New Boiler install

 
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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Sun. Aug. 14, 2022 11:26 am

So after 40 years of heating with wood (20 years with indoor wood boiler) and then 20 years of heating with coal, Harman VF3000 then EFM520, I am installing a brand new 1985 HB Smith propane boiler. Most of you know I sold the EFM in April of this year. Picked this up from Facebook marketplace in Ohio earlier this year. It was purchased to heat a large shop but never installed. It was still in its shipping crate. I'll post more detailed pictures of it later but it's a 6 section, 5 burner cast iron boiler. The burners are also cast iron, not crimped sheet metal like many of today's gas burners. This will sit where the EFM previously sat and be plumbed into my existing system currently only served by an oil boiler. I already have a buried 1,000 gallon propane tank installed. This will give me some fuel flexibility as world prices for oil go nuts. Being able to buy a large quantity of propane makes it a little more economical. I've got a conversion kit to propane to install. Basically new orifices and a different spring for the regulator. Hope to get that done, get the boiler set in its final location and run the gas line this week. Then on to the hydronics. Using all black iron and then Pro-Press connections to the existing 1 1/4" copper. Like the EFM, it will circulate hot water to the oil burner that all the zones operate off of. Yeah, I know this is a coal forum but some of you have other boilers also and I thought there might be some interest. I will document and keep this thread updated.
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Last edited by coalkirk on Sun. Aug. 14, 2022 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.


 
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Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Sun. Aug. 14, 2022 11:30 am

That boiler is huge…probably 2x what is needed to heat your house. It will work, just cycle a lot more often than one sized for the load. That big boiler will also require a big gas line. Be sure you have properly calculated the line size requirement.

 
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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Sun. Aug. 14, 2022 11:39 am

The boilers gas regulator has a 1/2" fitting. I'm running 3/4" black iron to it in about a 35' run. That comes off of a 1 1/4” black iron pipe with about 11" of water column. From the charts I looked at it should be plenty.
As far as the short cycling what do you think about using a buffer tank?
Last edited by coalkirk on Sun. Aug. 14, 2022 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 
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Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Sun. Aug. 14, 2022 11:53 am

Yep, you did good on the line size. Are you circulating through the oil boiler? Or is it one or the other?

 
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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Sun. Aug. 14, 2022 12:12 pm

It’s going to circulate through the oil burner. Haven’t decided yet if it will be 24/7 like the EFM was or just circulate when a zone is calling. My oil boiler only fires if there is a demand and boiler temperature is below set point. I would prefer the gas boiler just maintain set point regardless.
Just recalculated the gas line run. It’s more like 50’ but I think that’s still ok.
I learned something about gas lines while researching installing this one. Street fittings and close nipples are not permitted. I was going to come off of a roughed in T with a Street 90 but I guess I won’t.

 
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Scottscoaled
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Post by Scottscoaled » Mon. Aug. 15, 2022 8:49 pm

There’s no way to adjust the output of the gas burner? Like putting a smaller nozzle in an oil gun?
Turn the regulator pressure down?

 
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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Wed. Aug. 17, 2022 8:15 am

I don't think that would work very well. Yes the boiler is oversized which will likely cause it to cycle. It will hit its setpoint and shut off. The lack of a large volume of water is the issue I think. With the EFM it had 50 gallons of water to buffer. I'm going to pipe it so that if I decide to add a buffer tank it will be ready.


 
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Post by Hambden Bob » Wed. Aug. 17, 2022 8:54 am

CK,Personally I Don't Care If You're Burning Buffalo Chips Mixed With Shredded Bark!! I'm just glad You're still amongst Us!! It's going to be a Great Topic Thread! Carry On,Mister!!

 
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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Fri. Aug. 19, 2022 6:37 pm

Thank you Bob! I got the boiler placed, the vent connected and the gas line to the boiler installed but not connected. Will post some pics over the weekend. Not as heavy as the EFM but pretty damn heavy!
Had to run the gas line on the exterior due to finished ceilings and framing complications.

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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Mon. Aug. 22, 2022 1:49 pm

We have a problem Houston! I replaced the burner orifices, no problem. However the pilot burner orifice has a smaller hole than the pilot tube. This LP conversion kit was hard to find because this boiler is discontinued but this is the kit designated for this boiler. I'm stumped at the moment.
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Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Mon. Aug. 22, 2022 7:53 pm

Can you just make a new pilot tube of the appropriate size? They sell pilot tubing kits.

 
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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Tue. Aug. 23, 2022 9:25 am

Ok I didn’t realize it could be that simple. I can’t get the fitting out of the pilot assembly anyway so I’m getting a new one along with an 1/8th” pilot tube and new thermocouple.

 
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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Tue. Aug. 23, 2022 1:02 pm

Ok update. I was able finally to get the fitting out of the pilot assembly. I removed the NG orifice and installed the LP orifice using the existing 1/4” pilot tube. There was never any mention of replacing the pilot tube with a 1/8” one in the conversion kit instructions. I suspect the kit had the wrong fitting in it. The existing fitting fits fine with the LP orifice. Everything is back together. Just need to replace the regulator spring now. I’m going to hire a heating contractor to check and adjust my gas pressure and I think I’ll just let him replace the spring too.
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coalkirk
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Post by coalkirk » Fri. Aug. 26, 2022 3:10 pm

Gas line to the boiler completed and leak tested. On to the hydronic plumbing.

 
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Post by StokerDon » Sun. Aug. 28, 2022 9:20 pm

coalkirk wrote:
Fri. Aug. 26, 2022 3:10 pm
Gas line to the boiler completed and leak tested. On to the hydronic plumbing.
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Looks pretty good! I guess there is a lot more room down there with no coal bin and no EFM. It will still be warm though!

-Don


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