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Timken Silent Automatic Boiler

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  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,536
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    @EdTheHeaterMan

    How many steam jobs have you ever seen under radiated? They are always over radiated. Back in the 20s they were designed to heat the house with the windows open.
    ethicalpaulChrisJEdTheHeaterMan
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
    edited January 10
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    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!

    I told everyone how it worked out for me almost 10 years ago.
    I've also mentioned it many times, as well as why I feel it works the way it does.

    No one listens.

    There is no steam system that heats all of the radiation and piping up at the same time. First your piping heats, then the radiators slowly heat section by section. If you don't have enough steam to fill all of the radiators 100% it doesn't matter if the building doesn't need that extra output.


    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
    ethicalpaulEdTheHeaterManChicagoCooperator
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
    edited January 10
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    @EdTheHeaterMan with respect the scoffing isn’t nice. The radiation should set the high point of a boiler, to prevent over-sizing.

    but if the radiation is too much, consider a smaller boiler. The boiler can’t even “see” all the radiation until all air is out of every radiator, and those of us with steam know how rare that is
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    ChrisJChicagoCooperator
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,269
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    @ChrisJ Am I correct that in your home the boiler makes slightly more steam than the radiators EDR, but you used a smaller pickup factor in your sizing than the usual too large pickup? Or is your boiler smaller than radiator's EDR alone without pickup?
    Interesting discussion, but we run the risk of confusing Bob6265.
    @Bob6265, the important concept to get out out of all this is don't make the boiler too big.
    Pickup factor is an estimate of how much steam is condensed in the pipes before the steam gets to the radiators. The standard pickup factor is too large and assumes uninsulated pipes. You should use a smaller pickup factor in your sizing. If the boiler turns out to be a little small, easy enough to then insulate the pipes. If the boiler is too big, very difficult to make the boiler smaller.
    I DIY.
    ChrisJEdTheHeaterManChicagoCooperator
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    WMno57 said:

    @ChrisJ Am I correct that in your home the boiler makes slightly more steam than the radiators EDR, but you used a smaller pickup factor in your sizing than the usual too large pickup? Or is your boiler smaller than radiator's EDR alone without pickup?
    Interesting discussion, but we run the risk of confusing Bob6265.
    @Bob6265, the important concept to get out out of all this is don't make the boiler too big.
    Pickup factor is an estimate of how much steam is condensed in the pipes before the steam gets to the radiators. The standard pickup factor is too large and assumes uninsulated pipes. You should use a smaller pickup factor in your sizing. If the boiler turns out to be a little small, easy enough to then insulate the pipes. If the boiler is too big, very difficult to make the boiler smaller.

    You are correct, but that wasn't intentional. I just converted it to a smaller size that was tested and known to work by the manufacturer. If I had to replace my EG-40 which is already undersized according to most, an EG-35 would definitely be considered at this point.


    You are absolutely correct though, I don't want to confuse the OP.
    Perhaps it would be easiest if they can post their EDR findings here and everyone can weigh in on boiler sizing etc.




    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
    WMno57EdTheHeaterManChicagoCooperator
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,269
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    @Bob6265 Insist that the contractor replace the near boiler piping with threaded steel pipe. No copper. Insist that the contractor size and run the pipes to at least the minimum as shown in the boiler manufacturers manual. Get out your pen and write this into the contract. Have the contractor initial this. Hold back 50% of the money until the job is done to at least the minimum standard as described in the installation manual.
    Ask him if he can cut and thread steel pipe.
    I DIY.
    delcrossvdabrakemanEdTheHeaterManJoeKansas
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 629
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    @Bob6265 Do the EDR calculations yourself, it isn't hard. Your contractor recommended a Mega-Steam with 513 square feet of steam capacity. You live in a 1400 square foot house!!!!

    I'm willing to bet that the boiler he recommends is 250% oversized. I have a 1600 square foot house that was built in the 1800's and only has an EDR of 210. I actually have more radiator than I need now that the house has been tightened up.

    You probably need one of the smaller boilers in the market. That Mega-Steam could heat a mansion.
    ethicalpaulEdTheHeaterMan
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 629
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    @KC_Jones I 100% agree! It is infuriating how easy it is to spec and install a boiler, probably easier than doing the same for a hydronic heating system which involves a building heatloss calculation.

