Originally Posted by PlumberKhan
That sucks...seeing the pilot but no heat.
It still couldbe done. Could jump the damper out and prop it open manually. But I wouldn't suggest jumping out safety features on a steam boiler unless you were a heating guy yourself and knew how it worked inside and out. I walked in on a job where the float got hung up and the thing ran dry for a while before it cooked itself. Go so freaking hot that all of the solder just ran out of all the joints in the copper header above the thing. Turned the instruction booklet on top of it to a pile of ash.
I love steam boilers. They produce a TON of heat for little gas consumption. They just require more attention/service than a regular sealed hydronic boiler or a furnace. I'm sure you have it done every season....but I would never skip a year without having it checked over and serviced.
The house is 102 years old and it's the first time my wife or I have had any experience with steam heat. Once you get the hang of it and understand it's quirks it's just fantastic. The heat doesn't disappear after it's off like our forced-air systems used to do. Yes, I always get it serviced and have to watch the service guys like a hawk because if anyone messes with the valves on all the different radiators it'll screw everything up.
If I can get my guy to tweak my boiler for power outages, I'd only need a small generator to operate the TV and such. Could be a good solution.