Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

New Boiler install (edit) passed inspection :)

ethicalpaul
ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
edited December 2020 in Strictly Steam
(see this thread for the installation details). I made a new thread because this one is going to be interesting on its own.

I had my plumbing inspection this morning. It started out really great. The inspector even had affixed the inspection sticker on the boiler.

But then he said "wait, I don't like this, I'm taking this off" and he tore off the sticker. He was pointing at the flue pipe. It has a reduction from 6" to 5" on it which I SWEAR came from Peerless (this is their smallest boiler, the 63-03L).

But I didn't have my paper manual (I stupidly misplaced it) and he then said "I also need that to be here during the inspection". That one's on me :sweat_smile:

THEN he told me my backflow preventer had to have water pressure on it 24/7. I have mine with a ball valve on either side of it, which I felt was even safer and protected me from flooding in case the BFP started venting spontaneously. I asked why it would be required that the BFP always see water pressure, and he just said "that's how they work". He also said that the BFP would definitely start dripping because I had it under the water line. I don't see how 1.5 psi can cause the BFP to leak but whatever, it's easy enough to raise it.

THEN he looked at my water seal for my controls and he said that too was a violation because that's not how Peerless says to do it. He said my water seal will clog (it's 3/4" and has tees with plugs for flushing). I suggested that pigtails clog a lot easier, but he wasn't interested :). He also told me that it would void my warranty. I laughed and said that ship sailed as soon as I installed it myself :lol:

THEN he added that my drop header was a violation because that's not how Peerless says to pipe it. I told him he should have seen the boiler I took out of service! He said if I can get approval from Peerless he'll approve it.

So watch out in Cedar Grove, @EzzyT and @Dave0176 for your double drop headers and control seals on Peerless boilers!

Interestingly, he didn't even mention the sight glasses!!! Like they weren't even there. He didn't seem like he was trying to "ding" me. His explanation was that he must inspect according to manufacturer spec because he is on the line if there's a failure of some kind. I can understand that so I'll try to work to get the approval that way.

Issue summary:
- Paper manual not on hand (I have to find it)
- Flue pipe is reduced (I will see if it came that way from Peerless)
- Remove valve (or handle) from upstream BFP valve (OK whatever)
- Raise BFP above water line (OK whatever)
- Water seal for controls supposedly out of manufacturer spec (I'll appeal to Peerless)
- Drop header out of spec (I'll appeal to Peerless)
1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
«134

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,627
    There are some uneducated comments on the part of your inspector...that stinks.

    I really hope Peerless will be on your side with the drop header.

    The BFP comment about water line, makes absolutely no sense. He is suggesting that the head of water in the boiler will overwhelm the city water pressure, yeah sure it will....
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaul
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 980
    I wouldn't criticize the guy online if you still need to pass inspection. The inspection dept. might put you on their "list" of people to give tours of bureaucratic hell.
    ethicalpaulfenkelmattmia2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    edited December 2020
    SlamDunk said:

    I wouldn't criticize the guy online if you still need to pass inspection. The inspection dept. might put you on their "list" of people to give tours of bureaucratic hell.

    I don't think I've criticized him here, and I don't plan to. I think he is trying to adhere to the code using the manufacturer's specs and that is fair. I will work in the system to see if I can show him my install meets that spec. He said he'd accept a letter from Peerless about the drop header :)
    KC_Jones said:

    There are some uneducated comments on the part of your inspector...that stinks.

    I really hope Peerless will be on your side with the drop header.

    The BFP comment about water line, makes absolutely no sense. He is suggesting that the head of water in the boiler will overwhelm the city water pressure, yeah sure it will....

    Well, that is what the BFP's entire purpose is, to make sure that can't happen. And in my town, at my house, believe it or not, there are times when the city water actually draws a vacuum.

    So I understand the requirement of the BFP, but what he's saying is that I actually have to remove my valve that is upstream of the BFP. That is the boggling part to me. But it's easy.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    edited December 2020
    Ironman said:

    Manufacture specs are the MINIMUM piping requirements. A drop header exceeds those and more than meets code.

    Another bureaucrat with just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

    As he told me when I asked him politely about the BFP, he's a plumber with 30 years' experience. I don't have any reason to doubt his knowledge or credentials, but his steam knowledge might be slimmer. He didn't seem to understand what the purpose of the drop header was (he asked me), but it was hard to know exactly what his thinking was--his explanations always went back to the manufacturer spec.

