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Starting up a boiler after extended absence

Hi everyone,
So after being off for 15 months, it's time to start up my W-M PEG. I have new runouts and new radiators, so here are my questions.

1) Should I flush or skim or do anything before?
2) I want to add main vents. I have called several highly-regarded local plumbers, and all of them say I don't need to do it, and it seems like they don't want to touch it. So is this something I can do myself? What tools would I need? I think I can borrow most tools from a contractor friend and get him to assist, but neither of us have done this before.
3) Regarding main vent sizing, I read "Balancing Steam Systems with a Vent Capacity Chart," and it makes sense, but since the current system has no main vents, I can't time how long it takes the steam to get to the main vent. So do I just feel when the end of the pipe gets warm? Or can I ballpark it using volume of air in the pipe? It's a 2 inch pipe, and one side is 35 feet from the boiler and the other side is 15 feet from the boiler.
4) How do I choose which column to use (ounces of pressure)? I have the standard pressuretrol, and it doesn't go to ounces.

Thanks in advance. I love this group.

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,689
    Instead of a plumber, why not have one of the steam experts from this site come over and walk you thru the system, measure and advise you on proper venting?
    steve
    foresthillsjd
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,924
    Skimming won't be a bad idea -- but you'll need to do it some after the system has run for a while, as well as initially. Gives the oils in the pipes a chance to get back to the boiler.

    You should add main vents. It's almost impossible to add too much main venting -- except from an economic standpoint -- so I'd not worry too much about getting the exact size of vent on each line. That said, I'd probably put a Gorton #2 on each line and be done with it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    foresthillsjd
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,190
    I'm just happy you left the elves alone for the season! The grandchildren were concerned when I told them about your idea on the previous post! >:)
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    foresthillsjd
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    @STEVEusaPA I did have one of the experts come out last year, and he even drew a diagram and recommended two Gorton #2s and one Gorton #1, but I'm afraid that now time has passed, I can't quite decipher what he meant or where to put them. And I moved the laundry room, so I can't even remember if he meant the old laundry room or the new laundry room. I would have gladly paid him to also do the work, but he does commercial stuff now, and understandably, these residential things are probably more pain than they are worth for the real experts. Also, like a doofus, I don't even have his contact information. I have a failproof filing system (all my contacts are entered like "Ed Bamboo" and "Sheila Mole Removal," but I don't have any steam guys saved to my phone) :D







  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,924
    Was the old laundry room at the end of the shorter main? With a Sunrad recessed radiator on the floor above? If that's so, I think what those sketches meant was that that short main would be happy with a #1, and the other main with a #2...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    edited November 2019
    You know that scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts goes into the store to try to buy clothes and the sales people can't even be bothered? I feel like that with my steam system. "Look. I got money to spend in here!"

    If anyone wants to come to Queens and help me put in my main vents and insulate the mains, I'll gladly take you up on it!
    JimVTFlashFoto
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 110
    @Jamie Hall The old laundry room was in the basement at the end of the long main, with a recessed radiator on the floor above. But there is a turn there. So maybe he meant put the #2 at the end of 25 feet, and then when it turns and goes another 10 feet to feed the recessed radiator, put a #1 there?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,924
    That could be it too. Either way would work well.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    foresthillsjd
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 686
    @JohnNY, do you cover queens?
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 686
    @foresthillsjd your last post makes sense since recessed sunrad radiators are usually small they take up little steam. It would give priority to the radiators that feed off the first section of the main but still allow the sunrad to get steam. Unorthidox but most steam venting is.

    My building has 6 sunrads in our bathrooms, I find they work best with Gorton 4's for air vents.
    foresthillsjd
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,739
    edited November 2019
    For #4: set the front to .5 psi (basically as low as it will easily go, but no lower. And check the dial inside the box to ensure it’s at “1”, but that’s for the Pressuretrol with the gray metal box.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    foresthillsjd