How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:41 am

I’m not looking for an online pissing contest I’m just handing out a little of what I hope is constructive criticism.


You sure have a strange way of going out it. I don't see anything out of line with Sting's reply to your question, if you don't like it, disregard it. Not liking the tone of someones response is different than launching a personal attack.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:05 pm

I don't know there Blanchem how you thought Sting wasn't helping you out.

Most of us here started out as new to coal and lacking any understanding of how any heating system works. Most homeowners don't know the first thing about heating systems and as is found out sometimes, neither did the person who designed and maybe installed the system.

By posting questions and yes maybe by reading some books, we are all better able to understand our own individual home or business heating needs and requirements as unless you are buying a cookie cutter house in a development, each house is unique. Hate to remind Sting of this epic thread, but if you read it, it will show how he does help people as long as they ask the proper questions.
Monoflow Continuous Circulation System


And I and a lot of others even on here have also had to deal with computer geeks who won't give you the time of the day. So I (we) have also had to learn how to service my (our) computing needs myself (ourselves).



Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: Sting On: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:02 am

Thank-you

RICK

ROB

Oliver

Your kind words are appreciated more than you can know. Some folks just feel "entitled" to a simple answer that isn't available. And then- find comfort in reminding me what my mothers used to do for nickles behind the school.

Its all good!

Everybody enjoy the spring weather and the off season to come

Ill just go lay by my dish for the summer

Kind Regards
Sting
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: northernmainecoal On: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:27 am

Sting
Your responses are appreciated, probably more than you realize
For those not willing to listen/learn and do their research it's their loss
Thanks
northernmainecoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30-95
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Nut

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: vermontday On: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:38 am

I had a similar problem with a large cast iron zone pulling down the boiler temperature. I installed a boiler aquastat in series with the circulator for this zone and set it for 20 F less than the boiler setting.
When this zone calls, the aquastat pulses the heat to it, preventing the boiler from dragging down. It works very well and helps prevent overshoot of the large cast iron zone.
vermontday
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:13 am

I like Sting being on this board. He offers a lot of help to people who need it and are asking for it. Don't let this topic discourage you Sting. I have seen you answer a lot of what I could not.
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: blanchem On: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:52 am

Sting,

I didn’t want to engage in an online shouting match and therefore should have chosen my words a little differently to avoid that but I did want to post one final time with my apology. I’d like to sincerely apologize for the statements in my post that were personal. You struck a big time nerve with your statement (as I read it) to go read and then come back when I had educated myself up to your standards to be able to ask educated questions. You have answered others post similarly. Trust me, we are all trying! Reading AND asking questions is how the learning process works. I stand by my appeal for the remaining contents of the note but I do apologize for the personal attack portions.

Mike
blanchem
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A-80

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:18 pm

Mike, one thing to keep in mind with internet forum communications is the reader supplies all of the voice inflections and emphasis when reading what another has typed. I've been guilty (many times) of snapping back with a response that was uncalled for and have regretted it later. Maybe I was in a bad mood, in a hurry, whatever. You are not exactly a fixture on this site so you don't "know" Sting if you understand what I mean. Those of us who spend lots of time "know" Sting and his style if you will. His posts are often brief. He knows more about these subjects than most here do. I understand how you must have felt. Glad you've apologized for the personal attack. No harm, no foul.
I've got the same boiler and have some thoughts about your situation but I've got to bug out right now. I'll respond later tonight. Cheers.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:27 pm

OK, I'm back. As I said I have the same boiler and have been using it for 11 seasons. I am not a heating professional but I'm going to try and address some of your questions and plans. You've given some information about the home and system. We know for instance that the home was built in the 1940's, that its 2500 square ft. and is moderately insulated. We also know you have 4 zones (3 baseboard, 1 cast iron radiators) and that you have a domestic water coil. But there are many other facts that a person would need to know to accurately diagnose the situation.
Let's talk about the home first of all. You don't say where the home is located. Your membership info says you live in Manasass, VA and St Michael Pa. You did say it's your dad's boiler but we're not sure where it is. There's going to be a big differance in demand between VA and PA. You say it's "moderately insulated." One mans moderate is another mans "not very well." Typically a 1940's home would have zero insulation in the walls and not much in the attic. You didn't mention if the home has original or new windows. We don't know if the 2500 sq. ft. includes the basement which has the radiator zone.

