A Pocketful of Steam Problems (With Solutions)
**Also available as an iPhone app! Click here.**
I was trying to help a friend with a steam-heating problem. He told me what the trouble was and I found myself going down a list of things that might cause that problem. There must have been a dozen things on my list. "Check out each one before you move on to the next," I cautioned. "When you don't know what's causing the problem, you can't discount any of the possible causes."
"The hard part is knowing where to look," he said. "That's why I'm glad you gave me this list!" That made me feel terrific. I was happy to be able to help a friend, but it also got me thinking about the way a lot of people troubleshoot. They jump in without a plan or a direction and often find themselves running in circles. I've always tried to be methodical when I'm troubleshooting, and I think that's probably why I have a better batting average than most when it comes to solving steam heating problems.
I thought about what my friend had said about knowing where to look, and that's when I decided to write A Pocketful of Steam Problems (with solutions!). My idea was to list all the things that could go wrong with a steam system, and then list the possible causes of those problems. I wanted the book to cover one-pipe, two-pipe, vapor/vacuum, vacuum, and commercial steam systems, so I went about writing the book the same way I would go about troubleshooting a system - methodically.
I started with a section I called All Steam Systems. I brainstormed everything I could think of that could go wrong with any steam systems. I jotted my lists when I was in my office at home. I took my lists with me on plane trips. When I was driving, I used a small tape recorder to keep track of anything additional that popped into my head.
When I was done with that general section, I focused on specific systems - one-pipe, two-pipe, vapor/vacuum, vacuum, and commercial steam systems. I jotted and jotted until I could think of no more. Then I put it all together into a 3/4"-thick, pocket-sized book you can carry with you on problem jobs.
The Dead Men speak through this little book. You'll find the answers you need here, and you'll find them quickly. Guaranteed!