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Steam boiler replacement in order to save system.



  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    @Fred : Understood! Thank you.
    Should have been just like this

  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    At this point, I know I need to choose a boiler (sized correctly) with a hot water loop for the basement radiators.

    Is there anything stopping me from dismantling this old beast and just leaving all the pipe work in until I have my unit?
    Do I need to gain any more measurements about the current set up?

    (Mostly for just my reference when I lose this scrap piece of paper). Middle of sight glass is 47" from ceiling and 57 1/8" from floor for old boiler water level.
  • AMservicesAMservices Posts: 472Member

    Check @DanHolohan video about near boiler steam piping.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,421Member
    The fin-tube info I have is this:
    Brand name of Vulcan-Hartford,
    Steel pipe is 1 1/4" nominal pipe size...this in inside diameter.
    (1 1/4" is a strong 1 5/8" outside diameter.....I can touch my middle finger and thumb together if I grab 1 1/4)

    Steel Fins are 4 1/4" square with 1/4" spacing.
    EDR taken from blueprint 6.9 EDR per foot of pipe.
    If stacked 2 high-double pipe then double the 6.9.

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,788Member
    While you're at it, if you are playing with the wet returns -- put Ts on them instead of elbows and plug one arm of the T. Makes it much easier to flush them out if your ever should need to.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    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
  • FredFred Posts: 8,188Member
    JUGHNE said:

    The fin-tube info I have is this:
    Brand name of Vulcan-Hartford,
    Steel pipe is 1 1/4" nominal pipe size...this in inside diameter.
    (1 1/4" is a strong 1 5/8" outside diameter.....I can touch my middle finger and thumb together if I grab 1 1/4)

    Steel Fins are 4 1/4" square with 1/4" spacing.
    EDR taken from blueprint 6.9 EDR per foot of pipe.
    If stacked 2 high-double pipe then double the 6.9.

    @JUGHNE , Is that 6.9 EDR per sq. ft of pipe or per linear ft.? Seems high if linear.
  • FredFred Posts: 8,188Member
    @johnnygreenham , No reason not to take the old boiler out now. That water level is high, off of the floor. The newer boilers are likely to be more like 25 to 27" off of the floor so you will either need to put the boiler up 30" or so or drop the wet returns, Hot Water loop and Hartford loop.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,788Member
    That figure is just about right, @Fred -- even if calculated by a very rough approach.

    Fin tube puts out a lot of heat -- but has very little mass, so it's quick to heat and equally quick to cool.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    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
  • FredFred Posts: 8,188Member
    edited February 2019
    Wow, Thanks @Jamie Hall , I would have never guessed it to be that high. Is that a correct number to Hot water? That's what this will be and does he really need to add anything to the boiler size for this Hot Water loop?
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    @JUGHNE : wow, thanks for thank info. Used a tape measure to eye ball the pipe size before. Obviously not that accurate so I pulled out my calipers and you are correct. Pipe outer diameter is a fraction over 1 5/8". The gapping is 0.32". That EDR figure you have is better than anything I have to go with so I will use it.

    So 34' of fin linear length, multiplied by 6.9 = 234.6 of EDR

    Thats about 58% of my total EDR for the ground floor. Surprising! Should be nice a warm down there once it heats up those super thick concrete walls.

    Like @Fred asked, It seems like I may need to calculate this figure into sizing the boiler, with its need to pass on that much extra heat to the water or is heating that water loop just a bi-product of heating the steam?

    I'll line up the tools to start dismantling the oil boiler asap. I'm sure I will have to brace the heavy pipe work at some point. Where do you think I should dismantle the pipework up to?
    If someone could circle certain points on one of the photos above, I'd have a good place to start.
    I'll trying and save the king valves as I know they are pretty spendy to replace and as many fitting/elbows as possible incase I can reuse them. Won't kill myself over it though. The straight pipe section I'm sure I will just have to replace anyway, just for length reasons alone. I can also try and get my tanks filled again for my torch kit, if a little heat would also help. I dig out my large pieces of pipe as I'm sure I'll need them. Already soaking all joints and threads.

    Just want to thank everyone for the help and advice you've thrown my way. Really do appreciate it! I'll be the youngest guy in the area who has any clue about steam after this.