As for the boiler, we don't know how the controls are setup for the domestic water coil. Are heating zones shut down if boiler temp drops below a certain threshold? When the radiator zone comes on a big gulp of cold water hits the boiler. And of course that knocks down the temperature of the 50 gallons of boiler water. It takes a VF3000 awhile to raise that temp back up. We don't know what the size of the distribution pipes are in the radiator zone. Many 1940's homes would have had 2" pipes as they were usually gravity flow. There's lots of water in 2" pipes. Oh and we also don't know what temperatures we are talking about. Is the boiler set at 180, 160? What's the differential? How many dots is the pusher block set to? Is there a barometric damper and manometer installed? How are the timers set? How much coal does this 2500 sq. ft. home burn in a typical heating season?

So you see how difficult it would be for anyone to give you intelligent answers to your questions. I am pleased with my VF3000 but it's no EFM or Axeman Anderson. It's got limitations. I can tell you that trying to utilize the boiler drain port for a return is not going to help. Insulating the piping on the radiator zone my help a tiny bit but you probably won't notice.

Your last series of questions was about the % of open/closed position of the bypass valve. The only answer to that is exactly what Sting told you. "Its adjust -- test - then repeat - get a non contact thermometer and do a search in these threads for system balance." I think a bypass could help you. But remember, it's a VF3000 which I will describe as not a high performance boiler. Possibly some controls could have a positive result without breaking into the plumbing. It would be a shame to do a lot of plumbing and then find out it hardly makes a difference. Maybe the best answer would be to get rid of the radiators (and 2" pipe?) and replace them with baseboard. Stick around and ask more questions. Just don't expect a "bug fix" to be down loaded to you from hundreds of miles away. That only works with networks and computers.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:34 am

You could try putting a bypass on each radiator, I usually put the right under the unit , from the supply side before the shutoff underneath w/ valve just in case , to the return /cold side pipe. That way the first unit in line doesnt get all the heat and overall you could throttle them all back enough to return warmer water to the boiler. This is one reason why I advocate for a larger than needed boiler, do the math shure, then put in 30% more. There aint no substitute for horse power when you need it. Ima run away now, I feel a shyt storm commin...

Waldo
waldo lemieux
 
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: s-20

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:10 pm

Waldo, you can have a boiler with 3x the btu rating of the heat load and still have it struggle when a high mass zone first begins circulating. There is no substitute for proper piping and control strategies...but an oversize boiler is indeed more forgiving.

Back to the original post - so the VF3000 runs for a while when the basement zone calls for heat...is this a problem? You didn't mention any issues other than the boiler takes a while to satisfy the heat call.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: blanchem On: Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:51 pm

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Thanks to all with suggestions! I will address the additional questions coalkirk raised with a little "light" reading! The home the VF300 is installed is my fathers in PA. I used the term moderately insulated to reflect a 1940’s two story 2 x 4 frame built home that has been remodeled throughout the years with R11 insulation in all outside walls and 18” of blown in attic insulation. Outside has house wrap installed under insulated vinyl siding. I would consider that pretty well insulated but the term moderately I use comes due to older double pane windows that I feel should be replaced. A little father/son disagreement on that subject.

The 2500 sq. ft. does not include the basement which is a 1000 sq. ft. and is 2‘ above ground and only 4.5’ below. Low ceiling! Manual j calculations (unfortunately after we installed the boiler) I ran with indoor design temp of 74 and outside design temp of 0 suggest 126,784 total BTU heating. I used the zero outdoor for what I felt would be worst case scenario. Worst case scenario pushes the VF3000 above its 95,000+ listed BTU rating but other than the coldest days it kicks butt maintaining 74. As I said in my earlier post my mom is froze at any thermostat setting below 74 on the two zones in what I call the living space while my dad is sweating. I suspect they may not even have this issue on the coldest days if the house was set just a couple degrees cooler but that is not an option as we do want a happy mom. Basement zone and second floor bedrooms both have thermostats set to 65. They use 7 ton of coal a year.

