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Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on August 19, 2014

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Gorton #6

@ January 14, 2003 8:19 PM in radiator problem

does have a float, Ron. I believe it was the Gorton #1965 that didn't. All current Gortons have floats in them. The Heat-Timer Vari-Valve also lacks a float. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Master Venting

@ January 14, 2003 8:15 PM in Balancing large building

is a method that baically splits the job into two parts: 1- Venting the steam mains (and risers if applicable) 2- Venting the radiators. The main vents are probably too small. They need to be big enough to vent all the air in the mains in about a minute. So we need to know how much air is in the mains, and how much air a vent will vent. You can find the above info in the workbook that comes with Dan's "Dead Men's Steam School" video- and the video itself walks you thru it step by step. 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"

Try

@ January 14, 2003 8:10 PM in copper radiators for steam?

using cast-iron baseboard. At the moment, Burnham is the only one i know of that makes it for steam. Or try Slant/Fin Multi-Pak 80 baseboard with the steel H-6 element. The Multi-Pak, however, will cool down faster than a cast-iron radiator will. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

The one who

@ January 14, 2003 7:54 PM in KeySpan in today's Newsday - Dan H.

didn't do a CO test! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Didn't come thru

@ January 14, 2003 7:52 PM in steam in the return

try converting to a .jpg file if you haven't already, and try again. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I think it's an air problem

@ January 12, 2003 8:36 PM in Broomell steam - It wasn't broke but we fixed it anyway! Heeelp!

the radiators on that system vent thru the traps into a "dry" (above the waterline) return which carries the air and condensate to the boiler room. The condensate drops back into the boiler and the air escapes thru a large vent. On earlier Broomells, the vent was part of a regulator that operated the dampers on the coal-fired boiler. If the dry return vent was removed, or is inoperative, air will not vent from the radiators. The old leaky Broomell valves allowed the air to escape from the steam mains and risers. Steam pressure then compressed the remaining air, allowing some steam to get into the radiators. Installing the new valves kept the air from escaping, leading to the present situation. That system was probably designed to run at 8 ounces or so. You need a large vent such as a Gorton #2 on the dry return. You may even need more than one- if the air escapes loudly from a single vent, install another for a total of two. And I'd definitely install a Vaporstat on that system. Get the one that cannot be set higher than 1 PSI. www.gorton-valves.com To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Good question!

@ January 12, 2003 5:32 PM in Cool Tool (Steamhead)

I've never done a full heat-loss on this house- kind of like the shoemaker's kids having the worst shoes in town, eh? All in good time. I did reduce the firing rate from .85 to .75 GPH this past fall, since the burner was really short-cycling with the increased heat-transfer efficiency brought on by the smaller circ. The delta-t can be measured across a radiator too, not just on the mains. This can give you an idea of just what's going on inside the rad, and how much heat is going into the room. As I write this, it's 27 degrees outside and 62 inside, and the last rad on the long loop is 91 degrees at the inlet and 81 at the outlet. This averages out to 86 degrees, which would put out about 75 BTU per square foot EDR. The rad is 52.5 square feet, so the room is getting 3937.5 BTU per hour. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Orifices

@ January 12, 2003 5:09 PM in No Steam Traps? and lots of water hammer.

could have been located on the supply or the return- early Trane Vapor systems had them built into the radiator return elbows. After it became practical to control a coal-fired boiler within a few ounces, supply-side orifices came into use. I think your basic problem is air. Except for the "2-pipe, air-vent system", most 2-pipe steam installations routed air from the rads into a dry (above the boiler waterline) return, from which it was vented in or near the boiler room. Your condensate line on the ground floor sounds like a wet (below the waterline) return, with the trap at the pump serving to keep water in the return (false water line). Did this return always approach the boiler- old one as well as new one- below the waterline? Think like air. If you were air, could you get out of that system? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Any supply house

@ January 11, 2003 7:34 PM in Dunkirk sight glass

should have replacements. Take the old one with you or measure its length, most replacements have to be cut to fit. Don't overtighten the new one or it may crack. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Nope

@ January 11, 2003 7:09 PM in Cool Tool (Steamhead)

that's why I negotiated with that guy! Have to have something left over for cool tools ;-) To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Just about any new boiler

@ January 11, 2003 7:06 PM in Boiler Help

depends on forced circulation to operate properly. This is the price we pay for smaller, higher-efficiency boilers. First thing I'd do is a complete heat-loss calculation. Go to the Free Heat Loss Calcs page of this site to order Slant/Fin's calc program, which is very easy to use. Select the size boiler needed to handle the calculated heat loss at the lowest outside temperature you get in Iowa. Then measure all the radiation. If you don't have a radiator capacity chart, go to the Books and More page of this site and order Dan's "E.D.R." book which has almost every chart you'll need. Also order Dan's "Pumping Away" book which shows the one best way to pipe the boiler so the system does not get air-bound. To select the proper circulator for that system, go to http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=125 and locate the amount of radiation you have in Equivalent Direct Radiation (EDR) or thousands of BTU per hour (MBH). The circ capacity will appear in the Gravity Conversion column. Take this figure to your circulator-performance charts and select a circ that will produce the required Gallons per Minute (GPM) at a 3-1/2-foot head. Don't be surprised if the circ that comes with the boiler isn't the right size for that old gravity job. Install the right one and the system will run more efficiently. If you get stuck, ask us and we'll do our best to help out. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

