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Joined on February 27, 2010

Last Post on August 27, 2014

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@ January 6, 2013 3:50 PM in Radiator removed, now remaining radiators leak!

I bet the system is overfilled, or operating WAY over the proper pressure. Check the sight glass and see if the water line is visible.


@ January 6, 2013 3:35 PM in Radiator removed, now remaining radiators leak!

The pressure should be as low as possible no matter how many radiators are attached.

Is the system full of water? Too much water?

Moving forward

@ January 6, 2013 1:10 PM in PEERLESS boiler average life Question

I should have also mentioned that, like technology, installation techniques change, too. I know that I would never install a boiler today the way that I did 5 years ago, or even 1 year ago.

Case in point...I never knew the advantage of a wet-based/power-burner arrangement. Now, it's nearly all that I offer. The higher efficiency justifies the extra cost to me.

We also have the ability to really fine tune a system, especially with TRV's, and venting, to be able to maximize a boiler's output, and then using an incredibly accurate firing rate without a lot of fluffy "what if" BTUH's.

However, you are right that most atmospheric boilers are not going to change dramatically. They're outdated, and have been outdated for many years. For me, it's like owning a car. The gas and brake pedals never change, and the main objective is to get from here to there, but when you can get 30 mpg, why settle for 20?

All systems break down eventually. I'm not a gambler. I'd rather buy a new car/boiler before I end up spending as much money on my old one as the new one costs.


@ January 6, 2013 12:58 PM in Help - Large radiator spewing a lot of water out of air vent. Help!

Sounds like water collecting somewhere in the piping, or not leaving the radiator. Can you find out what pressure the boiler is running at? If all pipe pitches check out okay, I would suspect a system venting problem. I also highly doubt that nobody else has a problem. Your neighbor's vents could be failed closed and not revealing any of the symptoms that you have.


@ January 6, 2013 8:18 AM in Steamhead / Gordo gauge glass drain

Somebody should make a sight glass valve with a little more internal space, so it doesn't need to be cleaned so much in the first place.


@ January 5, 2013 8:24 PM in Video link - Is this sound from condensate or a metal object?

That definitely sounds metallic. Maybe your neighbors valve is broken.


@ January 5, 2013 8:20 PM in vintage ad

Cool. A toilet with a beer holder!

Useful life

@ January 5, 2013 4:55 PM in PEERLESS boiler average life Question

Efficiency drops every year. 15 years seems to be the average age when parts start to break down. Service calls can become way too frequent, and I'm in the mindset of being proactive instead of reactive with systems. Plus, technology seems to cycle every decade and allows you to choose a more efficient and comfortable way of heating our home.


@ January 4, 2013 5:19 PM in PEERLESS boiler average life Question

Expect 15 years of useful life. Be happy with any more than that. 30 years is a good run for a boiler. I would at least start planning to replace it.


@ January 4, 2013 9:12 AM in F&T traps in a weird place.

The return is only 2" below the equalizer connection?


@ January 4, 2013 9:09 AM in Rusted pipes

There's usually a reason why pipes start rotting out at the same time. Is the leak real bad? Can you make it through the winter? Are you planning to replace the boiler?


@ January 4, 2013 9:04 AM in F&T traps in a weird place.

How can the air get out? It can't!

You are on the right track. Ditch the traps. Reinstall main venting. Is there any type of crossover trap on the difficult main?


@ January 3, 2013 9:35 PM in Steam Boiler Decision & Approach

A properly installed, REPEAT, properly installed steam boiler with a hot water loop can work very well. The installer must know how to set them up properly. If nobody has mentioned anything bronze or stainless steel pumps, don't use them.


@ January 3, 2013 6:46 AM in Forced Air Furnace Issue - Troubleshooting and Identification

That system looks highly nelected. That odd burner pattern could be a cracked heat exchanger. Have it looked at by somebody with an inspection camera, or who knows how to properly diagnose failed heat exchangers.


@ January 2, 2013 7:48 PM in Cost savings with gas

All of my customers have saved from 40-60% so far.


@ January 2, 2013 2:41 PM in Gas regulations... Help!

Where are you located?

Some companies, myself included, would offer a third party inspection.


@ January 2, 2013 2:39 PM in Point of no pressure change - help me understand

I feel a lot of pressure in this thread!

The only way to understand this concept is to test it. Or just listen to Mark.

Steady Water-Level Contest

@ January 2, 2013 12:12 PM in Steady Water-Level Contest

I propose an informal contest for the remainder of the winter. Who can get the steadiest sight glass level on a steam boiler on a new install. Here's my first entry. Sorry for the sideways video.

SMITH 8S3 with Carlin power burner firing at 120,000 input.
Double 2" risers. 3" drop header. One 2" main.


@ January 1, 2013 10:04 PM in Heat coming from discharge side of Radiator

The supply pipe that is sagging may be holding water and preventing steam from entering the radiator. The vents on the returns are also not needed. If this is a true two-pipe air-vent system, then the only vents should be on the steam mains and radiators. Whatappearsto be happening, is that thesteam is being blocked by a water seal, and the other radiators are allowing the steam to move backwards into the cold radiator's return.


@ January 1, 2013 9:10 PM in Heat coming from discharge side of Radiator

Yes, if you can take pictures of where the returns join together.


@ January 1, 2013 8:45 PM in Point of no pressure change - help me understand

Not quite.

Water can never be pushed or pulled from the tank. That's why its pressure never changes. If you imagine the water moving in and out of the tank, where is it going to, or coming from? In a closed system completely filled with water, you cannot create a vacuum, or send water where water already exists.


@ January 1, 2013 8:36 PM in Heat coming from discharge side of Radiator

Are you able to post a few pictures of the radiator and the piping that leads to it? The return pipes, too?
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