    P.S @AMservices : That video is excellent!

  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,421Member
    A little more schoolhouse info from the ME print. (no rough approach here Jamie :) )
    1955, all masonry walls, no wall insulation, no attic insulation, but 1" of roof "insulation".
    A 32' x 22' x 12' ceiling (704 sq ft) class room, southeast corner room with 2/3 of south 32' wall being single pane glass.
    It has 2 15' fin tubes shown as 103.5 EDR each for total of 207 EDR X 240 btu = 49,680 for one 704' classroom. (70 btu per sq ft).
    This is at 7075 HDD.

    Coal fired boiler with 2 zone valves and 2 wall t-stats.
    You were never cold. We were glad the windows opened!

    That EDR may vary with the fin 1/4" your 1/3".
    You may have slightly less??
    And the cabinet height makes a difference.
    The taller gives more air flow.
    Are yours enclosed?
  • FredFred Posts: 8,188Member
    I would take that left (end) main apart, back to and including those two reducers on that Thermostatic valve. That can't stay that way. Then I would take the middle main riser back to and including the elbow that brings it over towards the center of the boiler header and the Right main back to that 45 nearest the black insulated copper pipe. Both of those mains will likely either drop straight down or only part way over, depending on where you position the new boiler. Take the equalizer apart right where it reduces. That equalizer and the Hartford loop will have to drop down further anyway. The wet returns look like they drop close to the floor and should not be a problem. My only concern is the height of that fin tube. It may have to drop down to be below the boiler water line but it's hard to tell if you will have enough head room to raise the boiler up enough. I'd be inclined to not touch it until you get the new boiler.

    Also, I'd wait until @JUGHNE or @Jamie Hall provide a little more feedback. I think they may have assumed that fin tube will be steam and I believe being hot water, the output will be less. Also, being hot water, I don't think you will; add anything to the boiler Sq. Ft. of Steam but they will verify that.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,421Member
    So if you go with hot water, each liner foot is still the 6.9 EDR, as that is a physical dimension come up by some dead men long ago.
    The btu delivered that you feel is dependent upon the temp of the fluid inside. With steam we use the 240 per EDR.
    With hot water it depends upon the average temp (170-190)inside the pipe, so anywhere from 150 to 185 btu per EDR.

    So your 34' x 6.9 EDR x 240 gives you 56,304 btu if you use steam.

    34' x 6.9 x 180 = 42,228 btu with water.

    Either of these figures would have heated my 1955 school room of 704 sq foot room.

    Whether or not you have include this load of 42,228 btu with steam condensate water heating, I do not know.
    Most condensate water heating systems just do a small addition or basement.

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,788Member
    That fin tube will do a nice job of heating the basement area, but it should have its own circulator pump and piping -- there is nowhere near enough condensate to do anything. Then there is the question of whether or not you have to figure that into the BTU rating of the boiler.

    I don't think there is an easy answer to that. In most cases we see, the hot water loop from a steam boiler is a relatively small fraction of the total output of the boiler -- so it is covered by the "pickup" (how I dislike that terminology!) built into the boiler's steam EDR rating. I would be very much inclined in this case, though, to determine just what that pickup factor is for the boiler and, if the output of the fin tube is more than two thirds of the pickup factor I would add the excess in. Confusing. Example. Let's suppose that the boiler will be rated at 300 EDR. Translating that into BTUh, that would be an net output of 72,000 BTUh -- but the real net output would be around 96,000 BTUh -- the pickup being the difference. Your fin tube could soak up 42,000 BTUh -- more than the pickup (24,000 BTUh). So you would want to say that 2/3 of the pickup could be used that way -- 16,000 BTUh -- and then you would need to add the rest -- 26,000 BTUh -- to the net boiler output. Which comes to about 122,000 BTUh. Which, translated back to EDR and allowing for the pickup factor would come out to a boiler rated at about 380 EDR. The bigger the boiler is, the less important this becomes.

    An alternative, if the fin tube is significantly more heat than the basement needs, is to wire the controls so that the fin tube doesn't run if the thermostat is calling for steam -- and let the fin tube's aquastat control the boiler in between time.

