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New Boiler install (edit) passed inspection :)

13

Comments

  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 164
    I know there are one or two books highly recommended (and available?) for steam systems on this site. Do they recommend or explain the engineering behind drop headers?

    I admit I know nothing about steam, but it seems that whenever a steam boiler is having fits and repiped with a drop header (among other things), the system runs like a dream.

    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,955
    MaxMercy said:

    I know there are one or two books highly recommended (and available?) for steam systems on this site. Do they recommend or explain the engineering behind drop headers?

    I admit I know nothing about steam, but it seems that whenever a steam boiler is having fits and repiped with a drop header (among other things), the system runs like a dream.

    In fact, The Lost Art of Steam Heat, Revisited has a section on page 95 called "And Consider Using a Drop-Header" with a nice photo. I'll have that in my evidence stack
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    MaxMercySuperTech
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 728
    ethicalpaul

    for some of us who dont do a lot of steam, I prefer you repipe it kinda poorly so we can see the effect on those clear tubes!! Of course I dont mean this, but I really liked your videos and selfishly want to see it done poorly so it further proves the usefulness of a drop header.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
    ethicalpaulforesthillsjd
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 164
    edited December 2020
    What are the ramifications of piping the header the way the inspector wants (other than the work involved), then correcting it after you get permit approval?

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,869
    What about getting a PE to sign off on it?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,955
    Probably none in practice, but I wouldn't go to the trouble honestly.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Matt_67
    Matt_67 Member Posts: 195
    Maybe the counterflow diagram in the PB Steam survey could be used to show him that steam can move properly through the drop header? It's mind boggling that this could be an issue. The majority of experiences I've had with inspectors have been positive but I suppose its possible the inspector doesn't want to learn from a homeowner. Or hopefully - perhaps once he has had an opportunity to study it he will understand and approve it.
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,857
    When they don't know what to do or see something unusual the inspector will hang his hat on the boiler or (equipment) install manual.

    Mfg install instructions in most cases Donald Trump's the local or state codes
    ethicalpaul
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,317
    Just cross out wherever it's says Peerless on the boiler and write Burnham. i can try to save the jacket of the next Burnham that I remove😉😉😉
    ethicalpaul
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,634
    Just cross out wherever it's says Peerless on the boiler and write Burnham. i can try to save the jacket of the next Burnham that I remove😉😉😉
    Given the failure rates of V7, V8 and Independence boilers I don't think @ethicalpaul will be waiting very long. Gotta repaint that green and gray boiler blue for a convincing disguise.
    ethicalpaulforesthillsjd
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 169
    nde said:

    ...

    Having looked at their manuals a fair bit over the last year when researching new boilers I am not sure if this disclaimer was always there or they just added it!?!?!

    any installation or maintenance techniques described in any of this literature should not be attempted by homeowners.

    I see this in my Peerless manual too, and in this situation it couldn't be more absurd. I would have gladly paid ethicalpaul to do my install had I only known then what I know now, and I would have gotten a properly piped system done in black iron pipe, clean and running at correct pressure from the get go with dry steam. And some other stuff I won't get into.

    ethicalpaulforesthillsjd
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,955
    Aww thanks! I could use the money to pay my fines from doing installations without a license 😂
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125

    MaxMercy said:

    I know there are one or two books highly recommended (and available?) for steam systems on this site. Do they recommend or explain the engineering behind drop headers?

    I admit I know nothing about steam, but it seems that whenever a steam boiler is having fits and repiped with a drop header (among other things), the system runs like a dream.

    In fact, The Lost Art of Steam Heat, Revisited has a section on page 95 called "And Consider Using a Drop-Header" with a nice photo. I'll have that in my evidence stack
    it's funny, i just read that section for the first time last night. first, let me qualify that i'm not a contractor or PE, but i can't really see any possible downside to a proper dropheader other than the extra initial cost. if you want i'm sure i could find the formula for steam velocity through the header. maybe being able to show the inspector the actual steam velocities would at least help convince the inspector that you aren't just a hack. the other thing i can think of is that section of the book also talks about putting in a steam separator. so if it's gonna be a battle to get your dropheader approved, maybe it'd be easier in the long run to swap in a steam separator and get the same effect (and i'd imagine steam separators are probably even more effective than dropheaders at drying out the steam, so you might get better overall performance to somewhat justify the extra expense). the nice thing is you can ask the inspector ahead of time about the steam separator, and since the separator itself would have install instructions and stuff you'd definitely be able to show it was done properly. hope it helps. you were most helpful with my problems.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,955
    edited December 2020
    Well I don't actually need the drop header, nor a steam separator. With clean water at the normal water line, the boiler doesn't have a single drop of water getting into the steam supplies, so if it turns out I have to put a wrench on it, I'll just remove the drop header and pipe it with a normal header as per the instruction manual. But thanks for the note and ideas!

