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Hello, I am new to steam heat (and home ownership). My house has a one pipe steam heat system with a 2003 Burnham boiler. I have 9 radiators total with 2 on the top floor.
The pipes were originally insulated with asbestos but the previous owner had the insulation removed. I came across some free 2" fiberglass pipe insulation that I used to cover 90% of the pipes in the basement. It probably isn't the best insulation but I'm guessing it's better than nothing.
The pressure gauge on my pressuretol is very low, around or below the 1lb mark. And the low water cut off system works as I hear it come on every once in a while.
I have a fair amount of water hammer that occurs 10-20 minutes after the system fires up, it last for a minute or so. I believe the noise is coming from the pipe that runs to one of the upstairs radiators. I have closed down this radiator as much as possible however it does still warm up when the system is on, but not to the extent it used to. This same radiator would also leak at the knob that opens and closes it.
The radiator in the bathroom has a bad vent or where it connects to the radiator is bad and steam comes out of when the system is running. Basically the vent is about to fall off. I've also tried to turn this radiator off but the control knob won't budge (and I haven't tired to force it).
Some radiators are very quiet and some operate very loudly. For example the upstairs bedroom radiator will build up pressure and then the vent will open up and it will blast out a whistle and then close and repeat.
I've started reading The Lost Art of Steam Heating and it seems like everything I read could be causing the water hammer; from the new boiler installation, pipe insulation and all the other problems mentioned above.
One thing I'd like to get advice on is if I can take the vent from the radiator that is upstairs (and turned off) and use it on the bathroom radiator (with the broken vent).
I had the plumber come in who originally installed the new boiler, $300 later I don't really have any answers, he "blew down" the system removing water from the system but that's about it, he didn't have the right size replacement parts to fix the vent or the other problems mentioned.
Any advice would be appreciated, I'd be happy to take photos/video and post for reference.