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Joined on February 27, 2010

Last Post on April 20, 2014

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@ December 31, 2012 5:39 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

I just imagined the contractor doing the work.

"Man, this system drained really fast! That's weird. Oh well, let's throw in this new heater and get some lunch..."


@ December 31, 2012 5:26 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

Steam problems are always CAUSED and never just HAPPEN. This radiator is an indication of years of improper work and a lack of steam knowledge.


@ December 31, 2012 5:15 PM in HELP, F09...BOILER WONT STAY ON

Proceed with caution.

Could be bad ignition, bad ground, bad gas or air supply.


@ December 31, 2012 5:13 PM in Oversized Boiler, now what?

The Gorton 2 should be plenty, but more is always better. It's probably not worth going to any more than two of them.

So, one of the radiators is two pipe? Is that the one that doesn't work?


@ December 31, 2012 5:09 PM in Knocking Radiator in 120 yr. Old House

Well, my first step would be to disconnect the radiator and see how and where the valve settles. That could lead you in the right direction.


@ December 31, 2012 5:05 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

The traps are probably under the floor or in the basement. Unless, the returns all go to their own wet return connection. Judging by the copper piping, I suspect much knuckleheading.


@ December 31, 2012 4:47 PM in Problem with oil burner (hot water baseboard)

Could be any part of that control circuit. Are you able to check the wiring with a multimeter?

Red flags

@ December 31, 2012 2:35 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

Most conventional two pipe systems have steam traps that separate the steam mains and returns. If the traps fails, steam will disturb this balance and cause noise, or uneven heating. Adding a vent to the radiator will work...but not work well.

If the steam needs to be "pushed faster", then there is something else going on, too. Either the pressure is to high (already addressed), or there are piping issues in the system or around the boiler.


@ December 31, 2012 1:41 PM in Probe type LWCO failure

Has anybody checked if this was wired correctly?


@ December 31, 2012 1:38 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

And is a big red flag that there are other problems with the system. Unfortunately, vents are cheap...maintenance is expensive.


@ December 31, 2012 1:35 PM in header connection questions

You can wrap the asbestos in UL listed silver tape to avoid disturbing it while working on the piping.


@ December 31, 2012 1:32 PM in Oversized Boiler, now what?

That rad vent looks older than its useful life. You can upgrade it with a newer one. That's the easiest first step.

If you post the lengths of the seam mains, we can recommend what to do with the main vents.


@ December 31, 2012 1:28 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

A person can blow hard enough to lift water a few feet. That's enough to overcome any sags or traps, sending the water back to the boiler. However, it is only a temporary fix. The noise will eventually come back.


@ December 31, 2012 1:25 PM in keep having to refill boiler

White cloud = leak. Verify this by overfilling the boiler and looking for water on the floor, or inside the boiler.

Time for a new boiler.


@ December 31, 2012 12:32 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

You won't need a lot of pressure to do it. I often just remove an air vent and blow into the radiator to move trapped water in concealed piping. That would be a good test. BUT FIRST make sure the steam if off!!!


@ December 31, 2012 12:25 PM in Oversized Boiler?

You are right about the sizing. Down-firing is incredibly inefficient, and sometimes dangerous, both to you and the boiler. Don't do it. There is a reason why boilers come in multiple sizes.


@ December 31, 2012 11:42 AM in Arcoleader Boiler age?

Most likely 1950's.


@ December 31, 2012 9:33 AM in leak checking a water cooled condenser

Instead of pressure testing the refrigerant side, I'll drain the water, recover the refrigerant, and pressure test from the water side of the condenser. No cutting, no brazing.


@ December 31, 2012 9:01 AM in $50 if you can figure this out...

You can find my company info in my profile, from the signature below. Or email me at

Have you talked to any other tenants? Do they have the same problem?


@ December 31, 2012 8:55 AM in Oversized Boiler, now what?

Never remove burners. You can create a very unsafe condition, both for you, and the boiler.

27% is not the worst we see. As long as the boiler is installed above and beyond the minimum requirements, and go real heavy on venting, you can smooth out a lot of the oversizing symptoms.

I would vent the radiator closest to the thermostat a little slower.


@ December 31, 2012 8:52 AM in Knocking Radiator in 120 yr. Old House

Definitely a newly mis-pitched pipe.

Where are you located? We can suggest a real steam specialist that would NEVER recommend "living with it"!


@ December 30, 2012 11:54 PM in $50 if you can figure this out...

It's not worth looking at only one radiator. I (and any good steam contractor) would be willing to help you, but only if we have access to the whole system. The landlord needs to cooperate.
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