Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
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/.

DIY Steam Boiler Install

124

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,649

    I generally like the permit/inspection system but my town just charged me $85 for the boiler inspection, and then another $85 for the backflow preventer inspection for the boiler makeup water, that doesn't sound right!

    In my township in PA, there is no permit or inspection for a boiler replacement. Saves me money, but is extraordinarily scary to me.

    I called the township on this when I did mine, and again when I was helping the fire museum (that's a commercial install) and was told the same thing for both situations, no permit, no inspection.

    I'm curious what @STEVEusaPA experience is where he works?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    Matt_67 said:

    Same thing in my jurisdiction, plumbing permit for the backflow preventer and mechanical permit for the boiler. And probably twice as much as what you paid!

    Interesting. Here they are both covered under the plumbing code. Same guy. Looking over an entire boiler install, OK I get it. But a backflow preventer??

    It was another $50 for the electrical component. At least for that part I'm getting my money's worth--I separated the boiler from the dining room circuit :sweat_smile: and ran it solo
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    mattmia2
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,182
    Natural gas and plumbing are actually usually inspected by the same person even though they are two separate codes.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    Now I wonder if I even needed it. I don't have an automatic fill, just manual. On the phone, he just said I needed a backfill preventer on my permit and he asked me for permission to add it. He never asked if I had an automatic fill. Hmm
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,265
    Paul, does your BFP need annual inspection?
    Is it a RP type with test ports or the simple one we see here all the time. Has an in and out and relief pipe ports.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    I got this one: https://www.supplyhouse.com/Watts-0063190-BBFP-1-2-IPS-Backflow-Preventer

    By "need" do you mean from the local authority? I hope not since my old boiler was directly connected to the water supply for about 30 years without any BFP at all
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,265
    That's good. You should be OK until your next boiler.

    My area has some confusion about the type of BFP and what needs them. And who pays for inspection etc......long story.
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,857
    I once did a job that was worth half a million. The Mechanical permit was $26,000
    ethicalpaul
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,325
    edited October 2020
    ChrisJ said:
    I just tried to measure one with the threads and couldn't get an accurate measurement. It was all over the place, which, may actually be the pipe as well. I'm sure these things have a huge tolerance. Honestly not sure why we're even discussing a 0.01", or even a 0.02" difference in wall thickness between black iron pipe / nipples. A Sch 80 1" pipe would have roughly a 0.179" wall thickness.

    It’s almost like arguing about the Hartford loop, right @ChrisJ? 🤣😉
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,857
    Maybe the Chinese have expanded the tolerances.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    All the parts in this thread are domestic
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,857
    That's good sometimes american parts are hard to get. Especially brass fittings. They seem to be all from overseas. Any black fittings from China are poor quality
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    I’m finally getting around to looking at my old boiler. Got the jacket off and check out this silicone sealant someone put on there 😂

    I guess I made the right decision to replace my working boiler. Now all the rust at the bottom of the boiler sheet metal makes sense



    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    PrecaudBrent H.
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 368
    Interesting. So a prior owner tried to deal with a leak between the sections by siliconing the intersection...

    How's the new Peerless doin' ?
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
    ethicalpaul
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 1,964
    Those sight glasses are nice. See a lot of them at the vineyards. Wasn’t aware there rated for that purpose. 
    ethicalpaul
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,265
    So Paul, did the inspector say anything about your clear piping.

    You could say they are made of transparent aluminum.....or has that been invented yet?? ;)
    ethicalpaulmikeapolis
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    I’m about to call for the inspector so I’ll definitely let you know!

    the tri-clamp sight glasses seem to all be rated well above residental steam pressure and temperature. They are used in breweries and chemistry manufacturing operations mostly I think.

    the Peerless is a champ. I couldn’t be happier with it. It came all wired up and with tons of ports. I had to attach just 120v and the thermostat and plug in the damper.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    Precaud
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    Oh and even the Psycho-Gard is fine. I’d recommend installers try them out some more to see if they still want to keep throwing them in the junk pile.

