American Standard G series Manual?
IMO, the best help you can get is by posting pictures of the boiler.
Floor to ceiling of all sides, close ups of devices and nameplates.
The manual may or may not give you much info.
Pictures here get a lot of eyes on them and consequently a lot of input.0
Thanks for the reply @jughne. I haven't moved in just yet but I did swing by today and took pics. Here you go. I can take some closer pics of all the devices on Wednesday. Fun fact of today, after starting to read We Got Steam Heat, I decided to track the pipes going to the radiators and I found my main vent behind some drywall the previous owner had put up in an abandoned attempt to finish the basement. Glad I found it now.0
American Standard made good boilers but they went out of the boiler business years ago. I would take the top off and clean the boiler, remove and clean the burners and flue pipe and have the combustion checked.
If that is ok I would have the low water cut of taken apart and cleaned and remove and clean the pressure control and piping and make sure the gauge glass connections are clean.
A manual (if found) probably has little value
Who knows you may get many more years out of it or you may not.
Either way, learn your system see how it runs and start putting some $$ aside for it's eventual replacement, it won't run forever1
Thank you both. I am having a chimney sweep come in to take care of my main chimney which that and my water heater exhaust to, and also install a chimney cap, which wasn't there. The previous owner did say he just had the boiler serviced but i decided to get it serviced myself because I prefer to trust but verify.
As for preparing for the eventual replacement. I will be doing that. I was actually thinking of doing that right away but then I was wisely advised to not because the older boilers can still be great workhorses and to just get it serviced and save up. In that case, my own research has led to slant/fin galaxy, the current boiler is 96k output, but have no idea if it's sized right. I also would like to take out the radiator that is currently in the kitchen, which i feel is overkill. There is a radiator in the now opened and connected dining room and another in the open entrance from the hall way, including the oven i feel like you would cook yourself in that small 9 x 13 kitchen0
Depending on how it is piped, you could probably put a TRV on the kitchen radiator to shut it down when you're cooking and that is heating the room.0
@mattmia2 Thanks. I will take a pic of the radiator tomorrow to show you. It's in a pony wall right now that I would like to get rid of to put an actual island (or in this case a peninsula). I am not against keeping it and maybe moving it a bit or re-positioning it, especially if we end up actually needing that heat. I love the idea of putting a TRV on it so that when we are cooking it shuts down. What are your thoughts on putting TRVs on every radiator on a one-pipe system? Is that overkill?0
Oh, it is 1 pipe steam. I was thinking hot water for some reason. The TRV comment still applies but how it is piped doesn't matter, the TRV goes between the radiator and the vent.
It would be better to balance the system with different size vents than to use TRVs everywhere. I would reserve TRVs for places where the load changes a lot like a kitchen or someplace with a lot of solar gain. If you use a lot of TRVs then there is the risk that most of them are closed at some point but the t-stat is still calling so there is little radiation to consume the steam the boiler is producing so it runs very short cycles on the pressure control.
Also note that a TRV on steam only prevents the cycle from starting, once the radiator is vented and consuming steam the TRV closing will not stop that.0
Often it is a good idea to flood the boiler....overfill...up to the piping above it, you can feel the cold water in the piping. Then leave it sit over night hoping the floor and burners stay dry.
First make sure that at least one of the drain valves work so you don't end up with a mess.
So if it passes the flood test, that is good......if not, that is really bad.
In addition to what Ed said above, while doing the cleaning on the wet side of the boiler, I would change the little hose bib drains to full port ball valves with hose fittings and caps. (I see 3?)
When you see how slow the existing bibs might drain you will understand, and the passageway of the bibs is very small and not pass much sludge/junk.
The pressure relief valve on the top, near the boiler steam riser pipe, looks to be original and may never have been exercised open and closed. IIWM, I would simply replace it.
On the left side of the boiler is a small (3/4"?) pipe connected to the lower return (not to be confused with the gas line). Maybe the cold water fill but looks to go somewhere else also.
Does all the water return to the boiler thru the buried wet return coming thru or along the wall?
Can you have eyes on the entire length of that pipe to the end of the main? If buried it is always a suspect of losing water, not good for the CI boiler.
Nice simple gas valve, standing pilot with thermocouple, easy to maintain. Good old school type.
Maybe more pictures from farther back, if possible, showing piping from all side possible.0
I like this kind of valve with the machined in hose thread and attached cap for drains(and for washing machines):
Here are some closer pics. The auto feeder float ball thingamajig (official term), came out crazy blurry. I'll take some more tomorrow. Today we checked that the low water auto-stop was working by draining the boiler (not fully) so both drain and auto-stop were good. The auto feeder was also working, no leaks visible. We turned the boiler on and I turned up the thermostat to run it a bit and went around the house opening full up all radiators to see if they all got hot. I am happy to say after 10 to 15 mins (official time measurement) all of the radiators (7) were warm and after another 10 to 15 they were hot. Which makes me feel much better going into the colder New York Nights. I did notice some of the radiators didn't have turning valves, it was a nubbin really which I am sure I could turn with a wrench but I didn't want to mess with that today. I will obviously need to get those replaced. The pressure gauge on the boiler looks to be completely shot. It didn't move at all, so I have no idea how to know what pressure it's currently at. Any Ideas on a replacement? The cut-in limit was as in the pic. That works, I think. The vents on the radiators didn't look like they were in the best of condition and may have been painted over, so that may need to be changed. One of the radiators starting leaking from the valve too, but just one so I take that as a positive. All the burners were good and firing. As you can tell from the first set of pics to this one, we put more water in the boiler to bring it up closer to the "water line," which is in quotations because I have no way of knowing whether or not that black mark on the gauge is correct or not. I know some boilers have a plaque or something of the like to indicate the waterline, but I have no idea. Is there any way to tell?