    If you can post more information on the overall boiler size, I can make a more intelligent determination here...
    Br. Jamie, osb

    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
  • FredFred Posts: 8,188Member
    His steam radiators, not including the fin tube totals 402 EDR @Jamie Hall
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,421Member
    edited February 2019
    That 1955 school building has since being new has had thermal envelope upgrades. About 12" of insulation was added to the attic. The massive windows were reduced in size to perhaps 25% of original glass size, the remaining opening studded up, insulated and closed up. This can be done with better taste and ascetics than a budget minded small town school board has done. Also an opportunity to conceal new wiring inside the studded walls.
    The attic insulation is low hanging fruit, assuming you have an attic space.
    Is your building 2000' for first floor and 2000' for basement?
    Only one floor above grade?

    Do you have the cabinets for the fin tube?
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    edited February 2019
    @JUGHNE : Great info again!
    Cabinets are a loose term for what we have. More like metal covers.

    @Jamie Hall : Here is the old boiler name plate but its so over sized I feel it's a red herring.

    This sounds crazy I know. I never actually took the time to measure out my building. Just used the figures we are being taxed on.
    So I took some measurements and it's a little different to what I thought. Really approximate values not taking into account wall spaces etc. Ground floor = 1827sq/ft
    Basement = 818 sq/ft. They don't tax us on the basement as its not classed as finished/livable space.

    A little more info about the house to gain a better picture.
    -Two main room (classrooms) = 12ft ceilings with fans I've installed
    -Two small rooms were cloakrooms (will be bedrooms)
    -Hall way stretched the length of the building down to two small toilets at either end. Thats it.
    Attic is all open space (currently two layers of fibreglass). Will be air sealing this spring and most likley adding 18-20" of blown-in. People have told me to go spray foam but that's a one way ticket and for such a huge space, I'm not sure. Either way it will be insulated by this summer.
    No insulation in walls but outer wall construction is as follows from outside to inside construction.
    Exterior brick - small gap - some type of thick tar liner - wooded exterior siding onto a wooden frame ( 2x4 depth) - Metal lath with 1-1.5" of concrete attached and then 1/8" of plaster.
    Will not be able to insulate exterior walls due to framing construction/bracing technique. Not planning to do this.
    HUGE windows = Just the two main rooms alone have 3187 sq/ft of windows. Single pane, double hung. Will be working on replacing all the seals on these and I will eventually build storm windows for these (probably one of the biggest jobs I have for this reno)

    I guess I need to start looking for a boiler. This is like asking what make of truck should I buy. I have zero preference so please guide me to your opinions on a good, reliable, well built boiler. $$$ I understand. At 35 years old, its about time I put my money into sensible purchases right!
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,475Member
    Beacon-Morris sells that type of radiation. Go to their site and use the tables provided.
    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.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,421Member
    The 1955 school has jackets like that on exposed heaters.
    Most in the classrooms are just the single element hung on the wall and a book shelf or work counter built in front of it.
    The 3/8" plywood back of the bookshelf (30"+ high) forms the convector cabinet. There is a commercial grating on the top for air flow. There is an open 3" toe kick at the floor to provide inlet air thru the element.

    You could separate your double elements to get two lengths for more even heat distribution. The bookshelf/cabinet construction could give you a chase on the bottom to conceal supply and return piping, electrical even water lines etc.

    Steamhead, I just did a quick look at the Beacon-Morris site and saw only copper tubes with 2 or3 tube within the fins.
    No single 1 1/4" IPS.
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    @Fred : I'd like to get the new boiler here too before I start really tearing it apart. Just trying to get a plan so I'm prepared.

    I did jump in and take apart the fin tube heater line like you also suggested, up to the header manifold for that main. Need to be water anyway, right.

    Here are two pictures. First is where you suggested t go back too if we are guessing without a new boiler.

    Here is where I think I will try and crack the elbows and tees's with a couple of sledge hammers in order to save the threads on the pipe coming out of the king valves. That way I can reuse them. Don't think I would be able to remove the pipe/nipples that thread into them (they are pretty short and 60 years of being locked in there). may as well keep the flanges in the system too. Handle for dismantling/reinstalling.

    I have loosened all bolts on flanges and retighten them just for now.