    I told him how the drop header helps to separate water from steam and that I had a video showing my boiler with water getting thrown up to the riser after the drop. He said "that's what skimming is for". I agreed with that, but reiterated to him that the drop header works to help that separation regardless of water condition, etc.

    He must know that Burnham shows a drop header in its manual...maybe he was trying to "ding" me :)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 1,907
    Contact his / her Stupervisor and ask for clarification!
    ethicalpaul
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 2,691
    edited December 2020
    I think inspectors get a little nervous with homeowner installations.

    I don't mean to be critical, but exchanges like this
    He also told me that it would void my warranty. I laughed and said that ship sailed as soon as I installed it myself
    will not make inspectors more relaxed.

    I just started looking at your installation thread and your work is exemplary. The drop header and sight glasses are fantastic!
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    I agree with you completely @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes. I have no defense except "I am what I am" :sweat_smile:

    Thank you so much for the kind words about my installation, they really mean a lot to me! It's easy for me to do decent work when I find a topic interesting. I guess if I didn't find it interesting I would have hired it out :)

    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,627
    Paul you just need to move to PA, we don't inspect the installs. LMAO
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaulluketheplumberapexmech
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    edited December 2020
    OK so question: Can anyone reading this give me a friendly contact at Peerless for maybe tech support?

    I'm hoping to get from them:
    - verification that they are OK with a drop header (if they are)
    - verification that they are OK with a water seal for the controls (if they are)
    - - verification that they sent me the 6" to 5" reducer with my boiler (I found the document that shows this part)

    I promise not to drive the nice person crazy.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    It's hilariously ironic that if only I had my documents right there (I had filed them away), I could have shown him the flue reducer in the information from Peerless, and he wouldn't have had time to think more about those other things while he was waiting for me to look for it :lol:

    A valuable lesson! An idle inspector is the devil's workshop!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    Zmanforesthillsjd
  • SlowYourRoll
    SlowYourRoll Member Posts: 125
    as far as the vent diameter goes, wouldn't he need to do calculations and look things up to determine the proper diameter? not sure this will sway the inspector, but you could always look up the minimum diameter here (https://inspectapedia.com/chimneys/Chimney_Flue_Size_Requirements.php) or ask which building codes he's using to get at that number. at least in the codes from that link the diameter is a function of draft hood diameter, chimney height, chimney building material, boiler BTUH, whether the flue includes both the boiler and HWH, stuff like that. he might just say 6" cause it's a hassle looking up which installs could work with 5"
    ethicalpaulmattmia2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    Thanks @SlowYourRoll!

    His concern here was fair. He felt that I had added that reducer myself for convenience. He said he's never seen a manufacturer ship a reducer and that the manufacturer size must be followed all the way to the chimney.

    I think all that is valid. The only thing missing was the piece of paper from Peerless that specifically called out the reducer. And I think the reason they supply that piece of paper is because this thinking from the inspector is totally normal and reasonable.

    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,185
    30+ years ago you could smoke just about anywhere, certainly on most construction sites.
    My electrical inspector could not stand being around cigarette
    smoke (like me today), so to get him to move to a different part of the job, I could just light up a smoke. He spent less time looking at things. He was one who really picked thru things and would call you if there was 1 extra wire in a box.

    Also knowing about their hobbies and interests was helpful.
    One was keen about horses,
    one was into old cars,
    and one was just a talker.
    ethicalpaulratioZmanluketheplumber
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    Yep that's the one! On my manual, that page is an addendum. But my boiler sat in my garage for a year.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    Gerry Hogan, real nice guy, is training director, he may have some ppt slides or info to send you.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    I thank you very much!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,555
    @ethicalpaul

    Usually no need for a BFP on steam unless you have an auto feeder
    CLambethicalpaulNew England SteamWorksAMservices
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 84
    I have heard somewhere on this forum that New Jersey code inspectors are required to cite the violated part of the code when rejecting work. Is this so? Did the Cedar Grove inspector do so? I'm really curious about this because I am presently setting up a replacement boiler in my home in Scotch Plains.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    @ethicalpaul Usually no need for a BFP on steam unless you have an auto feeder
    This makes sense to me. When I applied for my permit, the inspector called me and told me I needed to have a BFP. He never asked if I had an autofeeder. I think I got played 😅

    CLamb said:
    I have heard somewhere on this forum that New Jersey code inspectors are required to cite the violated part of the code when rejecting work. Is this so? Did the Cedar Grove inspector do so? I'm really curious about this because I am presently setting up a replacement boiler in my home in Scotch Plains.

