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nicholas bonham-carter

nicholas bonham-carter

Joined on November 24, 2007

Last Post on August 28, 2014

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Recent Posts

repiping burnham boiler

@ March 23, 2011 1:27 PM in still unbalanced

now would an easy job for them to correct this by moving the second riser connection over so that it is next to its mate on the wall side. this will keep the main drier especially if using a drop header- an easy fix, with only a few additional parts/pipes needed.
have them check your main vents while they do this.--nbc

honeywell/tekmar missing the boat

@ March 23, 2011 1:17 PM in Help with Installing Wireless Thermostat

even though honeywell make the prestige wireless, a lot of it is battery powered, which could cause problems when the batteries give out.
what they [honeywell/tekmar/et al.] should do is to enable the control signals to go through the house a/c wiring, like the old radio shack intercoms. that way, you would have no worries about the prestige batteries, or wireless interferance. most situations where wiring is hard to run can also be low signal areas.--nbc

chilly in fargo

@ March 23, 2011 8:37 AM in still unbalanced

i think that the connection to the main steam line should be changed so that it is not between the 2 risers.  check the mfg's piping diagram for compliance with your piping layout, as to riser/piping diameters etc. your present layout will push lots of water up into the system-not good.

it's hard to see, but, what is your pressuretrol set for? if you were to have an over-sized boiler, and an over-pressure situation, then the main vents may have trouble letting the air out. what sort of thermostat do you have, and is it compatible, and set right for steam. the desired result of capacious main venting is to fill the mains first, and then the radiator vents will allow the air out, and the steam into all radiators simultaneously. if the thermostat is satisfied to soon, and there is imbalance, then the burner will be cut before the steam arrives at the farthest rads.--nbc

steam sizing

@ March 23, 2011 12:40 AM in sizing a boiler

yes, still size the boiler to the radiation, and as a result of all your insulation it will run less, if:
1. if changing the boiler, do not go by the rating of the old boiler, but instead, add up the ratings of all the radiators, and size it from that total, and pipe it right.
2. you put on plenty of main vents , to let the air out for the steam to get into the radiators.
3. you keep the pressure down.-[2-8 ounces are recommended]
4.put the thermostat in the right location, and set it right for steam, or choose another type of control, such as the tekmar279.--nbc

barfing boiler

@ March 22, 2011 6:32 AM in Another rotted-out atmospheric steamer replaced

sounds like you need your own thread to get this system back in shape, before it takes a dive as well!
some traps can stop working merely because of over-pressure. even though you say "lowish  pressure", unless you have a good low-pressure gauge, how would you know?--nbc

pb-blaster or kroil to the rescue

@ March 19, 2011 8:37 AM in Rusted Main Vent

i was thinking about more than a "tap" on the wrench-more like a "whack", and yes use some sort of penetrating oil.
don't allow yourself to get confused by mistaking the direction of rotation for unscrewing as you are probably underneath the joint." righty-tightey, lefty-loosey", when viewed from the top can get turned back to front from some angles.--nbc

useless 0-30 pressure gauge

@ March 19, 2011 8:31 AM in Hissing and Gurgling

why indeed do the manufacturers, and installers not install a good low-pressure gauge on every steam boiler sold? and yet, the owner will never know if the pressuretrol is working properly, unless one is installed! without an accurate reading, the owner, will also not know either whether main venting is adequate [back-pressure during venting], or how much extra fuel is being burned to maintain a higher than normal pressure [8 ounces].
after all would you check your tires with a 5000 psi hydraulic gauge?--nbc

removing recalcitrant vent

@ March 19, 2011 12:35 AM in Rusted Main Vent

most main vents are brass-bodied, and should come out with a few taps on the handle of the wrench, while you exert a bit of force on them. the shocks can loosen them more easily than constant force.--nbc


@ March 19, 2011 12:31 AM in Hissing and Gurgling

what size main vent did you put on?
what is your main pressure-hopefully less than 2 psi ?--nbc

good reason for disagreement

@ March 17, 2011 11:11 PM in Peerless boiler install

i hope that you have held back some money from the total to get him to come back.
the pulsating could come from lack of insulation of the steam main supplies. however since some major changes are in order for your piping, it is best not to insulate them until the "installer" repipes.--nbc

a tee on the supply

@ March 17, 2011 11:02 PM in separating equalizer and header drip

sounds like a good skimming port to keep the tee on the side outlet, but the rest of the piping should follow the mfg's installation instructions at a minimum.--nbc

panasonic cordless phones

@ March 17, 2011 10:18 PM in Internal phone system woes, need advice

you may have to look online for the 4-line model, but i am sure you will be very happy with cordless.--nbc

phone system alternatives

@ March 17, 2011 6:50 PM in Internal phone system woes, need advice

we have had good luck with panasonic 4-line cordless phones. cordless technology is so much better now. it comes in 2-line, and 4-line flavors. you can set it up yourself, and you can transfer directories from base to any handset. the base looks like a regular telephone, but is battery protected.
equally important is the message recording time-45 min. i think.--nbc


