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new to steam!! please help me out

budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
So I am 27 just bought my house and after moving in in the middle of summer was not really concerned about the heat as much as I maybe should have been. house obviously has steam and I want to keep it that way i really like the steam even though i have zero experience with it I have had to warm the house up a couple time and really like it. Plus all the good things you guys say about it. Well hired a company for 2 boiler services and locked in on the good oil price. As soon as the technition came out and took the side panel of my burnham v8 boiler off he said "you need a new boiler" well he was right the boiler needs to be filled after every time I warm up the radiators it uses about half the water everytime. steam coming out of the chimney ect. so I am currently getting quotes for a new boiler and would like some help on maybe someone from this site that installs and also on a choice for boiler. I live in Massachusetts on the nh border.

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Comments

  • jonny88jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Go to find a contractor .Charlie or JA work up there.Piping looks screwed up also .
    Local1Plumber
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    That's what I thought looking at some pictures of nice setups!! Thanks for the reply I just want it done right!! Maybe one of the 2 you mentioned will chime in!!
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,410
    First couple things, welcome to the forum and good on you for wanting to keep the steam! Have you tried the find a contractor link on this site?
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/
    Also for your information that boiler isn't piped correctly so anyone that doesn't suggest fixing the improper piping should be dismissed. Since you have oil the best boiler out there for oil is the Burnham Megasteam. Have you bought any of the steam books from this site? If not I encourage you to do so, they are fantastic reading and a wonderful education on your steam system. For a start you could measure all your radiators and figure out what size boiler you should be looking at. There are several radiator sizing charts available online here is a link to one (start on page 9)
    http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multimedia-library/pdf/weil-mclain-pdf/other-downloads/boiler_replacement_guide.pdf

    If you can't find a rad post here what you have and someone can usually help out.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 5,109
    edited October 2015
    If you are going to stay with oil have a Burnham Megasteam installed. Make sure it is sized right, do not let them determine the size of the new boiler by the size of the old one!!

    Make a list of all the radiators (# of columns or tubes deep, # of columns or rubes across, and overall height), from that info you can determine the sq ft of steam you need. The boiler sq ft of steam should match the total of all the radiators.




    Make sure the new boiler is piped correctly no matter haw the existing boiler is piped. All steam carrying pipes have to be threaded steel, no copper. Copper is fine for any piping below the waterline of the boiler.

    Post more pictures showing how the current boiler connects to the steam pipes, from what I can see that boiler was not properly piped.. Also where do you live, make sure your area does not have water quality problems.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Yes ordered ordered we got steam heat!! Looking forward to reading it. I didn't look on this website yet for a contractor was hoping to find one this way!! I have some company's coming to give me a quote in the next couple days.. Thanks for the reply!
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    I'll get more pics up asap thanks for all the replies so fast is greatly appreciated!!
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,410
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    Not sure if he services your area, but he is great with steam.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • jonny88jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    budpin winter is a comin....Highly recommend reading all the books mentioned above.My suggestion is to get a steam guy from this site as you know it will be done right.There is a lot of work to do on your system and the last thing you need right now is to babysit someone through an install.
    You have a great chance to get it done right but remember theses guys will be getting busy now
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    I'm deff glad I found this site for just that reason!
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,863
    Yep, Charles Garrity (https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating) is your man -- or JA. I work with Charles. He does service your area, and is one of the best. He'll get you right. He's also a pretty busy man...
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    RobGZman
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Well i got an update. Ive had 3 people come and give me quotes well one gave me a quote the other 2 said they need to get back to me on a quote.

    the first company came looked at my boiler told me it was piped incorrectly and that the boiler was to large also said that it needed to have a double header and that the way it was currently piped is incorrect. he also went around the entire house and measured the radiators and told me that i need 250ft of steam. then he sat me down told me the burnham mega steam is the boiler I should go with and that's what they install. he explained why the mega steam was a good product and told me he would get in touch with burnham to try and get me a rebate on the new one because the old one failed and he got denied a rebate from burnham.he also said the mega steam would be slightly over sized for my house but that all oil boilers are going to be. he also got me a price right then and there.

    second company came he went down looked at my boiler and also said it was incorrectly pipped and that the boiler was over sized. I asked him what boiler he suggests and they install the slant fin and that was the best product didnt really get into detail why. He didnt walk around my house and mesure any radiators he said that most houses my size are pretty much the same and that the boiler he suggests would deff supply my house no problem. i get that the boilers are pretty much standard for a residential home but didnt like the non explanation. he then told me he will get back to me with a price via email.

