Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall
Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on September 16, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

It's probably Vapor

@ November 20, 2002 9:35 PM in Cold Radiator

Check your e-mail, Dave- I didn't realize this was on the Wall too! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Thanks, Joe

@ November 20, 2002 9:26 PM in H B Smith steam boiler and aqua booster install

I have a situation where that would work beautifully, but have never tried it- now I can tell the owner someone else has! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

BP, is that church old enough

@ November 20, 2002 9:20 PM in Venting Question....Boilerpro

that the original boiler was coal-fired? If so, that explains the chimney's raw power- it had to pull air thru a bed of coal. Power-venting seems a waste of time with such a draft. I'll be interested to hear how you solve this one! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Nice Work, Joe

@ November 20, 2002 8:55 PM in H B Smith steam boiler and aqua booster install

ANOTHER fine steam man here on the Wall! Can't see this from the photo angles used- you're feeding that water heater tank from a tankless coil on the boiler, right? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Looking Good, Ron

@ November 20, 2002 8:49 PM in Day 3 - steam job is complete

too bad about the old Kriebel vent- that's the way it goes sometimes. I can't see the main vents- which ones did you use? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Just when we think we've seen it all

@ November 19, 2002 10:54 PM in Odd, very odd indeed!

we haven't. But you're the man to make that house warm, Dave. How about some pictures? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Ron, can you hear

@ November 19, 2002 10:05 PM in Old Kriebel steam - day one

the Dead Men (and the Burnham people) cheering? Looks great so far, can't wait to see the finished job. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

What kind of 2-pipe system is it?

@ November 19, 2002 10:01 PM in Steam Radiators - NEED HELP

Is there an air vent on the radiator? If not, is there a trap on the return? Are there any ominous-looking devices in the piping around the boiler? I have a hard time picturing how a steam system could be messed up like that by capping one radiator. Maybe the problem is coincidental? Try 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"

Got your e-mail

@ November 18, 2002 2:12 PM in Hey Steamhead!

and I really appreciate the referral. Did he leave a phone number? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Tempting Offer

@ November 17, 2002 7:29 PM in Old Kriebel steam system - boiler replacement

but we have a busy week coming. Maybe we can hook up when I come up to look in on Noel and Mad Dog. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Channeling Mr. Kriebel

@ November 17, 2002 5:50 PM in Old Kriebel steam system - boiler replacement

Naah, I have to do it the hard way, just like everyone else. The only way to get into the heads of the Dead Men is to read the Dead Men's Books. Also Dan's books- and never be afraid of what might be in that next basement. I don't think there's anything in an old basement that we Wallheads can't figure out. I just ordered a 1927 book on troubleshooting heating systems. I'm sure there's some Vapor stuff in there- can't wait to get it. BTW- where is this job located? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Bob, I'd like to try one too

@ November 17, 2002 5:39 PM in Outdoor Reset is Obsolete

please put me on your list. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

That's a beautiful house

@ November 17, 2002 5:19 PM in Need Advice - Single Pipe Steam System - Boiler Issues

and the steam system can run just as beautifully. You've come to the right place. That Pressuretrol should be cranked all the way down. Your system was designed to heat the house to 70 degrees at the lowest outside temperature expected in your area, with no more than 2 pounds of steam in the boiler. A stiff wire, with a small Vise-Grip firmly clamped onto it, works great for cleaning pigtails. If you're having trouble getting steam to the far ends of the system, you likely need to install (or upgrade) vents on the ends of the steam mains. These are crucual to proper steam distribution and fuel economy. If you haven't done so already, get a copy of Dan's book "The Lost Art of Steam Heating", available on the Books and More page of this site. This is by far the best book I've seen on the subject. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Shouldn't be a problem

@ November 16, 2002 2:02 PM in Old Kriebel steam system - boiler replacement

to use both the old Kriebel and new Gorton #2 vents together. The only thing to remember is that the Gortons have floats in them to close against water, and the Kriebel does not. But I think that "master trap" is really a "float trap/air eliminator" which would close against water anyway. If you're using a Vaporstat that tops out at 1 PSI (or two such units if code requires on a system that size) water shouldn't back up that far. Regarding the header with takeoffs in the wrong place- you could get away with that in the old days, since those old boilers had big steam chests to separate water and steam. With a newer boiler the header configuration is much more critical. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

