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Ahhhh, steam heat

Gsmith Member Posts: 431
We're experiencing near or below design day temperatures and wind chills in my area now and my single pipe steamer is keeping the house toasty warm. Because of the low temperatures the boiler runs more often, the radiators stay warm between cycles and passing by them gives a very warm pleasant feeling. Much better operations at these low temperatures than when it's 30-'s to 40's outside and the boiler runs more infrequently. These days are why I love my steam system. Oh, and a side benefit is that its an older system with a power pile pilot control, so if the electric power fails we always have heat as long as the gas company keeps the gas coming. Truly a blessing.


  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,692
    This is definitely the type of weather that makes steam shine bright. My rads are close to the heat loss of the house, we are going to have an entire day at or close to design conditions. Rads are all full and blazing all day long. It's like having a bunch of little suns in the house. So nice.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Zipper13
    Zipper13 Member Posts: 229
    Our wind chill was -25 F last night with an actual low of 3. I was SHOCKED that we stayed so warm as I am not confident in the insulation of our new home. the bitter cold out really does seem to keep the house more comfortable than when it's in the 30's outside.

    Power Loss
    @Gary Smith Could you give more info about your power outage protection you noted. we don't lose it often, but with the ice and 45MPH gusts last night, i thought we had a good chance and that would have been a very bad night to lose heat.
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,793
    @Gary Smith I had That thermopile system as a kid growing up. When the weather gets like this I always think of and miss it. Never a concern with a power outage♨︎
  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 431
    My boiler is about 35 years old, I'm not sure the power pile is code acceptable on new installations. Maybe others in the field could say.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    I believe there are allowances for the Amish to have powerpile controls, as they are not an electrical device which would be unacceptable under their religious beliefs.
    I don’t see why they would be any more dangerous than regular self lighting pilots.
    If the pilot blows out, then the valve won’t open until it is relit.—NBC
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,585
    I got to experience my design day with a suspected failure Saturday of my Honeywell S8600 ignition control. I can override it if I babysit it but the house got down to 55 last night. I feel like I’m in the coal days, getting up to manually turn on the heat.

    I was happy that my little steamer got me back up to 70 in just a few hours and a new control is on the way, thanks Supplyhouse.com and thanks @Dave0176 for coming out and correcting my misdiagnosis of the thermocouple.

    These temps do serve as a reminder of how bad my insulation is 😞
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • coelcanth
    coelcanth Member Posts: 89
    me too over here in queens..

    most days the boiler keeps room temp about 1 degree above the thermostat setting.. yesterday was the first it dropped under the thermostat setting...

    i think this masonry building has no insulation anywhere

    but mostly everything is toasty
    except these old aluminum double pane windows frosting up inside

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    We had temps at -8 last night with wind chills at about -20. Our Design day is "0" but it was so comfortable. No heating could come close to Steam when conditions get like that!