    Oh and this inspector is not going to be swayed by facts like steam velocity. All he is concerned about is the manual. And I don't really blame him. After spending a couple years on this forum, I wish more inspectors would be concerned with installers following the manual!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125

    Well I don't actually need the drop header, nor a steam separator. With clean water at the normal water line, the boiler doesn't have a single drop of water getting into the steam supplies, so if it turns out I have to put a wrench on it, I'll just remove the drop header and pipe it with a normal header as per the instruction manual. But thanks for the note and ideas!

    Oh and this inspector is not going to be swayed by facts like steam velocity. All he is concerned about is the manual. And I don't really blame him. After spending a couple years on this forum, I wish more inspectors would be concerned with installers following the manual!

    ok well good luck. i'll be replacing my boiler soon. this insight into Peerless might sway my decision a little
    mattmia2
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,650
    Such wonderful suggestions. As if challenging the Inspector or telling him you're smarter than him could ever result in a positive outcome.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
    pecmsg
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 296
    edited December 2020
    You could always get a licensed Professional Engineer to sign off on the design.  In my state their signature on a design ends all debate. 
    mattmia2CLamb
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,955
    Thanks everyone. I wouldn't let this issue change my good opinion of Peerless. There are lots of issues that come into play when it comes to the documents that a company puts out into public.

    I did communicate to the inspector the purpose of the drop header because he asked me. I don't know how familiar he is with them either way...he might have just been asking so he could understand why I installed one in this tiny residential boiler.

    I did get the feeling he was more familiar with hot water boilers, but that's OK. I'm going to gather up pertinent documents and present them to him and I'll report back :smile:
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 164


    I did communicate to the inspector the purpose of the drop header because he asked me. I don't know how familiar he is with them either way...he might have just been asking so he could understand why I installed one in this tiny residential boiler.

    I can't help but wondering if the first thing the inspector did when he had access to a computer is to read up on drop headers. The irony is that he might very well have read or even be reading this thread right now..


    mattmia2
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 678
    I have passed 😅

    I had collected a bunch of documents but the one he cared about was this one:


    I had the page from Burnham’s manual, I had the page from The Lost Art. I had the web page from @New England SteamWorks. I had 10 photos of installs by Dave and EzzyT. He wasn’t interested in any of that.

    he took the email and said “I’m going to file this and then, god forbid, if anything happens I’ll be covered.” As if the drop header is dangerous?? I asked him again what his concern about it was but he didn’t respond. I think his real concern was simply that I installed it myself and he wanted to make sure every possible issue was addressed.

    As he left he asked me “why did you want to install your own boiler?” I told him this house was my first experience with steam and the more I learned about it the more interesting I found it. He readily agreed and said it’s the best heat and he has steam himself. 

    So how does a 30 year industry veteran who is a plumbing inspector who loves steam have such a problem with a drop header? It’s very confusing!!
    One year experience, 30 times? I've worked with many people that know how to do things but not why they do it
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
    KC_Jonesethicalpaulttekushan_3garrettgjp
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,649

    So how does a 30 year industry veteran who is a plumbing inspector who loves steam have such a problem with a drop header? It’s very confusing!!

    Even with everything you said, I'm going with a lack of knowledge, he's either never seen one, never heard of one, or he just doesn't actually understand steam.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Canuckerethicalpaulttekushan_3
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 79
    That’s great news!  Whenever I go into a situation, I always look for small details to as a preview of what to expect.  I am surprised that the inspector, having seen how neatly and carefully you installed things, and how intentionally you designed the install, he didn’t pause and leave some space from you guys to learn from each other.  (But, that’s in an ideal world where he didn’t have a next appointment to get to.)  But I’m glad everything worked out for you!  Well done!
    ethicalpaulmattmia2ttekushan_3
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,091
    Big Thumbs up
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    ethicalpaul
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 295

    I have passed 😅

    Good work!
    ethicalpaul
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 1,964
    edited December 2020
    I find it surprising the inspector didn't like or want the drop header but said nothing about the Sight Glasses that I'm confident he's never seen before. Add to that there not in the installation manual either!