Boiler: I hired a plumber to install the plumbing as I knew nothing about plumbing a boiler and he and I did the control wiring as I am familiar with controls and wanted a few options I felt were worthwhile to attempt to automate the failover to the oil boiler. Oil boiler piped in parallel with coal 25’ away and separate taco 007 pump on its return just as the coal pump is on the return. Boiler set to run should the VF3000 fail or not be able to maintain temp. Coal & Oil boiler supply and return mains and interconnectivity between are all 1 1/4” copper. Piping to and from all zones from mains are 3/4'” copper. There are manual valves in 1 1/4” at both boilers but no manual valves in any 3/4” zones and no circulator pumps in any zones. Obviously no bypass loop on coal boiler hence my post.

Stoker & Air controls: Stoker on time 4, off time 12 and distribution blower extend time 6. Fall & spring coal feed starts at 3.5 turns out and does a pretty good job there until after Thanksgiving when we start to increase feed by quarter or half turns as weather worsens. My dad has issues seeing the small holes and adjusting to the “dots” so we go by turn increments of the pusher block adjustment. He tries to keep ash an inch from the end of the grates. He writes down every adjustment so with me a couple states away but always in contact we both always know where we are with air, feed and draft. When he has questions we face time with our iPhones so I can see exactly what he is dealing with. I have the combustion air circulator connected to the distribution receptacle which takes advantage of the dist. blower extend timer and gives us much better % of burnt coal consumption, finer ash and I believe a more steady idle fire. I think it also helps in that it allows for a little quicker recovery rate from idle. In lieu of a manometer I have two Dwyer magnehelics. Photoheclics actually but I removed the control functions. I have one plumbed in the door (try to maintain -.04 to -.05) and one in the flue pipe (try to maintain -.06) just before the barometric damper. I have CO2 detectors installed on all levels. All alterations thanks to NEPA posters over the years! So although I am not a heavy poster I would consider myself a silent fixture to this site making suggested changes I feel help.

Controls: Beyond the included Honeywell A350 (160 degree settings in spring/fall, 180 most of winter and 190 during extreme cold expectations) & Y350 controls the included S350 is used for our dump zone (set for cooling, offset 10 & diff 15) with control wires run to activate basement zone valve on high boiler temp. We purchased a second S350 (set for heating, offset 30 diff 20) and wired it in parallel with an additional thermostat mounted in the “living space” set 2-4 degrees below the coal thermostat and connected to the TT terminal on the oil boiler. Thought behind this was that either a low boiler temp or low living area temp would bring the oil boiler on to help the coal boiler if needed. Works as advertised on frigid days but I want it never to turn on as I’d rather be paying PA coal miners than sending a penny overseas. They get enough of our tax dollars for free already. I was a member of the UMWA and spent five years in the bituminous mines of western PA before becoming a network geek. Oil boiler set 160 high and 130 low in winter but does not run to maintain as I only allow a very small flow from the coil boiler to maintain temperature mainly to prevent condensation of boiler. Set to not lose heat up oil flu. In lieu of a third S350 we installed a L6006C aquastat (set at 140 with a 10 diff) on the supply line just at the exit of the coal boiler that in conjunction with the R8845U switching relay will stop the coal taco pump should the boiler temps fall to 130 due to large heat demand or high DWH use. We also installed a D350 digital boiler temperature display. We installed this to help troubleshoot the system when we had what turned out to be an intermittent issue with the A350. Determined A350 needed replaced with the help of the set point button feature of the D350.

Rob R., I may not have mentioned it but on those cold days when the boiler struggles to recover the house temps drop and the oil kicks on. Might not even bother you and I but the couple degree temp drop does my mom. She drives dad crazy complaining its cold! It’s not the end of the world as it currently works as designed and the oil boiler kicks on. Just being anal and trying to get zero oil consumption and constant warm temps throughout the house on those bitter days if possible.

Coalkirk, I’m not sure if this overload of VF3000 information will be valuable to others but if it helps me find a solution I appreciate your interest. I also appreciate all other posters that have contributed both to date as well as future. I’m looking into everyone’s suggestions. I am also aware that there may not be a solution that works and if that is the case we will reluctantly live with sending some of our money overseas.

