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Steam Pro in Albany NY or Pittsfield MA area

Geez_its_hot
Geez_its_hot Member Posts: 7
edited December 2022 in Strictly Steam
Have a 2-pipe steam system in a big old farmhouse (located between Albany NY & Pittsfield MA). Newer Weil-McLain install with Riello oil burner. Everything works fine but we need to find some that can keep it that way. We had someone that was a real pro but he's gone AWOL. It's a big boiler that intimidates your typical oil delivery service guy. They can swap a nozzle but that's about it. I need to find someone that really understands steam and knows how to service the Riello.

Comments

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,574
    Jerrys retired but his kids still run it.
    https://benncool.com/
    Geez_its_hot
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,524
    Or you could try @Charlie from wmass
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Geez_its_hot
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,769
    Pictures!
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,942
    Too bad Mark Hunt is involved in other things. He knows The Steam well and us Near Saratoga.  Mad 🐕 Dog
    Geez_its_hot
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,942
    edited January 1
    Thats gonna be really tough to find a Riello expert AND steam expert. I would be happy to find A good oil company that services Riello and get a Steam Pro to come out.  Ill actually be swinging through that region in about 10 days if you want me to swing by for an evaluation?   Mad 🐕 Dog 
    Geez_its_hot
  • Geez_its_hot
    Geez_its_hot Member Posts: 7
    Steamhead said:

    Pictures!

    I'll post some soon
  • Geez_its_hot
    Geez_its_hot Member Posts: 7
    Steamhead said:

    Pictures!

    Weil McLain Model 80Series 1 -- 480


  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,942
    Wow! Thats some insulation job!   You're going to have very little heatloss there.  Mad 🐕 Dog
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,170
    too bad it's all piped wrong
  • Geez_its_hot
    Geez_its_hot Member Posts: 7

    too bad it's all piped wrong

    I'm very curious what's wrong? It has been piped that way since the 1920s? It was originally a coal-fired "monsta". The thing was 18 inches taller and took up the whole concrete pad. That was replaced in the 70s and now this baby. The guy that installed this boiler, who has worked on steam for 30 years (almost exclusively), has repeatedly commented about how well-piped the house is. I can't speak to why, but he says it's atypical but "ingenious".
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,232
    edited January 12
    It's funny how 30 years is the number that contractors always say when they keep doing stuff wrong.

    The near-boiler piping is not to any manufacturer's spec (nor to any reasonable spec). It seems like in 30 years he might have cracked open the installation manual of one of them.

    What it does have going for it is extremely tall steam supplies, so if it works, it works, congrats!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    JohnNY
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,911

    It's funny how 30 years is the number that contractors always say when they keep doing stuff wrong.

    The near-boiler piping is not to any manufacturer's spec (nor to any reasonable spec).

    What it does have going for it is extremely tall steam supplies, so if it works, it works, congrats!


    Many of them that make the claim are also only 40 years old which makes it even funnier.
    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
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,359

    too bad it's all piped wrong

    I'm very curious what's wrong? It has been piped that way since the 1920s? It was originally a coal-fired "monsta". The thing was 18 inches taller and took up the whole concrete pad. That was replaced in the 70s and now this baby. The guy that installed this boiler, who has worked on steam for 30 years (almost exclusively), has repeatedly commented about how well-piped the house is. I can't speak to why, but he says it's atypical but "ingenious".
    We aren't beating you up, but this is in large part why this website exists. The part of your comment I bolded is literally a completely meaningless metric for anything. If he spent his entire career learning things wrong, and then implementing that, then what value is his experience? A persons work should 100% of the time speak for itself, there should never be a reason to talk about how many years you've done something.

    So to be more specific, first the way the old boiler was piped is meaningless because once you change boilers, especially when it goes to something more modern, the entire system needs to be looked at. The operation of modern boilers is different, most likely the water line has moved, basically everything needs evaluated.

    The header order is all wrong as near as I can tell. The header should have boiler riser(s), then system take offs, then a drop at the very end to the equalizer. The vertical equalizer should have a Hartford loop connection that is ~ 2" below the boiler water line of whatever boiler is connected.

    The picture you posted appears to have boiler riser, system take off, boiler riser, system takeoff, then what appears to be the drop to the equalizer, I can't tell if there is a Hartford loop, or what height it is relative to the water line. If it's working efficiently, silently, and at a nice low pressure, then good for you. If it ever needs replaced I strongly suggest posting here for guidance, not only on piping, but sizing as well.

    Speaking of sizing, how big is the mansion that boiler is heating?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    EBEBRATT-Ed
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,170
    It's piped wrong as @KC_Jones mentioned.

    Modern boilers don't release steam the same as older boilers. That's just the way it is.

    But not all jobs are piped "textbook" Some work ok and some do not work at all.

    If yours runs quiet and heats well by all means leave it.

    But no "steam" guy could look at that and say it is right
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,911

    It's piped wrong as @KC_Jones mentioned.

