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hybird steam system help

clammy Member Posts: 3,094
Recently went to a call one of our largest accounts burning the most oil in there case a bill i couldn't not foot myself .but here's the question this home has 2 pipe rads and a very large air handler with 3 large steam coils all the old pneumatic control valves are jammed open with vise grip long before i appeared .There are also some huge externally mounted tube and shell heat exchangers hanging off the rear supply and return piping with a gravity re circ for domestics hot water there's also a 300 gallon brass storage tank hanging way up in the cieling now here's the question all if not most of the returns come back to the boiler room drop down below the water line and indivual tie into the return piping to the boiler there is a one pipe system serving the basement rads who,s piping runs through the boiler room the rads are feed from under the floor in a steam condensate flow in the same direction then termenate by the rest of the return piping only to head to a condensate pump i would like to get rid of the pump would and could a seperate false water line be built to enable gravity flow into the returns piping or am i only wishfully thinking . The boiler in this home is a hb smith #44 12 section with a edr of 8920 with 6000 erd going to rads and about 1500 going to the fan coil . I believe the complete system was installed about 1915 and these babies are original .Every time i get a service call for this place i go there get them going and then wonder where you start working and that's after the abstoces removal and there's alot i always tell the ho one day it's all going to go and this ain't no 1 month project by the way there are two of these boiler and one's already out of service and a boiler room that seat about 15 ft below the basement floor .Thanks for any ideas i know one day i will be faced with either doing it or walkin away peaceclammy
R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
NJ Master HVAC Lic.
Mahwah, NJ
Specializing in steam and hydronic heating


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,725
    Measure the \"A\" dimension

    between the lowest steam-carrying pipe on that basement zone and the boiler's waterline. That lowest pipe might be the return from those rads where it enters the boiler room. You're looking for about 28 inches.

    If you have this amount or more, the pump can be removed. Note that when the boiler is replaced, the waterline will probably be lower than that on the present Smith. This may let you remove the pump.

    A False Water Line is used to raise the water level in a return, not lower it.

    If they're running that huge boiler to produce domestic hot water thru the shell-and-tube units, you might suggest using an indirect. Since the heat exchanger on the indirect is within the tank, it won't lose nearly as much heat.

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  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    a dimension

    Thanks steam head there isn,t no 28 inches and my thinking was way off the tube and shell aren,t being used they have a 70 galllon oil fires hot water heater .The condensate pump there just drives me nuts it's always leaking and the ho doesn't seem to mind but it bugs me there's so much negelect there that just repairing the boiler is insane and a replacement is huge bucks like upwards of close to 1 million with remove and instalation of new boilers and a large air handler with a complete dampering system and a couple of large output coils it's been purposed but the ho just squezes by each year to see the boiler room is quite a sight very impressive even today as for when in it's prime it was awesome .This home even had a snow melt for the front circlar driveway piped off a old weil with a 3 way valve by passing supply water to the return quite awesome even saw the stell manifold going through the foundation all the bleeder where tapped into the ells and manual bleed fitting where mounted at eye level for easier bleeding .It's one of those job that always amazes ya thank you steamhead peace clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177
    photo op.

    YOU should have taken some photo's of the system. maybe next time
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