    the third company cam looked at my boiler and also said it was way over sized and that they install I think he said peerless i believe and said its the best one. again really no explanation why just that hes installed so many and yada yada. he said the piping is adequate to my house I asked if he would make it a double header and he said no they would replace all the pipes but a double header is not necessary. He also didnt give me a price and didnt measure my radiators I asked about the vents and he said that as long as the radiators get hot they dont need to be changed. i told him the some radiators get hot faster than others but didnt really say anything just that as long as they get hot they're fine. he told me if i wanted them changed its about 30 a vent and that it would get costly.

    so it seems that the first company was best but they were not the company i wanted to go with they are a big brand name and i had them do my current furnace cleaning and it was a pretty bad cleaning in my opinion. he cleaned the nozzle vacuumed inside the side of the boiler and that was pretty much it. he didnt open the combustion chamber or anything.

    I spoke to one of the guys you guys recommended but he is far away and charges for a quote which i totally understand and he was super honest and sounded very knowledgeable. He told me to send him some pics of everything and he would try and give me a quote that way. so I am really not sure what to do at this point I am not liking my options I still have some time before the really cold weather but I am just not sure what to do. thank you guys for the tips I feel I have already learned so much.
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    I honestly just want a proper install if the drop header isn't crucial I'm OK with that the current setup is silent no banging no popping nothing but you guys seem to know your stuff I've been a part of many forums in my opinion when you join a forum you do your homework and have a real love for what your talking about so I can say I trust you guys if your willing to help me decide what way to go as far as header I'm all ears!
  • BobCBobC Member Posts: 5,109
    I agree with Hat that the quality of the installation is most important, all 3 of those are good boilers. Tell them how you want it piped, it does not cost a lot more to use both outlets and a drop header. Ask them for pictures of steam boilers they have installed.

    A cast iron boiler lasts a long time, it's worth a little extra to have it installed right and will last longer. If you can get Charlie to do the install that would be your best bet, he won't be the cheapest but he will do a great job.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    budpln
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,003
    I'd go with Charles Garrity.

    You're going to be spending an awful lot of money, it's not something to take a chance on.

    Personally, I'd rather hire someone I know is going to do it right.

    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
    budplnKC_JonesSWEIRobG
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Here are the pics they are all 25 inches tall except the very last pic. The second and third pics are the same radiator.
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Charles Garrity is the one I spoke to he sounded like the guy I want but he said hes mega busy and he charges for quotes I know you get what you pay for and I understand his stance on charging for quotes but money is not exactly flowing right now!!
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    ChrisJ said:



    You're going to be spending an awful lot of money, it's not something to take a chance on.

    Personally, I'd rather hire someone I know is going to do it right.

    yes and I have already got burned on the home inspector and that's part of why I'm here talking about a boiler so its very important for me to get the right company.
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43

    budpln said:

    he also went around the entire house and measured the radiators and told me that i need 250ft of steam.

    Since this fellow seems qualified, we'll make a temporary assumption that his 250 EDR calculation is correct.

    If so, this rules out the Burhnam and the SlantFin because both are TOO BIG for your house. Do not let anyone install either boiler.

    The smallest Peerless, 63-03L is your boiler.

    Also, due to the very small size of this boiler, 2" piping is fine. It is so small that you can use a single riser coming up out of the boiler. The velocity is low enough.
    going to look up that boiler right now!
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    I would attempt this myself if it wasn't so close to the cold season! your guys enthusiasm about steam is contagious.
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    noted
  • BioBio Member Posts: 277
    This crown boiler is a good option, it matches you current EDR, is an Energy Star boiler with 85.1% efficiency and they give you the piping kit needed for a quicker installation, it doesn't get any better than that

    http://www.crownboiler.com/documents/kingston_literature.pdf
    http://www.crownboiler.com/documents/kingston_near_boiler_piping_schematic.pdf


