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old single pipe steam boiler system

jetsteam
jetsteam Member Posts: 11
edited August 20 in THE MAIN WALL
Prepping Boiler system for upcoming season. Removing external hot water tank attached to boiler. Not needed , separate hot water heater. 2 inch outlets coming off opposit side of boiler from site glass and controls at low water height and bottom drain area. Can I add second lwco on this side of boiler without top access to boiler? Can I use these outlets for anything, plugs them, or join them externally?

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,711
    What model boiler? Pics?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11
    I will get photos tomorrow.From what I recall W H Page volunteer boiler. Snowman boiler one riser
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,711
    Looking forward to them. But- most old snowmen are only about 40% efficient on oil or gas, according to some of my Dead Men's Books. We usually recommend replacing them.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11



  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,428
    So you removed an old external tank less water heater ?

    I would plug those openings with nipples and caps instead of plugs. Use teflon tape and some anti seize compound. Make sure that drain valve works good while you have it drained (or replace it)

    Test and clean the low water cutoff and clean out the pigtail under the pressure control clean the sight glass as long as you have gone this far.
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11
    The potable water section was leaking and rusted on this external tank. I couldnt find anything available to replace it. It was ancient and heavy duty and didnt know if todays indirect tanks would take pressure, if there is any pressure from the steam system. Would it make sense to put second low water cutoff either probe or a Mcdonnell Miller 767 at the upper boiler 2" outlet to add back up low water cutoff? Boiler emptied and new drain valve installed. Current low water cutoff tested regularly. Will be removed and cleaned also.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,711
    OK, that's what we call a "snowman"- an old round boiler covered with asbestos. According to some of my Dead Men's Books, this type of boiler is about 40% efficient on oil or gas, though there were exceptions. We recommend replacing these boilers since doing so will cut fuel consumption dramatically.

    The device you removed was called a "side-arm" heater. It relied on the coal fire burning constantly to keep it warm. If you want to put another LWCO there, use a probe type.

    But you really should consider replacing that boiler.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11
    The building will be under construction next year. Heating system will be changed. Trying to salvage for this upcoming season. Has been working well over past years.(although inefficient) . Just looking to operate safely for this season. A secondary LWCO would add further piece of mind. Can the probe just be mounted in horizontal outlet? Any suggested LWCO?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,711
    edited August 23
    Where is that tapping in relation to the existing LWCO? If it's more than a couple inches below the bottom of the sight glass, it might be below the boiler's lowest permissible water level.

    With that said, a Hydrolevel Safeguard 550 would be my choice.

    I hope you're planning to keep the steam system and just replace the boiler.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11
    Cleaning out all valves and low water cutoff. Current LWCO works (Red unit) no name on body, only on float switch Watts 82A or (87A) not legible. 25 max steam.

    I have complete new old stock unit looks very similar, again no stamping on body but switch Watts 89A also 25 max steam.

    Current unit works, but want to remove float and thoroughly clean sediment in body. Before removing float/switch assembly, are gaskets critical and/or available anywhere, or can silicone be used instead ?. I have never removed float assembly.

    Also wondering, how do pressuretrols and pressure gauge get accurate readings on this type of set up(on body of LWCO) if waterline goes above 3/4 of sight glass?(above LWCO) Should pressuretrol be located at upper boiler height? (where siphon tube comes off upper sight glass piping)
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,344
    Your thought about the pressure gauge and pressuretrol is correct -- but the difference in most systems is minor. It can be significant in vapour systems (very low pressure), however.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11

    Can this upper connection with safety valve be used as equalizer for water inlet with Hartford loop down to bottom boiler connection. This snowman boiler only has one riser pipe no equalizer.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,428
    Yes. But why? It's been this way all these years. I wouldn't bother repiping it
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11
    Was going to flush lower piping and change drain valves and figured I would break something, and have to replace some of lower piping anyway. If it comes apart or I can pressure flush in tact, I will leave it alone.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    I'm still stuck on the fact apparently no one has done a modern combustion analysis on one of these boilers.

    Isn't anyone curious?
    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
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11
    will have to replace some lower piping (crusty joints and 1/4 internal crud at visible points).
    This is current piping should it be redone with different config. or same water feed and wet return off to right.
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11
    left
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,795
    If you're going to replace anything, you'd be crazy to not put in a new boiler.

    Of course, that's just my opinion, but........

    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
    mattmia2ethicalpaul
  • jetsteam
    jetsteam Member Posts: 11
    The system will be replaced spring 2022 during restoration project just prepping for this season.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,457
    That wasn't a very efficient boiler even 80-90 years ago when it was put in. I wouldn't change anything I didn't have to, if it is partly clogged but still flowing leave it until you change the boiler. Because the internal chambers are so much larger than on a modern boiler they are much more tolerant of what would be considered bad piping today.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,711
    jetsteam said:

    The system will be replaced spring 2022 during restoration project just prepping for this season.

    What boiler will you replace the snowman with?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,711
    ChrisJ said:

    I'm still stuck on the fact apparently no one has done a modern combustion analysis on one of these boilers.

    Isn't anyone curious?

    I have. Usually a 600°F stack temp, minimum. Baffling helps, but there isn't a lot of heat-transfer surface in this type of boiler, so you can only do so much.

    Years ago, Sid Harvey and others used to make large cones that you'd hang in the main chamber of these boilers, to make the flue gases wipe the cast-iron better. That got a lot of folks through World War II when fuel was rationed, but we can do a lot better now with a new boiler.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    ChrisJ