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I'm new here. I realize this is a rather lengthy post/call for help. I appreciate the effort that active members put into supporting these boards. Thanks in advance for your time and knowledge sharing.
I moved into my home just over a year ago. Its a Circa 1820's Colonial which has undergone two major additions/renovations over the years, by the look of things nothing all too recent. I've observed a few of radiators and pipes have been relocated during these renovations.
I'm a little concerned that things are not running optimally, over the last year we burnt well over 1500 gallons of oil heating 2,500 sq foot house. This being my first home with an oil burning, steam boiler, with one pipe steam. I have no real basis for comparison maybe this is totally normal. Upon moving in last fall it was readily apparent that the heating system was neglected. I've started to take steps to address some of the obvious problems.
1. Replaced all the pressure valves on the radiators as nearly all were hissing and never closing.
2. Re-pitched all the radiators as none were correctly sloped.
3. Re-packed all the gate valves at the radiators most were leaking.
With above steps completed and a slightly quitter heating system. I'm observing the following behaviors from my heating system which i still have questions about.
1. One of the mains in my basement (I think it’s a main) that appears to be on the return line from some of my most distant radiators continually vent steam when the system is running full bore.
a. Should I replace it or is this expected behavior?
2. On the same line as above, my two most distant radiators are the last to heat in the entire house. I have Hoffman A1 vents on the radiators both vents appear to be working fine they are newly replaced and set to #3 for size of radiator and not distance from boiler as I have read is correct. If I remove the Hoffman when boiler is going I get heat faster but it’s still kind of slow compared to others. I should note these radiators have been retro fitted to a copper feeder pipe (maybe 1" or slightly bigger?) which sits on the surface of a crawl space in an addition.
a. I imagine that insulating this pipe would help and be a good idea but will that fix the problem?
b. Do I need to think about having this pipe replaced? This would be a big job it’s in a very tight crawl space. No one is going to want to work in there.
c. Should all radiators heat perfectly in sync? What should be my expectation?
3. I have an auto fill valve on the boiler and have noticed it is replenishing lost water quite often. Maybe every few heating cycles. It may be of relevance that my water heater is heated through my boiler.
a. Could/should I lose this much water through steam heating system?
b. How often should auto fill be “auto filling”?
c. Could the heating coil be cracked and leaking into water heater? I don't know how this works so just throwing out random questions/ideas?
4. Discoloration in middle of my wood floors on first floor. I’ve noticed there are mains (think they are mains) directly under these spots in basement ceiling. I haven't yet noticed them over venting so they may have been replaced already and problem remedied.
a. b. Is there a solution to this problem like putting up some kind of barrier in the basement on underside of my floors or should this have never happen in the first place i.e. vents were malfunctioning?
c. Side question. Anyone know if sanding down floor and redoing will fix this or if discoloration permanent, damage already done, irreversible?
5. After the boiler has finished a heating cycle, several minutes after. I hear a clanging sound. It’s not a loud bang, but more of a low pitched clang. It happens a couple times a few minutes apart always after boiler stops running after a hearing cycle.
a. Could this be contraction of pipes?
b. Is this normal? Should I just tolerate it or do I need to track this down?
b. What is likely culprit?
6. I've notice that when the boiler is firing to re-heat the hot water heater that I get steam hissing in bedroom heater directly above the boiler. The riser from the basement going up the first floor to the 2nd floor bedroom is piping hot.
a. Amusing this inst normal, what problem is this and indication of?