Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

DIY Steam Boiler Install

ethicalpaul
ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
edited September 2020 in Strictly Steam
I was going to put it off for another season, but with two weeks of great weather coming up in northern NJ and some extra vacation days I have to burn, I'm jumping in!

I'm going to keep it all in this thread, so any opinions, advice, comments, or laughter at stupid things I will no-doubt do can go right here, I'll accept them all gladly.

Old boiler: Utica PEG 112 (Dunkirk design side supply), 292 sq ft of steam, somewhat poorly piped with only one supply with barely a header and of course oversized, but I modified it a little and made it work. See my other discussion threads for that.

New boiler: Peerless 63-03L (their smallest), twin top supplies, 233 sq ft of steam. Peerless calls for a single 2" supply but I'm going to install it with switchable second supply and a drop header (so I can say I did).

My house has 194 sq ft of radiation. I'm also going to run a hot water loop off the boiler to a 100', 35 sq ft radiant bathroom floor. I might also add another 20 sq ft of radiation in the downstairs powder room.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Dan and Erin and all of you because without this forum and all of its contributors, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn all that I have, and to stumble my way through this install. I hope you enjoy it!!

Tonight I tore out the Utica, there's no turning back now:













I never could get all the rust out of the sight glass water. Now I know why!

NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
PrecaudluketheplumberSuperTechted_pTinman
«1345

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,510
    Have fun!!
    ethicalpaulluketheplumber
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited September 2020
    Thanks @EBEBRATT-Ed !!

    I was considering going with a 2.5" or 3" header but have you seen the prices of those fittings? I'll stick with the 2" that the manufacturer recommends on that part.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,622
    Put the concrete blocks or something similar back. having it up off the floor is great for keeping it dry when various things happen in a basement. I assume you'll be adding the valves to pressurize the boiler and blow that crud out of the new one.
    ethicalpaulHap_Hazzard
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Thanks @mattmia2 yes I just moved the blocks to sweep up. I’ll be putting them back.

    And yes I’ll have valves to enable blowdown 
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 370
    Good luck! WIll be watching with interest!
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
    luketheplumberethicalpaul
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 527
    Good luck with the project.  I am in the middle of a boiler swap/repipe as well.  I ended up pouring a pad for the boiler to sit on.
    ethicalpaul
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,736
    It's a tough, but satisfying road. When I did mine, start up day happened to coincide with my birthday, it was a great present when that boiler fired up and heated the house for the first time.

    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaulratioluketheplumbermattmia2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    KC_Jones said:

    It's a tough, but satisfying road. When I did mine, start up day happened to coincide with my birthday, it was a great present when that boiler fired up and heated the house for the first time.

    Thanks! My birthday is in late January so I hopefully won't have that coincidence!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    luketheplumberSuperJ
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    I had to share this. I was talking to a high school buddy who has 25 years in a steam plant back in my hometown. He is working with 1250psi steam at 950F. I asked him if they have specified torque for the black pipe fittings.

    He said "As tight as you can get it, then one more turn" which I found hilarious.

    I told him my specification was "hand tight then one more turn" which isn't quite right, but is pretty close :lol:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    GrallertluketheplumberCLamb
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,110
    Paul do a single 3 inch riser opposite of where your eq and return tie into boiler use a 2 inch equilizer . The price difference isn’t much and amount of work is less w a single riser . I do 63 03 w a single 3 and tie in 2 2 inch mains and after cleaning the water line is steady . Add nipple n cap min to unused return for flushing n wanding . Pre cleaning pipe w dawn soap and a foam spray attachment then flush w water saves time and future skim / flushing when the oils make there way back . Just my 2 cents good luck and happy spinning peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Thank you so much @clammy you have helped me so much on this project already (for those who didn't know, it was Clammy who suggested which supply house to use to buy my boiler a couple seasons ago and they were great to work with (Henry's in Hawthorne).

    I have a reason I want to do two risers, but I will definitely be putting a nipple and cap on the side opposite the equalizer.

    I might not do much pre-cleaning or wanding, because I really like skimming but that's because I'm a crazy homeowner and return calls for more skimming only take me 15 seconds to arrive at the job site :)
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    ratio
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Day 2: I decided to move the Peerless into position. I think it’s about 400 pounds so I had to use leverage and my rock climbing gear. 

    I set up a ramp in my very convenient bulkhead  cellar entry, moved the Prius in position for an anchor and put my wife “on belay” with a Gri-Gri while I guided it down. It went OK!

    it was tough to get it off the wooden skid and onto the blocks but I wrestled it on there.


    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    PrecaudDan Foleymikeapolis
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,510
    Looks like your off to a good start. With my luck the Prius would have ended up in the basement!!
    ethicalpaulErin Holohan HaskellSlamDunkSolid_Fuel_Man
  • So the Honda Insight, full of radiators was too light?—NBC
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Haha good memory! It would have been heavy enough, but the Prius was in better position 
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,373
    One of the first things you should do before firing it off is replace that Cycle Gaurd with a SafeGaurd.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    ethicalpaul
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,055
    Great helper.....first she lets you run a steam pipe thru her kitchen, then lets you endanger, probably "her" car, acting as an anchor and plus helping get the boiler into the basement. ;)
    PrecaudluketheplumberethicalpaulSolid_Fuel_Man
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,658
    JUGHNE said:

    Great helper.....first she lets you run a steam pipe thru her kitchen, then lets you endanger, probably "her" car, acting as an anchor and plus helping get the boiler into the basement. ;)

    How was anyone endangered?

