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Steam heat. Basement TOO HOT..insulated supply line, what about return lines?

LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
Hello and good morning all!

Single line Steam

I have spend few dollars to make sure the basement is well insulated, no cold air from outside get in, except one place to have enough draft for the oil burner. Since then, my basement gets way too hot and its get to a point very uncomfortable.. ( I generally like no more than 65 F)...

As as the pictures indicate, instead of buying expensive commercially manufactured fiberglass insulation specifically for steam pipes (which is kinda expensive, and not so king to my eyes with the appeal of them.. so I bought R13, tie them with tie wire, then to make it look little nice, used heat shielding wrap...these insulation are on Supply line.



fortunately, the person who build this house, or somebody had decided to leave the return lines above ground... I notice these return lines also get hot... really hot...hot enough to get burned... if you accidentally have contact with return line.



Should I insulate the return lines too?

Thank you!
@LS123
Steam Heat Enthusiast
-- In Learning Mode --
"Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
*Always Safety First*
** Not Everything Is DIY**
***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 14,792
    No -- you should find out why the return lines are getting that hot. They shouldn't. That is an indication that steam is getting into them somewhere...
    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
    LS123mattmia2
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,861
    Two pipes on the radiators or just one?
    Where are your air vents?
    Any traps anywhere?

    More pictures of your boiler, showing piping from floor to ceiling from all sides possible, may help.
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    thanks @Jamie Hall ... its been like that for a while... I thought it was normal for return pipe to get as hot as supply line...
    @JUGHNE Attached are the pics...boiler is a old giant..about 4 feet plus tall,, i would say sides are at least 2 feet... single steam line... there are two main vents in the basement.... one of them almost everyday make hissing noise,,, the other has not made single noice or venting sound
    * pic number one and two are on one line...this is the main vent that hiss almost daily...
    * pic #3 is main supply line i would say 2 or 3 inch size, split to two, sone going to heat one side of the house, and the other going to the other side of the house... each side has 5 steam radiators
    * pic #4 is the other main vent... never seems to make a noise... perhaps it may be so old and rusted inside.. preventing it from venting
    *** I was going to replace the boiler... after spending time on this forum... I decided to keep it until it no longer can be maintained.... its been at this house 70 years... i hope 30 more will be good enough :smiley:

    I do plan to have a one of the certified consultants from this site to have evaluate the boiler, replace all the shut off valves on each heater, replace one old tall radiator with a short wide one... I hope I can get @Charlie from wmass in couple of months to evaluate the system.









    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    @Jamie Hall .... i was wondering, what type of conditions would make return line get hot as much as supply lines? is it a sign of bad vents on the radiators?,,, this single line steam is based on gravity return line...
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,158
    @LS123 that is normal for one pipe returns. 
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    LS123
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    thanks @Charlie from wmass ... I will contact you to set up a visit in a month or two base on your schedule... I believe you cover litchfield county CT... I an near Winsted CT, and New Hartford CT
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,158
    I cover all of CT. 
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    LS123
  • LS123LS123 Member Posts: 212
    cool thank you @Charlie from wmass ! got your cell and i can also reach out to you via this forum....
    @LS123
    Steam Heat Enthusiast
    -- In Learning Mode --
    "Trust But Verify" <-- Suzanne Massie, an American scholar
    *Always Safety First*
    ** Not Everything Is DIY**
    ***Quest For Knowledge Is Important ***


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