Joined on November 24, 2007
Last Post on April 23, 2014
@ April 7, 2014 10:47 AM in Burnham boiler for Chicago 3-flatThe most effective steam control for steam is the Tekmar 279, which uses indoor and outdoor sensors to time the boiler firing periods. It can only be used on a system in perfect balance, so best to get things like venting up to scratch. I think bad venting and pressures over 8 ounces could add 15% to you fuel use.
On my 55 rad system, I use a Honeywell Visionpro with remote indoor sensor, using the coldest bedroom of the building as a control point. Although it has no outdoor sensor capabilities, it seems to work well, for an eighth of the price, and now comes in internet enabled favors.
I do not use setbacks, so therefore set a lower constant temperature.--NBC
@ April 6, 2014 6:57 PM in Inlet valve banging when closed, hissing when openTry leaving the inlet valve fully open, and rotate the air vent so it points down.
It sounds as though the pressure may be high enough to force steam through the closed valve, and when the condensate builds up, causes water-hammer.
Se if you can go above the super with your complaints-maybe to the person who signs his check, and would like to know that deferred maintenance is costing him money.--NBC
@ April 5, 2014 3:03 PM in Bad new gorton valves?If your main vents are adequate, pressure low, and the boiler not oversized, then they should be silent.--NBC
@ April 5, 2014 3:00 PM in old steam system replacementEven if the boiler is not leaking now, with that mileage on it it may soon be time for a replacement. Is this 1-pipe or 2-pipe?2
Download the SlantFin heat loss app from their website, and find out what your heat loss is. Then download the radiator sizing chart and calculate the EDR of your radiators. Compare the btu of the heat loss with the total EDR of the radiators, and see how they compare. Next look at the rating of your boiler, from the plate on it and see if it is oversized for the EDR of the radiators.
If your boiler is oversized by a sizeable percentage, then a new correctly sized boiler would save money. Is the present boiler piped properly? If not then that will be a fuel wasting situation. Is the pressure lower than 2 psi (basic function, or lower than 8 ounces for economy, and comfort)? Is the venting in the system adequate, or are you burning extra fuel to squeeeeeze the air out of some constipated little vents?
Conversion to hydro air may not be cost effective, as radiators need no electricity. Mini split units would provide the cooling you would like.
Post some pictures of your boiler and it's piping for us to see.--NBC
@ April 4, 2014 11:35 PM in how should I prepare the system for summer?Agreed with your well described procedures.
Anyway we love our steam boilers and systems, so love to make them last by these simple procedures.--NBC
@ April 4, 2014 5:29 PM in Need used or cheap commercial steam boilerHow can 1-pipe have any traps or vacuum controls? Best to try to return the system to its original state.--NBC
@ April 4, 2014 5:26 PM in Steam boiler sizing dilemmaGo with the one whose Sq ft of steam rating most closely matches the total of your EDR-the in4. The boiler rating already includes the pickup factor.
Spend the money saved by that choice on a nice drop header, using both tappings out of the boiler, and a larger header. Don't forget the installation of large main vents.
Try doing without the 5 degree setback and select a lower constant temperature.--NBC
@ April 3, 2014 11:05 PM in Spewing air check! What to do?If this has suddenly happened, I would check the pressure, and verify it to be only a few ounces. Possibly the pigtail has plugged up, and caused the vaporstat to not feel the pressure.--NBC
@ April 2, 2014 11:02 PM in Copper Joint that leaks in main pipe Solution pleaseIt would be best to replace the copper with iron pipe., which can withstand the water-hammer which apparently you can do nothing about.
The expansion and contraction with temperature changes of copper pipe is so great as to weaken the joints.
Post some pictures of your boiler and it's piping, and let's devise a plan to cure the water-hammer.--NBC
@ April 2, 2014 10:55 PM in Nest for the UKThe nest is a good-looking piece of wall jewelry which, now having been established here , can be exported to other countries, whether it really works or not.