    That being said...
    Is it done yet?
    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
    ethicalpaul
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,055
    Not the helper.....the car door posts.....
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,658
    JUGHNE said:

    Not the helper.....the car door posts.....

    That I can see. I wouldn't do that to my weather stripping etc.

    But,

    I suspect Paul was in "GSD mode" and was more concerned about getting the boiler down there safely and the clock was ticking.

    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
    ethicalpaul
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,055
    I admire him for his enthusiasm for steam.
    I just want to offer a little humor and encouragement.

    My GSD modes are getting fewer and far between.
    Some of my get up and go got up and went somewhere else. :/
    ChrisJethicalpaulluketheplumber
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,622
    ChrisJ said:

    JUGHNE said:

    Not the helper.....the car door posts.....

    That I can see. I wouldn't do that to my weather stripping etc.

    But,

    I suspect Paul was in "GSD mode" and was more concerned about getting the boiler down there safely and the clock was ticking.

    My UFT-100 may have rolled off the appliance dolly and half way down the stairs in the box when i turned around to shut the back door behind me.
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,658
    mattmia2 said:

    ChrisJ said:

    JUGHNE said:

    Not the helper.....the car door posts.....

    That I can see. I wouldn't do that to my weather stripping etc.

    But,

    I suspect Paul was in "GSD mode" and was more concerned about getting the boiler down there safely and the clock was ticking.

    My UFT-100 may have rolled off the appliance dolly and half way down the stairs in the box when i turned around to shut the back door behind me.
    You rolled a new modcon down the stairs!?
    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
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,622
    Not intentionally. It was about half a flight, I have a back door that is at ground level so there is only about 4' from the landing to the floor and it was in a box that was intended for UPS to throw around so it was ok. It was on an appliance dolly and it tipped forward enough that it rolled off the front plate. i thought i had more than enough tip backward that it wouldn't come off so I didn't use the straps. I used the straps for the indirect and the old water heater...
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,658
    mattmia2 said:

    Not intentionally. It was about half a flight, I have a back door that is at ground level so there is only about 4' from the landing to the floor and it was in a box that was intended for UPS to throw around so it was ok. It was on an appliance dolly and it tipped forward enough that it rolled off the front plate. i thought i had more than enough tip backward that it wouldn't come off so I didn't use the straps. I used the straps for the indirect and the old water heater...

    That had to be painful............
    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
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,055
    No Paul Progress reports lately?

    One think to mention, IIWM, I would remove every pipe plug and replace with nipple and cap. Even if it meant removing the jacket to get them loose.
    May need some of the ports in the future and plugs age quickly.
    mattmia2ethicalpaul
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 370
    Methinks he deserves a day off :)
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Ironman said:
    One of the first things you should do before firing it off is replace that Cycle Gaurd with a SafeGaurd.
    There was one point in my time here I was going to do that. But at this point I want to see how psycho it really is
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    JUGHNE said:
    Great helper.....first she lets you run a steam pipe thru her kitchen, then lets you endanger, probably "her" car, acting as an anchor and plus helping get the boiler into the basement. ;)
    It is her car! It wasn’t damaged 😃
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 370
    You work fast!
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Thanks but not compared to the pros! Plus, it ain’t done yet!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,579

    Thanks but not compared to the pros! Plus, it ain’t done yet!

    You're doing great on time. I poured my pad in 2006. Commisioned my boiler in 2010!
    ethicalpaulmattmia2Hap_Hazzard
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 370
    This thread will have greater entertainment value if you go slower :)
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
    ethicalpaulCLambErin Holohan HaskellIntplm.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,055
    Have you seen or considered the built up 1/2" pipe tree for controls and gauges. Use double crosses for easy cleaning.
    No 1/4" pigtails.
    I did post picture of this some time back.
    Can't find it now.
    ethicalpaulmattmia2Hap_Hazzard
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited September 2020
    JUGHNE said:
    Have you seen or considered the built up 1/2" pipe tree for controls and gauges. Use double crosses for easy cleaning. No 1/4" pigtails. I did post picture of this some time back. Can't find it now.
    Yes the ones I’ve seen most are Dave’s and Ezzy’s I think. I’m doing mine in 3/4 for no real good reason except that’s what the port is so I want clean out to be easy
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    Here’s a minor milestone for mid-day Sunday. I got the return and Hartford Loop all finished! So everything below waterline is done 😅

    i didn’t want to wait for Tuesday’s shipment so I cut my own 1” x 6-1/4” nipple.

    I tend to cut the threads a lot shorter than the manufacturers do. First, I’m lazy. Second, I never ever go beyond 1/2 anyway. Third, since the failure point is always the threads, why not leave them a bit meatier?



    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,055
    The trees I have done have double tees so nothing has to be unscrewed but plugs. But for the riser to each device I used 1/4 brass or SS, 6" or more in length.
    The logic being that if the horizontal iron pipe is clean all the way across then the brass or SS is clear.

    Where does that threader plug in...... :|
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    💪🏻 (If you saw my arms you’d know how funny this is)


    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,658
    My 65R-TC forces you to do the correct length.

    I don't know if it's bad to do them short or not I try to go by the book on most things.  Sadly I've found that often doesn't work in machine work.....
    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
    ethicalpaul