New Peerless boiler advice

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Old 08-07-08, 01:03 PM
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Question New Peerless boiler advice

I’m sorry if this is long winded (trying to get everything in). I’ve been monitoring this forum for a while now, and think it’s great. I now am in need of some advice myself, and hope one (or more) of the pro’s can assist. I have gotten bids to replace the boiler to my mother’s home, and would like some advice on which way to go. I’ve already posed for advicee on hvac-talk, and gotten some great input. Trying to get as many viewpoints as possible.

Current system: Oil fired Crown Montego 113,000 btu (Net) with tankless coil and Wayne burner (1.3 gph) – installed circa 1975 – same age as house. System has two zones with B&G P100 pumps. ľ” copper fine tube radiation. Uses about 1100-1200 gal of oil per year. She has well water. Natural draft up chimney flue. House is a ranch with approx. 1950 Sq. Ft of living space with unfinished basement, and 1.5 baths. 2 people on average in home. NY Hudson valley area.

I’ve gotten 4 proposals from different vendors:

- Her oil Co. (Service current boiler) - Peerless WBV03WPCT with either Beckett or Riello (also offered Buderus) with Peerless Indirect 40
- HVAC vendor - Peerless WBV04 (125) with either Beckett or Riello (also offered Buderus) with Superstor Ultra 45
- Plumber - Burnham V84 with Beckett with Superstor Ultra 50
- Other oil Co. - Weill Mclain WGO with Beckett or Riello (also offered EK)

I’m looking for (1) reliability; (2) efficiency ; (3) job cost

No one would do a heat loss analysis or Manual J. Her oil Co. at least added up all the radiation and used the btu multiplier to come to approx. 91,000 btu/hr.
I did my own heat-loss using the Crown site, and came to approx. 72,000 btu/hr heat loss on coldest day.

My thinking is this:

Peerless boiler and Riello F5 burner (they are comfortable inst./servicing them), with Superstor Ultra 45 due to lifetime warranties (except burner), and from what I’ve read very good products in their category with decent efficiency. Tried to get Carlin EZ burner, but no one really offered or seemed to install/service them here.
My main issue is which Peerless, WBV03 or WBV04. I’m concerned about short cycling, and which one is an overall better boiler. Should boiler size be based on the heat-loss with DHW priority, which would favor the 03 (at 90 or 114,000 net), or on the indirect recovery, which might favor the 04 (at 102 or 131,000 net)? My problem with the 04 at 102,000 is it requires a “special” tip, and I much prefer standard equipment. Can the WBV03 at 90,000 net provide enough for heat and DHW (with priority), or should I go with the 114,000 (where I’m concerned with short cycling, especially since it is a lower water content boiler than the 04?

Also, what temp should the combo boiler/indirect temps be set for efficiency/reliability/comfort?


I’d appreciate any advice with my choice……………Thanks for your time and input
 
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Old 08-07-08, 01:38 PM
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You need to start with a heat loss. Sounds like one was not done. This will make sure the boiler is not oversized which costs more money to operate.
Here is a site that explains well why you need a heat loss.
www.comfort-calc.net/home-page.html
To have the boiler installed without on is like the difference between science and pulling a boiler out of a barrel.
 
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Old 08-07-08, 01:39 PM
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Hello,

I hope you are ready for this.

You will probably get at least 5 different answers here. We all have our own opinion.

I personally like the peerless boilers. It is one of my favorites right now. It is cost effective, good efficiency, easy to work on, and has a better warranty than some other competitors.


The method I use to size boilers tells me you need 68,250 heating btu/s and I add 25,000 for indirect hot water heater. Total comes to 93,250 btu's

Most of the guys on this site say my method is too high, so you can definitely use the WBV03 to meet your needs. I installed the same exact system in my mom's home approx. 9 yrs ago and it is still working fine. She also has a ranch about the same size as yours.

Personally, I like beckett burners, but that all depends on your location and what the heat techs in your area are using. There is also nothing wrong with Riello. I have serviced many of them.

