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Cleaning a new steam boiler installation

New steam boiler installations introduce chemicals, such as cutting oils, into the steam system. Mud and dirt build up in the system piping for years and often breaks loose during removal of the old boiler and installation of the new boiler. This often leads to foaming (priming) and surging of the boiler water. Surging and priming lead to low water cut-off shutting off the boiler and can also lead to boiler failure. Clean water is required to prevent this. Therefore new steam boiler installations require cleaning, this cleaning may require multiple return visits to the job.

A clean system and clean water are the goals. Even when you clean the boiler water in a new replacement boiler after operation scale, dirt and oils present in the system piping will be flushed back to the boiler.

Boiler and system cleaning

  1. Draining and flushing of the boiler will remove solid material and dissolved additives, however it does not remove oils, grease or other films that have lined the boiler and system piping.
  2. Chemical cleaners made specifically for steam boiler systems, such as Utility brand “Dry Stream”, help prevent priming and foaming surging, also loosen rust and mineral deposits and aid in cleaning of the boiler and system. Remember to flush all additives from the boiler and system after a week or two. Dry Steam is a product of Utility Manufacturing located in Westbury, NY. We have found Dry Steam to be an effective boiler cleaner.
  3. Dry Steam is a great cleaner and there are a couple of methods for “blowing-off” a Slant/Fin steam boiler.
    1. Galaxy GXH and GXHA boilers without tankless coils have a skimming trough built into the casting. This trough is located just below the normal water level. The double sided trough extends for 6 inches in the boiler casting, this gives 12 effective inches to skim the top layer (where the oils sit) of the water surface. Follow the detailed instructions within the Galaxy steam boiler installations instruction to take advantage of this unique feature.
    2. Boilers without a skimming trough.
      1. Turn off electrical power supply to boiler. Allow boiler to cool down and also allow pressure to reduce to zero before attempting removal of components. Check for pressure by testing pop safety valve. With no pressure in boiler install skimmer valve and skimming piping as shown in Figure B. Make sure the bucket used to catch skimming discharge if covered with a cloth to help prevent hot skimming discharge escaping the bucket and leading to a dangerous situation.
      2. Cautiously open the skimming valve, do not open the boiler drain valve. Slowly fill the boiler with water until water seeps into the bucket. Maintain this water level so you are just able to continue skimming. Fire the boiler and allow water the slowly skim and seep into the bucket. Empty the bucket frequently and continue skimming until water is clean and no oil can be seen floating on top of the water in the bucket. This process may have to be repeated until the system and system water are clean. On dirty systems this process may have to be repeated after a few days or weeks.
      3. When finished remove the skimming piping, remove tee below pop safety valve and install pop safety valve following the boiler’s installation manual.
      4. Never install a valve between the boiler and the pop safety valve. Install discharge piping on the pop safety valve following the boiler’s installation manual and local codes. Make sure all pipe connected to the pop safety valve is sized the same as the pipe connections to the valve. Never decrease the pipe size connected to the inlet and discharge sides of the pop safety. Never have a valve installed in the piping to or discharge side of the pop safety valve.
    3. Never add any type of chemical or cleaner to a steam boiler or steam system unless it is a product made specifically for steam systems. In a low pressure steam boiler water liquid expands around 1700 times when the water becomes low pressure steam. A lot of action goes on within a steam boiler so the boiler and system must be clean to produce quality dry steam into a steam heating system. Further, to ensure proper water level stability during steam boiler operation it is imperative the “near boiler piping” is installed exactly as detailed in our boilers’ installation instructions. During operation the pressure at the supply and return openings to the steam boiler must be equal, this is why you install the “equalizer” piping. Improper piping and cleaning of a steam boiler also leads to noisy banging (water hammer) in the system pipes. Steam velocity is fast and can exceed 40 miles per hour, this is one reason why “dry steam” is the only steam that should leave a steam boiler.
    4. We suggest you adjust the cut-out for the PA404A1009 Pressuretrol to a maximum of 2 P.S.I.G. with a 0.5 P.S.I.G. cut-in for normal residential boiler operation.

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Cleaning and Service should only be done by Certified Contractors

Slant/Fin’s new Decorator Series elevates baseboard heating to a whole new design level with exciting new colors

