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gas steam boiler heating problem

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Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
    montek said:
    I am sorry about that- I only gave roundabout numbers. But I edited it - thank you. About your choice - why wouldn't I do Number 2? I thought that by doing number 2 I was getting as close to a good operating fix without a boiler change- and so if I needed the boiler afterward it would not be a huge job then. what are your explanations for picking number 1 and then number 3 and NOT number 2 especially knowing where the future might end me up at? Thank you
    If you do number 2 now, and the boiler finally dies in the next couple years, you’ll be doing number 3 when it does. So basically paying for 2 and 3. If the boiler was only 10 years old, I’d do 2 all day long, but it’s not. That vintage boiler, IMHO, you’re in the borrowed time portion of its life.

    For me, if you’re ready to pull the trigger on something option 3 makes the most sense, including financially, in the long run.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    bburdWMno57delcrossvmontek
  • montek
    montek Member Posts: 38
    I appreciate that- but I can afford this fix if that is what it will take to make me whole again- it is just kind of hard to spend that kind of money for anything if you know what I mean. But that aside- I just want to know if such a small fix as doing the low water cut-off will fix the banging and heating problem OR do we have to go a step further like Number 2 or 3? I am still working and I am 67. I would rather spend now than when I get old and decrepit(LOL). So what I want to ask the plumber is basically will Number 1 help this situation or do I need to go further? And that is what I am hoping you can sort of advise me as well. Thank you for your kindness.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    edited February 7
    If it were me at least option2 and verify and correct pitch. But as said above, it's not my money.
    If I were staying in the house for the next 10 years, Option 3 (+ correcting pitch)makes sense.

    Whichever you pick, keeping up with maintenance is vital to having a trouble free system.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    montek
  • montek
    montek Member Posts: 38
    Last question- can anyone tell me the quality of this boiler ---Supply/install New Yorker gas fired steam boiler, model # CGS50
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 742
    Burnham makes them.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • montek
    montek Member Posts: 38
    edited February 10
    :)
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,275
    It's a good boiler. So are a number of other makes of boiler. What is more important is the quality of the installation. A good installer can make a good boiler great. A poor installer can make the best boiler ever made into a piece of junk.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delcrossv
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,264
    edited February 7
    Some of the older design Burnhams had a problem where they rotted out at the water line. Burnham came out with a new design called the MegaSteam to address this. This problem was most apparent in towns where the municipal water had high levels of chlorides.
    You can get a water report from your town.
    There are ongoing supply chain problems with steam boilers. It could be the New Yorker is the only boiler available to the Scullys on short notice. If you are willing to wait until this summer, Peerless, Weil McLain, and the Burnham MegaSteam would be worth a look. Williamson is a rebranded WM.
    All Steam Boilers are the same efficiency.
    I DIY.
  • dabrakeman
    dabrakeman Member Posts: 552
    You can ask Scully about other options like Peerless or WM but may cost more and likely wouldn't make any difference unless you plan on living well over 100 :) . Scully wouldn't sell you a bad boiler and as the others have said it is the installation that is most important. You should be very happy with an install that looks like these (I assume Scully's works of art are public domain :p )



    delcrossv
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701

    It's a good boiler. So are a number of other makes of boiler. What is more important is the quality of the installation. A good installer can make a good boiler great. A poor installer can make the best boiler ever made into a piece of junk.

    Pardon the snarky question, but if it's a good boiler, why wouldn't Burnham put their name on it?

    I know, I know, product segmentation, "umbrella of products", dilution of branding, etc etc etc but really, is it a good boiler? Why do you say it's good, @Jamie Hall ?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,264
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/186445/burnham-steammax-thoughts

    Someone please correct if this is wrong.
    Burnham makes three designs:
    • Independence
    • SteamMax
    • MegaSteam (Oil only, no gas?)
    Is NewYorker a rebadged Independence?
    I DIY.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    It doesn't look like an Independence
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    WMno57
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,275
    In partial answer to @ethicalpaul 's comment. I haven't analysed the pros and cons of the entire range of boilers made by the company that makes Burnham boilers. However, I doubt very much that they make -- or sell rebadged -- a poor boiler. I suspect that they make boilers to various price points, however. This does not mean that a lower price point boiler is worse; it's just different. May have fewer bells and whistles. One can make the same comparison with the automotive world (or you could, when there were more brands). Is a Chevy a worse car than a Cadillac? No. Is it a different car? To some extent, yes. Some people can't afford a Cadillac. Some people wouldn't be caught dead in one. Some others wouldn't stoop so low as to ride in a Chevy. But they all get you from point A to point B...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited February 7
    Now you are talking about if it's a "poor" boiler...before you said it is a "good" boiler...the goalposts have moved :sweat_smile:

    But now that I've probably annoyed Jamie today and maybe others, I'll say that none of us have much useful information about what boilers are good and what aren't. But I would never buy a Burnham Independence boiler. I would buy a Peerless 63 series again in a heartbeat.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    LRCCBJ
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 587
    edited February 7
    A more apt comparison would be comparing a Nissan 350Z to an Infiniti G35. Two different cars, two different brands (like WM/Williamson, Infiniti is a division of Nissan), nearly everything mechanically identical aside from lsd, interior design, and shell.