    I'm just a regular old homeowner and using one of the many available EDR calculation sheets available on the internet I calculated my EDR in about 30 minutes the first time.

    New England SteamWorks performed my annual maintenance a few years back and I also had them quote me a new boiler since mine is 42 years old but in perfect condition. They had their own app on a tablet that they used to enter dimensions and such of my radiators. It took them about 5 minutes and we were within about 5 EDR of each other.

    It is really that easy. And the piping instructions are laid out in the install manual! I don't understand why this is so difficult...especially for "Professionals".
    WMno57EdTheHeaterManJoeKansas
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 600
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    It's not the difficulty, they just learned 2+2=5 from the beginning and they stick with it because the install still works. Maybe not properly, optimally, or efficiently. But how would they know, they don't use combustion analyzers either.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,536
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    If they refuse to read the manual to know how to pipe it properly how do you expect them to take the time to measure the radiation.

    It is easier to just guess or stand across the street from the house and use the finger method.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    If they refuse to read the manual to know how to pipe it properly how do you expect them to take the time to measure the radiation.

    It is easier to just guess or stand across the street from the house and use the finger method.




    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
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited January 10
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    WMno57 said:

    @Bob6265 Insist that the contractor replace the near boiler piping with threaded steel pipe. No copper. Insist that the contractor size and run the pipes to at least the minimum as shown in the boiler manufacturers manual. Get out your pen and write this into the contract. Have the contractor initial this. Hold back 50% of the money until the job is done to at least the minimum standard as described in the installation manual.
    Ask him if he can cut and thread steel pipe.

    THIS.

    And actually do your EDR calculation.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    Bob6265
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
    edited January 10
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    KC_Jones said:

    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
    KCJones, using your reference sheet I came up with the following. Are they trying to sell me double what I need? They proposed 120-130k BTU system. My calc came up with 55k+. Or did I screw up the calc? All of the measurements/sections/tubes counts are correct.




  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,739
    edited January 10
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    Bob6265 said:

    KC_Jones said:

    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
    KCJones, using you reference sheet I came up with the following. Are they trying to sell me double what I need? They proposed 120-130k BTU system. My calc came up with 55k+. Or did I screw up the calc? All of the measurements are correct.




    Yes, because they couldn't be bothered to do what you just did. Given your house size, I'd trust the numbers you came up with.

    See screenshot for the proposed boiler line. The column I circled in black is all that matters. You calculated 230.8, the smallest on in that range is rated for 288, so that's about as good as you can get. That is about the best steam boiler on the market and held in high regard around here, so it's a good choice.

    Just don't let anyone put in anything bigger, they are flat our wrong if they propose it.




    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Bob6265EdTheHeaterManJoeKansasSuperTech
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,661
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    They aren't trying to screw you. They just don't know what they are doing. Find someone else.

    Did you mention where you are at? Someone here may know who the good contractors are in your area.
    Bob6265
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
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    mattmia2 said:

    They aren't trying to screw you. They just don't know what they are doing. Find someone else.

    Did you mention where you are at? Someone here may know who the good contractors are in your area.

    mattmia, I'm located in Westbrook, ME, about an hour north of Portsmouth, NH.
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
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    Again, thanks for all the help!!!! I've called about a dozen places so far and have found a few that do steam. Most are FHW or gas only.
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
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    delcrossv said:

    WMno57 said:

    @Bob6265 Insist that the contractor replace the near boiler piping with threaded steel pipe. No copper. Insist that the contractor size and run the pipes to at least the minimum as shown in the boiler manufacturers manual. Get out your pen and write this into the contract. Have the contractor initial this. Hold back 50% of the money until the job is done to at least the minimum standard as described in the installation manual.
    Ask him if he can cut and thread steel pipe.

    THIS.