Ideally your boiler temp should be around 180* as the baseboard is designed for that temperature. If you run it cooler, you would need more baseboard to complete the project.
 
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Old 08-07-08, 02:48 PM
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Thumbs up

Pumbingod (Mark), thanks for your reply and input. I feel pretty comfortable now going with the WBV03 at 90,000. I would go with the Beckett, but I read in some posts that Beckett's tend to run "dirtier", especially with pin-style boilers, and they are a bit less reliable than Riello's. I don't know if newer versions of Becketts have improved. I know Beckett parts are easier to get and less expensive, but I'm more concerned with reliability, and keeping the boiler running smooth at max efficiency. Like you said, everyone has an opinion. Maybe you can convince me on the Beckett, since I'd prefer going American if it meets the standard.

Thanks again, Al
 
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Old 08-07-08, 02:54 PM
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Well, the biggest thing with Beckett is the simplicity and availability of parts and technicians. Not everyone in my area knows how to work on Reillo burners because they were never a huge seller. I used to be a Carlin fan, but for a while everyone was screwing them up, thats why the market in NH went to Becket.
 
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Old 08-07-08, 03:02 PM
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Relatively short answer/opinion:

boiler: WBV03 with 0.6 gph nozzle.

burner: couldn't tell ya. Clueless about oil burners.

indirect: the Peerless Partner appears to be a rebadged HTProducts SuperStor Ultra. Generally well-regarded. The 40gal model should serve you well. Priority on the indirect. Add an anti-scald tempering valve (e.g. Taco i-Series or Sparco/Honeywell). Keep the tank at 140F and temper to ~105-115F for the fixtures.

Also consider an outdoor reset control while you're at it. They work.

And while you're at it, get rid of the electricity-sucking B&G pumps and go with something like a Taco 007 or Grundfos 15-58. That decision alone will pay back in pretty short order.

Good for you for doing a lot of homework and good luck!
 
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Old 08-07-08, 03:38 PM
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Wink

Thanks! This is great info.

Plumbingods, point taken. I will make sure they can properly service the Riello, or I'll stick with Beckett.

Xiphias, I know what your saying with the .6, but I probably wouldn't go with that because it requires a "special" tip, consulting factory for availability. I think my best bet is the .85 for a reasonable medium, and if the boiler short cycles at that, then consider the .6.

I figured the Peerless was a re-badged Superstor, but it (Peerless) uses Polyeurathane for an insulator (which tends to off-gas), and my mother is sensitive to chemicals. SuperStor uses CFC free Polystyrene (much less of a problem).

Mixing valve and outdoor reset are excellent suggestions, but are they reliable? How long does a mixing valve typically last? Does outdoor reset increase wear and tear on boiler? I'm trying to get a system in place that is set and forget except for annual maintenance (obviously components go over time, but trying to max that time).
 
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Old 08-07-08, 04:11 PM
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Also, small nozzles plug up easily. Have more problems.

Mixing/tempering valves are a requirement in my city, and the best thing you can do for your system. Constant temperature. Taco and Honeywell both make them and work great. Should last 10+ yrs unless you have really bad water. It also can increase your hot water volume by turning up the temp a little in the tank to 160-180 and then set the house temp to 130* max. as per IPC code.

I haven't done much with outdoor sensors yet. Sorry no help here.
 
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Old 08-07-08, 07:24 PM
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Good advice on the nozzle and the tempering valve.

On the outdoor reset. There are a bunch of different flavors and they range in complexity. Probably the closest option to 'set and forget' with good quality and easy/no maintenance would be to use a Taco Switching Relay (SR) to control the space heating zone circulators and the indirect. They make an "EXP" version of the SR that includes an expansion plug for their PC-700 outdoor reset. Very simple to install. If it fails, the system can still run like a "normal" bang-bang system.

If you go with zone valves on the space heating, you could use a Taco Zone Valve Control (ZVC) which also comes in an EXP version, and which can also control both the zone valves and a circulator for the indirect.