@ March 17, 2011 6:44 PM in Baseboard heating pipes burst help

i don't know why if they want you to go, they don't just give you a 30 day notice to quit, which is unfortunately for you their right. just so you know, the 30 days notice runs from rent paying date to 30 days later. if they gave you a notice today, the 30 days starts on april 1st.
in the case of a discriminatory lease termination, the lessee may be able to hold out longer. good legal council is always recommended. isn't there a law school with a legal clinic near you?---nbc
here is a link to perhaps some helpful information:

the end of the line

@ March 17, 2011 9:13 AM in Baseboard heating pipes burst help

you probably need a lawer at this point, and send your rent in perhaps by registered mail for the next month? do you have remaining time on your lease, or are you month-to-month?
are they treating anyone else in this despicable fashion?
have a look in the landlord-tennant law [probably online in some minn. state site], and see what the proper procedure should be to protect yourself in this case.--nbc

skimming info

@ March 17, 2011 9:03 AM in skimming the boiler for problem with water line

about the 2nd page is described the process. the mfg of the boiler will also have instructions in the online i&o manual for that particular boiler.--nbc

wrongful accusations

@ March 17, 2011 12:30 AM in Baseboard heating pipes burst help

who is this ty you mention? is he the manager? please direct him to this site for a discussion as to what went wrong, and more importantly how the same thing could be prevented from happening again.
i am sure that it is not your fault, especially as there was no instruction from the management as to how furniture should be placed.
obviously, they have had many problems such as this if they can say," that 9 out of 10 times when pipes freeze it is the tenants fault".--nbc

watery miracle workers

@ March 16, 2011 11:57 PM in Domo arigato

hear-hear, lets hear it for the plumbers, maligned for so long, until.......................people have a problem!
i think the trade is also mentioned in the bible, with shepherds [i will have to look it up]--nbc

new boiler erratic water line

@ March 16, 2011 11:51 PM in water line on steam boiler

skimming would be a good move in this situation.
check that pressure as well with a good low-pressure gauge, so you know whether the pressure control settings accurately reflect the pressure. so many time the control is not feeling the real pressure, and yet the owner quotes the settings, not knowing the real pressure. in a new boiler instalklation, there can be all sorts of debris, clogging up the pigtail, and preventing the control from operating properly.--nbc

atmospheric burner to blame?

@ March 16, 2011 11:42 PM in Another rotted-out atmospheric steamer replaced

how old was the old boiler? i can't believe there was any thermal shock going on, unless the auto fill was over-filling. could the feed water be from a water-softener?
i have at least got 20-35 years from my atrmospherics, in spite of many problems, [during my period of steam ignorance]--nbc

small main vent

@ March 16, 2011 11:14 AM in Rust in Boiler Water

without a proper sized main vent, you are paying your fuel company extra money to force the air out; however this is probably a summertime project, as there is a slight possibility of rounding the flats on the bushing, and having to cut it out.
the lack of main venting, and over-pressure are the fuel companies friend.--nbc

low pressure system

@ March 16, 2011 11:08 AM in Inside Sales & Design

these vapor systems worked without traps, because small orifices, or metering valves would be sized/adjusted to let only the amount of steam in which can be completely condensed. they were the cadillac of systems as long as they didn't change the adjustment to let too much steam into each radiator.
they need a vaporstat to keep the pressure at a few ounces, along with a good low-pressure gauge [] to verify. they also need substantial [gorton #2] main vents on the end of the supply, and the end of the dry returns. on my 55 rad system, i have 17 main vents, venting at 1-2 ounces, and all gravity return.
see if you can take a few pictures of the valves on the radiators, and post them here so someone may have some further suggestions. you may also search here for "vapor system", and "orifice".
some thought needs to be given to the height of the old vs. new waterline to keep any wet returns wet.
your customer won't believe the difference in comfort, and lower fuel consumption, when you are done!--nbc