Joined on November 24, 2007
Last Post on March 11, 2014
@ February 28, 2014 8:40 PM in I figured out how to calibrate a Pressuretrol!Thanks for this tip. But if you could get it to go to a lower range, that would be even more interesting!
I'm sticking with my vaporstat!--NBC
@ February 28, 2014 8:36 PM in Apologies and explanationthank goodness it was only that, and not the NSA hacking in to investigate our group here!
or retribution from one of the trolls you have kicked off the site!
when I saw the blank space after logging in, and expected the worst, I contemplated the great sadness of not having Heating-help to retreat to, after reading on the news of...
It's a real joy for us to have this resource which you have created--thank you so much--NBC
@ February 28, 2014 11:48 AM in Radiator soundsTry putting some pieces of milk jug under the feet, to make them slide more easily.
Are there very fast vents on the noisy radiators?--NBC
@ February 28, 2014 7:37 AM in Steam radiatorsRadiators can be made of straight copper piping, if the slopes are correct. It would be best to pipe the room as a two-pipe setup, with a drop down to below the waterline for a wet return.
Alternatively, the pipe radiators could be fed on a hot water loop from the boiler.
How far away is the boiler?
Is the rest of the system one pipe or two?
What is the heating load of the room?
Pictures of the boiler, and radiators would be helpful.--NBC
@ February 28, 2014 6:39 AM in Cast Iron Radiator Valves - AdjustingGood question, Charlie.
Why not post some pictures of the boiler and radiators (inlet, and outlet sides), then we can see.--NBC
@ February 27, 2014 10:24 PM in Cast Iron Radiator Valves - AdjustingYou can loosen the packing nut right underneath the handle with an adjustable crescent wrench a partial turn, and that should allow the valve spindle to rotate. Remember to tighten it back up when finished.
Have you checked the other obvious things: air bled from radiators, correct pressure on the gauge on the boiler, and aquastat settings?--NBC
@ February 26, 2014 3:22 PM in Thermometer Heating Survey in my Coop BuildingsI am assuming that this building was built as it now stands, with its original system. If that is so, then the radiators were probably correctly sized for the room in which they are located.
To start with, verify that all radiators on a floor receive steam at the same time. Identical pats of butter on plates should all melt at the same time.
Radiators which are slow to get steam are probably on a line whose main venting needs more capacity. A 0-3 psi gauge will show the back-pressure of venting which should be 2 ounces or so as the air starts to escape. If the pressure is over 2 psi, then the differences in steam arrival time due to venting problems will become more pronounced. It is best to start with slow Hoffman radiator vents for this, and later some changes can be made to speed up any laggards later.
Once you have all the metal heating up as quickly as possible, then you can address the control system , and interior temperatures. Are there separate boilers in each building, or one? --NBC
@ February 26, 2014 10:57 AM in Need Help - New Gas Boiler for Steam System ProblemsIt's a little hard to tell how the new boiler is piped, with your insulation on the pipes, but I suspect the installation instructions were not followed.
That insulation is not meant to be used on pipes carrying steam, so you should probably remove it before it becomes a sticky mess. Only fiberglass should be used. When you have the pipes laid bare, post some pictures of the piping above the boiler, and we can see what the cause might be.
Was the installation inspected?--NBC
@ February 26, 2014 9:41 AM in High heating bills - looking for some ideas!The only water vapor in the exhaust should be from the byproducts of combustion, which is one pound of water vapor from each pound of gas burned.
Maybe it's time to overfill the boiler and watch it for drips. Until then, you could valve off any auto feed, and see if the waterline drops too quickly. Check the operation of the LWCO in cutting off the burner when the level is low.
