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Mark N

Mark N

Joined on January 3, 2009

Last Post on June 30, 2014

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@ June 30, 2014 6:06 PM in Radiator Valves

My rads are 1 pipe steam rads.

Radiator Valves

@ June 29, 2014 8:43 PM in Radiator Valves


Thanks very much. I think I'm asking at the wrong time of year. Very low traffic on a heating
website. I'm going to visit a few local plumbing suppliers. Need to get a look at what out there and compare to what I have.


Radiator Valves

@ June 29, 2014 10:12 AM in Radiator Valves

This is a question for the pros out there. What is your go to brand when you have to replace a radiator valve on a one pipe steam rad? Are there any American made valves out there? Some are brass, some are bronze. Do you prefer one over the other? I've seen on line Hammond, Matco-Norca, Legend, Watts, and others. All opinions are greatly appreciated.


The answer is in Dan's Books

@ June 12, 2014 5:55 PM in Radiators

Page 113 of We Got Steam Heat. A freestanding cast iron radiator gives up about 60% of its heat by convection and the remainder by radiation.

Rad size

@ April 30, 2014 2:06 PM in Replacing Oversized Rad with smaller - piping question

What is the width of the rad? Post a picture. My rads are of the modern thin type only 4 inches wide. Maybe a thin rad in the same place will work.

Moving a Rad

@ April 30, 2014 1:33 PM in Replacing Oversized Rad with smaller - piping question

Why is its location inconvenient? They are usually placed under windows where heat loss is the greatest. Did you do a heat loss to determine that the new rad will provide enough heat. A horizontal pipe feeding the new rad is a recipe for disaster if the pitch is not right. I would put a smaller vent in the rad to slow how fast it heats and leave it alone. If this is not done exactly right it will hammer and not heat properly. Post some picture of what you want to do.


@ April 16, 2014 10:20 PM in Painting Cast Iron Baseboard Radiator – Baseray/Governale

I painted them 3 years ago and have been satisfied with the results.

Baseboard Paint

@ April 16, 2014 6:47 PM in Painting Cast Iron Baseboard Radiator – Baseray/Governale

I painted my Burnham baseboards with Benjamin Moore Impervo, it is an alkyd enamel paint. I used a brush to apply the paint.

Tankless Coil

@ April 6, 2014 6:53 PM in how should I prepare the system for summer?

A tankless coil is the least efficient way to make hot water. By raising the water level you put the entire coil under water increasing the heat transfer surface in the summer. An indirect or a separate hot water heater would be more efficient.

Spitting Vents

@ April 6, 2014 5:37 PM in Bad new gorton valves?

Is your boiler oversized? If so by how much. An oversized boiler will cause vents to hiss and spit.

Tankless Coil

@ April 6, 2014 5:34 PM in how should I prepare the system for summer?

You should have no issues raising the water level in the boiler to cover the tankless coil during the summer. The aquastat will turn off the boiler at whatever you have it set to. You will most likely have better hot water during the summer having the coil underwater. Remember to lower the water before the heating season next fall.


@ March 22, 2014 9:55 AM in are asbestos risks overblown?

I grew up in the town of Manville NJ. I've gone to way too many funerals of people who worked at Johns-Manville and died from their exposure to asbestos. Granted many of hose people were exposed to it over many years. I would stay away and have it handled professionally.


@ March 15, 2014 10:27 AM in Sight glass "empties" when boiler is firing

Charlie, I assumed you learned your trade from your father. Your reputation gets you work. Maybe installers should carry pictures of previous work and letters of recommendation from previous customers.

It is absolutely insane that people are paying lots of their hard earned money on shoddy installations. Then they have to fight with their installers to make it right. I blows my mind that the people putting in these boilers don't even open the installation manual. I've seen picture of installs by homeowners that blow away the installs of "professionals" that do this for a living. The lack of pride of workmanship is criminal. If you can't or don't want to do it right, be honest with the homeowner and walk away.

Its time for the manufactures of boilers to put a sticker right on boiler jacket showing the proper piping diagram.

Gauge Glass

@ March 14, 2014 2:56 PM in Burnham Independence Boiler sight glass is full

Make sure the gauge cocks are open. Should be turned fully counterclockwise. There is a fitting at the bottom of the gauge that can be opened to drain out the water. If the boiler over filled into the piping you would have water coming out of the main vents or the rad vents.

Gauge Glass

@ March 14, 2014 2:28 PM in Burnham Independence Boiler sight glass is full

When was the last time the gauge glass was blown down? It is probably clogged.
Get a pro in asap. You need to know how much water is in the boiler. Did you have any
Water coming out of your vents?

Boiler Install

@ March 14, 2014 2:24 PM in Sight glass "empties" when boiler is firing

I've seen many poorly piped boilers on the wall over the last few years. These question should be asked of prospective installers.
1. Do you own a copy of The Lost Art of Steam Heat?
2. Have you read it?
3. Have you attended a Dan Holohan steam seminar?

If the answer to the above is no, I would show them the door.

Also since the installer of this boiler was a knucklehead, I would not doubt the boiler was not properly sized and it should be checked. The boiler has be sized by the EDR of the installed radiators.

Empty Boiler

@ March 14, 2014 11:13 AM in Sight glass "empties" when boiler is firing

Post some picture of the near boiler piping. Sounds like the water is leaving the boiler with the steam. If you have the install manual compare the boiler piping to what is recommended on the manual. If you don't have it, it is available on line.

Bad smell

@ March 9, 2014 5:48 PM in how to get rid of boiler solder smell?

Have you tried draining and flushing out the boiler?

Reason for Cycling on Pressure

@ March 5, 2014 7:50 PM in Short cycling

Clank why are you cycling on pressure before satisfying the thermostat? Are you recovering from set back? Is the boiler oversized?

Cut In Pressure

@ March 5, 2014 7:27 PM in Why not a cut in of zero?

No it actually states twice the system pressure drop. Do you have a copy of TLAOSH. If you do read chapter 2. If not I would suggest you buy the book and read it. In chapter 2 it is explained how system pressure drop is determined.

Hammer time

@ March 2, 2014 6:34 PM in Knocking and hammering

JWhite since you do this for a living it would be a wise investment to buy "The Lost Art Of Steam Heat" and "A Pocketful of Steam Problems". This small investment will pay itself back many times.

Dead Boilers

@ March 2, 2014 8:27 AM in Beating a dead horse.

The only problem I've seen here on the Wall with IN series boilers is rotting out from excessive feed water and bad piping. Any boiler will rot our from excessive feed water or water with excessive chlorides or low PH. No brand of boiler is exempt. The boiler can't be blamed for water quality or system problems. I don't know why Burnham won't offer their Megasteam with a gas option. How many other companies have certified their oil boilers to be used with gas? Only 2 I've heard of are Slant-Fin and Smith.
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