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Advice on new (to me) steam system.

Nate Member Posts: 9
Hi all.
I've learned a lot from reading these forums! thank you!

I just acquired a 20's house with single pipe steam. it got a new burnham boiler in 2001 (a V83)and a Bock indirect water heater but other than that, it has a pretty old system from what I can tell.

I have four regular hip-height radiators on the first floor of the house, and one little "leg burner" next to the toilet on the second floor. The two bedrooms upstairs do not have heat.

My question is... how do I get this system to run most efficiently? I get no banging in the pipes.. but on some heating cycles the radiators don't heat all the way before the furnace shuts off. I know I should probably replace vents/etc but do you folks have any tips on where to start?



  • Dave_4
    Dave_4 Member Posts: 1,405

    Hi Nate,

    Radiators were designed to heat all the way across on the coldest day of the year. If it isn't the coldest day of the year where you are, it's very normal that the radiators won't heat all the way across by the time the thermostat is up to temperature.

    If you are running in to uneven heating in the house, then you will want to make sure that you have properly sized main vents and work on measuring up your radiators and getting the right sized Gorton vents for them.
  • if you keep

    If you keep calling your BOILER furance, the radaitors will never heat up....
  • Nate
    Nate Member Posts: 9

    Thanks for the followup!

    Is there a rule of thumb for vent sizing?

    Also, the boiler has, on the right hand side near the back, a temperature control.. it's right above where the line goes out to the water heater, but not connected.

    Is this the temp limit control. What should it be set at? Right now it's at 180 degrees...
  • Nate
    Nate Member Posts: 9

    "If you keep calling your BOILER furance, the radaitors will never heat up...."

    Heh. Duly noted. :)
  • the 180* setting

    What u seeing the 180* setting is for the former water heating coil for hot water tank... As u said, the pipes are disconnected, meaning, u have seprated hot water heating tank.... Your steam boiler runs on pressure... U need no more than 1 psi on ur pressuretrol..
  • Nate
    Nate Member Posts: 9

    Well, the hot water is still connected.... I am using an indirect fire water heater off the furnace.

    There is a control on the water tank itself that sets water temp/triggers the boiler... but this is another control that does not appear to correspond to the hot water, unless I'm mistaken.
  • aaarrrgghhhh!!

    He called it a " furance" again!
  • Nate
    Nate Member Posts: 9


    old habits die hard.
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