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New Mega Steam in old Church

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Ironman
Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
edited October 2016 in THE MAIN WALL

This replacement is in progress on a 112 year old historic church in VA.

The old W/M had actually caught fire last spring. It's a one pipe system that had suffered from lack of maintenance as well as some good old fashioned knuckle-heading. All three of the mains had the vents removed decades ago and we got 15 gallons of soot and crud out of the old boiler. The 5" header had one riser plugged from where the original coal boiler connected which left a nice pocket of water for the steam to pickup when the boiler got hot.

We decide to go with two MegaSteams so they would have boilers that are easy to clean and maintain. It took two to get the needed output.


More pics to come.






I don't know why the pics posted out of order.
Bob Boan
You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
SWEINew England SteamWorksErin Holohan Haskell
«1

Comments

  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,520
    edited October 2016
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    A very exciting project! I'm green with envy. I don't remember off the top of my head, but I thought the MegaSteam needs the jacket top on before piping? (just to save you a headache in the event).

    And presumably you've seen this.

    And are planning something like this:



    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    edited October 2016
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    A very exciting project! I'm green with envy. I don't remember off the top of my head, but I thought the MegaSteam needs the jacket top on before piping? (just to save you a headache in the event).

    And presumably you've seen this.

    And are planning something like this:



    You're correct about the jacket. Since we like using the boiler for a work table, I leave the jacket off til it has to go on. The unions will allow for that.

    And yes, that's actually the exact drawing we're using. Some others show an F&T trap at the drip from the common header even with gravity return. I really don't know why.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,520
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    Can't wait for more pics!
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    edited October 2016
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    Some more pics.

    We replaced the old 5" common header with a new 4" one that was properly piped. The old one had the weight of the boiler holding it down on the right end. Once that was removed, the 4" main twisted back to its original position which cause the new header to be pitched 2" in the wrong direction. The 1 1/2" pipe that's under the Tee is a stand that's supporting the header to keep it pitched right.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    Paul S_3Erin Holohan Haskell
  • Paul S_3
    Paul S_3 Member Posts: 1,261
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    Nice job @Ironman
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    ASMMECHANICALCORP@GMAIL.COM
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
    Ironman
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,520
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    I am betting @Ironman that you will have no trouble falling asleep tonight. Big job! Nice work.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    Ironman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Paul S said:

    Nice job @Ironman

    Thanks

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    I am betting @Ironman that you will have no trouble falling asleep tonight. Big job! Nice work.

    I ve had no troubling falling asleep each night this week!

    Myself, and the two more mature gentlemen, are the ones who've been turning the wrenches for the last few days.

    One of the oil tanks developed a leak this morning and we had the pleasure of smelling the "Essence of Arabia" cologne all day. The guy in blue shirt is from the oil company. He liked the piping.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,520
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    And just think: all in the service of the Lord!

    Amen.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    Ironman
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    That's a lotta screwed pipe. Nice work.
    Ironman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    edited November 2016
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    SWEI said:

    That's a lotta screwed pipe. Nice work.

    Mr. Ridgid got a workout.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Some pics of the finished product. We had to raise the new boilers 12" to get the water line back to where it was with the original coal fired boiler so that one of the returns would remain wet. This was something that the last boiler guys failed to do which resulted in a banging return.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
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    Beautiful... couldn't stop looking at the pics over and over..
    I like the threadolet idea to support the header. Love seeing the wye on the hartford loop.

    I'll admit I've never piped dual boilers, but it's not necessary to have the return header piped between the two boilers instead of coming in from one side? There's nothing special you need to do to ensure that one boiler doesn't get all the return condensate instead of it going to the other?
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    Nice work. Apparently you lifted both boilers and their piping even higher sometime after the photos on the 21st were taken. How is the staging set up?
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Beautiful... couldn't stop looking at the pics over and over..
    I like the threadolet idea to support the header. Love seeing the wye on the hartford loop.

    I'll admit I've never piped dual boilers, but it's not necessary to have the return header piped between the two boilers instead of coming in from one side? There's nothing special you need to do to ensure that one boiler doesn't get all the return condensate instead of it going to the other?

