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I Told You Not To Forget To Turn The Boiler Water Feed Off!

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But some folks never listen...


New England SteamWorks
Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
newenglandsteamworks.com
ethicalpaul

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  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,702
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    OMG is that the main vent? Is this your service call? WOW what's the upstairs look like?

    Will they be able to just replace the gas stuff (train?) and burners?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,311
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    Power and gas to the house off, fire department in to pump it out, insurance adjustors...

    What a mess.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,961
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    Looks like a non-residential type of boiler room. And the floor drains are clogged.

    Now what?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
    edited February 2021
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    The were testing the boiler with over fill.....I have done this....but was standing under the main vent.
    Maybe it is just a really large hole in the boiler CI above the water line? :*

    Water heater and probably a feeder pump also. :/
    ethicalpaul
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 627
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    Woah that looks like an expensive mistake.

    Reminds me of the time I asked my wife to go down and turn on the valve for the outside hose spigot. A few minutes she runs outside because the radiator vents were shooting water!
    ethicalpaul
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,505
    edited February 2021
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    This is a wild one...

    So this couple purchases a 6 Unit expensive condo in late summer and promptly hires a company to replace the steam boiler. They finish up, the heat goes on a few weeks later, and the whole building shakes from the banging. They call the company and they came back out, but they can only scratch their heads in wonder at the racket. They promise to return with some "ideas".

    Being a smart couple, and observing this head scratching, they promptly order a copy of the Lost Art Of Steam Heating. Revisited, of course. There they discover that the header was piped all wrong. They brought this to the attention of the company (who was almost relieved to hear it as they had yet to come up with any "ideas"), and so the company agreed to re-do the header. Which they did, as you see above.

    But the racket continued, unabated. Back to the shop they went for more "ideas".

    They fiddled here, and fiddled there, making many more trips. All to no avail.

    Eventually, we got the call.

    You see, they hadn't bothered to read The Lost Art Of Steam Heating. If they had, they would have found this gem in Chapter 2: "Start looking at systems. Get out of the boiler room and look around. Be nosy."

    Which is what we did when we got there, and what's probably the best advise in the book for contractors. I still find it amazing how hard it is sometimes to get my own guys to do so. For me, there are always fascinating things waiting to be discovered, secrets waiting to be revealed out there in the shadows and cobwebs. I can't resist.

    But I digress. Had they ventured out of the boiler room into the large sprawling basement they would have discovered that a large section of it had a raised floor. And the boiler itself sits in a pit.

    Coincidentally, after Dan finished writing the above line, his very next heading was:

    The Magic Of The False Waterline

    You guessed it, the previously wet returns were now high and dry. And very unhappy about it.

    Unfortunately, we couldn't just zip in there and install a false waterline. For one thing they used press fittings on 4" and 5" pipe, and for another the boiler was more than twice the required size.

    But, there's always a solution. You'll never guess the occupation of the husband: Attorney.

    And so that's where we left it. The attorney goes to work and does what attorneys do. The goal is a new boiler of the proper size, properly piped, with a false waterline.

    And then on Monday the water main breaks and the boiler room floods.

    Can't make it up.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • New England SteamWorks
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    Before The Flood:


    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
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    So this boiler was to be replaced anyway?
  • New England SteamWorks
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    Only if the legal action was successful.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,061
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    I'm guessing that the water main did not freeze from the combustion air grill inlet.
    Especially if building was occupied, large pipe and maybe not that cold outside?

    Insurance Co. may look at it and argue freeze damage or is it simply water damage.
    Curious to see the pipe when water off and insulation removed.
    Considering the potential bill they are going to study the fine print of the policy.
    learning_steam_NJ
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
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    I wonder how insurance will view this, if they replace the boiler? Will the require it to be a one for one, even thought that boiler is the wrong size, or will they allow the correction? I would speculate they'd allow the correction since it should be cheaper, but insurance companies are funny sometimes.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,257
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    >>still find it amazing how hard it is sometimes to get my own guys to do so<<
    When I was I young my toolkit included strong flashlight,binoculars,camera,&sketchpad.
    Still times when I couldn't divine how system was intended to work.
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 905
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    Many years ago,in a High School In Pittsburgh, Pa. the company had the job of rebuilding /replacing the gas/oil burners in an old school building where the boiler room filled up all the way to the next floor with raw human sewage. After the sewage was pumped out and a hazmat company was done with their work someone had to go do the repairs. IT WASN'T ME.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
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    If you ever have a basement floor covered with sewage, sprinkle several pounds of ground cinnamon over it all, and it neutralizes the smell.—NBC
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    Putting boiler in pit is never a good idea 
  • New England SteamWorks
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    Putting boiler in pit is never a good idea 

    It's a great idea if you don't have enough A or B dimension.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    Any and all water in the basement will end up in that pit. Boiler is a sitting duck. Give homeowner disclaimer. Maybe lower rest of floor or get some sort of sump pump. 
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    Maybe install a vaporstat. Reduces the A or B dimension requirements. 
  • MaxMercy
    MaxMercy Member Posts: 508
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    and for another the boiler was more than twice the required size.

    Rookie question, but is that two boilers there or one big double unit? If that's a stupid question, don't hesitate to say so.. :D