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The Wall
Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on April 23, 2014

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Dan's right

@ December 30, 2002 9:29 PM in Two pipe steam

the Dead Men who designed and installed your Vapor system were geniuses. Respect them and their creation. Have you been able to locate any manufacturer's info on the various components of your system? Based on what you've told me, it may be an early Trane, Richardson or O-E system. We love to hear about Vapor systems here! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

It's Gonna Bang, Gary

@ December 29, 2002 8:34 PM in One-Pipe Steam Boiler Piping Trouble

The above posts are correct. The boiler will never work properly this way. You could get away with this on older boilers since they had those big steam chests in them. But newer boilers need proper piping to catch any water that may come up with the steam. If your contractor won't do it right, find one who will. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate one. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Warranty issues

@ December 29, 2002 8:22 PM in Reinstall possible? (JRH)

Why not check with the manufacturer? For a worthy cause like this, they might be willing to stretch a point if needed. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Steam Boilers

@ December 28, 2002 9:18 PM in Need Contractor

The ones I know for sure that use push-nipples are Burnham, Columbia, Dunkirk, Slant/Fin and Utica. Can't remember if Peerless does or not, and Smith and Weil-McLain use gaskets. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site and follow the instructions to locate a contractor near you. When selecting boilers, remember that the 1.33 pick-up factor is already figured into the ratings. If the boiler you're looking at has a rating very close to your 542 square feet, it would make sense to go one size larger- especially with that 96-foot-long 2-1/2" main. That original 950-square-foot boiler would have been coal-fired. They specified the larger boiler as it would have had a larger firebox and grate, and the owner would not have had to shovel coal as often. I like electric ignition, since you never have to worry about the pilot light going out. Recent model EI systems are very reliable. Make sure you have properly-sized vents at the end of that steam main. I would use two Gorton #2 vents on a main like that- this will get the steam to the end of the main quickly. Gortons are made in Cranford, in North Jersey, so if you can't find someone near you who carries them you can run up to the factory! www.gorton-valves.com To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Interesting Idea

@ December 28, 2002 10:06 AM in Converting to a Paul system..

The Paul system was originally used on systems using exhaust steam from a steam engine. The ejector used a steam jet to draw air from the system. I believe the 35% savings (on coal) included the fact that the greater pressure differential across the system made the engine as well as the heating system more efficient. But there's no reason you couldn't get hold of a small electric vacuum pump to do the same thing on a modern system. You could even control the pump with a reset controller to vary the vacuum (and the steam temperature with it) acording to outside temperature. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Is that the same one

@ December 27, 2002 7:04 PM in December 26, 1865

that is part of a larger story, and appeared in the book "Used Stories"? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

and

@ December 26, 2002 3:06 PM in Steam not getting to risers

are the pipes pitched so water will drain out of all of them and back into the steam main? I would certainly install properly-sized main vents. The entire system will heat faster, and on less pressure. Both considerations will lower your fuel bill. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

You would have to

@ December 26, 2002 3:03 PM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

remove the trap elements and possibly drill out the seats so they won't restrict the flow. You may also have to repipe the return to the boiler since it may not be big enough to handle the amount of water needed. And the pressure will be about 24 times (assuming a 2-story building) that of the Trane Vapor system so that may result in leaks. Can you tell I love old Vapor systems? They were the Cadillac of heating in their day, and are still some of the best out there. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Try this

@ December 25, 2002 9:04 PM in Main venting for one pipe steam

put three or four Vari-Valves on the long main and one on the short main. Make sure there's nothing below them though, since these vents will not close against water. Drill and tap additional 1/8" pipe thread holes in the main as needed to mount the vents. Get enough Vent-Rite, Hoffman or whatever brand of good adjustable vent is available in your area and put these on the radiators. Watch how well it works. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I'd checked all that

@ December 25, 2002 8:37 PM in Sizing Gravity conversion circulators.....Boilerpro

and everything looked OK. They hadn't had a problem with the old boiler, which is what made me look at the circ. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

And

@ December 24, 2002 1:53 PM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

anything like this Float Trap/Air Eliminator and Return Trap on your system? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Or

@ December 24, 2002 1:49 PM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

like this? BTW- there are a lot of good steam man in New England. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site and follow the instructions to locate one near you. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Do they look

