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Steam Heating problems

soot_seeker_2 Member Posts: 228
The circulator must be a beefy one made of bronze, like a B & G Series 100. Otherwise, the condensate will eat it up every year. I have a boiler room with old pumps stacked up like cord wood.

The water should enter and leave the boiler at points far from each other to acquire the most heat.

Long Beach Ed


  • Kevin_41
    Kevin_41 Member Posts: 1
    Steam Heating Problems

    I recently purchase a mutli family house with 3 units. 1 unit on the 2nd floor and 2 units on the 1st. The home is heated by a single steam system, with the thermostat on the 2nd floor. The main problem I am having is that the 2nd floor is reaching the set temperature of 70, but the lower apartments are staying around 64. Some of the radiators are getting hot and other luke warm. Most of the radiators are only heating halfway. All have new valves that allow the radiators to be set from 1-8. How can I better balance the heat? Why would some radiators only be heating half way? Should I have the termostat moved to a lower floor? Thank You
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    First thing to check

    is the vents on the steam mains. Measure the length and diameter of each main and tell us what vent is on the end of the main. We can tell you if you need to upgrade.

    These vents have the job of ridding the main of air quickly, so steam can reach each radiator at about the same time.

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  • John@Reliable_10
    John@Reliable_10 Member Posts: 99
    What steamhead said plus.................

    You will need to find a contractor who understands steam. They should be able to get the whole house the same temperate by adjusting the venting rates for each radiator. This is easier said than done. What’s happening now is the radiators close to the thermostat are being satisfied before the others can heat up, adjusting the vent flows would help keep the tenets happy.
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,184
    One tip...

    After you get this system functioning properly, get rid of the thermostat and replace it with a remote unit in the basement. Then use a hidded temperature sensor, that looks like a wall plate.

    Tekmar makes this stuff and it's great for landlords.

    Long Beach Ed
  • chris_72
    chris_72 Member Posts: 1
    steam boiler with hot h20 circ. pump

    A friend of mine has a steam boiler in a two story 1 family home. He had installed for the bsmt.heating, a circ. pump for base board heating to circ. condensate. His problem is the pump keeps on burning out and also says the water never really gets hot. Does this sound like an electrical problem or a bad design. Also the pump is running the proper way.
  • RonWHC
    RonWHC Member Posts: 232
    If the pump is

    pumping from the bottom of the boiler to the radiation, & is not cavitating; this is what I would do.

    Go to a reputable pump supply company w/ the required gpm & feet of head. Ask for a 3 piece pump to match the specs. Cast iron is OK. Have them remove the plastic impeller, replace w/ a bronze impeller, & a Viton shaft seal. Then, before installing the pump, fit the incoming line w/ a wye strainer & drain valve. That is to intercept the crud lurking in the steam boiler's bottom.

    If everything else is as it should be, that pump should do the job.
  • one pipe steam?

    Hi Kevin,

    I take it that you have a one pipe steam system with new radiator vents (valves) that are adjustable between 1 to 8. That refers to the size of the hole that the air is passing through as the radiator heats up and cools down. The thermostatic element in the vent closes the hole at the presence of steam and most vents have a float feature that closes the hole at the presence of water.

    That hole size is important in your style system. It controls the rate of air removal from the radiator when the boiler starts making steam. The bigger the hole..the faster the air leaves..the faster the steam gets to the radiator..the warmer that radiator will get during the boiler cycle.

    You can sometimes balance a system by just adjusting the vents. In your case, set the vents higher (to a bigger hole size) on the first floor, lower on the second until it evens out. You may have to work at it awhile.

    I suspect that the radiators that only heat halfway across are adjusted to a low vent rate. The thermostat can stay where it is if it in a good location, ie. no drafts, sun effect, etc. It also needs to be adjusted for its cycle rate.

    Also, listen to Steamhead's advise about main venting. It is just as critical as the radiator venting. Properly sized main vents get the steam mains hot to the end quicker. That results in more even heating and lower energy costs.

    Best regards, Pat
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