You could also just go with the EXP SR or ZVC for now, and add the reset module later.

You should definitely have a dedicated circulator for the indirect, sized to provide the rated flow through the indirect.
 
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Old 08-07-08, 08:07 PM
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small nozzles

I thought that the general consensuses was that a smaller nozzle at higher pressure produced a more efficient flame. With a reduction in fuel usage? No?

Then just specify the filter according to nozzle flow?

Al.
 
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Old 08-07-08, 08:33 PM
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I agree with the smaller nozzle size and the higher pump pressure, except when you get into the real small nozzles. I have had problems with .50 and.60 nozzles, because it is really easy to plug them. I can't remember the name of the furnace, but I was servicing some that took those smaller nozzles and I was replacing nozzles all the time. Maybe they just needed to be filtered better. But it was more than one furnace with the same problem, and the only furnaces I ever serviced with this size nozzles. Before working on this site, I thought it was wrong to put two filters on one oil line. I thought it would cause too much vacuum on the pump.
 
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Old 08-07-08, 10:52 PM
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my 2 cents

Here's my opinion. After tons of reasearch I went with the Biasi b-10 boiler w ith a reilo f-5 burner. I have 3 zones and a taco zvc. I also installed a smart 40 idwh. I also used a tekmar 260 boilercontrol. I love this system and figure I'll save about 35 percent over my 40 year old slant fin. The Biasi is alow mass triple passboiler with a lifetime warenty. Also it is cheap. Mine was only $1800. just my opinionfor what it's worth. Also Ilive in Fairbanks AK and it can get to 50 below in the winter.
 
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Old 08-08-08, 06:23 AM
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I agree the Biasi B-10 is a good boiler also, I have only installed one so far, and it wasn't too bad. I think it is a Pensoti in disguise.
 
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Old 08-08-08, 02:16 PM
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Red face

Excellent discussion going on here.

aktaylors - the opinion of anyone who takes the time to try and help COUNTS. Biasi and Riello, sounds good, like I'm back in Italy. I'm going with the Peerless though because most in my area carry and service them, and the top flue (single pass) design is what works in the space without mods. Definitely will go with Riello.

xiphias/plumbingods - Convinced to go with mixing valve, well water isn't too bad. Also will look into outdoor reset. This might be a dumb/complicated question, but would the Taco SR EXP (w/PC-700) replace the Honeywell control that come with the Peerless, or be in addition to it?
Taco 007's for zones are already in the works, with pump for indirect (use one that comes with WBV03).

Some I've read have suggested having a "second" boiler aquastat that shuts the boiler down if the primary fails, to avoid a runaway. Anyone hear of this?

ff
 
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Old 08-08-08, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by factfinder View Post
Some I've read have suggested having a "second" boiler aquastat that shuts the boiler down if the primary fails, to avoid a runaway. Anyone hear of this?

ff
From what I've seen/read there should be a high limit cutout aquastat. They are also available with a manual reset. Some of the Honeywell aquastats have this feature along with the boiler temperature setting and delta.

If using an ODR then a single high limit aquastat is all that is required. The ODR acts on the TT terminals of the burner controller. And if something goes wrong and the burner keeps running the aquastat disconnects power from it.

Al.
 
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Old 08-18-08, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for your help. Anyone know about the need for a back flow preventor and potable water expansion tank on the cold water input to the indirect? We have well water (300' well)with a Mark IV water tank, and a cut in/out pressure of 30 and 42 psi (lowered from 50 to reduce water draw, and keep pump submerged during dry spells), respectively. The indirect would be a 40, and setting temp at 140* with Honeywell/Sparco mixer on DHW outlet. Thanks.
 
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Old 08-18-08, 03:21 PM
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You definitely want the backflow preventer in ANY case, but perhaps even more so with a private well. Your potable system water pressure is almost always going to be way less than if you were on a city water supply, and probably more subject to 'outage', if for example you lose potable system pressure by drawing too fast on a slow well ...

