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Heating System Prep

Glenn
Glenn Member Posts: 2
I am a landlord and own a steam, hot water and forced hot air systems all using natural gas. Is there anything I should be doing on an anual basis before the heating system?? Should I drain the water from the steam system, if so how often? My local plumber says never do it because new water has oxyegen in it that can cause rust. I do remove about 1 Quart per week from it during the heating season. Are there any good books that cover these three systems for novices? I did look at the books you have to offer and did not see anything good.

Comments

  • Glenn
    Glenn Member Posts: 2
    Heating System Prep

    I am a landlord and own a steam, hot water and forced hot air systems all using natural gas. Is there anything I should be doing on an anual basis before the heating season?? Should I drain the water from the steam system, if so how often? My local plumber says never do it because new water has oxyegen in it that can cause rust. I do remove about 1 Quart per week from it during the heating season. Are there any good books that cover these three systems for novices? I did look at the books you have to offer and did not see anything good.
  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395
    Sure

    Glenn,Other then writing out a check once a year to a professional to come out and clean and service correctly
    once a year I can not see of anything.Not trying to sound like a butthead,But there are some thing in life that should be left to a professional. don
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,726
    \"Removing about one quart per week\"

    from the steam system is probably what we call "blowing down" the low-water cutoff. This is essential on float-type cutoffs since they can fill with dirt, which could keep the float from dropping and stopping the burner if the water level got too low. And if the water gets too low, the boiler may crack.

    I'd get a copy of "The Lost Art of Steam Heating" which is chock-full of steam information, and "How Come" which does the same for hot-water. And they're both really good reading! Go to the Books and More page of this site to order them. They also come with a money-back guarantee.

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  • Glenn_2
    Glenn_2 Member Posts: 1
    Gee Thanks

    Open the phone book and call someone. I think we can do better than that. On the subject of completely flushing the steam boiler, one "expert" says NEVER do it and another "expert" says do it once per year. Can I get a third opinion to break the tie?
  • I say do it

    But you might not need to flush the whole boiler out every year. What we routinely do on a new install of a steam boiler is to add a steam boiler cleaner and let it run for a few days , then skim the boiler and clean the returns out thoroughly . Having a valve on the return before the Hartford Loop , if there is one , is a must for this to work . While the boiler steams , we shut the valve and open the drain on the return , watching all the black spooge be forced out . It usually takes a while , in hours , but itll clean out the whole system , and will usually give you a good running steam boiler for a few years at the minimum . And a good idea is to change the main vents and radiator vents on a routine basis , 3 or 4 years at a clip maybe .
  • keith
    keith Member Posts: 224
    3rd opinion

    READ the books mentioned above so that you will understand the hows and whys your differant systems operate. The float operated low water cut offs should be blown down once per week during the heating sysytem.Once per month in the off season if you operate the steam boiler for domestic hot water. Ran into a care taker who lost a steam boiler years ago because he failed to do this. It was his new mission in life to blow the snot out of the boiler every day.
  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395
    How about liability

    We had a landlord here in my neck of woods who was pretty handy I guess you can say.He cleaned is own equipment,Rent a house out to a family of five,could not get the pilot lit so he calls the gas company,because they do it for free.
    Well the chimney was clogged with loose brick blocking the flue,co back up into the house killing his wife and three kids,he fortunately lived by the grace of god.The guys get out the hospital and sue the landlord,the gas company,as well as the city.Rightfully so.NowI can understand blowing down the boiler pretty simple yes.But there more to it.Why
    not the phone book? Hire a professonal,get yourself a service agreement and go with peace of mind.don
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