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Joined on February 27, 2010

Last Post on August 20, 2014

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@ December 2, 2012 12:54 PM in water introduced to boiler???

Well, it has to be coming from somewhere.

Sometimes, old valves can leak past, even if they are closed.

Is there any type of water coil in the boiler for domestic use?


@ December 2, 2012 7:43 AM in Utica steam and return pipes

Old pipes leak. It happens. Closing radiators shouldn't have caused it. My only first reaction, if there are a lot of leaks, is that something may have triggered it.

What kind of maintenance has been done? Do you have an automatic water feeder?


@ November 30, 2012 9:28 PM in One-pipe steam with copper piping

I do work around Philly. I'd be happy to take a look at your system.


@ November 30, 2012 9:25 PM in Steam Boiler to Baseboard Heat

The pump also needs to be bronze or stainless steel with a bypass line installed to temper thr water.


@ November 29, 2012 4:07 PM in Steam Radiator Rattling

I've had this same scenario happen. Th disc in the valve fell off and was flopping around inside whenever the steam came up.


@ November 27, 2012 10:53 PM in 2 Pipe Steam System - Water Hammer - No Trap - Some Side Vents

I travel to all of NJ. Go through my company info and give me a call. We can set up an assessment meeting.


@ November 26, 2012 9:20 PM in 2 Pipe Steam System - Water Hammer - No Trap - Some Side Vents

Holy crow! Where to begin?

You have a total cluster of bad piping and mismatched systems. Is only the one radiator not working well? Do you have a picture of that radiator and the piping that leads to it from the basement?


@ November 25, 2012 10:53 PM in Two furnaces, at same time, both lost heat but still blow cool air

That code is for ignition lockout. I would suspect a gas line shut down, but the water heater is working. My next thought is a common chimney or draft problem. Arethe furnaces sharing a chimney? Is there a valve on the gas line near the meter that only serves the furnaces?


@ November 25, 2012 6:29 PM in Another W-M SGO question

I forgot to take"after" pictures of the inside of the boiler.

Draft control

@ November 24, 2012 7:32 PM in Smith Series 8 boiler - installed without draft control?

Why do we install Temperature/Pressure relief valves? The boiler SHOULD never need one...

Why do we install roll out safeties? The boiler SHOULD never need one...

Why do we install draft control dampers?...


@ November 23, 2012 11:45 PM in Columbia Joins the Wet-Base Power-Gas Steamer Ranks

Nice! I like how the header squares up the whole system. What were your combustion numbers with that model boiler? The Starfire usually gets around 82%.


@ November 23, 2012 11:42 PM in Oil to gas conversion

It can be converted depending on a few factors like furnace model, age, and condition. If it were mine, I'd go for a high efficiency replacement with staging or modulation for the best comfort and fuel savings.


@ November 22, 2012 8:32 PM in How much hot water heating can be added to steam boiler?

Don't go more than the pickup factor of the boiler. That can be hard to judge, unless the boiler is sized correctly. Typically, it will be between 15-30% of the boiler's output.


@ November 22, 2012 8:29 PM in Converting to nat gas-a case study

We came up with about 363 square feet of radiator load. The mains are mostly insulated, so I added 15% pickup, plus 15% for efficiency loss, and came up with a boiler input right near 120K. I believe the old 568 boiler is actually rated up to 210,000 BTUH. We see a lot of shocked faces when we go into a house, offering to install a boiler that is half the size of the old one. I mean, the old one worked, right? Yeah, and it could have also heated your neighbor's house. If I were in the business of selling fuel, I'd oversize my boilers, too. And then we talk about high 85-87% efficiency, and people don't believe it. Old habits die hard. Old steam habits die hard, come back, and haunt us for decades.

The installation will include the boiler, oversized drop header, Vaporstat, maxxed out main venting, and a whole house radiator vent upgrade. I can't wait to compare the annual fuel savings.


@ November 22, 2012 1:58 PM in Smith Series 8 boiler - installed without draft control?

The draft control ensures that the boiler does not get TOO MUCH draft. It does not produce draft. High draft reduces efficiency. It may only cause problems when the weather gets colder, causing the draft to increase. Have it installed.

Banging is caused by improper pitch. Check the level of the main pipe.


@ November 22, 2012 1:31 PM in one pipe steam using too much propane

First and foremost...the piping is not even close to correct. The system will never operate efficiently, and will work a lot harder to produce the same amount of heat that its rated for.

Did the installers size the boiler to the connected radiators?


@ November 22, 2012 12:18 PM in The Mystery nobody can figure out

I would check for proper amp draw through the solenoid. You may be getting the right voltage, but not enough amperage to fully open the valve.


@ November 22, 2012 11:30 AM in The Mystery nobody can figure out

What model burner?

Have you checked if the pilot tap on the gas cock is blocked?


@ November 18, 2012 10:39 PM in Steam help!

Hmm. Are the valves open? Something must be getting hot.


@ November 18, 2012 10:03 PM in Steam help!

What pressure is the boiler running at?


@ November 18, 2012 7:19 AM in Steam Condensate return problems

How is the pump piped? Is there a trap on the inlet? A water leg?

Water line

@ November 15, 2012 3:47 AM in Wet Return/False Water line Question...

The idea is that if you don't have the proper A Dimension, from exposing a wet return, you'll need to prevent steam from causing water hammer in the horizontal condensate lines. You use the false water line to "water seal" the steam, and prevent it from entering the return.
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