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Opinions on New Steam Boiler

leonsleons Posts: 8Member
Hi, new to the site. Posted my initial query on the "Main Wall:, and it was suggested that I might get some additional assistance from the Strictly Steam Section here. Appreciate any observations/advice. Thanks!
Don't want to double post, here is the original link:
http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/158221/new-steam-boiler-just-learning

Comments

  • Paul S_3Paul S_3 Posts: 1,257Member
    What would you like to know? Boiler is piped to manufactures specs....how does it operate any issues?
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    [email protected]
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
  • lstevenslstevens Posts: 24Member
    edited May 2016
    The link in the post isn't working.
    (edit, never mind, ignore.... my browser problem)......
  • leonsleons Posts: 8Member
    Paul S said:

    What would you like to know? Boiler is piped to manufactures specs....how does it operate any issues?

    So far no. I don't even know what a 'manufacturer spec' looks like, so that's why I took pics. (Apparently, old boiler was NOT to spec).

    1. The only small issue was some original surging. Contractor did some additional skimming (about an additional hour, for a total skimming since install of around 2 hours), which seems less time than I've read of on this forum. But, the contractor says the water looks clean to him. How do I tell if skimming is enough?

    2. Another question is water usage. The house is 125 years old, and many/most of the steam pipes are hidden in walls. There are likely some small hidden leaks that would be next to impossible to find (without opening walls to find). I've read that some boilers spec 'maximum' water useage, but I have not found that number for this Weil-Mclain EG-55. However, the VXT Water Feeder gives me a number based on the Net IBR of the boiler (this one is 125). It lists an estimate of 10 Gallons/ Month maximum water (before being concerned).

    I know that that less water is better, but I need to balance it against breaking down walls to find leaks. Is the 10 Gallons/Month (during heating season in the Northeast) a reasonable number to watch for?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,884Member
    10 gallons a month!?

    No, no no no no.

    For an EG-55 if you're using more than a gallon a month at the absolute most I'd be concerned.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,971Member
    I had to skim my boiler several times the first month, if the water level starts to surge you will know it needs more skimming.

    In a steam system leaks usually occur around radiator valves and air vents. You may have to repack some valve stems and watch out for air vents that don't seal once they get hot. Any pipe joint could leak but most don't without reason. Any horizontal pipe that doesn't have adequate slope could eventually develop pin holes after many decades.

    I manually add water to my system if the level drops, make sure you bring the boiler up to steam anytime you add water. Don't let the autofill add water if you can avoid it, boilers should be checked several times a week. My 95 year old system uses about 1/4 to 1/2" of water a month during the heating season so something is leaking but I really don't think it's worth pursuing.

    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
  • Paul S_3Paul S_3 Posts: 1,257Member
    edited May 2016
    10 gallons a month is alot ....most of the residential systems i install do not feed more than 1 or 2 gallons some do not feed at all. If there are steam leaks in walls etc you cannot balance between what to do.....when a steam system takes on too much feed water it will corrode your new boiler. Then you will spend more money for a new boiler and still have to fix the leaks. Check to see if your radiator or steam main vents leak steam. This is not normal. What i mean by manufacture specs is that your boiler is installed to the manufactures requirement in the installation manual, minimum requirements.
    I personally use both supply tappings coming out of the boiler. The installer should left you the paperwork for the boiler. All the piping and install diagrams are in there along with your warranty card. Usually skimming takes alot longer than what your installer did. He shouldve added water treatment to boiler
    Alot us here use "steamaster tablets" by Rectorseal.Below i posted a pic of an installation i have done this past year
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    [email protected]
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
  • leonsleons Posts: 8Member
    Given what you're telling me, I'm AMAZED that a (seemingly reliable) company like Hydrolevel recommends numbers so divergent! From their manual:

    "Recommended Limits on Make-Up Water
    Many factors, such as the water capacity of the boiler, feed water conditions and boiler design can impact the amount of water that can safely be added to a steam boiler. As a general guideline for late model boilers, Hydrolevel recommends the monthly limits in the table at the right for boiler operation during the heating season. If feed amounts significantly exceed these levels, the system should be checked for leaks by a qualified technician. Note: Any feed limits provided by the boiler manufacturer supercede Hydrolevel recommendations. Please check the boiler manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
    Recommended Make-Up Water Limits
    Net IBR Rating Gal/month
    BTU/HR Limit
    Up to 90,000-----------6
    91,000 - 120,000----- 8
    121,000 - 150,000---10
    151,000 - 185,000----12
    185,000 & Higher-----15
    Note: The above limits are based on normal boiler operation during the heating season. They do not include water added as a result of boiler and/or low water cut-off maintenance".
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,651Member
    I must admit that I have been interested in the various takes on water usage. Less is better, of course (the system I care for -- a fairly large one -- uses about a gallon per month), but there are many variables and not all water usage comes from leaks. Indeed, in many systems, I suspect that the major loss comes from the vents -- since at least some of the air that is vented will have very high humidity, and the source of that humidity is the boiler.

    That said, the concern is corrosion, and the corrosion is facilitated by the oxygen in the feed water (and any dissolved solids in the water). Thus one way to minimise the problem is to make sure that when water is added, if it needs to be, that the boiler is run up to steam as soon as possible, since that will tend to drive off the dissolved oxygen. Paradoxically, auto-feeders -- which some really dislike -- do this almost automatically, since in most cases they will only feed during a steam cycle.

    Just miscellaneous thoughts...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • FredFred Posts: 7,910Member
    I'm going to guess that you will not use more than a gallon or so a month, next heating season. Watch it carefully for a while. As has been said, most water loss will be from vents that don't properly seal, valves that nee repacking and/or horizontal piping that is not properly pitched and water is sitting in them for extended periods causing them to develop pin holes. While it happens, leaks in vertical pipes, in the walls are far less frequent. Leaks in horizontal pipes in ceilings, under a second floor will likely show some water staining in the ceiling on the first floor and leaks in the horizontal pipes under the first floor will likely show up as wet spots on the basement floor. Regardless of what the Hydrolevel documentation says, that info is just not what you want to see. Once you run your boiler next season, you'll see it will be much, much less. If not, start looking at the vents, valves, pipe joints, etc. If the water usage stays at a gallon or less, know that any significant increases, in the future, will be your indicator that something actually is leaking.
  • leonsleons Posts: 8Member
    Paul S said:

    He shouldve added water treatment to boiler
    Alot us here use "steamaster tablets" by Rectorseal.Below i posted a pic of an installation i have done this past year

    oooh, I've read elsewhere that NO additive to a steam boiler is advised (but, I am just learning, and I realize that informed opinions differ).

    If advised, where (online) can I buy them? I don't see them at Amazon.



  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,884Member
    leons said:

    Paul S said:

    He shouldve added water treatment to boiler
    Alot us here use "steamaster tablets" by Rectorseal.Below i posted a pic of an installation i have done this past year

    oooh, I've read elsewhere that NO additive to a steam boiler is advised (but, I am just learning, and I realize that informed opinions differ).

    If advised, where (online) can I buy them? I don't see them at Amazon.




    You'll get a lot of opinions on this.
    All I can say is, my boiler water is pretty purple and rust free for a reason.





    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
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