    I guess now its a case of choosing a boiler. I will probably confirm the size with the manufacture once a decision has been made, that its something I will need guidance with from you fine people.

    Once again, appreciate the help and support!
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    throwing up a few extra photos for more info incase someone sports something

  • FredFred Posts: 8,188Member
    @johnnygreenham , Yes, you can crack those elbows. without the new boiler, it's anyone's guess as to where is best, except for that main with that 3/4" valve. That has to go regardless. When you get the new boiler, if you need to go back further, on the other mains, so be it.
    @JUGHNE and @Steamhead , I want to make sure you guys understand that that fin tube is only in his basement. All the radiators on the first floor are typical free standing or wall mounted cast iron and those total 402 EDR. See a pic of them on page 1 of this string. Johnny, will the basement be finished space or just utilitarian? If not finished, I don't think I'd worry to much about separating that double fin tube or how it is finished out.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,788Member
    If you have 402 EDR in steam, and size for that, the pickup should be enough to handle the fin tube OK if you go for that size -- but don't undersize.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,421Member
    Fred, I understand the fin tube in the basement only and CI up stairs.
    I understand the thought is to make it a hot water loop off the steam boiler with a pump, better zone control etc.

    It must have installed too low for good condensate return?
    It could be raised up if one wanted to keep it steam?

    Johnny, have you tried to operate those king valves?
    Every King valve of that age I have come across will not operate anymore. They are often 8-15' off the floor, most have a bucket hanging under them. If it was exercised every year or two, it might work.
    Then the gate might be disconnected or partially open etc.

    Personally if it was mine I would eliminate them.
    I can think of only 3 reasons they were ever installed:
    1. Close them to build up pressure in the boiler for power blow down. (how often would that be done, considering the use of wand washing and skim ports?)
    2. Also to shut down part of the system for repairs.....this will be now a residence. I have these in an old 1933 school (15' up) and also a newer 1950's church (leaking with bucket). Usually could shut the boiler down and then get some emergency repair done by the time I tried to close one of these and then hope it would reopen.
    3. They were drawn onto the print by the engineer with possibly #1&2 above in mind. This is good for you as it is indicative that the system was designed by someone familiar with steam systems, not someone coming in by the seat of their pants.
    (But that fin tube circuit with the mini pressure regulator might have missed the mark...for some reason)

    However, in many new installs shown here on the wall by the well know companies will include King valves.
    Hopefully they will comment and shoot my armchair theories down. :o

    Johnny, have you purchased the Lost Art of Steam Heating?
    It would be a great guide for you doing this.

    Also, IIWM, I would crack the 90's above the valves, then saw the smaller pipes below the Hartford Loop then remove the entire header assembly via the flanges.
    Set the header aside and when you get a new boiler picked out you can sleep/steam dream/vision how parts of it might work out.
    (seriously this method works for me FWIW ).
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    @Fred : Thanks for the all the posts and the help. I agree and will hold off until my new boiler arrives. That basement will ALWAYS be Utilitarian, thats for sure.

    I think we are almost ready for me to start talking to manufactures/suppliers about a boiler purchase so which brands/models should I be contacting/looking at to supply 402 EDR steam and 180 EDR of water.
    I will start looking also and post what I think may be a decent option. I'm trying to put in the leg work also and not just sit back have questions answered, I promise.
    Also I know forums are not allowed to advertise or try and sell their products through posts but which companies/business does anyone recommend I go through for my boiler and necessary parts? Or is this something I should contact my local plumbing supplies about? I'm sure they will only supply who they have contracts with and are dealers for.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,788Member
    You don't need to size for all 180 EDR of water! The pickup factor for a boiler sized to 402 EDR steam is about 130 EDR; you can reasonably assume that about 80 or 90 EDR of that can be used for the hot water loop, even when the system is starting up -- so I would be looking for a boiler with about 500 EDR.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    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
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    @Jamie Hall : Ah, understood.
  • FredFred Posts: 8,188Member
    @johnnygreenham , Most of the Pro's on here would tell you, that you should find a Steam Pro and let him provide the boiler brand he is most comfortable with. I think you plan to tackle this project your self. The most popular brands that are used by the proffessionals are the Weil McLain EG or EGH series, Peerless Boilers and if an oil burner, the Burnham Megasteam.
    - Weil McLain uses a rubber/composite nipple between its boiler sections. Good or bad, it's a matter of personal preference.
    - The Peerless uses brass nipples between sections. Traditional material and the Peerless Boilers are a good quality
    - Burnham Megasteam is strictly an oil burner and one of the best boilers on the market. Unfortunately Burnham will void the warranty id the Megasteam has a gas burner installed in it. Reasons are unknown. The other Burnham series seem to be of lesser quality and subject to rot in 10 years or so. Water quality being a big concern. I have a 36 year old Burnham and it still runs like a champ but Burnham boilers seem to had had their share of issues over the past 15 years or so.
    - It is probably best to stay away from boilers that have side tappings, like Utica as those boilers are more challenging to manage dry steam and must be plumber impeccably or there are likely to be issues.

