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It's almost here!!!!!

ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
edited August 2017 in THE MAIN WALL
So close I can almost taste it!





Me going down to the basement to light the boiler for the first time of the year.

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

Comments

  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,370Member
    You lucky dog!

    The mod-con with indirect has robbed me of that particular annual fall festivity :(

    My eyebrows may never be the same again :o
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    edited August 2017
    NY_Rob said:

    You lucky dog!

    The mod-con with indirect has robbed me of that particular annual fall festivity :(

    My eyebrows may never be the same again :o

    Oh, here he is again ladies and gentlemen.
    Mr a mod con is less maintenance than a CI steam boiler.

    @Steamhead Being a pro who has been in the field doing this for longer than many of us have been alive, how would you comment? Are mod-cons LESS maintenance then a properly working steam boiler?



    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
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,573Member
    I would say if the steamer has probe-type low-water cutoffs, they're about the same. Assuming, of course, that the mod-con's servicing instructions are being followed.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    edited August 2017
    @NY_Rob Since you had to be a buzz kill, the truth is to turn my heat on all I do is change the thermostat from cool to heat.

    That's it. That's how I turn the heat on in the fall.


    I actually don't even have do to that if I set the thermostat to auto changeover, but my indoor temperatures don't really change so that gets kind of iffy sometimes. It sucks to have the heat on in the morning and then the A\C on in the evening.

    During the winter, once a month I go down and crack a ball valve for 15-30 seconds to add water while reading something.

    It really is exhausting.
    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,532Member
    I can't believe you visit your boiler only once a month.....I know that is all that is needed.
    But I doubt if you could not check in more often.....there would be some with-draw symptoms. :(
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,370Member
    ChrisJ said:

    @NY_Rob Since you had to be a buzz kill, the truth is to turn my heat on all I do is change the thermostat from cool to heat.

    Well, I maintain nothing beats the terror/excitement of firing up a gas boiler that's been shut down for the last six months!
    That first big "pufffffffff" followed by the smell of fresh combustion on the first chilly fall morning can't be beat.... :'(

    Unlike my old CI boiler... the mod-con has no personality whatsoever. If I had a choice... I'd love to try steam with CI radiators.
  • CanuckerCanucker Posts: 583Member
    It's only money @NY_Rob Sounds like it's time to build your own steam system
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    NY_Rob said:

    ChrisJ said:

    @NY_Rob Since you had to be a buzz kill, the truth is to turn my heat on all I do is change the thermostat from cool to heat.

    Well, I maintain nothing beats the terror/excitement of firing up a gas boiler that's been shut down for the last six months!
    That first big "pufffffffff" followed by the smell of fresh combustion on the first chilly fall morning can't be beat.... :'(

    Unlike my old CI boiler... the mod-con has no personality whatsoever. If I had a choice... I'd love to try steam with CI radiators.
    You maintain nothing?
    So you're not servicing that mod-con at all?

    As @Steamhead pointed out, that is required..............
    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
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,370Member
    edited August 2017
    ^ my wife would leave me... or kick me out if I even joked about replacing the mod-con at this point!

    I had to wait till she left town this summer to replace some fin-tube radiators with Heating Edge2. She also made some comments about the 20' of CI baseboard I installed this spring.

    I did some near boiler piping upgrades two weekends ago and she asked "why... was there something wrong with the way it was?".

    I had to promise her last week that I'm done with heating upgrades for the upcoming season :s

    I think she's jealous of the mod-con at this point as I actually do visit it at least a couple of times a day..... at one point last heating season she asked me "why is it wearing your watch"? I had looped my old watch over one of the balancing globe valve stems for timing the duty cycles... she just doesn't appreciate the hardware like we do!

  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    NY_Rob said:

    ^ my wife would leave me... or kick me out if I even joked about replacing the mod-con at this point!

    I had to wait till she left town this summer to replace some fin-tube radiators with Heating Edge2. She also made some comments about the 20' of CI baseboard I installed this spring.

    I did some near boiler piping upgrades two weekends ago and she asked "why... was there something wrong with the way it was?".

    I had to promise her last week that I'm done with heating upgrades for the upcoming season :s

    I think she's jealous of the mod-con at this point as I actually do visit it at least a couple of times a day.....

    You haven't lived until you're installing ductwork in a hot attic where it barely fits and you don't fit with a pregnant wife complaining it's getting hot and that you need to hurry up and finish and get the equipment and ductwork out of her livingroom. :D
    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
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,368Member
    Direct quote from my wife after I completed the steam boiler install.
    "Does this mean I get my husband back now?"

    I had been doing it in the evenings after the kids went to bed so it didn't interrupt any weekend plans, but I didn't see her very much for a while.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,573Member
    NY_Rob said:

    If I had a choice... I'd love to try steam with CI radiators.