Anytime the potable system water pressure drops below the pressure in the boiler, there is a chance for backflow, and contamination of the potable system.

It's not uncommon for private well systems to have pressure switch settings of 20 on, 40 off ... this means that your potable pressure will drop to 20 PSI before your pump kicks on. It's also not at all uncommon for boiler system pressure to be above 20 PSI. In some cases then, you don't even need a potable system 'outage' to get backflow. (P.S. my system is one that runs at 20-40... crappy old jet pump, shallow well)

AND, you probably also know that you need a Pressure Reducing Valve on the cold water feed to the boiler...

As for the potable expansion tank... it depends on a couple things. If there is a check valve between your cold supply and the heater, I would say YES, install the expansion tank. If there is no check valve, then your existing domestic pressure tank will absorb the expansion in the heater. I'd call it optional in the latter case... plus, adding one would give you a little more OFF time on your well water pump ... check your local codes regarding this, they may require one in any case.
 

Last edited by NJT; 08-18-08 at 06:20 PM. Reason: a few edits for clarity... thanks Mark!
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Old 08-18-08, 06:24 PM
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OK, I see where the confusion is... I didn't read the the facts that factfinder stated... he asked about a backflow preventer on the cold potable supply to the INDIRECT, NOT to the boiler...

I would consult local codes on that one. They may require it.

If they don't require it, I would consider it optional.
 
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Old 08-18-08, 08:19 PM
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To my knowledge, A BFP is not needed on the domestic/potable water supply to a Indirect fired water heater, but a vacuum breaker is.

As Trooper stated, make sure to check with your local building authorities. Local codes may differ.
 
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Old 08-18-08, 09:34 PM
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Thanks fella's.

Trooper, as you picked up, the feeds to boiler and indirect would be separate, and I would close the cold water boiler feed anyway once the heating system was filled and pressurized to 12 PSI, and rely on visual and low water cutoff to let me know if there is a leak somewhere.
I was thinking BFP and expansion between the cold water pressure tank and the indirect to limit back pressure from the indirect when calling for cold water (and subsequent drop in pressure in the cold water tank/system - like you said). I would want to try to limit the hot water being "backfed" into the cold water pipes, wasting hot water, and possible causing other problems. The expansion tanks come pre-pressurized to 40 PSI, which should work fine.
I'll look into local codes, but it seems to be a prudent thing to do, although not mentioned on any bids. Although all bids assumed IWH temp of 120*, where I would want to keep it at 140*.

Plumbingods, what is a vacuum breaker? Never heard of it. Not listed as an item on the bids, but may already be included.
 
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Old 08-19-08, 01:16 AM
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A vacuum breaker is a device, mounted above the tank that will introduce air if there is a negative pressure on the tank. This is a device used to protect your tank and components. Here is an example, if the water company was working down the hill from your home on the mains and they drained all the pipes. Instead of the water getting sucked out o the tank and possibly causing the elements to blow, or cause a gas/oil water heater to run with no water in it, or of coarse, the worst condition, to implode the tank, the water line will suck in air and stop at latter from happening.

In NH it is code.

You should have absolutely no reason to close the valve to the boiler after it is filled. The fast fill and BFP will stop any harm should there be a negative pressure. You want to leave the valve on while the boiler eliminates air and slowly changes the pressure on the boiler.

Expansion tanks for boilers, I have never adjusted. About a year ago I worked for a water meter installation company, and we put in a lot of domestic thermal expansion tanks. Make sue to size the tank properly by the size of the hot water tank, and the static water pressureof the home, then set the pressure to 3 psi under the static pressure.
 
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Old 08-19-08, 03:59 PM
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I run my system with the feed valve closed ... always have. BUT, I've very diligent on keeping an eye on the pressure gauge.

If you've been working on the system, and it's been drained, fresh water, etc , then I would leave the valve open until I was confident all the air was out, and close it again.

If you leave it open and something springs a leak, there's possible water damage that could be minimized by keeping it closed.

