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How to Kill a Boiler

HeatingHelpHeatingHelp Posts: 167
edited July 2016 in THE MAIN WALL
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How to Kill a Boiler

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  • There's a movie theater. Built as a theater, but somewhere in the past there was a sorry renovation done to relocate the concession stand. Plumbing skiwiffed in by a past owner trying to save a buck, (isn't that where almost all the trouble usually begins ?). What's the number one by-product of movie theater popcorn ? The soy-sludge they call butter. FOLKS, THERE'S NO REAL BUTTER INVOLVED ! ANYWHERE ! A skiwiffed waste line drips this sludge laden water into a floor drain down in the deep dark catacombs of the theater. Semi-annually,(like clockwork) clogging the main sewer line. My phone rings. Usually on Christmas eve when I've just laid down for a long winter's nap."Murf ?, one of the popcorn shovelers said the basement is flooded." SOY SLUDGE ! It's a steam boiler heats the place. I installed and maintain it. Low pressure. Nice, straight forward installation. After one too many interrupted long winter's naps, I installed a valved hose connection on the steam controls manifold. Then bought an industrial extra-long hose. That soy-sludge ? It melts like butter.......
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,223Member, Moderator, Administrator
    I love this story. Melts like butter. LOL
    Retired and loving it.
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    I love this line
    They are information vending machines, but you first have to insert a question.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,223Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Thanks, Kurt!
    Retired and loving it.
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Posts: 728Member
    The last time I had to work on a drain in a movie theater, I had to cut out the entire line and replace it. It ran from the concession stand all the way to the bottom of the theater along the left wall. It was 2"ABS and was packed solid all the way. Much cheaper to replace it then clean it. Luckily it was just laying on the floor so was easy to replace.
    Makes me wonder about my arteries.......
    Rick
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Posts: 828Member
    Those God for saken steam traps again lol.........
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating & Cooling 732-266-5386
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving most of NJ
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter




    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • braplu1braplu1 Posts: 1Member
    Dan. How do you test the steam traps,...I have forgotten? Mr. Brady
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,223Member, Moderator, Administrator
    You can check radiator traps with a thermometer.
    Retired and loving it.
  • HenryHenry Posts: 827Member
    I use the old fashion long screwdriver to listen to the trap. It works every time.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,060Member

    You can check radiator traps with a thermometer.

    Dan, do you (or anyone) have any recommendations for a good, reliable IR thermometer? I have a cheesy one that was around $30 but it seems highly unreliable, especially at cold ambients. If I go outside with it, it seems like the colder the thermometer physically gets, the colder the readings I get. I went out one night when it was in the single digits out and at first it was fine, but over time I started measuring -5, -10F etc and it simply wasn't possible.



    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
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,223Member, Moderator, Administrator
    edited August 2016
    I'll check to the pros on this one, Chris. Guys, what works for you?
    Retired and loving it.
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    NOS Fluke on eBay worked for me. Read the fine print -- the inexpensive ones have fairly wide angle optics, while the higher end stuff has narrower beamwidths.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,060Member
    SWEI said:

    NOS Fluke on eBay worked for me. Read the fine print -- the inexpensive ones have fairly wide angle optics, while the higher end stuff has narrower beamwidths.

    I understand, but the issues I have just seem to be the device stinks. There's no way anything was in the negative and yet I kept seeing it.

    I originally bought it to measure the evaporator temp on my monitor tops. Sadly, it can't do this either, either due to frost, or the surface of the stainless. My readings end up all over the place. If I freeze a thermal couple to the bottom and measure 8F with my Fluke DMM, the IR thermometer will see anything from -2F to +20. That's useless to me. :(
    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: 4,813Member
    Most IR guns are very sensitive to the surface you're trying to "shoot", I use them for comparative measurements only. I use a thermocouple for anything I need accuracy on. .

    I've never used the fluke gun so i can't comment on it.

    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
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    Any IR temperature measurement is (by definition) affected by the emissivity of the surface(s) being measured. When you look at the range exhibited by typical materials you can see the potential for error is huge. I trust my IR gun for relative measurements only, though it does have a thermocouple input that comes in handy.
  • ratioratio Posts: 1,569Member
    I've heard that the emissivity of masking tape is perfect for IR measurements, make a patch appropriately sized for the scope of your gun. That said, I too only take differential measurements, or quick is-that-thing-up-there-hot-or-cold guesstimates.

    I also use a fluke VT04. It paid for itself when I found the first underground condensate leak.

    I'm a big fan of instrumenting important installations with K-type thermocouples. So far, I've had good luck with mechanically zip tying them the airstream on makeup air units & sticking them in a dab of 15% on linesets (to use with my digital manifold). They're not super permanent, but I'm going into year three on some of them.

  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    The VT04 is slick -- though at half the price of my FLIR I'd probably pass.

    I bought my 568 on eBay about five years back. 50:1 spot ratio (roughly a 1.15 degree field of view.)
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Posts: 728Member
    Chrisj:
    What others have said about surface reflection. Unless you are shooting at a flat black surface, or close to it, you will get erroneous measurements. Especially if you are trying to get temps on copper or stainless. I had a can of flat black model paint I would carry with me to shoot different surfaces and it made all the difference in the world for accuracy. Unfortunately, I am out and can not get that small can around here. Give it atry and see how much it changes readings.
    Rick
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    Friction tape works pretty well. It eventually gets gooey on hot pipes, but it does the job.
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