Steam Heat Defects List & Home Inspection Education
DEFECTS LIST - HEAT STEAM - CONTENTS: Common defects in steam heating system. Steam heat inspection points. Lists of important defects for residential buildings. What does a home inspector need to know? Home inspection training and education curriculum recommendations
InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.
Steam heat inspection checklist, training course curriculum, defects lists: this article lists significant steam heating systems defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics.
The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks.
Home Inspection Education Curriculum - Heating, Steam
4.6 Steam Heating System Inspection Requirements & Defects List
4.6.1 Knowledge Base for Steam Heating System Inspection
1. Describe the function of steam heating systems.
2. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of steam heating relative to forced air and hot water heating.
3. Describe one and two pipe steam heating systems
4. Describe the materials and components of steam heating systems including the following: high and low pressure systems, one and two pipe systems, parallel flow or counter flow in one pipe systems, up feed or down feed systems, gravity return and pumped return systems, vapor systems, vacuum systems, burner, fuel delivery system, combustion air supply, vent/chimney, thermostat, distribution piping, radiator, operating controls, safety controls (including safety “pop-off” valve), pressure gauge, air vent on radiator and on pipe, Hartford loop, equalizer pipe, condensate pump, boiler feed pump, backflow preventer, zone control, tankless coils,
5. Describe the features of good installation and repair technique for a steam boiler.
6. Describe the operating cycle for steam heating system from the at rest position to shut down.
7. Define the following terms: latent heat of vaporization, thermostat, pressuretrol (steam pressure limit switch), air vent, dimension A, equalizer pipe, Hartford loop, wet return, dry return, steam trap, thermostatic trap, F and T trap, main vent, receiver, auto water feeder(automatic water makeup), low water cut out, blow down (blow-off) valve, pressure relief valve, water hammer, water level gauge( sight gauge, sight glass), close nipple on Hartford loop.
8. Identify the codes or standards which apply to steam heating in your area(including the fuel system).
4.6.2 Inspection Skills for Steam Heating Systems
1. Describe the inspection procedure for a steam boiler.
2. Identify the common defects listed on the next page.
3. Describe the implication of each defect.
4. Identify safety issues for the inspector and occupant of the home (steam explosion, gas explosion, oil fire, combustion products poisoning occupants, flooding).
5. Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective action where needed.
STEAM BOILER TYPICAL DEFECTS
Steam Boiler Heat Exchanger Defects
Steam Heating System Equalizer Defects List
Connected to boiler at wrong location (beyond Scope)
Steam Boiler Cabinet Enclosure Defects
Obstructed air intake
Steam Heat Zone Control Defects
Note: some steam systems include a hydronic zone on the boiler level or below, and / or a hydonic zone for heating an indirect-fired water heater
These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors.
ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material.
The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.
Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website.
Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here.
Articles on Steam Heating Systems
Just below, we list steam heat problems that should be incuded in an inspection by the home inspector or other heat professionals:
Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-747-7747 or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Hankey is principal of Hankey and Brown home inspectors, Eden Prairie, MN. Mr. Hankey is a past chairman of the ASHI Standards Committee. Mr. Hankey has served in other ASHI professional and leadership roles. Contact Roger Hankey at: 952 829-0044 - email@example.com. Mr. Hankey is a frequent contributor to InspectAPedia.com.
Arlene Puentes, an ASHI member and a licensed home inspector in Kingston, NY, and has served on ASHI national committees as well as HVASHI Chapter President. Ms. Puentes can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wikipedia provided background information about some topics discussed at this website provided this citation is also found in the same article along with a " retrieved on" date. NOTE: because Wikipedia entries are fluid and can be amended in real time, we cite the retrieval date of Wikipedia citations and we do not assert that the information found there is necessarily authoritative.
 The Steam Book, 1984, Training and Education Department, Fluid Handling Division, ITT [probably out of print, possibly available from several home inspection supply companies] Fuel Oil and Oil Heat Magazine, October 1990, offers an update,
 Principles of Steam Heating, $13.25 includes postage. Fuel oil & Oil Heat Magazine, 389 Passaic Ave., Fairfield, NJ 07004.
 The Lost Art of Steam Heating, Dan Holohan, 516-579-3046 FAX
 Principles of Steam Heating, Dan Holohan, technical editor of Fuel Oil and Oil Heat magazine, 389 Passaic Ave., Fairfield, NJ 07004 ($12.+1.25 postage/handling).
 Insulation Systems Used as External Treatment for Control Valve and Regulator Noise, Steve Boyle, FCI, Fluid Controls Institute, web search 02/08/2011, Tech Sheet #CV$#401, 12/20/2003 original source: http://www.fluidcontrolsinstitute.org/pdf/resource/control/CVR401Noise.pdf
Quoting:  FCI is a trade association
comprising the leading manufacturers of fluid control and conditioning equipment. FCI Tech Sheets are information tools and should not be used as
substitutes for instructions from individual manufacturers. Always consult with individual manufacturers for specific instructions regarding their
 "Valve Noise Prediction vs. Velocity Head Limitations in Gas Applications", Joseph Shahda, principal engineer, Masonelian-Dresser, Inc., Feb. 2004 [PDF] [copy on file as /heat/Valve_Noise_VelocityHeadLimits.pdf ]
Domestic and Commercial Oil Burners, Charles H. Burkhardt, McGraw Hill Book Company, New York 3rd Ed 1969.
National Fuel Gas Code (Z223.1) $16.00 and National Fuel Gas Code Handbook (Z223.2) $47.00 American Gas Association (A.G.A.), 1515 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209 also available from National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269. Fundamentals of Gas Appliance Venting and Ventilation, 1985, American Gas Association Laboratories, Engineering Services Department. American Gas Association, 1515 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209. Catalog #XHO585. Reprinted 1989.
"Residential Hydronic (circulating hot water) Heating Systems", Instructional Technologies Institute, Inc., 145 "D" Grassy Plain St., Bethel, CT 06801 800/227-1663 [home inspection training material] 1987
"Warm Air Heating Systems". Instructional Technologies Institute, Inc., 145 "D" Grassy Plain St., Bethel, CT 06801 800/227-1663 [home inspection training material] 1987
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Volume I, Heating Fundamentals,
Boilers, Boiler Conversions, James E. Brumbaugh, ISBN 0-672-23389-4 (v. 1) Volume II, Oil, Gas, and Coal Burners, Controls, Ducts, Piping, Valves, James E. Brumbaugh, ISBN 0-672-23390-7 (v. 2) Volume III, Radiant Heating, Water Heaters, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Heat Pumps, Air Cleaners, James E. Brumbaugh, ISBN 0-672-23383-5 (v. 3) or ISBN 0-672-23380-0 (set) Special Sales Director, Macmillan Publishing Co., 866 Third Ave., New York, NY 10022. Macmillan Publishing Co., NY
Installation Guide for Residential Hydronic Heating Systems
Installation Guide #200, The Hydronics Institute, 35 Russo Place, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
The ABC's of Retention Head Oil Burners, National Association of Oil Heat Service Managers, TM 115, National Old Timers' Association of the Energy Industry, PO Box 168, Mineola, NY 11501. (Excellent tips on spotting problems on oil-fired heating equipment. Booklet.)
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones