Converting a steam boiler to hot water


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Old 12-06-11, 02:44 AM
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using fan-forced radiators with a boiler

#1 important point:i am on SS so i am very poor
i bought 2 fan-forced hanging radiators to try to heat my 30X60 un-insulated pole building and an older used weil-mclain egh115. I think it could do better than it does now because i am learning by doing. could somebody please help? i am adding an auto fill valve as i learned about that. the rads had 2 1/2" inlets but because of the distance i ran only 1"pex to them, on seperate circuits but only 1 circ. the circ is attached to the returns and 'pushes' back into the boiler. i purge the air at the rads and boiler, have a vent, and an expansion tank all plumbed as i saw in the on-line manual. i also have an office hooked up to 1/2"pex and a heater core/12v blower from a van rear heat unit. i have a tstat on the blower because it will fry me out of there. the boiler never quits running as the temp never gets over 50 degrees-depending on outside temp (usually only about 40). i can't afford insulation or a ceiling. should i give up or do you see things i could try. i can get another used circ thats cheap as the 1 rad is quite far away. i did insulate the pex w/foam. is my pump the wrong direction? thanx in advance. dave
 
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Old 12-06-11, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by dwmorris View Post
i can't afford insulation or a ceiling. should i give up or do you see things i could try.
Hello Dave,
Can you afford to heat the great outdoors?
Even if you just buy one roll a week, the insulation will pay for itself.
At the very least, staple up 6 mil poly on all the walls and ceiling, and tape all the seams with duct tape.


Peter
 
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Old 12-06-11, 07:02 AM
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re:insulation

Peter you certainly bring up a very good point. i will put the poly up for a ceiling and start insulating a little at a time. what i didn't mention the building is 1/2" plywood and vinyl siding,not metal as usual. and i have no gaps letting air in. ridge vent and gable vents are present. i wish now i had used house wrap. thank you very much and guys if you could look at my questions i still think i need a few more good answers like this one.
 
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Old 12-06-11, 07:11 AM
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Hi Dave,
Did you do a heat loss?
What is the height of the walls?
What is the floor construction?
Any insulation under the floor or around the perimiter?
Windows? Doors?
If we can get a ball park heat loss, we can make an attempt at trying to determine if the boiler is giving you all the heat it should.
Has the boiler been cleaned and tuned up by a pro with the proper tools?

It would seem that even without insulation you should be getting more than a 10 degree rise.
Unless all the heat is blasting out if the ridge vent.

If the boiler is running non stop, i can't see how messing with the circulators is going to make a bit of a difference.
It's giving up everything it has already.


Peter
 
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Old 12-06-11, 07:39 AM
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re:heat loss

Did you do a heat loss? no
What is the height of the walls?10'
What is the floor construction?3 1/2" concrete
Any insulation under the floor or around the perimiter?no
Windows?3 36"X24" double pane Doors?1 garage door insulated 10x18
If we can get a ball park heat loss, we can make an attempt at trying to determine if the boiler is giving you all the heat it should.
Has the boiler been cleaned and tuned up by a pro with the proper tools?just prior to me purchasing it in its former install, not mine
BTW the roof trusses are 4/12 no overhang and the office is 8' high and 10x10 w/1 'cardboard' door, 1 window same as other 3 and insulated steel door and walls; ceing has 6" insulation and deck on top for lumber storage
 
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Old 12-06-11, 08:28 AM
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Hello Dave,
Is this your boiler -EGH-115?
Commercial Gas Boiler | EGH Gas Boiler | Weil-McLain
If so then it would seem like there is something seriously amiss.
Hopefully others here that know more about these types of boilers can help, please.

I'm getting about 36,00 btu loss from 50 inside to 40 outside
Or from zero outside to 60 inside, about 210,000 btu's.
Now the amount of air blowing thru could be wore than i imagine, but it still doesn't add up.

Way off. considering that boiler is rated at 348-400,000 btu's net and it is running non stop.....?????
Where is all the het going?

Something is missing here.

Peter
 
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Old 12-06-11, 09:08 AM
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my boiler mistake

i looked at my wrong file as i copied a lot of manuals to learn more. i actually have an eg45
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/our-products/boilers/gas-boilers/gas-boiler-eg.aspx
 
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Old 12-06-11, 04:12 PM
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I have a 32 x 32 uninsulated pole building that is 1/2 vinyl and 1/2 steel with 12 foot ceilings. I can run an 85k btu salamander and a medium sized wood stove in the corner non stop and although. I have never taken temp readings, but it does not get warm in there. I still have to wear coveralls. It is bearable around the heat sources, but step away and you can still see your breath. I would say a 15 to 20 degree increase tops in overall temp in the building. I don't insulate it because my attached garage is insulated and can be 70 degrees with the salamander. I only have to work out there if I am working on the tractor that wont fit in my attached.
That is ALOT of building to heat uninsulated 60x60x10 not counting the space above the trusses
 
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Old 12-06-11, 05:18 PM
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re: building size clarification

thank you for your comments; to clarify my building is 30x60x10,not 60x60 (i wish!). the roof is plywood and architectual shingles, not steel either.
 
