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Joined on December 19, 2011

Last Post on October 31, 2012

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two systems

@ October 31, 2012 3:28 PM in Where are leaks likely to be found?

Separate systems. One boiler for the first floor appartment, the other boiler for the two appartments on the second floor.
I can post photos later tonight...
thanks crash

Crash is the man...

@ October 31, 2012 12:05 PM in Pipe Insulation Questions

that inspired me to get going on properly insulating my steam system pipes. I have two boilers! Yikes.
The very link that he has provided was the same post that got me going.
I nearly got it finished and my basement is 10 degrees cooler! Going into my basement was like stepping into an oven! Not no more. And I have yet to install the fittings.

1" thick

@ October 31, 2012 11:55 AM in Pipe Insulation Questions

1" is essential with staem heat.
The 4ft. PVC jacket is for going over existing pipe insulation. This is not what you need. It adds loads of cost, and is not necessary in you basement setting.

You will however need PVC fittings that do come with fiberglass insulation. The I'' fiberglass insulation comes with individuale pieces of tape for the seams. You would need to get the stainless steel pushpins to hold the PVC fittings in place, or as I understand it, a roll of 2" wide tape thats designed for that purpose. Go to to research all this, and chat live with the folks there to answer your questions.

Where are leaks likely to be found?

@ October 31, 2012 10:17 AM in Where are leaks likely to be found?

Where am I likley to locate leaks in my system? At the valve stems? Where the valve attaches to the radiator? At the radiator vents?
There is no water to be found on the floor under the boilers.
I have two boilers, the one needs more water added than the other. When it's in the low 40's in temp. outside, I need to add water every day in the one boiler. I open the valve for 2-3 maybe 4 seconds, and that usually does it. I only fill the boilers when they are not running.
I have the cut-in pressure set at .5, and the cut-out pressure set at 1 (on the wheel inside the pressuretrol) I installed two Gorton #2's on each systems main, and reinsulated the mains with 1" insulation. The basement is not so darn hot as before.
I installed all new Gorton radiator vents on the one system that does not require as much water as the other. I plan to install all new Gorton radiator vents on the other system soon.
My near boiler piping is terribly wrong, but can't work on that just now.
Where is one likely to find water leaving the system?

1/2" pipe good enough?

@ October 31, 2012 9:03 AM in Drill and tap for 3/4" pipe.

In Dan's book "Greening Steam" and on Gerry Gills vent capacity charts, it is stated that an open 1/2" steel pipe will vent 2.600 CFM at 1oz of pressure. And on those very same charts you will find the vent capacity for a Gorton #2 at 1.100 CFM at 1oz. This means you can install two Gorton #2's on a 1/2" pipe.
One Gorton #2 1.100, Two Gorton #2's = 2.200
1/2" pipe 2.600 - 2.200 = .400
Gorton #1 = .330
If I understand this correctly, You could install Two Gorton #2's and One Gorton #1 on a 1/2" pipe and still not max-out the capacity for the 1/2" pipe to vent at 1oz of pressure.


@ October 26, 2012 9:43 PM in Radiator won't turn off

Sure hope I'm wrong... I've just been in so many photography discussion groups where people came on all the time to make trouble...

ok, I see

@ October 26, 2012 4:11 PM in Radiator won't turn off

that you're here cause you fancy yourself a comedian. Had me going there... hilarious... I'll be laughing though the night.

I'm no expert either...

@ October 26, 2012 12:04 PM in Radiator won't turn off

but that looks like like a hot water system, not steam.
that little vent at the top is to bleed air out of the hot water system. If it were a steam system, it would not have one of those, but it would have a different type of vent about half-way down from the top of the radiator.
Turning that valve off on a hot water system should stop the flow of hot water. It may take some time however for the radiator to cool down. You wouldn't feel an immediate difference.

I've never heard hammer in the basement...

@ October 24, 2012 6:54 PM in Is this one-pipe system unusual?

and I'll have go down and measure tomorrow to get you the dimensions of all thats going on down there.

Thanks for the response.

Is this one-pipe system unusual?

@ October 24, 2012 6:22 PM in Is this one-pipe system unusual?

I have all of Dan's books on steam heating and have looked around the internet, yet I have not found one drawing of a one-pipe system the looks like mine. All one-pipe system drawings I have seen show the supply main with return-water inside the same pipe as the steam. The return-water is flowing in the same direction as the steam in the main, or against the direction of the steam, as in the counter-flow system described in The Lost Art of Steam Heating.

I have two steam boilers in my house, one for the first floor apartment, and the other for the second floor apts. Both systems are one-pipe and neither system carries water in the mains, or any other horizontal pipe. See lame drawings. The drawings show the first floor piping only.

Each riser going to the second floor has just one radiator attached and will carry the return-water along with the steam vertically, but never in the system horizontally.

