Some questions about a new Burnham install

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  #41  
Old 12-26-11, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rbeck View Post
I am not convinced at this point that you have ODR. This is an optional plug in module with a wire going to an OD sensor.
The OP talked about the Lb and Lt settings earlier on in the thread. You will only find that in the ODR option card.

I would like to see two more pictures of your system. One further back so we can see the boiler and all the pipes. As best you can at least. The second, if you could pull the front jacket off the boiler and take a shot of the controls so we can see what option cards you have.

When you talk about the length of your baseboard, is that for the entire house, or just the first floor? What is heating your second floor if not the boiler and why didn't you hook the boiler up to it when it got installed? The problem you have with the cycling is because the boiler is too big for just the first floor. It was sized for the second floor, your attic, and the garage/workshop. You will have longer run times when these zones are operational and open at the same time as other zones.
 
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Old 12-26-11, 05:25 PM
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Based on the current set of pictures, I am not sure there is much wrong with the way it is pumped. It appears that it is setup to pump away. The only thing to note is that the expansion tank is not below the spriovent and the make up water supply does not enter below the spirovent. Even though the expansion tank isn't below the vent, it is quite close to it. I'm not sure if its position would have an affect on the pressure gauge.
 
  #43  
Old 12-26-11, 05:54 PM
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Going with rbeck's suggestion regarding the pressure...

Close the ball valve after the regulator.

Turn off the boiler and let it cool to 100 or so.

Open a drain and take the pressure down to 12 PSI.

Without running the boiler yet, open the feed water valve and observe the pressure.

If that adjustment screw is all the way out as you say it is and the pressure climbs, then there is something wrong with that regulator.
 
  #44  
Old 12-26-11, 07:46 PM
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I followed your instructions, twice. First with the regulator as found, second time I removed the lever, loosened the locknut which was hand tight and unscrewed the adjusting screw two revolutions and it popped off. I replaced it, turning it one revolution clockwise and replaced the locknut hand tight and lever. Both times, pressure settled in at 18. That's exactly what happened when the contractor was here and I have every reason to believe it will climb again as the boiler is in use. I did notice that the tag reads "set 14-17 psi, range 10-25 psi" (Regulator picture by TBurrPictures - Photobucket). Is that the correct regulator?

The ODR resides in slot 1. The outdoor sensor is on a north wall. It displays a setpoint (SP) which becomes the boiler temperature (BT) and is a variable number. It's there, for sure.

To answer about the second floor, this place was once a school, then a two family and now it's a single and it has multiple boilers and different types of radiation. The first floor is baseboard as described. We'll be adding a heat exchanger in the attic for the second floor, but the structure creates unique difficulties doing that so we're putting it off until the summer when demo won't have as much an impact and other improvements can be made. The utility area I described was not part of the heat loss; for heating use it can be abandoned. Old cars likely appreciated the heat.

rbeck: Does the higher oxygen content associated with the higher pressure affect boiler longevity?

What would be necessary to reduce the pressure, and can anything be done with the temporarily oversize boiler to maximize it's efficiency... perhaps with the differential setting or changes to the thermostat cycle?

And one new question; what would I have to do in order to just max the operating temperature of the boiler? There will be times that it's necessary to just have the place outright hot to keep some guests comfortable, and waiting for the temperature to slowly climb may not be an option.

Thanks again for your help. It's terrific to be able to get excellent advice like this online.
 

Last edited by TBurr; 12-26-11 at 08:05 PM.
  #45  
Old 12-26-11, 08:06 PM
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Is that the correct regulator?
Yes, it's a Watts 1156 model, right? ...if it were working OK... but it sounds as if it is not. There was probably some junk in the water line that got into the new valve when the water was turned on. It probably needs replaced. They might not have flushed the water line out before installing the valve.

What would be necessary to reduce the pressure
Replace the faulty valve.

As long as the system is watertight (no leaks) you could just manually fill it to 12 PSI and then close the ball valve, and KEEP AN EYE ON THE PRESSURE!
 
