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Who Gets To Work on Steam?

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 594
edited November 2021 in THE MAIN WALL
imageWho Gets To Work on Steam?

Everyone who wants to gets to work on steam-heating systems. And that's not always a good thing. In the business of messing with old steam systems, we've seen it all.

Read the full story here



  • BradHotNCold
    BradHotNCold Member Posts: 69
    Even homeowners!
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,507
    It must me nice to go to bed every night knowing that, no matter how bad you screw it up, someone else will fix it. On their dime.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,791

    This is just like the picture at the top of this posting, which is an up feed system.

    This is a down feed from the attic (thankfully no vent in the attic as this is 2 pipe).

    So this "P" trap is reversed. ;)

    This drop lost it's drip in some remodeling.

    But surprisingly it does heat without hammer. (2 psi or so).
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,399
    Retired and loving it.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,418

    Even homeowners!

    At least homeowners are at least aware that the instructions exist even if they don't understand them.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,791
    I bet mine heats better than yours.....your rad is sloped the wrong way.....but then you have better looking flooring. :)
  • Dave in QCA
    Dave in QCA Member Posts: 1,777
    I had to smile when I read your comments on the HeatTimer sensor locations. The comparable system from Tekmar show a proper location for the sensor on 1-pipe steam, but on 2-pipe, they show that it should be installed on the condensate return line on the radiator furthers from the boiler. This, of course, would cause HUGE swings in building temperature, the opposite of the HeatTimer and/or Tekmar are supposed to do. Every now and then, thankfully not often, the instructions are just dead wrong.
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,399
    Good one, Dave. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • SgtMaj
    SgtMaj Member Posts: 22
    I ran across a hot water radiator the other day that was piped similarly to your photo Dan. It had 5 elbows a mass of nipples and a union. This was the return side of a hot water radiator.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,399
    I suppose that’s what he had on the truck. 🤫
    Retired and loving it.
  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 958
    Great stories! The chemical story reminded me of what was a new client for me almost 15 years ago. They had signed up for a chemical contract but there wasn’t any sign of a mixing station, dosing pumps or anything else other than a big glass measuring cup. Same as your situation- they decided to put a month’s worth of sodium hydroxide in all in one dose. That’s when I was referred in.

    Let me put it this way: I’m glad I wasn’t there to witness a 120HP Scotch marine heating boiler eject it’s water contents into the header and 8” two story tall main. The entire massive assembly literally jumped with a water hammer that shook this sizable building.

    Apparently a clean change of shorts was the order of the day.

    You can’t take a month’s worth of medication on one day. Same is true of boiler chemicals!

    Darn good stories, indeed. Thanks Dan!
    Dave in QCA
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,399
    Good one, Terry! Thanks for sharing.
    Retired and loving it.
    Dave in QCA
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 14,951

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Dave in QCA
  • DavidDow_2
    DavidDow_2 Member Posts: 11
    We get to see what geniuses do. Sometimes quite dangerous, like installing boilers without permits, inspections or 30# relief valves.
    I have had to call the local inspector to see big problems. This way I don't get hung for the knuckehead's poor work. A behind saver.
    Also, nearly all steam boilers I service have been improperly installed and/or overfired by others.
    The Hacks call us dinosaurs. We call them Hacks!
  • Steamfighter49
    Steamfighter49 Member Posts: 15
    Don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a post more. It beats all the customers I had who covered the air intakes to the boiler rooms to save energy in the 70s & 80s. We made big bucks cleaning air starved boilers. And of course they used more fuel.
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 612
    Or maybe not.........

    I have a customer with almost 100 YO DHW and steam condensate vacuum return piping that developed some leaks.

    Customer calls in a plumbing company, gets their repair quote, gives the okay and deposit payment.

    After plumbers complete repairs to DHW leaks, they back out of repairing the condensate return leaks saying to the effect "we can't take liability for getting air in these pipes".

    Hmm....... I wonder.......
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
    Dave in QCAttekushan_3
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,507
    If that was their concern, they did the right thing...

    Assuming, of course, they adjusted the cost appropriately.

    Dave in QCA