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The Wall
Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on September 16, 2014

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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"

You're right, Garth

@ March 6, 2003 3:32 PM in adding Hot Water Radiators to the basement

and you have what was the Cadillac of heating in its day! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Adding radiators to the basement

@ March 6, 2003 3:31 PM in adding Hot Water Radiators to the basement

is relatively easy. You will need a circulator for the main house (go to http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=125 to see what size circ you need) and one for the basement, plus a circ relay, thermostat and flow-check for each. The piping around the boiler will also need to be modified and an air separator added. Since your existing system works by gravity, circulating the hot water to radiators below the main may be difficult. An overhead diverter-tee (a.k.a. Monoflo) loop will work well for those basement radiators. You will need two Monoflo tees for each radiator. Size the basement rads by doing a heat-loss calculation, then size your pipes and circ from that. If this sounds like a lot, it is- but if done right it will work perfectly. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate someone who can handle the work. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Then

@ March 6, 2003 3:20 PM in Steam boiler water feeding

it's working as it should! Scott is right about the potential for corrosion. It might not be a bad idea to drain some water out of the boiler to see if it comes out clean. If so you will probably be OK. If you get a lot of dirt, it would be well to completely flush out the boiler and return lines. A new boiler acts like a scouring pad on an old system, loosening dirt that's been there for years. We have to get rid of that dirt. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Order the #2

@ March 6, 2003 3:11 PM in Advice on uneven steam heat

it will be less expensive and simpler to install than 4 #1s. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

You need a much bigger main vent

@ March 5, 2003 7:59 PM in Advice on uneven steam heat

I'd use a Gorton #2. The Dole vent that's on there now is really designed for use on steam convectors. If you can't find Gortons in your area, their website is www.gorton-valves.com . If you contact them by phone, talk to Ken Kunz and tell him I sent you. With the Gorton #2, the steam will go to the end of the main first then rise to all the radiators simultaneously. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If you can't find those water-seal units

@ March 5, 2003 7:43 PM in Wanted: broomell/Veco traps

just put new elements in the thermostatic traps and the system should work fine. The bottom line is, something has to stop the steam from reaching the dry returns. Either Broomell/Veco water seals or thermostatic traps will do this. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Can't stop a Trane

@ March 5, 2003 7:37 PM in Steam boiler water feeding

Sounds like you've nailed it! Reuben Trane is surely smiling upon you from Heaven. Aside from blowing down the low-water cutoff (if it's a float type) there's no need to do anything. BTW- the two valves that isolate the sight glass from the boiler are open, right? Sounds elementary but I've seen them left closed a few times......... To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Bryan, sounds like that's a Vapor system

@ March 5, 2003 7:33 PM in Radiator Valves

which was the Cadillac of heating in its day, and is still one of the best out there. If the packing doesn't hold, Tunstall can supply parts to rebuild that type of valve. They'd need the make and model of the valve. Contact them at www.tunstall-inc.com . To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Sounds like the main is under-vented

@ March 5, 2003 7:26 PM in Advice on uneven steam heat

measure the length and diameter of the main (do all mains if there are more than one) and tell us the make and model of the vent on the main. We can determine from this info whether you have the right vent. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

It's possible

@ March 3, 2003 7:43 PM in Sand (?) in Steam Boiler

but if the sand is also greasy, it's probably just years of dirt breaking loose and winding up in the boiler. Completely flush out the boiler and wet returns- bet you find a lot more gook. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Does the Pressuretrol

@ March 3, 2003 7:40 PM in PRESSURE TOO HIGH!?

actually stop the burner at 3 pounds? If so, either the Pressuretrol or the gauge is not accurate. If not, the Pressuretrol is probably bad but it could also be a wiring problem. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

John, does your system

@ March 3, 2003 7:37 PM in gurgling pipes, water pressure and blleding

have an air separator? And is the pump on the return or the supply (should be supply)? With a good air separator and the pump on the supply, pumping away from the separator and expansion tank connection, you won't have this problem. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Clanking Radiator

@ March 3, 2003 10:37 AM in Clanking Radiator

is this a steam or hot-water system? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Here's another good one-

@ March 2, 2003 9:02 PM in Cracked HX and NO CO!!

Hoffman Vapor system with original style Differential Loop. CO detector in boiler room sounded. Owner called gas company who found his boiler was cracked above the waterline. Then he called us to get a bid on a new boiler. But where was the CO coming from? The vent on the Differential Loop! That vent was a vacuum type- Hoffman #6 which was way too small for that system. It would let air out but not in. When the steam in the system condensed, it would pull flue gas in thru the crack in the boiler. On the next cycle, that flue gas would go out the vent on the Loop and set off the CO detector. I replaced that vent, and another one way out at the end of the system, with Gorton #2 vents that will not pull a vacuum. Got the boiler CO down- it was overgassed and piped wrong, sound familiar? We haven't changed the boiler yet- owner wants to wait for warm weather- but the CO is gone. This is another reason not to use vacuum vents on steam systems. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Depends on the system

@ March 2, 2003 2:08 AM in Steam install and a question about pressuretrols

We haven't had trouble with the PA404A on one-pipe or two-pipe air-vent systems. On Vapor where there is no Return Trap or Differential Loop I always change the Pressuretrol to a Vaporstat that cannot be set higher than 1 PSI. I like to do the same if the Differential Loop or Return Trap is still there, but it's not quite as important since the Loop or Trap will see that the water returns properly. And on any system that chronically overheats, the Vaporstat will often help. I've found that if the vents are sized and installed properly and the firing rate is reasonably close to the load, you never see more than a few ounces pressure until all the vents are closed. If a cranked-down Pressuretrol cuts out before the system is fully heated, you probably have a venting problem! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Big Ed, does that Lux 600

@ March 2, 2003 1:54 AM in set back tstat

require batteries? I like the Honeywell T8600 "power-stealing" unit that doesn't need batteries. Dead batteries can cause a no-heat call. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I know

@ March 2, 2003 1:51 AM in Single pipe steam with baseboard radiators?

I am! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I did, Mark

@ March 2, 2003 1:33 AM in New Round Table CO post

what a mess that was. As always, nice job. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Ken, I wouldn't do that

@ March 2, 2003 1:27 AM in Single pipe steam with baseboard radiators?

steam baseboard needs to be hooked up two-pipe to work well. This is covered in "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". You would have to run a whole new set of return lines to the basement- one for each baseboard unit. You'd be better off shipping the radiators out to be stripped and repainted. They'd look a whole lot better when this is done. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"