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oddly piped indirect off of a steamer

GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
a good customer is buying a home and wanted me to case out the ac. This caught my eye; seems like a newb got their hands on this. I hate being the alarm guy when everything seems to be doing its job. Would you call this semi-lame or extra lame? Water dumping into the top of the boiler.
Gary Wilson
Wilson Services, Inc
Northampton, MA
www.wilsonph.com
[email protected]

Comments

  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356Member
    ...along with a CI wet rotor circ that probably won't last very long.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,131Member
    Boiler's looking pretty rough- maybe time for a new one with proper indirect tappings.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,914Member
    Why is the base of the chimney all wet looking.
    Also looks like water stain on the floor around the tank. Could this be from an unlined chimney?
    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
  • GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
    It's an interior chimney so I'm guessing it's unlined. I really wasn't asked to get into the heating system issues, the lady wanted a quote for new ac. I felt it would be pushing the envelope to start getting a list going for something she wasn't asking for.

    I've seen lots of indirect piping on steam boilers but I've never seen water getting dropped into the top like this. Always something new under the sun
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • kcoppkcopp Posts: 3,325Member
    Always a tough call....
    I do believe there is a sticker on the SS Contender that states...."not to be used on Open heating systems".... That is a Open heating system. Its not going to last.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 7,863Member
    If the prospective owner wants to know about the A/C, then they will also want to know about the condition of the boiler, and DHW.--NBC
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,706Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Gary, isn't that the air-separator tapping (if they were using hot water)? That has to be affecting the quality of the steam when both steam and the indirect are running.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Dan FoleyDan Foley Posts: 1,171Member
    The vent damper is installed wrong.

    - DF
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,914Member
    Dan Foley said:

    The vent damper is installed wrong.

    - DF

    Wow, good catch.

    GW now you have to notify them, this is a serious safety concern. While you're on the subject, mention the indirect.
    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
  • JohnNYJohnNY Posts: 2,293Member
    edited April 2016
    Is that a black coupling on the water heater's relief valve? And what's going on with that strap on aquastat on the steam supply?
    For installations, troubleshooting, and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
  • GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
    Dan H yes that's where the relief goes, looks like the steam newb simply plopped a tee there and got an easy spot for the water heater return. That was the initial motivation to post the pics, i thought is was odd to sprinkle return water from the top of the boiler.

    Johnny yes, isn't this common on all boilers? I always see black fittings on the relief (couplings, elbow, nips). It looks like the installer is running his dhw boiler call through the strap on. Which is kinda stupid cause once hot that pipe will stay hot for a spell, killing the burners.

    Dan F do you mean draft hood? I now see theres a height issue. Good eyes.

    NBC yes it's a tough call, I'll point these issues out ever so gently, she already laid out an ac budget and says "I don't have any more money". I'm kinda guessing she could find some if she needed to though.

    Kcoop thanks I'll need to stick my head into the manual and see what it says. In any case it will probably stay put until it dies. At that point I could repipe the weirdness.

    Thanks all, Gary
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 7,863Member
    She may be able to back out of the purchase, if she knows about these problems.--NBC
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,914Member
    The damper interferes with the spill switch and the function of the drafthood if the damper fails to open and yet somehow allows the burner to light.

    The burner's going to spew CO into the room.

    One of the functions of a drafthood is to allow normal operation of the burner in a blocked flue situation. The spill switch would also end up tripping, shutting the burner down.

    All of that is out the window right now if that damper fails to open and it's switch fails to do it's job.
    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
  • Dan FoleyDan Foley Posts: 1,171Member
    Dan F do you mean draft hood? I now see theres a height issue. Good eyes.


    Gary, the vent damper should be installed above the draft hood, not directly on the boiler.
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    GW you need to bring this stuff up to the potential owner. If you don't, and she makes the purchase. When problems occur, and they will. You will be the one who was there, and never said a word.

    That damper is a bad situation.

    Send the buyer here we will back you up.

  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    ChrisJ said:

    The damper interferes with the spill switch and the function of the drafthood if the damper fails to open and yet somehow allows the burner to light.

    The burner's going to spew CO into the room.

    One of the functions of a drafthood is to allow normal operation of the burner in a blocked flue situation. The spill switch would also end up tripping, shutting the burner down.

    All of that is out the window right now if that damper fails to open and it's switch fails to do it's job.


    Exactly!
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    GW said:

    It's an interior chimney so I'm guessing it's unlined. I really wasn't asked to get into the heating system issues, the lady wanted a quote for new ac. I felt it would be pushing the envelope to start getting a list going for something she wasn't asking for.



    I've seen lots of indirect piping on steam boilers but I've never seen water getting dropped into the top like this. Always something new under the sun


    It is a tough call if baby needs new shoes Gary. All though it's a tougher call to read about an incident in the paper, or see it in the news. You can't go back on that stuff. It's a safety issue. No replay once played.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,070Member
    The vent damper needsto be disclosed, it is warm enough to red tag it without indangering the house temperature wise.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,070Member
    Taking the high ground and disclosing the issues can 1 get you work, 2 loose you a customer, or 3 tick off the realtor and their client. But not disclosing it pre-purchase could hurt you in the eye of your client.later when this chicken comes home to roost.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
    Ok I'll bring it up. The boiler looks dumpy so I really don't want to touch it unless I can overhaul the whole thing. I see your point on the damper.

    She had a home inspector there as well, I'm positive it was on his radar becuse the realtor lady asked me if I could "make a cover for the burners". To that I said no.

    Thanks, Gary
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Posts: 1,948Member
    Wonder if the aquastat on the steam supply is there to kill the burner in the summer when all you want is hot water and not heat.
  • GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
    Yes that's my guess but what a weird place to put it. I need to find the right time and place to being all this stuff up, I hate sounding like a person trying to drum stuff up. Nobody likes "that guy".
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 5,784Member
    If this is a good customer and you have a good relationship, I believe she would appreciate you bring up these issues. It may help her in negotiations on the price if the deal isn't already done.

    My son was looking at houses to buy, he told his mother he didn't want me to look at them because, "the old man would pick everything apart and point out all that was wrong that he could see".......so on the last house he had me come along. He ended up buying the house he lives in and was renting from us.

    Not everyone wants to hear bad news.

    Another relative buying a house wanted me to go along for the very reason of nit-picking on everything.
  • GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
    Yes I can appreciate that, it's just the unsolicited comments that can be on the fence. We are doing the ac next week, a fair amount of work, she popped for the higher end equipment too. I'll figure out a way to bring up the topic
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Posts: 2,465Member
    A first for me - seeing a vent damper installed beneath the hood. Wow. Every company should have checks and balances to make sure things like that never happen.
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • SDSteamSDSteam Posts: 13Member
    Is that a flue gas exhaust stain coming out of where the return piping enters the boiler? Almost looks like a ghost of a flame....
  • GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
    More sweetness on the clunker. We finished up the ac today. The ho is on Martha's Vineyard for another month or so, I'm sure I'll get a chance at some point to share the bad news. She just spent a bunch so I have to pace myself.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Paul S_3Paul S_3 Posts: 1,257Member
    edited May 2016
    dry returns connected above the water line, bullheaded tee
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    [email protected]
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
  • GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
    Yes indeed
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Paul S_3Paul S_3 Posts: 1,257Member
    I would definitely inform her...
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    [email protected]
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
  • GWGW Posts: 3,428Member
    One job done, one to go
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
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