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Jack P.

Jack P.

Joined on November 26, 2005

Last Post on October 18, 2009

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Buy Sears only...

@ October 18, 2009 3:48 AM in humidification help

Having used portable humidifiers for years at an old residence with a water boiler I can tell without hesitation that ONLY humidifier to use is any Sears model. That is for the simple reason you will need to change the filter pad 2 or 3 times a heating season. If you do not they become crusted with calcium, etc. and will not work properly. You should be always be able to purchase replacements at Sears. You will also have to completely clean the unit monthly because the water will become very rancid from filtering the air while it humidifies. I also recommend use an additive in the water for control of bacteria. And be prepared to fill the unit each day whereas you can add a lot of water to the air with these units.

@ February 13, 2008 3:19 AM in running out of ideas..

What temperature is the aquastat set at?

recharging expansion tank

@ December 14, 2007 2:47 AM in Boiler Water Pressure goes above 20 PSI

First shut off the boiler. There should be a shut-off valve between the boiler and the tank. Shut off that valve then open the valve at the bottom of the tank. Drain down the tank completely. Close the drain valve and open the shut-off valve between the boiler and the tank. Make certain the water feeder is working to refill the boiler. Turn on the boiler.

Cleaning pigtails

@ November 15, 2007 2:04 AM in Cleaning pigtails

When you clean out a pigtail on a pressuretrol do you fill it up with water or leave it dry?

sight glass

@ October 19, 2007 1:54 AM in sight glasses

Most hardware stores carry a thin brush that will fit inside the glass. If that doesn't clean it soak it in CLR for a couple of hours.

Wow...that looks scary

@ October 14, 2007 12:20 AM in Is there a problem here?

I had this once on steam boiler. The rollout was so bad it melted the gas valve. The chimney was not blocked but the between the boiler sections were so sooty the heat and exhaust couldnt exit to the chimney. I had to remove all the cabinet panels and wash out the soot with a hose. It was one of the dirtiest jobs I have ever done. Black soot was everywhere. That was 8 years ago and the boiler is still running great. I still dont know the cause of all the soot. But Id bet the chimney is block with all these.

@ October 5, 2007 1:00 AM in Looking for a Gorton distributor in Michigan

Steve, checkout this link: I've bought from there several times with good results. I'm in Bay City, Michigan

@ September 20, 2007 1:13 AM in connecting cast iron radiator

If you send in supply water on the bottom and out at the bottom, only the bottom of the radiator gets warm. You are sending the supply water straight through at the bottom. The supply water will not rise to the top as you might think. When supply water enters at the bottom and exits at the top the supply water will heat the whole radiator uniformly. That way you forcing the supply water to the top of the radiator and not just hoping it gets there.

@ September 19, 2007 4:06 AM in connecting cast iron radiator

In on the bottom, out on the top...opposite side

@ September 19, 2007 1:59 AM in boiler cycles too much

The first pic is the aquastat, the second pic is the tank temp control and the third has me a little puzzled. It looks like a temperature probe of some sort. Why it is out in the open is puzzling also. The aquastat is holding the boiler temp at 145 when you are holding the tank temp at 120. There is no reason to hold the boiler at 145 unless you need the tank to recover quickly when and after water is drawn off the tank. I would lower the aquastat to 120 or just a little above that. When you start into the heating leave it at the 120 until that temperature will not keep up with what your thermostat setting is. Then raise the aquastat temp about 20 degrees. There is no reason to over fire the boiler temp if the circulator will keep up with calling temp. As the outside temps fall over time keep raising the aquastat temp 20 again to meet the calling temp. There is no reason to run the aquastat at 180 if it is not needed. In the spring as outside temps warm up do the reverse. That way you are getting the best efficiency and the best bang for your buck.

@ September 18, 2007 2:12 AM in Adjustable vs. Fixed radiator air vents

I am assuming what you mean by squelching back is turning down the valve on the radiator to slow down the steam flow and pressure. That is a good approach if your first radiators are over heating. But if you adamant about changing the vents still, I would replace the first two with the Made-O-Mist #4 or a Gorton #4. The Made-O-Mist could be drilled out a little if it turns out it is too slow. You could try the Hoffman but again I do not have a lot of faith in them at trying to slow down venting at higher pressure settings. Open this link to check on prices to compare:

@ September 17, 2007 3:15 AM in Adjustable vs. Fixed radiator air vents

I operate 8 steam boilers in about 1/3 of my apartment buildings. Most are very large systems. I have many many radiators to watch over, probably over 300. I think Ive used or seen pretty much every radiator vent ever made from models from the early 1900s to Hoffman, to Doles, to Jacobus Maid-o-Mist, to Gorton and more. I have a large box of them. There is a lot goes into which one to use. Size of the radiator, distance from the boiler, piping quirks, etc. There is a lot of trial and checking for the result. Each has its own merit but all should have some type of adjustment to it. In my opinion the best adjustable vents are Doles. But they are pricey. Hoffmans are OK with some applications but the adjustment properties are not always the best. I do replace many Hoffmans with something else. Maid-O-Mist are cheap to buy but cheaply constructed. You have to be careful when you install them. But they have changeable orifices to adjust the amount of air vented. I have a box of those too. Gortons are probably the best vent out there at fair price. But you have to guess which size to use and if you are wrong you have to re-guess, re-buy and could be wrong again. I dont have that problem, because again, I have box with every size. But first I would have to ask, Why do you think you should replace ALL your radiator vents? What are you trying to accomplish by doing that? What problems, if any, are you trying to solve?


