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RESIDENTIAL Steam Boiler Videos

One-Pipe Steam Boiler – Part 1

PART 1 Transcription:

“We’re here this morning at a residential property working on a one pipe steam system.

The initial call from the homeowner was for some steam baseboards that were leaking.  They weren’t original to the house.  The house was constructed in 1929.  And when we looked into the problems with the leaks from the baseboards that were installed sometime later, we realized that some important things were done wrong when they were installed that actually caused  the leaks.

The homeowner also had an issue with the boiler constantly filling with water, constantly banging and clanging noises. So I want to show you what we are doing today. This is a replacement boiler, which may not be the first replacement in this house given the age of the home, but it’s at a level that the original boiler would have never been at.

So one important thing on all steam systems, especially older one-piper systems, is where’s the water-level of the boiler? That’s in order to make sure you don’t have flooding problems from the time it goes from one cycle to the next – with feeding water and not bringing it back in time. In addition, older boilers had what we call a larger volume of water and a large steam chest in the top. But newer cast iron boilers don’t have as much water quantity, and they don’t have as large a steam chest. So our solution that we are going to try to use to rectify this homeowners issue is to add a surge tank that will take up the extra volume of condensate. We’re also going to change the pressures that this boiler operates at.

When originally installed, this boiler was installed with a standard pressure control that comes with new boilers. The problem is on old one-pipe steam systems the pressures that the boiler turns off and on at can not be adequate when regulated with one of these. We see that this has been changed in the past, likely not because there was anything wrong with the pressure control but because they were seeing these exact issues and didn’t know what was causing them. So we are going to install a vapor-stat, which will allow us to dial in better the pressures that the boiler cycles on and off at. Hopefully when we’re done, this homeowner will have the one-pipe steam system that functions correctly again.”

One-Pipe Steam Boiler – Part 2

PART 2 Transcription:

“We’re back at the residence where we are repairing a single pipe steam system. We removed the steam baseboard, installed some new cast iron radiators, and made the changes we spoke about to the boiler. (see Part 1 video) Let’s go downstairs and take a look at the surge tank, and we added the Vaporstat controller. The system seems to be working perfectly now. Nice smooth operation. We have the Vaporstat, which allows the boiler to run at approximately one-and-a-half PSI, and once it shuts off, it drops down to about a quarter of a pound before it turns the burner back on. The surge tank was installed – connected to the boiler, to the return line, allowing it to take up some of the water volume from the boiler so the boiler doesn’t overfill once the system shuts down and the condensate is brought back. The boiler is quiet. There is no more banging. The owner seems extremely happy with the end result.”