I’m also using all this information I get from here as I am retiring back to PA this summer and addition & remodel of our old farm house is underway. I’m planning an EFM DF520 in that one for heating the house and garages. Maybe I’ll get that one right the first pass!

Thanks to all! Mike
blanchem
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A-80

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: blanchem On: Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:52 pm

Correction... my coal boiler controls are Johnson Controls and not Honeywell.
blanchem
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A-80

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:13 am

Well Mike you might not have done everything you should have before the install, like a manual J, but that's a pretty nice install. There are two schools of thought here on the forum about boiler sizing. Size it for the typical load or for the worst case senario. You sized it for the typical load, not worse case. I happen to agree with that logic. Others will disagree. So you are actually heating 3,500 sq. ft. and domestic hot water. That's a good days work for the VF3000. I'm doing about 4k and it assists with domestic hot water. It struggles in extreme weather too. I keep my house at 68-70 degrees, also to keep wife happy. Woman have wacky thermostats. My wife is always too warm. Your mom is always too cold. :roll: Not much can be done about that. I tell people we heat with coal and menopause.

The insulation sounds good. You should have the window conversation with dad again. Seventy five year old windows are not helping the situation.

I know many on the forum keep their homes quite warm. While I'm not crazy about 68 degrees, I find 70 to be quite comfortable. Keeping the home at 74 is part of the problem in my opinion. Maybe buy mom a really nice sweater.

Seven tons of coal doesn't sound bad to heat that much space and domestic hot water in PA. If that's his typical usage, I'm guessing he burned alittle more this year. This was an extreme year and everyone burned more fuel. Your settings sound right. Maybe the over fire draft is alittle strong. My over fire draft is .02 and I run the flue at .03-.04. Subtle difference but I think it makes some difference. I too run the combustion fan off of the distribution blower control. Mine runs 24/7 but on a reduced speed unless stoking. That helped me quite a bit.

I don't run my oil boiler at all. I could bring it into service in about 10 minutes if needed but I don't even have a vent pipe installed to avoid heat loss up its chimney. I think it's reasonable for most folks to have it setup the way yours does to kick on automatically. You mentioned having reduced water flow to the oil boiler. When the oil does kick on I assume that limits how much help its giving the VF3000. How much oil does he burn a season?

Of course your dad should be operating the cleaning rod regularly (couple times a week) to keep flyash off of the heat exchanger tubes, cleaning out the fly ash from under the grates and out of the vent pipes several times a season.

Your detectors are CO, not CO2. CO2 makes beer happy, CO makes you wake up dead. :lol:

Overall I don't think you have a problem worth installing a bypass. Since it perform wells 99% of the time and the issue is only during extreme weather, I would be happy. That's assuming he's not using any significant amount of oil. So really my advice would be to get mom a nice sweater, knock the heat back to 72 and convince dad to replace the windows. Remember free advice is worth just what you pay for it. :lol:
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: How to adjust bypass flow for boiler protection/efficiency?

PostBy: blanchem On: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:53 pm

Dad’s getting close to burning 8 ton this year. He normally burns 6.5 - 7. His daily routine includes hopper filling and ash removal AM & PM… (don’t ask!) Big concern for him since he “only” has five ash pans! Actually I believe it’s so he can keep the lifting to light loads even though his grandsons or my brother routinely stop by to remove ash from the basement for him. He does the under grate and vent pipe door area monthly. Once a day he religiously operates the cleaning rod. He even operates the cleaning rod in the summer when the boiler is not operational. He is weary of not doing that after we helped a neighbor free his up after no summer use (not even sure if this guy did it in the winter) and the whole inside scaled badly to where it would not move at all. He asked for our help and it took us almost two hours to free up the tubes so the cleaning bar could run the distance. Due to a damp basement we remove the vent pipe completely and keep a 100 watt bulb warming the combustion chamber during summer months. So does his neighbor now!

Mom wears her heavy clothes daily in the home and covers in blanket while viewing TV so no room to move on the lower thermostat option!
blanchem
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A-80

Visit Lehigh Anthracite