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Ongoing De-Knuckleheading Project

Steamhead
Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
This is Memorial Episcopal Church, in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. It once had a steeple which I believe was hit by lightning.

The heating system is mostly one-pipe steam, with several unit heaters in the sanctuary that are set up as two-pipe. Boiler is a Smith 28A, using pumped return.

The system knocked, banged, hissed and leaked, and used a lot of gas. So here are some of the cures:

First, the control system was set up so the boiler maintained 7 PSI all the time. You could have used the boiler room as a sauna. The existing control cabinet was in good shape and plenty big, so we removed the old timers and installed a new set of 24-volt relays which operate the zone valves and control the burner. We installed Honeywell VisionPro 8000 thermostats in the zones which handle the setback function. And we installed a set of LED indicator lights so it's easy to see which zone is calling.

Then we changed the Honeywell V4055 single-rate gas valve actuator to a V4062 with low-high-low firing, under control of a Vaporstat. The PowerFlame people told us which actuator to use. The burner drops to low fire at 1 PSI and shuts off at 2.5 PSI. Finally we tuned the burner on the analyzer. These changes resulted in a savings of 35% during the shoulder seasons, less during very cold weather when the boiler was running a lot anyway.

All Steamed Up, Inc.
Towson, MD, USA
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Consulting

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    Here's the part that was priceless.

    When an elevator was installed to make the church ADA-compliant, they had to raise a steam main to build a hallway next to the boiler room. Not sure where they got the piping diagram for this attempt at a steam siphon, which never worked. When this zone came on, the Anvil Chorus announced it to the entire building.

    We ran the drip line around the crawlspace and into the boiler room, connecting to the return line going into the boiler-feed pump. The next time they sing "Silent Night", they'll be able to really mean it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Charlie from wmass
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    Some more views- three of the unit heaters in the sanctuary, and what looks like a register that was filled in- there are several of these. Not sure if they were once fed by a gravity furnasty or a set of indirect radiators. Much of the old piping in the basement is hidden.

    We also fixed two leaking pipes this time. One was a casualty of water hammer from a failed F&T trap, which we also fixed, and the other was leaking at a threaded joint.

    Still a good bit of de-knuckleheading to do!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    You guys have all the fun out there :)

    Nice work -- as usual.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Is there some kind of church network? You two seem to get allot of the old church work.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    Word of mouth- best advertising there is.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    RobGCharlie from wmass
  • churchcat
    churchcat Member Posts: 2
    Churchcat from Memorial here. Yes, we had massive water hammer problems before I got in contact with All Steamed Up, right here on this site about four years ago.. Also burned through three low-water cutoffs in as many years -- that after replacing a boiler that was only ten years old. Our previous contractor blamed the rusting through on the utility sink in the boiler room - but it seems the real culprit was all the water we were taking on to make up for leaks throughout the system. It's been many thousands of dollars, but money well spent, as the system is running smoothly and we've only got a few more tweaks on the to-do list. For the record, we never did have a steeple. It was in the original plan, but there was never enough money.
    RobG