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Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on September 1, 2014

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A better vent for your Vapor system

@ March 10, 2003 7:31 PM in Steam release

would be the Gorton #2. I'll bet some dirt got into that Hoffman due to high air velocity, which is causing the leak. Both the Hoffman and the Dole are really too small for your system. Gorton's address is www.gorton-valves.com . If you can't find them in your area, contact the factory. Talk to Ken Kunz and tell him I sent you. He'll see that you get what you need. But there's another issue here: Assuming both vents are on the dry return lines, why is steam reaching them in the first place? In most Vapor systems, there should be no steam at all in the dry returns. If you wouldn't mind, post a pic of one of your radiators that has the original shutoff and return hardware. Those "return elbows" may have things in them that you'd never know were there. Or there may be orifices in the inlet valves- In this case you need to keep the pressure lower than about 8 ounces or so. Also verify that both vents are serving return lines rather than steam mains. You've heard this from me before, but Vapor systems were the Cadillac of heating in their day and are still some of the best ever. Treat yours right and it will work well for many years. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If it's a Moline

@ March 10, 2003 7:21 PM in Steam Radiator Valves

it's definitely Vapor! Moline was the only Vapor manufacturer I know of that used a manual shutoff on the return of each radiator. On this system there should not be air-vents on the radiators- the air goes into the return and out thru a central vent. This is covered in Dan's book "The Lost Art of Steam Heating" which you can get on the Books and More page of this site. Highly recommended. You need to contact Tunstall. They can rebuild almost any Vapor shutoff valve, and convert them to thermostatic too. Whichever way you go, make sure you retain the "orifice" feature built into the original valves. This helps to balance the system. Tunstall's address is www.tunstall-inc.com . Vapor systems were the Cadillac of heating in their day, and are still some of the best systems out there now. Cherish yours. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Reroute the return

@ March 10, 2003 7:05 PM in Conversion to one-pipe system

so it won't be in the way. Your system will never run properly without the return unless you do some major surgery. If it keeps banging, that tiny crack in the boiler will grow quickly! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Mad Dog's Right, Get the Book

@ March 10, 2003 7:01 PM in Old steam heating system

but I'll try to answer some of your questions...... 1. Yes, you really do need those return lines from the steam main. It is possible in some caes to pipe the mains so they will return condensate to the boiler room (called "Counterflow") but I have a feeling your system might be too big and/or not have enough room to pitch the pipes to make this work. 2. DO NOT use copper on steam-carrying pipes. The soldered joints can break loose. Copper is fine for those low ("wet") returns since they only carry water. Also, do not reduce the size of the pipes, or the steam won't circulate. 3. Radiator run-outs should pitch back toward the steam mains 1 inch in 10 feet, assuming they're no more than 8 feet long or so. If longer, they should pitch one inch per foot and be one size larger than usual. This will prevent banging. Steam-carrying pipes really should not touch any wood. They should also be insulated, this will keep the fuel bills down. Mad Dog and I have both built steam systems. When they're running as they should, you can't beat them. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Bryan, is this a Vapor system?

@ March 10, 2003 12:21 PM in Steam release

or does it have air vents on the radiators? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That's a two-pipe, air-vent system

@ March 10, 2003 12:11 PM in Steam Radiator Valves

with a shutoff valve on the inlet and the outlet, and an air vent above the outlet. This was the precursor to Vapor. This type of system would use the same vent-mounted TRV as the one-pipe system. You don't want to put a TRV on the steam inlet since in some cases steam may come thru the return lines from another radiator, looking for the air vent. This would not only screw up the temperature regulation, but also cause banging. Vent the steam main on this system the same as on a one-pipe system, but do not put a vent on the return line as you would in a Vapor system. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

BP, You're Right- Steam would be great here

@ March 10, 2003 12:06 PM in new hydronic or old forced hot air ?

an Orifice Vapor system using Baseray radiation would give maximal comfort with minimal moving parts and minimal danger of freezing, and would not take up much space. It could also be drained out easily if need be, and you'd never have to worry about antifreeze. The boiler should have a probe-type low-water cutoff since no one would be there to blow a float-type unit down every week. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If that's a one-pipe system

@ March 9, 2003 7:20 PM in Steam Radiator Valves

which I suspect it is (only one pipe connection to each radiator and an air vent on each) it's not possible to throttle the flow of steam at the shutoff valve. The condensate (water) has to begin its trip back to the boiler thru the same valve, and will back up in the radiator if the valve is partly shut. If my esteemed colleagues at Macon have found a way around this I'd love to know! The way to adjust the heating-up rate of a one-pipe radiator is at the air vent. The air has to get out before the steam can get in, so we control the rate at which the air leaves. Macon and others make thermostatic vents for this purpose. These are great for use in kitchens and bedrooms. You don't want to put them in the room where the thermostat is though. For proper response and decreased fuel consumption, each steam main needs a properly-sized vent at its end. Measure the length and diameter (outside diameter of pipe will do) of your mains and tell us what, if any, vents are on them. We can tell you what you need from this info. If you haven't done so already, get a copy of Dan's book "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". It's the best book I've seen about steam. Order it on the Books and More page of this site. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Randy

@ March 9, 2003 12:55 AM in Two Steam Boiler System/ Need help

e-mail me- I can come out and give you a hand if you'd like. Baltimore isn't that far away. But I'm going to Wetstock so we might have to wait till I get back! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Oh, OK- it's a \"Snowman\"!

