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Joined on December 1, 2002

Last Post on August 21, 2014

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@ August 21, 2014 8:29 PM in Not the Usual Failure

Is named in honor of Robert Stewart (sorry for my misspelling earlier) of Stewart Plumbing.

We bought it on e-bay from his son, who very kindly sent us a picture of his Dad holding that very same wrench. 

That picture is now resting to the left of my computer monitor.

We promised him that we would use his wrench with honor and with pride.


I'm not sure

@ August 21, 2014 1:20 AM in Not the Usual Failure

but I suppose it's hard to be sneaky with a 4 foot pipe wrench ;-).

The one I'm holding is named "Skuld".  Our other 4 footer is named "Stewart".

Thank you for the praise and kind words.

Seal Around Steam Pipes

@ July 19, 2014 1:04 PM in Silicone steam pipe through floor?

Silicone may break down quickly around the steam pipes unless it is rated for high temperature (450*F or greater sustained temp.  500*F+ intermittent).

Even then, I suspect it will turn brown and break down after a few years.

Caller ID

@ July 12, 2014 11:00 PM in Anyone else getting unwanted calls from Angie's List?

Caller ID is fine when one is in the office.  If we're in the office, we're not serving our customers and generating income.

But they are calling our cell phones while we're at work.

Reading (former) Angie's List employees reviews of working for that company, one reviewer said they were told by management to use various means of subterfuge to hide their number from caller IDs. 

They are told to keep calling, no matter what, and are shouted at if they don't meet their (very arbitrary) quotas. 

Upper management is consistently derided as clueless a la Dilbert-Land.

These reviews also consistently mentioned alcohol consumption being allowed in a sort of "Frat House" atmosphere at work in buildings that the local Fire Marshall should shut down. (Post picture of "Bluto" here).

And if you are not a "buddy" with your manager, you're gone very soon.   


That Appears To Be

@ June 14, 2014 12:45 PM in Really old gas valve?

from the 1940's maybe?

For Your In-Depth Response

@ May 10, 2014 9:16 PM in Galvanized pipng for gas

I thank you. This is good info.
I've seen those "sediment traps" on some really old parts of the gas grid here in Baltimore.

I was told by the "old timers" that used to haunt BGE that they would have to empty those traps periodically and the stuff that came out was pure evil. 

I've been told that they used to shoot steam into the lines to add moisture to keep the hemp seals on the cast iron hub joints moist and juicy.  I don't think that do that any more.  I think because of all the ground water leaks into the system that works pretty well in keeping the hemp moist and leak free. Well, mostly leak free.

I have seen them pump out the sumps in low points in the grid that collects gallons and gallons of ground water seeping in through 100 year old leak repairs.

So dry gas is good gas.  Dry gas without H2S is even better. 

Thank You, Sir

@ May 9, 2014 11:19 PM in Galvanized pipng for gas

Does hydrogen sulfide attack zinc?  What is the result?

Years ago, our local AHJ forbade copper for gas due to the evils of hydrogen sulfide. Than it was allowed, mostly to allow builders to put in cheaper 2 pound gas systems with small diameter soft copper before CSST became common.

I have seen old steel gas pipe almost totally occluded with fine dust rust, so I can well imagine the vile black dust of cupric sulfide clogging gas valves.  You make it very vivid.

Again, I am not so sure that a flake or two of zinc could cause the same havoc.

Am I wrong? 

Your comment about urban legends and so forth is so true.

I well remember being told by a master plumber, who is now a Dead Man, that galvanized fittings were used with black steel pipe because it made identifying gas lines easier!

"See? It's like a zebra. There. Black. White. Black. White. That's gas pipe right there."

I'm not making this up.

It is only years later I found out it was to reduce leaks from sand holes.

And your comment about draft (death) hoods is also right on the mark!


Sand Holes

@ May 9, 2014 8:42 PM in Galvanized pipng for gas

The reference I quoted for using galvanized fittings for gas pipe because it seals the sand holes is from 1918.  It was quoted for informational purposes only. 

I was trying to show some history as to the whys and wherefores.

I am NOT advocating their use or condemning their use for that purpose.

My point is, other than quoting "in my apprenticeship course we were instructed...",  I would like to know of any authoritative, scientific reason that can be given for NOT using galvanized fittings?

I too, was told the same thing about the galvanized flake theory in my apprenticeship course.  Is it true? 

I think it might be a bunch of hokum.

I have asked this question several times on this board and no one yet has provided a hint of a good history of any gas valve leaks or failures that can be laid at the feet of zinc particles.

We just today took apart some old gas pipe, mostly galvanized fittings, that was going to a stove on the second floor of an old house.

There were no zinc flakes.  Why?  Because the old gas fitter had re-used fittings from a domestic water supply and were full of rust!  He is now beyond our justice.

The old steel piping was free of rust, so it wasn't "wet gas". 

