Re: temperature control

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Posted by William Parr on November 11, 2001 at 12:37:12:

In Reply to: temperature control posted by Bob Young on October 05, 2001 at 05:53:21:


I have a Crane (Bastian-Morley) 2wg4. Our unit is about 60 years old and has provided outstanding service over these many years. (Because of it's age, (and failing pump), we are replacing this unit in the next few days and before we ended its tenure, I thought I would investigate the unit on the internet and I found your e-mail). I think there is much to know about these boilers, (and I am NOT a heat and air man or an electrician). I recommend you find a heat & air man who has experience with boilers, (not a lot of heat & air guys or electricians know much about boiler systems). It is VITALLY IMPORTANT to have a soundly working boiler system with safety valve, high temperature shut-off switch, effective pilot and gas regulator, and a good working pump ("impellor"). On our unit, I personally try to keep the boiler water temperature around 120 in the mild Fall months and UP to 140 (and maybe a little higher) in the bitter cold Winter months. (You will need to adjust the settings at least weekly, maybe daily). I have a thermostat on the boiler that I set, (you may not have one ON your boiler, but have thermostats in your house which turn your boiler off and on). (Our boiler thermostat is a later addition we added after the failure of the complex "sensor / relay" system that no one could figure out how to fix). The boiler thermostat setting I use runs from about 100, (unit stays off nearly all the time at this setting) up to 140 (maximum). (Turning this setting from 100 up to 140 will make the gas burners ignite in our unit). The boiler thermostat settings on our unit DO NOT necessarily correspond to the water temperature gauge settings on the boiler. (My father always said the best way to determine if the boiler temperature was sufficient was to grab on to the hot water output pipe with your hand,(the pipe leaving the boiler cauldron). If you wanted to let go of the pipe after a couple of seconds, the water was sufficiently hot enough. I have always been more concerned about the water pressure in the system. (Hence my advice to obtain a good boiler man to advise you on the optimum operational water pressure, (and the all important maximum pressure), to be used in your system). I normally try to keep the water pressure on OUR system at 22 - 26 lbs. per square inch. OUR system can go up to 29 - 30 psi, but a safety "chatter" valve will release pressure above 30 psi. (Our system does not have a gauge to tell you how much water is in the system, and maybe yours does not either. But if you have pressure you should have water). You want to be sure that you have a safety valve installed and that it is working properly! Also be aware that if the safety valve pops off with any kind of regularity, (even popping off once in a while), these valves can degrade and will need to be replaced. The safety valve should really not ever go off. If it does you are probably operating the boiler at too high a water pressure and/or temperature. One thing to remember, pressure is a function of water volume AND temperature. Anyway, the pressure you need in your system will depend on the distance and height of your water pipe system. (For many years our boiler system had to push hot water to an attic blower unit from the basement up two stories to the attic. We installed a new forced air unit for that portion of the house some years ago. Our system no longer has to send water to the attic. Since that time I have been able to operate the unit at a pressure of 22 - 26 psi instead of 29 - 30 psi). I have always been concerned about the possibility of a fire in these older units. My electrican / heat and air man has always felt the possibility of fire was low, but he has been concerned about the possibility that the cauldron will crack and release all the water. To prevent this, he has always advised to keep both the temperature and water pressure at "median" rather than "maximum" levels. (You definitely need a smoke detector, and if possible, a smoke-heat detector, located just outside (but near) your boiler room area. Make sure your pump is properly oiled. I use a light "turbine oil" I find available at a local pump and electric motor repair shop. Our pump requires oil in three different ports so be sure you find all of the oil holes. When oiling the pump when running be sure to watch your fingers! Make sure your pilot light flame is high enough to easily ignite all the gas in the burner chamber without too much of a "kick". My father always described the "kick" as the ignition of the gas when the burners came on. If this "kick" is accompanied by a "pop" or loud rushing flame noise, you may not have enough flame to quickly ignite the gas. In this case you may need to turn up the flame on your pilot. (Your heat and air man is the best person to set the flame of your pilot light). Our pilot light is located on the right side of the burner chamber, and may not be the original pilot. One heat and air guy we used some years ago thought we needed a second pilot light on the left side of the burner chamber. However, he installed the line for the second pilot directly into the gas line, without going through the pilot regulator. This was a very dangerous situation as the boiler should have a high temperature shut off which is hooked into the electric pilot / gas regulator. In the event of an excessive temperature, the regulator will shut down the gas burners. The way this second pilot light was configured, it was not subject to the regulator. (We no longer use the second pilot light, but keep the right side pilot at a high flame). I cannot emphasize enough, that you need to have a good working electric pilot / gas regulator. Several years ago, we had to replace the original regulator with a newer and better unit. One of our better heat and air men, installed an "air tank" above our boiler. This air tank acts as a spring to help regulate the pressure in the system and seems to work well. Thats about all I can think of. Best of luck!


William Rob Parr

: I have a Crane line radiator model# 2wg3 MFD. by Bastian- Morley Co. What should the temperature gauges read? Anything I should be aware of?

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