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DIY Steam Boiler Install

ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
edited September 24 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!

1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
PrecaudluketheplumberSuperTechted_pSteve Minnich
«134

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,315
    Have fun!!
    ethicalpaulluketheplumber
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    edited September 24
    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.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,872
    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.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    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 
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • PrecaudPrecaud Member Posts: 341
    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_25Robert_25 Member Posts: 210
    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_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,424
    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
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
    ethicalpaulratioluketheplumbermattmia2
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    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!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    luketheplumberSuperJ
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    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:
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    GrallertluketheplumberCLamb
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 2,531
    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
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    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 :)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    ratio
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    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.


    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    PrecaudDan Foley
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,315
    Looks like your off to a good start. With my luck the Prius would have ended up in the basement!!
    ethicalpaulErin Holohan HaskellSlamDunk
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,193
    So the Honda Insight, full of radiators was too light?—NBC
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    Haha good memory! It would have been heavy enough, but the Prius was in better position 
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,805
    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,194
    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. ;)
    Precaudluketheplumberethicalpaul
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,256
    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,194
    Not the helper.....the car door posts.....
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,256
    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,194
    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
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,872
    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
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,256
    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
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,872
    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
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,256
    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
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,194
    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
  • PrecaudPrecaud Member Posts: 341
    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.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    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
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    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 😃
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    JUGHNE said:
    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.
    My wife and I went on a short hike then I had lunch and then my supplyhouse order arrived and I got down there at about noon and just finished for the day.

    Here are the Day 3 photos:





    I did pull every external plug and the pigtail and gauge and put in a nipple in their place
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    CanuckerPrecaudSteve Minnichluketheplumber
  • PrecaudPrecaud Member Posts: 341
    You work fast!
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    Thanks but not compared to the pros! Plus, it ain’t done yet!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Member Posts: 875

    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!
    ethicalpaulmattmia2
  • PrecaudPrecaud Member Posts: 341
    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.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,194
    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.
    ethicalpaulmattmia2
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    edited September 27
    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
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    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?



    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,194
    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
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,864
    💪🏻 (If you saw my arms you’d know how funny this is)


    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,256
    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
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