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nicholas bonham-carter

nicholas bonham-carter

Joined on November 24, 2007

Last Post on August 21, 2014

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« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 213 »

anvil chorus

@ May 16, 2014 11:05 AM in Sunrad Radiator - Loud banging problem

For that size rad, I would think that at least a 1 inch pipe, is needed, to allow room for condensate and steam. possibly, the copper pipe is lengthening as steam fills it, reversing its pitch [another reason copper should be never used for steam lines].
A cure may be to re-pipe in steel 1,1/4 pipe, or to pipe a return drain, back down to the wet return. from the end of the Sunrad.--NBC

New boiler for Richardson system

@ May 15, 2014 10:45 PM in Replacing existing steam system- hoping t get some opinions and advice

I think you can go with a gravity feed on this system. You must limit the pressure with a vaporstat, and pay attention to letting the air escape with as little resistance as possible (2 ounces back-pressure at the most).
Additional tanks and pumps will always be a headache, especially if not needed.--NBC

rerouting steam pipes

@ May 13, 2014 6:00 PM in Mixing copper and iron pipes for steam? Insulation?

Why not tell us about the changes you wish to make to the pipes. Rerouting requires thought as the piping must follow certain principles. if not, you may have water-hammer.
the insulation must be fiberglass, and not any sort of plastic foam, as it will melt.--NBC

Troublesome system in need of a Gifford loop

@ May 11, 2014 12:34 AM in Hartford Loop

I think we need pictures of the troublesome boiler, and it's piping. A Gifford loop is a good addition to any steam system, but does not solve any problems arising from bad piping, and other maladies installed by people who cannot read and understand the instruction manual!--NBC

Marvellous Moustashian mega millionaire Merchant of Misinformation

@ May 10, 2014 8:56 PM in how prevalent is this?

He does seem finally to have made some changes to his grand plan of radiant heating, while acknowledging contributions from HeatingHelp.--NBC

One more thing to do:

@ May 9, 2014 9:56 PM in Questions regarding the main vent and auto water feeder that cuts off the boiler every 10 minutes

Get a good low-pressure gauge (, 0-3 psi.), and put it on a manifold with the pressuretrol, original gauge, and itself. This will tell you what is happening in your system, especially if you need to add more main venting. As the steam is made, and begins to push the air out of the main vents, their resistance/capacity can be seen as back-pressure of venting, which should be no more than 2 ounces. Your steam arrival time seems slow to me.--NBC

Underground house heating system

@ May 9, 2014 9:41 PM in R Value Of Soils-Underground House Roof

You may have to size the total btu on the DHW load, so this may be a case where SWEI's asynchronistic dual boiler sizing could be used: a small one for the heating, and a another one for the additional needed, when heating the water. If you use gas boilers, how will they be vented? You don't want too many penetrations through the soil!--NBC

Electrolysis in plumbing

@ May 8, 2014 11:01 PM in Copper steam coil

I think a real study has been made (university of Wisconsin?) of the effects of mixing copper and iron on the same piping system. Their findings supported the advice against dielectric unions, and concluded that there was no problem.
I suspect there could be a problem with copper pipe connected to galvanized pipe without a brass piece in between (think copper and copper battery electrodes).
In our favorite heating systems, the water is almost so completely devoid of ions, that we should not worry.--NBC

Two heat loss programs arriving at a different result

@ May 7, 2014 11:18 PM in Heat Loss discrepancy

The difference may come about be cause a different design day temperature had been entered into the program.
That can make a big difference.--NBC

New thread required for this

@ May 4, 2014 4:47 AM in piping two boilers in tandem

Otherwise you will get lost in this old stuff.
I am assuming that this is a hot water system?
Is this the maximum firing rate for the boiler?
Have you done a heat loss for the house to see what additional heat would be needed?
What is the water temperature-supply, and return?
Has this system ever worked properly?--NBC

System runs hot in hot weather

@ May 2, 2014 10:30 PM in Plugging steam radiator air vent - apartment way too hot

