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Who to call...

Hi! I found your site thru the This Old House website, someone had suggested it. My problem is that since my new oil burner was installed last year, the radiators that are farthest from the boiler either do not heat at all, or only two coils worth of the radiator heat up. :( I take off the steam vent & there is cool air flowing out. The pipe to the offending radiators gets hot but stops short of the radiator. I am totally at a loss, & I am a single woman & have not a clue who to call to check this out. Would I call a plumber, a heating guy, or have my oil company come out & check the system?? I do not know if the problem is due to the new boiler, or if the raditors themselves are the culprits? My house was built in 1925, & the radiators are old. If you could steer me as to who to call, I would so appreciate it. :) Much thanks & I have added your website to "my favorites list." :-)

Thanks again, & here is to keeping warm!!!! Ha!

Elaine Heath


  • Matt_67
    Matt_67 Member Posts: 284

    at the top of the page is a "resoorces" tab. The drop down has "find a professional" enter your zip code and a lidt will come up. merry xmas and good luck

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Brad White_184
    Brad White_184 Member Posts: 135
    Elaine is on-line while Santa waits on the roof....

    I hope that your predicament does not keep you awake at night, Elaine..

    Your issue could be on a number of fronts, but venting of the mains comes to mind. If main vents are not operable (assuming they exist), that may mean some system damage has been done by water hammer, wet steam...

    The person you are looking for might call themselves a "steam-fitter". The term "plumber" is trade specific to the water and sanitary practice although many plumbers also do gas fitting and steam work... it is a broad yet specific term in other words.

    Your oil company is another place to start- ask if they really know steam though. Not a disparagement, just a note of diligence.

    The radiators themselves are benign objects without a lot that can go wrong. The radiator vents, inlet valves and how the radiator is pitched (back to the valve if it is a one-pipe system) play far more important roles.

    If you had a boiler recently installed, the near-boiler piping is a place to start. Many installers who do not understand steam and more to the point are convinced that they do, can ignore instructions and create problems never before seen. Not to point fingers, just a place to look.

    Can you post photographs of the boiler and near-boiler piping?

    1925 was a great year for steam and houses for that matter- could be a gem.

    Rather than have your head spin, do check on the Find a Professional tab. Let us know what city and state you are in. There may be some professionals here who are not listed. If you are in Baltimore or the NYC area or on the South Shore of Boston, you are near some of the best, not to the exclusion of anyone.
  • burnerman_2
    burnerman_2 Member Posts: 297

    well if it was me i would call the installer when we install we figure in a call back cost we may need to go back bleed air but the main thing is to be sure our customer is 100 per cent satisfied but one question you mention u r a single lady and r on a site with maybe 1000 service tech's is this a dating site too lol royboy
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