    Just hand the owner the little piece of paper that explains what it’s doing. It really is a nice extra check (to test the true water level)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 169
    The Psycho-Gard does seem to help mitigate the oversized boiler problem to some extent. If I wasn't oversized by 30-40% I might have swapped it out.
    ethicalpaulHap_Hazzard
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 368
    Dan_NJ said:

    If I wasn't oversized by 30-40% I might have swapped it out.

    If you are oversized by that much, you have other more important problems to address... :)
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
    Danny Scully
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    Dan_NJ said:
    The Psycho-Gard does seem to help mitigate the oversized boiler problem to some extent. If I wasn't oversized by 30-40% I might have swapped it out.
    Yeah I mean your boiler is no doubt cycling on pressure regardless so a few of those might as well be to check the resting water level.

    what model boiler do you have? Is it gas?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 169

    what model boiler do you have? Is it gas?

    Gas - Peerless 63-04 (458 sq ft). EDR is around 318 sq ft if my calculation is correct. There is a 63-04L that would have been the better choice. Maybe could be retrofitted with the smaller burner but I haven't confirmed that. The Crown this replaced was also oversized, 140,000 BTU output and died after 10 years or so from corrosion due to excess makeup water which is now under control. The near boiler piping is a mess as well which isn't helping matters.

    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    Yes, you can buy the parts to make it a 63-04L. It will reduce the number of burners slightly. I would definitely do it.

    That will get you to 383 sq ft.

    63-03 would have been the best choice at 308 sq ft :(
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Ivo
    Ivo Member Posts: 11
    Nice work! Two questions - how are you running the hot water loop for your radiant floors (something I would like to do) and what is the sight glass fixture just above the valve?

    Thanks
    Jeff
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    edited November 2020
    Thanks! I haven't hooked up the radiant floor yet. It's a small loop in a small bathroom. I will be using the techniques described in this article: https://heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/how-to-run-a-hot-water-zone-off-a-steam-boiler/

    The sight glasses that I use are tri-clamp ones, commonly used in brewing and chemistry. These are 2.5" with 2" NPT adapters on them. They come in all sizes. Search on Amazon or eBay for "tri clamp sight glass"
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 164
    JUGHNE said:


    You could say they are made of transparent aluminum.....or has that been invented yet?? ;)

    23rd century...


  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549
    MaxMercy said:
    You could say they are made of transparent aluminum.....or has that been invented yet?? ;)
    23rd century...
    Ahem,

    Its not just from Scotty..

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_oxynitride
    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
    ethicalpaulMaxMercymattmia2
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,265
    They did bring back that technology to the 20th century.
    Remember, Scotty had to use a keyboard to show the formula.
    "How do we know, he may have invented it....."...(prime directive concern).
    ethicalpaulMaxMercy
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 164
    JUGHNE said:

    They did bring back that technology to the 20th century.
    Remember, Scotty had to use a keyboard to show the formula.
    "How do we know, he may have invented it....."...(prime directive concern).

    IIRC, the owner of the glass company remarked that the matrix would take years to figure out, so they kind of left it vague how complete the formula that Scotty showed him was or how long it would be before they would be able to make it or if at all.

    But yeah, the prime directive was always something that changed from show to show, movie to movie depending on who wrote it I guess.




  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549
    MaxMercy said:

    JUGHNE said:

    They did bring back that technology to the 20th century.
    Remember, Scotty had to use a keyboard to show the formula.
    "How do we know, he may have invented it....."...(prime directive concern).

    IIRC, the owner of the glass company remarked that the matrix would take years to figure out, so they kind of left it vague how complete the formula that Scotty showed him was or how long it would be before they would be able to make it or if at all.

    But yeah, the prime directive was always something that changed from show to show, movie to movie depending on who wrote it I guess.




    Polycarbonate, not glass!


    Jeez, can't anyone remember anything? :D
    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
    MaxMercy
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,130
    It's beginning to look like we should have yet another category. It could be called "Trekkies". I'm in if it happens! :p

    Yours, Larry
    MaxMercyErin Holohan Haskellmikeapolis EdTheHeaterMan
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 164


    Polycarbonate, not glass!


