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1 or 2 cycles per hour for 1 pipe steam

I have a now, thanks to New England Steam Works for the mains and some experimenting on my part with various Gortons on the radiators, very well balanced system. My mains and returns are insulated. Would I realize any fuel savings by switching from 1cph to 2cph? I am thinking it would keep the pipes warm and would tighten up the heat swing but am concerned that 2cph would make the boiler run more often but for shorter periods so don't know if I would be saving or not.

Comments

  • FredFred Posts: 6,769Member
    It's more about how much (in fractional degrees) the temp swings before there is a call for heat. I doubt that you will see any noticeable fuel savings but, if you are sensitive to temp swings and notice a quarter to half a degree change (most people really can't) you may be a little more comfortable.
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 158Member
    I am in a corner brick row house with one side that faces east and cool down faster than the sandwich side so 2cph might make more sense.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 3,664Member
    With the eco steam I run 3 and it's blissful. ;)
    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
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,740Member
    Whichever makes you most comfortable. There will be little difference in fuel use. Of course, with my faithful mercury T87s it's not an issue!
    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
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 158Member
    I used to complain that my VisionPro 8k would overshoot the setting on half of the building with our new boiler. Once I figured out the main and radiator venting it became very even.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed_9EBEBRATT-Ed_9 Posts: 4,373Member
    Leave it at 1 cph....Unless you notice it getting cool in between cycles. It's a comfort thing and relates to how fast the building looses heat.

    You might have to change it during colder months
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 1,519Member
    > @Jamie Hall said:
    > Whichever makes you most comfortable. There will be little difference in fuel use. Of course, with my faithful mercury T87s it's not an issue!

    Its become quite an issue for me. I now need the Hubble telescope to see and adjust the anticipator.
  • PMJPMJ Posts: 667Member
    I'm with @KC_Jones , 3 is a real sweet spot for steam.

    I also agree that open vented I don't think whether 1 or 2 or 3 cycles changes the efficiency much. So I suggest more so temperature swings are smaller.

    The only thing I have found that changes the game significantly in both comfort and efficiency is vacuum.
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 158Member
    So why do so many on here tell people to set the tstat to 1 cph. I have had mine set to 2 cph now for two weeks and it is much more even, no overshoot in any rooms and I don't have any issues with the LWCO adding water. It runs more often obviously but for a shorter period of time, the larger radiators don't heat through but since the heat is even don't see that as a bad thing.
  • FredFred Posts: 6,769Member
    I would say 1 or two is fine and some even like 3. Mine is set at 1 cycle per hour and my temp swing is not noticeable. I have a 1 pipe system. I don't overshoot the Thermostat either and the fewer cycles certainly means fewer times where you use fuel to push air out of the system and rebuild steam. It boils (pun intended) down to what you are most comfortable with.
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 158Member
    What I have experienced is at 2 cph the boiler runs more often but for much shorter intervals, since the water and piping don't cool down as much it's probably a wash in fuel cost. I am happy to see the LWCO not adding water on the shorter burns which will help the longevity of the boiler. On 1 cph the LWCO would always add a little water.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,740Member

    So why do so many on here tell people to set the tstat to 1 cph. I have had mine set to 2 cph now for two weeks and it is much more even, no overshoot in any rooms and I don't have any issues with the LWCO adding water. It runs more often obviously but for a shorter period of time, the larger radiators don't heat through but since the heat is even don't see that as a bad thing.

    I would say... legitimate differences of opinion, sir, perhaps related to different systems or preferences. Could that be? As it happens, for the main place I care for, roughly one cycle per hour seems to work best (though I still prefer anticipators, which do a better job). For some folks with systems with less size, two might work better. Or even three. No one came down from the mountain with a number...
    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
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 158Member
    point taken
  • PMJPMJ Posts: 667Member
    Whatever total run time is required to meet the demand per hour divided into smaller pieces spread evenly apart will make more even heat. More pieces....more even, not negotiable. Whether the larger swings with fewer cycles are "noticed" or not is another matter. They are there and they are in fact larger.

