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Joined on December 21, 2010

Last Post on May 30, 2014

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Hot Water Loop From Hot Water Tank Instead of Steam Boiler

@ May 30, 2014 3:41 PM in Hot Water Loop From Hot Water Tank Instead of Steam Boiler

Has anyone heard of creating a hot water loop from a 50 gallon hot water tank to heat a basement?  If so, is this widely practiced?  What are the benefits and risks?  Would this be better than setting up a hot water loop with a bypass from a steam boiler?  Thanks


@ May 13, 2014 11:54 AM in Water leaking from glass gauge

Thanks for the advice

Water leaking from glass gauge

@ May 13, 2014 10:14 AM in Water leaking from glass gauge

Hi, my glass gauge for my weil mccaan steam boiler is leaking from the bottom.  I turned it with a pylor and that seems to help for a while.  This must be my forth time tightening it this season.  This time i noticed a crunch sound, possibly dirt in there.  I wanted to replace the black rings at the bottom of the glass and wipe it clean.  Do I need to replace the glass, means buying glass and a cutter or just the black ring will do?  Thanks


@ April 1, 2014 10:01 PM in Thermal Expansion Tank

Thanks for the advice

Expansion Tank

@ April 1, 2014 4:51 PM in Thermal Expansion Tank

The 50 gallon hot water heater is what provides the hot water to my house, the typical gas powered tall cylinder.  I asked because I read if you have hydronic heat, then you need a thermal expansion tank but wasn't sure if this included heat expansion coming only from the hot water tank. 
Is the consensus that steam boiler feed lines do not need their own back flow preventer?  I thought it was common practice to install a backflow preventer to boiler feed lines.  In my case, i would have two backflow preventers, one for steam boiler feed lines, one for the main water line right before the expansion tank. 
Only a hot water heating system needs a thermal expansion tank?  The hot water produced from the hot water heater will not make the water expand and cause problems? 

Thermal Expansion Tank

@ April 1, 2014 1:50 PM in Thermal Expansion Tank

Does anyone know if I need a thermal expansion tank for a house that has steam heating?  If so, do I also need to install a backflow preventer before the cold water line meets the thermal expansion tank?  Currently, I use a 50 gallon hot water tank.  Thanks

main line water filter

@ March 17, 2014 1:12 PM in main line water filter

I was thinking of installing a main line water filter.  What do you guys think, do these work, cause problems and what type would be ideal.  Thanks for input. 

one more question

@ March 17, 2014 8:55 AM in Backflow Preventer Question

Thanks for the response, i have two more questions:
1) What piping do I connect to the middle drain opening?  I would need to run it 15 feet to get to my laundry basin drain.

2) In the spring/summer time, it i turn off the shut off valve before it, will it cause the water in the valve to leak since there is no consent forward pressure?

Backflow Preventer Question

@ March 16, 2014 10:47 PM in Backflow Preventer Question

I wanted to install a backflow preventer for my steam boiler feed line.  I was thinking of a Watts 1/2" 9D-M3 Dual Check Valve w/ Intermediate Atmospheric Vent.  What does the following mean:
Do not use this item for any installation or repair of potable water applications. This product does not comply with the "Safe Drinking Water Act," which requires that products meet low-lead standards in order to be used in systems providing water for human consumption (drinking or cooking). This item is for non-potable (non-human consumption) water applications only
Can lead ever get back into my house water?  If so, wouldn't it be better not to have a backflow preventer.  Also, during spring/summer time, if I shut off the water supply to the boiler, will that cause the backflow preventer to start leaking water since there isn't pressure going forward?


@ February 2, 2014 5:21 PM in How do i fixed mis-pitched main pipe

Thanks Bob c and others, always great advice

two inches?

@ February 1, 2014 11:26 PM in How do i fixed mis-pitched main pipe

Can I really push the pipe that high without breaking? I think quarter to half inch would help, I don't want to mess up the other pitch already there

is quarter inch safe ?

