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What should I read next?

Because of this site I have a reasonably good idea of what size my next boiler should be.

The next thing I think I should learn about is the near boiler piping, installation, and venting. I found an interesting article on this site written by Dan Holohan in June of 2014. It is titled "The Importance of Near Boiler Piping In a Steam System."

It says that if certain valves are not installed during installation, the life of the boiler could be shortened. I was not given any choice in this regard, so the better valves may not have been installed. I don't know how I will ever know.

Then again, someone just told me in a different discussion that new boilers are only supposed to get 10 - 15 years, so perhaps that is all I should expect.

Anyone want to comment on what the life of a new boiler should be?

And does anyone have any other suggestions as to what I should read (things available online are preferred) so that I can have a reasonably intelligent discussions contractors when the time comes? Thanks.


  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,522Member
    Steve, I think he has a steam system.

    George, what were the "valves" you referred to?
    Could they have been "air vents"?
  • ZmanZman Posts: 5,518Member
    I would think "The Lost Art of Steam Heating"

    I read a lot online, there is nothing like the smell and feel of a real book though.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,802Member
    JUGHNE said:

    Steve, I think he has a steam system.

    George, what were the "valves" you referred to?
    Could they have been "air vents"?

    Yeah I missed all of that...
  • georgede54georgede54 Posts: 44Member
    Thanks. I do have a steam system. The valves were a King Valve and a Return Valve. I guess they somehow allow the boiler to be completely shut down so that pressure can build up in it and then you open another valve and all sorts of gunk flushes out. I don't think my system has the King or Return.
  • georgede54georgede54 Posts: 44Member
    Here's what he said.

    When you quote that next steam boiler-replacement job, suggest a king valve and a return valve to your client. A king valve goes on the pipe that leads from the header to the steam main. You’ll need more than one if you have more than one steam main leaving the header. The return valve goes (you guessed it) on the wet return, just before it meets the Hartford Loop. You’ll also put a full-port ball valve in the boiler’s mud leg.
    You like that name? Mud leg? I do too. I like it because it describes perfectly what goes on in the bottom of a steam boiler that serves an old steam system. Here we have pipes, valves, fitting and radiators that are perhaps 100 years old. Every steam-heating system is open to the atmosphere. When you wet iron and steel and then expose it to the air you get rust. And when you let steam, moving at 60 mph, through those pipes, all that rust gets shoved down the line and winds up at the low point in the system, which is the boiler’s mud leg. Let enough mud accumulate and you’ll lose the circulation though the boiler. Lose the circulation and you lose the boiler.
    So there you are with the client. You’re there because the old boiler isn’t working anymore. Maybe it failed because of mud. So you suggest the king valve, the return valve and the full-port ball valve on the mud leg. You explain that you’ll come back each year to close the king valve and the return valve. That will allow you to isolate the boiler from the system and build about 10-psi pressure inside of it. You can’t do that without the king valve and the return valve. You’ll explain that once you have that 10-psi pressure, you’ll open that big full-port ball valve on the mud leg and blow out a year’s worth of crap. The extra expense of those three valves now will add decades to the life of this boiler.

    I don't think my current boiler has this set up, and I think this may have led/contributed to my boiler's demise.
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 67Member
    Diagram or pictures of the setup?
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