Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Two-pipe steam system has my guys stymied...

Options
My wife and I purchased a beautiful shingle-style home (ca. 1900) in Ware, MA, last November. It is the house of our dreams. The seller replaced the boiler and oil tanks. Work was done by a big heating supplier in Western Mass., who I had used for the previous 25 years with no problem. Unfortunately, they were stymied by the two-pipe steam system in this old house. Started with no heat to certain radiators. Then heat to only one end of some radiators. After six service calls, all with different guys, all born long after the last two-pipe steam was installed, most of them befuddled by the second pipe from our radiators, we had heat (and vents on all our radiators!) But, instead of the pleasant sound of hissing steam, or even the beloved banging pipes, we now have a rendition of Niagara Falls in our radiators. As I sit here typing this message, I am serenaded by the sound of running water, gurgling through our steam pipes.

I don't know anything about heating, but I am convinced that I now have a forced hot water system, instead of steam. Oh, and did I mention that I was spending $3,000 per month on oil last winter (and never set the thermostat above 69 degrees)?

I am a veterinarian, and if you asked me to tell you how to spay your dog, I would think you were nuts. I don't want helpful hints on doing this myself; my time is better spent learning new surgical procedures and medical diagnostics! I want you professionals (like Jamie Hall - are you reading this?) to refer me to a professional heating contractor who can help my steam system, and whom I will gladly pay for their professional knowledge.

After spending the last few weeks reading posts on this site, I know this beast can be spayed! If you could point me toward that person who would help me in Ware, MA, I would be eternally grateful!

- Bob Shurtleff

BTW: after reading many posts, I have developed much respect for you guys - a lot of science, and a little art, just like medicine! Unfortunately, a GOOD doctor is hard to find...
RobG

Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
    Options
    I looked up your zip code in the find a contractor (01082?) and came back with this. Give them a call.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    RobGbilltwocase
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
    Options
    KC is right -- call Charles Garrity. He's in Springfield -- just up the road from you -- and is a really good steam man. Unfortunately, he's also a fairly busy man (the good ones tend to be) but he can and will do a good job for you (disclaimer: he's the man who installed Cedric for me and services it, and I've no cause for complaint!).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    RobGZman
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,889
    Options
    I'll second that recommendation. Meanwhile, how about posting a picture of your boiler, the piping around the boiler including any cast-iron lumps you might find there, and a few radiators? This will tell us what you have.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
    edited November 2014
    Options
    Here is a recent example of his work for the OP to see. You guys are so helpful nice of you to link to this thread Steamhead!
    http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/152185/hoffman-differential-loop#latest

    PS I am starting to think @Steamhead goal is to see every steam boiler in the country...can't blame you though.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    Options
    Just waiting for the call. Thanks for your kind words guys.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • bobshurt
    bobshurt Member Posts: 5
    Options
    Here is a picture of the boiler, installed last November. I am contacting Charles Garrity - thanks to all of you.
  • bobshurt
    bobshurt Member Posts: 5
    Options
    Let me know if close-up photos of the piping or the pressure gauge would help. The pressure gauge is 30 psi :-( (I'm learning...)

    I'm working on pics of the radiators. Here are a few different views of the furnace. I don't see anything that could be a vent on ANY of the basement pipes near the boiler. The furnace just cycled and the pressure stayed low - around 1 psi, though hard to tell on a 30 psi gauge.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Options
    I'm not a Steamer but, That's a heck of a thing to do to a nice steam system. All that care.

    And they had a working system to go by.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    Options
    30PSI gauge is useless. Have one put on there that'll read 0-3PSI or so. Header is most likely undersized. Copper from the header to the main needs to go. Add insulation to main pipiing.