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Old 12-06-11, 05:36 PM
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Hi Dave,
I made this earlier. This for a 10 degree differential between 50 inside and 40 outside.
Het loss is, more or less, linear, so just multiply for bigger differentials.
The 3 air changes per hour is my best guess. If you get the poly sealed up, including the walls, it could go down to .5, more or less.

http://home.comcast.net/~k16862/Heat/hloss.JPG

Peter
 
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Old 12-06-11, 11:30 PM
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thank you sir i will get started on that project
 
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Old 12-08-11, 12:50 AM
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Converting a steam boiler to hot water

Hello again gurus
while i am amassing my fortune and attempting to insulate/cover my walls and ceiling with poly i was wondering if anybody could go thru the steps to convert my Weil-McLain EG45 from steam to hot water.
i ask this as this may be another part of my problem. (i may have done something wrong the manual asumes you are an engineer like you guys)

also:

what pressure do i run at?

what temp should water be on the way out?

is the return water temp important?

should it be a certain %drop?

should my circ pump push or pull?

what speed should my pump run? 3 speed

psi for pop off?

psi for expansion tank?

the two radiators are each on there own loop;should they each have a pump? they are at 10' at the top approx. 22x22"

does the fan speed matter?

please see my post 'using fan-forced radiators with a boiler' for more info.
[njt edit: I've merged the other thread to this one for convenience]

link for eg45 manual:

Boiler manual:
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...ler_manual.pdf

Control supplements:

Spark Ignition
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...supplement.pdf

Standing Pilot
http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...plement-sp.pdf

thanks again keep up the good work! merry Christmas!
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-12-11 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 12-08-11, 12:23 PM
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Make sure your steam system is operating properly as there is very little advantage in converting a steam system to hot water.
 
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Old 12-08-11, 01:09 PM
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Dave, I merged your other thread onto this one, since you are talking about the same boiler in the same building... there's no need to start a new question... it only confuses people... because they don't know the 'history' behind the question.

Saves, back up and read the whole thread, he has a steam boiler that he wants to convert to hot water to use in his building. Not an existing steam system at all...
 
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Old 12-08-11, 01:32 PM
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Trooper i always said it pays to read,did not take my own advice.
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-08-11 at 03:00 PM. Reason: yeah, it happens, no problem!
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Old 12-08-11, 03:13 PM
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what pressure do i run at?
The boiler should run at about 12PSI minimum when cold. It will be higher when HOT, maybe as much as 20PSI or so.

what temp should water be on the way out?
Since you are using 'unit heaters', you want the high limit on the aquastat on the boiler set to 180

is the return water temp important?
Yes... you don't want the return to CONSISTENTLY run much below 135. It should come to this temperature fairly quickly given that it's a large boiler and not much load on it.

should it be a certain %drop?
Systems are generally designed around a 20 'delta T' (difference between return and supply temps)

should my circ pump push or pull?
Debatable... could really be pushing or pulling, but the point at which the expansion tank is connected to the system should be immediately (within a foot or three) upstream (on the suction side of the pump). Modern thought is that the hot supply should come out of the boiler, then the AIR SCOOP and air vent with expansion tank, then the pump, pulling from the boiler.

what speed should my pump run? 3 speed
It depends... on how much piping resistance you have... start on medium, probably leave it there if the 'delta T' on the boiler is OK.

psi for pop off?
You mean 'relief valve' ? That should be a 30 PSI part.

psi for expansion tank?
The air charge on the expansion tank should match the COLD FILL Pressure of the boiler, typically 12 PSI.

the two radiators are each on there own loop;should they each have a pump? they are at 10' at the top approx. 22x22"
They shouldn't each need their own pump. I'm sure a single pump will be fine.

does the fan speed matter?
Yeah, sorta... if the fan speed is too high, you will take the heat out of the water too quickly and it will return to the boiler too cool. Experiment... if you get good hot air out with the fan on high, then run it on high... if it's too noisy, turn it down...
 
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Old 12-08-11, 03:19 PM
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the steps to convert my Weil-McLain EG45 from steam to hot water.
Hmmmm... well, basically you need to go through the manual and compare the two setups... then remove the parts you don't need for steam, and add the parts you do need for hot water.

Hot water won't need the original water feeder, gauge glass, pressuretrol, ...

Hot water will need an AQUASTAT, a different pressure and temperature gauge, a different type of water feeder...