  #46  
Old 12-26-11, 08:13 PM
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No, the valve is a B1156F, not an 1157, but it looks like the specs are within limits. (Added: Just realized the specs found online do not agree with the specs on the tag. Online it's shown as 12-15psi, the tag reads 14-17psi. Is this a proper valve to use?)

They did tap into an old water line that's likely got crud in it, and I don't know if the line was flushed before installation. You bring up a good point; can it be cleaned?

Specs found online:
Watts
PN: B1156F
Fill Valve
Thread Size: 1/2"
Set: 12-15 PSI
Range: 10-25 PSI
Material: Bronze

I don't understand the fluid dynamics. Could the regulator be maintaining 12psi at the return point when the boiler is in use, and have that translate into 20's psi at the supply side? Visualizing the effect of two pumps (more later) on the supply side is difficult, it seems there'd be a low pressure point somewhere on the return side because of their draw.
 
  #47  
Old 12-26-11, 08:39 PM
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Online it's shown as 12-15psi, the tag reads 14-17psi. Is this a proper valve to use?)
Yes, it's ok... it's just a different factory setting on the same valve...

can it be cleaned?
Not usually, successfully... a really good tech might be able to take it apart and get it back together and working again, but the price of the valve isn't really worth the trouble... what if they go through all that, put it back in and it still don't work?... do it again with a new valve!

Could the regulator be maintaining 12psi at the return point when the boiler is in use, and have that translate into 20's psi at the supply side?
If I understand the question... no. You could put a pressure gauge on the system anywhere at the same 'altitude' and it would read the same. A gauge on the system on an upper floor would read LOWER pressure.

it seems there'd be a low pressure point somewhere on the return side because of their draw.
There's two pressures in the system... one is the STATIC pressure that exists when the pumps are NOT running. The other is a DYNAMIC pressure that exists when the pumps ARE running.

The point that the expansion tank connects to your system is a point with NO PRESSURE CHANGE. If you put a gauge there, it would not change if the pumps were on or off.

The way your system is piped, the pressure gauge will probably change so little as to not be able to even see a change with the pumps on or off.

When you did the experiment earlier, turned off the water supply, drained pressure from the boiler, and with the screw on the 1156 all the way out, you still had 18 PSI when you turned the water back on, it's clear to me that valve is toast.
 
  #48  
Old 12-27-11, 04:23 AM
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Just asking since post is long, when you drop the pressure manually with the feed valve off does the gage go down to 12 psi or less. As NJT always says "Don't trust the gage". Just wondering if the pressure needle is stuck.
rbeck: Does the higher oxygen content associated with the higher pressure affect boiler longevity?
With the spirovent do not be concerned.
 
  #49  
Old 12-28-11, 08:50 PM
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A few things don't line up here.

If your mindset is in ancient technology, why did you, or somebody, twiddle with the default settings before fully understanding what's going on?

If you are getting long sustained dumps of cold water to the boiler, then the system must be of higher capacity than presumed. The guide recommends a bypass in that situation.

I would put everything back to the default settings, and *VERY CAREFULLY* proceed from there.
 
  #50  
Old 12-31-11, 07:24 AM
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rbeck: I've tried a few more times when the boilers been in the low 70's to drop the pressure. The gauge appears to work fine. Every time the pressure has set to 18. I have the setscrew turned in one revolution from where the threads start, the nut is snug and the lever in place. The installer insists that's fine and that I should just live with it. I agree with NJ Trooper that the B1156F isn't working right and should be replaced. At the lowest setting it's 18 and can be increased but not decreased. What would you recommend?

I had a valid question somewhere in this thread inquiring if there's a way to just to get a quick shot of high heat. Sometimes, without notice, we need a toasty warm (hot) place for all to be comfortable. Is there a way to do that without anticipating the need hours in advance? At times like that efficiency doesn't matter - it's purely function.

The boiler still cycles a lot, and it appears that's the way it will be with the system we have. Increasing the differential to 25 had my wife scampering to raise the thermostat, so I set it back to 20 and she was content. I don't think there's anything else I can do with it, the system that is, unless it's worthwhile to try different, are they called anticipator settings, on the thermostat to change the cycle length.

