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Timken Silent Automatic Boiler

Bob6265
Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
My house was built in 1941 and I still have the original boiler. You would think living in Maine, that someone would know about them. Can some give the correct steam settings? Much appreciated!
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Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,916
    That should be in a museum... that said, I'd reduce both the cutin and the differential by about half a pound each -- but be careful and do no bottom either one out. Further, if the screws turn hard and the system is working OK, leave it. It ain't broke, so don't fix it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Intplm.JoeKansas
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,392
    Ha.
    I just pulled out a hot water version of that.
    Its not that different than most...
    Where in maine?

  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    Westbrook 
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,392
    Drop the pressure just below 2 psi.
    Are you having issues?
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    edited January 9

    kcopp said:

    Drop the pressure just below 2 psi. Are you having issues?

    I think so. My radiators aren't getting really hot like they normally do and when I fill the boiler up with water it goes to the low point overnight.

  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    edited January 9

    Bob6265 said: correction: aren't getting really hot

    kcopp said:

    Drop the pressure just below 2 psi. Are you having issues?

    I think so. My radiators aren't getting really hot like they normally do and when I fill the boiler up with water it goes to the low point overnight.

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,392
    How often are you adding water?
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    kcopp said:
    How often are you adding water?
    Every day
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,916
    Bob6265 said:


    kcopp said:

    How often are you adding water?

    Every day

    Oh dear. Then I'm sorry, but you have a leak -- a serious one -- somewhere, and I'd have to wonder if that old boiler hasn't finally just given up. The low water cutoff is working? You're sure? If so, you can run it, but keep a close eye on the water level. Leaks don't get better with time... Without a working low water cutoff, you really shouldn't run it, but if you can have someone there ALL the time ready to turn off the boiler if the water is low... maybe. But that's ALL the time that the boiler is running, 24/7
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Intplm.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,392
    You may very well have a leak. It could be above the water line. Steam is running up the chimney each time you are firing the boiler.
    If you go outside do you see that happening?
    You could also fill the boiler above the gauge glass to see if water floods out...if you are comfortable doing that.

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,317
    I wonder if the old Timken vertical rotary burner is still kicking around in the basement.

    When I was a kid in the early 60s our neighbor was an oil burner guy. His company was installing Timken's back then. Great burners and verry efficient.
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    kcopp said:
    How often are you adding water?
    Every day
    Oh dear. Then I'm sorry, but you have a leak -- a serious one -- somewhere, and I'd have to wonder if that old boiler hasn't finally just given up. The low water cutoff is working? You're sure? If so, you can run it, but keep a close eye on the water level. Leaks don't get better with time... Without a working low water cutoff, you really shouldn't run it, but if you can have someone there ALL the time ready to turn off the boiler if the water is low... maybe. But that's ALL the time that the boiler is running, 24/7
    I can hear the low water cutoff kickin periodically. I fill it at night and go down each morning to fill it back up. May be time for a new one.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,413
    edited January 9
    Are you sure there's not a vent stuck open somewhere?

    Or a buried return that is leaking?

    Does the water level fall if it isn't firing?
    CLamb
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    mattmia2 said:
    Are you sure there's not a vent stuck open somewhere? Or a buried return that is leaking? Does the water level fall if it isn't firing?
    The water level only drops when the heat is on. When the water heater runs I haven't noticed a change in water level.
    mattmia2
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,392
    Thats a classic symptom of a leak/ crack/ rotted out section above the water line.
    jringelBob6265JoeKansas
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,744
    Bob6265 said:
    I can hear the low water cutoff kickin periodically. I fill it at night and go down each morning to fill it back up. May be time for a new one.
    Please come back here BEFORE you have it replaced to pick the brains of the steam pros here. There's ALWAYS people posting after the installation with their steam horror stories. 

