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Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on August 27, 2014

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No he didn't

@ January 26, 2003 12:43 AM in This one's for you Timmie

that came from one of my posts in the CO Danger round table. Not trying to bust your chops, just trying to figure out what went wrong. Here's the link to the posting: http://forums.invision.net/Thread.cfm?CFApp=2&Thread_ID=3178&mc=132#Message22362 To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Two-pipe, air-vent

@ January 24, 2003 11:11 PM in \"pedal valves\" for steam radiator???

If you want the radiator to heat, both valves should be open. But if you want to shut it off, close both valves. Otherwise steam may enter the rad from the wrong direction. This type of system evolved from the one-pipe system. It provides a separate path for condensate to return but the air is vented in the same way as on one-pipe. It wasn't until Vapor came out that radiators didn't need air vents. If each radiator return is piped down into a wet return, steam cannot enter the return. But if several rad returns are connected together above the waterline, steam can enter the return and get into another rad via the return. Keeping the pressure low minimizes the chance of this. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

A more extreme example

@ January 24, 2003 9:03 PM in Man its cold

Went out today to do a Master Venting on a large one-pipe steam system in a former cloak factory. They complained that the building took forever to warm up. While my partner was drilling and tapping the steam mains, I checked out their thermostat setup- figured it must be a bad anticipator setting or something similar. What I found was two thermostats which were supposedly connected to one of those old Paragon 7-day mechanical timers. As it turned out, the "night" thermostat wasn't even hooked up. The timer was turning the system completely off at night and over the weekend! I had to reroute some thermostat wires to fix this one. They were lucky their pipes didn't freeze. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Bet they were line-sized

@ January 24, 2003 8:43 PM in I'm confused

someone saw 2-inch mains and installed a 2-inch circ. Kind of like line-sizing steam traps, eh? With 600 square feet on a gravity conversion you could use an even smaller circ. The NRF-22 has a capacity similar to the Taco 007. Try a Taco 005 or even an NRF-9 on the next one of that size. It should work even better. You need more pump on a newer forced system because there's more head to work against. The flow rate you'll get is lower, but there's less water in the pipes so the system will respond as quickly as a gravity conversion with a small circ. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Hey John (correction)

@ January 24, 2003 8:29 PM in This one's for you Timmie

great job! But that wasn't Rick Mandel's quote, it was mine. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Yup

@ January 24, 2003 8:13 PM in Correct Pitch for Two-Pipe Air Vent System

it's two-pipe, air-vent all right. Is that an American Rococo radiator? Those look fantastic when cleaned up and repainted- just ask Mad Dog! To answer your questions- the rad should pitch slightly toward the return end. In this system the steam lines were not sized to handle counter-flowing radiator condensate. Your steam mains should have vents at their ends. These should be sized to vent all the air in the main in a minute's time. Then each radiator takeoff has equal access to the steam. Do not install a vent on the return lines. On this system, the returns only handle condensate- not air as you'd find in a Vapor system. All your steam pipes should be insulated with fiberglass pipe insulation at least 1-inch thick. You won't find this stuff at Home Depot, but a local supply house would carry it or know where to get it. Keep the pressure LOW. If you have a Pressuretrol, set it to stop the burner (cut-out) at 1-1/2 pounds and restart (cut-in) at 1/2 pound. If you have a Vaporstat, set it to cut out at about 12 ounces and in at 6. When you've done all this, sit back end enjoy your classic, efficient heating system. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That's an awfully long runout, Scott

@ January 24, 2003 7:38 PM in Steam qusetions for the boys - s. milne

and is no doubt part of the problem. It's probably at least 4 times as long as the runouts in the rest of the house. It's tough to get the proper pitch on a runout that long. Remember, steam and condensate flow in opposite directions in this runout. I would solve this problem by extending the main to a point nearer the riser to the twinned rads. If the "A" dimension is a problem (that's the 30-inches Noel mentioned) there is a way out- a "rise and drip". This is where you screw a tee onto the end of the existing main with the bull pointing up. Screw a nipple in the bull (full size of the main) to raise the height of the main to where you want it, then put an elbow (or preferably a swing joint) onto the top of the nipple and continue the main from there. Screw a short, full-size nipple in the run of the tee, then a reducing ell pointed down. Run a line from the reducing ell into the wet return. This "drip" will keep condensate from backing up. At the end of the extended main, install a tee for a main vent, then a drip to the wet return in the normal manner. Size the main vent to vent all the air in the main in a minute's time. You'll find the vent works much better when it's mounted on the main. That "twinned" radiator might work if you connect the tops of the rads instead of just the bottom. But it would be better to replace it with a single unit that will handle the load. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I've never seen \"Pedal\" valves

@ January 23, 2003 11:53 PM in \"pedal valves\" for steam radiator???

but the system is "two-pipe, air-vent". This was the precursor to the Vapor systems we all love. It provided separate return lines for the condensate so the steam pipes were less likely to bang. The return shutoff is needed to keep steam from finding its way thru the return to the air vent on the shut-off radiator. You vent the steam mains on this system the same as on a one-pipe system. Do not, however, install vents on the return lines as you would in a Vapor system. The returns in this system only handle condensate, not air. How about a picture? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

