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nicholas bonham-carter

nicholas bonham-carter

Joined on November 24, 2007

Last Post on August 20, 2014

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governale project

@ August 19, 2009 8:05 PM in Gov board on 1 pipe steam

if that is the type of basebord which has upper and lower tappings at both ends, maybe the supply could be connected to both the upper and lower  so the condensate has more room. if this is part of a central building system, i would hope it is  well vented on the mains and risers, and with proper low pressure [under 1 psi]. however, i think that it would not like radiator vents which are too "fast".
is there enough thermal mass in these to keep a bit of heat in between steam cycles? that is the beauty of conventional radiators, that they retain heat. how can you word  your contract with the customer so it absolves you of responsability for the actions of some one else down in the boiler room, if he were to crank up the pressure, or let the vents become inoperative.--nbc

underperforming radiators

@ August 19, 2009 7:07 AM in Raditor Threads not matching

how were some of the radiators "underperforming"? it is unlikely that they are clogged with debris, so there must be some other issue. check your main line  and radiator] venting, to make sure that the supply is not airbound as steam is rising. also check your pressure to make sure it is not set so high as to prevent the vents from doing their job. do this before spending more money on the radiators that instead should probably go towards new vents.
you would certainly benefit from a copy of "the lost art of steam heating", available here. this will point you in the right direction when problems arise, and prevent you from barking up the wrong tree, as may be the case here.--nbc

vapor system revival

@ August 17, 2009 11:55 PM in Steam to Hot Water

now that you have heard of the dangers of changing a steam system over to hot water, how about telling us why you considered the change to begin with?
as steamhead has pointed out, your system is most likely a "vapor system". those syetems, operating on a few ounces of pressure, were amongst the most economical, quiet and comfortable sources of heat ever designed, so why not simply correct any problems, and see how womderful they can be. for more information on how they work, get a copy of "the lost art of steam heating", available here. while you are waiting for it to arrive, do a search for vapor using the search button.
even if your boiler is the problem, don't change  to hot water, unless all the pipes are easy to change along with the radiators.--nbc

steam to hot water

@ August 16, 2009 10:17 AM in Steam to Hot Water

i suggest you perform a test on this system by pressurizing the piping and rads to find the potential leak spots before making the switch from steam to hot water. steam works on ounces of pressure, while hot water is 10-15 times that. the safest thing to do would be to install new piping and rads along with the new boikler. some radiators are for steam only, and do not have the flow through, or radiation capacity to function in a  hot water system.
what's wrong with the steam as it now is?--nbc

product rating numbers

@ August 15, 2009 8:59 AM in I could use a favor.

in the store product  rating numbers which end of the scale is good and which bad?-nbc

support your team

@ August 12, 2009 12:52 PM in support your team

why don't boiler mfgs. sell cool hats and shirts like this? i am sure gorton [and others]  could sell lots of shirts!--nbc
Sport your enthusiasm for the
BMW Sauber F1 Racing Team.
We’re officially in the middle of racing season, and the BMW Sauber F1 team is refueling last year’s momentum. This August, they return to Valencia, Spain, for the Grand Prix Europe and one goal: victory. Sport your enthusiasm by donning apparel inspired by turbocharged drivers, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica.

 [url=]Men’s T-shirt
“Nick Heidfeld”
Stylish blue t-shirt, with round neckline and raw edges. Features Heidfeld logo and signature on back, with BMW Sauber F1 team logo on sleeve. Import.
[url=]Learn more
[url=]Men’s Polo
“Robert Kubica”
Sporty blue polo with red mesh inserts, placket, and contrasting red lining. Team logo on back. Kubica logo on front. Import.
[url=]Learn more
 [url=]Men’s Polo
“Nick Heidfeld”
Standard gray polo, with Heidfeld logo and signature. Includes printed racing number and the BMW Sauber F1 team logo. Import.
[url=]Learn more
[url=]Driver Cap
“Robert Kubica”
Blue, six-panel cap, that features embroidered team, driver, and sponsor logos, with Robert Kubica signature on bill. Import.
[url=]Learn more
 [url=]Men’s Hoody
“Nick Heidfeld”
Grey marl, hooded sweatshirt, with brushed sequins on sleeve. Team logo on front, racing number on back. Import.
[url=]Learn more

new tricks for the old dog

@ August 12, 2009 12:37 PM in new tricks for the old dog

this may take a little time to get used to the new layout--nbc

just what you need to know

@ August 3, 2009 12:12 PM in just what you need to know my son subscribes to this: cool stuff--nbc

bots in \" Using steam from a rad for cleaning? \"

@ August 3, 2009 9:04 AM in bots in \" Using steam from a rad for cleaning? \"

the unwanted guests are back!

days gone by...

@ August 1, 2009 4:11 PM in cast iron demo?

