Joined on September 16, 2002
Last Post on December 10, 2013
@ March 26, 2004 11:25 AM in City Steam and One Pipe SystemEven if you enjoyed the noise on that arrangement, the frequent (probably VERY frequent) cycling of the valve would destroy it in no time flat. Go with a properly sized pressure reducing valve, but get a really good engineer who understands steam (as someone said earlier) to size the thing -- saturated steam just doesn't behave the same way through a valbe as do air or gas, never mind water.
@ March 23, 2004 8:58 PM in close call todayvery old wood (well seasoned, dry) is almost as flammable... but that tar paper covered insulation is the worst.
@ March 18, 2004 8:59 PM in Happy Anniversary Noel & Lisaand you really are a great guy, Noel. Thanks! And congratulations on 25 years! Bring your lady by sometime, eh?
@ March 16, 2004 8:23 PM in Backflow PreventionTry www.wattsreg.com and search on 'backflow' -- more info than you ever wanted!
@ March 16, 2004 8:18 PM in Backflow PreventionBut the old National Plumbing Code has some good advice on the subject. Come to think of it, maybe Watts Regulator has a web site? I'll go look when I finish surfing the Wall...
@ March 15, 2004 3:20 PM in No pressure at boiler gaugeis that until the radiators are pretty well heated up, the only pressure you're going to see is simply what it takes to get steam from the boiler through the lines to the radiators -- the pressure in the radiators, so long as they are still condensing steam, will be zero gauge, or awfully close to it (or should be... of course, if your vents aren't working...). That isn't much pressure (we're talking ounces here). The pressure doesn't really build until the vents or traps shut (depending the type of steam system) -- at which point, the boiler should shut down for a while; the steam already in the system will condense (providing heat still) and the pressure will drop and so on.
@ March 15, 2004 3:04 PM in steam helpYou may have to educate someone. I (central Litchfield County, CT) was able to 'educate' a very good heating contractor, used to steam but not vapour, with the help of all the great guys on the Wall. Not so simple, but it can be done. I don't think my guy works as far west as you, though...
@ March 12, 2004 1:01 PM in Water hammer in 2-pipe steam system following work by plumberSeveral thoughts -- all from the 'been there, done that' school of heating maintenance. First, when the thermostatic valves (which are new, right?) are closed, more steam will try to go where there are open valves. It is quite possible that the extra velocity is carrying water over into the runouts to those radiators, where the water is making the water hammer. I would be very suspicious indeed of this as a cause, since if I understand you correctly, this didn't happen before the valves were installed. That it is early in the cycle suggests the same... open those thermostatic valves! There should have been valves on the inlets to the radiators -- the idea is to adjust those so that you get the heat in the room which you want; if this is a vapour system, that shouldn't be hard to do, although it's a little fiddley. Make sure your pressure is low -- if you have a Vapostat, 12 ounces is as high as you want, and 8 ounces better. If it's an ordinary Pressure switch, set it about as low as it will go -- 1 psi max. And yes, some vapour and two pipe systems do not have traps on the radiator outlets, but depend on a bewildering array of either special outlet fittings or on calibrated inlet valves to make sure that all the steam fed to the radiator is condensed before it leaves. The Lost Art of Steam Heating has a good section on this.
@ March 4, 2004 1:45 PM in Soldering copper tubing in tight clearancesjust a gentle note... in some very old houses, it is worth remembering that the ignition temperature of the wood may be as low as 300 F. A soldered joint, particularly a larger one, can easily retain enough heat to light off the wood, even a few inches away, with some time delay (can be an hour or so). So be very careful... Which is partly why my 'cottage' is all compression fittings on the water lines on new or repair work. The steam heat is, of course, threaded iron -- Steam Rules!
@ March 4, 2004 1:28 PM in Cast Iron RadiatorsI like Burnham, but the Governale Company also makes them -- if you are looking for a really fancy Victorian, they have them.
@ March 3, 2004 6:55 PM in water hammer and spring valvesIt may not be water hammer in that particular pipe. It could be from the riser... (trust me, been there, done that, have the T-shirt). Is there a long horizontal runout to the riser in the basement? Could be at the elbow to the riser at the end of that. Amazing how sound travels in an iron pipe...