    And actually do your EDR calculation.
    Thanks I'll do that!
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,704
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    Make your life easier and forget the BTU ratings. Compare your radiators' EDR to the boiler's "Sq ft of steam", both of these numbers are the same thing, all netted out and adjusted. And if it lands between two boilers, go with the SMALLER one

    Working with BTUs is asking for trouble, there's gross BTUs, net BTU, BTU including piping, etc etc etc and you never know which one the other guy is talking about
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Bob6265delcrossvEdTheHeaterManJoeKansas
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,536
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    @amir12

    Timken hasn't made boiler or burners for 50 years. There is nothing to be gained by digging for non existent information that will have no valve to the op. He needs to size the boiler based on the installed radiation and heat loss and be sure to get an installer who knows what he is doing .....if he can find one.
    ethicalpauldelcrossvEdTheHeaterMan
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,432
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    That was a spam bot...
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
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    ChrisJ said:
    @ChrisJ Am I correct that in your home the boiler makes slightly more steam than the radiators EDR, but you used a smaller pickup factor in your sizing than the usual too large pickup? Or is your boiler smaller than radiator's EDR alone without pickup? Interesting discussion, but we run the risk of confusing Bob6265. @Bob6265, the important concept to get out out of all this is don't make the boiler too big. Pickup factor is an estimate of how much steam is condensed in the pipes before the steam gets to the radiators. The standard pickup factor is too large and assumes uninsulated pipes. You should use a smaller pickup factor in your sizing. If the boiler turns out to be a little small, easy enough to then insulate the pipes. If the boiler is too big, very difficult to make the boiler smaller.
    You are correct, but that wasn't intentional. I just converted it to a smaller size that was tested and known to work by the manufacturer. If I had to replace my EG-40 which is already undersized according to most, an EG-35 would definitely be considered at this point. You are absolutely correct though, I don't want to confuse the OP. Perhaps it would be easiest if they can post their EDR findings here and everyone can weigh in on boiler sizing etc.
    The EDR findings were posted a few days ago.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    Bob6265 said:
    ChrisJ said:
    @ChrisJ Am I correct that in your home the boiler makes slightly more steam than the radiators EDR, but you used a smaller pickup factor in your sizing than the usual too large pickup? Or is your boiler smaller than radiator's EDR alone without pickup? Interesting discussion, but we run the risk of confusing Bob6265. @Bob6265, the important concept to get out out of all this is don't make the boiler too big. Pickup factor is an estimate of how much steam is condensed in the pipes before the steam gets to the radiators. The standard pickup factor is too large and assumes uninsulated pipes. You should use a smaller pickup factor in your sizing. If the boiler turns out to be a little small, easy enough to then insulate the pipes. If the boiler is too big, very difficult to make the boiler smaller.
    You are correct, but that wasn't intentional. I just converted it to a smaller size that was tested and known to work by the manufacturer. If I had to replace my EG-40 which is already undersized according to most, an EG-35 would definitely be considered at this point. You are absolutely correct though, I don't want to confuse the OP. Perhaps it would be easiest if they can post their EDR findings here and everyone can weigh in on boiler sizing etc.
    The EDR findings were posted a few days ago.
    If it's 231 the 288 is the smallest megasteam so that's your boiler.

    I'm pretty sure they can be downfired as well but that's outside of my knowledge.
    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
    Bob6265
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,287
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    kcopp said:

    That was a spam bot...

    Yes, it was. I got it. Thanks!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • Bob6265
    Bob6265 Member Posts: 19
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    Thanks for all the help and saving me headaches I didn't know I would have!!  To wrap this thread up a few installers recommended the Burnham Megasteam MST288 and one recommended a Williamson OSB3. Any preference on companies?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    If I had oil I'd want a Megasteam.


    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
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited January 17
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    Remember to correctly spec the near boiler piping. In threaded iron pipe, In writing.


    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    dabrakemanBob6265
  • CTETeach
    CTETeach Member Posts: 7
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    Picture it like this, sizing a steam boiler based on heat loss is like putting the wrong engine in a car. You size the boiler based on the standing radiation. The boiler has to be able to "drive " the radiation you have. Putting a Yugo engine in a Fleetwood isn't going to work very well neither is putting a Caddy engine in a Yugo.

    Am I dating myself?
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • Stet
    Stet Member Posts: 38
    edited February 8
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    One of the writers here was 100% correct. "There is no such thing as a high efficiency steam boiler. Period! To suggest anything differently is "Bull"! All steam boilers are atmospherically drafted. That is, they vent without the use of a fan. You have no control over the draft as they change from one chimney to another, they change from wind speed and direction. Mother nature is in control.

    That said, the best efficiency you are going to get from a steam boiler is by matching the boilers steam rating to the total amount of steam required by the radiators in your home.That's it as far as the boiler. Making sure your piping is in order and that anything mechanical in the system is also up to snuff is another.