I'd like to take a moment to wish all a Happy New Year and thank those that provide this online board, and also the members for taking the time to post excellent advice.
 
  #51  
Old 01-10-12, 06:34 PM
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A large buffer tank would greatly extend cycle times. Have boiler heat buffer tank & have house pull heat out of buffer.
 
  #52  
Old 01-12-12, 03:18 PM
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Burnham Steam Boiler Warranty Issues

Hello, my five year old Burnham Steam boiler has failed after five years. The Burnham Rep has offered me a 500 dollar credit on a new block. I am told by my oil company that this will cost 2500 bucks to install. Is this an appropriate solution and standard response to this failure? I believe I got a lot of misinformation from the rep as to the cause of the leak, such as flakes of rust from the radiators and steam pipes which other tradespeople tell me is nonsense. Anyone out there have any warranty claim advice for me? Thanks! Diane
 
  #53  
Old 01-12-12, 05:17 PM
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The problem I have seen many times with homeowners doing their own heat loss and contractors new to doing them is not enough info entered, they use the wrong OD temp, wrong indoor temp or they add too many buffers when when the heatloss program already adds about 20%. I will bet the heatloss is less than the amount of radiation or very close. I only say very close due to needing 200f water temp when it gets real cold. Of course that could be caused by things other than insuffient radiation. The short cycling is what it is now. A 20f delta-T is a good delta-T to operate at. Did you raise the minimum water temp due to not heating well enough or trying to stop short cycling. The minimum water temp for efficiency reasons should be as low as possible but still heat the home. With that said you need at least 110f return temp within a resonable period of time. What OD design temp was used for the heat loss? Check this link to see if it was correct. Outdoor Design Temperatures
The piping is not that far off from the manual from what we can see from the photos.
In picture 5 what is that smaller black pipe teeing into the larger black pipe coming from?
 
  #54  
Old 01-12-12, 05:40 PM
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Picture 5 shows the return pipe entering the boiler with the water feed merging into it from the smaller pipe. Picture 6 shows the pressure regulator with the black pipe originating from it.

Regulator picture by TBurrPictures - Photobucket

As commented earlier, pressure is maintained at 26PSI when hot and the installer has not been able to reduce it. The PRV is adjusted with the screw one thread from falling off and the installer now tells me that's fine. I cant' help but think that if the water supply was near the expansion tank, as called for in the manual, that the pressure would be within a normal range. I assume with multiple pumps on the supply side that there's some vacuum or draw of sorts when they start up and that the result would be a lower pressure, albeit briefly, on the return line and that the valve would feed water only at that brief moment.



I share the concern about an improper install and warranty coverage down the road. This system was not designed according to the installation manual specs that came with the boiler, and there's a clause within the warranty which exludes coverage if it's not installed according to the I&O manual.



Please advise if I should have any changes done to insure warranty coverage. The feed is on the return side, the expansion tank is on a dead end closed 12" stub on the supply side, it's missing purge and other valves and there are no unions and other deviations from the manual exist.



The system does keep the place comfortable. As suggested, I've been slowly lowering the low end water temperature setting on the ODR, but then too, it hasn't been especially cold. It does continue to short cycle with the small demand the one zone we use puts on a boiler designed for four zones. As posted earlier, one part of the house is kept warm, the others are kept chilly. Am hoping as it gets colder that it will have longer cycles and that the frequent starts now won't be detrimental in the long term.


rbeck commented about the 200 degree settings. We set the old boiler to 200 only on the coldest and windiest days at which time the 1870's house is no match for the brutal climate and exposure. Typically is was set at 180.



There may be some misunderstanding as I am not the poster with comment #52 -- that's another Burnham customer.
 

Last edited by TBurr; 01-12-12 at 06:11 PM.
  #55  
Old 01-12-12, 06:22 PM
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Looks like multiple issues here.

As far as preserving the warranty, you should rely on the installer/seller for that. Call them back. If you've given up on them, then you've probably given up on the warranty, as well. Who else are you going to go to?

I would quit fooling with the adjustment on the auto fill valve. The excess pressure is likely caused elsewhere - several possible causes.
 
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