    vaporvac
  • vaporvacvaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    The Megasteam 288 is rated for 288sw ft if steam and can probably be downfired to meet the exact edr of your house. I think every gas steamer on this site would covet a MST with conversion burner, but you have an opportunity to install one from the get go. It's a three-pass boiler which not only gives it a huge advantage in efficiency, but in longevity. It's the only boiler to warranty against water corrosion. The entire design is different.
    I wouldn't count out the first company based on a so-so yearly maintenance. They seem to be the only one to have measured your rads and explained the reasons for installing the MST. I'd be curious what they said. Perhaps you could post some pics of their work for a critique.
    I think you can safely eliminate the last company that said if the rads heat, you don't need to worry about main venting. Seriously!
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    So I haven't decided on a contractor yet going to get a couple more quotes. I am half way threw the book and I'm about 95 percent sure that my steam system is piped correctly!! Which is great news I just need a correct size boiler for my house. The current boiler is 512sqft model deff to big for my house! So it just a matter of finding the right contractor with the right boiler man am I glad I found this site!!!!!
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,410
    Can't see your whole system in the pics, but just to reiterate the boiler is definitely NOT piped correctly. Even the way the mains are tied into the boiler isn't correct.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,003
    edited October 2015
    budpln said:

    So I haven't decided on a contractor yet going to get a couple more quotes. I am half way threw the book and I'm about 95 percent sure that my steam system is piped correctly!! Which is great news I just need a correct size boiler for my house. The current boiler is 512sqft model deff to big for my house! So it just a matter of finding the right contractor with the right boiler man am I glad I found this site!!!!!

    What book are you half way through?
    By system are you including the boiler?


    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
    vaporvac
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    we got steam heat! no no the boiler the rest of the system. the way it loops around and the angle of the pipes. anyone size my system?
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    its getting very exhausting trying to figure out witch company to go with I have still only got 2 quotes called numerous company's.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,410
    Could help with the sizing, but really need the depth measurement of each radiator to confirm the sizes. Also you stated they are all 25" tall except the last one, but didn't post how tall the last one actually is.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Sorry it's 18"
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Haven't heard from Charles ja doesn't have his company anymore.
  • SteamownerSteamowner Member Posts: 19
    How is this project coming along? Just when it seemed the cold weather would be here to stay, it's look like the milder air will be around for a bit. That buys you some time.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,410

    How is this project coming along? Just when it seemed the cold weather would be here to stay, it's look like the milder air will be around for a bit. That buys you some time.

    Many times people don't come back to let us know how it went. Sometimes they come back to report they didn't listen and now it is wrong...as we said it would be. Either scenario is very frustrating.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Well after talking to a few contractors I decided on someone. I sent in my paperwork to mass save for a heat loan just waiting to hear back. Only problem with the contractor I choose is he installs Utica boilers only.. It's 82% efficient so I will get no rebate:/ but I honestly trust him he said he has the tools to test my combustion gases and all that. Has allot of people recommend him. He gives a 5 year parts and labor garuntee so I know I will be good for already that time. He's not cheap but you get what you pay for imo
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    I will be doing a full write up of my experience with pictures and all when it is installed I've been a part of many forums and I wouldn't leave you guys hanging like that!!
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,410
    The most important thing for you is that he knows steam. Not many do. Best of luck, we will be anxious to see the new install. If he is really good it's surprising he doesn't use the megasteam, it's the best oil steam boiler out there. I assume he already told you how wrong your piping is?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Yes he did and he said that will all be replaced! He doesn't like the mega steam he believes it will not last and everything I've read has said to let your installer install what he likes and is familiar with so!
    KC_Jones
  • SteamownerSteamowner Member Posts: 19
    budpln said:

    Well after talking to a few contractors I decided on someone. I sent in my paperwork to mass save for a heat loan just waiting to hear back. Only problem with the contractor I choose is he installs Utica boilers only.. It's 82% efficient so I will get no rebate:/ but I honestly trust him he said he has the tools to test my combustion gases and all that. Has allot of people recommend him. He gives a 5 year parts and labor garuntee so I know I will be good for already that time. He's not cheap but you get what you pay for imo

    It's hard to believe an 82% efficient steamer isn't goo enough for a rebate. Mine is 82.4% and I qualified for a $1,900 Mass Save rebate (though mine was strictly for replacing 30 year old boilers) and I got the loan.
    budpln
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Wish I could get that!!!
  • RobGRobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Post photos of the work as it progresses so that if something is being done incorrectly we can catch it a you can get it corrected BEFORE it becomes an issue.
    KC_Jonesbudpln
  • budplnbudpln Member Posts: 43
    Do you think I'm losing steam?? Haha
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