    Hope this gives you a starting point.
  • AMservicesAMservices Posts: 472Member
    402.2 EDR × 240 = 96,528 BTU'S

    96,528 × 1.33 (pickup factor)= 128,382 BTU'S

    When looking at boiler ratings, look for the D.O.E. rating. That will expose the hidden pickup factor that manufacturers add for you.

    So you want a boiler that gets you close to a D.O.E. of 128,382 BTU output, not input.

    If you do a gas boiler, go peerless.
    If you do oil, go Burnham megasteam.
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    @JUGHNE : You must have posted just before I did and I missed your last post until now. All 3 king valves seem to open and close fine as far as I can tell right now. My idea was when they are removed, I was going to close them and pour water in one end to see how much if any water passes through. Other than that, for the price of king valves, I would reuse them. I hear you on the idea of not having them in as there are other ways to clear the mud out of boilers but every pro drawing/video/post I've read, seems to state that they should be installed. I'm at the point in my steam career (joke), that I just follow what professionals tell me to do, but I'll keep it as an option. Thanks
    Also I've not read "the Lost Art of Steam Heating". I'll order a copy and start studying quickly. I'll be looking after this system so I'm up for more knowledge thats for sure.

    @Fred and @AMservices : Great info fellas, much appreciated!

    Also some good news. Had my contractor friends come round to our house, who used to thread pipe in the city. He made a phone call back to Brooklyn and we made some great progress. He thinks his guy has a guy in Albany that could come up to set the unit up one installed. Also we talked through the piping and we are confident we can do a professional job this with all the info I've had from this site and members along with his experience. and specialized tools.

    I'm think I'm going to use the chimney for the furnace again, by extending the stainless liner to the basement and will have to figure out the wood stove later. Sure that will involve a few more holes through the ceiling and roof. With that chimney back in action, it would probably make some sense to go with oil as a fuel. Saves me having to burry a 1000 Gal propane tank outside (due to river close by).

    I'll start boiler spacing/hunting now.
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    @AMservices and anyone else: Quick question-
    You mentioned looking at the DOE rating but I've found this on a few websites-

    DOE Heating Capacity: Also referred to as Gross Output, this is the output of a boiler after accounting for combustion efficiency. We recommend sizing hot water boilers based on the DOE Heating Capacity.

    Net I=B=R Capacity: also referred to as Net Output or AHRI Capacity, is the rated heat output of a boiler after accounting for combustion efficiency, piping loss, and an extra pickup factor. We recommend sizing steam boilers based on the I=B=R rating.

    Seems like they recommend using DOE for hot water and I=B=R for steam when sizing boilers. Should I be going with the I=B=R rating?


    For Burnham MST513 - 123K BTU - 86.0% AFUE - Steam Oil Boiler - Chimney Vent

    DOE Heating Capacity = 164000 BTU
    Net I=B=R Capacity = 123000 BTU

    Seems like websites don't like to use EDR values for rating.
  • AMservicesAMservices Posts: 472Member
    Let's say you're using a boiler with the 100000 BTU input that is 86% efficient .
    86% efficient means that there is a 14% heat loss up the chimney.
    86000 BTU's goes to heating the whole mass of the boiler.
    If the heat is going into the boiler then it's going into the house and its not a loss.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,334Member
    The manufacturers give the rating for their boiler in EDR right in the literature. If you have 402 EDR I would go with the MST396, no way would I go up to the 513.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,291Member

    If you do a gas boiler, go peerless.