    Are the copper pipes returns? Does Timkin get piped differently than a typical steam boiler? Looks like the riser goes right up to the ceiling. 
    mattmia2CLambBob6265
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    Noticed this morning lots of steam coming out the chimney. I assuming that's the sign to replace the system.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,916
    Bob6265 said:

    Noticed this morning lots of steam coming out the chimney. I assuming that's the sign to replace the system.

    yup
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2Intplm.Bob6265
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    edited January 9

    KC_Jones said:

    Bob6265 said:

    I can hear the low water cutoff kickin periodically. I fill it at night and go down each morning to fill it back up. May be time for a new one.

    Please come back here BEFORE you have it replaced to pick the brains of the steam pros here. There's ALWAYS people posting after the installation with their steam horror stories. 


    Are the copper pipes returns? Does Timkin get piped differently than a typical steam boiler? Looks like the riser goes right up to the ceiling. 

    ^^^^^ Can not emphasize this enough. Knowing what I do, I'd start with calculating my own boiler size before even calling a contractor. This is the most common mistake they make, over sizing the boiler and you really, really don't want it oversized. If you want any help with anything, just let us know and we are happy to help.

    Thanks all for the great comments/advice! Someone coming to look at it today! I had it moved about 20 years ago and for some reason they replaced some of the pipes with copper. I will be looking for an efficient unit for a pretty standard 3 bedroom cape with a pretty open downstairs floor plan. The area to be heated is about 1400 sf.

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,413
    HVACNUT said:

    Does Timkin get piped differently than a typical steam boiler? Looks like the riser goes right up to the ceiling. 

    Old boilers had enough space inside the hx to separate the steam and water, the header needing to separate the steam and water only happened as boilers got smaller to make them a bit more efficient.
    HVACNUTJoeKansas
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,606
    edited January 9
    "needing" is too strong a word. Every modern boiler puts dry (enough *) steam into the header provided the water isn't fouled by too much dirt and/or oil

    * "dry steam" is a specific term and I think no residential boiler ever has created it...it seems to require superheating the steam
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    old_diy_guy
  • dabrakeman
    dabrakeman Member Posts: 526
    Find a leak?
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    I read some online reviews and it "seems" Thermo-Pride, American Standard, Williamson and Lennox brands consistently get really good reviews. Any brand/model preference? I used an online calculator and it said I need about 63,000 BTUs
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,413
    edited January 9
    Peerless. Weil Mclain. There are a couple others and a couple that are rebrands of these. It is more important that you have someone that understands steam well install it.

    I think all of the ones you listed are rebrands, those are more forced air furnace manufacturers.
    Bob6265delcrossv
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,230
    Bob6265 said:

    looking for an efficient unit for a pretty standard 3 bedroom cape with a pretty open downstairs floor plan. The area to be heated is about 1400 sf.

    All steam boilers are the same efficiency. There is no high efficiency steam boiler. They are all the same.
    Bob6265 said:

    I used an online calculator and it said I need about 63,000 BTUs

    Steam boilers are sized to the volume of the radiators. Size of the home and insulation has nothing to do with it.
    I DIY.
    Bob6265
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,452
    WMno57 said:

    Bob6265 said:

    looking for an efficient unit for a pretty standard 3 bedroom cape with a pretty open downstairs floor plan. The area to be heated is about 1400 sf.

    All steam boilers are the same efficiency. There is no high efficiency steam boiler. They are all the same.
    Bob6265 said:

    I used an online calculator and it said I need about 63,000 BTUs

    Steam boilers are sized to the volume of the radiators. Size of the home and insulation has nothing to do with it.
    I understand that's what is recommended here, but I respectfully disagree.

    I would add up the EDR of the radiators and look at the piping, and then compare it to the heatloss of the building and make a decision. I feel the heatloss of the building should play a large roll in sizing a steam boiler.




