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Wet, noisy steam

Erin_3Erin_3 Member Posts: 13
I have two different steam systems in my home (formerly a duplex-each side had a system. I live in 3/4 and rent out 1/4). 

we have lived in our original half for 14 years have a natural gas boiler (Currently 3 year old burnham) and quiet steam that fills all radiators quickly.

When we bought the other half we inherited an oil boiler (maybe ten years old now). The steam in this half seems very wet- it’s loud and spit-y.
some of the piping is buried in exterior walls- I don’t know if that cools it and makes it wet? In my original half all pipes are visible. 

I replaced all the radiator valve within the last two years. Mostly varivalves and a few Danfoss thermostatic valves to help balance the oil system which I don’t believe was well balanced, but probably not helped by us dividing the house in half. 

I’m in Concord, NH and having a hard time finding anyone who knows steam. Last year I had a new company service both boilers, but they wouldn’t discuss or touch my radiators. This year they no longer service oil burners and I worry I will need to use Irving for my service. 

Any advice? NH contractors?

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,412
    Can you post some pictures of the problem side's boiler? A few far enough away to show the piping arrangements, and at least one close to see the controls. With those, we might be able to come up with some bright ideas.

    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    Erin_3
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,992
    Let me check with a few people.. if nothing else I can work with your supplier to assist in trouble shooting the system.. ;)
    Erin_3
  • Erin_3Erin_3 Member Posts: 13

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,412
    Thank you for the photos. The piping looks pretty decent, and the pressure looks OK. Let me think about it for a bit...
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    ethicalpaul
  • dennis53dennis53 Member Posts: 41
    Maybe the problem is too few and too small main vents combined with too fast radiator vents?
    Dennis
  • Gary SmithGary Smith Member Posts: 328
    @dennis53 has it right I think. What are your main vents. And if I read your original post correctly you put in new varivalves as your radiator vents. These are usually way to fast for radiator vents. Try smaller (slower) rad vents and larger main vents.
  • Erin_3Erin_3 Member Posts: 13
    Ok- I might need a little talking through. I will find my main vents today, recs for radiator valves? 
  • Gary SmithGary Smith Member Posts: 328
    I like Ventrite #1, good quality and adjustable. Also known as Emerson Swan Ventrite #1.If you have a very very large radiator something a little faster might be I order. Available from a lot of places including Amazon, FW Webb, etc.
  • neilcneilc Member Posts: 822

    Thank you for the photos. The piping looks pretty decent, and the pressure looks OK. Let me think about it for a bit...

    pigtail and dirty water
  • ted_pted_p Member Posts: 63
    edited October 16
    Erin_3 said:

    Ok- I might need a little talking through. I will find my main vents today, recs for radiator valves? 

    Here's a place that has a great price (less than $9, plus shipping) on the Maid-O-Mist angle vent kits (which includes 5 interchangeable orifices, so the vent speed can be matched to the size of the radiator).

    Maid-O'-Mist Maid O Mist 1/8 In. Steam Angle Radiator Valve Kit 0220-5L




    You mentioned that most of the radiators currently have "varivalves", which I'm guessing are Heat-Timer Varivalves, like this.....

    .... or this.


    If that's the case, I agree with @dennis53, and @Gary Smith that they're too fast and likely part of the problem, but see an opportunity to use these lemons to make some lemonade. ;)

    When folks say that Heat-Timer Varivalves are really fast for radiator vents, they aren't kidding; wide open, they are actually faster than many Main vents. For example, the popular Gorton #1, and Maid-O-Mist #1 Main vents, both vent about 0.33 cfm (Cubic Feet per Minute) at a 1oz differential. In comparison, at the maximum setting, the angle pattern Varivalve vents 0.516 cfm at 1oz, and the angle pattern Varivalve vents 0.66 cfm at 1oz.

    So when you are ready to upgrade your Main vents, instead of buying new, re-purpose some of your leftover Varivalves. One Varivalve is probably enough venting for a short main, but if you need more capacity, just put 2 or 3 together on an antler. Two Varivalves combined gives you about the venting capacity of a Gorton #2 (which costs around $100). What you save by not having to purchase new Main vents, will help offset what you had to spend on new, slower, radiator vents. B)
    ethicalpaul
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