Are you sure the landlord is not willing to save some money on fuel? After all he will be the one to raise the rents, because of the cost of utilities!!
You have to turn the vent in the unscrewing direction, to get it at the closed stage.
It seems that the pressure is high enough (much too high), to push the tape off the vent, and allow the steam to make your life a misery. He should be turned into the local Green organization for wasting fuel!--NBC

A rare sighting

@ April 29, 2014 10:54 AM in A rare sighting

This boiler seems to have actually been properly piped with a skim port!--NBC

New heat source

@ April 29, 2014 7:23 AM in New heat source

service contract problems

@ April 28, 2014 12:20 PM in DOLE Flow Control Steam Vent Model 20(?) (stainless)

go to, and look for the Gorton air eliminator #2, [the best one for your application] and make a note of its price. then you can challenge the charge of the service company.
does the service contract provide free labor, but charge for parts?
you may be better off using a local steam man on a time and materials basis.
I suspect your pressure may have risen out of hand, due to bad servicing from them, and that is the cause of all the leaks lately.--NBC

Fan assisted boiler

@ April 27, 2014 9:46 AM in Steam Boiler

Are you maybe thinking of a power burner in a wet base boiler?--NBC

pesky interrupter

@ April 27, 2014 8:41 AM in Questions regarding the main vent and auto water feeder that cuts off the boiler every 10 minutes

Have a look at your boiler installation manual online, and restore the wiring to the original configuration.
That interrupter was probably a bandaid for the lack of cleaning/skimming. The fact that it reduced the system efficiency was good for the oil company as well!
Get your main venting sorted out during the summer, and be generous with the vents, as the balance of steam arrival in each becomes more perfect as the resistance to the escaping air gets closer to 0 (one ounce back pressure).--NBC

Getting locked out of forum

@ April 27, 2014 8:28 AM in Mark vs Martin

This reminds me of this thread

Wherein the Marvellous Mustashioed Mega Millionaire Merchant of Misinformation would tolerate no challenge to his own heating theories, and locked out the Wallies who disagreed with him from his Blog..--NBC

New thread needed

@ April 26, 2014 11:59 AM in Got a problem for Timmie (SE)

Start a new thread for your question, so your post doesn't get lost in this one.--NBC


@ April 25, 2014 9:44 PM in Dealing with fire damage

That smell is so terrible, and pervasive. I hope there were no injuries or worse.
There is a possibility that there had been an electrical problem in our case, but in replacing some of the wires, our electrician has seen no sign of arcing from the old flexible conduit he pulled out and replaced temporarily, so who knows? Our tenant had a lot of waxes, and solvent stored tin the closet in small cans, so maybe it was due to spontaneous combustion, which we all heard about in 5th grade science. Those waxes would have exploded into a fireball of intense heat, which did a number on our old woodwork, but maybe only the ancient varnish.
Anyway, I hope that things soon return to normal for you.
If it were electrical, could the IR camera have picked up on an overheated connection?--NBC


@ April 25, 2014 12:27 PM in eg-45 start up questions on surging and wet steam

If the plumber has not followed the instructions which came with the boiler, then he has not installed it correctly, and probably has been doing it wrong for 20 years.
The pipe sizes are very important, and any reduction in diameter will shoot more water up in the system instead of dry steam.
Post some picture of this and we can tell you more .--NBC

Spring-loaded shower valve?

@ April 25, 2014 8:50 AM in potable water actuator shutoff

What about mounting such a valve inside the conditioned space, with a long chain leading outside to the shower. A small irrigation spring loaded drain back valve can allow the piping to drain out when the water pressure drops after use.--NBC

Giant orifice system

@ April 25, 2014 8:25 AM in I want to mimic a steam boiler in a gravity return system

Couldn't this whole system be treated as a giant orifice system, with a gate valve sized for the EDR of the whole, regulating the steam supply so that the local steam pressure was maintained at 6 ounces?--NBC
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