Joined on April 15, 2006
Last Post on December 17, 2012
@ November 18, 2007 5:05 PM in Pipe Insulation FYI and QuestionI have draperies brushing over the tops of a couple of rad's. Been like this for two years with no issues (aside from the obvious impact on heat exchange and convection). Nothing melted, nothing scorched... It takes a lot more than 212 degrees to harm any fabric that I've ever seen, and more like 400-500 to be an ignition concern for any common household material... Who here hasn't put their hat or gloves on a radiator to dry? Anyone ever started a fire that way? All I get is comfy warm gloves :-) -phil
@ November 15, 2007 2:34 PM in Pipe Insulation FYI and QuestionInteresting. My Icynene installer had no hesitation whatsoever when I asked about covering steam pipes while insulating the underside of a crawl space in my house. I have had a short section (~4 ft) of horizontal runout enclosed in the stuff for about a year now with no issues whatsoever. Looking at the product data sheet on their web site it does say that it should be at least 2" away from any heat emitting devices where the temperature exceeds 200 degrees. Do I need to worry about burning down my house? I don't think so. Steam at atmospheric pressure is only 212, and even if you run 1-2 PSI the pipe is never going to exceed ~225 degrees... This value seems like an arbitrary cutoff (the 200 being such a nice round number).
@ November 13, 2007 12:12 AM in i Mac....If you go into the system preferences, choose Mouse & Keyboard, then you can set the mouse tracking speed, and assign functions to the buttons (there are actually 4 on the current "mighty mouse" that ships standard with new Macs). Also take a few minutes to look at the keyboard shortcuts tab in there. You will find handy shortcuts for many common functions, and learn about functions that you would never have found otherwise. I've been using Mac's for decades now, and just started working for Apple a few months ago... -Phil
@ November 5, 2007 1:40 PM in Mercury Free VaporstatJust wondering if anyone has had enough time with one of these new vaporstats to give us a review?
@ October 28, 2007 9:43 PM in Quirky Steam balancing problemMy old system (recently replaced) had a setup where the boiler had two tappings, and each one was directly connected to my mains (no header connecting them, no equalizer, and no hartford loop either: check valve). One of the mains just never got good steam. The other would heat quickly and quietly but the "bad" one acted much like what you are talking about. When we replaced the boiler a couple months ago, the guys put in a new MST with proper header, equalizer, and hartford loop... The cold main heats like a champ now, and I actually have been able to get some balance in the venting. This piping stuff really does work like Dan's book says it should :-)
@ October 17, 2007 4:59 PM in Double Venting a RadI have done this on a radiator in my house that is at the end of a long horizontal runout (well away from the main and it's vent). This part of the house always ran cold and adding the additional vent on the valve end of the radiator made a noticeable improvement
@ October 15, 2007 2:10 PM in Questions about my new MegaSteam installationThey did the painting, but the Gorton's were my work, attempting to get heat distributed as evenly and efficiently as possible. They're about 12 months old.
@ October 15, 2007 11:18 AM in Questions about my new MegaSteam installationMy service company recently replaced my old boiler with a new MST513. Motivations to replace the old boiler included a distinct lack of heat in one branch of the house and the obvious problems with the near piping of the old unit (pictures). The install went smoothly and the near-boiler piping is a clear improvement over what was there before. The main part of the house heats great, but now I've got some banging in the troublesome branch (that's new) and very little heat. I have mostly convinced myself that the horizontal runner to the non-heating rads is undersized and/or inadequately pitched (perhaps I'll ask about that another day), so this is a separate issue from the new boiler, but I want to make sure that everything with the new boiler is minimizing my problems instead of contributing to them. My questions/issues (in no particular order) Vaporstat: I asked for it, and offered to pay any difference, but they said it wasn't worth the money. I've got the pressuretrol turned down to about 1/2-3/4 lb (they set it at 2). The boiler definitely is cycling on pressure when it comes out of overnight setback. Should I be insistent about this. Near boiler header: I am wondering if it wouldn't have been prudent to go with 2 1/2 here (drop header would have been nice, but I forgot to mention it before). The MST manual says 2" minimum for the 513, but 3" minimum for the 629. Could this header be undersized and contributing to the banging out back? Main take-off: Aren't these supposed to go vertical to make dry steam? I'm thinking that I may be getting a lot of water in the second take-off and that this may be contributing to the banging and no-heat problem. Equalizer: What are your thoughts on the zig-zagging pipes above the water line? I thought that this needed to go straight down as far as possible before moving around to line up with the returns. Hartford loop: No valve to enable flushing the returns. Skim port still plugged: And it hasn't been skimmed (I know this must be contributing to the banging). If they had put a pipe and fitting in there, I'd happilly skim it myself. Indirect pump for the DHW: This is way too far off the floor. How long before I start having problems with the impeller. Others??? What else do you guys see that I'm missing? Which of these issues is worth getting worked up about and which ones are not worth losing sleep over? Thanks in advance, -Phil
@ October 3, 2007 2:04 PM in paint for radiatorsOur house has about half a dozen Roccoco's of various sizes, this is the first one I've gotten around to painting, but there are more to come ;-)
@ October 2, 2007 10:11 PM in paint for radiatorsRustoleum antique bronze metallic. I sandblasted this little guy and painted him up in just a couple hours... The paint dries in like 15 minutes
@ August 23, 2007 5:20 PM in Splitting Up Steam RadiatorPictures would help, but if there is only one threaded rod at the top of the radiator and none down low where the sections connect you are probably looking at threaded nipples not push nipples, and the likelhood of getting those to come apart is nil...
