Joined on November 24, 2007
Last Post on December 8, 2013
@ November 24, 2013 7:22 PM in Need advice on TSV for 1 port steamCheck your main vents, first and max them out. Put the dials of the radiator adjustable vents on the lowest setting at first, and try that.
Is your thermostat set up for steam?--NBC
@ November 24, 2013 7:19 PM in Radiator shut off valve and boiler sight glassIf this is a 1-pipe system, then the valves must never be closed, as they will always let a bit of steam into the radiator, which will condense and not be able to drain out. When you turn the radiator on again, a geyser of water may shoot out of the air vent making everything wet. If you have Hoffman 40 radiator vents, you can turn them upside down, and that will prevent the air from leaving the radiator, effectively turning them off. A thermostatic radiator vent will accomplish the same thing automatically.
While you are looking at the economies of operation, examine your main vents, and tell us what you have. If your radiator vents can be heard, then it's a sign that you are buying extra fuel to pump the air out of your boiler and pipes.
Use setbacks for long periods of time to avoid using extra fuel. Most people are more comfortable at a lower constant temperature than a variable range from above normal to below normal. Just as keeping a constant speed in a car burns less fuel than speeding up and slowing down, so the thermostat should be "set and forget", unless you are away for a week. Checking your system pressure will also contribute to fuel economy, as going over a few ounces is a waste.--NBC
@ November 24, 2013 8:39 AM in Radiators Heat Only HalfwayWhy not add up the total EDR of the radiators on that riser, and see if the riser pipe size can support that value? Is there any insulation on the pipe?
Even though the radiator seems only to heat halfway, is the room temperature comfortable?--NBC
@ November 24, 2013 12:05 AM in main return line trapsThe problem must be further upstream, as no steam should come out of the returns from the radiators. Check all the radiator traps, and see if your problem is from higher up.--NBC
@ November 23, 2013 11:46 PM in Condensing gas boiler you installIsn't it all a matter of what manufacturers distributor you have close to you? And hopefully they will stock the parts you need when you need them!--NBC
@ November 23, 2013 6:39 AM in Trap testingIs there any theory on the lifespan of Hoffman #1 traps? I'd like to get everything operational, before firing up the replacement boiler, and if there is a failed trap, it would be nice to replace it before it's presence causes other problems in the system.I think I'll take one out, and put it in boiling water and watch for movement.
I have 2 types of valves on the system, and I wonder what the difference between them is. The lever valves are stuck, and I will probably soak them in something neutral and slippery. Would they have any material which could be adversely affected by solvents--gaskets/packing?
The original Hoffman air eliminator is 10 feet off the floor, and I haven't had a close up look yet. Could this have been equipped with a vacuum pump? No such pump remains, but maybe it was removed to make way for the badly installed hot-air furnace in 1990.-NBC
@ November 22, 2013 7:17 PM in Weil-McLain Steam Boiler not firingYou could use a jumper wire with alligator clips to take each safety out of the picture momentarily. Jump the thermostat first while jumping the pressuretrol, and LWCO .
Surely only one of them is malfunctioning.--NBC
@ November 22, 2013 8:33 AM in too high steam boiler pressureHow about some pictures?--NBC
@ November 22, 2013 8:31 AM in Trap testingIs there any way to test the elements in old Hoffman #1 traps, such as by taking them out, and putting them in boiling water? Is the movement large enough to see?
This is for an old Hoffman system with a leaky boiler which has been abandoned but mostly intact for 30 years. I could just order replacement guts for the Hoffman traps, but for 16 radiators, it's quite an expense!
I also plan to flood the system with low pressure air and water to see if there are any leaks in some areas between a ceiling and a floor. Would 5 psi be enough?--NBC
@ November 22, 2013 8:21 AM in Vaporstat & Gauge Piping with drip leg?You could angle down from the present tapping, to a tee,below the waterline, then extend out horizontally on both sides of the tee, then elbows and nipples to go back up above the waterline. Finally 2 pigtails would be mounted on top of that, for the gauge and v-stat.
