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Apartment Steam Problems


I've just moved into an apartment and am having difficulty with my steam heat. I know that I need a heating professional to give the system a tune-up but I've called a couple and no one will look at the system without the landlord's consent. Problem is, my landlord is not responsive so I was hoping that you could share some quick, relatively easy fixes for me while I continue to pursue my landlord for more help.

The most obvious problem is that the water gauge is always full (I checked with the pencil trick I read about on the board) but the low-water cutoff keeps turning on. I've been adding very little water (for fear of flooding) to get the heat back on. Can I fix the water gauge? I have an Independence Series Burnam boiler. Currently the two screw-valves above and below the glass are open...is that how they should be set?

The last tenant complained to me on her way that her heating bills were rather high. When my heat is working, I have a lot of condensation collecting on my windows, walls and pretty much all surfaces. Clearly steam is leaking and I suspect this is why her bills were so high - am I correct?

I feel pretty alone in figuring this out in the short-term and appreciate any help.



  • Fred Harwood
    Fred Harwood Member Posts: 261
    Get help

    Get the landlord to fix that boiler, or move out. If you don't know boilers, you assume much liability if you attempt to repair it yourself.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,490

    when the low-water cutoff comes on is there water in the gauge glass?
    Retired and loving it.
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