@ July 11, 2007 1:51 PM in Anyone want to quote a MegaSteam in N Central MA?I'm wondering if there are any steamheads out there who would like to quote us on a boiler replacement for our old house... The existing system looks to be about 50 years old, single pipe steam, I calculate about 465 sq. ft. of radiation in the house. Most of the piping is directly accessible in the basement, which is down a short straight flight of stairs. We are interested in a new boiler, plus indirect for DHW, plus a small amount of radiant that is going into the new bathrooms on the second floor. I'll be gathering quotes for a couple of weeks. Thanks!
@ February 13, 2007 10:54 PM in ph and water softeners - one-pipe steam systemI was reading an installation manual a couple weeks ago (perhaps it was for the MegaSteam?) and they had a bold highlighted box stating that under no circumstances should you use softened water for boiler makeup... Made me think about things, that's for sure. I know there are many here who know their chemistry better than I, but I think you may run the risk of causing a lot of corrosion problems due to the lack of iron in the water (leaches it out of the boiler) and there was a recent thread where they were talking about chlorine/chloride causing problems with 300 series stainless.
@ November 21, 2006 6:24 PM in vaporstat vs pressuretrolI have also been thinking of replacing my presurtrol with a vaporstat. Started with adjusting vents in the radiators and mains (still working with a really old boiler), but now that I've got things balanced pretty nicely the 0-30 psi guage never moves the needle. The burner just runs and runs and runs until the thermostat calls it quits (tested up to an hour). I've got a new guage on the way (0-5 psi) and plan to do a little more research before plunking down the cash for a new control, but if the evidence shows that I could be cutting off on pressure of a couple ounces (instead of burning 1.5 gph) then I would think that it shouldn't take too long to get some payback on $170 I found a few places selling them with a google search. Looks like you may be able to do much better than $240. Here's one: http://dticorp.net/catalog/honeywell-kgcm2-p-1137.html?osCsid=f73dff23c0acf983fa32347c8014739b This is what we all are talking about, isn't it?
@ November 8, 2006 10:24 PM in Rearranging single pipe steam radiatorsWe bought an old house with single pipe steam last fall. I bought Dan's books last year and have been learning ever since. The house is large, with a main body and an attached ell in the rear. The main house has new windows and recent icynene insulation, while the back is in original condition. Needless to say the upgraded portion is comfortable, but the back can be downright cold. I am thinking of swapping radiators around - trading large ones from the warm section with small ones in the colder area. From my reading I believe that the sizing of the pipes is based upon the run and not the size of the attached load (pressure drop is mostly a function of diameter and length, right?), so I think it should be okay for me to juggle them around, but wanted to be sure before I undertake that much work. I know I have other work to do with venting, as the cold end does not have adequate insulation on the pipes in the crawl space (main house is well insulated) and the cold rooms take a lot longer to get any heat than the warm ones. From my reading it would appear that the boiler (~1950) is also not properly plumbed (no hartford loop, no equalizer, and the two risers are not connected via a common header) but that will have to wait until it gets replaced at some point in the future... Any advice would be appreciated.
@ November 8, 2006 9:47 PM in Steam Radiator Venting normal?I can heartily second that reccomendation! We bought and old house about this time last year, and Dan's books have been priceless in getting me up to speed and helping to select competent heating professionals (once you realize that you know more than the guy who is there to service your burner it's easy to start looking for a new service company).
@ November 2, 2006 10:50 PM in Where old radiators go to dieI thought I had read that there is still one or two companies manufacturing new ones, but can't remember where I saw it or who might be doing it? Anyone have any ideas? Thanks! -Phil