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Couple of steamers

Brad White
Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
It was very unbecoming of me not to give you full credit and I apologize, not only for not giving attribution (what was I thinking??) but also getting it wrong in term and syntax (what was I thinking??)

Mea Culpa. I am going back into my hole... :)

Happy New Year and Happy Steaming!

"If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

-Ernie White, my Dad


  • Rick_60
    Rick_60 Member Posts: 1
    Steam questions

    I read WGSH but still have some questions that probably were covered buy my retention is roughly that of a three year old. I have a one pipe system with 14 radiators built in 1929. Took ownership of the house three years ago and hammering is getting progressivly worse. Makes sense from what I have read. My first question that does not pertain to the hammering is I have never once had all radiators hot at the same time. When it is extreamly cold outside, more units are hot than when it is mild. Could the system be designed this way or should all radiators be hot when system fires up. Could this symptom help explain the hammering I describe above. My next question is that several of my radiators are not heating at all, and some are only half-heating (one side hot one cold) the supply lines are hot so I am assuming they are clogged or half clogged. What is the fix for those puppies?

  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Vents and Pressure

    Make sure your vents are working well, free and clear. Vent your mains well. If your radiators are half hot I suspect the vent may be clogged.

    Crank the pressure down. Ounces if you can but as low as you can set it. Less pressure, less force for banging too, plus the steam will move faster. Many aspects but I would start with the "air out, steam in, water back" mantra.

    The system should heat evenly and quickly year round if it is vented properly. That you may not get all heated before the system shuts down could be as simple as that the radiator in the room with the thermostat is working very well for you. It may be that partial firing is all it takes to satsify that while the outlying radiators do not see the steam much.

    In milder weather the time between firings is longer so the perception and reality that the average radiator temperature seems less is true. It will be as hot as it gets at first then cool closer to room temperature on a mild day. On colder days, the firing rate (cycles per hour) are greater so the radiators are on average hotter at a given time.

    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • mantra correction

    Hi Brad,

    All good advice for pressure and venting. As Dan says, "Crank it down" and "Venting is critical on one pipe steam".

    But you took a liberty with my mantra. It is "steam up - air out - water back".

    I think the problem with the hammering may be the wet return, since it is progressively getting worse. Another culprit could be piping pitch, since it gets worse over time also.

    Is the hammer at the beginning of the cycle (pitch related) or towards the end of the cycle (clogged wet return)?

    Best regards, Pat
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