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How some pros install and professionals accept

Henry
Henry Member Posts: 995
I was asked to check on the two boilers and 3 storage tank installation at a new student residence. This was an engineered job. The engineer said the install was correct. There was two 500,000 BTU boilers connected together on 1 1/2 pipe as well as the three tanks. Failure 1, pipe sizing to small for 100 GPM. Failure 2, the small Taco pumps could pump 20 GPM if there was no boiler restriction. Plumber redid the piping and installed the correct model Grundfos pumps. Failure 3, look how the pumps were installed. One already was making noise.


Comments

  • Oops!
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,904
    Sigh. And among other things shows why engineers shouldn't be turned loose on a design until they've gotten their boots or hands, as the case may be, dirty.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    HenrySolid_Fuel_ManIronmanRich_49
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 995
    Another bad install of a Smith steam boiler by a large contractor. Also the boiler feed is just behind into the second section, no Hartford loop etc..:




  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 995
    Jamie, that is why this client asks me to check every install.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,173
    <sigh>
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    You can re-do a bad install, but you can't fix stupid.

    I bet that Smith steamer had a welded header too...............
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 541
    I've seen this sort of thing many times myself.

    What's even more discouraging is when the job is still on paper and you have an opportunity to discuss the features of the job with the engineer, and get told "I don't care about your expertise, this is the way I want it".

    So, then it has to be corrected after the installation.

    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
    GroundUp
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,449
    Oh my, if I had a dollar for all the times I've said "do you want me to build it like the print, or do you want it to work?". That's the truth.

    The answer is always the same, do it by the drawing and we will get change orders to make it right when they figure out it doesn't work.

    But, I still get the stinkeye from the customer because it doesnt work the first time.

    Sigh.....
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    ratioGroundUp
  • egansen
    egansen Member Posts: 29
    Did they cut holes in the drywall to clear the junction boxes on the pumps? That's just sad.
    kcoppDZoro
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
    No excuse for that at all. Well of course unless you don't have any mc wire, to mount them properly, but you have your knife to cut out the drywall!
    Didn't even have to rotate the flanges...
    Sad very sad...
    D
    Canucker
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,449
    Seeing any pump with anything but a horizontal shaft just makes me cringe. I know Taco and maybe others allow it if over 20psi, but I NEVER EVER do it. Seems amateurish, let alone the drywall!
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Canucker
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 995
    Steamhead, all of OUR Smith installs with piping over 2 inch are welded. We do the install as per Smith piping instructions. The original install did not have swing joints and the header pulled the joints apart. The new replacement boiler was also installed as a cut and paste, so it leaked. After my visit with Smith piping diagrams, it was redone with the boiler feed into the Hartford loop of proper size etc plus the boiler two outlets were redone with swing joints as per Smith piping diagrams.
    MikeL_2
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    So, what you're saying is it took three boilers to get it right?

    Are the present swing joints threaded?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 394
    I was a Facilities engineer and I’m my last two positions, the engineering was horrendous. I was eventually asked to find another job. More recently I just had enough corporate BS and power tripping insecure managers and gave up and went into the trades.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,375

    I was a Facilities engineer and I’m my last two positions, the engineering was horrendous. I was eventually asked to find another job. More recently I just had enough corporate BS and power tripping insecure managers and gave up and went into the trades.

    More often than anyone might believe is how truly horrible and incompetent Facility engineers can be.
    I have seen some of the most egregious work done by these so called "engineers".
    I had determined that some are engineers in title only and had no engineering degree. They sure make a bad impression on the true degreed engineers.
    @motoguy128 How do you suppose this so common.
    Zman
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,505
    I work on AV systems. Most of the people calling themselves engineers do not actually have engineering degrees.

    The workmanship we get from contractors is abysmal. We seem to be the first person to have tried any of the features of the systems when they represent it as complete to us. Much of it ends up never working, we end up troubleshooting and integrating components to get them to work ourselves, what is installed only loosely matches the specification we gave them to install from, they do a poor job of communicating what they bid on to their installers.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,375
    This is such an odd phenomenon to me.
    I have had engineers order techs to do things that are against code, and health codes !
    If some inexperienced tech blindly does what they are told, and some have. The problems can be very problematic. And those problems can last for years. As a older more experienced person. I don't get a lot of this nonsense from engineers as much as I used to.
    Too many arguments. To many problems. How has this been allowed in this industry for so long?
    Is it getting any better? Or is it worse.
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 394
    > @Intplm. said:
    > (Quote)
    > More often than anyone might believe is how truly horrible and incompetent Facility engineers can be.
    > I have seen some of the most egregious work done by these so called "engineers".
    > I had determined that some are engineers in title only and had no engineering degree. They sure make a bad impression on the true degreed engineers.
    > @motoguy128 How do you suppose this so common.

