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The Beast Has Been Tamed!

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This has been a long time coming....so a bit of a recap.

My 38 year old boiler is in remarkably good condition according to the wonderful people that do my yearly maintenance (pro's from this site). It is 40% oversized according to my EDR calculations and has always short-cycled. My main objective is to squeeze as much life as I can out of this boiler by making it's life as easy as possible. Some fuel savings might not hurt either.

So the original condition prior to all the upgrades was a plane jane Peerless G-461 with a Pressuretrol set to 0.5psi with a 1psi differential and electronic ignition. I also had a digital two wire Honeywell T87 thermostat.

1. I installed a Field Controls GVD-6 automatic vent damper. The reason was to try and minimize cold air from leaking into the basement and to prevent the induced draft from stealing the heat out of the boiler, reducing stand-by losses.

2. Uh oh, wouldn't you know the original Honeywell S86F ignition module didn't like the automatic vent damper? It had a plug for the vent damper....but it didn't like controlling it. Which lead to upgrade #2...a new Honeywell 8610U ignition module. I now have blinking LED's...yippee!

3. I always wanted a Vaporstat because my radiators are full of steam and screaming hot at 4oz of pressure. I set the cut-in at 10oz with a 7oz differential. Lowered the pressure and reduced wasting fuel ..but still short cycling, as expected.

4. Time for the fancy upgrades...delay timer! Wouldn't it be nice if at a certain pressure, say 6oz when the radiators are full of steam and screaming hot...if the boiler just shut down for 20 minutes or so? Let the heat radiate into the rooms and if after 20 minutes of giving up their heat if the thermostat is still calling for heat...fire the boiler back up! I used a Dwyer 1823-20 adjustable pressure switch and a Altech 600XU delay timer.

5. The cool kids are using fancy wi-fi thermostats these days so why not, I installed the latest Ecobee thermostat and a bunch of sensors all over the house so the thermostat can operate at an "average house temp" vs the single spot where the thermostat is. Oh...I need a C wire, well time to run a new 18/5 thermostat cable.

Will my boiler be happy never short cycling or exceeding 6oz of pressure? I think so. Will I save some fuel? I think so.

Anywho...picture time! Here is the command and control center:


Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,540
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    Very nice! Good job.

    Let us know how the timer system works out
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 629
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    @EBEBRATT-Ed will do!  So far so good, just been fine tuning the pressure switch and delay time.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    @AdmiralYoda , we'll be interested to know how this affects your fuel consumption.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Canucker
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 629
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    @Steamhead me too....any predictions? Better....worse?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
    edited February 2021
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    Refresh my memory- what system do you have? One-pipe? Vapor? Any system improvements such as main vents?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 629
    edited February 2021
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    Sorry....should have included that. Circa 1899 house converted to oil in the 60's, converted to gas in 1983 when the current boiler was installed. Single pipe counterflow steam system.

    Prior to this year there were NO main vents. My near boiler piping is incorrect. Two risers and NO HEADER!!! Each riser goes to one of the two mains. The main with most of the radiators on it did not have a main vent on it so I installed a Big Mouth this year. The other main has two large radiators on it and no good spot for a main vent. I'm compensating for now with large radiator vents to try and vent the "main", long runout and large radiators. This spring I will be repiping the boiler and installing a main vent on this main.

    Radiator vents were Ventrite 1A's installed 13 years ago, replaced this year with MoM vents and everything is balanced.