    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
    ethicalpaulChicagoCooperator
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,698
    Bob6265 said:

    I read some online reviews and it "seems" Thermo-Pride, American Standard, Williamson and Lennox brands consistently get really good reviews. Any brand/model preference? I used an online calculator and it said I need about 63,000 BTUs

    There really isn't an online calculator for steam. Need to measure all the radiators and develop an EDR number to compare to the boiler output. Here is a link to on I've reference quite a bit. Start at bottom of page 9.

    https://www.weil-mclain.com/sites/default/files/field-file/Weil-McLain_BoilerReplacementGuide_WM2012-web_0.pdf
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Bob6265
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,413
    You size a boiler based on the size of the radiators connected to it. You match the output of the boiler to the amount of steam that the radiators can condense. The measure of the size of the radiators is called EDR, Equivalence of direct radiation. It is a measure of the effective surface area of the radiator.
    Bob6265delcrossv
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    Here's what he's recommending 
    Burnham Mega-Steam 

    MST513 123,000 BTU Output, 513 Sq. Ft. Steam Boiler w/o Tankless Coil (Oil)

    Dave338
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 670
    edited January 9
    Here's a thread with that boiler very well (re)piped. Correct near boiler piping is essential for correct operation.
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/181765/burnham-megasteam-513
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    Bob6265
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,413
    Did they measure the radiators?
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    mattmia2 said:
    Did they measure the radiators?
    He walked around and looked at each one and also based it on the existing system.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,698
    Bob6265 said:
    mattmia2 said:
    Did they measure the radiators?
    He walked around and looked at each one and also based it on the existing system.
    That’s a gigantic red flag for me.

    The existing system is 100% irrelevant.

    I’d strongly suggest using the worksheet I posted and figuring it out yourself for a reality check. He could be right, could be wrong. We can help with this, the calculations aren’t hard and figuring out the EDR of a radiator isn’t hard.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    kcoppJoeKansas
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,667
    you came here asking for advice,
    and you got the best you can from very knowledgable folks here,

    steam boilers are sized to the connected radiators, not to a house heatloss calc,
    too large and you're back here asking why it's cycling every 2 minutes,
    spitting from the vents, and hard to get even heat floor to floor and room to room,
    too small and you're back asking why 1/2 the rads never warm up(this scenario you won't worry about with your current contractor)

    he needed to measure each typical rad, and match that size and style to charts to get your correct boiler sizing,
    this is something you could still do to check on the accuracy of your contractor,

    when you come back asking why you have issues, some of the folks above will snicker, some of those might answer, good luck to you,
    you should try for another contractor, or 2
    known to beat dead horses
    JoeKansas
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,392
    I am over an hour away.
    Otherwise, I would consider running up there.
    Bob6265
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    Thanks for all the additional comments! I plan to do the EDR calc in the AM. I'll post the results.  Thanks again!
    JoeKansas
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,563
    edited January 10
    ChrisJ said:

    I understand that's what is recommended here, but I respectfully disagree.

    I would add up the EDR of the radiators and look at the piping, and then compare it to the heatloss of the building and make a decision. I feel the heatloss of the building should play a large roll in sizing a steam boiler.

    Good Luck with that, Tell us how it works out for you Chris!

    Actually the actual heat loss should have a large roll in sizing the radiators in each room. If those radiators were installed over 60 years ago, and the home has been sealed up re windowed and insulated, then you should get all new radiators to match the needs of the rooms. Then when you add up the EDR it will be a lower number. That is how you should do it.

    Aside from doing that, if you have 75% more radiator than you need or 125% more radiator than you need, and you put in a boiler that is too small for the connected radiation, you will have some problems getting the house evenly heated. If all those connected metal parts, pipes and radiators condense all the steam before it gets to the last 20% to 30% of said metal parts, what will you do to make more steam? Add a section or two to the boiler you got that was too small, and some more burners?

    I repeat: Good Luck with that!
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    LRCCBJ
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,413
    @EdTheHeaterMan it would make it very sensitive to balancing, but couldn't you balance the venting such that say 60% of everything heats?
    ethicalpaulChicagoCooperator