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Old 12-10-2009, 01:35 PM   #1
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Steam boiler replacement


Still working on the specifics of how to post a picture .. but here's the skinny.

House : built in 1931
Boiler : replaced in 1965 (Crane Sunnyday 302, IBR of 750sqft, AGA of 240mbtu output)

Piping is 2.5 or 3" threaded iron. There's unions that allow the boiler/steam manifold setup to be separated from the main riser line .. which should make the job slightly (if ever so slightly) easier. I'm fairly sure this will involve 4 footers and cheaters, but anyway .. here's the question.

I can get the old one out .. even if it has to be in pieces. I can get a new one delivered to the driveway. I don't know if new package boilers ship assembled, but I'm told how it's done is to remove the sections and just move the "shell" into place. Okay .. still not the real issue.

Real issue is all the pipe unions I've dealt with have to be drawn together to seal .. assuming the boiler is light enough to slide horizontally on the floor, I can theoretically assemble it 4" away from the final position and scoot it back so the unions are all lined up (a measure a dozen times, cut 4 times, cuss a bunch task, to be sure) .. but I've still got that 1/4" of slack to take up. 3" iron pipe doesn't have "slack".

Options I've considered :

Using a 4x4 beam and a trolly jack .. attempt to move the riser up 1/4" or so (yes, I know what the insulation is).
Put the boiler in place and shim it up to meet.
..?

What's the right way to do this? .. it's obviously no small task since everyone seems to want a $5k premium over the boiler cost to install, and I'm no stranger to difficult DIY tasks (all manner of plumbing/electrical work, all to code and inspected) .. but I know that if a heating company says it's a 2 day job for 2 people (that included disassembly and removal of the old one), we're talking about ~40 man/hrs of labor. I know plumbers don't make $120/hr.

Anyone got any tips on how this is done?

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Last edited by mindcandy30; 12-10-2009 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:21 PM   #2
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Steam boiler replacement


New risers.

Plumbers don't make 120 an hour. But the company has to charge mark up on the boiler in order to make a profit, and stay in business. And other cost you don't realize.

Enough with that though.

Did you recheck what the output your rads need is.

New steam boilers don't hold as much water as old ones did. And generate steam much quicker. So installing the same size boiler if the old was oversized causes lots of problems. Including the banging pipes syndrome. that no one likes.

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Old 12-10-2009, 02:34 PM   #3
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Steam boiler replacement


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
New risers.
..
Did you recheck what the output your rads need is.
.
The steam guys that have measured the sqft of radiation come up with ~700 and are recommending a unit "one size smaller" than the existing one.

New risers or not (and I can replace everything up to the horizontal main) .. I still have the union problem where I've got to pull them together. THAT is the problem I'm looking on how to solve.

BTW .. my steam pipe configuration is most correctly represented on page 7 of Dunkirk's install manual (the one that says THIS IS DONE WRONG) .. insofar as that my steam main is a continuous line with a 3-way T pointing down (although not directly into the manifold). I'll try and post a picture tomorrow.

How in the heck do you make the final connections on something like this where you've got 40' of 2.5" iron/asbestos pipe that's got to move DOWN 1/4" or 800# of boiler that has to move UP by the same amount?

The install manuals for any of the companies I find don't reveal too much about the insides of the units .. is (for example) it possible to create this extra "play" prior to final assembly (eg: can one assemble the heat exchanger but not attach it to the frame, and then raise THAT 1/4" to make the union fit?). I guess I need to do some hunting around for a good exploded diagram of a crane/dunkirk boiler and see if that's possible .. I just was hoping somebody had delt with this before.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:13 PM   #4
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Steam boiler replacement


Its easier to raise the header 1/4 inch. And then lower it to seat the union.
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