If there are no traps

@ November 16, 2002 7:30 AM in ok..new rule if you don't know say so,its ok

it is likely an orifice system. You may find that the orifices are in the unions, or they may be cast integral to the convector elements. Trane used the latter configuration in a lot of their steam convectors, even the fin-tube ones. But I've seen convector traps installed in the basement, on the way to the dry return. Be sure to check that area. Try to find out all you can about the system, including who made the convectors. This way you can properly size the boiler. Can't wait to see your pictures! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

It's a big timesaver

@ November 16, 2002 7:23 AM in Nice Free Utility Program

for heat-loss work. I haven't had a chance to take it much further- we've been BUSY! But I'll get to it.... ;-) To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I think that's an old Ideal boiler

@ November 16, 2002 7:19 AM in Old Kriebel steam system - boiler replacement

possibly a Redflash or maybe a Sectional or Water-Tube. That Gorton #1 vent is almost certainly too small for the system- from the looks of the boiler it's probably big enough for a pair of Gorton #2 vents. But don't dismiss the Kriebel vent just yet. That thing is adjustable via a hand wheel on one end. How big is that system? Are there any vents on the steam mains? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Vapor or not? Check operating pressure

@ November 15, 2002 2:32 PM in ok..new rule if you don't know say so,its ok

Many of these 2-pipe-steam-convector systems were actually Vapor- the piping was sized so as to permit operation on a couple ounces of pressure, and top out at 8 ounces or so. Here's a Webster Vapor convector I ran into. You can see the shutoff valve on the bottom right and the trap on the bottom left, and the pitch of the fin-tube element. This system had the usual Return Trap and Air Eliminator Trap in the boiler room. If you don't see the classic Vapor equipment in the boiler room, you might still have a Vapor system that was stripped of all its goodies during a boiler replacement. Fortunately, all you need is good vents and trap elements and a Vaporstat that can't be set higher than 1 PSIG to make such a system run well. BTW- where is this system located? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

I tried this and it works

@ November 15, 2002 2:28 PM in Nice Free Utility Program

and best of all, it's a free download. This program is called Cacheman, and it does just as its name suggests- it optimizes the various Windows caches to improve performance. There is a whole list of optimization profiles that you can choose based on what you're doing with your system, or you can make up your own profile. On my system, multitasking left a lot to be desired even though I had installed a very fast Ultra-160 SCSI hard drive and host adapter. I picked the Multitasking profile in Cacheman and it cleared up most of the sluggishness. Follow this link to download: http://www.outertech.com/ To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Fin-tube vs. Cast-Iron

@ November 15, 2002 1:55 PM in ok..new rule if you don't know say so,its ok

Which type to use depends on what is already there. You want to match the thermal storage characteristics as closely as you can. In this case, the original Trane convectors were fin-tube so we used fin-tube baseboard. You will have to open each of your convectors (which is a good idea anyway to see if any are leaking) and see what's inside. If they're cast-iron, then cast-iron baseboard as made by Burnham or Slant/Fin would be a good match. Note that some early CIBB did not have air passages along the back and outlets at the top for convection, but I believe all current models do. Check to be sure. If you find fin-tube convectors, then use fin-tube baseboard made for steam, as shown above. The Slant/Fin Multi-Pak-80 with the 1-1/4" steel elements is the only one I know of- there may be others but the Slant/Fin is a good product. Either baseboard will work fine on a 2-pipe steam or Vapor system. First do a heat-loss to see how much you need. If your system has traps or water seals, simply pitch the element down and put a trap on the end. If it has orifices, add about 20% to the calculated heat load to size your baseboard. Then size the orifice to the calculated heat load and provide a suitable pipe union in the supply line to mount the orifice in. This will keep steam from reaching the dry return. If you can, we'd like to see some pictures of this old beauty! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

PM article

@ November 15, 2002 1:43 PM in We Built This Steam System From Scratch (Steamhead)

was in June 2000 issue. That's the one with "The Most Dangerous Room in the House" on the cover. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

How about

@ November 14, 2002 9:31 PM in Infiltration(one more time)!guess who

contacting the owners after theyve been thru a couple uncomfortable winters, and telling them you can REALLY keep them warm? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"