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need expert contractor in Lowell, MA area

galpy
galpy Member Posts: 4
I am in need of an expert steam heat contractor who will service the Lowell, MA area. My one pipe steam heat system is 82 years old with a 19 year old boiler and the system works fine. My probelm is rust throughout the system. It clogs the sight glass so the boiler water level doesn't register in the sight glass. It is impossible to know how much water to add when the level is low. I am pretty sure that some of the main pipes that lead to the upstairs need to be replaced since they have rust on the outside (i.e. are rusting from the inside.) I have convectors instead of radiators. If anyone knows of an expert in my area, please let me know! Thank you !

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,678
    @galpy

    Maybe @New England SteamWorks and try "find a contractor " on this site
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,593
    Or @Charlie from wmass -- either one is good. Both are busy.

    How does rust on the outside indicate rusting from the inside? It doesn't -- but it may indicate a leak in a fitting dripping down the outside, or even a leak in a radiator valve stem.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • galpy
    galpy Member Posts: 4
    Thakyou to Jamie Hall -- I will give New England Steam Works a call!
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 321
    I also recommend New England Steam Works. They take care of my boiler and do an excellent job! True experts, just be prepared for a bit of a wait...they are busy!
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 648
    Ditto @New England SteamWorks if he is willing to go that far north.
  • Zipper13
    Zipper13 Member Posts: 211
    edited October 9
    NE Steamworks has told me a couple times that Essex County is too far for them, though I have to believe that for the right size job that might be negotiable . EDIT: NESW clarified the extents of their service areas below and I was incorrect!

    Charlie from Western Ma has told me he'll head out his way if/when I next need something done.

    I was satisfied with the cleaning/flush out that Cadotte Plumbing out of Medford or Melrose did for me when I moved in after several years of boiler neglect ( I think he's listed on the find a contractor page here). He did say that he does new steam installs and re-pipes too, though I didn't have need for those services at the time so can't directly vouch for that.
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • galpy
    galpy Member Posts: 4
    Thank you to all who have responded to my inquiry!
    I've submitted a request for service to NE Steamworks. And will call Cadotte Plumbing. I'm hoping that I can find someone who can replace pipes or offer some other long term solution to my aging system.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,426
    Essex county is pretty big. It's about traffic, not distance. Those parts that are reached via 95 (the eastern 2/3rds) are a no-go for us. Traffic is unbearable. The western half reachable by 93 and 495 are fine. Lowell is 495 and actually not in Essex. But as always, we are jammed.
    Zipper13 said:

    NE Steamworks has told me a couple times that Essex County is too far for them, though I have to believe that for the right size job that might be negotiable .

    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Zipper13
    Zipper13 Member Posts: 211

    Essex county is pretty big. It's about traffic, not distance. Those parts that are reached via 95 (the eastern 2/3rds) are a no-go for us. Traffic is unbearable. The western half reachable by 93 and 495 are fine. Lowell is 495 and actually not in Essex. But as always, we are jammed.

    Zipper13 said:

    NE Steamworks has told me a couple times that Essex County is too far for them, though I have to believe that for the right size job that might be negotiable .

    Thanks for clarifying! Totally makes sense. And I have to say I'm embarrassed that I never realized Lowell wasn't in Essex County :#
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch
  • galpy
    galpy Member Posts: 4
    I'm glad NE Steamworks comes up 495! I submitted a request via the online form, so keep me on your list!
    Thank you !
  • gfrbrookline
    gfrbrookline Member Posts: 648
    Since New England Steam Works wont go that far north, understandably given Boston traffic and they come from RI, you can try MacFarlane Energy in Dedham. They have a tech nicknamed boomer who is pretty good with steam.
  • Zipper13
    Zipper13 Member Posts: 211
    edited October 9

    Since New England Steam Works wont go that far north, understandably given Boston traffic and they come from RI, you can try MacFarlane Energy in Dedham. They have a tech nicknamed boomer who is pretty good with steam.

    New England Steamworks clarified above - I spoke out of turn and I was in error in supposing that because I was too far (being on the North Shore), that Lowell would be too, but it's totally different roads and traffic patterns to get up there vs my neck of the woods on 95/128! Which honestly, I have to agree with!
    New owner of a 1920s home with steam heat north of Boston.
    Just trying to learn what I can do myself and what I just shouldn't touch