It's Steaming: 4 Steps To Keep Your Steam Heating System Working Properly

Posted on: 9 May 2016

If you have a steam heating system, you'll want to have it professionally inspected once a year. During the inspection, your plumber will be able to identify any issues that will need to be repaired or corrected. In addition to the annual professional care your heater will need, there are some maintenance steps that you can perform. Here are four steps you should take to help extend the life of your steam heating system.

Measure the Water Level

The water level on your heater should be checked at least twice a month during the winter. The water storage tube should be at least half-full at all times. While the heater is off, check the water level. If it is more than half empty, open the water supply valve and allow the tube to fill to the proper level.

Check the Air Vents

With regular usage, the air vents can get clogged with dust. Once the air vents are clogged, you'll hear a faint hissing sound coming from the pipes. Remove the vent and wipe the dirt away. If the vent is damaged or severely clogged, you should replace it with one of the same size.

Test the Safety Valve

Your steam heater is equipped with a safety valve that's designed to release steam when too much pressure has built up in the system. To ensure that your safety valve is working properly, it will need to be tested. While your heater is running, life up on the lever. You should see a small amount of steam escape from the valve. Release the valve. The valve should reseal and there shouldn't be any steam escaping. If the valve doesn't reseal, or you continue to see steam, turn your heater off and contact a plumber. They may need to replace the safety valve.

Flush the Low Water Cut-off

To prevent rust and sediment from building up in your heating unit, you should flush the system at least once a month during the winter. With the thermostat turned to the lowest setting, place a bucket under the release pipe and open the water release valve. Allow the water to run until it's clear. Close the valve and refill the water containment tube. It's important to note that the water will be hot so be careful when emptying the bucket.

With proper maintenance and care, your steam heater will keep you warm throughout the winter. If you have further questions about your heating unit, be sure to speak to a plumber like SDA Armstrong Mechanical Services Ltd.