Decorator Baseboard Sign 2

Greenvale, NY – Slant/Fin Corp. has taken baseboard heating to the next level.  Slant/Fin Decorator Series premium baseboard is now available in a range of decorator colors to meet growing architectural and contractor demand for residential baseboard heating that offers more flexibility through colors to complement any home décor.
The Decorator Series is available in 30 Series, Multi/Pak 80 Series, as well as commercial fin-tube radiation products. The new colors are Brite White, Shell White, Almond, Mineral Bronze, Rubbed Bronze, Cloud Grey, Flat Black, and Mirror Black.
Decorator Series is powder-coated and then baked to create an appliance-like finish that resists scratches, rust and chipping more effectively than any other residential baseboard on the market while enhancing any home interior at an affordable price. They are easy to clean and made with an eco-friendly electrostatic process that uses 100% organic compounds.
Premium Baseboard and Commercial Fin-Tube Radiation heating can now be treated as an important visual element that contributes not only to the heating comfort of a room but its complete look and feel from an architectural standpoint. With a depth of just under 3 inches the 30-DS is non-invasive and can finally be looked upon to complement interior design.
Slant/Fin Decorator Series is manufactured with the same features that contractors have grown to love and trust for over 60 years, which is why Slant/Fin continues to be America’s #1 brand of baseboard for use in home renovation and new construction.
Slant/Fin is America’s leading manufacturer of baseboard heating equipment, and a top US manufacturer of gas and oil Residential, Commercial and High Efficiency Boilers.
Since 1949 contractors and homeowners have come to know and trust the company’s record of high-quality innovation, now with exciting new colors to take any room décor to the next level.
For more information, please contact your local wholesaler or call 516-484-2610 ext 369.

The CHS Boiler from Slant/Fin

CHS boiler

The new generation of high efficiency, modulating, condensing gas boiler is here.  This Energy Star rated boiler sports an ultra-durable stainless steel heat exchanger that is highly corrosion resistant.  It has a 5:1 turndown ratio and has the advanced Sola controller and Hapi interface.  The CHS boiler comes in 8 sizes to fit a wide range of applications

Show & Tell Boiler Installation Contest Entry

The next entry in….

From Chris S. of JV Enterprise, LLC, Grand Forks, ND
Slant/Fin S60 in a vintage sign collector’s shop (museum).
Glycol make-up injection pump.
Variable speed injection for floor heat.
High temp zone for forced air handler for quick recovery.

IMG_1677 IMG_1678 IMG_1680 IMG_1681 IMG_1682 IMG_1683 IMG_1684

Show & Tell Boiler Installation Contest Entry: Galaxy Steam Boiler

The next entry in….
From Bill S. of Verne & Ellsworth Hann, Inc. Cleveland Heights, OH
“The homeowner had become increasingly concerned with the original coal boiler from her house. The house was built in the early 1920’s. It was converted to natural gas at some point. During the extremely cold winter months, the homeowner decided it was time to invest in peace of mind and higher efficiency. Old boiler hauled out, new Slant/Fin Galaxy Steam boiler in its place… the heat was back on in one day.”


What is a Hybrid Boiler System?

A Hybrid Boiler System is a combination of two types of boilers used in the same system. Slant/Fin Hybrid Boiler Systems combine high efficiency condensing boilers with non condensing cast iron boilers.

How do you decide the make up of a Hybrid Boiler System?
On most existing hot water heating systems generally two thirds of the boiler system capacity will be in the non-condensing water temperature range and one third of the capacity is in the condensing water temperature range. Condensing water temperature is 130F or lower and above 130F water temperature we are above the condensing water temperature. Your mechanical engineer can calculate what percentage of your heating load can be satisfied in the condensing water temperature range and therefore, choose the condensing boiler capacity for your heating plant.

If you have questions about Hybrid Systems, give us a call!

Earlier Heating Season?

Have you noticed how much cooler temperatures have been this Summer in the Northeast? Do you think that trend will continue into the Fall? Are we looking at an earlier Heating Season?
Something to think about…

Earlier Heating Season?

Have you noticed how much cooler temperatures have been this Summer in the Northeast? Do you think that trend will continue into the Fall? Are we looking at an earlier Heating Season?
What do you think? Slant/Fin will be ready!

Hurricane-Damaged Boilers Will Be Replaced in New York Public Housing


Thousands of New York City public housing residents faced an agonizing wait for heat and hot water to return after Hurricane Sandy flooded their buildings’ boilers in 2012. Even after officials rushed temporary boilers to New York in the weeks after the storm, service has remained unreliable through two winters.

But under a deal between federal and city agencies that was announced Sunday, all 110 public housing buildings that have been relying on temporary boilers to serve 8,862 apartments will be getting new boilers, with the process expected to begin within six months. Under the terms of the $100 million agreement, federal funds will be used to reimburse the city’s financially stretched public housing authority for the costs of the temporary boilers as well as the new ones.

“The hardship is still real,” Senator Charles E. Schumer, who shepherded the deal between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the New York City Housing Authority, said on Sunday at the Stanley M. Isaacs Houses, a public housing development on the Upper East Side.

The temporary boilers are “not up to snuff,” he added. “We’ve cut through the red tape and we’ve brought this situation now to a speedy end.”

The housing authority has been spending $3 million per month to rent the temporary boilers since the storm — in all, about $56 million at developments in the Rockaways, in Coney Island and on the Lower East Side. The borrowed boilers have each been doing the work of multiple permanent boilers, 60 of which suffered flood damage.