How unusual is it to see a one-pipe system, that has no return-water in any horizontal pipe carrying steam? The only horizontal pipe carrying return-water is at the low point in the system, about 3-3 1/2 feet off the basement floor.

In every last drawing I have seen describing a one-pipe steam system, this is not so.

Part Two:

Given what was said above, when my one-pipe systems went from coal-fired, wet-returns to modern gas-fired, semi-dry-returns, might i be very close to having trouble with, I don't know, something to do with water returning to the boiler? Had my boiler been sitting a few inches lower for example, would I be close to screwing up this "All important "A" dimension" Dan talks about in Chapter 3 of The Lost Art? He also talks about "false water-lines". I pretty much glazed over when reading all that... I guess I don't really understand that bit.

The drawings I've made are actual examples of what I see for the first floor piping.

Above I describe my system as semi-dry. Long before the Hartford loop some part of the horizontal return piping is "wet" but clearly the entire horizontal return pipe would have been "wet" with the coal fired boiler of the past. Am I right about that?

Thanks for listening.

In Dan's book, The Lost Art of Steam Heating...

@ October 23, 2012 5:24 PM in Header Size

Chapter 4
'Near-boiler piping: The place where problems are born"

Larger header and better yet, drop header make for dryer steam. Dryer steam = more efficient system = smaller gas/oil bills.

In Dan's book Greening Steam, he says, "our goal is dry steam because dry steam saves green"


@ October 23, 2012 3:32 PM in Steam Heat Problems

There are others that can explain better, why this is not a good idea...
I had water running down the basement wall where one of the risers poked up through the floor....

I made that mistake....

@ October 23, 2012 3:29 PM in Steam Heat Problems

When I bought my house, the owner said it needs filling up, and showed me how to do it... I had major problems and then learned here to NEVER add water to the boiler when it's running.

Are you filling the boiler

@ October 23, 2012 3:23 PM in Steam Heat Problems

when it's running?

the other photo

@ October 22, 2012 6:42 PM in Pop quiz... what is it?

still doesn't tell me anything...

the arm seams to have been connected to something on either end... and looks to have turned something on or off when one end of the arm was raised or lowered. You can't tell from the photo, but it would push a pin sticking down underneath.

Pop quiz... what is it?

@ October 22, 2012 6:01 PM in Pop quiz... what is it?

I don't have a clue for sure.

I'll post another photo after a bit, that shows the name plate on the back side.

It's not connected to anything and you can see I removed it from the floor joist. The washing machine gives you scale... From the Coal Boiler days? Anyone want to add this to their collection of useless stuff? Too heavy for a tree ornament.

If it didn't have writing on it...

@ October 20, 2012 10:11 PM in See what I replaced...

I wouldn't really have a clue what it was. I cleaned it up and it sure does say #4, perhaps its ancient...? the threads are 1/4"

I'd be happy to drop it in the mail to you, if you'd like to have it.


@ October 20, 2012 8:38 PM in I'm going to try this myself...


See what I replaced...

@ October 20, 2012 8:13 PM in See what I replaced...

The little vent in the middle was the only vent on the main. It says Hoffman #4 right on it. The venting capacity charts say that a Hoffman #4 will vent .060 CFM @1oz. It would take 18 of these little guys to equal one Gorton #2. I put two Gorton #2's on the main. Thats 36 of these little buggers. AND it was completely blocked up. I could not blow any air through it.

seams to be working...

@ October 20, 2012 7:55 PM in I'm going to try this myself...

will see how 1 cycle per hour works... My near boiler piping is a mess, and wont get to that till next fall... I understand 2 or perhaps 3 cycles per hour might work better depending on how screwed up things are.

I finally got the plumber over to drill and weld thread-o-lets on to the mains on Thursday. I installed Gorton #2's this morning and new radiator vents in one of the apartments. My apartment seams a little quieter.

And thanks for your help!!!!!

I'm going to try this myself...

@ October 20, 2012 5:34 PM in I'm going to try this myself...

I just bought this thermostat, and after reading through the installation guide, I believe I got it successfully setup for steam heat and at one-cycle-per-hour.

Now for the wires... I have a red and a white wire going to the existing thermostat.

The thermostat does not control any other systems, such as A/C, so only the gas boiler.

For steam only systems, are they all two wire? Not sure about the terminals... there are a few different scenarios to chose from on page 4 of the wiring guide.

I don't do well with little wires... give me a pile of rough sawn lumber and I'll dress it down and design and build a fine piece of furniture.


Dip what?

@ October 13, 2012 1:07 PM in Honeywell TH6110D1005

I haven't yet bought the TH6110, so don't know if it has a dip switch... Then again, I don't know what a dip switch is... and thats the truth.
I found out about this particular thermostat when I clicked on "Systems" at the top of the page, then clicked "Steam", then "Thermostats".... read the artical...
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