@ January 13, 2006 3:27 AM in How much water should a steam system lose daily


@ January 11, 2006 2:43 AM in Hot Water Boiler Short Cycling

When you state the boiler is shutting off, do you mean both the burner and the circulator? If the circulator is still pumping water and the stat is still calling you have reached the aquastats high set point. The circulator will continue to run until the stat is satisfied or the water cools to restart the burners. That is not a short-cycle. If both the burners and circulator stop and you havent reach the stats set point you are short-cycling. Correcting that would take a higher adjustment to the stats anticipator setting. As far as efficiency, the best is to set the aquastat as low as you can and still have enough heat to satisfy the stat. That setting could be changed up and down as the weather gets warmer and colder with the season. That way you are only making enough heat that is needed without over-firing and letting the heat sit in the pipes without being used.

Right here...

@ January 10, 2006 2:23 AM in Where to buy steam radiator vents? Good shipment.

God Bless Amercia...

@ January 9, 2006 1:56 AM in Sometimes you are too smart for your own good

Geez, I've been a landlord for 18 with 122 apartments and have been thru many many evictions. Thought I'd seen and heard it all but here's a new one. Locked out the gas value eh. God Bless America

@ January 5, 2006 2:58 AM in One-pipe steam -- loud rumbling noise after burner shuts off

It sounds like it might be collecting condensation somewhere in the system and the steam pressure is holding it there until shutdown. Most likely near the boiler and header. Then the condensation water is dumped back into the boiler all at once on shutdown. I had this once on short-cycle. Try this. Time the length of normal burn. Then, shutdown the system for a couple of hours until the mains get good and cold so when you fire it back up it makes lots of condensation. When you fire it backup run it only for the normal burn time that you timed. Listen for the noise. If it rumbles thats probably what going on.

@ January 5, 2006 2:32 AM in short cycling boiler

If you are building 2.5 lbs in 3 or 4 minutes and dropping back to .5 in one minute you must have a pretty small radiant field. That is the mains and radiators. Sounds like you are oversized just by that to me without knowing the EDR etc. How long does it take to build back to 2.5 lbs from .5 on the cut-out and cut-in. How many of those cycles in a normal maintenance burn before the stat is satisfied?


@ December 29, 2005 3:38 AM in mold

I found this spray product at Home Depot that works great on mold and mildew. It's in the cleaning department. It's made by ZEP. It's called Mold and Mildew Remover. Spray it on...mold is gone in 15 seconds and stays gone. Try it. It's amazing.

@ December 29, 2005 2:03 AM in setting anticipator on t87

Ah, the old standby Honeywell T87. Must be 10 trillion of those out there. Take off the cover (beige ring just outside the dial) it just pulls off. In the lower right had side is little lever with a point on the end. Behind the lever is metal plate with lines and numbers stamped on it. The numbers are .3 -.4 -.5 etc. and are tenth of volt markings. Note what number the pointing lever is set. With a pen or pencil point move the lever to one setting higher or lower. Higher number is longer cycle, lower is shorter cycle. Adjust only number at time and let the boiler run a cycle or two. If you want the cycle longer or shorter, whichever the case move one more number in the desired direction until the cycle length is reached. If this is a new stat start at .4 and set up or down from there.

@ December 28, 2005 2:17 AM in 100,000 btu small boiler -1 huge gas bill!

Im not a strong believer in setting back any boiler, steam or water more than one degree. It just takes too long of a cycle to heat back up the rooms. On a one-pipe system a long cycle can flood the radiators and vents. On a two-pipe system, all your steam traps and pressuretrol must be working exactly perfect or you are just over pressuring or wasting fuel if the steam traps are not closing. You might try leaving the stat on one setting or only one-degree setback and shutting off the radiator with the valve in the bedroom at night or all the time if you have that option. As for your possible increase in fuel use, you might take a hard look at the burners on the boiler. They probably could use a cleaning and are not burning properly as they once did.


@ December 28, 2005 1:52 AM in Steam Cycles and Thermostat?

If you are only running for 20 minutes and then off for hour and half, I don't think you will gete any more ecconomy out of yours or any boiler. But if you want the cycles to run more often but run less time and not overheat the rooms you could lower the anticipator setting on the stat.What the anticipator setting does is match the thermostat voltage with the fuel valve. It anticipates when the stat should open and close the fuel valve. If it is set higher it will keep the fuel valve open longer because it does not think or believe the room temperature is high enough yet. If set high enough it will run the heating plant even higher than what the stat is set at temperature wise. Most boiler (water and steam) should be set-up that way. That is, while you are making heat, use that heat. If you want more comfort, that is a smaller range of temperature per cycle, lower it down a little at time until you get what you want. If you are not certain how to do that just post again and I will try to help you with how to do that.
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