If you keep it closed and spring a leak and do NOT have an LWCO installed (which you said you do), you are asking for real trouble... fire the boiler dry and you are in for a replacement boiler, and very high risk of fire...

But, you have an LWCO, and know that it works (you've tested it ?)... so I really see no harm in closing the valve and keeping an eye on the pressure diligently.

This is of course just my opinions, and your mileage may vary.

[deleted incorrect info]
 

Last edited by NJT; 08-21-08 at 06:10 PM. Reason: rewrote post - my first reply was all wrong !
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Old 08-19-08, 04:52 PM
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Yes, I understand what Trooper is saying about closing the valve. Where I live we have a lot of slumlo...,oops I mean landlords that do not pay attention to their systems, and the mandatory LWCO just started a few years ago, so I am used to leaving the water supply valves open.
But Trooper does make sense about if the boiler sprung a leak, having the valve closed would minimize any water damage. So, I guess it is "to each his own" on this one.
 
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Old 08-19-08, 05:58 PM
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I'd be willing to bet that very few homeowners ever check the systems gauges and stuff ... until there is no heat ! or hot water ... so it's not only the guys who collect the rent !

No, for the average homeowner, I'd leave it open also...

I'd say it's a 'judgement call' . Armed with knowledge of the pros and cons, make your own decision... I guess that's the bottom line ?
 
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Old 08-20-08, 09:16 AM
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Unless it is a massive leak the highest floor will run out of heat first. Again unless massive it will take awhile until the next floor down looses heat. I am in favor of low water cut-offs on boilers not so much for this reason but the other. I also believe we must follow the manufacturers installation manuals. Some say leave them open and at least 1 says to close the valve.
Read the I&O manual and decide what you want to do.
 
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Old 08-20-08, 08:09 PM
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Thank you all. As far as the LWCO, my view was to leave the feed open for a while (week or two) while the system "settles", then close it and monitor it closely for a week or two, just to make sure I had no un-known leaks, etc.

After that I wasn't sure whether to leave it open or closed. The current boiler feed has been left open for the last 33 years, but it has no LWCO. But I'll do like rbeck said, and go by Peerless IO Manual, the discussion that you gentlemen just had, and what the installers normally do (since they'll be servicing it). My main reason for leaving the feed off would be to prevent a major leak, but since I'll have a DHWH at 40 gallons, I guess the feed to the heating system would be the least of my worries, especially since there is no floor drain (unfinished basement).

Trooper/all - Based on what I'm reading, the basic idea as far as the expansion tank for DHWH, is to match the empty (pre-charge) PSI to the cold water Well tank PSI when empty (which is 28 PSI - 2 PSI below well pump cut-in pressure). Right?
 
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Old 08-20-08, 10:53 PM
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If you have a well tank, and there is no check valve between the water heater and the well tank, adding another expansion tank will be rendered totally useless, as the well tank will take the place of the thermal expansion tank.
 
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Old 08-20-08, 11:48 PM
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[bad info, I deleted it...]
 

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Old 08-21-08, 04:05 PM
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Plumbingods, the plan is to place a back flow preventor (check valve) on the cold water input to the Indirect, so there is less hot water migration back onto the cold water line, with less heat loss, less work by the cold water tank to take up the pressure, etc.

I was asking about the small expansion tank (I see Amtrol and Watts make them for potable systems) between the DHWH and the check valve to account for hot water expansion and "equalize" cold/hot water systems. This will not be used for added capacity for the cold water tank, since it would be separated by the check valve.


Trooper, I've been told by other pro's to leave this small tank at its given pre-charge (40 PSI) even for a well system, since you don't want it fluctuating with the cold water tank pressure, you only want it to take up excess water that has expanded due to heating in the DHWH, and then give it back when hot water is called. This is one confusing topic.
 
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Old 08-21-08, 05:30 PM
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I guess I did not realize you were going to put in a check valve. In your case, definitely add a thermal expansion tank.

