Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall
nicholas bonham-carter

nicholas bonham-carter

Joined on November 24, 2007

Last Post on September 1, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

the noise factor

@ March 26, 2011 7:00 AM in Steam versus Hot Air

why not arrange a demonstration of the difference in noise between the 2 systems: at some meeting where the deciding parties are, plug in first an electric hair dryer, and then an en electric kettle. ask them which would be more objectionable.
the new mini-split a/c's are quite quiet.--nbc

to tilt or not that is the question

@ March 25, 2011 1:07 AM in Tilting Main Lines & Short Cycling

some systems tilt the main away from the boiler, and are known as "counterflow", while the majority are "parallel-flow" with the main sloped away from the boiler.
a better explanation would be in "the lost art of steam heating" available from the shop here.
as far as short-cycling, the best way to analyse the situation is to find out when it happens--beginning of the cycle [during venting through inadequate main vents?], or during the main part of the cycle [over-sized boiler?]. knowing the exact pressure in ounces would help as well.--nbc

venting capacity

@ March 25, 2011 12:59 AM in small replacement radiators?

put as much venting on as you can. gorton #2's are the biggest available, and not that much more expensive than the gorton #1. you can never be over-vented, but the problems of being under-vented are serious, so err on the side of caution. if you had a good low pressure gauge, you could see what the back-pressure of venting was [ideally 2 ounces].
your piping looks to have no equalizer, and hartford loop. is that so? if so, then a bit of re-piping would be in order.--nbc

this just in

@ March 24, 2011 5:14 PM in this just in
at least they must have had a detector!--nbc

gravity frozen in time

@ March 24, 2011 12:43 PM in Frozen, broken boiler/radiators. Help!

you may get lucky with this as the fittings sometimes break first, and then the water drains out of the radiators before freezing and breaking them.
any broken radiators you can replace from the collection of jay rybin, who is the only expert i know of in omaha 402-341-5143.--nbc[ 68131]

have you studied this?

@ March 24, 2011 12:35 PM in vapor heating system with naturally induced vacuum
this would be a good combination for vacuum, as all the joints are new.--nbc

"ole rusty"

@ March 24, 2011 12:19 PM in Time to replace boiler

check on-line with utica to see if replacement sections are still available for your boiler.
if your main venting is inadequate, then when the boiler shuts down, the resulting vacuum formed in the pipes will be unrelieved, and will pull the waterline up into the returns, so when you replace the sections/boiler, then put plenty of venting on! it also helps to keep the pressure low, and to know what that pressure is in ounces.
the mfg of the new sections, or the new boiler will have strict instructions for piping the boiler using steel threaded pipe for the steam supplies. these are to followed as a minimum, and can be improved by the addition of more risers, and a bigger dropped header. the copper may have contributed to the early demise of the boiler. and finally, you will have a hartford loop which seems to be missing on your present setup..--nbc


@ March 24, 2011 8:18 AM in still unbalanced

can you draw  a layout of your system? i am not sure what these "zones" are.
i really do not think that tank should be necessary, and may be an inpediment to proper operation. after all would this system have had this sort of pumping system when first installed?
has the system been really skimmed in the burnham approved way?--nbc.

vacuum system modifications

@ March 24, 2011 8:12 AM in vapor heating system with naturally induced vacuum

what an interesting experiment. i wish i were closer and could participate, it awakens my grandfather's genes [see gravity engine]!--nbc

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