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New Boiler, Old Problems, Lots of Questions
This is my first time posting on this though I have referenced Dan Holohan’s
many times for the past three winters we have been in our house. The reason I
am posting is we thought that by replacing and updating the original boiler in
our 1920’s house with a new Burnham boiler and other work in May this year by a
reputable heating contractor, we would have a more smooth running steam heat
system. So far, that has not been the case. So my questions are whether the
problems the heating system is experiencing are “normal” or is there something
else going on?
Is loud noise and spitting from the air vents “normal”? Almost all three floors
of air vents have been replaced in the last 12 months though it seems that they
need to be replaced all the time. (They have all been pitched properly. Lets
say we have had a lot of work done and money spent on our heating system.) They
are mostly Hoffman variable vents and there are 2 Danfoss thermostatic radiator
valves (TRV). How much water beads spewing from the air vents is “normal”? I
get water beads on the wooden floor and the air vents themselves are caked with
white watery substance. We have 4 main vents. The noise is loud enough that it
wakes us up at night.
So for the last 36 hours the living room radiator with a TRV (maybe around 12
months old) started getting really hot really fast (so heat all the way across
in say 5 minutes) when the heating cycle goes on. This is despite my setting
the TRV to around a low setting of “1” since my thermostat is located in the
living room. I adjust this TRV when I want to lengthen or shorten a heating
cycle depending on the weather outside. So I heard a very audible gurgling
sound coming from the TRV. And then there is hissing which after some
inspection seems to come from a section of the radiator leaking since there is a
distinct white water mark on the floor that is the size of a nickel or quarter.
The only thing I did prior to this 36 hours ago was to increase very, very small
increments of the setting because the heating cycle was too long. Is this an
isolated event? The question is this in any way related to the loud noises and
spitting experienced in the other vents?
Also in the last 36 hours, I have also heard some “booms”. Since I am never
near the boiler when this happens, I don’t know whether that is where it
originates. I have heard these “booms” at the beginning of cycle, end of cycle,
middle, so basically there is no pattern.
We just had a heating contractor skim off the boiler under pressure last
Wednesday. (This is the third time since the installation in May.) A few days
later when my husband went to flush the boiler, the water coming out was pitch
black. It was flushed again 2 days ago and it was still pitch black. Is this
Our boiler now runs around 5 psi. Last week, the new Honeywell Pressuretrol
control that was put in May was replaced with a new Vaporstat low pressure
control. Dan’s books say most systems can run at 2 psi. Is running our system
at 5 psi “normal”?
Dan’s books talk about wet steam. How do I know if this is an issue our system
has? Do the above problems relate to a potential wet steam problem. I do not
believe there is the 24 inches of vertical space between the boiler and the
header. See the picture attached.
So, what is going on with our heating system?