    That is my understanding. My guy did not do that. He just told me verbally what he didn’t like. Are you installing it yourself? 
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,675
    "installed per manufacturer's instructions"
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,555
    All inspectors in all states are supposed to tell you what statute or rule is violated. In Massachusetts they are supposed to do that in writing. But it doesn't make sense to piss off the inspectors, especially if your a contractor who has to do business with them often.

    I was never afraid to question them if I thought they were wrong and they usually don't take offence if you know the code

    In my 46 years I have only seen that once (violations in writing)

    As far a a BFP my understanding is without a feeder it isn't required. The valve is only open while you are filling the boiler.

    A hot water boiler with a PRV is different as many leave the PRV live all the time
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,391
    I'd have passed it, decades ago... but folks are right: don't poke the bear. At least when I was inspecting stuff -- the old National Code -- it was contradictory in places, with the result that if you poked the bear it was almost always possible to find something to quote!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaulIronman
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    mattmia2 said:
    "installed per manufacturer's instructions"
    You are saying this is the part of the code that will sting me? If so, I don’t disagree. It could. 

    Guess I should have bought a Burnham, they have a drop header option in their manual 😃
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,675
    I'm sure the manual has fine print that allows for alternative piping. I was just citing the section of the code...
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    edited December 2020
    mattmia2 said:
    I'm sure the manual has fine print that allows for alternative piping. I was just citing the section of the code...
    Gotcha. The peerless manual doesn’t seem to. It says “install piping like this” and shows a standard header.

    interestingly it does only say the Hartford loop is just “recommended”!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,171

    @ethicalpaul

    Usually no need for a BFP on steam unless you have an auto feeder

    In New Jersey it’s a requirement.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    NJ Master HVACR Lic# 4630
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    Thanks @Dave0176 I feel a lot better about it now! Ever have a problem with a drop header or water seal like I did?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 319
    I'm going off of memory....but doesn't the page in the manual on header piping have a sentence in italics saying something like "see PB Heat Survey and Piping Recommendations Guide" for additional information?

    Maybe that has something on the drop Header and other optional configurations.  Food for thought.
    ethicalpaul
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,313
    Nothing in there about drop header. I checked. 
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    Thanks @AdmiralYoda and @STEAM DOCTOR

    I checked too. But that Survey document is pretty good!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 84


    That is my understanding. My guy did not do that. He just told me verbally what he didn’t like. Are you installing it yourself? 

    Yes, I am installing it myself.

    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    edited December 2020
    Ok I feel much safer now that I have a pigtail on there instead of that sketchy 3/4” water seal!!

    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,675
    just leave it on top of the boiler to put back on as soon as the inspector leaves
    SuperTechSTEVEusaPAethicalpaul
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,624
    I didn't read all the comments here but the inspector is right about the backflow preventer. Don't let anyone tell you he isn't.

    Higher pressure on the inlet of any BFP is what holds the diaphragm(s) or check(s) closed. Shut the water valve on the inlet and the source of pressure becomes the load side: in this case, the boiler. Yes, a positive shut off is best but any application where a BFP is specified it cannot be isolated from the water supply system by an appliance control valve. He can't let that go, he's the inspector.

    I'd like to see you nail him on the other stuff though. Good luck.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 2,779
    Thanks @JohnNY, I’m glad to learn that, But it seems weird—if the city water pressure is holding it closed, then how can it hold back the other side of pressure is lost (or less) on the city side?

    That’s the exact condition the BFP is supposed to protect against
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,624
    If pressure is lost on the city side then fluid from the appliance side flows out of the vent. I’m not sure I’ve answered your question. Again, all highly unlikely and a reliable positive shutoff makes all of this theoretical failure something of a fairy tale. 
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
    ethicalpaul
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,492

    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
    ethicalpaul
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!