    All the diagrams that I have or could find did not have the return header piped together. To be honest, we gave a lot of thought to it and decided to tie them together with a valve in between and then see how it worked with it open or closed. So far, it's worked fine with it open and it helps to balance the water lines when the Hydro Level on one test cycles it off while the other one runs.

    It's built in to the Hydro Level and can't be disabled: every 10 minutes of run time, it shuts the burner off for 90 seconds "to allow the water line to stabilize".

    The problem is that with two of them, they don't time exactly the same and one shuts off before the other. It becomes more exaggerated as the run time lengthens.





    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    edited November 2016
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    SWEI said:

    Nice work. Apparently you lifted both boilers and their piping even higher sometime after the photos on the 21st were taken. How is the staging set up?

    Yeah, we found a part of a return hidden behind kitchen cabinets that I didn't catch om my initial survey. Dan warns about these in the LAOSH.

    There's no staging: the first pressuretrol on the left boiler is controlling operation of both; the others are safety high limit. You can't run one at a time: it will draw water out of the other one unless you use motorized valves.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
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    Beautiful piping, Bob. My arms hurt just looking at it.

    How do you like the Riello's with the Mega Steam?

    - DF
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Thanks Dan.

    I've gotten so used to using the Riellos with Buderus that it's an automatic choice.

    The F5 seems to be a little noisier than a Beckett, and they can be a bit more touchy, but still my preference.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
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    I have one coming up (Crown version). I have been using the Beckett. Maybe I should take a look at the Riello.

    - DF
  • adambnyc
    adambnyc Member Posts: 260
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    You have cycleguards instead of hydrolevels. I just switched my cycle guard out for a hydro level. Cycleguard is a total waste of energy. It shuts down your boiler and causes cycling. It will ultimately cause higher bills. If your boilers are producing nice dry steam, there is no reason to force the boilers to cycle like that.

    The probe on the cycleguard and the hydro level are identical. You can swap the guts and the cover without removing the probe (no draining :smile: ) and your done.
    Ironman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Dan Foley said:

    I have one coming up (Crown version). I have been using the Beckett. Maybe I should take a look at the Riello.



    - DF

    I've got the repair parts kit on my truck. I'd make sure you or REM has one on hand, even though I've never used it.

    Where are you getting the Crown version?

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
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    From Win Nelson. Randy Duke.
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
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    I have the Riello repair kit
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    adambnyc said:

    You have cycleguards instead of hydrolevels. I just switched my cycle guard out for a hydro level. Cycleguard is a total waste of energy. It shuts down your boiler and causes cycling. It will ultimately cause higher bills. If your boilers are producing nice dry steam, there is no reason to force the boilers to cycle like that.

    The probe on the cycleguard and the hydro level are identical. You can swap the guts and the cover without removing the probe (no draining :smile: ) and your done.

    It makes me wonder why Burnhan uses it. Probably $1 less in cost?

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • adambnyc
    adambnyc Member Posts: 260
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    I think there are so many people installing these steamers the wrong way so they surge. This "fix" probably reduces the calls that burnham gets on bad work.

    And they are 50 bucks cheaper....
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,628
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    just IMHO that multiple boilers with gravity returns it becomes difficult to control the water lines. Even if both boilers run at the same time any minute pressure difference between the boilers (which you will always have) will cause different water levels between the boilers causing low water and/or feeder running problems. two fixes might be alternate boiler operation with lead/lag with motorized valves (but without a boiler feed tank) you need valves on the supply and return.

    or

    What I think is the best fix.

    a boiler feed tank with separate pumps for each boiler (or motorized valves on the return only) and an overflow trap on each boiler dumping to the feed tank
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    edited November 2016
    Options

    just IMHO that multiple boilers with gravity returns it becomes difficult to control the water lines. Even if both boilers run at the same time any minute pressure difference between the boilers (which you will always have) will cause different water levels between the boilers causing low water and/or feeder running problems. two fixes might be alternate boiler operation with lead/lag with motorized valves (but without a boiler feed tank) you need valves on the supply and return.

    or

    What I think is the best fix.

    a boiler feed tank with separate pumps for each boiler (or motorized valves on the return only) and an overflow trap on each boiler dumping to the feed tank

    I'm not having any issues with the water levels except the small amount when the cg450s aren't cycling in unison.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    We do boiler feed tank and separate pumps for each boiler. One building I service has 3 boilers setup this way, several others have 2. Just gravity to the tank and pump from there. You can also monitor pump run time for each boiler. It does add another float control to each boiler though.

