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New House with steam system not behaving
Bought a house a couple of months ago, built in 1923, 2 floors full basement and about 1300 sq ft. It has a single pipe steam system. 2 year old W-M SGO 3 oil boiler that has been converted to gas using a Carlin EZ Gas burner.
So far I have insulated all the pipes in the basement (looks like the pipes in the walls are insulated also based on what I can see), swapped out the single main vent with a Hoffman 75, and replaced all the radiator vents with various sizes Maid-o-Mist vents (using a combination of vent size selection based on size of radiator as well as distance from boiler). I have also skimmed about 10 gallons of water out of it, though it appears there is still surging going on based on the water movement in the sight glass.
Anyway, I have fired the system up a couple of times to judge how it's working and I am seeing the following, for which I am seeking advice:
1) Surging in the sight glass... should I just keep skimming a bucket full every morning until the water is clear? Each time I have skimmed the initial load of water is pretty black. I don't see "oil" or film per se. For example, I skimmed a bucket ful and let it sit overnight. All of the black settled to the bottom as sediment and the water on top did not appear oily in any way.
2) The system takes a looong time to produce heat as compared to my last apartment with a similar system. It probably takes about 15 minutes of firing before the header gets hot. My other reference system would already have heating radiators by this time
3) This is one that makes me think something is wrong - the wet return piping is heating up at the same time as the riser and header. It's almost like each end of the distribution loop is getting steam, though Im not sure how this would be possible, but it's pretty clear that the middle of the loop is heating up last while each end gets hot. There is a hartford loop and equalizer FYI
4) I don't feel much or any air coming out of the hoffman, should I hear and be able to feel it like u can with the rad vents? It's brand new and I was able to blow air through it before I installed it.
5) Never see evidence of pressure build up. I just fired the system for about 40 minutes. Burner never cut out and pressure guage never moved. Granted it's a 30 PSI guage, though the pressurestat is set to cut in at .6lbs with about 1.3lbs differential. Shoudl the system be able to generate 1.9lbs of pressure in 40 minutes - enough for the pressuretrol to break?
6) Radiators take a long time to get hot, and almost all of them only get about half full of steam. The only rads that get fully hot are the little ones in the baths, all of the others stay half cold. Again, compared to my reference system, it would have entirely hot rads in about 20 minutes. Also, the rads are heating very unevenly. e.g. the rad closest to the boiler and connected closest on the loop gets hot pretty fast, but the one farthest away on the second floor was just getting warm by the end of the 40 minute firing. This slow to heat radiator currently has a #C vent on it thinking I just had a lot of air to vent out, but changing out the original #6 for the #C has made zero difference.
Suggestions welcome! I have really enjoyed reading this forum and hope you guys can help me out
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