There is still the problem with steam control.--NBC
@ April 2, 2014 8:39 PM in Need used or cheap commercial steam boilerI don"t think this is such a wild and untenable idea, as long as there is a boiler angel to do most of the grunt work. as we all know, the labor cost of a replacement is a great part of the price of the whole.
have a look in the for sale ads here and see if anyone has a lightly used oiler for sale. maybe place an advert there as well "looking for oil boiler"--NBC
@ April 2, 2014 8:34 PM in steam boiler maintenancea float style LWCO should be flushed out once a month at a minimum, and preferably weekly, in view of its important job.
the boiler itself should be blown down through the main drain once a month as well, and will loose more water than the LWCO. this will hopefully remove any buildup of calcium in the bottom of the boiler.
when that water is replaced, do so at a time when the boiler can fire, and heat up, driving out the oxygen.--NBC
@ April 2, 2014 6:31 PM in Need used or cheap commercial steam boilersince many people are switching from oil to gas, there must be some used ones around which have been replaced by atmospherics.
a pair of used boilers stage-fired on pressure, may be very economical to run. the previous owners might get a tax deduction for their boiler donation.--NBC
@ April 2, 2014 6:23 PM in Burnham boiler for Chicago 3-flatI am sure there is some other reason for their lack of venting. to check, turn the boiler off, and then switch the boiler on. if and when you see steam, switch the boiler back off. no steam means a water locked dry return.
I suspect a water pocket in a saggy pipe to be the cause. I like gorton 2's because of their capacity, although some have used steam traps, in place of standard main vents. apparently they have better thermal characteristics.
low pressure 0-3 psi gauges come from valworx.com.--NBC
@ April 2, 2014 1:48 PM in Need used or cheap commercial steam boilerAre replacement sections still available, or would two 375 MBTU (or three 250's) be easier to install. Staging would save some fuel possibly. Is gas available?
What sort of radiation is now there?--NBC
@ April 1, 2014 12:48 PM in Riser Venting damaging ceilingprobably the pressure is too high for the vent to close completely, even with a brand new vent. get your landlord to check the boiler pressure to be under 2 PSI.--NBC
@ April 1, 2014 12:44 PM in Hot water or Steam CI Radas I do not see any upper connections in the sections, I think it is steam only.
are you contemplating a switch of your heating system from steam to hot water?
if you are choosing radiators for another system, make sure that the ones you get will be big enough to heat the room at the reduced water temperature.--NBC
@ March 30, 2014 11:05 PM in Steam boiler banging, hissing and water noiseThe real cause, of your gurgling radiators, I think is due to the improper boiler piping, which is blowing a lot more water up into the mains with the steam.
The second problem of hissing radiator vents is due to excessive pressure coupled with inadequate main venting. Loud vents are a cry for help from the system. They are also a godsend for the fuel supplier who is supplying you more than you need to heat the house .
If you can correct the piping, and keep your back-pressure of venting below 2 ounces, and your steam pressure under 6 ounces, then you will have real comfort and economy.
You will need a 0-3 psi gauge to monitor these conditions.--NBC
@ March 28, 2014 11:29 PM in Burnham boiler for Chicago 3-flatYou should get a vaporstat to replace the present inoperative pressuretrol, along with a low pressure gauge (0-3 PSI).
When you get back to a conventional control system, you will have to use the new gauge to see when to stop adding main vents.
Be prepared for an audit (new meter) from the gas company when your fuel consumption drops dramatically as a result of curing all these defects. Let us know how much you save next winter.--NBC
@ March 27, 2014 7:53 AM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap coversWhat's the link to that video?
Videos could have their own area here, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video will be a whole chapter!--NBC
@ March 27, 2014 7:50 AM in Burnham boiler for Chicago 3-flatGet " the lost art of steam heating" as well, as many pros here will reference page numbers from that.
There is a big difference between "new vents", and ones of the correct capacity.
Have your fuel bills been high?--NBC
@ March 27, 2014 12:40 AM in Burnham boiler for Chicago 3-flatThose vents are a start, but be prepared to put either larger ones on, or several more on a manifold (antler), in order to let the air out easily.
Your control system is most unusual, and should be replaced with a standard steam-capable thermostat, wired through the LWCO, and the pressuretrol. I can't imagine how much fuel has been wasted by the present arrangement, in addition to the waste of burning extra fuel to pump the air out at the start of each firing cycle.--NBC