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Yank it or fix it 1940s steam

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GW
GW Member Posts: 4,699
edited October 2021 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
gary@wilsonph.com

Comments

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
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    May be a Dunkirk, twice what the house needed 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
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    Oh shoot it says Dunkirk on the tag. I just saw Smith and shot the pic. 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    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.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,415
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    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: 4,699
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    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
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    @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: 4,699
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    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
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    @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: 4,699
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    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
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,415
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    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: 4,699
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    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
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    @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: 4,699
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    OK I'll present my case! Thanks all
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
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    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
    gary@wilsonph.com
    SlamDunkPC7060Erin Holohan Haskell
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
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    Went again, getting 225 sq ft. 80% of the piping is insulated. Burnham Max looks lice but it’s gotta price tag. Thinking PEG112, that unit has never disappointed

    pretty lame boiler piping  


    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
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    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,734
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    there's piping for 3 boilers there...
    GW
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
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    No skimming on this relic 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    One of these days, someone is gonna post a pic of a Dunkirk where they didn't reduce the size of the steam outlets, and we won't know how to react.....................
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    mattmia2NYtimebombIronman
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
    edited October 2021
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    I missed the pun, there are two 2” risers on the ole hog 

    ahhh just saw the bushings 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • offdutytech
    offdutytech Member Posts: 133
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    I shake my head on some service calls like that. Friday service call to follow behind another contractor. Case in point from this 2 year old Utica Peg. Just read the install documents. I mean Utica even breaks down how many of what fittings you need to meet their min pipe requirements. Then customers wonder why it's going to cost so much to fix something that was installed not that long ago. 
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
    edited October 2021
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    That’s pretty bogus, but I presume it makes steam, what’s the main problem with that system, what BTU? No H loop🥸
    I especially like that shark bite.
    And, where does that “equalizer” line go?
    I need to stop studying these pictures, my stomach is starting to object😀
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
    offdutytech
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    @offdutytech

    Certainly an installation that the installer should be proud of
    GW
  • offdutytech
    offdutytech Member Posts: 133
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    It makes steam kinda.  150 BTU The customer called us because the return pipes were rotting out. The boiler was never skimmed after install. Main line pitched back to a 90 pooling water. Leaking main vents excessive make up water. No Hartford loop. Nice orange glow on burners. But it passed inspection 🤔
    GW
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    That boiler needs two 2" risers to the header. I like to make the header 2-1/2", even though they say you can use a 2" header. This will give you nice dry steam.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    offdutytech
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
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    All dressed up and happy customers 
    pegger112. 

    2 1/2” header- was gonna do two risers but the phone rang and I had to cut loose a key worker for a 1/2 day—had to get busy

    Ok the plastic hanger on the 2 1/2” is dumb- I left it there 

    repurposed the feeder, just needed to add a backflow 

    homeowners are stoked, no banging and clanging 

    was gonna put a Vaporstat on but realized I needed a 1/4” brass nipple. Need to go back to tomorrow and replace one dead rad air vent. Might slip in the Vaporstat tomorrow. Pressurtrol is allowing needle to get to almost 3 psi 

    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
    mattmia2offdutytechdelcrossvErin Holohan Haskell
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,605
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    Steam piping nice and neat minimum fittings. Nice!!
    GW
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,173
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    Nice work @GW, alway like your projects. 

    “2 1/2” header- was gonna do two risers”

    Where would the second riser have come off?
     
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
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    PC Thanks!

    the other side of the boiler---there are two 2" taps on the boiler, right and left. We just 'plug' the side we don't use.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
    PC7060
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,173
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    Gotcha, I see it now.  Hidden between the water supply line and the BX cable.