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Steam heating maintainance
A friend of mine is hoping to buy a house up in Maine, and she called to ask me about the steam heating system. I'm a licensed master plumber here in MA, but unfortunately my only experience with steam is that I helped replace a steam boiler about 12 years ago when I was an apprentice. The only advice I could give her was that as long as there were good, qualified technicians available in her area, it shouldn't be much of an issue. Obviously it's an older house, but the boiler is a 6 year old Weil-McLain steam boiler - so far so good. Here's the question: She called the company that has maintained it, and they told her it needs to be flushed monthly. Is that right, or are they just trying to get another $89/month out of her? Aside from annual burner service, what else is involved in maintaining a steam system that is not necessary with a forced water system?