    Modern boilers don't release steam the same as older boilers. That's just the way it is.

    But not all jobs are piped "textbook" Some work ok and some do not work at all.

    If yours runs quiet and heats well by all means leave it.

    But no "steam" guy could look at that and say it is right

    "ingenious"
    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
  • Geez_its_hot
    Geez_its_hot Member Posts: 7

    It's funny how 30 years is the number that contractors always say when they keep doing stuff wrong.

    The near-boiler piping is not to any manufacturer's spec (nor to any reasonable spec). It seems like in 30 years he might have cracked open the installation manual of one of them.

    What it does have going for it is extremely tall steam supplies, so if it works, it works, congrats!

    I have zero understanding as to the proper piping but the contractor in question used to play basketball with my older brother 45 years ago, across the street. I'm 56 so you do the math. I had not seen him for 35+ years. In between he worked for and retired from a state authority, maintaining and upgrading steam heating systems. So it might be wrong but I am sure it's not his first day on the job. It is very quiet. When he first started maintaining the system it was severely neglected (typical oil co repair guys, changed the nozzle and left) -- he serviced some steam traps and made some other tweaks.
  • Geez_its_hot
    Geez_its_hot Member Posts: 7
    KC_Jones said:

    too bad it's all piped wrong

    I'm very curious what's wrong? It has been piped that way since the 1920s? It was originally a coal-fired "monsta". The thing was 18 inches taller and took up the whole concrete pad. That was replaced in the 70s and now this baby. The guy that installed this boiler, who has worked on steam for 30 years (almost exclusively), has repeatedly commented about how well-piped the house is. I can't speak to why, but he says it's atypical but "ingenious".
    We aren't beating you up, but this is in large part why this website exists. The part of your comment I bolded is literally a completely meaningless metric for anything. If he spent his entire career learning things wrong, and then implementing that, then what value is his experience? A persons work should 100% of the time speak for itself, there should never be a reason to talk about how many years you've done something.

    So to be more specific, first the way the old boiler was piped is meaningless because once you change boilers, especially when it goes to something more modern, the entire system needs to be looked at. The operation of modern boilers is different, most likely the water line has moved, basically everything needs evaluated.

    The header order is all wrong as near as I can tell. The header should have boiler riser(s), then system take offs, then a drop at the very end to the equalizer. The vertical equalizer should have a Hartford loop connection that is ~ 2" below the boiler water line of whatever boiler is connected.

    The picture you posted appears to have boiler riser, system take off, boiler riser, system takeoff, then what appears to be the drop to the equalizer, I can't tell if there is a Hartford loop, or what height it is relative to the water line. If it's working efficiently, silently, and at a nice low pressure, then good for you. If it ever needs replaced I strongly suggest posting here for guidance, not only on piping, but sizing as well.

    Speaking of sizing, how big is the mansion that boiler is heating?
  • Geez_its_hot
    Geez_its_hot Member Posts: 7
    I helped figure out the square footage of the radiators in the house. There are 18 in total. I used an online tool from one of the boiler websites (I entered the radiator height, width, tubes, and sections for each radiator). I still had the spreadsheet I made. I calculated 796 sq ft of radiators and a system loss of 1.33 (I can't recall where that came from). That equals 1,058 sq ft.
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 542
    @Geez_its_hot The 796 sqtf of EDR is the right number. The pickup factor is built into the boiler rating. So a boiler with a steam capacity of 796 will produce 796 after a loss of 33%.

    In reality a well piped, vented and insulated system can live happily with a pickup factor less than 33%. If you had to choose between a boiler with a steam capacity of 750sqft or 850sqft you'd be better off going smaller if your system is in proper shape.
    Geez_its_hot
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,359

    I helped figure out the square footage of the radiators in the house. There are 18 in total. I used an online tool from one of the boiler websites (I entered the radiator height, width, tubes, and sections for each radiator). I still had the spreadsheet I made. I calculated 796 sq ft of radiators and a system loss of 1.33 (I can't recall where that came from). That equals 1,058 sq ft.

    Your calculations are incorrect. The boiler manufacturer already includes the 1.33 in their rating, so you should have used the 796 to size the boiler.

    In your case the entire 80 series line from Weil Mclain is too large. The one you have is more than 90% over sized for the application. You needed a gross output of ~254,000, you have 491,000. Sizing is critical, especially on 2 pipe that wants to run at a couple ounces of pressure.

    If the person that helped you directed you to do that, it shows their lack of knowledge. One should not mistake experience for knowledge. If one does something incorrectly for 35 years, they don't have knowledge, but they do have experience. If one learns correctly on their first day, they have knowledge, but no experience.

    This is in part why Paul made the comment he did. 30 years means absolutely nothing if they learned wrong on day one.

    Again, not trying to beat you up, just trying to make sure you get the correct information because it sounds like you have been getting incorrect information for quite some time now.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15