Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > HVAC

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-31-2009, 01:19 PM   #1
Electrician
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15
Share |
Default

steam heat issues


I'm new to having an account on the forum but have been reading other peoples questions and answers for sometime now and decided to best describe my situation I should just sign up. I posted this on plumbing too, because I wasn't sure which forum would best suit to help me out.

I have a one pipe steam heat system, with cast iron radiators that switch over from Iron pipe to copper in the basement. The problem is, it's only one zone so the upstairs does not seem to warm up as much as the downstairs. Our friend is staying with us and complains that it gets too cold at night. I have tried insulating the basement pipes, replacing the air pressure relief valve in the radiator itself and it still doesn't get warm enough.

I guess the problem is I'm trying to get the heat warmer without having to re-pipe the basement and put the upstairs on a new zone.

Any suggestions?

raggedbeefman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 9,401
Default

steam heat issues


Are the radiators upstairs getting hot? On a one pipe system it is very important that they be sloped slightly towards the end where the steam comes in or the condensate won't drain back properly. Raise the other end with a thin shim ( 25c/quarter) may be all it takes. Floors sometimes settle. Other posters have done this. Start with the simple tricks B4 repiping.

yuri is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
Electrician
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15
Default

steam heat issues


Thanks, I'll try that out, the pipes in the radiators are getting hot, it just doesn't seem like the blow out enough steam. I opened the valves up to let more out, and I heard the high pitched whistle letting air out when we moved in...I'll try to raise up the end with the valve on it to see if that helps.

Will post later on when the heat kicks on to say whether or not it worked
raggedbeefman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 9,401
Default

steam heat issues


Raise the opposite end to the valve.
yuri is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 02:09 PM   #5
Electrician
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15
Default

steam heat issues


it's pitched upward away from the floor, is that right?
raggedbeefman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 02:31 PM   #6
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 9,401
Default

steam heat issues


If the valve is on the right side when facing the rad, then the left side needs to be higher. When the steam gives up its heat it condenses into water which needs to drain back to the boiler. If not it gets "waterlogged" and more steam cannot enter.
yuri is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 02:37 PM   #7
Electrician
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15
Default

steam heat issues


ah, gotcha. The left side is where the pipe goes back towards the boiler, the valve is on the right side? Is the valve in the wrong place?
raggedbeefman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 02:41 PM   #8
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 9,401
Default

steam heat issues


Post a pic of it here. The one pipe system that I have seen only has a pipe on one end with a special fitting. I am not an expert on them. "Beenthere" seems to know a lot about them. Saw a episode of "This old house hour" where they recommended elevating the rad as the floor had sunk over time. Click on his name and send him a message if he does not see this post.
yuri is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 03:36 PM   #9
Electrician
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15
Default

steam heat issues


here is a picture of one of the upstairs heaters. Is there anyway you can upload and highlight where to elevate?


Thanks
Attached Thumbnails
steam heat issues-steam-heat.jpg  
raggedbeefman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 25,033
Default

steam heat issues


Thats a convector, not a radiator.

Is that vent adjusable?
Are any of the vents on any of the convectors adjustable.

If they are adjustable. Turn all the vents on the seond floor to their max open position.

May need to turn some of the vents on the first floor closed a little. May want to close the one in the room wth the stat more then the others.

Also, is there a main vent in the basement. Make sure its working.

Next, what pressure is the boiler operating at. make sure its NOT going aove 2PSIG.
beenthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 06:44 PM   #11
Electrician
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15
Default

steam heat issues


I've opened the vents all the way on the first floor and closed the ones as low as possible near the stat downstairs. Also checked the vents out. Boiler is lower than 2psi. I also insulated the pipes downstairs that carry the heat to see if maybe too much was escaping. The steam pipe going into the convector is very hot, but still does not seem to push out much steam, i even replaced the relief valve in it.
raggedbeefman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 06:54 PM   #12
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 25,033
Default

steam heat issues


I hope you mean you opened all the ones on the second floor.


Turn the stat up and remove the vent on the convector that isn't getting hot up stairs.

See if it gets hot then. The pipe to the vent may be clogged, with rust.
beenthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 06:58 PM   #13
Electrician
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15
Default

steam heat issues


will water come out of the vent when i take it off?




yes, i did mean the ones on the second floor, sorry about the error.
raggedbeefman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 08:39 PM   #14
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 25,033
Default

steam heat issues


If water comes out, you have a real problem.

Shouldn't have any water come out, All the water should be draining back down the pipe to the boiler.
beenthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2009, 09:07 PM   #15
Electrician
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 15
Default

steam heat issues


alright I'll give it a shot and will repost with results.

raggedbeefman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting steam heat to hot water??? pcampbell HVAC 31 02-17-2009 08:26 PM
Top floor heating issues. Steam heat system. topfloornoheat HVAC 4 12-06-2008 01:33 PM
Single Pipe Steam Heat (Please help) jpic Plumbing 2 11-20-2008 07:51 AM
Steam Heat still making banging noises helpless handyman HVAC 101 01-04-2008 03:43 PM
Steam heat vs Hot water heat helpless handyman HVAC 5 10-03-2006 08:57 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.