!

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,471
    Could save a nice piece of change.

    I switched to gas a couple of years ago buy installing a Smith G8 (no longer available) with the EZ Gas burner in it. My 15 year old Burnham v75 was not a good candidate for a retrofit. The fuel cost savings were very good. If your boiler is in good shape it should be a good candidate for the EZ Gas and that should ave money for the other work you need to tighten up the house. Is this a single or dual pipe steam system. and where are you located?



    Post some pictures of the piping around your existing boiler so we can see what other work might be needed to give you a good efficient steam system. Also take some pictures of your main vents and make a list of radiators (list height, width, depth the number of columns deep and number of columns across) and what kind of vent each radiator has on it now (if it's single pipe steam).



    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
  • Sizing the new boiler

    If you replace the boiler, then you must measure the EDR of the radiators, in order to make the selection.

    If you replace the oil burner, with a gas gun, then still some EDR calculations are required to determine the size, and settings of the new burner. A burner will give you more flexibility, as far as matching the new burner to the radiation load, which an atmospheric does not. Steam systems are always sized to the amount of radiation, and not the heat loss. When you have tightened up the envelope, you will find the boiler runs less.--NBC
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    response

    thank you very much -- will be at house tomorrow (it's near Bayonne NJ) and take some pictures, measure radiators etc.  It's a single pipe system and boiler vents via chimney.
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    response

    thanks.  very good to know.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    edited September 2014
    Estimate

    If you are still in the process of getting estimates you should call JSTAR (Joe Staroliac) Sorry if I spelled the last name wrong. He can evaluate your system and give you great service. His company is Thatcher HVAC. Use the find a contractor tab on the site for his info. I'm sure many others on the site would recommend him.



    I just found his info:

    - Joe Starosielec

    732-494-4357





    Rob
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    response

    fantastic, will do.  I'm going to be doing at least one more round of estimates once my steam education is more advanced!
  • We install gas EC/ECT's all the time

    As long as everything is cleaned up, the proper barometric damper installed, and the chimney is up to snuff, converting shouldn't be an issue.  The EC/ECT is nothing more than a smaller version of the SC/SCT which can use oil or gas just like most boilers.  It is also nothing more than a small version of the big commercial boilers that also use gas or oil.  The EC/ECT is a much more efficient design than a typical atmospheric gas boiler (like the Peerless 63/64), so about 2/3 of my new boiler installs are the EC/ECT with a gas burner ( I use Midco burners since they are made right here in Chicago).   The EC/ECT with a good gas burner is a significant upgrade over the 63/64 in terms of efficiency, so I sell it as a high efficiency steam boiler alternative.   The majority of people want this upgrade.

    My guess is the contractors that want to put in a "gas" boiler, don't have the expertise or equipment  to set up a gas burner properly.

    I am probably going to be putting in an EC boiler with gas burner in my own home when I install a new steam heat system to replace the big, bulky hot water system I have now.
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert





    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    response

    very helpful -- thanks --  I am 1/3 way through Dan's book ("We got steam heat") and thoroughly enjoying it (some tecchie nerd inside me is apparently lapping it up) .  I am glad to hear from someone who does these conversions.
  • These are not conversions....

    but complete new gas installations. This is a considerable upgrade over standard gas boilers.
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert





    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    photos of leaky old system!!

    Before I post photos, a disclaimer -- the house formerly belonged to a 94 year old who had a passion for design and artistry and little concern for comfort (you'll see) -- loads of room for improvement...

    Among other things, is it worth my spending $$ to bring back the inset radiators so that they are freestanding as they were before he carefully tucked them in?  They must be less effective inset because less convection, but I don't know how much or how big a job it would be. 

    Pipe insulation -- yes, but do I do it everywhere?

    And I'm sure there is lots more so please chime in -- the help has been great so far, as has Dan's book
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    photos of leaky old system!!

    Before I post photos, a disclaimer -- the house formerly belonged to a 94 year old who had a passion for design and artistry and little concern for comfort (you'll see) -- loads of room for improvement...

    Among other things, is it worth my spending $$ to bring back the inset radiators so that they are freestanding as they were before he carefully tucked them in?  They must be less effective inset because less convection, but I don't know how much or how big a job it would be. 

    Pipe insulation -- yes, but do I do it everywhere?

    And I'm sure there is lots more so please chime in -- the help has been great so far, as has Dan's book
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    edited September 2014
    Unusual piping arrangement

    Does the system leak, and if so where? I would overfill the boiler, and let it sit for a couple of days to see if there are any leaks in the boiler. Inspect the returns as well during this test period.

    It looks like the PRV has been leaking for quite a while, probably due to over-pressure or lack of maintenance, so that should be changed for a new one.

    The piping is most unusual with its 3 equalizers, and I wonder if the extras were put in later to compensate for wet steam, or whether they are left over from the original boiler installation. A little more height in the risers (above the waterline) would have been nice, but it should work on the low pressures we advise here. Get a good low-pressure 0-3 psi gauge on with the pressuretrol to verify its accuracy. Measure the riser diameters to see that they are the sizes recommended by Peerless.

    Assuming any leaks are not pointing to a terminal condition, it should be a candidate for a gas gun. Find out what modern boiler models would work with that burner, so you know what to replace the boiler with when its time comes in the future.

    The built in radiators should be able to keep things warm through radiation, and convection, if their covers permit airflow. It appears that they have some insulation, and reflective barrier behind them which is good.

    Definitely get some insulation on all the supply pipes. Even bats of fiberglass will be better than nothing, and can be removed for any latter pipe work.--NBC
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    Leaky system?

    Like NBC said, how do you know system is "leaky"? I went back and read everything you said, but I didn't really find a definitive answer. The relief valve should have a pipe to within a few inches of the floor.Not sure if the relief valve is constantly popping off or if someone is just using it to skim, but it looks like it's done a number on the jacket. Insulate everything everywhere. Looks like you have a counterflow system. Do the mains have returns on the ends of them?
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    response

    Thanks -- I meant (in my initial post) that the house is "leaky" i.e. uninsulated.  I'm not aware of any leaks in the radiators or piping. Although something is clearly leaking on to the boiler jacket.  I will follow up on the responses above at the weekend, in the meantime one more question:





    -  Why are there 2 labels on the boiler, one saying 150 W/S and

    output 286,000 steam, and the other saying 175 W/S and output 212,000 steam?
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    2 labels?

    Do you have pics of said labels?
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Labels

    Most wet-based boilers will publish 3 different ratings for the same boiler. The only difference will be the burner and maybe some flue passage baffles.



    We convert A LOT of that model PEERLESS with great results. Shouldn't be a problem if done properly.
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    response

    Thanks!  Here's a chart showing my radiator sizes and number of fins, and the area (in square feet) of each floor of the house.
  • tomyris
    tomyris Member Posts: 11
    radiator chart

    Here are my radiator sizes attached
  • josepha
    josepha Member Posts: 20
    edited October 2016

    We install gas EC/ECT's all the time

    Can you tell me if an EC/ECT-06-W/S will pair well with a Carlin 201 (it's a 6 family home)? Thanks!
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    edited October 2016
    You should start a new thread. The best answer I can give you is for you or your installer to call Carlin:
    http://carlincombustion.com/contact-us/customer-service/
    They most likely test fired that boiler and have figured out the proper burner, gas pressure and orifice size for that boiler.
    Save yourself a lot of headaches.
    You can also check the OEM guide:
    http://oemguide.carlincombustion.com/gas-appliance-2/?mfg=Peerless+(PB+Heat)
    steve