    I've installed steam from scratch. It is unbelievably satisfying to watch a steam system heat up for the first time.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • FranklinDFranklinD Posts: 399Member
    I enjoy the beginning of the season too... first I reinstall the access panel in front of the firebox - it's sealed combustion, so I remove the panel to vacuum out the floor under the burners and to expose the inside to the dehumidified air of the basement for the summer.

    Then I go outside and remove my "custom-made plugs" from the intake and exhaust pipes. Another trip downstairs, turn the gas valve and power back on, check the expansion tank & system pressure, write down the total operating cycles and hours in my "boiler notebook", and fire it up for the first time.

    It's only 3 years old, so it should have a nice long life ahead of it. It's still a cast iron boiler but has a digital controller that seems to work pretty well.

    And yes, that first chilly fall day....the smell of dry leaves and wood smoke in the air, the feeling of the radiators as they start to warm up, the slight "click" of the pipes as they expand back into their "normal" positions for their 104th consecutive heating season...I love it.

    And also, yes, my wife thinks I'm slightly crazy.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 6,556Member
    @ChrisJ said "During the winter, once a month I go down and crack a ball valve for 15-30 seconds to add water while reading something."

    Really????? I don't think so.

    BTW How is the TXV working out??
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member

    @ChrisJ said "During the winter, once a month I go down and crack a ball valve for 15-30 seconds to add water while reading something."

    Really????? I don't think so.

    BTW How is the TXV working out??

    What do you mean you don't think so? That's exactly what I do.

    TXV is working good thanks. Now dealing with fixing water dripping off the blower side of the evap (wide side of the A coil) and ending up in the insulation. Seems to be the last quirk of the system.
    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
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,370Member
    Steamhead said:

    NY_Rob said:

    If I had a choice... I'd love to try steam with CI radiators.

    I've installed steam from scratch. It is unbelievably satisfying to watch a steam system heat up for the first time.
    It must be... especially if it's your design and you built it!

    I grew up with steam heat in primary school, it was wonderful. That big old brick building had plenty of radiators and it was always warm. I remember as a young boy- I draped my raincoat over the radiator to dry it off... being a kid I forgot it there for several hours... It melted!

    In my childhood home we had oil heat, but with cast iron radiators. At least they had some character.... baseboard is just bland! I envy people with well maintained steam/cast iron setups.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,370Member
    edited August 2017
    ChrisJ said:

    You haven't lived until you're installing ductwork in a hot attic where it barely fits and you don't fit with a pregnant wife complaining it's getting hot and that you need to hurry up and finish and get the equipment and ductwork out of her livingroom. :D

    Sounds like a good time! Nothing like some physical labor working in a hot cramped attic.... with a demanding boss on your case!

    I pulled new t-stat cables and the ODR cable through the basement, two attics and a middle floor for the new boiler install last spring. Of course the boiler had to be at the lowest level of the south end of the house and the ODR sensor and new T-stat had to be at on the highest level on the north end of the house. I also replaced the cable for the other two T-stats, I went through about 200ft of the 250ft roll of 18/5 cable. I don't know what was in that 1960's era insulation... but man it was itchy! They used big slabs of leftover construction plywood as flooring in the attic, covered with old carpet and woven(?) padding on top of it. Of course it had to be removed so I could drill down through the sill plates to drop the new t-stat cable in the master bedroom. I had to wear a respirator mask and goggles when pulling up that 50yo carpet and padding the dust was so bad. I was filthy and itchy when I finally finished.
    I give you pros a lot of credit for doing this for a living!

    Timing wise I lucked out a few weeks back when my wife went upstate to visit her brother for a couple of days... I had to disturb three rooms to install the Heating Edge radiators. Since she wasn't home... I didn't have to clean each room at the end of the workday. I stopped work, made bbq, showered, watched a little TV and went right to bed, then started work right where I left off the next morning. I cleaned all three rooms when the job was done. When she came back, the job was done... I showed her some work-in-progress photos... she said she's glad she wasn't there for the duration ;)
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    edited October 2017
    For the first time this season I got concerned enough to test and see if my thermostat would actually turn the boiler on last night.

    It did, so I'm happy. I still need to clean up the rats nest of wiring around all of it, and run a wire and relay from the LWCO to display a "Low Water" warning on the thermostat.


    Honeywell EIM on the left, and the Ecosteam on the right. The green light all alone in the lower part of the Ecosteam is the thermostat relay which was energized and the red light on the EIM indicates a call for heat. It's hard to read but the PLC had PREHEAT displayed and the boiler was firing.







