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Steam boiler replacement

Contractor recommends re-setting basement pipes to solve water hammer but must remove all asbestos insulation first. Only one pipe section is causing WH but recommends removing all asbestos.
Since Steam (gas) boiler is 35 years old he recommends replacement. Boiler woking now but need to manually add water every other day during cold snaps, e.g. temps in teens an 20s. No signs of visable water leaking from boiler.
One pipe system.
Obviously need to get a second contractor to assess system but looking for input.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,952
    I doubt very much that you need to reset all the pipes in the basement to fix water hammer. You do need to find the pipe that is the problem and fix that, though -- somewhere there is a near horizontal pipe which either doesn't slope enough, has a sag, or something of the sort.

    If you decide to remove the asbestos rather than encapsulate it, be sure to replace the insulation. I recommend 1 inch fibreglass -- not the stuff sold in the big box, which is almost worthless.

    If you are adding water every other day, you have some minor leaks somewhere. Packing around valve stems. Vents which aren't closing completely. A weep at a threaded fitting. It might be a leak in or near the boiler, but I'd chase the easy stuff first.

    And do find a competent contractor. Steam is a slightly specialized line of work, and not all contractors can do it with much success. Have you checked "Find a Contractor" on this site? Or just tell us where you are located -- we may know someone in your area.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jerrykane123
    jerrykane123 Member Posts: 2
    Many thanks for the comment, especially since I am a newbie. My location is western suburban Philly (for recommended contractors).