    Notice any similarities?


    All Burnham subs. No identical boiler under the Burnham logo. New Yorker does have the X-2 and X-PV rebadge.

    ethicalpaulWMno57
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
    dko said:

    A more apt comparison would be comparing a Nissan 350Z to an Infiniti G35. Two different cars, two different brands (like WM/Williamson, Infiniti is a division of Nissan), nearly everything mechanically identical aside from lsd, interior design, and shell.

    Notice any similarities?


    All Burnham subs. No identical boiler under the Burnham logo. New Yorker does have the X-2 and X-PV rebadge.

    You missed one, not sure if there are any others.


    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    dko
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 587
    Proselect force is a Ferguson brand, Burnham rebadges for another major distributor can't remember. Utica does it for AF (Green Mountain).. forgot who does it for FW Webb's PurePro line probably Burnham. Well, probably more accurate to say U.S. Boiler Company.
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,275
    Whatever. Bottom line here is that if the Scullys install it for you, it's going to be fine.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    LRCCBJ
  • montek
    montek Member Posts: 38
    edited February 10
    Whew- wow- I got you guys all riled up you guys know your stuff- I surrender LOL- The reason I started this conversation is that the Boiler I have now is the Dunkirk
    My model number is 235AAW007112AADA and the serial number is 3685V01918. I just wanted to see if there was another Dunkirk boiler is that equal to what I have now especially since it lasted so long and is still really working with all the wrong stuff going on around it? So I looked on the Dunkirk site and saw the picture I attached and wanted to know what you thought as compared to the New Yorker brand

    By the way, we had to bang in pipes last night so I got up at 2 AM and lowered the thermostat to 66, and got up this morning at 7 AM and the sight glass was filled to its normal point????

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------



    I do have a better one for you also. My water heater is from 1986 and is a Rheem Fiberglass that is working fine also. We never have brown water and we never have had a problem with our hot water I know that this is old for a water heater. We had an A/C man come over to our basement to install ductless A/C's about 10 years ago. He stated back then to get rid of it like yesterday. Well, that was 10 years ago and it is still here. The only problem we have with it is that when someone showers ONLY- we hear the bubbling or the popcorn noises from the water heater. I was told that it is the sediment on the bottom that the water has to bubble up from to do its job and thus the noises. I called Rheem and they said there are no more replacement parts BUT some units have been known to last 70 years. WOW!!!! They also said if it has not been flushed lately to NOT START NOW. believe it or not, I must change my habits in the future with new products.. because I have lived here for 35 years and have never flushed the water heater and from looking at the decal on the boiler the last mainetnace was done in 1986 when the original owner lived here. And look how far the boiler has survived with truly no maintenance. What I call that is THE OLD America. They do not make them like they used to. That is why I want to keep the old stuff. I have heard horror stories from friends who bought NEW AO Smith water heaters and in 7 years they leaked. HOLY moly!-- So there you have it gentlemen. An old boiler and an old water heater and BOTH look brand new on the exterior(I keep them spic and span on the exterior. But I am not sure that if I go the distance and buy a new boiler as close to the one I have now as stated above- we should also go for a new water heater. Oh Boy???
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited February 7
    Utica makes Dunkirk style boilers, and some other brand names are out there too. I like Utica as a company, they have good documentation and my old Utica lasted a long time with no maintenance from the previous owner.

    however, Dunkirk style boilers with their side-oriented supply pipes in my opinion are a lot more prone to surging. And they require both supply pipes be used which a lot of contractors don't do.

    But I did get mine running well with a ridiculous non-header and only one side piped so it can be done, but it's not as easy as a Peerless or Weil-McClain.

    Based on your model number (I didn't look it up, so beware), yours seems like a 112kBTU model. Utica still makes that size and I think they make a 75k also which is a little smaller. You should measure the EDR of your radiators to ensure that you get the correct size. Compare total EDR to the sq ft of steam rating of different boilers.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,737
    The boilers haven't changed much in the time frame you are discussing, a few safeties have been added, but basically the iron parts are about the same. I replaced my boiler in 2014. The old one was from 1982, so 32 years old. The new one was the same line (EG) from the same company, just a smaller size since the old one was oversized. For the boiler, as I stated above, I'd be replacing it if I was making a move.

    I agree with Paul, those side outlets are a less than ideal design and just about any other brand with top outlets would be a better choice.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    WMno57
  • montek
    montek Member Posts: 38

  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 354
    Regarding the water heater, we see 10 to 12 year life expectancy in NJ with municipal water.

    The problem anywhere, when they to be 15 years plus, is that they typically don't fail with a small leak, that is noticeable and manageable, they tend to fail catastrophically with a massive leak.

    Replace the water heater at the same time as the boiler. You'll be getting a permit anyway. Might as well add it to it and save some money on permit fees.