At the end of the manual, there is this:

For EG water boilers

Built-In Air Eliminator
30 P.S.I. Relief Valve
Combination Pressure Temperature Gauge
High-Limit Control
40 VA Transformer with Receptacle for CirculatorRelay
Circulator Relay

For EG/PEG steam boilers

Relief Valve
Steam Pressure Gauge
High-Limit Pressure Control
Syphon
Gauge Cocks
Gauge Glass
Low-Water Cutoff
40 VA Transformer
These three:

High-Limit Control
40 VA Transformer with Receptacle for CirculatorRelay
Circulator Relay
Could theoretically be combined into an aquastat such as a Honeywell L8148E

and probably some other stuff I've forgotten...

Have you already done a conversion? and just checking that you got it right?
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-08-11 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 12-10-11, 03:43 AM
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NJ Trooper:
that is correct sir I am just checking...i removed the sight glass and valves, changed the relief valve to 30psi,added the circ pump and relay,changed the t n p guage and added one to the return,i'm going to add a proper fill valve (i was manually adding SLOWLY!). I left the siphon coil,pressure gauge,limit control (steam??),and the probe type low water cut off on the boiler. These are shown in Fig.21 on page 17. It never had a fill valve-was just an on-off valve! (i un-installed it from where i bought it).
It appears that i may need to remove at least the steam limit control and possibly the low water cut-off. From reading the replies it sounds like i need a limit for the boiler temp. since i have 40v and relay what should i use and how does it install, since it needs to monitor the water temp. can it go where the low water cut-off probe is?
thanks again you guys are god-sends!!
 
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Old 12-10-11, 06:31 AM
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The cheapest and best bang for the buck is insulating and weatherizing the building.

On limited income, there may be programs that will do it for you at little to no cost. Depending on your state, utility company, etc.

Try looking at what's available in your state here:

DSIRE: DSIRE Home
 
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Old 12-10-11, 10:17 AM
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It appears that i may need to remove at least the steam limit control and possibly the low water cut-off.
Yes, I believe so.

The LWCO isn't positioned properly in that location for a hot water system. A hot water boiler should have the LWCO installed ABOVE the boiler. (see notes next to figure 21) You may not HAVE TO HAVE an LWCO on your system at all... all of your radiation is well above the boiler, and if your local codes don't require it, you may be able to get away without one. Don't get me wrong, it's a good idea to have one, but may not be absolutely necessary. MOST installed boilers in the US don't have one by the way...

But look at table 4 on page 7. Notice that 'tapping C' is called out for a probe type LWCO on both steam AND water boilers... so if manufacturer says that's a good place... they should know best.

The existing LWCO may or may not be appropriate for a water system though, what make and model is the one that is installed?

it sounds like i need a limit for the boiler temp
YES. You absolutely MUST have a high limit control on your boiler!

can it go where the low water cut-off probe is?
I would go with the recommendations in Table 4. Looks like manf wants the control in tapping " S ".
This is said to be a 1-1/2" tapping, so I presume they use a bushing to bring the size down to that needed for the immersion well for the high limit control.

i have 40v and relay what should i use and how does it install
FORTY Volts? you sure? should be 24VAC...

I think you can use an L8148E for this... it has it's own transformer inside. These mount in an 'immersion well' which is basically just a closed copper tube that goes into the boiler water. The temp sensor slides into the well, and the control clamps onto the end.
 
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Old 12-12-11, 04:57 AM
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Of course you are right;24v.
is that a honeywell part number (L814E)?
BTW,just to prove i'm not as dumb as i appear the weil mclain manual on line currently is a much newer and better copy than the one i downloaded 3 years ago and have been using. i just realized this while talking to you guys!
it's warm enough to go out and get the info you requested so i'll have it today.
 
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Old 12-12-11, 05:22 AM
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Yes, Honeywell... I'm not sure the exact 'flavor' (the 4 digit code after the main model) that you will need to use though... and the manual doesn't exactly spell it out. I think a -1265 will work.

Here's the thing though, I think you said that you already have a relay wired up to run your circulator pump, correct?

If so, you may not need the full-blown control, as you already have the relay for the pump.

You might be able to wire a high limit control alone...

Notice in the manual that there are two schematics:

One shows a relay and a separate high limit control, and the other shows the combined control.

1. What do you have already wired?

2. Do you have a way to post a diagram of the way you have it wired now?

3. Does your boiler have a 'standing pilot' or 'spark ignition' ?

3a. What model number is the installed gas valve?

4. When you got the boiler, you also received the 'atmospheric hood', with the 'spill switch', and there is a 'rollout' switch also installed, correct?

5. Is there also a 'vent damper' installed?

6. Are you OK at interpreting wiring diagrams?
 
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Old 12-12-11, 06:52 AM
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some answers

I think you said that you already have a relay wired up to run your circulator pump, correct? yes it had the module so i got a relay and popped it in
If so, you may not need the full-blown control, as you already have the relay for the pump. correct
You might be able to wire a high limit control alone...

