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Steam Problem

MattVMattV Posts: 27Member
Ok

Problem 1
I have one radiator that never seems to heat it is the rad furthest away from the boiler on the first floor. I have the vent wide open I can hear it hissing but it never heats unless I turn the heat way in the house.

Problem 2
My vents have been hissing like crazy I have replaced all of them and they are still hissing. They seem to kind of churp alot like a bird.

Problem3
The pipes bang like crazy at night. Sounds like there is a band playing in my basement.

I did have the asbestos removed and will be reinsulating the pipes. Will this correct most of the problems above? Where can I find the correct insulation for steam pipes? How can I get a good heating person to come and look at my system? I have called two people and no one seames to want to get back to me. Does anyone know anything about steam heat anymore?

Please help.

Comments

  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,368Member
    Check the vent on the end of the main

    It's either too small or missing completely. Measure the length and diameter of each steam main and we can tell you what's needed.

    The proper insulation for steam pipes is fiberglass, 1-inch thick. This is made in 3-foot lengths that open at the side and fit over the pipe. Home centers don't carry it in 2-inch and larger, you'll have to go thru a contractor.

    Where is the banging coming from? Did it start when the asbestos was removed?

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  • will smith_2will smith_2 Posts: 49Member
    steam problems

    Matt- As far as the one radiator not heating all the way across, make sure the valve is all the way open. Assuming it is, what size vent is on it? You might try a vent with an adjustable port and set it to the largest opening to get that rad to heat before the boiler cycles off. Next, what about your main vents? If the main vent(s) is bad or missing, the boiler will come up to pressure before all the rads heat up properly as well. How's the quality of the water? Does the water line bounce? The banging can be caused by a whole slew of things, but insulating the pipes is a good start. Regular fiberglass pipe insulation is fine. The problems you listed are as common as nails, and most likely not that difficult to solve-post where you live, and I'm sure one of us could help out with a good steam tech. We may be a rare species, but there are still those among us that LOVE steam!
  • MattVMattV Posts: 27Member


    Hi there

    Thank you for getting back to me. It has been really hard finding people who really know about steam heating.

    I have two main vents one measures 60" in Length and about 1 1/4" in diameter the other main measures 62" in length and also 1 1/4" in diameter. I replaced both vents with vent rite #35 main air vents. I do notice that the longer vent does not heat as well as the shorter vent sometimes the shorter one is hot and the longer is cold.

    Thank you

    MattV
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,368Member
    Matt, what I need

    is the diameter of the pipe used in the steam mains. If it's 1-1/4", you are probably measuring either a return line or the vent itself. The smallest usual main was 2-inch, whose outside diameter is 2-1/4-inch.

    Also, do the radiators on your system have two pipes hooked to them, or just one?

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
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    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • MattVMattV Posts: 27Member
    Main Vents


    I was measuring the wrong Pipes the main is 2 1/4". How should I measure the Length. That may be a stupid question but I don't to much about my system. Is there a diagram I can look at to tell me how to measure the length? I have a one pipe system.

    Matt
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,368Member
    Measuring Length

    Start where the 2-1/4" outside diameter pipe (which is 2-inch inside) leaves the near-boiler piping, and end at the drip (vertical pipe going down near floor before returning to the boiler) or dry return (overhead pipe going back to the boiler with no radiators connected to it) connects to the main.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Mad DogMad Dog Posts: 2,595Member
    We'll Matthew you have unearthed the Mother Lode

    This is the Deadmen's Steam Society. We are Charter members. I'm sure one of us is nearby. The Mad Dog of The New York Metropolitan Area. Steamhaed will set u straight. Mad Dog
  • MattVMattV Posts: 27Member


    Ok

    Hope this is right I measured on one main to be 34Ft 8" and the other 31Ft 11". Do you want me to post some pictures?

    Matt
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,368Member
    OK, you need

    a pair of Gorton #1 or Hoffman #75 vents at the end of each main. Four vents in all. You can add tees and elbows to the vent risers to pipe two vents to each one. All vents must be mounted vertically, and the pipes must be installed so they will not collect water.

    This should allow both mains to fill with steam in about a minute, measured from the point at which the boiler starts producing steam.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • MattVMattV Posts: 27Member
    Steam

    Ok

    Im an Idiot when it comes to piping what are tees and elbows should I have a tech do that? I only have two main vents on the system are you saying I should add more.

  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,368Member
    If you're not that familiar with piping

    it would be best to have a pro do it. Try the Find a professional page of this site to locate one near you. If you're in the Baltimore area, contact me!

    Yes, you should have two vents on each main. The models I listed will, when used two to a main, give you the needed capacity.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
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