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New Boiler Installation in Time-Lapse Video!

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Harry_6
Harry_6 Member Posts: 141
I recently completed overseeing the installation of a new 624 MBH Burnham steam boiler in a 9,000 sq. ft. victorian house in the Toledo area. The 1983 boiler that came before it was also a Burnham, but WAY too small and incorrectly installed with a condensate return pump. To make things better, it had a big hole in one of the sections, and was generally a mess. Also, the house was equipped with a Mouat system, and the old boiler's installer was oblivious - using a standard off-the-shelf Honeywell pressure control set for several psi. And. . . several original orifice radiator valves had been replaced with standard valves, which tipped me off that there was trouble ahead even before I saw the boiler!

Luckily the owner was amenable to doing what needed to be done to put the system back into a condition worthy of such a beautiful home. We did the demo and poured a pad ourselves, to save a couple bucks, and after (Exhaustive!) searching, found a local contractor capable of doing the job (strangely hard to find steam guys in Toledo). The boiler was equipped with a low-high-low gas train, and low and high vaporstats. I did a dropped header with cast fittings and went old-school and used Calsil covered with canvas and mud over the fittings for insulation. To fix the other problems I installed orifices (Tunstall, of course) on the radiators with the standard valves, new main vents, and an artificial waterline (the wet return had been dry). I wanted to enable using it as a vacuum/vapor system, so I used vacuum main vents and an obsessive number of gauges: A 0-16 oz. gauge for low operating pressures, a compound gauge in case we developed vacuum, and the code/factory 0-30 psi gauge that came as standard equipment (yes, I know I could have just used a 30-0-30 compound gauge, but I didn't have one).

I had a camera set up for most of the process, and for fun did it as a time-lapse. I can't say how many hours were actual consumed doing the work, as it took place over the moderate months and a couple times we paused for a week or two waiting for parts or information. But here it is, squished together for your entertainment! https://youtu.be/4YlnAdCvVvY

HS
LionA29MilanDChrisJnjtommyTurbo Dave

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,481
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    Very nice install. i thought I recognized the performance and I realize I have the record that recording originally came from - very apt for a steam install of that caliber.

    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
    MilanD
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,010
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    That is so cool!

    I think if I were doing a video like that, I'd end with some infrared video of the system heating up, and use the fourth movement of Camille Saint-Saens' Third Symphony for that portion. o:)
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    MilanD
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
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    Great! Thanks for sharing!
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    Most excellent indeed! I periodically get requests from the Toledo area, and i wont go that far. I will send them your way!
    Thanks for sharing, that was fun
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Harry_6
    Harry_6 Member Posts: 141
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    Thanks, all, for the compliments. Who knew that steam enthusiasts would be so classical music literate! And thanks Gerry, new projects are always welcome!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,010
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    Harry said:

    Thanks, all, for the compliments. Who knew that steam enthusiasts would be so classical music literate! And thanks Gerry, new projects are always welcome!

    For those not familiar, here's a real good video of the Saint-Saens. You can just picture that system heating up to this. The drums would represent expansion, not water-hammer:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=976wD5RnxIM
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    MilanD
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,010
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    @Harry , are you on this site's Find a Contractor page? If not, you should be. Check the link in my signature to see what an ad might look like.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    edited May 2017
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    Steamhead said:

    Harry said:

    Thanks, all, for the compliments. Who knew that steam enthusiasts would be so classical music literate! And thanks Gerry, new projects are always welcome!

    For those not familiar, here's a real good video of the Saint-Saens. You can just picture that system heating up to this. The drums would represent expansion, not water-hammer:

    Aaah! great! Paavo Jarvi! Cincinnati Symphony Music Director 2001 to 2011 and probably one of the best conductors today. His inaugural season concert with the CSO was 3 days after 9/11 in 2001. What a concert that was, too! We all cried. I was fortunate to work at CSO for a number of years right out of conservatory and have known him and a majority of CSO musicians, many of whom taught at the College-Conservatory of Music.

    As to 'pipe(ing) symphony' here's one to give you all a chuckle (I have some young kids at home and they are aware of my love for steam heat :smile: )

    https://youtu.be/jxAMnLjtvDA?t=8s
    RomanGK_26986764589
  • Harry_6
    Harry_6 Member Posts: 141
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    Wow, literate was apparently an understatement! Thanks for the animation - my 7 year-old granddaughter will also get a kick out of it.

    In answer to the other question, no, I'm not on the contractor list because I don't consider myself technically a contractor. I'm a "consultant." I specialize in analyzing troubles and doing minor work (piping modifications, vents, vaporstats, adding/moving radiators, that kind of thing), but I leave the boiler installs to contractors with licenses, insurance and crews of big burly guys younger than me. I diagnose problems and write reports/proposals. I will recommend boiler contractors, since I know a few good ones in the area I work in (Detroit, mostly, but a little Toledo - Toledo has mostly hot water - I prefer steam!). For the boiler in the video I diagnosed the problems, designed the plant, worked with the owner on getting the right contractor, specified what I/we wanted from the contractor, and assisted them to a degree in the assembly. I also did all of the steam and condensate piping myself. If you want something done right . .

    Mostly I've been doing work on old mansions in Detroit - typically 3,500-5,500 sq. ft. Lots of steam thereabouts, and few who understand it. I advertise only occasionally in historic district newsletters. Lots of word-of-mouth. I'm hoping to post more related youtube videos when I get a chance. In a former life I was the chief engineer at the Detroit Fox Theatre, the second largest of the old 1920's movie palaces in the country (after Radio City Music Hall) for almost four decades. I do have a stationary engineer's license, and I think the biggest pipe I've ever personally installed was 10". In those days I also designed our 600 ton lithium-bromide absorption chiller plant. Ah, good times! To understand old technology one has to live and work with it. And it's usually better.

    PS - I also work on pipe organs!
    Solid_Fuel_ManMilanDTurbo Dave
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,010
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    Don't let that keep you off FAC. Here's one consultant already on there:

    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/consulting-by-mad-dog-cx4-inc

    There are probably more but this was all I could find quickly.

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    Steamhead's right, you should be on the list.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Harry_6
    Harry_6 Member Posts: 141
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    Steamhead: I forgot to mention how fond I've always been of the Saint-Saens organ symphony. Still gives me chills when the main theme comes in - although my granddaughter only knows it from "Babe." I'll have to find a place for it in a video some time (or something from Carnival of the Animals, perhaps!).
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,010
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    It's popped up in a couple other places, too. Here's one where it was adapted for a boy choir:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCcfg4q9PrA
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    MilanD