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Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on April 15, 2014

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It can

@ December 16, 2002 7:16 PM in Unusual 2-pipe Steam System

That's one of the things that makes me think this system was originally 1-pipe. 2-pipe air-vent systems frequently used the steam-only rad but Vapor systems generally used the hot-water type. You got better control when the rad heated from top to bottom instead of side to side. This is a fascinating system. Trying to decipher the changes made over the years is challenging. I'll post updates as they happen. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Sounds like a bad push nipple

@ December 16, 2002 6:54 PM in Dripping Radiator

which can be replaced. But I'm drawing a blank- anyone know the name of the company that can duplicate them? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Do the Traps first

@ December 16, 2002 6:51 PM in Replacing Valves and Steam Traps

and the valves later. This way you complete the most important thing first- the traps. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Main Problem

@ December 16, 2002 6:41 PM in Unusual 2-pipe Steam System

was right here. Someone had plugged the vent connection on the steam main. I had to cut the plug out. Amazing what a difference these two Gorton #2 vents made. I'm not sure what, if anything, is supposed to be keeping steam out of the dry return on this one. I was going to disconnect a radiator to see, but ran out of time. But we'll be back- one radiator doesn't heat at all and I think the problem is in the runout or riser. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Boiler and piping

@ December 16, 2002 6:35 PM in Unusual 2-pipe Steam System

You can see the dry returns coming back to the boiler. The return vents are just to the rear of the ceiling light bulb on the right. I installed two Gorton #2s. There's also a False Water Line in back of the boiler, but you can't see it. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Is it Vapor or not?

@ December 16, 2002 6:30 PM in Unusual 2-pipe Steam System

This system appears to have started life as one-pipe, and was converted to 2-pipe or Vapor. Original radiators are American Peerless steam-only column units. Here's one of them- note the inlet pipe which is larger than needed for Vapor, but just right for one-pipe. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Jeez, I hate it

@ December 16, 2002 6:28 PM in Saw my first vacuum system yesterday

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

Reuben Trane must be smiling from Heaven

@ December 16, 2002 6:26 PM in Saw my first vacuum system yesterday

at the sheer number of old Trane Vapor systems we've found and restored. That "snowman" boiler was about 60% efficient on coal, worse on oil or gas. If there was no Return Trap there (looked like an old metal milk jug), the connections were probably plugged when the Return Trap was removed. The original Trane vents were vacuum-type. No need for vacuum on an oil- or gas-fired system so that explains the standard vents, and the system not dropping into vacuum. You did leave them your card, didn't you? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Reuben Trane must be smiling from Heaven

@ December 16, 2002 6:26 PM in Saw my first vacuum system yesterday

at the sheer number of old Trane Vapor systems we've found and restored. That "snowman" boiler was about 60% efficient on coal, worse on oil or gas. If there was no Return Trap there (looked like an old metal milk jug), the connections were probably plugged when the Return Trap was removed. The original Trane vents were vacuum-type. No need for vacuum on an oil- or gas-fired system so that explains the standard vents, and the system not dropping into vacuum. You did leave them your card, didn't you? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Reuben Trane must be smiling from Heaven

@ December 16, 2002 6:25 PM in Saw my first vacuum system yesterday

at the sheer number of old Trane Vapor systems we've found and restored. That "snowman" boiler was about 60% efficient on coal, worse on oil or gas. If there was no Return Trap there (looked like an old metal milk jug), the connections were probably plugged when the Return Trap was removed. The original Trane vents were vacuum-type. No need for vacuum on an oil- or gas-fired system so that explains the standard vents, and the system not dropping into vacuum. You did leave them your card, didn't you? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Move the pump

@ December 16, 2002 6:16 PM in Vent Placement Questions

so it pumps away from the tank and air scoop. This will allow the scoop to work at maximum efficiency. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

It's probably Vapor

@ December 16, 2002 12:39 PM in Saw my first vacuum system yesterday

if the original vacuum vents were replaced with standard vents, it won't dip into vacuum. Still a great system though! Do you remember who made it, such as Trane, Webster, Dunham etc? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

And it will run well

@ December 16, 2002 12:35 PM in Trane system upgrades - results

for another 80 years! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Wow (Attention Hydrotherm Reps)

@ December 16, 2002 12:46 AM in Need HELP steam

you have a challenge there. If there is sludge all thru the boiler, where did it come from? You probably have a system in dire need of cleaning. Tell us more about the system. One-pipe? Vapor? Let us know what you find when you tear the boiler down. And we'd sure like to know about the quality of support you get from Hydrotherm. From what you've told us so far, Burnham, Slant/Fin, Smith or Weil-McLain might be a better choice based on support alone. Their people work the Wall frequently. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Where are you located, Don?

@ December 15, 2002 10:48 PM in options for hydronic heating

I'm sure there's someone near you who can handle the job. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate someone near you. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Replacing Vents and Returns

@ December 15, 2002 10:46 PM in Cracked Weil Mclain boiler

If these are in bad shape, they could have contributed to the early demise of the boiler. Main vents are extremely important. If these are missing or too small, the boiler will have to build more presure to vent the air. This takes more water to accomplish. If returns are sluggish, they may also contribute. Same with leaky radiator vents or valve stem packing. When replacing a broken boiler, always look for possible contributing factors. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Cell Phone

@ December 15, 2002 9:16 PM in Calling all cars

was what he called from- finally got thru to his answering service- thanks all for the help. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Tried that

@ December 15, 2002 8:07 PM in Calling all cars

it went into somebody's call center. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Bad Number

@ December 15, 2002 7:29 PM in Calling all cars

tried it twice and got intercept ("your call cannot be completed as dialed"). I'll be home thru rthe evening, call me on (410) HOward 6-8116. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

\"Pipes Split\"

@ December 15, 2002 2:55 PM in steam pipes

If you're referring to the end of the steam main where the pipe drops and then returns to the boiler, you're right- this is how the condensate gets back to the boiler to be re-heated. While it is possible to pipe a one-pipe system without this return line, doing so would involve re-piping the steam mains also. This would be a very big job. It may be possible to re-route the return line if needed. A good steam man will know how to do this and maintain the system's proper operation. 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"

Interesting Idea

@ December 15, 2002 2:34 PM in Automatic Blowdowns for steam

I don't know of anyone who makes something like this. Since probe-type LWCOs came out, maybe the manufacturers assume float-type units will be phased out eventually. But we all know that's not the way things work in this business. An auto-blowdown would have to have a quick-opening/quick-closing valve to wash as much dirt out as possible and close tightly, and a way to verify that the LWCO switch actually tripped when the float chamber emptied. It would also have to have a way to blow the unit down manually if needed. There may be other Code-related issues also. If the boilers in question will accept probe-type LWCOs (check with the manufacturer) I'd change them over. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

You need a new boiler

@ December 15, 2002 11:12 AM in Cracked Weil Mclain boiler

the sealer is a temporary solution at best. Think of it as a holiday present for your house. W-M makes a good boiler. I'd want to know why it cracked. Maybe there's a problem in the system somewhere that's keeping the water from returning as it should? This, coupled with a bad low-water cutoff, could have caused the crack. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate a good steam man near you. If you're in the Baltimore area, e-mail me. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"