    I would wait untill heating season is over.

    Besides, its almost over anyway. Pretty soon it'll be pool season.
    WMno57montek
  • dabrakeman
    dabrakeman Member Posts: 552
    Where are people getting that the New Yorker is side tapped??? Looks like top tap to me.

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    I don't think that was stated (that New Yorkers are Dunkirks). The OP said he currently has a Dunkirk design and he wondered how it would compare to the New Yorker. It's possible I missed something though...you know how these threads get :smile:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • dabrakeman
    dabrakeman Member Posts: 552
    Yes, definitely gets confusing as I can see the switch to Dunkirk discussion. OP just needs to know the quoted boiler is top tapped.
    WMno57ethicalpaul
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,264
    I agree with you about OLD America. I could go on for days about products that were better. I hate to replace things that are working, just because they are old. In the case of your boiler and water heater, I think they are both at end of life. Downtime with heat or water is always inconvenient. I think the benefit of planned downtime on your schedule will be worth the cost of giving up a few years of remaining appliance life.
    In Old America we had more people who had the skills to fix things. I don't see that getting better anytime soon. You are fortunate to have found the Scullys.
    If you were 30 years old and liked DIY projects, it might be different.
    I just replaced a leaking 24 year old water heater. Had to get help getting it into the basement. Multiple trips to the hardware store, and several do overs to fix leaking piping. Unbeknownst to me the flue was rotted out. That necessitated another trip to a friendly local supply house. Also getting harder to find in New America.
    I DIY.
  • montek
    montek Member Posts: 38
    This is to you, Mr. WNn57-- I love your reply- sounds so much like me. I truly dislike what has happened to our ingenuity and workmanship. I truly am emotionally attached to this wonderful work of marvel that is my water heater. And I have heard that new ones will be lucky to get 10-12 years from them. Such a shame. I know the writing is on the walls BUT it will be like saying goodbye to a truly good old friend if I take out my water heater. if you would I am going to post a reply I received from an older gentleman on YouTube- he calls himself the Grumpy Plumber and here is what he had to say to my question about the heater-- read on --- here is his reply after i explained my water heater sounds and age---
    The Grumpy Plumber
    The first thing you should do, after giving your wife a morning hug and kiss, is go hug that water heater. I have never installed a fiberglass water heater. My philosophy is, that if the heater doesn’t leak, don’t replace it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If someone comes to your house and tells you to replace the heater, kick them out the door. Appreciate your kind words. P.S. I once replaced a copper heater that lasted 64 years. The heater wasn’t leaking, the homeowners were just remodeling.
    That was this plumber's reply- check him on YouTube- an older generation plumber. I guess he feels like you and I do- but does that make him correct?? What do you think?
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,264
    @montek Thanks for the YouTube tip. I will check that out.
    I can definitely understand the keep it till it dies philosophy. I also think with minimal maintenance you could get 15 - 20 years on a new water heater. The short life reports are coming from homes with bad water. Unless the water for your town has changed recently, it has seemed to treat your old boiler and water heater well.
    A mixing valve for the water heater would be a good idea too. That will protect you and your wife from Legionnaires' Disease.
    For your situation, I still recommend new boiler and new water heater. It could wait till this summer.
    I do think your current boiler and especially the water heater are near end of life. How near is impossible to estimate.
    I DIY.
    montek
  • montek
    montek Member Posts: 38
    I know you are right. I just feel so attached to these two dinosaurs. They have treated me so well with literally almost no problems over 39 years that I feel like I am saying goodbye to two very tried and true friends that have never even been maintained EVER and look how well they performed. But I am not getting any younger and neither are they and that is the conundrum.
  • dabrakeman
    dabrakeman Member Posts: 552
    I heard he was moving to Michigan :)
    Danny Scully
  • SteamingatMohawk
    SteamingatMohawk Member Posts: 1,005
    I may be too late to this discussion. I have a few observations and apologize if they have already been mentioned.

    1. There is a statement early in the discussion that the boiler is 1985 vintage. It is possible the Pressuretrol is the mercury switch version. If that is the case it is installed improperly on the pigtail. When the pigtail heats up and sees pressure it tries to unwind. With the pigtail side to side that affects the mercury switch. If the switch is not mercury it's OK.

    2. I don't see any pressure gauge.

    3. You mention Varivalves. The minimum capacity is about a #5 with the valve "shut" and a capacity larger than a "#1" when fully open. It does not completely prevent venting. I suggest you do a survey of all your vents and determine the capacities as you work on all the other items in this discussion. If you are not familiar with the Balancing Steam Systems report, it is here:

    https://www.heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/balancing-steam-systems-using-a-vent-capacity-chart/

    Doing the calculations presented in the report is not absolutely necessary, You just want to get a feel for how much venting your are trying to achieve at each location. Also, it may be worthwhile to read the update at the end of the report about overventing.
  • adambuild
    adambuild Member Posts: 414
    Forgive me if this was already mentioned, is it possible that when the work was done finishing the basement a steam pipe was raised or lowered?
    montek