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No heat on 2nd floor

I just bought a house with steam heat I replaced the main vent with a gorton #2 and all the air vents on the rads and a few were not working a few were hoffman #2's. The house was an estate and the parents of the family that lived here didnt not use the 2nd floor for anything but storage and were unable to comment on the system heat output. A there were a few leaks on on rads tightened the spuds and bought new hoffman 1a valves. the boiler was installed in dec 2014 and the owner passed away in 2018 and the house just sat. I have a tech coming out when they have time to perform a yearly maintenance check. I plan on insulating the main lines as well wondering if i have enough main venting or need more.
It is a one pipe system.
The blue lines in the drawing are return lines and red is for steam.
The three rads in the upper right get hot first and the one in the top right in the loop gets almost all hot and have the valve set to slow and the upstairs ones to fast, and the ones in between set to the 3 or 4.
considering moving the thermostat upstairs.
We are working towards remodeling upstairs currently so its not occupied.










Comments

  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,191
    The boiler piping is hideous. You should have the tech clock the gas meter to make sure you are burning proper amount of gas. Undersized fire will result in inadequate heat. 
    ethicalpaulmikeapolis
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,866
    Really hideous! It’s so bad it could be producing very poor quality steam preventing heat getting to one or mains. 

    I’m a huge diy fan but this is beyond. The boiler should have lots of life left but it needs to be repiped. Where are you located? A good pro can make a plan for you
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    mikeapolis
  • linuxfox00linuxfox00 Member Posts: 4
    edited October 15
    Bay City,MI

    If I turn the system on and let it run for a while the rads upstairs do get hot, but from what I've read on here steam should get to all of them at the same time if I'm correct.

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,412

    Bay City,MI

    If I turn the system on and let it run for a while the rads upstairs do get hot, but from what I've read on here steam should get to all of them at the same time if I'm correct.

    More or less the same time, anyway. The suggestion to find a pro and have the boiler repiped correctly is a good one -- but I seem to recall that most of Michigan is pretty much a black hole for good steam techs, for some reason.

    For starters, though, you can feel your steam mains as the boiler starts to steam, and get some idea as to where the steam is going -- or not going -- and that may give you some idea as to where to look for problems. While you are doing that, also check for correct slope of the mains.

    At some point you are going to want to insulate the piping -- but I think I might hold off on that a bit until you know that that's really the piping which is going to be there.
    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
    ethicalpaulmikeapolis
  • linuxfox00linuxfox00 Member Posts: 4
    Both mains get hot at the same time the line that branches off on the right of the drawing is all pitched up and the rest from the loop is pitched down right before the first rad. maybe i should ditch the steam system and go to forced air this house has 2 rooms that have no heat there is evidence of there being a rad in the down stairs room but none upstairs but it appears to have been a staircase probably around 100 years ago
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,315
    Since the boiler is 6 years old it is worth it to repipe it correctly.

    You need to find the right contractor, a contractor that is a steam professional. Everyone that looks at it will tell you they know steam.............most do not.

    Save some money and do it when you can
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Member Posts: 1,866
    > maybe i should ditch the steam system and go to forced air

    Then you'd have different problems and a lot of $$$ and effort for worse quality heat.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,412
    Ditching the steam and going to hot air is probably the worst possible thing to do, as well as the least comfortable and most expensive.

    Now. If steam really is getting to the ends of the mains more or less evenly, the next question is simple enough: I'm not entirely clear as to what the problem really is. Do the existing radiators upstairs get hot? Or is it that they do not heat? Or is it that you want to restore heat to the two spaces you mention which don't have heat? Or... what, exactly?
    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
  • linuxfox00linuxfox00 Member Posts: 4
    edited October 15
    So far this will be my first season in this house so maybe they will get hot when it gets colder, the case is right now they dont get hot when the system turns on, and yes I will need heat in those 2 room one will be converted into a bathroom and laundry area. They are right on top of each other also.

    I would prefer to spend less money, but there are only a few places that work on steam the area is very dominated with forced air.

    I have some old rolls of batt insulation that came with the house i will wrap some on the mains in if that should help quite a bit
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,412
    If those radiators up there are getting steam, it becomes a matter of balance -- which is something you can work on yourself.

    First, main vents -- but you may be OK on those, if they are there and working and the mains heat pretty evenly.

    Second, radiator vents. Try slowing the vents on the radiators downstairs, and make very sure that the inlet valves on the one upstairs are fully open. You should feel steam going up the risers as soon as nearby first floor radiators start to heat. If you don't, either there is a problem with the riser piping, such as not enough slope or even reverse slope, or the vents on the upstairs radiators aren't opening or are much too slow.

    Adding back two radiators in the presently unheated areas is not difficult, but let's get the ones which are there working properly first.
    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
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