    I now run a system that I have set free to do as it wishes with regard to cycles. On all calls for heat the burner fires until either a temp switch at the most remote rad sees steam at its feed pipe or all vacuum in the system is gone, whichever occurs last - plus 2 minutes. If the call is still in place after that the next firing is triggered by that same temp switch opening again which signals all forward steam progress in the vacuum has stopped. The burn then continues to whichever occurs last of the same two things again plus 2 minutes. After the first cold start the last to occur is always all vacuum gone. In this way the cycles adjust themselves according to the demand and keep rads partially full over very long periods providing very even heat. The burn vs wait percentage changes itself according to the demand - mild days will be around 5 minute burns and 15 minute waits, average days will be 8 minute burns and 12 minute waits, cold days get to 10/10. But all on its own it has ended up right around 3cph +/- in all conditions. Right at the time the feed pipes to the rads just start to cool and the vacuum is at its maximum the system fires again and fills right back to where it was last cycle plus a very small amount. It is the fastest delivery of new steam to the rads possible (without a pump) in deep vacuum with no air to push out.

    This is without question the most even and most efficient way I have run in what is now a quite long period of experiments. And for this, no PLC control is required. Perhaps the coolest thing about the vacuum is that just at the point it disappears in a new firing the fill level of the entire system is exactly where it was the previous cycle when the burner went off. Monitoring it allows ongoing refilling to partial fill cycle after cycle. Calls go on for hours on average demand days proving the heat is very even. Perfectly even heat would obviously be an endless call.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member
    edited November 6

    So why do so many on here tell people to set the tstat to 1 cph. I have had mine set to 2 cph now for two weeks and it is much more even, no overshoot in any rooms and I don't have any issues with the LWCO adding water. It runs more often obviously but for a shorter period of time, the larger radiators don't heat through but since the heat is even don't see that as a bad thing.

    Because the lower the setting, the longer the system runs. This causes more overshoot and the system stays off longer.

    The longer run times help deal with poor venting, balancing and or poor thermostat placement. So, 1 CPH is a safer thing to tell most because it is most likely to "work" on all systems.

    I'm guessing some systems, with long runs of piping may need 1 CPH, I don't know. But for smaller residential systems 2 should do fine if everything is set up properly. 3 will also work if everything is perfect.

    Yes, 1 CPH "works", but then again, so does manually turning the boiler on and off.

    Be warned, when you initially adjust the CPH higher, it will usually cause some issues for a while until it settles in. Such as firing the boiler and then shutting down before radiators even get steam. It'll settle down after a day or so.


    Interestingly, Honeywell always said to use an anticipator setting of 1.2 with steam, which also means "no anticipator". 1 CPH is the equivalent.
    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
  • FizzFizz Posts: 402Member
    What would be the equivalent anticipator setting on a Honeywell T2280 mercury t-stat to get shorter run time(2cph/3cph)?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member
    Fizz said:

    What would be the equivalent anticipator setting on a Honeywell T2280 mercury t-stat to get shorter run time(2cph/3cph)?

    Depends on the current the system draws. It's just a tiny heater that pre-warms the bimetal spring in the thermostat so it thinks the room got warmer faster than it did.

    So, start at 1.2 and slowly move it to lower and lower numbers until it seems to behave the best to you. If you get a bunch of short cycles that aren't heating the house, start moving it back until you hit the sweet spot.

    Try .8 and see how it does, and then move it a hair towards .6 etc. Very small changes will make a difference.
    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
  • FizzFizz Posts: 402Member
    Thanks Chris!
  • FizzFizz Posts: 402Member
    My bad! It's a 228D, with anticiipator settings from .18-.8, left to right witn longer inscribed arrow to right.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,740Member
    Try setting the anticipator in the middle of its range, and then adjusting it from there.
    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
  • FizzFizz Posts: 402Member
    Which way, right is higher settings?
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 8,740Member
    Hard to say which way will give you the best results. I'd try the centre to begin with, then if I didn't like it try moving half way to the end in either direction. Makes it worse? Try moving half way to the end in the other direction. And so on. Take your time... it can be a little fiddley to get it right where you yourself, in your own system, want it.
    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
  • FizzFizz Posts: 402Member
    Good advice as always, thanks Jamie!
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,116Member
    .8 is the lower setting and .18 will give the most anticipation.
    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
  • FizzFizz Posts: 402Member
    Thanks Chris. Moved setting to higher setting, may eventually end-up at .18.
  • gfrbrooklinegfrbrookline Posts: 158Member
    We recently had a noreaster and our first snow of the year with heavy winds. I set the tstat to 2cph and installed a combination of G4's and Ventrite No. 1's turned to 3 on the traditionally warm side. On normal days we are within one degree, on stormy days with high winds we used to be five degrees apart or more. With 2 cph we are within one degree on stormy days, so much better.

    I am also thinking it must be somewhat more efficient, yes you are heating the water more often, mine is held at 160 since I have indirect HWT off the boiler so not huge, since my pipes are insulated I am not wasting energy reheating the pipes.
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