"Our problem is that five out of hundreds of univentilator coils freeze up on a regular basis. They are part of two pipe steam systems with pneumatic control valves and condensate pumps. The F&T traps have been replaced and the coils are grading down to the returns. The traps on some are two feet or so below the coil outlet. The boiler pressure on all buildings runs between 4 psi and 8 psi and the boiler shuts down at night until the coldest room in the building requires heat. If the outside temperature falls below -15 C the boiler stays on pressure. Do you have any ideas on how to solve this problem?"
My first job in this business was to be a truck driver for an AC/Refrigeration wholesaler on Long Island. I didn’t have a car at the time, so I walked a mile to the branch and loaded a box truck, which I then drove 30 miles east to the branch where I would spend my days. Once there, I unloaded the transfer stock, reloaded for the local deliveries, and then drove off to learn about life.
When we started HeatingHelp.com in 1997, the folks who built that first crude site told me we could have a links page. I asked what that was, and the young man doing the coding told me it was a place on the site where visitors could go to see what other sites I thought were interesting.
The promotional offers show up every year and I always wonder whether they work? I suppose some do because the manufacturers repeat them. Buy a bunch of boilers, get a winter coat. Or work boots, or whatever. But does that really motivate the contractors to buy that particular brand?
We have much smarter circulators these days, so I was wondering whether today’s contractors preferred using circulators or zone valves. I posed the question on The Wall at HeatingHelp.com, which is a place where some of the smartest hydronic-minded people meet to discuss such things. They are never shy when asked a question. Here’s some of what they had to say.
I wrote a book for homeowners in 2003 and called it, “We Got Steam Heat” (with apologies to The Pajama Game). I wrote that book because I had written another book 11 years earlier that I called “The Lost Art of Steam Heating.” A lot of homeowners bought “Lost Art" because they were having difficulty finding a contractor who knew anything about steam heat, so they decided to get their learn on.
A homeowner in Michigan sent an email that had me shaking my head, and not for the first time. Listen: “Our house is heated by a Utica Gas Boiler that was here when we purchased this house. Sitting next to the boiler is a Hoffman boiler-feed pump. The problem we have encountered is that we’ve had to have the pump replaced five times since 1981. We have hard water (with iron) but I am not sure if that is the problem.
There’s long been talk about how to divvy up the heating expenses in buildings that have tenants. Should each tenant have their own meter? Their own boiler? Boilers are a lot smaller than they used to be, right?
The title of the article that appeared in UKToday news some months back was “5 Easy Ways to Teach Kids about Energy Conservation.” There was no author listed but I’m wondering if the person who came up with this article even had kids. Kids aren’t easy, especially when it comes to energy conservation. Allow me to explain.
I asked the many contractors who post regularly on The Wall at HeatingHelp.com to tell me what they like (and don’t like) about the counter people at their suppliers. Here’s some of what they had to say. I hope you find it to be good food for thought.