    Jeez, can't anyone remember anything? :D
    Head hung in shame...
    EdTheHeaterManethicalpaul
  • coolfx35
    coolfx35 Member Posts: 70
    edited November 2020
    @ethicalpaul - Great job on the installation, looks amazing. How old is the old unit?

    You are in Cedar Grove, I am up the street. :) Have you thinking about getting into the Steam Heating business?
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    Thanks! The old Utica was from 1992 I believe.

    There's a LOT of steam heat in NJ for sure. I'd love to have a hobby/retirement business where I consult and do small fixes for people and refer them to area contractors for big jobs, but the licensing is very onerous. You really can't touch anyone's stuff except your own without a license, which I'm not opposed to, but it's kind of crazy when the guys with the licenses install all the bad installs that we see on here all the time. Something isn't working.

    The most I could hope to do would be to be a helper to a licensed hvac tech probably, like assisting with installations and stuff like checking/fixing main vents, water ph, stuff like that.

    I guess that the founder of this site, @DanHolohan made a career of doing consulting only with no hands-on stuff, but I would find that frustrating probably--I can imagine providing advice only to see it ignored by the guy they call in to do it :)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    mikeapolis
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,355
    Paul, I'm sorry I missed this thread! I stopped visiting for a while and I'm doing a little catching up now.

    Congratulations, and welcome to the Peerless owners' familiy, and to the family of proud CycleGard users. :) BTW, if you want to make sure you give the boiler the maximum startup time before the level test kicks in, see the "SmartCycle optional activation" in the setup manual.

    Regarding the joint that appeared to leak after you removed the tape, I don't know if you re-applied the joint compound or not, but I've found that if joints are taken apart and reassembled, they sometimes leak if I don't re-apply the compound, even if it looks like there's plenty of compound in the threads.

    Personally I've never used tape in black pipe joints, but the compound I use (Oatey Great White) has teflon in it, so it reduces the friction and makes it easy to get the joints really tight. I also wire brush all my hand-cut pipe threads to knock off the burrs. This also makes the joints easier to tighten, and it prevents cuts and splinters when handling the pipe.

    Enjoy your new boiler!
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    Electrical inspection passed! All he looked for was solidly-affixed conduit from the boiler up to the ceiling with an emergency switch.

    Also passed on my heat pump water heater from earlier this year...the inspection was delayed due to covid.

    Plumbing inspection on thursday, that's going to be the interesting one :sweat_smile:
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    Precaud
  • Precaud
    Precaud Member Posts: 368
    Yay! My conduit is solidly-affixed too... and the wires are taped to the outside of it :)
    1950's Bryant boiler in a 1-pipe steam system at 7,000 ft in northern NM, where basements are rare.
    ethicalpaul
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,873
    Around here is tends to be the owner of the company is licensed and they have people doing work under them with little supervision.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,956
    edited December 2020
    Yes, it's that way here too I think primarily. I should have been clearer. Seems like a warping of the spirit of the master/apprentice system has occurred, but I have a lot of ignorance on this topic.

    But here in NJ there are strong exceptions that allow homeowners to work on their own home (not rentals!! Just your own home).

    I'm sure they had to put those exceptions in, in order to get homeowners to allow their lawmakers to create these laws back when they came into effect. I'm just glad they weren't just grandfather clauses, but continued to new homeowners too.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,857
    @ethicalpaul

    Sounds like a better system than we have in MA.

    Around here the state law is a homeowner can get an electrical permit but some local inspectors have a "will not issue a permit to a homeowner"

    Plumbing and gas permits are not issued to homeowners under any circumstances.

    So the result is a lot of boot leg lousy work. Wouldn't it be better to allow homeowners to get permits? The one's that do would be interested in doing the work properly and getting it inspected.

    I don't claim to know the answer and am not taking sides just ...........thinking
    Charlie from wmassethicalpaulPrecaudBobC
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!