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Noisy one pipe steam system in Pittsburgh

Dave-o Member Posts: 9
My wife and I are new to our 1950's house, and are learning to coexist with our one pipe steam system.  The previous owners were a little lazy about home maintenance, but a new boiler was installed in 2003 and seems to be in good condition.   

We have taken a few steps to balance the system and quiet the knocking and whistling.  We changed several of the old malfunctioning vents with new Gorton's, insulated the majority of the exposed pipes in the basement, pitched the radiators, and lowered the pressure to 2 1/2.  This has helped a bit, but the noises still persist, especially the whistling.  Also, one of the second floor radiators gurgles like a dishwasher once the system gets going. 

I feel like we're working with "wet steam", but don't know what else to do.

Any suggestions about self-fixes, or recommendations for knowledgeable professionals in the Pittsburgh area would be great.

Thanks for the help!


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    wet steam from high pressure

    try reducing the pressure as much as you can. a good gauge is required [gaugestore.com, 0-3 psi].--nbc
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes

    Like NBC said, I'd lower the pressure even more, like down to 1 or 1½ psi.

    Other things to look at:

    - Check to see for main vents, i.e. do you have them?

    - Near-boiler piping, i.e. has it been piped correctly to allow for dry steam

    This might be a job for......................a steam PRO.  There must be plenty in Pittsburgh.

    BTW, there is another forum called "Strictly Steam"; you might get additional responses there.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • Dave-o
    Dave-o Member Posts: 9
    pressure adjustment

    I'll drop the pressure a bit more and see what we get.  We do have an old main vent on the return pipping, 6/8 ft from the boiler - maybe a larger vent would be in order.  When you say check the pipping near the boiler to allow for dry steam, I'm afraid I don't know what to look for.  I'll take a couple of pictures of the near-boiler pipping and repost the whole thing on strictly steam. 

    Look for me there.  Thanks for the help.
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