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new to steam heat-new boiler install not piped correctly

Hello all, My wife and I recently purchased a 1920's home last november.My inspector failed us big time, also the guys doing the work for it to pass inspection on the sellers end failed us as well. Supposedly the boiler was working great but when we got the keys to the house and fired the boiler up it would cut off and water poured out of it.Had someone come out and found a big hole in the boiler.Luckily we had it written in the contract that they'd have to reimburse us if it wasn't working right since they apparently couldn't run the boiler long due to there being low oil in the tank.LIES LIES LIES.Also had to get the chimney rebuilt from the roof up and a new liner put in.Ok getting to the point, with the little money we were given back and after draining all our savings to buy the home we were left with one choice, to get it replaced using the lowest bidder that was recommended.I knew we were in for an unpleasant experience but with low funds and winter here with no heat and kids we had to get it done.Took him 2 weeks after the new boiler showed up to get it installed.Would show up and work an hour and leave and not show up until days later.He brought no help to get the new boiler in or old boiler out of the basement and was unprepared to where i had to tell him to get a dolly to move it.Ridiculous!!!We converted from oil to gas for the long run and cheaper fuel bills.I had to clean up the wiring on the boiler since it was a rats nest and had to rerun the main electrical line to the shut off switch since it was unshielded just dangling down from the joists.Only one drain on the boiler which is on the wet return.No automatic water feeder,no way to properly clean the boiler out,pressure troll was set to 5lbs which i backed all the way down,sight glass valves were shut which i opened.Not many real steam specialists out here.The newer guys aren't being trained on steam systems is what im told.Been doing my research and plan on buying the lost art of steam heating book and really doing my homework and tackling this problem myself.I will try and find a consultant and pitch to them what i plan on doing before doing anything.Plan is to rip out my steam baseboard heaters on the first floor (living room and dining room) and replace with traditional cast iron radiators which are properly sized for the spaces since they'll hold the heat longer.Upstairs is all traditional cast iron radiators and they hold the heat well.The kitchen is an ice box with one radiator under the sink which only heats up that area of the kitchen.None of the trunk lines are insulated and they don't have vents.So ill redo the near boiler piping and add vents and insulate the trunk lines as well.Also my sons room which is the furthest from the boiler spits water.Feel free to chime in with ideas and tips.Again I know better than to try and tackle this without extensive research and consulting.Don't really have many options to get the right people out here and on a budget at that.






Comments

  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,291
    Where are you located? Have you tried this link?
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,952
    Oh dear me. You do need qualified help in a big way. Somebody -- or somebodies -- had not clue what they were doing. Baseboards? A boiler piped up to left over bits on the truck? It doesn't even look like the boiler is sitting level? I don't even know where to begin. As @EzzyT says -- where are you? I hope we can find someone to get out there to help!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Nick_Vasquez
    Nick_Vasquez Member Posts: 4
    It's a mess guys.the baseboard heaters heat up quick but really don't hold the heat.it to the point where the upstairs is so hot we have to leave to doors open at night and the downstairs has a chill.I think I can salvage most of the trunk lines and just rework them a little.But the near boiler piping is garbage.Saw our gas bill and its ridiculous.can't wait until spring to get this mess sorted out.Already told my wife her kitchen updates going to have to wait a little longer.Im in south eastern PA.My dad has a guy but not sure how much he knows about steam heat.He is licensed and works with boilers for a living.even with all of our issues i still like steam heat.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,353
    This is who I'd recommend if you can get to come to your locale:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/profile/Steamhead
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    mattmia2Turbo Dave
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,952
    This ^^^. He travels, and he's not that far away from you (Baltimore)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Turbo Dave
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,701
    @EzzyT & @Steamhead

    if your donating count me in. 
  • Nick_Vasquez
    Nick_Vasquez Member Posts: 4
    Ill definitely look him up.thanks for the recommendation
  • Who recommended the installer? That person also failed you big time!
    You could go with cast iron baseboards, which are more suited to steam, as long as they are piped individually. Real radiators are better though.—NBC
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,469

    Who recommended the installer? That person also failed you big time!
    You could go with cast iron baseboards, which are more suited to steam, as long as they are piped individually. Real radiators are better though.—NBC

    Isn't that baseray they they have, although it doesn't look like much of it per room.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,353
    Burnham doesn't recommend using Baseray on a one pipe system and proper slope has to be maintained for condensate drainage on a two pipe system. That can limit the length used.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    mattmia2ethicalpaul
  • Jon_blaney
    Jon_blaney Member Posts: 314
    Does your state have a contractors board? If so, file a complaint. Did you go after the inspector as well?
    mattmia2
  • Nick_Vasquez
    Nick_Vasquez Member Posts: 4
    At the time due to covid and the time frame that we had to move to the house we went though the real estate companies people they use.The person who installed the boiler was a guy recommended by a (not our) agent.They used him when they would flip houses for their own profit.Honestly if it weren't for us needing heat with little children in our home he would have been fired at the start.And no I dont think he was a contractor just some "handyman".He was not reliable and took him 3 weeks after the boiler showed up to install it.And it is poorly done.You get what you pay for and we were scraping funds together just to get that put in so I mean we really didn't have the option to go to a reliable quality installer.The base ray baseboard steam heaters line the exterior of the downstairs in the living and dining rooms, they just don't hold the heat which is why they are going when I find the proper sized cast iron radiators.The existing trunk lines along the boiler wall look ok but don't have any vents and aren't insulated.We add water every other day to the boiler and check it every day.C'mon spring so I can get this sorted out.Going to have to fix it in stages.First fix the near boiler piping,then gut the baseboard heaters and put in traditional radiators,then insulate all the piping.Should all be good to go by next winter.But for now it "works" ill just keep a close eye on it until either the spring or if we get a warm spell to where I can afford to not have heat in the house.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,346
    Base ray is fine for steam but needs to be hooked up two pipe for it to work
  • Jon_blaney
    Jon_blaney Member Posts: 314
    You may want to talk to your building official. Some handyman should not be installing a boiler.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,469
    You need to figure out where that water is going as well. That will kill a boiler in short order.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,736
    Thanks for the kind words, all.

    @Nick_Vasquez , shoot me an e-mail at allsteamedup at verizon dot net .
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    ksd99