I would say rust flakes were and still are a bigger issue than the possibly mythical zinc flakes.


Galvanized Piping and Fittings

@ May 6, 2014 11:05 PM in Galvanized pipng for gas

 I have a plumbing book from 1918 that recommends galvanized fittings for gas because the zinc coating on the fittings will cover over any sand hole leaks. 

And those were good ol' 'mercan sand holes, too!  The Middle Kingdom back then was still in the middle ages.

In my house, built in 1968, the gas fittings are galvanized.  It was local code by then that you MUST used galvanized fittings. Now, it is condemned. Or so it seems.

I worry not that the zinc flakes will cause problems.  Should I worry?

Can anybody -anybody- quote a study showing where a zinc flake caused a problem with a gas valve? 

Where did that idea come from?

Please tell me.

That is Our Dream!

@ May 6, 2014 10:45 PM in Radiator feet pedestal?

Why not do what is necessary to bring Steam into the 21th century?

H*@T P**ps for Home Heating....NOT!

@ May 6, 2014 10:41 PM in Three Recent Steamers

Two lies in a single in single phrase:  They don't "heat" and they don't "pump"!

In all seriousness, your pool heater sounds like a good use of that thing. 

Thank You !

@ May 6, 2014 10:31 PM in Three Recent Steamers

and be well.

The Customer Can Have Any Color They Want

@ April 27, 2014 11:17 PM in Radiator feet pedestal?

as long as it is silver or yellow!

We Would Very Much Like To Make Our Own Steam Boiler

@ April 27, 2014 11:14 PM in Radiator feet pedestal?

We would like to melt down scrap h**t p*mps as our base metal for them, too!

BTW, the radiator feet we make use scrap gas valves as base metal.

We'd need a lot more capital, however. 

Anybody want to get in on the ground floor on this venture?

Casting Radiator Pedestals

@ April 27, 2014 6:01 PM in Radiator feet pedestal?

All Steamed Up, Inc.'s Foundry Division, located near our World Headquarters in Towson, Md has gone into (very) limited production of these very items.

They are available in aluminum alloy, brass and soon, we hope, cast iron.

"Main Vents Are 'Unnecessary' "

@ April 27, 2014 5:51 PM in Three Recent Steamers

Yes, that's what many of our customers tell us most HVAC contractors tell them -  yes, I'm talking to You, BGE Home!

That's usually right before they tell them to put in a h**t p**p and they'll be happy to haul off their radiators, boiler, and piping for only 10% more.

Evil. Just evil.

Thank you, jonny88, for your kind words and and doing the right thing.

I am interested also

@ April 20, 2014 7:01 PM in Some stuff for sale...

and I have tried to contract you twice but you have not responded.

Was it something I said?


@ March 31, 2014 2:03 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

Oh yes, we most definitely use anti-seize.

I think in our trap re-build video we are shown using it on many of the gasketed surfaces and threads and unions.

It is all part of the ethos of "make it easier for the next guy".

We try not gob the stuff on because we are ever-mindful that the oils and greases in the anti-seize may find its way back to the boiler!

YouTube Clip

@ March 30, 2014 7:37 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

My son did the filming.

We tried to edit it down to under 5 min, but lost that file after several hours of work, so we uploaded up what we had.

Thank you for your feed back!

No, we do not receive any kick-backs, but we do get great turn-around time from them when we call, and that is payment enough. 

In regards to that pesky ring clip, I later had the idea to use a short length of tube, say 1/4" soft copper, to balance the clip on to insert it on the rod and that seems to nail it.

Webster 00026

@ March 29, 2014 3:36 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

At one time not long ago, State Supply had OEM parts for this trap, but they no longer do.

We tried interesting B&J in making a kit for us, but they were fine with things just as they were, thank you.

Tunstall at least listened politely, but told us they could not justify the development cost vs the expected market.

All Steamed Up, Inc then started a foundry division and custom designed key parts for the trap which would allow "off the shelf" parts to be fitted into the trap.

We used these parts to crudely rebuild a salvaged 00026T Webster and, with their permission, shipped it to Tunstall for their testing.

The result was that Tunstall could efficiently tweak our design and market it at a profit.

The Tunstall Trap Repair Kits

@ March 29, 2014 3:22 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

Tunstall makes rebuild kits for just about all Webster radiator traps.
If they don't have a particular trap kit, if you send them the trap body, they will make one.

They "like" getting stuff from All Steamed Up!  They almost always tell us, "You guys sure get the weird $**t, don't you?   Several of their products have "ASU" as part of their inventory control number.

The folks at Tunstall are great to work with.

Barnes and Jones also makes excellent trap repair kits.

We have found that impact tools make quick work on traps (if you got the clearance). 

I Think This is the Link

@ March 27, 2014 5:09 PM in Removing and loosening painted radiator condensate trap covers

Fair warning!  I lose half of my watchers in the first minute!

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