I installed thermal expansion tanks professionally for a water meter installation and repair company and, because we were installing a check valve along with the meters, we also needed to install thermal expansion tanks If you read the instruction papers that come with Amtrol tanks, you need to size you're expansion tank by the home static pressure and the gallon capacity of the water heater. Then you are to adjust the tank pressure to equal the static pressure of you particular home. I usually went about 2psi under.

Here is the paper that comes with every tank.

Note the sizing chart, and the pre-installation sections.
http://www.amtrol.com/pdf/9015-087revDTXT.pdf
 
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Old 08-21-08, 05:45 PM
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Ya know, the more I think about it, it does make sense to leave it at 40. Think of it more as a LIMIT control than an OPERATING control, and it makes a lot of sense.

It will only START acting if the pressure goes up above 40 ... working as a sorta high limit.

And... actually, by lowering the pressure in that tank, you would be reducing it's effectiveness by doing so. If it's already half full of water, how will it take more water when the water expands from being heated ?

Since your main tank is your OPERATING control point... that one obviously needs to stay 2-3 PSI above the low cut in though... don't raise the pressure on that one or you'll have problems...

I know we're really getting way off topic though... but after all, it IS an indirect, which is connected to a boiler ... more an 'over-lapping' topic than off
 
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Old 08-21-08, 06:06 PM
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Thanks Mark for posting that link !

OK, the I&O for them tanks says to adjust the pressure to EQUAL the incoming system pressure.

It doesn't mention any 'special cases' such as a private well.

With a 'normal' city water system, the pressure is going to remain relatively constant. So, setting the tank at or a few PSI below that 'static' pressure makes perfect sense. That tank will never see a 20-25 PSI pressure swing. Setting it at the static pressure gives it the most expansion room possible. Mark is correct here... on a system that actually _has_ a STATIC pressure.

However, on a well system, the pressure routinely swings between two settings, in this case, what was it, 30-45 ? That's not 'static' it's 'dynamic'. In order to maximize the capacity for thermal expansion, the tank should be set to the HIGH end, or 2-3 PSI below the HIGH end... so 40-45 PSI would be correct.

You _want_ the pressure to be able to swing normally without the tank taking water.

Everything I said previously about setting that tank 2-3 PSI below the low end is totally wrong. Maybe I should go back and edit out the wrong info ... [ I did ]
 
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Old 08-21-08, 06:51 PM
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I used to just put in tanks pre charged and leave them also, until I worked for this company and someone showed me the I&O.
We had to carry 12v compressors to do the job as per instructions.
And yes, I understand what you are saying about a well. The job I was on obviously was all city water as we were installing new meters for the whole city. I came in on phase 2 after the first town official said not to put in thermal ex tanks. Well I guess after a few water heater relief valves started leaking, they changed their minds. Hence phase 2, installing ex tanks. That was all I was doing to every house in the city. Nice cake job.
 
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Old 08-22-08, 01:58 PM
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Thank you fella's. I know my installer may know the things discussed here, but always good to learn something on a topic so can ask intelligent questions. I feel much more comfortable with the decision now. What do they say, " a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". Well, hopefully I'm not too dangerous. New boiler/indirect going in in two weeks. Hopefully everything works out.



Al
 
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Old 09-05-08, 01:21 PM
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Boiler Flue Connector Pipe

Hello again. Hope everyone had great Labor Day weekend. Boiler install delayed for another week or two.

I have a question concerning the smoke pipe. Due to boiler and flue location, I pass within a few inches of combustible ceiling in basement/garage. Current boiler uses single wall smoke pipe to chimney flue. I know this is not code. I want to use double wall pipe with the WBV03. The WBV03 is not an L vent rated appliance (at least not what I've read from Peerless). Can double wall black stove pipe be used for this application? I was thinking the Selkirk DSP double wall (6" clearance). Someone else suggested Metal Fab, Inc. double wall. Anyone use double wall pipe to chimney flue for boiler installs? It's about a 10' run with two 90's. No problems with draft on current boiler.....Thanks.
 
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