    If you do oil, go Burnham megasteam.

    I'd love to go peerless, but in my case the boiler itself is 150% of WM's cost. Is it 50% better?
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • AMservicesAMservices Posts: 472Member
    You get what you pay for.
    I like that the peerless has steel chase Nipples.
    I like that it has (2) 3" tappings for the steam supplies.
    I cant think of a peerless I had to replace because the boiler cracked.
    Would I refuse to install a Utica if it was the right size and within the owners budget? Absolutely not.
    The right size is most important, a little bigger, piped properly wont hurt. Especially if you want to add a radiator where someone had removed.
    Any boiler you go with, as long as it can be piped to produce dry steam and can be easily cleaned, it should last long enough to pay for itself.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,291Member
    I could agree it’s 50% better than a Utica no problem 😅
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    @KC_Jones : With the basement needing to be hot water at around 234 EDR on top of the 402 EDR steam, @AMservices used a x1.33 pick up value with puts it at around 530 EDR. Thats was why I was looking at the MST513 model. Correct?

    From AMservices:
    "402.2 EDR × 240 = 96,528 BTU'S

    96,528 × 1.33 (pickup factor)= 128,382 BTU'S

    When looking at boiler ratings, look for the D.O.E. rating. That will expose the hidden pickup factor that manufacturers add for you."
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    edited February 2019
    Scrap that last post, I was looking at the I=B=R value. :#
    The DOE Heating Capacity of the MST396SL is 127000 BTU.
    My bad
  • johnnygreenhamjohnnygreenham Posts: 41Member
    edited May 2019
    So its been a few months and I've been working with a super nice steam guy who's located in NYC. I bought the lost art of steam book and read it back to front. This gentleman hasn't seen the house and install in person. I shot videos and photos and measured everything he asked. In a nut shell he is recommending we don't use the steam system and we change over to a hot water system.

    When he did the calculations he came up with a ballpark number (wish I had written it down) in sq/ft of steam that meant we would have to go with a commercial boiler and the money spent with fitting/pipework and valving would just be too expensive in his opinion along with running costs.

    From listening to everyone on this site, we came up with a EDR of 402 just for radiators (96,528 BTU) alone. The guy I'm working with in the city added another 50,000 BTU for the coil in the boiler for hot water. Can't remember if he added anything for the fin radiator in the basement which was 42,000 BTU of radiation if we ran hot water but it seemed a concern to him in his calculations.
    The real crooks came when he asked me about the mains pipe sizing and length. I over estimated on the phone but he said even if I half this number we are pushing some high EDR values for the pipe work alone due to the large diameter and length.
    I just measured it this morning.

    Just mains alone (no including piping around boiler which is 4") all horizontal piping is

    3.5" = 18ft
    2.5" = 58ft
    2" = 51ft

    I found a chart for uninsulated pipe and I came to a figure of around 52,000 BTU's of heat from pipe work. Couldn't figure out what this would be with insulated pipes. I thought the 1.5 factor would cover all the pipe work but the guy wanted to calculate the pipe work alone from the radiators due to it not being 'normal piping size' for a residence. I didn't write down the numbers he was mentioning as hew was doing calculations at his desk by the sound of it.

    so what I understand from my figures.......
    96,528 BTU (radiators) + 50,000 (coil in boiler) + 52,000 (pipe work) + basement fin radiator ???? = around 200,000 BTU

    The gentleman was talking in sq/ft of steam and I was shooting numbers out to me quickly but in a nut shell he said there isn't a big enough boiler for you in the residential category that will cover me. I'd have to step up to a commercial one and the GPH rating would make it unaffordable for me to realistically run. Coldest months of the year he said I'd be burning through 500 gal of oil a month, up where we live with the type of building we have (minimal insulation) and huge windows.

    My head is spinning with all this and I'm about to throw in the towel and just replace everything with a hot water system unless someone tells me we got something drastically wrong.

    I really believe this guy really know what he's talking about and I don't so at some point maybe I'm just trying to keep this steam system alive for to sake of it.........any thought on those numbers above?
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 1,039Member
    Sounds like this Steam Expert wants to sell you a HW system rather then repair whats there!
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