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Steam 2 pipe system phase two help

JoshP Member Posts: 46
This is a follow up to this thread:

<a href="http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/145502/Steam-boiler-2-pipe-system-questions/success">http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/145502/Steam-boiler-2-pipe-system-questions/success</a>

I appreciate all the help I've been given so far. I was able to convince my wife I needed to bring my air impact gun and air line in the house. To get the caps off most traps i also had to use my propane torch to heat the body.

I have replaced all but two trap elements. I found one that didn't have the element in the trap, the others I replaced with new ones. My system seems to be running well with a few exceptions.

At start up when the steam starts to travel the first radiator on one side of the main clanks and bangs now. Never did before. It's on the second floor. Only thing I did to it was replace the trap element and remove the air vent someone had on it. The clanging only last for a couple seconds but is loud. It's in the riser pipes not the rad. Would assume water is sitting somewhere in the riser since it also makes the gushing sound while boiler is running? And idea how to correct this?

Four of the five second floor rads have water valves on them instead of stem valves on them. Will this make a big difference and should I buy steam valves and replace them?

How do I get rid of the gushing sound in the risers in the wall for the second floor rads? None of the first floor rads make this notice. Is it possible water sits in elbow before the pipes run up the wall to the rads? Is there a correction for this?


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    edited March 2013
    gushing too enthusiastically

    is the gushing in the supply pipe, or return?

    in a 2-pipe system, the dry steam should be entering the radiator on one side, and the condensate should be leaving from the other side.if there is water in the supplies, then:

    is the water clean, and the waterline steady?

    are the supply pipes insulated?

    is the pressure low-8 ounces?, as it is a vapor system.

    is the boiler piped correctly?

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,156
    Check all

    your pipe pitches!  What are you describing suggests very strongly that somewhere along the line to that radiator there is a section of horizontal pipe which is too horizontal -- or even pitched the wrong way.  It doesn't take much.  Find that piece and fix it (which may be a good deal easier said than done) and you may find your problem has gone away.

    While you're at it, check all the other lines as well.  You may find that there are others which aren't adequately pitched.  That could be the source of the rushing sounds; worth a look anyway.

    As to the valves, well, steam valves are better -- and will last longer -- but that is very much in the if it ain't broke, don't fix it category.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JoshP
    JoshP Member Posts: 46
    Pipe pitch

    All mains are insulated. Pressuretrol is as low as it can be set. Water is clean and steady and does not surge during operation.

    Jamie, all mains are aggesively pitched. the horizontal braches from the mains that go into the verticles for the second floor rads are not pitched if any at all. That may be where the problem is. The only way I can see to help with the pitch of those horizontal pipes that go into the vericle pipes is put wedges or shims under the supply side of the rads. This may pull up on the horizontal pipes in the basement. Think that will work or is there another option?

    I would assume this is a common problem with the settling of 80+ year old houses....
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,156
    A very common problem

    in older houses is for those laterals to lose their pitch -- if they ever had any to begin with!  Depending on the length, you might want to check for sags, too.  You wouldn't think that a nice big iron pipe could sag, but they do.

    And yes, about the only way I know of to fix the problem is to shim up the radiators, assuming it's not a sag.  I have found that they don't have to go up very far, usually -- you don't need the full pitch that is stated in Lost Art -- just some, and no sags.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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