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Multiple issues with steam. Need a guru.
I just ordered Dan's book - We got Steam Heat and are finally trying to educate ourselves.
I also read Dan's Steam Heating primer. lots of interesting info.
We live in Yonkers, New York, just north of new York City. Our house was built in 1932. We bought it from a flipper who renovated the house. We are finding out that some of those changes have not worked out as well as might have been intended. Since purchasing the house we have made a few improvements - at least one a year.
Our house has steam heat. Our plumber, Derek, once mentioned that it was a two-pipe system.
Two years ago, we noticed a pinhole leak in a steam pipe jn the basement. Derek promptly replaced that section.
Next, two air vent valves started hissing loudly and spewing rust-laden steam when the heat came on. Derek replaced those valves and drained the boiler of built-up of rust.
The newly installed valves also had the same hissing issues. Derek felt the cause was incorrect/poor pitch of the return pipe to the boiler. Although he did not directly address the pitch issue, Derek moved the placement of the vent valves and installed new ones.
The new vents are still spewing rusty steam (darker than before) causing an unsightly mess in our basement. Could you help us fix this problem?
Additional info: About two or three years ago, we had our local handyman replace the ceiling in the basement. I don't think he paid much attention to the pitch of the pipe and may have inadvertently altered it.
We used to have a lot of water hammer. Since the most recent work, this has abated considerably. However, our heating costs this year seem to have zoomed up and we cannot find a good reason for this increase.
One reason we like our steam system is that it requires almost no electricity to keep the house heated. (And, until this season, the heating cost wasn't terrible either) We would like to install a reliable, cost-efficient way to ensure that the boiler keeps working in the event of a power-outage. We are looking at battery based inverters but are constantly being told that a generator is the only way to go.
I look forward to your solutions.