How exactly do I "flood" a boiler? Speak to me like a monkey. When I leave it to sit, am I leaving it running or off?
When we did the low water control test, we used the drain on the right side with the little white thingy (I look forward to the day I know the names of things) and nubbin ( A plus vocab) that we turned with pliers. So at least that drain definitely works.
What is the "wet side" of the boiler, and how do I clean it?
I can appreciate changing the hose bibs if full ports are the better way to go, I will look into that.
We tested the pressure valve today, definitely blows and works.
"On the left side of the boiler is a small (3/4"?) pipe connected to the lower return (not to be confused with the gas line). Maybe the cold water fill but looks to go somewhere else also." I'll have to check that. Can you point out which pic you saw it in so I can make sure I am looking at the right pipe?
"Does all the water return to the boiler thru the buried wet return coming thru or along the wall?" I am about 90 percent sure it does, the 10 percent is me not being able to go and double-check right now. I will check tomorrow.
"Can you have eyes on the entire length of that pipe to the end of the main? If buried it is always a suspect of losing water, not good for the CI boiler."
Yes, I do remember having a full view of the pipe, I'll take pics on that.
Nice simple gas valve, standing pilot with the thermocouple, easy to maintain. Good old school type. ?thank you? Now I got to research why that is a good thing and how to maintain it.
I'll take some more pics tomorrow and show you as much of the piping as I can remember to.
Thank you all so much. It has truly been a while since I have somehow wandered into a new exciting subject to learn about and to have a community willing to help like this. I have no doubt that one day I will know my thingamajigs from my thermocouples.0
Flooding the boiler: You see where the water line is on the sight glass, if there is a hole in the boiler castings (a bad thing), it will form above the water line that you see. So much of your steam will go up the chimney. Cold winter day would give you white steam/smoke coming out the top of the chimney.
Things will look OK in the basement as the steam will be sucked up with the exhaust.
So flooding/overfilling the boiler may show you if there are any holes above the water line:
So with the boiler power off and the boiler cool, you open the manual water fill by pass valve. Probably the red round handle valve to the left of the water feeder. (if there is one on the right side it should stay open as it probably is). You will hear the water flowing and see the level coming up in the sight glass. You want to fill the boiler up to the horizontal pipe just above the boiler.
It is insulated so feel the smaller pipe coming out the bottom of the elbow on the right to tell when the cold water is up to that.
(BTY those large elbows look to be insulated with asbestos...don't panic...just do not disturb.)
Then let the boiler sit to see if any water leaks out onto the floor, if there is a hole it may drip down on the burners first. Let sit over night if possible. If it passes this test then drain down to normal level and fire the boiler to boil off new oxygen that came in with the water...always do this when changing the water.
The low water cut off: LWCO is tested by the yellow lever handle under the LWCO, the handle is on a 1/4 turn ball valve. You "blow the LWCO down" by opening that valve to drain into the bucket of nasty looking water setting under the valve. You can open it any time to flush out the LWCO, it may take several flushed to clear the water.
Then the proper test is to open it when the boiler is steaming.....it will be hot and maybe steamy, so be careful. Two things should happen when you blow down: First the burner must shut off and then second, if you flowed enough water the water feeder should feed. You should do this once a week, more often if the water is nasty. There is a float connected to a lever inside the chamber, when the float drops from lack of water the lever activated 2 switches, one open to shut down the burner and another closes to feed water.
This is a critical safety device to shut off the fire if the water level drops too low.
(Also if you ever run out of water and the boiler is hot, do not add water until it cools off...a long time)
The "white thingy" is a plastic tether for the hose cap on that "boiler drain".
There is a boiler drain on each side of the boiler and also down low on the wet return.
I would recommend changing all three of them to a full port ball valve as Mattmia2 recommended above.
Use a brass nipple to screw into the boiler for the new valve.
Those little boiler drains were worthless even when brand new.
The "wet side" of the boiler is the internal water/steam chamber, in your case the first thing for cleaning is to have good boiler drains installed.
Even though the pressure relief valve seemed to operate, I would replace it with new and pipe the discharge to within 6" of the floor. That should be a 15 PSI valve--no higher.
That would be a good place to add a tee for a pigtail for a new low pressure gauge.
The relief valve needs to be installed with it's male threads down, as it is now.
Leave the old pressure gauge alone, it probably works but will not show the 1-2 PSI you should be operating at. Code requires you to have a 30 PSI gauge installed.