@ March 9, 2003 12:48 AM in Need info on late 40's vintage coal fired boiler

so named because when covered with asbestos, it resembled a snowman. These boilers were rather common since they were inexpensive, but they were not very efficient, especially on oil or gas. It is also possible to baffle one of these boilers as described above, but the results would not be as good. The Capitol round boiler #25-5 had net ratings of 675 square feet steam (162,000 BTU) or 1080 square feet hot-water (162,000 BTU also)- again, these ratings are in the Hydronic Rating Handbook. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

At first glance that should work

@ March 8, 2003 1:36 PM in Basement Help

but I wonder why the fin-tube was mounted that high? Maybe there was a water problem in the basement? And is that a regular series-loop system or a Monoflo system? I think you need a Wethead to come look at this. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate one near you. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

According to the Hydronic Rating Handbook

@ March 8, 2003 1:25 PM in Need info on late 40's vintage coal fired boiler

that's probably a 25-series Capitol Improved Sectional boiler having 5 sections. It has net ratings of 700 square feet of steam radiation (168,000 BTU) or 1150 square feet hot-water (172,500 BTU), on coal. The size of the firebox is 25 inches wide and 25-1/2 inches deep. It probably has rather large flue passages, which makes it less efficient on oil or gas than a modern boiler. This can be overcome to some degree by proper baffling. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

A couple of questions

@ March 8, 2003 1:09 PM in Two Steam Boiler System/ Need help

1. Is that a "condensate" pump or a "boiler-feed" pump? The difference is the condensate pump is operated by a float in the receiver tank, and the boiler-feed pump is controlled from the boiler. 2. Does the system really need 5 PSI to operate? This could be the cause of the steam in the receiver. Try cranking it down. 3. There should be no need to "force" the condensate from the steam main. It should drain by gravity. Where in Maryland is the school located? Anywhere near Baltimore? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

We're clearing out the storage garage

@ March 7, 2003 6:58 PM in Radiators for sale (Steamhead)

which has gotten rather congested, partly due to all the different radiators we've accumulated. We have many different sizes and types. Anyone out there need any? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Hopeful Sign

@ March 7, 2003 6:31 PM in The right tool for the job

I have a neighbor who lives in a late-1940s Cape Cod house with scorched-air. The recently installed super-efficient furnasty was a selling point, but they are never comfortable. Next door is an older house with a well-operating steam system. Guess where they spend as much time as they can? I'm going over there this weekend to do a heat-loss and design a system that will keep them comfortable. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

It might

@ March 7, 2003 6:17 PM in Steam boiler water feeding

but it might not. Can't hurt to check- if you don't check, you don't know for sure. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Boiler Over-Pumped

@ March 7, 2003 5:27 PM in Steam in a hot water boiler??????

This sounds like something I ran into a while ago with a 1925-vintage Spencer. The water moved so fast thru that boiler that it couldn't pick up much heat, and pockets of steam were forming inside as a result. Go to http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=119 to read about it. The Taco 1612 will pump up to 70 gallons per minute at low head pressures (see chart). Two of these pumps will move 140 GPM. The Burnham V-76 was rated 192,000 BTUH net output. 140 GPM will move roughly 1,344,000 BTUH! You are WAY over-pumped here. The water is spending so little time in the boiler that it can't pick up any heat. The boiler rating of 192,000 BTUH would require 20 GPM. A Taco 110 or 0010 or a B&G 100 are three examples of a pump that will deliver this amount of flow (depending on head pressure). How much heat does each coil require? You can determine the water flow each coil needs from this figure. And I'd also consider installing a separate circ for each coil- Pumping Away, of course. This will let you size the circ to the flow and head requirements of each, and let you work on one while the other is still running. Let us know how you do! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I heard this was a no-no

@ March 7, 2003 4:58 PM in Starbuck's \"Modern Heating Illustrated\" GE Boiler Piping method

since a modern boiler was configured to have the coolest water at the bottom, where the hottest part of the flame was. I once ran into a Columbia boiler with its circ reversed so it pumped out of the bottom. Owner complained the system (gravity conversion) was slow to heat. I reversed the circ and it made a huge difference. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That long main

@ March 6, 2003 4:36 PM in calculating vent size

should have a Gorton #2 vent. If the long main then heats faster than the short one, put both Vent-Rites on the short main. You want both mains to heat up in about a minute, measured from the time the boiler starts producing steam. The steam should reach the ends of both mains at about the same time. Once this happens, the steam will rise to each radiator simultaneously. www.gorton-valves.com To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Low Pressure and Main Vents

@ March 6, 2003 3:59 PM in stack temperature

go hand in hand. Captain CO is right since the lower the steam pressure, the less the steam is compressed. It can take up more space. But for this to work properly, you must have proper vents at the end of that steam main. This way, the steam will fill the main first, then rise to all radiators at the same time. Measure the length and diameter of each steam main you have, and tell us what vents are on them. We can tell you what vents you will need. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Mike, with current equipment

@ March 6, 2003 3:47 PM in oil or gas ?

either fuel will work well. What many of us don't realize is that even with so-called "deregulation", gas is still largely a monopoly situation. When you hook up, you're locked in to whatever they charge. Oil, on the other hand, is a competitive business. You choose based on price and quality of service. If you don't like your supplier you can always switch. There are many good steam boilers out there. The most important part of a steam boiler replacement is a quality installation job. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Radiator covers

@ March 6, 2003 3:41 PM in radiator covers

can waste a lot of energy if improperly designed. Follow these links for more info: http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=77 and http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=115 It pays to wander off the Wall! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"