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Steam Heat 3rd Floor

Hi All

I have a 6 family apt building with steam heat in nyc. I moved into the top floor (3rd floor) apartment in the rear (over the boiler) and can't get the apartment to heat up properly. I hear the heat coming up and replaced the radiator vents with Gorton "C" vents. In my bedroom I do have a small radiator, my second bedroom does not have one (door is always closed though) and living room/kitchen combo i have a 7 fin radiator. Am I using the correct vents or should I upgrade to the "D" vents since the top floor is the last floor where the pipes end. I have a riser in the bathroom with a D Vent in it.. Temps are 68-70 degrees. but with a pregnant wife thats too cold. I'm thinking of installing a radiator in in the second bedroom (which is smaller than my bedroom) and installing a bigger one in my bedroom.

Thoughts?

I just had the boiler company come in an upgrade the fuel nozzle from 200 to 225 (2.5 gallons per hours) and up the pressure to 5 psi (it was and 1 psi prior) so the heat is better but still not where I want it to be. My parents live on the second floor (where the thermostat is) and their apartment is a constant 76 degrees... even if the heat is off. Should i bring the thermostat up to my apt?.. Its a Honeywell RTH6580WF wifi thermostat. Anyhelp would be great!..


John

Comments

  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,552
    You need to drop the pressure, raising the pressure is making the problem you are having worse not better. At that pressure you also run the risk of destroying your vents. Upping the nozzle isn't going to do much good either you have most likely over sized your boiler which again is making your problems worse not better. I strongly suggest you buy the books available on this website and educate yourself on the steam heat you have. It sounds to me like you have a venting/imbalance issue that in all likelihood can be fixed with proper venting. How much venting do you have on the mains? Is this a one pipe or two pipe system? The idea with venting is to vent the mains in the basement very fast and then the radiators slowly. In a multistory application like yours you would also vent each story of the house a little faster than the lower story, but you need to address the main venting and that pressure first. Also since you changed the firing rate of the boiler you should do an EDR calculation of your radiation. You need to add up all the radiation in the building and determine what size or firing rate you should be using on the boiler based on that. Too much boiler or firing rate on a steam system is always a bad thing. Here is an article about EDR:
    https://heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/how-they-rated-radiators/
    Here is an article about steam pressure:
    https://heatinghelp.com/systems-help-center/what-ive-learned-about-steam-pressure/
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • daghstdrummerdaghstdrummer Member Posts: 10
    Thank you... These articles are very interesting and i'm definitely going to invest in those books. to answer your question we have a 1 pipe system. We had the boiler tech in (petro) and he said that the Steam pressure was way to low on the pressuretronic it was basically at Zero (the prior tech dropped it to try and solve a different problem which he didnt). But the third floor has always been the coldest apartments with a 5-10 degree difference between the 2nd and 3rd floor. as an example right now its 67 degrees in my apt and 74 on the second floor My apartment is in the rear over the boiler and the second floor apt with the thermostat is in the front. the difference is way too big in my opinion. I am also thinking I may have too small a radiator for my kitchen/living room space.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,552
    edited December 2014
    Your tech has absolutely no idea what they are talking about, don't ever let them in the house again. Just for your reference the Empire State building heats with 3 PSI of pressure. Having no pressure is a good thing, but to truly have low pressure you need plenty of venting especially on your mains. There is almost no reason you shouldn't be able to heat your home evenly, it just takes a bit of patience and PROPER tuning. Like I said before what has been done already has most likely made the problem worse. This is a common issue because so few know how to work on these systems...also why a lot of us homeowners have taken it upon ourselves to just do it with a ton of education from this site and Dan's books. Don't start jumping to conclusions about radiator sizes and making big changes. The venting is key on these systems. I will add this, take some pictures of your boiler and near boiler piping and post them here so we can see what you are working with. Also check for main vents. If you check how long and what size your main pipes are we could offer input as to how much venting you need. Have you tried the "Find a Contractor" link on this site yet? There are a ton of great "Steam Men" on this site that could help you out if you don't want to tackle any of this yourself. You only want a steam expert working on your system.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • daghstdrummerdaghstdrummer Member Posts: 10
    I will definetly look for a contractor .. I do have a contract though with Petro for the maintenance etc for the system. Just called my wife.. its 66 in the apt now and in my Parents apt its 74... it seems like the boiler is shutting off prior to the heat reaching the 3rd floor.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Member Posts: 4,552
    Well i guess the question you have to ask yourself is do you suck it up and get someone in to get it working correctly or do you continue to let them screw up your system because you have a contract with them? To me in the long run having them come back is just going to end up costing you more than getting someone in who knows what they are doing. Is it a one year contract? What has been done already is wrong and unless they are going to undo what they did for free and then learn or listen or admit they don't know what they are doing it just doesn't seem worth it to me. Just my $.02 worth.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • jumperjumper Member Posts: 1,563
    You need to know if radiation balances heat loss.Try slower rad vents in apartment with thermostat.
  • daghstdrummerdaghstdrummer Member Posts: 10
    Thank you KC I will definetly be looking for a steam professional that knows what they are doing.. The cost will hurt but i am willing to take it to get it right.

    Jumper, i've installed number 4 rad vents in the apartment and room where the thermostat is but there is a riser in there that does not have a vent as it goes into the apartment above. Consequently the apartment above is only 2 degrees higher than mine. Its across the hall from me.
  • RobGRobG Member Posts: 1,850
    You should contact John who is the owner of Gateway Plumbing and Heating in NYC (use the find a contractor tab on this site). He will get you squared away and save you a ton of fuel in the process. All Petro is doing is causing you to burn more of THEIR fuel and still leave you uncomfortable.
  • Randy-LeeBramanRandy-LeeBraman Member Posts: 46
    You really need to get someone in there that knows what they are doing.the first mistake i see is changing that nozzle,thats just more money in their pocket.As RobG said get ahold of John he'll set you straight .The other company doesn't care their selling you the fuel!!!!!

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