Steam Heaters Albert Lea MN
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Steam Heat Basics
Operating PressureThe setting on your boiler for cut in and cut out is controlled by the pressuretrol. The pressure it cuts in at should be set at 1/2 pound (.5 psi) and the pressure it cuts out at should be 1 pound higher at 1 1/2 pounds (1.5 psi). This should be enough pressure to move the steam in your house. If you don't know how to adjust this, have it adjusted by your service tech next time your boiler is tuned up.
If you find that the pressure is adjusted DOWN significantly from where it was to get the .5 to 1.5 operating range, monitor your system's operation. If some radiators are not getting hot, check and replace the main line air vents. The system's pressure may have been raised (erroneously) to compensate for nonworking air vents.
Low pressure is safe. Overpressure is NOT safe.
Low water cutoffBe sure your boiler has a functioning low water cutoff. Steam systems lose a little bit of water all the time, so there has to be water makeup. Some units have an auto feed, some are done manually. In either case, you want to be sure, the unit will shut off if there is low water. Firing an empty boiler will destroy the boiler and perhaps worse... Check the cutoff regularly and check your boiler's water level weekly
If you have a low water cutoff with a float, flush it at least once a week. This will keep the rust and gook from collecting in it and preventing it from working.
Pipe InsulationAll the piping in the basement leading to from the boiler to the radiators should be insulated. It may have had the old insulation removed in an attempt to get rid of asbestos. But these pipes should be insulated. It will eliminate or reduce the amount of water hammer (that Bang Bang bang) you may be having when the system is fired up. Be sure to use pipe insulation rated for steam piping.
Radiator pitchCheck the radiator with a level. It should be slanted toward the supply pipe. If it is not, raise the vent end with shims to get it level. Sma...