@ February 1, 2014 12:32 AM in How do i fixed mis-pitched main pipe

I wanted to move the sag a quarter inch up, will this be safe? Also are the main pipes replaceable? Can a plumber unscrew the pipes and put new ones in?

How do i fixed mis-pitched main pipe

@ January 30, 2014 10:25 PM in How do i fixed mis-pitched main pipe

I was looking my main pipe and noticed that it has lost its pitch.  Not
sure why, maybe because of house settling.  I attached a picture of the
main.  The left side of the room is where the boiler is, the right side
is where the dry return goes into the wet return.  Instead of the main
being pitched  towards the wet return from left to right, the left
pitches to the middle and the right pitches towards the middle causing
water to settle in the middle.  That pipe where the middle is, is the
pipe that feeds the radiator in the dining room.  This is also the
radiator in the last three years, not this is year though, had water
coming from the radiator vent on really cold days.  It hasn't happened this year
even with the 5 degree weather we had.  There is slight water hammer
noise i hear from that radiator here and there but not very loud like i
hear from other people's house.  I used a level to confirm the pitch. 
The left one looks good but the right one is pitched in the middle.  I
tried to slightly push it up with my hand but wouldn't move.  I have a
one pipe system. 

Is there a way this can be fixed?  Should i use a 2 by 4 to move it up
then strap it?  Do I have to replace the pipes on the right side and
lower the dry return? 

Advice is appreciated. 

Main Pipe Insulation

@ January 30, 2014 1:14 PM in Main Pipe Insulation

I have the main steam pipe go through a finished room in the basement.  Other than fiberglass pipe insulation that I see in Home Depot, is there another type of insulation that  I can put on the pipes that not made from fiberglass?  If fiberglass is the only option, how can I seal the fiberglass, can i wrap it with duct insulation that is sealed in foil?  Also, how do I insulate the joints of the pipes where the two pipes meet?  Thanks for the help.

Skimmer Port?

@ January 24, 2014 1:14 PM in steam tablets

Where is the skimmer port on a Weil McClain boiler? 

did you install vaporstat yourself

@ January 23, 2014 1:27 PM in steam tablets

How did you install the vapostat in seris, i cant get my pressuretrol below 2, system shuts off, seem to have same problem you had, thanks for your help

thanks for the pic

@ January 23, 2014 8:04 AM in steam tablets

Thanks for the tip, i have two questions, can i dilute the tablets in water and pour it down my radiator shut off valve cap? And in your picture i see a pressuretrol and vapostate? Why do you have both? I have a pressuretrol only and my brother in law has a vaperstat pn his only, both are like the one you have

steam tablets

@ January 22, 2014 9:18 PM in steam tablets

How do I add steam tablets on my work well McClain boiler, I always have brown water


@ January 21, 2014 10:49 AM in emergency shut off valve

Thanks for the advice

emergency shut off valve

@ January 21, 2014 9:07 AM in emergency shut off valve

Hi my steam boiler has the emergency shut off switch, the red cover on the boiler in the basement, i usually see it in peoples houses on the first floor by the staircase entry to the basement, should i relocate the switch there and can i have two emergency cut off switches? One in boiler and one on first floor of house?

no problems yet

@ January 15, 2014 9:51 AM in is it worth changing steam heat

I asked cause my boiler is 30 years old might have to change so why not get a modern system. I feel like steam specialist plumbers are dying out and steam boiler selections arent plenty. My system seemd fine, no leaks, house is warm, gas bill isnt too bad but why not get an experts opinion. Once in a while i get water hammer and banging pipes but its only on cold days and infrequent, one bathroom radiator takes a while to heat up but i guess i can make the vent hole bigger.

is it worth changing steam heat

@ January 15, 2014 8:06 AM in is it worth changing steam heat

I have a one pipe steam heating. Is it worth it to ch ange to change to water heating? Should i change to baseboard or use existing radiators. What do you guys think.
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