Stramowski Heating was founded back in 1977 by Alvin Stramowski. Al was a steam fitter by trade. Today we offer a wide variety of hot water heating systems.

From standard cast iron boilers to the low-mass high efficiency modulating boilers we are trained experts on the installation and service of all types of boilers and hydronic heating systems.

Steam Boiler Heating Systems

If you own a business or an older or historic home with a steam heating system call Stramowski Heating. Stramowski Heating is one of only a few heating contractors left who can properly work with steam systems.

It is very important that you have the right heating contractor when it comes to any heating system especially steam. There are two distinct divisions of a steam heating system.

There is the steam boiler that makes steam and the steam piping that carries the steam to the radiators in the home.

Piping of a steam boiler is the key to a steam system working correctly. Every steam system generates steam and; as a result, condensate is formed.

Returning that condensate to the boiler in an efficient safe manner is required in order for your steam system to run as efficiently as possible.

Stramowski Heating receives about 15 to 20 calls a year about boilers that have problems because they weren’t piped correctly. Some of those calls originate from steam heat customers. Piping is important on any system but it is especially crucial on a steam system.


The Steam Heating Difference

Standard hot water boiler systems are not our only specialty. We work with steam heating systems as well.

Steam heating systems are very different from standard hot water systems. They don't have a pump to ciculate water throuhout the heating system.

Once steam is generated at the boiler it moves through your steam pipes at rates of up to 70 miles per hour! Most home steam systems don't need any pressure to operate normally.

This is why you always want a qualified steam heating contractor to work on your system.

Frequently Asked Questions

 DISCLAIMER
It is not advisable for anyone to attempt to service steam heating systems without the proper training.
The questions on this page are only here for informational purposes and are in no way a intended to assist in any diagnosis thereof.
If you have a problem with your steam heating system you are advised to contact a properly trained technician diagnose the problem.
  • What types of piping are available with steam systems?  Why is it so crucial?

    There are two distinct types of steam heat piping systems.  There is "one pipe" and "two pipe" steam piping systems.  Knowing how to pipe up to both is the critical part.  We know the differences and can solve any issues related to steam boiler piping. 

  • What do I need to do with my steam heating system?

    You should be knowledgeable about certain controls and how to maintain your steam boiler.  All steam systems have slight differences.  Each steam boiler has a set of controls and a "blow down.  Being familiar with these steam boiler controls is of upmost importance. 

  • What is a blow down or blow off?

    This is one of the most important things a steam boiler owner should know about.  The blow down on a steam boiler is used to blow out any debris and impurities in your steam heating system that return to your steam boiler.  Blow downs should occur at regular intervals throughout the heating season depending on your run time.  As it gets cooler outside your system will run more and you should blow your steam boiler down more frequently. 

  • How do I know what piping type my steam system is?

    If your radiators have two pipes going to them your steam system is a two pipe system.  If your radiators have one pipe then it is a one pipe steam heating system.  Note that one pipe steam will have a small shiny air vent on one side of each radiator located mid-way up.

  • Are there differences in maintaining a one pipe versus a two pipe system?

    Yes.  Single pipe systems require maintenance at only the boiler area.  Most of the time single pipe steam radiators need no attention.  However; if your air vent(s) have steam or water coming out of them they/it will need to be replaced.  If you determine that you have a two pipe system then you may need to replace your radiator condensate traps.  Radiator condensate traps should be replaced every seven years.  These are both jobs for a qualified steam contractor such as Stramowski Heating. 

  • My air vents have a number on them.  What setting should they be at?

    Adjustable air vents are a myth.  Their purpose in design is to help balance steam flow into the radiator by regulating the amount of air they let out of the radiator.  Balancing radiators by use of air is not a best practice.  Air vents should be set to their max-open setting and balancing radiators should only occur using the radiator valves. 

  • My steam heating system is banging.  It sounds like a hammer is hitting my steam pipes.  Why?

    In most steam heating systems your steam runs at 0PSIg or atmospheric pressure.  When your steam boiler generates steam at atmospheric pressure, the steam moves down the piping at speeds up to 60 to 70 miles per hour.  When condensate from the steam starts to build up and that steam pushes past it waves are created in the pipe.  When those waves get big enough they momentarily touch the top of the pipe creating pressure bubble.  When that bubble breaks steam rushes through and a water hammering noise is heard.  This is commonly referred to as water hammer.  This can cause significant damage to internal components of your steam system and should be addressed ASAP. 

  • How do you fix "water hammer?"

    Understanding the way that steam heating systems work is very important in determining what is causing it.  Since water hammer is caused by condensate backing up, there are many ways this can happen.  Most water hammer can be either prevented or fixed with annual maintenance.  Always call a qualified steam heating professional for assistance with this. In certain conditions, water hammer can be very dangerous to anyone who is untrained. 

  • What are steam traps?

    Steam traps are devices used in steam heating system to trap steam and control condensate.  There are many types of steam traps that could be installed on a system.  Some types of steam traps can be cleaned and some can only be replaced.  Stramowski Heating knows the differences in all steam traps and has the ability to get replacements for almost all steam trap types.