"ah youth! what a pity it is wasted on the young." george bernard shaw[ also oscar wilde and winston churchill] nbc


@ July 31, 2009 10:09 AM in replacement steam boiler for a small multi family building

you may need to double check those radiator size calcs to be sure. the only time i can think of size variations is when the load falls between the ratings of 2 different boilers. otherwise the calculation is rather straightforward. whats wrong with the old boiler?--nbc

valve handle replacement

@ July 31, 2009 9:05 AM in Steam Radiator Valve

can you undo the valve bonnet, and unscrew the stem for putting it in a vice to remove this piece? don't bother with a handle on the stem as you do not want anyone to be tempted to turn it on again ever, after you have removed the radiator. be aware that your boiler will be oversized, and pay attention to maintaining the low pressure of a few ounces these systems like.--nbc

sizing a steam boiler

@ July 31, 2009 8:58 AM in replacement steam boiler for a small multi family building

when you calculated the btu load for the building, was this from the radiator sizing in total? steam boiler size must always be calculated from the total connected radiator load, not the building heat loss. even though you may arrive at a figure which makes the boiler look over-sized, it is not. for a more concise explanation of this, see dan's book, "the lost art of steam heating" available here. some options which i consider necessary with a new boiler are: vaporstat instead of pressuretrol-you will need one later anyway, why not now? make sure you have a good low pressure guage with it [0-15 ounces,]. modulating, 2-stage burner, to keep the pressure on the 3-8 ounce mark. gravity return-don't spend extra money on a pumped return. my 1,050,000btu peerless is all gravity. select the installer first, then a boiler with good distribution in your area. finally, are you sure that your present boiler cannot be made to work with new sections? check sizing 1st as described already.--nbc

main vents

@ July 30, 2009 12:52 AM in Cost of Adding Main Air Vents

somewhere here, there is a picture of a vent, mounted on the vertical pipe [down from the elbow] in the upper wet return. this location may be more accessible for installing a vent for the first time. wherever located, it should not be in a straight shot of a slug of water firing directly into the vent, and destroying the innards. the velocity of the water-hammer slug is quite high.--nbc

the lost art of heating

@ July 30, 2009 12:39 AM in Looking for heating consultant/Ft. Wayne IN vicinity

you now have enough time to digest this book,and become an informed client, of 2 of the best steam experts on the wall--but wouldn't it be nice to understand the basics first?.--nbc

heating consultant ft.wayne

@ July 28, 2009 6:38 PM in Looking for heating consultant/Ft. Wayne IN vicinity

even if you see no one listed on the "find a professional/resources" tab here, you can still learn much from "the lost art of steam heating" available here. reading this will make you a more informed customer of any hydronic contractor. just to get the ball rolling, what is the age, make, and model of your present boiler? is your system 1-pipe or 2? what signs do you see of inefficiency, in particular? is it noisy, water-hammer, etc? pictures of the boiler and piping would be very helpful.--nbc

turning off radiators

@ July 23, 2009 7:57 PM in Can I put in smaller radiators?

until you get the TRV's installed, you may be tempted to use the hand valve to turn off some of the rads--DON'T DO IT. far better in a pinch to turn the old hoffman radiator vents upside down, and then they will not let the air out, or the steam into the rad! use the time [and money] you save not removing the rads to make sure that your main line venting is more than adequate, and that your pressure is below 16 oz.--nbc


@ July 22, 2009 1:38 PM in Dan- Possible Bot in \" Glowcre Boiler\" 7/18/09

has anyone tried clicking on the links in these bot-postings? is it the same result as putting your tongue on the pump handle in winter?--nbc

junk, or badly chosen

@ July 22, 2009 9:11 AM in high efficiency boiler - which is better

i am sure that is a gross over-simplification. i consider "bad choice" equipment to be: unsupported by a stocking distributor less than 30 miles away, or with inadequate parts availability. only installed by one company, and unfamiliar to any one else. i have found peerless tech support to be very good [for steam], and i am sure that they would not manufacture products with known problems, without correcting them. other boilers may have other features, but be sure that the installer is knowlegeable.--nbc

water volume

@ July 21, 2009 5:46 PM in water volume in a steam boiler

whatever the volume of the old boiler, you will still need to size the replacement boiler to the radiation, and NOT to the heat-loss of the structure. the lost art of steam heating goes into greater detail on this than i can. i am not sure what you mean by "flooding", but the new boiler should have no problem working by gravity alone. in the case of extremely long runs of supply and return piping, there may be a delay in the return of condensate. if this happens, acompanied by a temporary low waterline then try this: nbc

memorizing formulas

@ July 19, 2009 10:44 AM in Deadline for NABCEP application today

even einstein did not memorize formulas, saying his brain had more important things to do than simple rote memorization!--nbc

new steamer

@ July 19, 2009 8:56 AM in New steamer

nice drop header on that one. will there be enough venting capacity with that hoffman [?] 75 on the return? i see the dreaded standard honeywell pressuretrol mounted on the boiler-can you set the pressure on it low enough for this system? my experience was that when set as low as it would go, it allowed the pressure to go up to the 10 psi cut-out on the secondary pressuretrol! that was very soon replaced by a vaporstat, set for 2-8 oz. i also agree on being careful with close-by starage, not only of paint, but also water-softener salt etc. which may allow chlorides into the boiler, and rot it out, as happened to mine i think.--nbc