    I'm a plumber. Do not get into oil much. I have used the Peerless brand of steam boilers with great success.

    If I were you, I would do alot more research on installers and less on the manufacturers. You want someone who REALLY know the animal your playing with. And there are less and less of them. That's why Dan calls them the " Dead Men!"
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,269
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    Stet said:

    One of the writers here was 100% correct. "There is no such thing as a high efficiency steam boiler. Period! To suggest anything differently is "Bull"! All steam boilers are atmospherically drafted. That is, they vent without the use of a fan.

    Yes and no. All Steam boilers are about the same efficiency. There are steam boilers with power burners. Most if not all Oil, and a few Gas. Still in the same ballpark in terms of efficiency.
    I DIY.
  • johnlobb
    johnlobb Member Posts: 23
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    My Dad, Fremont Lobbestael, was a Timken dealer, then distributor in the '50's. Fantastic heating equipment, I still have some of his old stuff like a cut away rotor (oil distributor) in a velvet lined box he used for sales demonstrations. My younger brother, while cleaning his house out after Fremonts passing, threw a lot of invaluable Timken parts. I discovered this too late..
  • farmwi
    farmwi Member Posts: 17
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    @WMno57 Total newb here. Why steel and not copper? Also curious, could large pex be used for supply if installed with a flat support? (lower the mass required for startup) Thanks for the education!
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,269
    edited February 8
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    farmwi said:

    Why steel and not copper?
    could large pex be used

    On a Steam Boiler:
    Copper has a greater coefficient of thermal expansion than the cast iron block of the boiler. In some instances the expanding copper can separate the cast iron sections of the boiler and cause leaks. Also, the copper pipes expand at greater rates as steam travels through, causing stress and failures at the copper to copper joints.
    Threaded steel pipe has been used since the dawn of boilers, and it works. It is theoretically possible to pipe the near boiler piping of a steam boiler in copper in a manner that avoids the above problems, but that's complicated.
    Most steam boilers that are piped in copper are done that way because the installer did not have a pipe threader. Pipes above 2 inch nominal are 8 threads per inch which requires a different threader. Downsizing to 2" when the install manual calls for 2 1/2" or greater causes problems.
    Installers that don't own the correct threaders, tend to also not understand how to correctly pipe the near boiler piping. It's spelled out in the install manual, but the installer also needs be able to visualize the steam and condensate, and how they interact.
    Steam is too hot for Pex. Copper can be used for the domestic water supply, and some parts of the condensate return.

    On a Hot Water Boiler:
    Not as hot, so not as much thermal expansion. And, because the pipes are filled with water, the temperature of the pipes changes more gradually. Steel, Copper, and Oxygen barrier Pex are all fine. Cant use regular non barrier Pex, because oxygen permeating through the walls of the Pex will corrode the boiler.
    I DIY.
    farmwi
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,321
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    All steam boilers are atmospherically draughted? Really, @Stet ? Are you sure? You have no control over the draught? Really?

    And just how many oil fired steam boilers have you installed?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    All steam boilers are atmospherically draughted? Really, @Stet ? Are you sure? You have no control over the draught? Really?

    And just how many oil fired steam boilers have you installed?


    Or gas fired power burners.........
    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
  • farmwi
    farmwi Member Posts: 17
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    @WMno57 Thanks! Much to my surprise, the thermal expansion rates show a bit of difference, not only between Cu and Iron pipe, stainless is nearly the same as Cu. I assumed they were similar. Ductile expands even slower than carbon. This has me thinking about bolts holding things together at temps. Stainless bolts would allow lower pressure.
    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-expansion-pipes-d_931.html

    I'd wondered about using Pex as delivery due to the low pressure of 2psi in atmospheric steam. I looked a little more carefully, and while it's marked at 80psi at 200F, it would likely tolerate 2psi temps, however, it may not cycle reliably at higher temps. One day I'm considering running a steam system in slight vacuum to lower temps and transfer heat without pumps, or only a condensate pump, in an off grid system to lower constant electrical loads. Thanks for the fuel to think.
  • Lance
    Lance Member Posts: 270
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    I briefed the responses. I did not see a mention on the wrong place to put a barometric draft control. Remember, rebuild it not how you found it, but to make it right.