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Looking for steam heat contractor

erussell58
erussell58 Member Posts: 25
I am in search of a very knowledgeable and qualified person or company to assist with maintenance and repairs on a large residential stream system on the Eastern Sore of Maryland. The makeup of the system is a new Weil-McClain 688 Oil fired boiler on a 18,000 sq. ft. home. 

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,814
    @Steamhead I think goes down there and he is one of the best in the business.

    I saw your other post, would part of this be to properly pipe the boiler also?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    erussell58Steve Minnich
  • coolfx35
    coolfx35 Member Posts: 70
    that's a huge house...
  • erussell58
    erussell58 Member Posts: 25
    KC_Jones, yes sir you are correct! 
    KC_Jones
  • erussell58
    erussell58 Member Posts: 25
    KC_Jones, yes, @Steamhead does and has come down this way. They are absolutely terrific guys. In fact they came down a few weeks ago to look over the new boiler and do a startup. But.... they are extremely busy and can not get back until next spring. I know we need a lot of traps worked on. A new header for the boiler, tune ups on all the convectors, etc. etc. I am doing my best to come up with a maintenance schedule for this old house I have just inherited!
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,814
    @Steamhead and his partner in crime @Gordo are fantastic with steam. If you want to see their work Gordon posts on youtube a fair amount. Here is a link to his channel, some really great stuff over there.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA_ZKNA-k-nA4eH5qNb3jXA/videos
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • erussell58
    erussell58 Member Posts: 25
    KC_Jones, yes, I have actually been recovering from surgery and spent last week on nothing but their YouTube videos and others!  Gordo is a fantastic wealth of knowledge!!!
    KC_Jones
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,122
    Any contractor who can't come back until spring is by definition not charging enough!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,814

    Any contractor who can't come back until spring is by definition not charging enough!

    If it was my house and it was a train wreck of banging and clanging, I'd still wait for @Steamhead I am not aware of any others in the area that are worthwhile. The OP has already seen what the other guys can do, take your money and do poor work.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    erussell58ethicalpaulIntplm.
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,673
    @ethicalpaul I disagree. Like many of the best shops, I’m guessing Steamhead and Gordo made a conscious decision to stay small, and I applaud that decision. Too many companies that have the biggest names in any given area, are only concerned with putting as many trucks on the street as possible. And many of them don’t care how much they have to dilute the talent to do so. 

    Your statement that they’re not charging enough is based on what exactly? Have you seen their books? I didn’t think so. 
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,927
    "If you are too busy....you Could be too cheap"

    I confess that I was guilty of that myself.

    They have a pretty specialized trade.
    ethicalpaul
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,832
    @erussell58 , we may be the closest steam contractor to your location. We've certainly done a lot of work there- here is an earlier thread on the subject:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/137289/de-knuckleheading-the-webster-system-at-walter-chryslers-old-hunting-lodge

    BTW, that was @Gordo who came down a couple weeks ago, not me.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    erussell58
  • erussell58
    erussell58 Member Posts: 25
    Yes sir, thank you @Gordo! I stand corrected. Just now learning how to use this forum. Can you send him back for a few weeks? Let @Gordo know I had the oil company who did the install replace the check valves and entire new boiler feed line back to the boiler, replaced and properly put back below the waterline. Walllllaahhhh... no more banging there! The Secondary LWCO McDonell Miller 63 continually kept locking out after  an hour of operation...sometimes up to 6 hours of operation. It was so frustrating. Finally one of the techs adjusted the primary LWCO 150S to allow the feed water replace sooner and that helped eliminate that problem although it did lock out a time or two after that adjustment. We finally decided to replace the entire feed line and have it installed correctly and now we’re back to continuous operation, albeit now short cycling.... baby steps... we’re going to get there!
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,814
    Just out of curiosity, how much make up water is it using? You said feeding water, is this a boiler feed tank, condensate pump, or fresh water?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,122
    edited November 2020

    @ethicalpaul I disagree. Like many of the best shops, I’m guessing Steamhead and Gordo made a conscious decision to stay small, and I applaud that decision. Too many companies that have the biggest names in any given area, are only concerned with putting as many trucks on the street as possible. And many of them don’t care how much they have to dilute the talent to do so. 


    Your statement that they’re not charging enough is based on what exactly? Have you seen their books? I didn’t think so. 
    Hi Steve. I never said they should get bigger. I said that by definition any business that is booked solid for 6 months is by definition not charging enough.

    They are 100% turning away people who would pay more for their service. Of course that decision is up to them, so I should have said something like:

    "Any business that is booked until spring is leaving money on the table!"

    And I'm sure you know that customers who are willing to pay the market rate for good service are far better than a random selection of customers who happened to get on a waiting list.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    Steve Minnich
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,673
    It’s a tough call for contractors who aren’t willing to lower the bar just a little bit. I was one of those guys and I know I left money on the table by not expanding. 

    I’m ok with that. 100 years from now...
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
    KC_JonesIntplm.
  • erussell58
    erussell58 Member Posts: 25
    KC_Jones.. we have a condensate pump in the basement of the main house that pumps the condensate approximately 300-400 ft. To the boiler located in another building. That condensate then goes into another condensate tank that has a fresh water make up installed on the tank as back up. The condensate is then pumped to the boiler when called for. 
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,927
    So the steam main makes the same long trip...underground?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,832
    Yup.

    The unit in the main house is a "condensate transfer pump".

    The one near the boiler is a "boiler-feed pump".
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    JUGHNE