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Used coal-boiler installation gone wrong

HeatingHelpHeatingHelp Posts: 301
edited November 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
This discussion was created from comments split from: As the old saying goes ”cant fix stupid”.

Comments

  • leonzleonz Posts: 329Member
    edited November 2018
    I hate to add these photos but I got really really anally unhappy when the plumber and the county plumbing inspector approved this used coal boiler installation.

    The young man has a wife and a crawling daughter rug rat at home.
    The fellow wants to burn good coal to save money.

    The town plumbing inspector told the owner that the only thing wrong was that he needed to repair the clay liner and cement in the chimney thimble/flue.

    He has a lot of work to do to fix the mistakes.

    He is holding back on the balance due as the plumber washed his hands of it since a number of us have told him the plumbing job is not correct.



    If you count at least five you win.





    Being a lay person-city farmer as my dear motherinlaw used to say I have learned a lot about plumbing and steam heat and I save a lot of money burning anthracite in a coal stoker and I no longer burn oil.
    I kicked suburban propain to the curb/wheelie bin as my British friends would say after they let me run out of fuel four times too many.

    My aquaintances cannot understand how I can run my hydronic system with low pressures of 0-12 PSI using my steel compression tank with my 225 foot loop of 3/4" fin tube baseboard. I hate my baseboard and I wish I could afford to install salvaged cast iron radiators to replace the baseboard.

    Thank you Dan, "The Dead Men" were not wrong about steel compression tanks.

    Back to the installation at hand;

    1. no low water cut off
    2. flue pipe inside flue breech
    a. flue pipe is galvanized rather than black stove pipe
    b. barometric damper is not level within the flue pipe.
    3. no black stove pipe clean out Tee at flue breech, elbow at top should be a stove pipe tee with cap or plug to allow easy cleaning of horizontal flue pipe run to chimney thimble and chimney to allow for easy brushing and vacuuming.
    4. incorrectly installed automatic air vent
    a. it should not be there
    b. never install an automatic air vent and air scoop in an installation with a steel compression tank as the automatic air vent will remove all the air cushion in the steel compression tank
    5. piping to steel compression tank exiting bottom of air scoop; it must be plumbed from the top of the air scoop to work well
    6. too small an air scoop/tapping for steel compression tank
    7. no air vent drain cock for steel compression tank
    8. hydrolevel 3250 plus is not installed remotely/the original harman controls were placed around the corner on the metla skin that has insulation behind it and the bulb for the immersion well for the Johnson controls package was simply placed in the well and clamped into place.
    9. blow off relief valve is not installed directly in steam chest
    10. most of the near boiler piping is copper
    11. back flow preventer is not plumbed to dump away from boiler
    12. boiler power switch is on top of boiler steam chest
    13. boiler triple gauge has no name or address of manufacture
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,873Member
    Why do you not like near boiler piping to be copper?

    I will add flow check in wrong place, circulator in wrong place.

    I'm still not sure why you love compression tanks so much, but that is ok. I've services many bladder type tanks which have been in service 30+ years.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,873Member
    I operate my personal system at 18psi cold, and Extrol tank is sized that its 22psi when the boiler is 200F, which happens occasionally.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • leonzleonz Posts: 329Member

    Why do you not like near boiler piping to be copper?



    I will add flow check in wrong place, circulator in wrong place.



    I'm still not sure why you love compression tanks so much, but that is ok. I've services many bladder type tanks which have been in service 30+ years.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Speaking as a lay person; finding solder joints leaking/turning green is the main reason I do not like copper in near boiler piping plus having to spend $10.00 a year on air vents that fail and leak plus installing a ball valve to shut th ewater flow off to the air vent to enable me to replace it is one more reason and I have spent enough on air vents to purchase my steel compression tank in 33 years.

    Its just like Dan says in his writing, they are just hanging up in the ceiling just doing thier job silently for years just like the one in his home.

    I like steel compression tanks and the airtrol valves for the simple reason they are simple, have no moving parts, no bladder to perforate, the air blanket volume is much greater the water volume is 2/3's the volume of the steel compression tank, it hangs in the ceiling, my heating system circulator can operate from 0 P.S.I.G. to 12 P.S.I.G. and back to Zero P.S.I.G., my water temperature stays between 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 180 degrees when it dumps into the heating loop and back down again to 140 degrees using 54 gallons of water in my system.

    If I did not know that my system was drawing -5 HG water column at my vacuum gauge at the inlet side of the circulator I would not have known there was a problem.
    The return to boiler sump header pipe temperature was way off and this required the tightening of the gauge glass packings and adding back water to create a zero HG water column.
    I added water back into the system achieved a zero Hg. water column pressure gradient and then drained the excess water out of the steel compression tank and the steel compression tank regained the proper volume of 1/3 air 2/3 water to circulate the hot water at zero P.S.I.G.
    The system has worked well with the B+G NRF 25 circulator running at speed one pushing 12 G.P.M. to the tee and splitting off to the two sides of the house.

    I do not think the dead men made a mistake. Slab on grade architecture is the major reason we have bladder tanks in smaller homes with no basements or steam heat.

    My thoughts anyway.
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