As far as reducing fuel consumption--venting--venting on the mains can save a lot along with a reduction in pressure (under 2psi, for basic function; and under 8 ounces for comfort and economy).--NBC
@ February 25, 2014 11:27 PM in how prevalent is this?I see his advice has changed, and may include a separation between heating loop, and DHW, so some improvement .--NBC
@ February 25, 2014 11:15 PM in Original EquipmentI just love these old systems.--central vacuum systems are not new.--NBC
@ February 25, 2014 9:11 PM in Why are vents on 2nd Floor getting water in them?I had this recurring annoyance with Hoffman 1a's until I increased my main venting (back pressure 2 ounces), and got a vaporstat to make sure the pressure could not rise over 8 ounces. In addition to that skimming the boiler more and more finally dried out the steam, (3rd month of new boiler).
Is your piping good, and pressure down?
When your guy goes over there, it's only good for one cycle.--NBC
@ February 24, 2014 10:49 PM in Steam releaseHas the system been serviced regularly? In particular, the pressure should be checked, as well as cleaning the pigtail under the pressuretrol. Other causes may be blocked main vents, due to dirty water.
Something must have changed recently unless this is a regular occurrence.--NBC
@ February 24, 2014 11:02 AM in Big problem with even heat distribution, please please help!A great idea SWEI !!
A few more pictures of the top side of the boiler would show us if the piping instructions for the boiler were followed. There should not be so much water carried up with the steam, as to fill radiators so quickly.
The reduction of fuel cost with a gas conversion should make the cost of the work more palatable to the members.--NBC
@ February 24, 2014 10:54 AM in Help with Steam EfficiencyThermostatic control will improve things a great deal, and as a lot can change in 3 years, verify your pressure to be less than 2 psi and check your main vents for operation.--NBC
@ February 24, 2014 10:49 AM in Sounds like boiling water in my radiators and lots of whistlingOur favorites are the Gorton 2, but they are tall so measure what your headroom is.
They can be found at pexsupply.com--NBC
@ February 24, 2014 6:56 AM in New repair instructionshttp://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-0HqpxTUBGY
Will this be an improvement?--NBC
@ February 23, 2014 10:26 PM in Big problem with even heat distribution, please please help!One New Yorker whose posts here show signs of intelligence and forethought is
Give him a try.--NBC
@ February 23, 2014 6:04 PM in Help with Steam EfficiencyI would get that old girl behaving as well as possible first, and then later think about her replacement.
First, you need a better control system, than a timer. A Honeywell Visionpro thermostat with a remote sensor placed on the inside wall in the coldest room with a radiator, will be able to start the boiler when the temperature drops, and vise-versa.
Second, examine the condition of your main vents, and make sure they are of generous size. I suspect you are paying extra to force the air out instead of allowing it to escape with no resistance.
Third, check your pressuretrol to make sure the pressure is not rising above 2 psi (functionality), or 6 ounces (economy and comfort).--NBC
@ February 23, 2014 5:54 PM in Big problem with even heat distribution, please please help!Before the steam can travel up from the boiler to any radiator, the air in the pipes must be allowed to escape, or in your case, pushed out with extra fuel. Main vents accomplish this, as the radiator vents do not have the capacity to handle this amount of air. When the venting is adequate, the steam will arrive at each radiator on a floor at the same time, which is not happening now.
I believe you have a down feed system, whereby the steam riser travels straight up to the attic, and then turns downward feeding each floor from the top down. This was thought to compensate for the heat loss on the upper floors. In this arrangement, there are many more feet of pipe than in the more conventional up feed system, requiring even more main venting at the end of the riser.
Is this a condo, or coop, with a board of directors? Has this problem only recently got worse, or have the others in the building been ignoring the problem for years?
Take some more pictures of the side of the boiler showing the piping just above it, so we can see why there should be so much water in the steam.--NBC
@ February 23, 2014 11:04 AM in PressuretrolsI wish they had tell-tale lights to show when the switch was open or closed, on all the safeties.--NBC
@ February 23, 2014 10:47 AM in Thermostat calling for heat; boiler does not come onIf you have a wire with alligator clips on the ends, then you can jump out the safeties one by one in order to find the inoperative one.--NBC