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Joined on October 7, 2009

Last Post on July 8, 2013

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Radiator under kitchen counter

@ July 8, 2013 3:34 PM in Radiator under kitchen counter

I'm starting a kitchen remodel and there is currently no radiator in the space at all. The current plan is to add one, and locate it under a countertop. I'm not planning on otherwise covering it, so no box. Should I protect the underneath of the counter at all? We're not planning on anything too fancy, just a laminate. I did this without problems at my last home, but that was a convector and hot water heat.

The space is small and we're constrained by windows, doors and other openings, so if we want a radiator we're pretty much going to have to stick it under a counter.

shorter level

@ January 21, 2013 1:58 PM in steam radiator bags loudly when heating and cooling

If you have a shorter level (like an 8") you might want to give that a shot. Sometimes radiators sag in the middle (I know mine do).

Main Vent Mix

@ November 8, 2012 5:16 PM in Mixing Hoffman and Gorton's

The other feature of the Hoffman is it closes with an audible "clink" when it closes which, at least in my case, can be heard throughout the pipes. It tells me things are working. Interesting that they operate at different temperatures, I didn't know that.

sludge in skim port

@ November 6, 2012 3:23 PM in sludge in skim port

I got a new boiler installed last year, a Slantfin Intrepid. I did a little bit of skimming but I know I didn't get it all (for some reason the wife objected to my having the heat off for hours).

I noticed one of my vents gurgling yesterday and found it full of water so figured it was time to do some more skimming. When I pulled the cap off my skim port I noticed quite a bit of sludge in the pipe. I scraped out as much as I could get and proceeded to skim for an hour or so. I'm going to try to keep this pace up for a while but with projected temps tonight in the 20's I'm not hopeful.

So anyway, I can understand sludge at my cleanout, but so high up in the boiler? Is this unexpected? Is there anything I should check?

only one fibre

@ June 11, 2012 11:12 AM in Asbestos on pipes?

It only takes one fiber to lodge in your lungs to cause cancer. Big exposure just increases the chances. Then again as long as you leave it alone it may be fine. It is often only a hazard when disturbed.

I would not recommend messing with this yourself. I got a small amount removed by a professional for just a few hundred dollars. They may not need to do a full encapsulation, it wasn't needed in my case.

No brackets

@ April 13, 2012 4:45 PM in EDR of this found radiator

If there are any brackets they are buried in a mountain of plaster. I don't really want to mess my neighbors trash pile up too much. I sifted through a bunch of it and found nothing but an ancient outlet box.

I did manage to save an 8' length of pipe. They used a sawz-all to but it into sections so the ends are a bit rough but the majority of it looks in good shape.

Thanks, this helps

@ April 10, 2012 10:29 AM in EDR of this found radiator

a lot. I'm not entirely sure where I can use such a small radiator, or even how to mount the thing, but maybe my local steam guys can think of something creative (I'm looking at you Steamhead).

The worse that will happen to this is I'll donate it to a local architectural salvage company in Baltimore so it will get a Second Chance. Beats going to the dump.


@ April 9, 2012 3:33 PM in EDR of this found radiator

About 25" across the top, 17" high. The outer columns are about 2 1/2" wide. I couldn't get a good reading on the side of the inner columns, seems about 2".

EDR of this found radiator

@ April 9, 2012 8:34 AM in EDR of this found radiator

Not sure how to rate the EDR of this. My neighbor is gutting a room and I saved this from the trash heap. I wonder if she got rid of it because it "didn't work." I poured at least a gallon of water from it.

I'm not entirely sure how this was mounted, it doesn't seem to have any feet.

There is a bunch of 1.5" pipe too, I wonder if I should rescue that as well as I have some plans to add some new rads.

always have a vent

@ January 10, 2012 10:40 AM in Upstairs radiator only heating part way

A vent should always be installed. Steam is dangerous stuff both for causing burns if you happen to stick your hand in it or driving out all the oxygen of the room if left on long enough.

I'd try a variable vent like a Hoffman 1A. It has a bigger venting capacity than a Vent Rite #1 (atherwise an excellent vent). The mother of all fast vents is the Heat Timer Varivalve. Even at "off" it vents like crazy. This vent is looked down upon by most of the wallies but I had decent luck with it with my last boiler. Even with this vent my rads never filled all the way across though. One of the criticisms is that it doesn't close when water hits it.

water level

@ January 4, 2012 5:48 PM in autofeeder

Sorry for the confusion.

While firing the water level was nearly at the top of the sight glass. This is what caught my attention.

When quiet (off), the level was still high but not that scary high. Surging must have accounted for the difference. This is when I drained a quart, leaving the level at halfway up the sight glass.

water level

@ January 4, 2012 5:02 PM in autofeeder

My installer set the water level to half-way in the glass and I've kept it that way after each skim (ballparking, of course).

I would get some surging in the sight glass but it was within an acceptable range (3/4 of an inch or so) and considering it could use more skimming I figured I was in fairly decent shape until I could commit a full day to cleaning.