This would provide 2 traps for debris, the lower horizontals, and the pigtails. Certainly, the caps on the lower horizontals could be removed once a year to push out any mud. Unions on the verticals would help as well. I used brass pipes, and fittings from the hardware store, but it involved several trips!--NBC
@ November 22, 2013 7:17 AM in Weekly Water Addition by Automatic Water FeederMany tennants think that leaks are normal in steam heating, and so won't report wisps of steam they see as long as it is not dripping.
What is your actual pressure when the system is running. If the pressure is spiking, then the packings will leak. You should be able to heat using 12 ounces max.--NBC
@ November 22, 2013 7:11 AM in STEAM PRESSURE IS TOO HIGHClean the pigtail, and inspect the pressuretrol linkage, and if the pressure is still too high, then see what the effect of restoring the old nozzle would be.--NBC
@ November 22, 2013 7:07 AM in How Much Can You Downfire an IN5 ?This may be a question for the Burnham tech support. Possibly, the nozzles could be changed in the burner to reduce the fire evenly across the bottom.
Situations like this make it even more important to have the venting and balance as good as possible, with massive main venting, and slow rad vents.--NBC
@ November 22, 2013 6:58 AM in moving steam pipingIs this a supply pipe up by the ceiling, or a return near the floor?
Current practice suggests that only return pipes under the waterline can be copper. Copper supplies will heat up, and expand and contract more than iron, and may distort out of being straight. They will need more support from the ceiling to keep them straight.
You are lucky, this is only 1 inch pipe!--NBC
@ November 21, 2013 7:29 PM in clogged siphon or bad pressurtrol?first replace the gauge, so you can see the real pressure. then check your main venting, which is needed to let the air escape with very low pressure. if you find that when the pressuretrol has been set low to 1.5 psi, the boiler short-cycles, then that is a sure sign of bad main venting.--NBC
@ November 21, 2013 11:42 AM in Boiler run timesRemember that the ODR is not running the burner all the time that the air is moving through the coils, just enough to warm up the loop to the sweet spot for the outdoor temperature. You may still have to try different settings. --NBC
@ November 21, 2013 10:50 AM in Swing settingsWhat model of thermostat is this?
If it were the Honeywell visionpro, I would get the optional remote sensor, and put it in a more exposed part of the house, so it will feel falling temperatures more quickly.
I just used the default settings for mine (1cph).--NBC
@ November 21, 2013 10:43 AM in Air in convectorsAt rest, there is always air inside a steam system, and with good venting, the air will escape with little or no resistance (back-pressure).
This seems essentially like a 2-pipe system, with traps at the return end whose job is to let out air, and water. They should not have radiator vents on them.
Trace out the supplies and returns, looking for a sag which is pooling water, and stopping the air from escaping. Look for a cross over trap which has failed.
If the boiler is throwing up water, then that will exacerbate the problem, so post some pics of the boiler and it's piping.--NBC
@ November 20, 2013 11:08 PM in rad size mind boggleRemember that the valve and spud of the radiator are a matched pair, and that you will most likely have to get new valves, as the spuds are difficult to remove.
Tell us more about the symptoms you are having, and we can advise.
When an older house has had its insulation upgraded the balancing of the system, and thermostat placement become much more important. I suspect you may may have venting problems, and that steam is favoring certain radiators first when the steam "arrives". Fix these details first and then see if you need to do any switching.
Put lots of main venting on downstairs, and little hoffmans on the rads, and see what effects that will have.--NBC
@ November 20, 2013 10:49 PM in main vent placement on a counterflowYou could try a Gorton D on the radiator on the end of the main, and riser, and see what improvement results. All the other radiator vents should be slow Hoffman 40's for best results.
Once again, what a treasure you are to help your landlord, instead of finding yourself in a constant confrontation, complaining without any resolution!--NBC
@ November 20, 2013 10:40 PM in Problem heating second levelHas the new thermostat been programmed for hot water heat (2CPH)?
This must be a control, or pump problem.?--NBC
@ November 20, 2013 10:35 PM in conversion from one pipe steam to hot waterI assume from your post that your building has been having high fuel bills, and perhaps complaints about uneven heat from the tenants. Why not make the present system work as it did when first installed? The original owners would not have tolerated those conditions, and would have called the steam expert to restore the system to original operation.
Why not send some pictures of the boiler, and radiators here and we will help diagnose the source of the problem.--NBC