@ March 3, 2004 6:53 PM in replacement cast iron radsGovernale Company, Inc. Try :http://www.governaleindustries.com/victoria.cfm
@ March 1, 2004 4:01 PM in steam to hot waterThese fantastic pros helped me and my contractor (who didn't know the first thing about vapour steam when he started) renovate a wonderful old vapour steam system on my 'cottage' -- it's been working great for a year, heating twice the space on less than half again as much oil. Bought a bunch of nice big vents... all the traps still worked (well, heck, they were only 90 years old)... one leaky radiator... Stay with the steam, mon, and be happy!
@ September 13, 2003 10:39 PM in Gate valve or Ball Valve?not much, unless you get really picky... bad choice of words! However, if you insist... in throttling, the objective is either to set a specific pressure drop or to drop to a specific pressure; in flow control, the objective is to set a particular flow rate, regardless of pressure. Hydronic stuff often is working with flow control... However... I wasn't being picky, just sloppy! Sorry...
@ September 12, 2003 9:01 PM in Gate valve or Ball Valve?What a topic! They are all good for something, all of them! Gates are, or should be, either open or closed -- there can be tremendous wear on the guides at part openings. That said, I've use them for throttling, but never less than half open. Gate valves are great for flow control, but you do have to watch the pressure drop through them, and they really shouldn't be on low-pressure steam mains (too much pressure drop and some VERY interesting balance/no heat problems). Ball valves are pretty good, all around. Reduced port is fine -- except, again, on low pressure steam mains (same pressure drop problem) (don't ask: been there, done that, got the T-shirt).
@ September 9, 2003 9:48 PM in Steam Trapanother Hoffmann loop! They do work... just fine!
@ August 6, 2003 11:38 AM in changing from vapor steam system over to waterIndeed, as Dan says -- why on earth would you want to do that? Aside from the hideous expense of changing all the valves and traps, you will have a whole new set of controls and pumps and so on and so on. Find a good steam heating man (there are plenty here -- try Find a Contractor) and replace the boiler, if need be, and sit back and enjoy!
@ July 21, 2003 7:50 PM in Pumping QuestionI'd go with option 3; get a third pump as a backup. And if at all possible, wire the controls so that all three pumps got run on a regular basis...
@ July 21, 2003 7:48 PM in Windows Error (again)In some ways I agree with everyone... but in many ways I do not. In 'real' life (when I'm not enjoying myself playing with antique vapour steam systems) I'm a full-time computer programmer. And I know just how hard it is to kill bugs. The more power built into a program, the more bugs there will be -- and the trouble is, the programmer CAN'T find them all (really). The bugs will show up when real people use the program in ways which are permitted, but not foreseen. As to why Microsoft (and particularly Explorer and Outlook) gets attacked by folks, I see two reasons: first, it is popular and 'cool' to attack Microsoft. Second, if a product has 95% of the market, and another product has 5%, and you want to get noticed, which do you go for? Netscape is not much better -- if any -- in the underlying engine, just much less popular. I am not particularly defending Microsoft, by the way -- I do all my work in using a programming engine called dBASE which I regard as much superior (for what I do -- database programming) to any other product out there... The best defense -- regardless of product: a good firewall (there are a bunch of them); good practices -- and whatever you are running, check for updates not less than once a week and preferably once a day!
@ June 13, 2003 11:17 AM in Change Some PipesYes I am, I love it -- any Wallie who'd like to is welcome to send me an e-mail (I'm often not home) and drop by -- working Hoffman Loop, Gorton vents, the whole thing. And war stories.
@ June 12, 2003 9:45 PM in Change Some Pipesfrom, most decidedly, NOT an expert. I think I would replace the stuff. I though I had a system with a good steel return, but there were sections which failed. Fortunately, in a place where it was accessible. And I would put it in a clay tile duct, just like it was, or even reuse the one you have. At any bends, and the ends, access points. And short enough sections so that you can disconnect pieces if you need to and snake them out. I have sort of decided that there is no such thing as too many unions...
@ June 11, 2003 2:21 PM in for all you steam guru'sAll my risers (lots of them!) are exposed in the first floor -- the heat was put in long after the house was built, and it was 'way too much hassle to try to get throught the beams... And not insulated. The only thing about not insulated risers is that in a few situations you may get enough condensation early in the cycle to give a bit of water hammer (nothing serious) if there is a long, relatively flat, runout from the main to the riser. Been there, done that...