The bottom line is I need help big time with this, and I may end up having to do most of the work myself. I had some great help from members on the site last year when my wife and I first bought our first (and last...... seriously) house and I really appreciated everyones input! Then I disappeared from the site for personal reasons and I apologize for that but now I'm back and will be sticking with this. This link is now on my desktop and I'll be checking, updating regularly as I think I'm in it for the long run. Bare with me on this first long post so a decent picture of what's going on can be established.
Previous short thread:https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/165845/empty-steam-traps-no-internals-why#latest
Why I'm posting this is that I've had 4 heating companies come over and two wanted nothing to do with it as they don't get involved in steam and the other two told me to install a hydronic system. One of those gentleman, I've been told by several of tradies I work along side with, was the 'steam guy'. All were nice guys, all companies were fairly small outfits but my gut feeling after 6 months of research on steam and years of working on equipment tell me this just feels wrong. The only thing that they have all said is that steam is less efficient and you won't get the controllability like you do with hot water. Not one of them has said the system was badly designed or put together, in fact quite the opposite, and yet 'go hydronic' and 'mod cons' are the only option I've been given. I read countless threads on steam efficiency so I understand that every situation is different but this efficiency thing I keep being told seems like kind of a sham.
Project: Bought a small 2000 sq/ft school house from the 30's. Pretty much empty for 35 years. Steam system was last fired up in 1990. About 180,000 Btu's of case iron radiators upstairs and 28,000 Btu's in basement (double fins).
Hurricane Irene flooded this house and the entire basement was underwater plus 4 feet on the first floor. River bed silt has been a battle in clean up.
Fast forward. I spend a little time trying to put the boiler/heating system back into operation, just to see what we had as a system, what was not going to be usable and what was junk. In a nut shell, I kind of failed as I ran out of time with winter last year. I had to use the chimney space to run a stainless wood stove liner so now the old oil burning boiler does not have a flue to exhaust into. The exhaust was 14" in diameter so there was only one place for it to go with those high exhaust temps. Plus when I did the math, the current boiler would have bankrupted us if we were to use it normally.
Current Boiler info: Weil Mclain 582 boiler ----- 540,000 BTU's ------ 5.15 GPH OIL
I disassemble and clean nearly all the components you see in and around the furnace. Had to replace a few also which now is basically a waste of money but its wasn't that much. I replaced the bullnose fitting at the bottom of the Hartford loop as there was a 3" crack across it. That bottom leg had some pretty gross sediment corrosion as expected.
With the help from members from thread above about traps, I purchased some 1972 cage unit for the Warren Webster O2H traps.
Rebuilt and tested burner running 4.0 nozzle (down burning). Worked great. Now I have a fun flamethrower with not use.
I no longer have a fuel supply system so anything is optional for fuel
All this was kind of pointless I know, as I never fired up the system and I couldn't get anyone knowledgeable to help me with it even if I was ready.
I can take as many pictures as people like, answer any question I can and do all the heat calculations of radiator capacity again. My question is why is no one telling me to keep the steam, but ripping out the entire buildings piping and starting again with a water system is the only option being given?
. Is fitting in a new steam boiler into this piping just too difficult?
Please post comments if you believe I'm on the right track and should work with this, installing a new modern steam boiler and needed components. I appreciate options and ideas, contacts and equipment recommendations. I would have loved to have someone do this for me but I'll also take someone just supervising the build if they new what they were doing but didn't want the job of installation itself. I know I really need a steam pro to set this up properly.
Please chip in if you have any insight to anything above. Thanks for any help offered.