But this morning was different. While firing the water level was at the top of the sight glass. At least it wasn't making the truly horrible sounds my old boiler would make when in this situation.

I turned off the boiler for 20 minutes and checked the level and it was maybe 3/4 of an inch high in the sight glass. I drained about a quart out of the boiler and brought it more or less back to halfway.

I'm less worried about losing a little bit of water (I lost some due to a loose radiator shutoff). Heck, I'm VERY used to losing water, I've just never seen water gain.

I may pester my installer but given the time of year I'm sure they're very busy with out-of-heat calls.


@ January 4, 2012 4:57 PM in autofeeder

1. Yes, boiler was installed properly by respected member of the wall
2. Have never seen pressure over .5 psi on 1-3 gauge
3. May have issue here. It wasn't skimmed at install but I skimmed for a few hours and while all the oil may not be gone I removed a considerable amount of it.
4. I dunno, belt and suspenders. I check my boiler enough that it may be overkill but who knows.


@ January 4, 2012 11:08 AM in autofeeder

I'm still getting used to my new boiler, a Slantfin Intrepid TR-40 with a Carlin EZ-gas burner. It has a float-style LWCO and an automatic water feeder, both of which are also new to me.

Last night was the first really cold night here in Baltimore with temps down into the mid-teens. The boiler performed fine, we were as toasty as one can be in a leaky old house. It was nice to see the rads hot all the way across and some vents closing on steam (never saw that with my old boiler).

I checked the boiler this morning and the water level is high, maybe an inch higher than it was when I checked it last night. I noticed that the water feeder, which had been at 0 since install time, has bumped to 1 (IIRC the units are in gallons).

I plan to turn the boiler off for a bit during lunch and drain out some of the excess water, is there anything else I should check?

It's normal

@ December 19, 2011 3:39 PM in One side hot, one side cold

That is normal. Steam comes in through the inlet and will slowly work its way across the radiator towards the vent. On mild days it may only get hot in a few sections. The colder it gets outside the further across it will heat as the boiler will cycle for longer. On the coldest day of the year it should be hot all the way across.

There are different kinds of vents available that let out air at different rates, some are variable. These can be used to control how quickly a given radiator heats up (within reason). Some examples are a Hoffman 1A or VentRite 11.

mine leaked

@ December 5, 2011 10:28 AM in Water Hammer After New Furnace Installed

As someone who had a copper header I can say that mine leaked at a joint. It was very small but every cycle I lost a small amount of steam. Every week when I blew down the boiler I'd have to add a little extra water to make up for this loss.

When my boiler was replaced this was replaced with a proper header (both in design and material).

incremental skimming

@ November 30, 2011 9:46 PM in incremental skimming

I'm finding it difficult to block out the amount of time necessary to properly skim my new boiler so I've been doing it in several hour increments. I've skimmed it twice now for a total of about 5 hours.

The first time I skimmed I got all kinds of black gunky stuff out at first and since then it is generally clear but still oily. Never mind the sheen, I can smell it.

I skimmed tonight for about 2 hours and while it seemed to really clear up towards the end my sight glass is still surging more than it should.

Am I just wasting my time skimming a little here and there or will I eventually get it clean? I realize I'm probably adding a lot more new water doing it this way.

header size

@ November 18, 2011 5:12 PM in Feedback on boiler installation

The question is whether the manufacturer's warranty still applies if the minimum installation specs weren't followed.

"The Lost Art" says that if the wrong size is used you could end up with wet steam. Is the system hammering like mad on a cold start?

I just had my boiler replaced last week and my water isn't nearly as dirty as yours. It has been rather mild here in Maryland so it hasn't had too much time to run


@ November 17, 2011 11:27 AM in thermostat problem?

It is a Honeywell 822D. It came with the house, I've been here two years

now that you mention it

@ November 16, 2011 8:12 PM in thermostat problem?

As luck would have it I ordered a Honeywell TH5110D1006 this morning.

Maybe my current thermostat found out about it and is pouting :-)

thermostat problem?

@ November 16, 2011 7:38 PM in thermostat problem?

I got a shiny new boiler last week and it's been in the high 60's ever since so I haven't had much opportunity to see it in action.

I heard the burner come on this evening (think jet engine) so I went downstairs to time how long it took to make steam and then get to the end of the mains.

After 5 minutes the burner cut off. It hadn't made steam yet and wasn't under any pressure. The header was starting to get warm but neither of the mains were warm at all.

Is this a case of a confused thermostat? It is an old mercury model and setting the temperate is more art than science. It is set to come on somewhere between 69 and 73. The temperature coil is hosed on it but other thermometers show it is ~72 inside.

I wonder if this is an anticipator issue. With my previous boiler it was set to the max, .8. It is currently around say .4.

Before pictures

@ November 12, 2011 7:58 PM in Latest Intrepid/EZ-Gas Steamer

Here are a couple of before pictures.
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