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General Help (steam heat)

and the Steam Cavalry will be here very soon.

I'd bet a $ that you may be advised to put steam radiators back where they were removed from, because it made your boiler oversized.

They'll be here any minute.

Good luck, and Happy New Year.



  • Dave Ellinwood
    Dave Ellinwood Member Posts: 2

    This is my first time at this site and I think I am in the right place. I am a homeowner and recently I had my gas company come out to do a clean and check on our boiler/system and the tech was very helpful and offered a website of a person who was "the Guru" of steam heat. He spoke very highly of the person who runs the site. I was thrilled about finding someone with expertise in steam heat on the internet. Near as I can tell after looking over the site, I am in the right place. I did also learn that the expert (name? Dan H?) was originally from Massachusetts which is where I am from. The website he gave my was helpheat.com and when I tried it I did not come up with anything. I then went to google and searched "steam heat help" and this was the first one that came back.

    Anyway, moving on, my main motivation for seeking out this site is to better understand my heating system for repair, maintenance and efficiency purposes. In addition, a few thoughts were put in my head by the Technician who came to my house that I hope to clarify. Unfortunately, since I have only owned this home for 15 mos. I do not have enough experience with the system only having gone through 1 season of cold weather.

    I have a 1925, 1800 sq. foot bunglaow in central Mass. At one time the house operated as a two family and at that time of conversion they removed steam radiators from the second floor and replaced them with electric baseboard. Near as I can tell there was a radiator in each of the 3 bedrooms. All three pipes are capped and remain sticking out of the hardwood floors. One radiator is still operating on the 2nd floor in a small full bath off one of the rooms. The first floor has five radiators that are all operable making it six total for the whole house. The boiler is made by Dunkirk which runs on natural gas. It is a Plymouth Steam Series 2 with a continuous Pilot and was installed about 4 years ago. This how the house is heated currently.

    My first concern is over the frequency at which I need to be filling the boiler. It seems as though I need to be filling it more often than normal, yet I do not know what is normal. So it makes me think that I am losing water somewhere. I am close to replacing all the regulators (the valves on the radiators) so that I know they are operating properly. I was told that at Home Depot, I should be able to purchase valves that are very easy to adjust.

    Secondly, last year I seemed to be having a problem with the system cutting off and I believe that was due to low water but at the time I was not so sure it did not have to do with an electronic shut off since I had a new thermostat put in. I selected a digital round Honeywell versus the old stand by made by Honeywell and I am not so sure there was some kind of glitch with the electronics. The digital one remains and so far this season it does not seem to be cutting off as frequently. I will hear it cut off and then when I look at the readout there is nothing showing. Over the summer I reset one radiator that I know was leaking last year and that seems to have helped with the frequency in which I need to fill the boiler.

    Thirdly, I have a concern that my boiler is too big for the number of radiators I have and the tech said I should evaluate the system to see if it is properly set up. He said that I may want to consider putting the radiators back in the upstairs. He also said that the website he referred me to has a way to determine the capacity of the radiators based on the number of fins? (terminology?)

    I guess overall I am trying to do some of the leg work and evaluation myself on my system because I know that this method of heating is a dying breed and there are few people who really know what I need them to know. I hope I have come to the right place. I have typed a lot and need to stop.

    Thank you in advance.

  • ed wallace
    ed wallace Member Posts: 1,613
  • Dave Ellinwood
    Dave Ellinwood Member Posts: 2

    Ed, I am in Shrewsbury
  • ed wallace
    ed wallace Member Posts: 1,613
    steam help

    Hi I sent you an email from my alternate screen name i can traval to shrewsbury to help you

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
This discussion has been closed.