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Introduction and pics of boiler setup

K_Tile
K_Tile Member Posts: 2
Hello Gentleman

We are the stewards of an old "new to us" home. Our house was built in 1896, Queen Anne Victorian with 4700sf (1st and 2nd for) not including full basement and full usable attic. Since this is my first steam boiler and radiator system I have been reading this forum and Dan's books. I would like to share photos of our system for review with the forum.

The gas boiler is a Crane 200 series with what appears to be a Moline heat systems. The system performs beautifully and quietly. It keeps our home @ 71 degrees down and 73 degrees upstairs. We have had several below zero heating days this December and our heating bill was around $275.00 for the month.

What things should I be concerned with in the current setup? How can I optimize this system? Photos were taken while boiler was heating.

Thanks. Kevin


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Comments

  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 950
    You better love that old boiler. Lotta people would be tickled to have such a low heat bill on a big old house!
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited January 2015
    Good to hear the system is running so well. A couple observations/comments. Make sure you blow the boiler down at least every couple weeks. I see a bucket there so I assume you already do that.
    The "Linimum Permissible Water level" tag is misplaced and should not be used as an acceptable water level. That tag should be somewhere closer to the middle of the sight glass. Using that tag as a reference, where it is would let the boiler run dry.
    The Near boiler piping isn't correct but if the system is running well, I wouldn't mess with it until the boiler needs to be replaced or you have other major work done in that area. To correct it, the left riser out of the boiler should be carried over to the right side of the header and tied in where the Equalizer (pipe that goes down to the bottom of the boiler) is. The equalizer should go where the left riser is tied into the Header. actually wouldn't take much to correct that situation.
    Looks like the Pressuretrol is set nice and low. That's a good thing! Be sure , at least once a year to take the Pressuretrrol off and clean out the pigtail (looped pipe under the Pressuretrol) to make sure it isn't clogged. If it gets clogged, the boiler pressures will rise and you don't want that.
    That Pressuretrol has a merury switch in it. When you do any servicing (like cleaning the pigtail) make sure you level that Pressuretrol accurately or it will through your pressure settings off.
    You may also want to put a 0 - 3PSI gauge on the boiler so you can actually see what the boiler is doing. That gauge that iss on there probably doesn't even move.
  • K_Tile
    K_Tile Member Posts: 2
    "the left riser out of the boiler should be carried over to the right side of the header and tied in where the Equalizer (pipe that goes down to the bottom of the boiler) is. The equalizer should go where the left riser is tied into the Header. actually wouldn't take much to correct that situation."
    Like this....
    image

    Should the main steam pipe come off the top of the header? It appears mine is off the side.

    Should I be concerned about the return line having to go upwards in the below photo?

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  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited January 2015
    Yes, the Main should come off the top of the header.
    Your redline is not correct. Move that left riser over next to the right riser and tie it into the header next to the right one, right into where the equalizer is currently tied in. just turn that elbow up 90 degrees so that the riser enters into the side of the header. Then tie the Equalizer into the elbow at the end of the Header where the right riser is now.
    In your second picture, that rise in the wet return should go up to about 2 inches below the Normal water line in the boiler (when the boiler is not running) and it should tie into the equalizer pipe with a Tee and a close nipple (turn that elbow that goes upward along the wall down 90 degrees, add a short pipe to bring it closer to the equalizer and then go up with another elbow and nipple, add another elbow and turn it into the equalizer where a Tee is installed into the equalizer so that the entry into that tee is 2 inches below the water ( top of the Tee to the water line)
    That swing up at that wet return then becomes a "Harford Loop" which is designed so that if the wet return develops a leak anywhere along it, it won't let water out of the boiler any lower than where the Tee should be in the equalizer. That protects the boiler from potentially running dry in the even of a leak. it needs to stay below the water line to keep steam from pushing into that wet return.
    You can then take that section of pipe out between the elbow in the wet return and the 45 degree elbow at the pipe that enters the boiler and put a plug in that opening.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,707
    The system take off from the header should not be between the boiler tappings. If you have a header it should be boiler tap 1, boiler tap 2, system take off and finally equalizer piping. It appears you don't have a Hartford loop, but a check valve instead. I wouldn't worry about that pipe going up, with a hartford loop it goes up a lot more than that. Remember those pipes are all full of water and water always seeks it's own level. As has been said already if it's running smoothly and silently I wouldn't worry about it, but make notes for if you ever have to replace the boiler. Very cool system! Take good care of it!
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    edited January 2015
    Either your old gauge is inaccurate, or the pressure is higher than it should be, possibly due to a clog under the vaporstat. A low pressure (0-3) gauge, would show you the true pressure.
    These wonderful old vapor systems like that are happiest at a few ounces of pressure. You would probably benefit from changing the main air vents to a couple of Gorton #2's each line. If the system is completely ok, there may be no need for vents at all, as an open pipe may suffice.--NBC
    PS--those supply pipes should be insulated with fiberglass for best results.