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Big Thank You

Bug512
Bug512 Member Posts: 52
edited September 2014 in Strictly Steam
Just wanted to post a BIG Thank You for this message board, all the great books I have read on residential steam and Gerry Gill for answering so many questions I have had in the past year.

To give some background I do work in the HVAC field, mostly with building automation and large steam and chiller plants. I hold a NJ blue seal, universal refrigerant and am waiting to see if I am grandfathered for the NJ HVACR license. But before that I spent pipefitting in an industrial plant, piping chiller, process lines and high pressure boilers.

Years ago I decided to switch to natural gas from oil and stay with steam heating. So with the help form so many I decided to tackle this project this summer, fast forward to last Friday I am now steaming with my new boiler. I passed all inspections on the first visit and had no issue with the gas company turning on my service.

Below is a link to some pictures, I still have to insulate some of the fittings. Please feel free to comment and make suggestions.

My next step is to install a indirect water heater and look into a vaporstat and two stage gas valve.

Pictures : https://www.flickr.com/photos/21000175@N02/

Gene in northern New Jersey
Gene in Northern NJ
NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600

Comments

  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Question? So last night was the first night the boiler ran all night since it was 40 outside. Everything worked very well and extremely quiet.
    Here is my question, while running and the pressure around 1.25# the water in the sight glass is running toward the bottom, very steady. When the boiler is off and cold the level is filled to the proper 28-3/4" above the floor.
    So what is the lowest you like to see the water at when running?
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Are you sure the pressure is 1.25? For every ounce of pressure in the boiler, the water level in the wet returns rises up 1.75 inches, and then that reduces the level of water in the boiler. Some movement is to be expected, but that's one reason we like our systems to operate in ounces rather than pounds pressure.
    The LWCO will prevent the boiler from firing below a certain water-level, so assuming it is working, you are safe.--NBC
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,471
    Has the boiler been skimmed? If the water in the boiler has oil in it that will lead to an unstable waterline, does the water in the sight glass bounce around while making steam?

    The work you did introduces oil into the boiler water and the only way to get rid of oil is a nice slow skimming.

    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
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Below is the link to the pictures, I took some of the condensate return line today, I would like to hear comments as I have not modified the return line. I placed a vent in where a 3/4" plug was.
    Maybe there is a better location for that vent? Should the condensate line be insulated as well?

    Nicholas, thank you for your reply. In the pictures you will see the gauge. I also made a short video that I hope to upload to youtube today.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/21000175@N02/sets/72157647150735745/

    Thanks everyone.
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Hello Bob, yes I skimmed the boiler but that is not to say that after a couple of days with it running that it bight need to be done again.

    The water is not unstable (like surging) it just drops low when making steam.

    I hope to have the video up soon.
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    I guess I found my answer in this article.
    http://www.massengineers.com/Documents/Hartford Loop.htm

    From paragraph 10 "You see, when the water leaves the boiler as steam, the level in both the boiler and the equalizer will drop."

    But my question is "How Much" ?

    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    It will or can, i should say, drop low enough to teter at the low water cutoff location. It all depends on how long it takes to get the condensate back. Overhead returns take longer than wet returns.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    the water line in the video is going lower than the low water cutoff but not activating which means its higher in the boiler buy alot..i think its foaming and you need more skimming.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • I can't remember if you described your main vents, and their resistance (back-pressure) to the air escaping as steam first begins to rise. Is the boiler well matched in terms of square feet of edr to the system radiation? Will the boiler run uninterrupted until the thermostat is satisfied, or is there some short-cycling? The piping looks very nice.--NBC
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Great Gerry and "Thank You" I skimmed the afternoon after I got the gas turned on. I figured I would run it for a couple days and do it again. With our temperatures rising I will not need heat so that will be a good project for the weekend.

    For a steam boiler that is used for heating only, do you ever use a aqua stat to keep the boiler "warm" (160 deg) so when the thermostat calls for heat the steam is made more quickly? During the shoulder season I can see the boiler turing on a couple of times a day at best and was wondering if it would be better to hold the water temperature ?

    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    The only "main vent" I have is on the condensate return line. I was wondering if that is too close to the boiler? Should I add more?

    My radiators total at 255, the boiler is rated for 354. I plan on installing another radiator in the kitchen and add a indirect water heater in the future.

    I know I replaced all of my radiator vents what has to be ten years ago when I had my oil fired boiler. Little story was when we first moved in to our house the radiator vents were blowing steam so bad you would have to add water every other day. After I replaced them I ran that boiler at about 1 pound and only needed to add water when I did a blow down.

    Maybe its time to replace them all again.

