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Steamhead

Steamhead

Joined on March 11, 2004

Last Post on July 22, 2014

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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"

Not sure how old

@ October 18, 2002 6:56 AM in Burnham V34 Vapor Piping

but it looks like it's in decent shape. Assuming it's properly maintained it should last a while. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Amen to that

@ October 17, 2002 6:18 PM in Mennonite hydronics - PAH

One of my cousins married a Mennonite girl from Lancaster County and they are now missionaries in Thailand. We sure did get some great new relatives thru that marriage. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

\"Withdrawal\"?

@ October 17, 2002 6:07 PM in In left field

Never!! Once the steam bug bites- it stays with you. Pete, that green vent on the dry (above the waterline) return is probably a Hoffman #75, which really doesn't have enough capacity for Vapor- that's why it hisses. It has to vent all the air coming into the dry return from the radiators (via the radiator traps) which is quite a lot. Some Vapor systems used radiator traps to vent air from the steam mains into the dry returns- if you see them there, that's what theyre doing. And the traps keep steam out of the dry return. I'd use a Gorton #2 vent on that system. It has 4 times the capacity of the Hoffman #75 and should be much quieter. If it still hisses, add a second #2. You can contact Gorton at www.gorton-valves.com . Have you been able to tell who made the equipment used on your Vapor system? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Nice job!

@ October 17, 2002 5:50 PM in hope this comes out

and I'll bet the burner is the only "noisy" part. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Was that

@ October 17, 2002 5:47 PM in 100 yr old American Radiators

a steam or hot water system? To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Thanks Gerry

@ October 17, 2002 5:34 PM in hey steamhead heres a picture

This is the start of your Heating Museum! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Found this today

@ October 17, 2002 5:25 PM in Couldn't believe my eyes! (Steamhead)

Owner was complaining about noisy baseboards. Can you see why? Yes, the picture IS right-side-up. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Not \"all wet\"- just slightly

@ October 17, 2002 5:23 PM in Sizing Radiator Air Vents

The fact that there are no main vents explains your problem. Those mains hold a lot of air, and if you try to vent the mains thru the radiators you'll get nothing but aggravation. Venting a steam system is a 2-step process. First you vent the air from the mains, in about a minute. You don't vent the radiators until the mains are full of steam, at which point steam rises into each radiator at about the same time. Since "Lost Art" came out, we've found more information on sizing vents. You can get your hands on it by ordering Dan's "Dead Men's Steam School" video and workbook. The charts you need are in the workbook, and you get to watch Dan in action on the video (4 VHS tapes) which is not to be missed! To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"

Another View

@ October 17, 2002 5:07 PM in Burnham V34 Vapor Piping

showing the Differential Loop. We'll be replacing the trap elements and dry return vent on this system soon. It really banged before we repiped it which knocked out a few of the old Hoffman #18 traps. We'll use Barnes & Jones Cage Units on this job since Hoffman doesn't make their Bear Trap units for the old #18 traps. We'll also install a Gorton #2 vent on the dry return, to replace a leaky Hoffman #75. This system is in an upscale rowhouse in Baltimore's Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood. Once we get this system sorted out, I'll bet we get to work on some of the neighbors' systems. To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"