    Taylor
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • hvacfreak2
    hvacfreak2 Member Posts: 500
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    Really nice looking job , a lot of work and the Megasteam blocks are not exactly light weight.

    Regarding LWCO's - These are available with the CG , Honeywell , MM67 and maybe another that I'm forgetting. Mine came with a Honeywell electronic , after watching it for awhile I noticed that the tapping is very high ( close to the normal waterline ) . The manual has very detailed instructions for the 67 installation so I changed over and it seems to cut out where it should IMO . I put a thermometer in the LWCO tapping that is fun to watch.
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

    Ironman
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    edited November 2016
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    My Crown/VBW info says they ship the FSZ with a Hydrolevel CG450.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,110
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    Very, very nice... love those Cast Irons wyes. Mad Dog
    Ironman
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,296
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    @Ironman beautiful job as always.
    E-Travis Mechanical LLC
    Etravismechanical@gmail.com
    201-887-8856
    Ironman
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,628
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    Not criticizing the job, it looks great. Just my opinion that feed pumps or isolation valves (motorized) would help control the water line. But every job is different. Many older jobs could tolerate gravity returns because the old coal boilers held a larger volume of water. Water levels in a modern boiler are more volitile.

    If it works well the way it is I'm all for it.
    Ironman
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    By the way, absolutly beautiful work. You are truly an iron man! @Ironman

    Taylor
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Ironman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    By the way, absolutly beautiful work. You are truly an iron man! @Ironman



    Taylor

    Thanks, Taylor. But I'm starting to feel more like "aluminum man" as time goes on.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    SWEI
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
    edited November 2016
    Options

    Not criticizing the job, it looks great. Just my opinion that feed pumps or isolation valves (motorized) would help control the water line. But every job is different. Many older jobs could tolerate gravity returns because the old coal boilers held a larger volume of water. Water levels in a modern boiler are more volitile.

    If it works well the way it is I'm all for it.

    All of the steam jobs that I get are older, much older.

    The piping was sized for the original coal boiler, as most are, which seems to have the effect of being more forgiving due to its lower velocity. There's a place about 2/3rds down the main where there's a sag that needs to be corrected. It's exacerbated by the fact the the original installers used a concentric reducing coupling right after it to go from 4" to 3". Yet, no water hammer. I guess it's because of the low velocity.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Here are some pics of the inside of this beautiful church which was built in 1904 after a fire destroyed the previous one and several buildings near it.


    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Ironman said:

    just IMHO that multiple boilers with gravity returns it becomes difficult to control the water lines. Even if both boilers run at the same time any minute pressure difference between the boilers (which you will always have) will cause different water levels between the boilers causing low water and/or feeder running problems. two fixes might be alternate boiler operation with lead/lag with motorized valves (but without a boiler feed tank) you need valves on the supply and return.

    or

    What I think is the best fix.

    a boiler feed tank with separate pumps for each boiler (or motorized valves on the return only) and an overflow trap on each boiler dumping to the feed tank

    I'm not having any issues with the water levels except the small amount when the cg450s aren't cycling in unison.

    Switch the GG 450 to the Safgard 450. Direct swap.

    http://hydrolevel.com/safgard-400-series-steam/

    No more ILT.
    @Hatterasguy
    Thanks, Hatt.
    That one is manual reset. Do you know if they make one rated for steam that's auto reset?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
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    Bob,

    Pls call me. I have a job out your way.

    - DF

    703-339-8030
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    Dan Foley said:

    Bob,



    Pls call me. I have a job out your way.



    - DF



    703-339-8030

    @Dan Foley
    Dan, I just saw your post. I'll call you in the morning, unless you need to talk tonight.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.