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New Home in NJ

Jimboyo Member Posts: 1
edited December 2020 in Strictly Steam

Hi everyone,

I just purchased an older home in NJ that has a single pipe steam system. I have purchased and read the Lost Art of Steam Heating but wanted to reach out for some help here on a few questions I have on my system.

So far the system seems to be operating very well with no issues other than a minor leaking where one of the radiator was connected up and another whose vent was fully closed.

In the Lost Art of Steam Heating the author preaches not to make the pressure any higher than needed. My boiler seems to indicate it has operating pressure of about 15psi and the system seems to be set up that way.

Do I have a high pressure system or does it just need to be tweaked down to a more modest amount of pressure?

I am posting pics of the pressuretrol and was wondering if I have an additive or subtractive model. Is that something you can give me guidance on.

Thanks in advance!


  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    edited December 2020
    Does the gauge ever move? It's unlikely you are running at the high pressure it is indicating. Your boiler should be running at no higher than 1.5 - 2 psi.

    But having said that, when was the last time the boiler was serviced, especially cleaning out the "pigtail" that the pressuretrol is attached to? You want to make sure the pressuretrol can "see" the pressure in your boiler.

    You have an additive pressuretrol. I would set it to its lowest setting (about .5 psi cut-in on the front indicator). The inside dial looks correct, it should be set to "1" with the "1" facing you as your look at it. That would make it cut out the boiler at nominally 1.5 psi (but in practice it's often a bit higher, like 2psi)

    This site has pretty nice image posting and displaying. See if you can edit your original post to include the photos. Look for the little tools above the post when you're editing it. One is a photo.

    PS: welcome to HH, fellow NJ steam person!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 247
    I've found the 0-30 PSI gauge is unreliable. It's just about a given that it's inaccurate. Useless in many cases. Mine stopped working after a skim some time back and perpetually reads 4 PSI now no matter what.

    That being said, if it were me I would do a few things to get on track:
    - The tiny bit of sight glass I can see looks dirty. Might do with a cleaning.
    - Gather up the EDR of all the radiators you have attached - I have a spreadsheet for mine.
    - Consider adding a low pressure gauge in line with the pressuretol - 0-3 PSI is what I have. This will tell you what pressure you're actually running at.
  • deyrup
    deyrup Member Posts: 62
    My 0-30 PSI does not work at all; is your pressuretroll level? It looks like it is not from the picture
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 247
    A few degrees off from level/plumb shouldn't matter here, it's a micro switch type rather than older mercury bulb type. More importantly is the pigtail clear and showing the pressure to the pressuretol diaphragm? If the pigtail is plugged up all bets are off.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,060
    edited December 2020
    You should first look at your pressure relief valve tag.
    It should say 15 PSI. If you were actually running at that 17 or near it the valve should pop open and steam up the room and anyone near it.....danger!

    What does the gauge read when boiler is off cooling down?
    If it actually goes down to 0, that is a concern.
  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,177
    I haven’t found a functional gauge on any of those ECR boilers yet unless there brand new. They all always seem broke literally.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    NJ Master HVACR Lic# 4630
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey


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