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Any Residential Steam Experts in Westchester County NY?

dkirkwood Member Posts: 21
Hi. I have a one pipe steam system with about 13 radiators. All the radiator vents have been replaced about 2 years ago, and appear to work properly. The system has 2 mains; I discovered the main vents where letting steam out, so last month I installed 2 new Gorton # 2 vents. The system heats the house well.

The Boiler is a 250K Btu Burnham--it was installed 6 months ago in late April 2018.

The problem I am having is excessive make up water. The new boiler was used in late April 2018-May 2018--very light duty. Yet, the new auto feed gauge indicated it used 3 gallons of water since installation. That is why I tracked down the leaking steams at the 2 main vents, and replaced them.

So, the system has been supplying heat since mid October, about a month. --Last night I noticed the auto feed indicated 5--another 2 gallons have been added, and the heat provide thus far is definitely light-duty, since it's not even winter.

None of the return line is buried, and there are no obvious leaks. Last spring, I put plastic cups over all the radiator supply valves, to see if condensate formed, indicating a leak. Several values do leak a bit of steam, but it seems hard to believe the bit of condensate I saw could equate to 2 gallons of makeup water in less than a month.

Excessive makeup water has always been a problem since I bought the house 18 years ago. I replaced the boiler in 2000 with basically the exact same Burnham installed last April--it lasted 18 years, and developed a hole --I suspect excessive makeup water cut that boiler's life short.

The system also has bad water hammer, despite the fact the mains and radiators seem to be pitched ok.

Anyway, the question: are there any pros out there who are licensed in Westchester, NY that have real steam expertise? All of the local plumbing and heating contractors I contacted seem well versed in boiler replacement--but their techs don't seem to really understand the finer points of steam--and, they don't seem interested in troubleshooting the problems I have. I told the contractor that installed the new Burnham that it used 3 gallons of water in less than 6 weeks, at the end of the heating season. He said that was normal. That is why I don't think these folks understand steam. I also asked for an estimate to replace the supply valves that leak--never got one. I suspect the contractor is just not interested in such work.

I want the supply valves that leak replaced (these valves do not appear to be the type that have a packing nut), I would like the hammer issue solved, and, most importantly, the makeup water issue resolved.

If you are such a contractor, or you know one, can you please email me at zeekd47@gmail.com.