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Near Boiler Plumbing - Fix what the (recently) dead men did?

tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
edited December 4 in Strictly Steam
Sorry for all the posting lately. I'm finally able to dig into my two pipe trane vapor steam heat system (money and asbestos abatement held me off) and I'm excited to get it working right. My biggest win was figuring out that 2 of 3 of my condensate return vents were non-operative as well as both of the main vents. Big mouths will be here tomorrow so that's a huge win. Also, a full load of BIP provided pipe insulation will be here on Thursday. Before I wrap everything up in fiberglass, I want to prune/correct the near furnace plumbing. It is my belief that when boilers were replaced, some plumbing was left in place because it was wrapped in encapsulated asbestos and better left undisturbed. That brings us to picture 1. 2 things in this one: 1. I want to at least remove all the pipe with Xs and plug the Tees as necessary. 2. Should I plumb in another supply to the header from the left side of the boiler? (Green lines, with a poor drawing of a union.)

Picture 2 to establish the location of items in picture 3:

Picture 3: 'A' looks to be a spot to add boiler cleaner (I found some of this hanging around the basement when I bought the house 8 years ago) and also allow air to enter more quickly when skimming and draining. 'B' Uh, why is there a vent here? Should I remove this? 'C' this thing goes over to the expansion tank. I know to keep that one.

Picture 4,5,6: This shows where 'C' enters the expansion tank. Makes sense. But 'D'? Who are you and where are you going?






Sorry for the long post. Thanks for all your help SteamTeam!


Comments

  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,365Member
    edited December 4
    That near-boiler piping is so bad you need to tear it out and start over.

    The boiler is a Dunkirk, which does not like bad piping at all. It looks like someone reduced the size of the steam outlet to 2" from 2-1/2", which is a major no-no, and on that size boiler you need to use both steam outlets instead of just one and a 3-inch header.

    Where are you located?
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    Mount Clemens, Michigan
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    Aren’t the ports 2” coming out of the boiler? Do you have to transition up after exiting the boiler?
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    edited December 4
    Also: I’d love to move the boiler back to the location of the original coal fired unit. There is a pad in the basement that is clearly where it’s supposed to be. But they probably installed the new one next to the original to reduce down time.
  • acwagneracwagner Posts: 353Member
    Are you planning to do the work yourself?

    Unfortunately, southeast Michigan is a steam pro desert for the most part. There are a few companies that are workable assuming you have the time to oversee it. Private message me if you'd like some recommendations.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    Since it is a desert I’ve been doing my own research (a lot) and work. I have the tools for the most part, I can’t thread anything over 2” without renting or borrowing. I’m a former shop teacher. Ran my own gas, water, electricity and inspectors have been impressed with the work. Steam is a different beast altogether though, that’s why I’m here :)
  • acwagneracwagner Posts: 353Member
    Welcome to the steam DIY club!

    Regarding your question: there's probably a bushing reducing it right out of the boiler. Check the plugged side--the plug might have a size label in the casting.

    If moving it makes sense, then I'd say do it. I'd also recommend replacing the wet return. It's likely all gummed up, and it will allow you to add some hookup points so you can flush it out periodically.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    edited December 4
    Yeah, I’d like to add the mud leg flush I’ve seen someone advocating for here. My return dives under the floor to cross a walkway. I pulled the plug on the tee before that drop last year and tried to flush it best I could.
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    Yep, looks like you guys are right about the bushing. I pray I can get a grip on it with having to take off the side of the boiler.
  • acwagneracwagner Posts: 353Member
    You might have to cut and collapse the bushing to get it out.
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,458Member
    I'm assuming since you are pretty well flying solo here, that you do have a copy of The Lost Art. I'm not an expert on the Trane system, but there are some useful comments and thoughts on it in there which should be helpful.

    That said, yes I think I would move the boiler. A bit more work, perhaps, but as @Steamhead said that boiler is a bit fussy about the near boiler piping, and if you're going to do that you might just as well do it. The thing there to remember, though, is that once you get nice dry steam at very low pressure from a point on the header, then connecting to the rest of your Trane system will be pretty straightforward, and set up that way. Be especially cautious about figuring out how and why the dry returns, vents, and wet returns run, and their appliances. Chances are that folks coming after the original install may have had some odd ideas...
    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
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,280Member
    To comment on your pictures and proposed changes. Do not pipe the second outlet as you show. That will create a colliding header and possibly make things worse than what you have.

    The header order should be boiler riser(s), system take off(s), then drop into the equalizer, in that order from one end to the other.
    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
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    KC:
    Wait, I thought I needed two for the drop header setup (if I’m totally redoing everything). See attached for a rough approximation. No good?
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Posts: 1,104Member
    It's not the number he's concerned about, it's the order. Read his last sentence again. Your photo with modification doesn't match the photo you attached above, orderwise.
    1 pipe Utica 112 in Cedar Grove, NJ, 1913 coal > oil > NG
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    Ah, that makes sense. My goal is right - not easy, so I moved past that to redoing it. Does anybody know what’s going on with the things coming off the tapped elbow?
  • acwagneracwagner Posts: 353Member
    Does the vent you label as "B" have a brand or model number list on the side?
    Burnham IN5PVNI Boiler, Single Pipe with 290 EDR
    18 Ounce per Square Inch Gauge
    Time Delay Relay in Series with Thermostat
    Operating Pressure 0.3-0.5 Ounce per Square Inch

  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    I’ll definitely take a look when I get back home. I do see a stamping on the side, but can’t tell what it says from the pics on my phone.
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    As far as the drop header dimensions go: are these “at least“ numbers or “exactly” numbers? For example, is it that the risers must be at least 28” above the waterline or exactly 28” above the water line? Same question for the header and 24”. Also, the close union at the top of Hartford loop I heard is super critical to keep short and must fall immediately (but completely) below the waterline, correct?
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    Nevermind, just realized that the boiler installation instructions have all these specifics.
  • tlowc34tlowc34 Posts: 49Member
    @acwagner the vent was a little beat up from being gripped by a wrench, but it looks to be a redundant safety valve with the markings on the side saying "set 15 lbs" with the "15" stamped rather than engraved like the rest of the markings.
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