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Big List Of Single Pipe Questions

First off, let me say I have ordered the "Steamy Deal" and I am currently working my way through the three books. So far they are great. "We've Got Steam Heat" appeals to the recent homeowner side of me, while "The Lost Art Of Steam Heating" is a great read for the dorky engineer side. I am a firm believer that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, so here's my questions before I dig into anything.

1. Bleeding the boiler. Do I have to do this, and how often? So far, I haven't seen any mention of bleeding the boiler on this site or in the books but I have been told this is must (every Sunday morning).

2. Replacing Vents - Which kind to buy? I am looking at Hoffman and Gorton currently. I think I am going to order from State Supply Company. Any advice?

3. Here's the first hard question. The radiators I have are decorative style. They have the vents on the inside, and cover over the top. I can't remove the covers, which are currently under a windowsill without tipping the top of the radiator away from the wall ~1/4". This seems like a bad idea, and I am afraid I might damage a pipe. Any thoughts? One of the vents is stuck open, and really needs to be replaced.

4. I live in the Rochester NY area. Anyone have good professional for me? I don't think I need any mahor work at this point, but I wouldn't mind having someone look the system over. Rochester has a fair amount of old houses, so I would assume there must be someone pretty good in the area.

Thanks in advance for any help. Sorry if these questions are repeats that you hear all the time.


  • Bill Nye_2
    Bill Nye_2 Member Posts: 538

    Dan has special books with bigger print and smaller words just for engineers, ONLY KIDDING. I love engineer jokes.

    1, The " bleeding" part. You must be referring to flushing the LWCO? Skip to the part in the book about low water cut offs. You want to keep the sediment clear in this control so it will operate in the event of a low water situation.

    You never want to purposely add fresh water unless it necessary. Fresh water has minerals and oxygen and stuff.

    A 1/4" ? that ain't nothing, it is better than a leaking vent.

    Did you try the find a contractor feature on this site? you just type in a zip code. try the link

  • Chuck Sorce
    Chuck Sorce Member Posts: 17

    As far as the "bleeding" was concerned, I guess I am actually flushing the boiler water level control. It's says I should do this once a week, and each week the water is pretty dirty that I flush out of it. The corrosion is exactly what I am worried about.

    I did find one contractor, 99.2 miles away, so he just made it. He's in Canada, but I guess he could come across the border in a pinch.

    I really wish the radiator tops weren't so hard to get to. If leaning them forward isn't a big problem, I guess I'll try to tend to my "tea kettle" as soon as I decide on a vent.

  • Bill Nye_2
    Bill Nye_2 Member Posts: 538
    You want

    You want to make sure the LWCO does actually stop the burner.

    Too bad there is no one closer.
  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317

    Flushing the low water cut off is indeed a good idea, doing it with the burner running is good also as the burner should stop when the level drops and you should see a drop in the sightglass. For a real test once a season at least get the burner running and slowly drain water from the bottom boiler drain to make sure the LWCO will work without the force of a flush. I don't know what your radiator covers look like but I would get the dremel out with a cut off wheel and make sure I changed the vent. A little paint and no one will see it.
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