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A big thank you

MyName Member Posts: 13
4 years ago, when I converted my oil steam boiler radiator one-pipe system to natural gas, no company I contacted understood steam heating and venting. After the installation, every radiator vent broke - cold radiator or spinning vent, hot rooms, cold rooms, loud hissing. The main vents were small and the radiators were doing all the work, and couldn't. Until now, I just made a service call all these years and a broken vent would be changed to whatever vent was in the service truck. I was charge about $100 a call (for the part, I guess).

I now have quiet even heat. It was not easy getting to that.

Thanks to Dan's steam heating books, and a couple of generous personal emails, I studied and learned. From measuring radiators and sizing a boiler, venting, and so much more. And I became the teacher to the installer, including the gas contractor they brought in for the work to make sure the near piping was up to manufacturer specs. The heating company brought on-site a rep from a boiler manufacturer who said similar and backed me up.

Also, for venting a standard house, I learned the following as well from vent manufacturer Gorton with their easy to understand charts on venting at their website, as well as talking directly with the founder's daughter and a tech specialist. Both main pipes in my basement got their largest main vent, no need to measure. As soon as steam hits it, it closes. And steam gets evenly to all radiators at about the same time. And on the radiators (4 on each floor), I use their smallest #5 (not the 4 if real small is needed near a thermostat) on all radiators. Easy! Instead of relying on any old vent in the back of a service truck, I bought a box full of Gorton vents to cover me for life ! But after 4 winters, all vents are still working. Even, quiet heat.

I chuckle when reading the heating company's service contract, which is very generous and competitively priced. Their exclusions now include "venting". They did say the changes made for making my system successful has helped other customers with similar complaints.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,472
    They probably lost a lot of money on that job, hence the change to the contract. :s
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,553
    It's nice to hear a success story (in a manner of speaking!) from time to time. Thanks for letting us know how it ended up.