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no steam on second floor

It depends. If the system worked fine before (if anyone knows) and this is the only changed variable, that would narrow it down.

If the sum of connected system radiation and piping, plus the hot water radiation is less than the boiler output, it is less likely.

A factor, sure, for it contributes to the demand.


    BOB CASS Member Posts: 3

    I'm a service tech for a natural gas utility co, last week I did a service call(annual inspection) for a customer with a steam boiler, one pipe system, I found the boiler to be a little old but fairly maintained. I gave it a good flush, cleaned the inside of the pig-tail, cleaned the glass and ran it. it seemed ok, while talking with the customer she advised me that her bills were very high (about $1200.00/month) and her electric bills were about $600.00 per month. After talking with her she told me her second floor had no heat in any of the radiators and she was using plug in oil filled radiators. I looked closer and found this, the house is built circa 1700's, has a one pipe system, one thermostat for the steam, and someone added an addition to the boiler with a circulator taking the water from the bottom of the boiler, none of the pipes in the basement are insulated, neither is the house, I also found that every radiator had the vents replaced on them on the second floor. She said her plumber did this. The customer actually said that she wouldnt care about paying bills that high if she could get her heat on the second floor higher than 55 dregrees... I was called out to a gas leak before I could really do anything with the boiler, but I was thinking about the job.My thoughts are this, one problem is that the water taken from the bottom of the boiler is preventing the water from getting too hot to make the proper amount of steam, thinking that I might be able to increase the pressure to about 1 1/2 pounds to give the upper radiators proper steam........???? Not too sure if that is the right way to do it....I have to go back and run the system soon........any help greatly appreciated....
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,031
    could be alot of things

    could be bad balancing, could be a hole in the boiler above the water line..bad pipe pitch, could be lots of things...you'll have to study the situation well, and the company will have to give you the time to do this..

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  • Brad White_125
    Brad White_125 Member Posts: 28
    Where to start?

    Firstly, there is no reason to increase the pressure. That will cause more problems that it would purport to solve.

    Yes, insulate the piping. I also suspect a venting issue, not only the radiators but the main vents also- are you even getting the air out of the way?

    Also have to ask- I find it unusual that you would get no steam up there; are the hand valves even open? Fully open is the only "open" option by the way.

    Larger questions such as, what is the connected radiation in EDR compared to the steam output of the boiler in EDR?

    How does the radiation compare to the heat loss of the house? (And larger question still, how much would insulating reduce the heat loss for the long term?)

    And how much radiation is served from below the waterline?

    Much to think about- a few questions that come to mind.

    You should also check out Dan's book "We Got Steam Heat!" among others under the "Shop" tab above. It can help you now and help you long-term. I own them myself and have no stake in the matter. I simply recommend them.

    Many other will have far more detailed ideas, different ideas and maybe, just maybe, the magic bullet... I personally suspect a number of factors in collusion at this point..
    BOB CASS Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for the ideas, do you suspect that one of the problems is the circulator that was added to the boiler to take water from the system is also a problem?
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