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Series 80

Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,415
I may be able to atleast look at a bid on a Commercial steam boiler job
It’s roughly a series 80 780 boiler. I believe it’s just shy of a million btu’s?
Any good pointers I should know about? I go look at this job on Friday ………
The existing one is not working , so it’s a spring / summer job which is fine…….
Besides measuring the EDR, adding king valve med lug and shut off at heart ford loop and suggesting more air vents.
Is there anything else I should be looking for ?


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
    Find out why it failed and address the cause. The 80 series is a well-made boiler and shouldn't fail at the drop of a hat.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    mattmia2Mad Dog_2
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,529
    Ask how much water they have been adding and if they are where is it going?. Look for underfloor wet returns.

    Make sure to check the A and B dimensions of the existing piping against the new boilers water line.
    mattmia2Mad Dog_2
  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,415
    Thanks steam & Ed
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,655
    You need to make sure the vents are working. if it is 2 pipe you need to make sure the steam traps are working. if it is a vapor system you'll need to run it off a vaporstat and the closer you get the sizing the easier it will be to get under control, might want to look at a smaller pickup factor in that case and look very carefully for previous knukleheading, especially things that are no longer below the water line that should be and metering devices at the emitters that have been removed.

    If you replace the boiler without finding and addressing system issues your results will be mediocre at best.
    Mad Dog_2
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,627
    A meter on the makeup water seems to be a good idea. Get one with a contact output, if you end up with a water treatment regime, you'll need it.

    When the blowdown valve failed on my smaller Peerless, I looked in to the rebuild-in-place valves. After I recovered from the sticker shock, I went with two valves inline & just exercise the backup once a season.

    Pay attention to the state of your returns. After 50 years, pay close attention.

    Buy Dan's book, if you haven't already, and read it cover to cover. Reread it, Just In Case. Lots of times, I find stuff that wasn't in there the first time through!

    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Snowmelt
    Snowmelt Member Posts: 1,415
    Matt, I never experienced a vapor stat system ……. How ever I’m fully aware of steam traps and simple pitch of a pipe a ruin everything…..
    yea I’ll look at unground return…….
    My next question is if it’s not working now…….how will I know what’s really going on with it.
    Almost like a car , you can’t tell till you get it running…..
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 855
    Download and study the installation manual before you get to the site. This way you will know how it is supposed to be piped and installed. Unfortunately, we see systems almost weekly that do not come close to the manufacturers instructions.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,840
    edited April 4
    If you really want the job, you need to know what you are talking about when you talk to the money people. I remember getting 2 church jobs because I made up a power point presentation and presented my bid to the entire church board of trustees. They all got the same info an the same time in easy to understand visual format. If I mailed the bid I don't think I would have been awarded the contract.

    Also sell all the add ons Ala-carte. You can be the lowest bidder for the job but end up being the highest cost for the job in order to get what you are worth. After you get the verbal confirmation that you have the bid. You can address the "reason the old boiler failed is ... so to fix that I can add the king valve and mud leg blow out valves for this $$$ much. You would be a fool to leave them out."

    We have a 2 week and 2 month service where will skim the boiler to insure efficient dry steam to the radiators. That will be only $$$. You can also find mud in the wet returns that will need to be removed for an additional fee once the job is started.

    That is how a lot of the bidders will quote this job. If you include all the "what ifs" in the original bid price, you will probably be the highest bidder. Don't under cut your price to get the job. Just include the least amount to get the job done to spec, then add the "what ifs" at a reasonable markup after the bidding is over and you got the job.
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,310
    As @Steamhead said, the -80 series is an excellent boiler (I'm biased -- Cedric is a 580). I'd be inclined to replace in kind. But as others have said, see if you can figure out what happened to the old one.

    If you are inclined to a different make or model, make sure to not just check the water line elevation -- match it. Vapour systems in particular are kind of fussy about where the boiler water line ends up.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Mustangman
    Mustangman Member Posts: 92
    EDtheheaterman.. you make a great point with presentation. If you get get infront of the money people, and impress them that you are doing more and doing it right..you may not have to be low bidder. I am old and have a story for about everything. This one is kind of funny.
    I had bid a church job and took my son, who worked for me along to show him how I do it. We get there and they were interviewing another contractor ahead of me...to present what he was offering. The thing to remember... this is a church. We can hear everything being said. So the guy starts off telling them about his boiler of choice. He said.. and I quote " Yes our boilers are made in Indiana buy a faith based boiler company. I started laughing... throwing in that its made by a faith based company at an interview with church people is almost unbelieveable. I couldn't believe it. The next question was " how much money will we save next year by switching boilers. The guy blurts out... 30 to 40 percent. I couldn't believe he said that. Anyhow, I am up next and my son and I went in. I talked a little about the Weil McLain boiler I was going to use. did not throw in the faith based boiler company. So they asked me about savings. I said " I can't tell you if you will save any fuel dollars next season" They all looked at me like I was nuts. I went on to say that I can't tell you if you will save a dime over last year because we can't predict the weather and how hard of a winter we will have. If the winter is mild with fewer heating degree days, you will experience lower fuel costs. If we have a winter that is very cold...the fuel costs will be much higher. They looked at me with their heads tilted sideways like my German Shepherd does when she hears high pitched noises. I could tell they " They got it" and maybe the other guy was full of crap. Finally, I had included a Tekmar outdoor re-set and they wanted to know about that. I said its cruise control for your boiler. By knowing how cold it is, your boiler may not have to run up to 180.... All the sudden, my son chimes in... He says this control is about synergy and everything working together to efficently heat your church. Synergy is a catch word and he jumped on it.
    It ends up we got the job. The joke is, they went with the devils boiler. The job went great and everyone, except the contractor pushing faith based boilers, was happy with the end result.
    As contractors, its amazing what you run into.