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Yank it or fix it 1940s steam

GW
GW Member Posts: 4,232
edited October 10 in Strictly Steam
Hey steam people

I did not snap a bunch of pictures, but these people are coming to me asking if I can either fix the steam system or give it a yank.

Somebody scratched the BTU  off of this boiler, I’m going to make a wild guess and assume it’s too big. I’ll have to Google search this model series

Most of the Emitters are convectors 9 total, and two dinky tube rads in the bathroom/ entry. 11 total emitters 

I measured everything, coming up with about 178 sq ft. 

Boiler piping is a joke, no header and stinky equalizer. It grabs onto original 3 inch riser, then to a 3 foot 2 1/2 horizontal then to a 2 inch horizontal main. The 2” main drops to two 1 1/2 mains (no convectors/ rads are coming off anything but the inch and a half mains)

parallel flow mains 

Why the original steam man had 3 inch and the picture is a small mystery.

what’s alarming me a little bit is most of the convectors are coming off the mains with three-quarter inch laterals/risers. Several have 1” piping

The steam book has a chart, three-quarter inch isn’t good for much EDR, 12.8 or 16.4, somewhere in that range, based on pitch.

Homeowner is bugged out by one small tube radiator in particular spitting water on the wall. And banging 

The 9 converters are ranging anywhere from 12 to 20 EDR.

lastly, at the end of the inch and a half mains, the dead man that installed this decades ago used a simple inch and 1/2 x 1“ reducing 90, but did not drop the plane of the pipe, so there’s obviously water sitting at the end of the mains

I’m getting the feeling that the original steam installer was not a typical steam professional.

So, the piping seems small, if I can boost my confidence a tiny bit I can talk them into keeping the steam. Thanks for any help


Gary Wilson
Wilson Services, Inc
Northampton, MA
[email protected]

Comments

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,232
    May be a Dunkirk, twice what the house needed 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,232
    Oh shoot it says Dunkirk on the tag. I just saw Smith and shot the pic. 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,760
    What probably happened was the original boiler had a 3" tapping and they piped the first part in the same size.

    Smith re-branded Dunkirk boilers for a while, just like some of their present line are rebranded Peerless boilers.

    Just use slow vents on those convectors/radiators, make sure the pipes are all pitched properly, and crank the Pressuretrol down. That should cure the banging.

    I'm almost afraid to see the near-boiler piping................
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,591
    Agreed. Odds are excellent that with the right size boiler, correct near boiler piping, adequate venting and good pressure control it will be just fine.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,232
    I wish I took more pix

    1 1/2 mains seem ok? 

    Gotta fix the puddles at the end of the steam mains?

    big boiler is ok? 

    Vapor stat needed? 

    What’s a good “slow vent” 

    thanks


    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,678
    @GW

    I think you have to take a hard look at the amount of piping that needs fixing. The boiler swap is a boiler swap.

    If too much needs fixing water may be the way to go
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,232
    Ed yes I’m having a hard time trying to talk them into keeping the steam 

    3/4 risers in exterior walls is what scares me most 

    I would hate to pull a wad of cash out of their pockets and have it still not run correctly. All risk and little reward 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,678
    @GW can you run the existing boiler to see how it works?

    Realize you don't want to spend much time their but doing a cold start would tell you if what they have will work. If the vents don't spit and no banging (except for the 1 rad) then it 's probably ok. Fix that rad and move on

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,232
    Ed yes i can, I just don't work with non-normal steam enough to have enough confidence. I'm just a water boiler and ac guy. If they bail on the steam the 2nd fl will be a complete pain to heat though, so there is some room for discussions.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,591
    GW said:

    Ed yes i can, I just don't work with non-normal steam enough to have enough confidence. I'm just a water boiler and ac guy. If they bail on the steam the 2nd fl will be a complete pain to heat though, so there is some room for discussions.

    @GW , you are a very bright guy. Just because it's a little out of your normal ballpark doesn't mean you can't do it and make a really good job of it. Have confidence! I would agree that the 3/4 inch risers are a little worrisome, but I'd be much more worried about any horizontal or nearly so bits. You don't mention whether this is one pipe or two pipe. If it's two pipe, it will work. If it's one pipe, the best approach to those risers is going to be slow venting.

    For what it's worth, there are a few radiators around here which got repiped in the distant path with 3/4 inch copper risers and returns -- broke all the rules -- and they work...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,232
    Jamie thanks, if this was my aunt and uncle and it was 'free' I would not worry at all. But we are getting paid handsomely for our efforts :)
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,678
    @GW

    I agree with @Jamie Hall about slow venting the risers. New boiler , new boiler piping a few tweaks in the basement piping and you will probably be fine with the existing risers
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,232
    OK I'll present my case! Thanks all
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,232
    She said Yes😀

    I’ll be sure to post some before and afters 

    I’ll build be a big ole dropper 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    SlamDunkPC7060