Notice in the manual that there are two schematics: diag #?

One shows a relay and a separate high limit control, and the other shows the combined control.

1. What do you have already wired? LWCO,high steam limit,rollout,and spill switch.
2. Do you have a way to post a diagram of the way you have it wired now? i believe these are all in series w/the thermostat.
3. Does your boiler have a 'standing pilot' or 'spark ignition' ? spark

3a. What model number is the installed gas valve? will check

4. When you got the boiler, you also received the 'atmospheric hood', with the 'spill switch', and there is a 'rollout' switch also installed, correct? yes
5. Is there also a 'vent damper' installed? yes it opens

6. Are you OK at interpreting wiring diagrams? yes
 
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Old 12-12-11, 08:16 AM
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Notice in the manual that there are two schematics: diag #?
Sorry... shoulda been more specific. Easier now because I know now that you have spark ignition!

This PDF:

http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multim...supplement.pdf

page 4 is how I believe you want to set yours up.
 
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Old 12-12-11, 08:22 AM
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I think this is the high limit control that you want to use... as always, seek second source verification before purchasing anything! I might be wrong!

Honeywell product page - PDF downloads at bottom of page

Patriot Supply - L4006A1017
 
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Old 12-12-11, 08:27 AM
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I think you said that you already have a relay wired up to run your circulator pump, correct? yes it had the module so i got a relay and popped it in
By 'module', is it the one shown in the diagrams ? I believe it's a Honeywell R8285 ? and the relay itself is a Honeywell R8222 (or equivalent) ?

In other words, the terminals designations on the diagram match what you have?
 
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Old 12-12-11, 08:54 AM
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How about the honeywell L4006A2007 SPST normally closed, adj fromm 100-240 and adj diff? (whatever that is) its cheaper and has only the limit switch. i think thats all you said i need was a limit switch. it will work w/an immersion well also. (which i just learned about.)
my wiring seems to be just as shown, but again i must check.
sorry but im busy installing a 95% hot air furnace in my house where a 33yo furnace was. now im trying to vent my central vac since i stole its exit point! (im saving about $2500 by doing it myself.)
 
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Old 12-12-11, 09:21 AM
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By 'module', is it the one shown in the diagrams ? I believe it's a Honeywell R8285 ? and the relay itself is a Honeywell R8222 (or equivalent) ? i believe so to both

In other words, the terminals designations on the diagram match what you have? yes they do. i can hear the pump run.


sorry i missed your last two posts as i was researching the limit control. i will look up the second one you suggested and see the $$. (i am soooo cheap) the one i found is only $60. do you see any diff?
 
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Old 12-12-11, 11:43 AM
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OK then, it sounds as though you are in pretty good shape with the conversion.

With Honeywell's information being what it is (not always easy to interpret!), I checked the difference between the two and it appears that that the 1017 INCLUDES the immersion well, but that the 2007 does NOT.

If you go to the Honeywell page:

Homes - Honeywell Environmental And Combustion Controls

You can see the only difference appears to be the immersion well, and the length of the capillary tube.

Again though, you will notice that BOTH pictures show the well with the part... like I said, their information is not always the best.

This picture:

Does NOT show the well.

Patriot Supply - L4006A2007

But then, neither does this one:

Patriot Supply - L4006A1017

If I was you, I would call Patriot and ask if either one come with the well. I think it must be that, given the price difference.

By the way, if you call the place with the $60 price tag, don't expect to get anyone who will know the answer to your question on the phone. If you call Patriot, you WILL get a knowledgeable person on the phone.
 
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Old 12-12-11, 11:58 AM
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I just looked at an old Honeywell printed catalog and it says that the 1017 DOES come with the well and the 2007 does NOT, so that is probably correct.

Further, it says that the 1017 is suitable for VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL mounting while the 2007 only shows HORIZONTAL.

The 1017 model has 'knockouts' on BOTH the BOTTOM and on the BACK.

The 2007 has a knockout ONLY on the bottom, so if you used that one (and bought an additional well), it would stick straight out of the side... no big deal really... would look funny, and might be subject to being more easily damaged.
 
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Old 12-12-11, 12:26 PM
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limit switch

ok i salute you nj trooper et al:

i am going to:

move the circ pump to supply so it will 'push'
remove steam pressure limit and install high limit
remove LWCO
add auto-fill valve
add poly and insulation where possible
win the lottery

thank you all,again
 
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Old 12-12-11, 12:41 PM
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Keep us posted Dave!

Don't remove the LWCO unless you have determined that it won't work with your system... if you can use the existing one where it is, why not?
 
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Old 12-12-11, 03:53 PM
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Lwco

OK I'll leave the the LWCO on.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!
 
 

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