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Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on July 28, 2014

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If you have good main-line vents

@ October 24, 2002 8:33 PM in Slowing a one pipe steam rad

it shouldn't. But if the main vents are missing or undersized, it probably will. Main vents are crucial to one-pipe steam system operation. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Getting ready to replace boiler

@ October 23, 2002 9:02 PM in Keep Open Expansion Tank?

on an old gravity hot-water system. This system still has an open expansion tank, in a third-floor bedroom, and for several reasons disconnecting and removing it will not be easy. I'm leaning toward just putting an air separator in the basement along with the new boiler and circulator, and keeping the open expansion tank and manual feed. Can anyone think of a compelling reason to not do this? Thanks in advance, as always. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

You can get vent sizing charts

@ October 23, 2002 8:16 PM in Single Pipe Steam Heat Balancing

by ordering Dan's "Dead Men's Steam School" video and workbook. Plus, you get to watch Dan in action which is not to be missed! BTW Fred, it's Gorton. That #2 is a heck of a vent, but it's overkill on mains less than about 45 feet of 2-inch pipe. However, it can't be beat on Vapor systems. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Certainly

@ October 23, 2002 7:05 PM in If \"It's Hard to Stop a Trane\".../Attn. Noel (Steamhead)

the other two aren't as screwed up as the first one was when we got there, but they need Vaporstats and Gorton #2 vents. The middle one will also get an electric feed valve (currently manual) and pipe insulation, and maybe a stack damper. We all need to be the hero once in a while, and we certainly got to be heroes on these orifice systems. I'm pretty sure there are more of these systems in that neighborhood- I really think I could handle working that area nonstop for a while. The really great part was, we just hired a new guy and I got to teach him how this type of system works. He should be able to BE THE STEAM before too long. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

How about a flash tank

@ October 23, 2002 6:56 PM in Car wash steam heat

drop the pressure on the condensate and you get steam again! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Does anyone know of

@ October 21, 2002 8:52 PM in Vertical Air Separator (Steamhead)

an air separator that can be installed in a vertical 1-1/4" pipe, and hooked up to a plain steel compression tank? I looked at a job today where the boiler room is really cramped and there may not be enough room to properly install a horizontal unit. Thanks in advance. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Here ya go, Bob

@ October 20, 2002 9:11 PM in circ pump

the "Little Red" chart To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Boiler Room

@ October 20, 2002 11:08 AM in If \"It's Hard to Stop a Trane\".../Attn. Noel (Steamhead)

showing Gorton #2 vents. The left one is on the dry return, and the one on the right is on the steam main. The boiler is about a 30-40 year old gas-fired American-Standard, in good shape. You can also see the rear of the Vaporstat. Obviously, we didn't do that near-boiler piping. What keeps it from banging is a 5-foot rise from the waterline to the steam main. Hey Glenn- since Burnham bought the American-Standard boiler line about 35 years ago, might you still have piping and installation diagrams for these things in some old dusty filing cabinet? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Reuben Trane, I Hope You're Watching From Above

@ October 20, 2002 10:55 AM in If \"It's Hard to Stop a Trane\".../Attn. Noel (Steamhead)

as we make sure one of your finest creations lasts thru the 21st century, and into the 22nd! This view is the powder room, showing the piping going into the baseboard- all 2 feet of it. The union you can just barely see is on the return. The orifice is inside the enclosure in a vertically positioned union. What a wonderfully simple system. No moving parts in the rooms, so there's nothing to break there. Everything that may need service is in the boiler room. And it heats up quickly and quietly on no more than 8 ounces of pressure. These Dead Men were geniuses! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

The addition isn't finshed yet

@ October 20, 2002 10:51 AM in If \"It's Hard to Stop a Trane\".../Attn. Noel (Steamhead)

but the heat is up and running. This is Slant/Fin Multi-Pak 80 baseboard with the H-6 (1-1/4" steel) element, installed in the family room. We installed 14 feet of enclosure, housing two 4-foot sections of fin-tube with a space between them so a chair can go there without blocking the heat. The orifice is in a 1/2" pipe union at the left end- there is a big pile of stuff there so we can't see it. Hard part was breaking thru the foundation wall to get the pipes into the addition, which is built on a slab. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If \"It's Hard to Stop a Trane\"........