The installation process is slated to start within six months, Mr. Schumer said, but it is unclear when all the boilers will be replaced.

Announcing the deal alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio and the chairwoman of the housing authority, Shola Olatoye, Mr. Schumer said the agreement would improve on FEMA’s normal policy of repairing, not replacing, damaged infrastructure. The original boilers had been showing their advanced age even before the hurricane hit, he said, making replacements all the more necessary.

The new boilers, which will be paid for with funds from the federal aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims, will be more water-resistant and built at higher elevations to help protect them from floods, he said. They will also burn natural gas instead of oil.

Mr. de Blasio praised the senator for pushing the agreement forward, adding that as the city continues to rebuild, “we have to find a way to right some wrongs in the process,” including replacing the antiquated boilers.

Though the news is sure to please some residents, Mr. de Blasio, who has been fending off criticism from several directions lately, had a run-in with yet another group of protesters on Sunday: Outside the building waited several dozen Upper East Side residents who oppose the city’s plan to build a waste transfer station nearby.

As they tried to swarm the mayor, he and his aides beat a hasty retreat indoors, moving the news conference with them. Mr. de Blasio said that while he respected the protesters’ opinions, he wanted to focus on the boiler deal, a “very important moment for New York City.”

Computer Backup by Al Levi

Tips on saving critical information on your computer system.

Backing up your computer files is not important!
It’s only important when something goes wrong. And something can always go wrong.
I know because it did at my shop years ago. It was so long ago IBM was the powerhouse in mainframe computers and laptops were still a twinkle in Steve Wozniak and Steve Job’s collective eyes.
The good news is we did have two big backup drives that were more like giant reels of tapes, each the size of a pizza. The bad news is we never quite got around to actually making those backups as often as we knew we should have. We were always too busy using and accessing the computer. Back then, you had to backup the computers when everyone signed off the system. This must seem quite archaic to some of you, but it was the norm.
So when the fateful day came and the mainframe crashed, we were left to restore our data and database from our last known backup. It turns out that was done a month before!
We had to manually re-enter all the invoices and bills for the previous month. And we had thousands of active customers. The sad fact is this reclamation project could have been avoided if we had only practiced a sound computer backup routine.
Be smart and learn fi’om my mistake. Take action now to spare yourself the agony of rebuilding your files, database and more.

Mild to wild habits
This is a quick overview of steps to take, beginning with mild and heading toward wild. You are well-served to have your own IT people work out a computer backup strategy at your company. In the meantime, here are prudent habits I practice and what I recommend clients do on a consistent basis:
• Do a simple save frequently as you’re working on a document. Then you won’t spend hours on it and have something fluky such as the power going out or your software freezing up and you end up losing everything. The best software will automatically save your document periodically but make sure that this is indeed happening.
• If it’s not life-critical and you want it to be copied and be portable too, copy a bunch of stuff to a jump drive.
• Copy a whole bunch of your data to an external hard drive. Today hard drives can hold so much and they’re so cheap, you can pretty much copy your whole computer to it!
• Set up a system so that when your office is closed and even when you’re sleeping, the computer automatically backs up to an external hard drive.
• Have two external hard drives and do a manual backup once a week; you can put a recurring note in Outlook so you remember to do it. Rotate taking one copy off-site in case a disaster strikes your office; you still have a copy that’s no more than a week old to restore from.
The devastation to many offices from Hurricane Sandy proves you don’t want all your eggs in one basket.
• If you’re networked, make sure the backup system is backing up not just the server with the shared files but also the files on a person’s own computer or laptop so it’s safe and recoverable.
• Outside companies such as Carbonite provide online backup services. Even Apple has iCloud. There are many more strategies,  to take advantage of the cloud, which gives backup protection and cloud access.
This can prove to be a double-edged sword if the sites get hacked and your data gets exposed, but the conventional thinking is these companies wage a never-ending battle to minimize this from happening.
• Finally, many computer experts have said that burning a “hard copy” to DVDs — depending on the size of the files — is helpful because, to date, it’s probably one of the best ways to keep something for a long time. Even though I’m sure this technology also will be replaced in time, for now it’s a pretty fail-safe strategy.
This topic is so important that I spend a portion of my first on-site visit with new clients coveting items just like this.
Here is the sobering news: You can do all this but if you don’t test the quality and quantity of your backup periodically, you can never know for sure how good it is. Should you need to restore information, a good computer backup strategy will address this issue as well.
My advice is to remember that having a parachute is a good thing. Knowing that the parachute is packed right and that an emergency parachute is there — just in case — is even better. A smart strategy and execution of computer backup provides great parachutes.

For more than I0 years, AI Levi has been helping plumbing businesses solve problems, turn greater profits, and help owners get their lives and free time back. This is all based on his 25-year career at his family-owned and -operated contracting business. To discover more, visit

From August 2013 edition of: