Hello Everyone -
I am in a tricky situation, and some advice would be greatly appreciated. If any of you have experience with systems that are in public schools, that would be especially helpful.
This is a strange story that deals partially with the peculiarities of local school politics and the specifics of a two pipe steam system that has been severely neglected for over twenty five years. There are three steam boilers - all made by Hurst. They are the "LPE" model. Two were installed in 1995, and a third in 1998. The building is from 1952 and has vintage Nesbitt univents with a leaky and unreliable pneumatic DA control system. New Quincy compressor in 2007.
Temperatures in this building fluctuate with shocking severity - a student was once admitted to the ER with burns from a univent during a three month long pneumatic outage, and failed F&T traps have caused indoor temperatures to plummet to near freezing for weeks at a time. Condensate seldom makes its way back to the boiler room, going through warped return lines that run through dark and extensive tunnels. Because of this, the boilers are basically running on makeup water all the time, and the condensate gradually leaks out all over the building, at times flooding the boiler room. Here's the scary thing, and this is where I need some advice. The LWCO's on the boilers are unreliable. School District facilities people have told me that the boilers are drained "every few years", which means that the floats may not drop if they need to. And yes, there have been some frightening low water scenarios.
The school system knows about the problems, but refuses to make repairs. The building has been kept in this perpetual state of mayhem while other schools are outfitted with DDC controls and Aerco Benchmark boilers.
Based on what I've explained here (and I can certainly provide more information to paint a clearer picture) what is the most concerning mechanical problem from an immediate safety standpoint? Sadly, I cannot provide images due to retribution concerns within the school system. We are thinking that we can push for these repairs to be done if we come at it from a safety angle, so any ideas are appreciated. Have any of you worked on commercial steam systems in similar circumstances?
Thanks very much - know this is a pretty unusual post.