It might look that way

@ January 23, 2003 11:47 PM in monoflo tees

but if the circulator is on the return, pumping toward the boiler and expansion tank, it may actually get in the way of the bleeding operation by inflating the little air bubbles remaining in the system. The sure cure is to repipe the circ so it pumps away from the air separator/tank connection, and out toward the system. This arrangement drives the bubbles back into solution and flushes them back to the separator. Get Dan's "Pumping Away" book for a more detailed explanation. Order it on the Books and More page of this site. I doubt the Monoflo tees are worn out. Unless lots of fresh water has been added over the years, there should be no rust or corrosion in there. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

This Paradox

@ January 23, 2003 11:37 PM in I'm confused

is easily explained. A gravity conversion has more water in those big pipes, so you need a bit more flow to move it all. But you still get that higher flow rate with a small pump, because there's so little effort needed to move the water. BTW- got the NRF-9 and the Delta-T on my system is now up to 15 degrees. I wonder if the head in my system even approaches 3-1/2 feet? But the smaller circ helped solve a long-standing puzzle- the rad I had installed in the back bathroom (converted from a pantry) never worked quite right. It's connected top and bottom on the same side, and somehow I had gotten the pipes reversed- the hot water was coming in the bottom. This was easier to spot with the slower circulation. I reversed the pipes and now it works great! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Not sure

@ January 23, 2003 11:24 PM in Big steam job - ron jr .

but my educated guess would be about a foot above the top of the sight glass. All the drop header pics I have are at least that far up. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Not sure

@ January 23, 2003 11:22 PM in Big steam job - ron jr .

but my educated guess would be about a foot above the waterline To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Your first-floor radiators

@ January 22, 2003 9:34 PM in Too long to heat up?

need bigger vents, or else the second floor needs smaller vents. And are your mains properly vented? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Sell them

@ January 22, 2003 9:32 PM in An unwelcome visitor (PAH)

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

Water might look clean

@ January 22, 2003 5:56 PM in Steam Furnace Surging/Needs Water Every Day

but there may still be lots of dirt in the boiler. Have the water-filled areas of the boiler cleaned well. Also check to see that there isn't a leak in the boiler above the waterline. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

And

@ January 22, 2003 5:51 PM in efficient steam boiler

once the boiler has generated the steam, its job is done. From that point, the system must move the steam to the radiators. If the mains are not properly vented and the pipes not properly insulated, you'll waste lots of gas in this stage. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Eric, if you want to experiment

@ January 22, 2003 5:47 PM in I'm confused

get a Grundfos 15-42 that has the 3-speed controller. Then get an infrared heat gun like the Raytek I posted a while back. This will let you make and measure changes easily. Remember that the best flow rate thru fin-tube heat transmitters such as baseboard or convectors is more than for cast-iron radiators. This is because those big old lumps of iron have much more heat-transfer surface in them, and the slower rate takes advantage of this. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Found a ruined Honeywell damper today

@ January 22, 2003 5:20 PM in Draft hoods, Stack dampers and Standby losses

on a small Slant/Fin Galaxy steamer in a rowhouse. The motor had burned out. The damper blade was stuck- fortunately in the full-open position. But the damper itself was NOT the cause of the problem. SOMEONE HAD SCREWED THE GAS REGULATOR ALL THE WAY DOWN! I stopped the Testo when the stack temp quickly rose past 650 degrees. Obviously this was the cause of the burnout. And you could see where the gas had burned inside some of the burner tubes. This was due to all that excess gas on startup. Sometimes the flame would roll out momentarily and enter the air shutters- but not enough to trip the rollout switch. Fortunately we got to this one in time. The owner realizes how lucky he is. Moral: If you find a bad damper, check everything on the boiler to be sure something else isn't wrong. I'm sure that's already standard procedure for Wallies! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Looking Good, Ron

@ January 22, 2003 4:58 PM in Big steam job - ron jr .

I'm surprised we don't see more drop-headers, they're so much easier to install. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

You need a pro, O.

@ January 21, 2003 10:57 PM in Goodman Gas Pack - Natural Gas

flames rolling out like that can result from several things. Hiring someone familiar with that unit is money well spent. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

\"Pipes Callin' \"

@ January 21, 2003 10:47 PM in The pipes, the pipes are calling - Dan H.

thought you were talking about a banging steam system ;-) To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

\"The distribution system is piped in parallel\".......

@ January 21, 2003 10:20 PM in I'm confused

was this originally a gravity system that now circulates with a pump? If it has huge mains (2-inch or larger) and radiator lines (1-inch to 1-1/2-inch) it almost certainly is. It is way too easy to over-pump a gravity conversion. There is almost no resistance in those big pipes to the load they must carry. The only real work the pump has to do is move the water thru the boiler. Your pump is probably oversized, since the water picks up more heat in the boiler when you slow the flow down. Bell & Gossett had a formula in the 1940s that still works well for sizing circulators for gravity conversions. Measure the actual amount of radiation in the house (not the boiler's rating), then go to http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=125 for an easy-to-use chart based on this formula which will tell you how much flow you need. If you're not sure how to determine the amount of your radiation, get a copy of Dan's book "E.D.R." which has charts for almost any radiator you might have. 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"