    I had a bachelor of science but not a full engineering degree. So I learned in the field, though not hands on. Most engineers are great at calculus and physics and problems on paper with mass balances, flow charts etc. but not field experience, common sense or true understanding of the equipment. For whatever reason they only teach theory and formulas not any practical knowledge.

    An apprenticeship with a mechanical for ME, electrical for EE, general for CE and pipe fitter for ChemE should be a requirement for graduation or at least your PE license.

    There is also arrogance. They don’t want to learn from anyone “below” them. They want to be in control. Biggest part of learning is recognizing and admitting when your wrong. It’s really hard for an engineer I think.

    On the flip side, it’s hard learn from tradesmen as they are often on the opposite end. They have tribal knowledge but don’t necessarily know why something is done a certain way.

    I like to think I’ll be able to combine both as I move forward.
    Intplm.CanuckerGordo
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,375
    I agree......And both, indeed should be combined as you mentioned.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,505
    edited January 2020
    As the owner and a cog in an enormous bureaucracy, we inevitably find something that was wrong in the spec when we try to install a system. Even though it happens every time, everyone acts surprised and doesn't seem to have a process to fix it(even though that process is spelled out in the specification and usually amounts to the contractor's engineer is responsible for verifying that the equipment you are installing works together and if you didn't do that before you bid on it ask us about it or include it in your bid that isn't our problem.)

    I see a lot of it as their sales people didn't do their job and are now trying to build what they quoted, not what they agreed to.
    Intplm.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 916
    Makes me wonder if they were referencing the preferred 40F delta tee for condensing boilers, then a 1 1/2 inch pipe would work for each boiler, but still not 1 1/2 for both boilers. The pumps might have been the right size then.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,375
    How often have things been wrong in the specifications and the prints and have seen installers through their hands in the air and just do it as specified.
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 995
    Steamhead, the swing joints are welded as they are 3 inch. No problem, the Smith 28A have 5 inch outlets and e weld them.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    Expect that boiler to leak too. If the joints cannot move, as threaded joints do, they are not "swing joints".

    One would think after replacing the boiler three times, the lesson would be learned...................
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Intplm.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,812
    Steamhead said:

    Expect that boiler to leak too. If the joints cannot move, as threaded joints do, they are not "swing joints".

    One would think after replacing the boiler three times, the lesson would be learned...................


    From the Smith manual


    From a quick Google search


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 995
    Underground storage tanks for gasoline, diesel and others are piped 2 inch, so threaded. 46 years of installing cast iron steam boilers, all size 3 inch or larger have welded swing joints with NO failures. That install was done by a big contractor that did not read the manufacturers instruction. I do a fair number of new boiler assembly for other contractors that then screw up the piping. I do also a good number of Smith replacements because of bad piping. I won a case against BI & I (re-insurers and boiler inspectors) because the boiler inspector did not see the improper piping that was pulling the sections apart. The settlement was over $250,000.
    Intplm.B_Sloane
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    So if these tanks were piped 2-1/2", you'd weld them?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,812

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Intplm.
  • B_Sloane
    B_Sloane Member Posts: 56
    Intplm. said:

    I was a Facilities engineer and I’m my last two positions, the engineering was horrendous. I was eventually asked to find another job. More recently I just had enough corporate BS and power tripping insecure managers and gave up and went into the trades.

    More often than anyone might believe is how truly horrible and incompetent Facility engineers can be.
    I have seen some of the most egregious work done by these so called "engineers".
    I had determined that some are engineers in title only and had no engineering degree. They sure make a bad impression on the true degreed engineers.
    @motoguy128 How do you suppose this so common.
    I was an engineer for a design/build contractor
    after years of arguments with management about "just get some money off"
    I went to the trades also
    Intplm.
  • B_Sloane
    B_Sloane Member Posts: 56
    P.S.
    the last Job had 200 gpm flow to zones
    but
    only 160,000 btu's
    Management reply ..?
    "Zone Diversity" will take care of it !!
    Henry