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Unbalanced steam system

Laszlo Member Posts: 9
Our steam boiler is in the front third of the building. All supply pipes to the risers are 2". Front apts. are too hot, back apts. are too cold. Have adjusted radiator sizes and air valves, but improvement is small.
If we reduce the size of the supply pipe to the front apts, will the steam supply to the back apts. be faster? If yes, how much should I reduce the size?
Thanks again for your help and input.


  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,782

    Sounds like a problem with the vents on the mains in the place. What kinds of mains are there, what is their diameter, how long are they, and what kinds of vents are found at the ends of them?

    Once you lay that info out, the luminaries like Steamhead or Mr. Holohan can probably help you better.
  • Pete_18
    Pete_18 Member Posts: 197

    Hi Laszlo,

    I'm going through similar issues myself now w/ my house. The first thing someone will ask you is whether or not you have your mains (the big long run/s) vented in the basement and if so, what type of vents / how long are the runs and what size piping.

    Is your steam pipe in the basement insulated?

    Do you have a one-pipe or two-pipe system?

    What type of vents (Brand and type) do you have on the radiators?
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,266
    Do you have

    this? Balancing steam
    Retired and loving it.
  • Lurker_2
    Lurker_2 Member Posts: 123
    listen to the above

    and definitely don't shrink the size of the supply pipes. The diameter of the supply pipes is designed to support the load of steam and/or condensate flowing through them; while there is generally room for more radiators, shrinking the pipes willy-nilly will likely cause a steam-condensate traffic jam in the pipes, which will likely be audible in no uncertain terms.

    Even if the resulting supply pipe is still large enough, all you've really done is lessen the air removal requirement for the front half of the building, which would result it in potentially heating faster than before. . . !

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