    I have new Honeywell Thermostatic Radiator Valves (http://www.supplyhouse.com/Honeywell-T1002W0NA-Thermostatic-Radiator-Actuator-w-Integral-Sensor) on the radiators on the second floor bedroom radiators.
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • In addition, the Crown boiler may have a reduced water content, as do some Weil-Mclains. Weil recommend the installation of a reservoir tank (do a search here) to hold extra water, at the waterline level (basically a big piece of horizontal pipe, and I have one on my Peerless 211A. Soon after I installed my reservoir tanks, I found out why my waterline was disappearing: a horizontal pipe in the dry return just above the boiler waterline was trying to fill as the pressure forced the return water level higher, and in doing so transferred a few gallons of water into that pipe, robbing the boiler temporarily of its water. Repiping the returns fixed that problem, so my reservoir tanks are probably not needed.--NBC
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    edited September 2014
    You need more skimming, if you are using steamaster tablets and used too many of them will cause the water to surge and leave the boiler, don't ask me how I know, I would hold the tablets until boiler is oil free, 1 tablet usually does the trick
    JStar
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    I agree with Bio. The tablets can make the water act dirty. We usually use them as a one-time application for cleaning.
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Thanks Joe. I smiled you about a radiator. Any chance you have seen something around? Do you know of any places here in northern NJ that have them? Maybe in the New Hope area ?

    Thanks !
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    Bug512 said:

    Great Gerry and "Thank You" I skimmed the afternoon after I got the gas turned on. I figured I would run it for a couple days and do it again. With our temperatures rising I will not need heat so that will be a good project for the weekend.

    For a steam boiler that is used for heating only, do you ever use a aqua stat to keep the boiler "warm" (160 deg) so when the thermostat calls for heat the steam is made more quickly? During the shoulder season I can see the boiler turing on a couple of times a day at best and was wondering if it would be better to hold the water temperature ?

    I wouldn't use the aquastat for heat only. I think it would actually raise the fuel bill. Just gut instinct there. I have not actually tried that.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    In watching your video......When the boiler fires, it begins building pressure then drops off, then continues. Each time it fired, it dropped off less, but still dropped off. Is there a sag in the main? The system also builds pressure very fast. Do your TRVs have vacuum breakers on them? These are novice questions and observations. The pros can weigh in and correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Paul thanks for watching. No, no sag in the main at all. I think the pressure is dropping off less because the vents have released their air and are closing as the boiler is running.

    The first time it shuts down is because it has been running for 10 minutes. As pre the owners manual:
    "The CG400 is also equipped with a feature which will shut down the burners after they have been firing for 10 minutes, regardless
    of the water level status. The CG400 then keeps the burners off for 90 seconds, allowing the water level and any foam which
    is present to settle. During this 90 second interval, the green LED on the CG400 will glow. If the water level is still above the cutoff
    line at the end of this 90 second interval, the CG400 will restart the burners."

    During the video I set the thermostat WAY up to keep the boiler running.

    TRV's = Steam vents? Don' t 100% know if they have vacuum breakers on them. The ones on the second floor ( bedrooms) are Honeywell Thermostatic Radiator Valves (link above).
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    This is just a mechanics observation, not a steam pros. I can't see how a closing vent could cause pressure to drop off.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    I don't think those TRVs have an integral vacuum breaker, and without it, they will hold condensate in the radiator.
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    The pressure drop off is due to the pressure reaching a high limit and turning the boiler off.
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    I was refering to the drop off that occured before it reached the high limit. In the video it was momentary, but I can't think of anything in a proper system that could cause that. Other than the steam pushing through a slug of condensate?
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Could be. For now I will skim the boiler some more like the above posters recommended and go from there.

    Thanks for your comments and diagnosis.
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    10/4 update. With the boiler skimmed, drained and refilled we are running like a top.
    I added another main vent, replaced all the vents on the radiators and I have steam at all the radiators with .25 on the gauge in no time. The water level drops around 2-3" from it's resting level when running. The thermostat has satisfied before the pressure troll cuts out. The outside temperatures are only in the 40-50's.

    Anyone have experience with a Honeywell TH8320WF thermostat? On page 6, function 240 I am selecting # 1 for Gas/Oil Steam system, there is a "other option" of 2,4,6,7,8,10,11,12.
    Do any of you know what the "other options" are for?

    Link to PDF:
    https://customer.honeywell.com/resources/techlit/TechLitDocuments/69-0000s/69-2733EFS.pdf

    Thanks again for all the gray help, I hope I can contribute softly in the future.

    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600
  • Bug512
    Bug512 Member Posts: 52
    Thanks! Can you explain the difference of the two LWCO? Wouldn't it only shot down the boiler when the water is too low?
    I see that they are manufactured by the same company.
    Gene in Northern NJ
    NJ HVACR License 19HC00537600