@ December 24, 2002 1:45 PM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

like this? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Performance curves

@ December 24, 2002 1:38 PM in Sizing Gravity conversion circulators.....Boilerpro

aren't identical but close. The B&G NRF-33 will pump up to 13 feet of head rather than 8 for the B&G 100 and Taco 110. The Taco 0010 pumps up to 12 feet. But in gravity-conversion applications these units are so close as to be interchangeable. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Ordered a NRF-9F/LW

@ December 24, 2002 1:21 PM in Sizing Gravity conversion circulators.....Boilerpro

we'll see how well it works! But here's something else to think about: One of my test systems for the chart was an 890-square-foot converted gravity system (with O-S distributor fittings!) in a big foursquare house. This had a relatively new boiler in it with a Taco 007. Owner complained about sluggishness, and I noted that the boiler would shut off on high limit long before the thermostat was satisfied. The chart showed an 851-square-feet system requiring 20 GPM. This is a bit more than the 007 can produce at a 3-1/2-foot head. So I removed the 007 and installed a 0010, converting to Pumping Away also. The 0010 has a very similar curve to the B&G 100 and Taco 110 we all know and love. It will produce about 29 GPM at a 3-1/2-foot head. With the 0010 on the job, the system circulated perfectly- even thru the TRVs we had installed in the kitchen and bedrooms. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If those Vari-Valves

@ December 24, 2002 9:11 AM in Main venting for one pipe steam

are wide open, each will vent as much air as a Gorton #1 main vent. This may explain the situation. You want the big vents on the mains and the smaller ones on the radiators. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Did you

@ December 24, 2002 12:39 AM in Main venting for one pipe steam

try firing the boiler with the vent removed, to see if air comes out the pipe? The steam pushes air ahead of it, looking for an exit (higher pressure to lower pressure) so if the pipe is open you should get air. The only thing I can think of that would alter this scenario is if someone put monster vents on the radiators. What vents do you have on them? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I think you've got it

@ December 24, 2002 12:35 AM in steam problem

try re-pitching the pipe. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Bret, as long as The Wall exists

@ December 24, 2002 12:26 AM in Convert from Steam to Hot Water?

there will be steam experts available. I don't see a problem there. I have a feeling your 2-pipe system is actually Vapor. These were the Cadillac of heating in their day and can still hold their own. Do you know who made the system? Replacement trap innards are available from Barnes & Jones, Hoffman and Tunstall. They maintain online catalogs so you can determine what parts you need. Again, no problems here. There's still a lot of steam and Vapor out there, and even a few contractors like us who will still install steam from scratch! Plenty of market to support. The sluggishness you mention is probably a trap or air-vent problem. Either is easily fixed. I guess you can tell I like steam and Vapor systems. If that were my house, I'd repair the Vapor system and install a new, efficient boiler. Web sites: www.barnesandjones.com (trap parts) www.gorton-valves.com (real nice air vents) www.hoffmanspecialty.com (trap parts and air vents) www.tunstall-inc.com (trap parts and radiator shutoff valve repair- can also rebuild rad shutoff into thermostatic units) To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

In the boiler room

@ December 23, 2002 11:53 PM in Small Diverter-tee Installation (Steamhead)

we changed to Pumping Away. The Weil-McLain sealed-combustion boiler has a built-in air separator so we just used that. Each zone has a Taco 007. Now that he has heat in the basement, the owner can finish it off. Happy Holidays everyone. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Can't call this one Monoflo

@ December 23, 2002 11:48 PM in Small Diverter-tee Installation (Steamhead)

because we didn't use B&G's tees. This radiator had been installed on an inside wall, so we moved it. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Basement radiators wouldn't heat

@ December 23, 2002 11:45 PM in Small Diverter-tee Installation (Steamhead)

Given the size of the mains they were on, they couldn't. We decided to make the basement a separate zone, using down-feeding diverter tees. Most of the heat loss was at the end of the basement opposite the boiler. Using diverter tees allowed us to send the heat to these radiators first. The owner already had sheetrock up so we ran the pipes exposed- which is kind of chic these days anyway. You can see the old capped-off drop pipes under the bulkhead. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"