You can get one

@ January 11, 2003 6:43 PM in Cool Tool (Steamhead)

at NAPA auto parts stores for less than $100. Or order online at www.raytek-northamerica.com . Here I'm measuring the return, again with the boiler off- 83 degrees. Delta-T tends to equalize when the boiler is off- it's 10 degrees when the boiler is running. This with the slower circulation achieved by changing the B&G 100 to a Taco 005. It will be interesting to see what happens after I install the B&G NRF-9. Outside temperature was 24 degrees when I took these readings. Indoors was 62- I don't need it to be higher. Radiators measured 89 degrees. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Raytek MiniTemp

@ January 11, 2003 6:39 PM in Cool Tool (Steamhead)

is a point-and-shoot infrared thermometer. The MT4, shown, has a built-in laser aiming device- the MT2 does not. Here, I'm measuring the temperature of the flow pipe on my gravity-converted hot water system- 89 degrees. The boiler was off at the time. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

More info

@ January 11, 2003 6:14 PM in Steam boiler efficiency

Many conversions utilize the existing pipes and radiators. However, if you're going to rip out the entire system that further unbalances the cost/benefit situation. It would be much easier and less disruptive to fix the steam system than to tear everything out. Reset controls do exist for steam. Heat-Timer makes several that you see in larger buildings. There's no reason we couldn't use them in smaller ones. And if the plumbing freezes but the heat system doesn't, that's one less thing to fix, and the plumbers can work in relative comfort. You can see I really like steam heat. When properly installed and maintained it works just as well as hot-water, with fewer moving parts. If you're used to steam systems that bang, hiss and heat slowly and unevenly- these systems are telling you something is wrong with them. Usually they can be fixed without too much trouble. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Flue Dampers

@ January 11, 2003 5:59 PM in New Steam Install pictures

As far as I know, no one is making flue dampers for oil-fired boilers. Flair used to but they went out of business. On gas units, I see a lot of Honeywell and Effikal units and they seem to hold up well. Nice job, Joe. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

You won't save much

@ January 10, 2003 9:36 PM in Steam boiler efficiency

if the much-higher pressure you get with hot-water causes leaks, or if you have to run a new set of return lines because they're too small or nonexistent, or..... go to http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=22 for more info. It's true that some hot-water boilers have higher AFUE ratings than steam ones, but that's only part of the story. And don't forget that a hot-water system can freeze, but a steam system can't since most of the pipes hold no water. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If you have trouble with that flow-check opening

@ January 10, 2003 9:29 PM in Once Gravity, Always Gravity?

try installing a smaller one, which wouldn't take as much effort to open. But I doubt it will be a problem. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Try the Find a Contractor page

@ January 10, 2003 9:23 PM in Steam Contractors, Northern NJ? for old Apt. buildings?

of this site. There are several steam guys in Jersey who can help you. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

And is the LWCO

@ January 9, 2003 8:39 PM in Bad LWCO?

a float-type (as McDonnell & Miller #67, attached to the sight glass on the boiler) or a probe-type? If it's a float type, the short 1/2-inch pipes between the boiler and the LWCO tees may be partially obstructed. This would cause a delayed reaction to the actual level in the boiler, which would keep the feeder on longer than needed. Try removing the sight glass fittings and sticking a long screwdriver or wire thru the tees as far as the boiler. If you get a lot of dirt, you've located the problem- set the boiler up again and try it. If the pipes between the boiler and the LWCO tees are of steel, replace them with brass ones. If you have a probe-type LWCO, the probe that sticks into the boiler probably needs cleaning. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Another way to look at it

@ January 9, 2003 8:10 PM in High Output Baseboard

is that you can run the High-Output baseboard at lower water temperatures, which will use less energy. The H.O. baseboard might cost a bit more to buy, but with energy costs rising would probably make sense in the long run. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

An American company should know better

@ January 9, 2003 6:55 PM in Tyler Cast Iron-A Dangerous Biz

I'm not buying any Tyler or McWane products unless and until they clean up their act. We haven't had a good old-fashioned boycott in a while- last one I remember was Crown Petroleum when they locked out all their workers- time to gear up again. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That's a One-Pipe Gravity System

@ January 8, 2003 7:29 PM in Once Gravity, Always Gravity?

which wasn't too common except in small buildings. My guess is the water is moving too fast thru that main, so the hot water doesn't rise to the radiators as it should. Try using a smaller circulator. If you have a Taco 007, try a 005 or B&G NRF-9. Slow down the flow and I'll bet it works better. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"