Inside the pressure control is maybe a white wheel that should be set at 1. Power off before you open it.
Show us a picture of the inside.
Need pictures from farther back to show the pipes around the boiler, also follow the electrical up to the ceiling and show what that is connected to.1
I think those straight sections of pipe insulation are aircell asbestos too. If looking at the ends it looks like corrugated cardboard it is very likely asbestos paper.0
Ask and you shall receive. Hope this helps. Forty two years in this business, and I believe that American Standard Boilers were the best built and most durable boilers I have run across. I am still servicing AS steam and water boilers put in in the sixties. They were very popular in Northeastern PA.They sold their heating division to Burnham in, I believe, 1973. Boilers were marketed under the name Burnham American.4
Great save and keep!
Can you date this from the nameplate?
For the OP I was wondering where his 24 vac transformer is located.
Pictures might show it mounted on the ceiling....maybe it was a powerpile originally?
The control wiring looks a little sketchy and might be all 24 vac from above.
Disconnect switch might open the 24 vac?
Looks like the xfmr is probably behind the front panel where that flex/bx disappears in to the jacket.0
Especially since the manual shows an xfmr where the switch is and control wiring entering where the flex does you are probably right, the xfmr is probably at some random location in the basement, quite possibly attached to a light.0
Sorry for the disappearance fellows. Officially moved into the house so there are many boxes all over the place and bruises from moving those boxes. I should probably just hire help next time, but I decided to get new kitchen appliances instead.
I will attach new photos in the next post. They were actually taken on September 30th. Since then I had all the asbestos removed (I know I didn't need to, but I felt better for the fam in just doing it). I need to get new insulation on it soon. Luckily NYC weather is still nice so I won't need to turn on the heat for at least another week or two. I am thinking I am flooding the boiler as we speak. As you can see from the photos I am pretty sure the boiler clock and fuse box saw Jackie Robinson break the color barrier.
There is currently an old Honeywell hand dial thermostat which I am going to upgrade. I bought the ecobee smart thermostat with voice control (https://www.ecobee.com/en-us/smart-thermostats/smart-wifi-thermostat-with-voice-control/). My electrician was updating some cloth wiring, and fixing various fixtures and outlets in the house recently so I had him run a control wire to the new thermostat just in case I would need it. He said he would gladly wire the new one for me but would prefer to have a heating guy here to make sure everything is set up to run the system best. I appreciate the dude, knows what he knows and knows when to double-check and get help. I need a good steam guy in Queens. If you know, let me know, please. I also want to remove a radiator currently in a pony wall in the kitchen so is help would be, well, helpful. Who knows how a boiler built before the internet will react on a smart thermostat that will remind me to pick up milk on the way home.
Sorry, One more post. Please ignore the crazy laundry set up the previous owner had there like the dryer exhaust fan sitting on top of the boiler exhaust. That will all be moved and disconnected. Recently had a chimney liner added also with a new cap so the water heater and boiler exhaust will be heading out of the house together. When flooding the boiler I also noticed that the boiler is being fed with hot water instead of cold water. What are your thoughts on that?0
@Erin Holohan Haskell can we add these to the Library?AJCimino said:
Ask and you shall receive. Hope this helps. Forty two years in this business, and I believe that American Standard Boilers were the best built and most durable boilers I have run across. I am still servicing AS steam and water boilers put in in the sixties. They were very popular in Northeastern PA.They sold their heating division to Burnham in, I believe, 1973. Boilers were marketed under the name Burnham American.All Steamed Up, Inc.
Towson, MD, USA
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
@mattmia2 Thanks. The 70s sounds downright young to me in the world of steam.
As for the setpoint, part of the reason I want to do a setback at night is that we all sleep much better with it being a bit cooler at night. I wasn't going to do anything particularly crazy but probably something along the lines of 68-70 from 6-8 AM when we are waking up, getting ready to work and through the day if we are working from home or weekend (either my wife or I am working from home 5 days a week). I would set it at 65 from 9 PM-6 AM or if all of us are out of the house.
@AJCimino Just realized you got the manual. Someone pour them a beer! Perhaps a steam beer.
Attached are pictures of the pressure control:
From what I can figure out if the differential is at what looks like 2 and the cut in is at 1, then the range for me is 1 to 3 psi...if I am supposed to be keep this down to 1 Max 2 psi then should I then adjust the cut in to .5 and the differential to 1.5m
I'd bring the differential down to 1 and try to bring the cut in down a bit but look at the linkage as you do it, it can become disconnected if you go too far. a 0-3 psig gauge would tell you what it is actually doing, they aren't all that accurate.
the actual system is much older but that boiler is a modernish replacement1
Already done. Thanks @Steamhead and @AJCimino.Steamhead said:
@Erin Holohan Haskell can we add these to the Library?AJCimino said:
Ask and you shall receive. Hope this helps. Forty two years in this business, and I believe that American Standard Boilers were the best built and most durable boilers I have run across. I am still servicing AS steam and water boilers put in in the sixties. They were very popular in Northeastern PA.They sold their heating division to Burnham in, I believe, 1973. Boilers were marketed under the name Burnham American.President
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