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New Steam Boiler Install

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to followup on my earlier posts about the issues I had been having with my steam heating system. Nearly three years ago, I bought a house with steam heat and everyone told me that those old boilers never died and I would have nothing to worry about it. Boy was I in for some fun.

It turned out that the old oil boiler was very over-sized, had no header, was running at ~6-7 psi, banged all day, and was constantly shutting off on pressure due to poor venting and had convectors that had been shutoff so long that the valves no longer moved. When I contacted the oil company that had been servicing the boiler, they weren't of much help and just told me that the previous owner had similar unresolved issues.

I set about reading everything I could on here, bought Dan's books and started reaching out to various HVAC companies to see if I could get any help. Most companies didn't really want to help troubleshoot and just offered to replace the boiler, in nearly every case a larger boiler was suggested.

Eventually I found my way to Rick of SD Hansell Co and he sat down and helped me troubleshoot the existing system and we came to the conclusion a new gas fired boiler would make the most sense for my situation. He sized it correctly and we brought the size down from 200kbtu to 150k btu, added venting to the mains and an over-sized drop header. I am really happy with the performance now and the fit and finish of the install are really top notch.

Just wanted to share the conclusion to my 3 year dive into troubleshooting an old steam system. Photos are attached.


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,853
    Nice. Now see if you can get SD Hansell Co. to list on here -- we can use all the help we can get!
    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
  • SenorSteamHeatSenorSteamHeat Member Posts: 9

    Nice. Now see if you can get SD Hansell Co. to list on here -- we can use all the help we can get!

    He does list on here. First name that comes up in my area, Philadelphia suburbs.
  • WellnessWellness Member Posts: 100
    Very nice. Kudos to the installer.
  • BioBio Member Posts: 277
    Can you post a closer picture of the pressuretrol settings?
  • mroberts5mroberts5 Member Posts: 76
    I almost did a job with Rick. Ended up going with someone else, but he was very knowledgeable and nice to work with.
  • SenorSteamHeatSenorSteamHeat Member Posts: 9
    Bio said:

    Can you post a closer picture of the pressuretrol settings?

    The pressuretrol is in sequence with the vaporstat. I believe the vaporstsat is doing the work of pressure control since it can be adjusted in smaller increments. In this scenario, the pressuretrol serves as backup. We started with 1.5lbs and a setback of 1lb. Those exact values will have to be specific to your system based on how it balances.
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