@ October 20, 2002 10:43 AM in If \"It's Hard to Stop a Trane\".../Attn. Noel (Steamhead)

it must be impossible to stop three Tranes, one after the other! These three brick cottages all have Trane Orifice Vapor systems with fin-tube convectors, dating back to the 1930s. They're located in the Stoneleigh neigborhood of Towson, just north of Baltimore. We just finished putting heat in the addition on the far one. The additions on the middle and near ones have electric baseboards- hopefully that will change soon. The near one still has its original cast-bronze Trane vacuum vents! We're going to put Vaporstats and Gorton #2 vents on the middle and near ones, to get them running as well as the far one does. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

As long as the copper doesn't carry steam

@ October 20, 2002 8:44 AM in poor boiler

you shouldn't have a problem with it. I've had experience similar to Ron's- older copper returns in perfect shape, older steel ones really dirty. The only caveat is that the flux can cause an unsteady water line if it gets in the boiler. We minimize this by flushing out the copper return piping before starting the boiler. Water-soluble flux also helps. But, since the new boiler acts like a scouring pad on the old system- especially if we've installed or upgraded the main vents- we figure on going back to clean the waterside at least once. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That would have been my next suggestion

@ October 20, 2002 8:34 AM in Venting - round 3 - Whistle after you work

but insulating the pipes will slow the rate of steam condensing and also save him some fuel. It's the next logical step. If I remember correctly, the mains in that house are rather short so they don't need monster vents (or multiple vents on manifolds) to get the air out in a minute's time. Hey Dan- let us know how you do! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Yes, that would work

@ October 19, 2002 3:21 PM in Diverter-Tee System Question

if they were sized correctly. But these are 3/4" ZVs on 1" loops, which tells me theyre restricting the flow in the loops. I really think this is a flow problem, and dedicated circs would insure each loop gets its proper flow. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Finish Insulating the Steam Pipes

@ October 19, 2002 2:51 PM in Venting - round 3 - Whistle after you work

The whistling you hear is caused by condensing steam forming a slight vacuum, which pulls air into the system. You can reduce the noise by insulating the steam pipes, thereby keeping steam from condensing so quickly inside them. I like the pre-formed fiberglass insulation with a wall thickness of 1 inch. And the system will heat faster when it's insulated- you'll reduce your gas consumption too. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Could also be a flow problem

@ October 19, 2002 2:38 PM in Diverter-Tee System Question

since you only have one circulator and the piping is reduced from 1-inch to 3/4-inch. The flow is probably inadequate to begin with and it changes depending on how many zone valves are open. If that were my job, I'd ditch the zone valves and use 3 circulators- 1 for each loop, each sized to the loop it serves. I'd also run all the piping full size back to the (properly sized) supply and return headers, and Pump Away. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Burnham Steamer Piped Right

@ October 19, 2002 2:27 PM in poor boiler

This one's an older V-34, on a Hoffman Controlled Heat Vapor System with later-style Differential Loop. The original installation was pathetic so we repiped it. This boiler should last a good while longer now! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Thanks, Glenn

@ October 19, 2002 10:20 AM in Burnham V34 Vapor Piping

I really thought it was newer than that. But it has a Wayne flame-retention burner on it (which appears original), so its AFUE should be pretty decent if it's kept in tune. This is yet another older Burnham that has held up quite well, especially considering the lousy original piping job. Can't argue with that kind of success. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Looking Good!

@ October 19, 2002 10:08 AM in Boiler change

Quite a difference! Bet you get some referrals when people see that job. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That work may have been done

@ October 19, 2002 10:05 AM in Couldn't believe my eyes! (Steamhead)

before she bought the house. She really didnt remember, but the important thing is getting it straightened out- which we'll do. If the system was that way when she bought the house, I wonder if she had an inspection done and if so, whether the inspector caught it. There's a lot of sloppy work in that house. But that's why we're here! ;-) To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I think that's a V7

@ October 19, 2002 9:58 AM in poor boiler

the V1 series was hot-water only. Aside from the piping, what went wrong with it? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That system is really screwed up

@ October 18, 2002 7:09 AM in Couldn't believe my eyes! (Steamhead)

the same lack of intelligence appears in other parts of that system. Stop/waste valves on the loop returns, purge valves installed the wrong way, and a total of 3 3/4-inch loops coming together into a 3/4" return line! The lady wasn't sure who did what, but I told her we'd make it work properly. Yes, that is a Taco 110 circ. After years of straining to move the water thru that screwed-up system, the seal started leaking, which is why we were called. I'll probably put a 0010 on when we repipe it- Pumping Away of course. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"