    So, I've got that going for me which is nice.
    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
  • bob_46bob_46 Posts: 813Member
    Chris, but are you SURE all is well ? I'll bet you still run down in the basement to verify and pat your boiler.
    bob
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    bob said:

    Chris, but are you SURE all is well ? I'll bet you still run down in the basement to verify and pat your boiler.

    It does need a cleaning and two coats of Simoniz.....
    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: 5,071Member
    I believe you have flames on the front, how about some racing stripes?

    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
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    BobC said:

    I believe you have flames on the front, how about some racing stripes?

    Bob

    No,
    That's @KC_Jones
    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
  • FredFred Posts: 8,278Member
    edited October 2017
    @BobC , A turtle would be more appropriate! Slow and steady, slow and steady.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,532Member
    As Chris ages I can see a CCTV setup with PIP in the corner of the flat screen. All read outs in another corner.....maybe a heads up display for the car. ;)
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,368Member
    Did someone say flames? It also has it's own 4' shop light and LED rope lighting inside the front cover.

    Chris is right need to go down and give it a coat of wax.


    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • flat_twinflat_twin Posts: 236Member
    JUGHNE said:

    As Chris ages I can see a CCTV setup with PIP in the corner of the flat screen. All read outs in another corner.....maybe a heads up display for the car. ;)

    You know, I thought about a security camera on the boiler display last winter when I was dialing in the ODR. Then again, the exercise from going up and down the stairs was more beneficial! The mrs noticed my excitement about the heating season beginning as I walked around feeling each radiator, listening for the circulator, checking thermometers...
  • SeanBeansSeanBeans Posts: 475Member
    just turned on my scorched hot air and my eyes are already bleeding! wahhhhh
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    SeanBeans said:

    just turned on my scorched hot air and my eyes are already bleeding! wahhhhh


    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
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    So, the heat has been on quite a bit and I've yet to touch the boiler or even add water. It was 14 degrees out Saturday morning and in the high teens this morning.

    The last time I touched it, or added water was probably in March or April.

    Damn high maintenance steam heat.......
    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
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,370Member
    @ChrisJ,

    Just curious, with all that mass... how long are your burn times?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    edited November 2017
    NY_Rob said:

    @ChrisJ,

    Just curious, with all that mass... how long are your burn times?

    My mass isn't that much compared to many radiant systems, think of all that water.

    My burn times depend. On a mild day, 5-8 minutes twice an hour. I try to avoid less than 5 minutes. On typical winter days, 10-15 minutes. On really cold days, 20-25 minutes.

    A typical winter firing, say 20-30 degrees out it runs for about 2 maybe 3 minutes before I get steam to the radiators each time. As it gets colder, those times drop slightly. My record was 60 seconds from the time the thermostat called for heat until steam hit the radiators.

    When we were -8F and windy I was doing 3 cycles per hour with only 4 minutes off between cycles.
    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
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,370Member
    edited November 2017
    Sounds comfortable, I'd love to have steam and cast iron rads!

    I've seen a huge reduction in heat swing where I replaced 18' of fin-tube with 19' of cast iron baseboard over the summer. That zone cycles more like your steam system now- only a couple of times an hour vs. on/off/on/off with fin-tube.

    I imagine a 10:1 turndown mod-con with all cast iron baseboard rads throughout the house would be very comfortable and efficient and would never see cycling problems.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 10,500Member
    NY_Rob said:

    Sounds comfortable, I'd love to have steam and cast iron rads!

    I've seen a huge reduction in heat swing where I replaced 18' of fin-tube with 19' of cast iron baseboard over the summer. That zone cycles more like your steam system now- only a couple of times an hour vs. on/off/on/off with fin-tube.

    I imagine a 10:1 turndown mod-con with all cast iron baseboard rads throughout the house would be very comfortable and efficient and would never see cycling problems.

    I've never had fin-tube but I'm thinking I wouldn't like it.
    High mass seems to be nice. I slept at a friends house while rebuilding my truck back in 2007 and they had radiant in a concrete floor. That was amazing, it was as if it wasn't cold out and there wasn't a heat source. The room was simply the right temperature.

    I wish I could do radiant cooling. Sadly, we're stuck with forced air for that. The 2 stage variable setup helps, but you still notice the temp swings.
    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
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,370Member
    ChrisJ said:

    I've never had fin-tube but I'm thinking I wouldn't like it.
    High mass seems to be nice. .

    I have mostly fin-tube... and I don't like it one bit.
    Feel it 10min after the call for heat ends... ice cold.
    Now try that with cast iron baseboard... it's like the heat is still on!

    We've only used heat here for a couple of weeks now, but the area where I replaced the fin-tube with cast iron baseboards has worked out so well... I'm considering two other cast iron "upgrades" next off season.

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