    Glad that's over with. Time to get back to the Honey Do List!
    ethicalpaulmattmia2ttekushan_3
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,955
    Yep, he once again acted like the glasses weren’t even there!

    @JUGHNE you nailed it! I’m constantly getting the stink eye from being on HH!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,857
    @ethicalpaul
    Great news congratulations!!!

    Most inspectors are not bad guys.

    This is strictly a case of him inspecting a "homeowner job" (no offence) and an installation that doesn't conform to the picture in a manual.

    It's all about him covering his a,,

    An inspector looks at a job. They don't care if it works, if it runs or anything else except for two things:

    1. Does it meet code (including mfg. instructions)
    2. Is the installer licensed.

    In your case you did a great job but how many other homeowners could do that?

    So when they get a #2 (as above) there going to look a littler harder
    ethicalpaulpecmsg
  • foresthillsjd
    foresthillsjd Member Posts: 79
    @JUGHNE you nailed it! I’m constantly getting the stink eye from being on HH!
    I tell my spouse, “This is nothing.  You should just be glad I’m not on an online dating site shopping for my second husband!”
    ethicalpaulratioEdTheHeaterMan
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,649
    edited December 2020


    @JUGHNE you nailed it! I’m constantly getting the stink eye from being on HH!

    I tell my spouse, “This is nothing.  You should just be glad I’m not on an online dating site shopping for my second husband!”

    This isn't the only forum I participate on, I am also into boats and crabbing on the Chesapeake bay. My wife refers to my boat as "my girlfriend", and I'm obsessive about the crabs. A few people on here (including Paul) see my Facebook posts confirming this.

    I have too many hobbies...
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaul
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,264
    See correction above!
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549
    KC_Jones said:
    @JUGHNE you nailed it! I’m constantly getting the stink eye from being on HH!
    I tell my spouse, “This is nothing.  You should just be glad I’m not on an online dating site shopping for my second husband!”
    This isn't the only forum I participate on, I am also into boats and crabbing on the Chesapeake bay. My wife refers to my boat as "my girlfriend", and I'm obsessive about the crabs. A few people on here (including Paul) see my Facebook posts confirming this. I have too many hobbies...


    Yeah
    But I don't see you on the monitor top forum so that's like a big kick in the teeth......

    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
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 1,289
    ya gonna frame the signed accepted permit and hang it at the boiler?
    yeah you are.
    ethicalpaulmattmia2
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,649
    ChrisJ said:
    KC_Jones said:
    @JUGHNE you nailed it! I’m constantly getting the stink eye from being on HH!
    I tell my spouse, “This is nothing.  You should just be glad I’m not on an online dating site shopping for my second husband!”
    This isn't the only forum I participate on, I am also into boats and crabbing on the Chesapeake bay. My wife refers to my boat as "my girlfriend", and I'm obsessive about the crabs. A few people on here (including Paul) see my Facebook posts confirming this. I have too many hobbies...


    Yeah
    But I don't see you on the monitor top forum so that's like a big kick in the teeth......

    It’s only your teeth and I can live with that.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Canucker
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,955
    neilc said:
    ya gonna frame the signed accepted permit and hang it at the boiler? yeah you are.
    They don’t sign the permit it seems, they just put a sticker on the appliance.

    you can see the one he tore off in the extreme upper right 😂


    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 386
    When I was still working I would go " toe to toe" with a stupid, moron, inspector since we represented the manufacturer and had nothing to do with the installer. My boss and owner got many phone calls. Sometimes I could get that inspector to send someone who actually knew how to do his JOB. They were probably happy when I retired. my 2 cents
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,549

    @JohnNY is right about the BFP in some cases. It depends of the type of backflow preventer you have and the application. Some can have valves downstream some can't. Some need minimum clearance and some have to be above flood rim of appliance. 

    So there can't be any valves between the BFP and the pump at the water company? Doesn't seem practical or realistic to me.
    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
  • Motorapido
    Motorapido Member Posts: 230


    neilc said:

    ya gonna frame the signed accepted permit and hang it at the boiler?
    yeah you are.

    They don’t sign the permit it seems, they just put a sticker on the appliance.

    you can see the one he tore off in the extreme upper right 😂




    I would have demanded that he put the stickers on nice and level. A crooked sticker could result in wet steam. ;-)
    ethicalpaulErin Holohan HaskellEdTheHeaterManPrecaud
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