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Saving a great Masonic building with ailing steam system, a call to brother Masons.

Mitch_6
Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
edited May 2015 in THE MAIN WALL
There is a great masonic lodge Ezekiel Bates in Attleboro Ma. It has an aging and failing heating system, the lodge is showing some great growth but still needs to find a solution to high fuel costs. Looking for brothers in the industry both mechanics and suppliers that may be able to lend some help. system is two pipe steam, but keeping it that way may or not be the solution. Thanks for the E mails but "Not looking for on line comments, I know the work, looking for brothers for hands on help or access to supplies at reduced cost" .image

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,021
    Mitch -- I am not a Mason. But, as always on the Wall, if I can help with comments or advice, just ask.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    RobGKC_JonesZman
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Same here.

    Also, keeping the two-pipe steam is almost definitely the answer.
    KC_Jones
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,831
    How about some pics of the system? What problems are you having besides high fuel consumption?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    KC_Jones
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    Sorry, not looking for on line diagnostics, looking for hands on help and supplies.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Mitch said:

    Sorry, not looking for on line diagnostics, looking for hands on help and supplies.

    How is anyone going to know what help or supplies you need without knowing the problems?
    KC_JonesZman
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,831
    What you need is a Steam Man. Go here:

    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/state/MA

    Many of the contractors you'll find at the link regularly post here.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    KC_Jones
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    I am a steam man, I am a steam contractor (I have been on this web site for years). I am looking for brother masons or those who know of the work of Masons and Shriners (i.e. Shriners Hospitals for Children) I am both a Mason and Shriner. I am looking those who can help save this historic building and the organization held within it that does so much good. They need skilled hands and if at all possible reduced material costs.
  • Are we looking at a boiler replacement, correction of near-boiler piping, adding main vents, replacing radiators, insulating the pipes? If you know the work, let us know what's involved.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    KC_Jones
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    Alan, as stated in the description above, I am looking for local brothers and those that appreciate what the Masonic bodies like the Shrine have done. I am looking for local support to help save a historic building. I am looking for two things, those who know how to swing a wrench and have some free time and those that can get us some material at a good discount. I am not looking for long distance advice or to diagnose long distance issues.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,508
    To make it easier to get the help you need, post a list of the items you need.
    If you need a boiler, there are a number of used oil boilers, floating around, with sometimes light use, which could have a gas gun installed. Two smaller boilers could equal the largerEDR you may need.
    If you check with your local habitat for humanity, you may find the names of some suppliers who are especially interested in charitable assistance,(Fergusson, Pexsupply?).
    This list could be posted in the "buy, sell, Barter" department here.
    Don't forget we love pictures as the project unfolds.--NBC
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    edited May 2015
    Mitch said:

    Alan, as stated in the description above, I am looking for local brothers and those that appreciate what the Masonic bodies like the Shrine have done. I am looking for local support to help save a historic building. I am looking for two things, those who know how to swing a wrench and have some free time and those that can get us some material at a good discount. I am not looking for long distance advice or to diagnose long distance issues.

    It sounds like Mitch is sticking to the Masonic secrecy thing.

    People typically like to know what they are getting themselves into. What you are asking is like bidding a job without seeing it.
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    The job is an unknown, the help is an unknown. Looking for local people that can take a look.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Mitch said:

    The job is an unknown, the help is an unknown. Looking for local people that can take a look.

    There are a lot of people here who like to help. Maybe some in your area but if everything is secret, You've got a boat load of help already, it's just a secret. I'm just sayin :)
    I chair a Landmarks Commission for the city I live in and there are a lot of history/architectural buffs on this site as well. It's unfortunate that there are so many unknowns.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Plus there might be some folks here who'd love to take a little trip to help out. I think a list is a great idea; then people can look in their inventory and see what's available.
    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
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    I am attending lodge there this Wednesday and meeting with the grounds committee. Most likely will be change the trap elements and tune things up the best for this winter. Then start with mini splits and similar items to break up the system and add some cooling.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,831
    Mitch said:

    Then start with mini splits and similar items to break up the system and add some cooling.

    Are you saying you're going to tear the steam system out?

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    edited May 2015
    I have made no determination at this time. Let me put a story to my involvement. I am a member of another lodge, I have visited this lodge on several occasions, they are a younger but up and coming group of people with some great ideas and the perfect building for Lodges and other groups to meet. The lodge almost disappeared but now they have about sixty members with about a dozen or more very involved people but non are mechanics. In conversation they stated due to heating costs they are in the red and within two years may need to sell, add to that there is a lot of banging and some pipes have blown out. I have not seen the cellar but just looking at the old layered paint on the traps I know it's been years if ever any basic maintenance has been done. The building was designed in a time when membership was 800 and the place was very active. I do not believe an air based solution will work in the main lodge, especially since it needs a quick heat before a meeting and then gets shut down for most of the week. Some small areas see more regular use year round, where AC could come in handy. It may be the steam use is greatly reduced. My main desire for the original post was to see if there are people like me (and experienced like me) in the Attleboro MA area that can walk through and brain storm. Line sets all over the place will be ugly for shore so it needs to be a mix if skill and experience. I also feel that people involved in the planning with the right skills that may be involved in the actual work will make it more successful. The main reason for my posting as looking for other Brother Masons to help is due to our code and knowledge of the good charitable work we do for the community. The best example of what we do to a member of the general public, is the Shriners Hospitals for Children both the orthopedic in Springfield and the Burns in Boston http://www.alepposhriners.com/hospitals.html to be a Shriner you must be a Master Mason. Lodges like this one are corner stone that all the charity starts.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,831
    Mitch, I really can't tell you if anyone on this board is a Mason. We don't generally discuss that here.

    What I do know is, there is plenty of steam talent in the SE Mass/Providence RI area, so if you just want some more eyes on this system, you should not have to search very far.

    But, having done this type of consulting myself, I can say that the more I know before I get there, the easier the job is. Others who I know have done this would say the same. That's one reason we asked for pictures.

    Given the age and history of your building, and your description of a 2-pipe system with traps, I have a feeling you probably have a Vapor system. Vapor was the Cadillac of heating in its day and is still one of the best systems out there. However, every company that sold Vapor equipment had its own twist on the basic Vapor concept.

    Some of this board's participants have accumulated a LOT of original information on these grand old systems. Our company's library includes Dunham, Hoffman, Trane, Webster and others. So we can get into the heads of the Dead Men who invented and installed these systems. We know what they were thinking. Therefore, if for example we see Hoffman #7 radiator shutoff valves and Hoffman #18 radiator traps, we can be pretty sure there is a Differential Loop in the piping around the boiler, and crossover traps on the steam mains. If we see Webster 5- or 7-series or 02H radiator traps, we know we'll probably find a Webster Air Trap in the basement, F&T traps at the ends of the steam mains and maybe a Return Trap too. If any of these are missing, we'll know what should be there, and why.

    This is the kind of person you want to hook up with, and I say again, you should not have to search very far.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    RobGSWEI
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    I know and it was the reason for my original post as suggested by Dan. I have done a bit of steam work myself and will post more on this building as I find out the issues, my options and limitations.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,831
    Thanks- we'll be watching!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting