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Steam heat system made worse by knuckleheads over the years
Hi everyone. I purchased a ca. 1928 house in Syracuse, NY with a two-pipe steam system last summer 2017. While we knew absolutely nothing about steam heat, we figured we wouldn't have anything to worry about because the boiler was only 5 years old! Well... we were wrong.
Our first winter in the house was a loud one. The first heating day last fall, the house wouldn't heat. I phoned the company who installed the new boiler for the previous owners (their sticker was proudly displayed on the boiler). Turns out it was a main steam vent that went bad. A few hundred bucks later, we had heat. Very noisy heat. There's an ENORMOUS water hammer in the main line at the beginning of every heat cycle that you hear throughout the house. Also a few of the second floor radiators have their own gurgling, banging and boiling noises each cycle. A phone call back to the heating company was met with the response, "Well, it's steam heat. The noise is the nature of the beast." They expected us to just deal with it.
It turns out that the previous homeowners (who owned the house since 1958) spent their winters in Florida and never knew there was a bad water hammer after the boiler was replaced.
After living with the noises for almost an entire season, a co-worker mentioned he used to have steam heat in his old house, and gave me the name of a guy he used for servicing his system. An older, retired guy. I called him up, and he said he'd come out to my house to take a look. He came out in late April 2018 when it was still cold here. He told me that I have a vacuum system with a Hartford loop, and he told me that the newer gas boiler in my house had a lower water line than the original boiler. He changed out a few steam traps on the upstairs radiators (not with the correct traps), which exacerbated the noise problem. Day 3 on the job, he got sick and said he'd call me back when he got better to replace the radiator traps with the correct ones and get rid of the water hammer on the main steam line. He never did. I found out recently that he ended up passing away. I never paid him, and I still have his ladder and few of his tools, and a couple new parts in my basement where he left them along with a photocopy to a few pages out of "The Lost Art of Steam Heat".
Long story short. I have a system that has been modified by knuckleheads over the years, and I need help to bring peace into the house during the heating season. I wasn't able to find a contractor on this website within 100 miles of Syracuse, NY. Anybody know of a contractor in the Central New York area who could help me silence my system? I need a contractor who can help diagnose and fix the noises, and fix anyting that prior knuckleheads have "fixed".