Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

American Standard circa 1964 Cast Iron Boiler: Summer setting for single pipe residential steam

Options
RTW
RTW Member Posts: 67

Im going to continue with keeping the oil fired cast iron Boiler Temp on in the summer, but only at 120 degrees (down from 160 degrees in winter) and I Do Not use it for DHW only for heat in cold weather. The tags read 80% efficiency. Ive read in older posts different opinions on shutting off vs keeping on in summer, so I thought I'd put it out for updated opinion. I have good well water, skimmed boiler in past, added main vents, have pipes insulated and balanced venting system that took years of trial and error. Now I have little loss of water that requires a dribble every two weeks - My sole proprietor service tech mentioned boiler should be kept on in summer due to condensation issue in the chimney. I probably should re-pack the valve stems as a Maintenace procedure on these old, but reliable valves - maybe there is some leaking of steam not detectable to the eye?

Regards,

RTW

Comments

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
    Options

    Just turn it off. What is the condensation issue that reportedly exists?

    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    mattmia2
  • RTW
    RTW Member Posts: 67
    Options

    OK - P.S. my little bit of water loss is only during the heating season Not summer where there is no water is lost. I believe at 120 degree setting it turns on maybe 5 or 6 times a day for 2 minutes, then shuts off. I put a call into my service tech just now, left a message, to clarify the condensation issue , if its of real concern?

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,099
    edited May 10
    Options

    So you are firing the boiler 6 times a day for for two minutes during the entire 100+ days of the summer. That comes out to 1200 minutes of firing time. On as oil burner that is firing 1 gallon per hour that is 20 hours of operating time during the summer, that comes out to 20 gallons of fuel oil at over $3.00 per gallon. That is a total of $60.00.

    If it is a gas boiler on LP gas that would be about $70.00 to $80.00 per summer

    If you are burning Natural Gas then maybe $50.00 per summer.

    To what end is this $60.00 benefiting you? Since there are several hundreds of steam boilers that are well over 60 years old still in operations, throughout the northeast portion of the country, that shut off completely for the summer, that would be a savings of over $3000.00 (adjusted for inflation) during the life of the boiler for each of those boiler owners. Folks with newer boilers save at least $1200.00 for those with newer boilers over the life expectancy of those newer boilers.

    @RTW Can I ask you a favor. Send me $50.00 a year and leave the boiler off for the summer. I will then pay you in full, for any damage related to leaving the boiler off during the summer. I will PM you my address to send the cash. I accept cash, checks, Venmo and Zelle for payments.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    mattmia2old_diy_guy
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
    edited May 10
    Options

    btw firing it for 2 minutes and only to 120 degrees is a great way to make condensation various places in the vent.

    Oil has less hydrogen to carbon than methane so it is worse with natural gas but the possibility is still there.

    EdTheHeaterManethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,442
    Options

    At the risk of sounding ridiculous… I just leave the boilers I care for on, with the thermostat set as usual… if it gets cold, they fire. Otherwise they just sit there.

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaulmattmia2dabrakeman
  • RTW
    RTW Member Posts: 67
    Options

    OK - I have turned off boiler with the switch and a note to turn switch back on come next heating season. I believe I read NG fired boilers are prone to condensation, not oil fired, and my service tech hasnt called me back who made the condensation argument to begin with

    Regards

    RTW

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,099
    edited May 11
    Options

    Does this mean you will be sending me that $60.00 you are not spending on oil?🤣

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • RTW
    RTW Member Posts: 67
    Options

    I dont anticipate any damage issues in the Fall based on your qualified opinion so no need for insurance payment is my thought

    Regards,

    RTW

    EdTheHeaterManNeild5