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steam to Hot Water Conversion

LC Member Posts: 4
What is the major cost to convert Single pipe steam to hot water. If the Steam pipes and radiators are removed and hopefully sold for salvage or scrap, would the cost of installing a hot water system be more reasonable? Also, is there some method or product that could be used to put the supply and return hot water pipe through the same hole the steam pipe went through?

My steam boiler is on borrowed time it is at least 40 yrs old and probably closer to 50. I am not certain if I should replace it soon, replace it when it goes, or replace the entire system with something else like hot water. Any advice?


  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    get a pro

    In my opinion, I would get a steam pro to come in and evaluate your existing system (Im partial to steam). But you do want someone who know's what they are doing... Were are you located?
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_1

    would you remove the radiators? They work perfectly as low-temperature radiant heat sources.

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  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320

    Converting a poorly maintained steam system to hot water always seems sensible, until you realize the following:

    1. Properly repairing and adjusting a steam system is almost always better than trying to convert it.

    2. Steam heat requires experienced people who know steam heating to work on it. Many do not, and improperly suggest converting would be a solution.

    3. The cost to convert a steam system to water or hot air will always cost more both up front - and with consideration of future fuel costs, than fixing the steam system already in place.

    4. If you live another 50 years in this house, you may aproach break-even fuel savings by converting.

    5. The only factor that might make simply fixing what's there a less desireable path would be if all the piping was leaking, the house settled and reversed pitch in dificult to reach areas caused "pipe-sags" - or all/most radiators have sectional leaks.

    6. Take a look at the top left tab on the top of this page and click on "Find A Professional." Most of the better steam guys will be listed in your area by zip code.

    Let us know how you make out.

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  • LC
    LC Member Posts: 4

    I live in Bloomsburg PA. I don't see too many steam experts around here.

    Thanks for the information.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    LC, if you need someone

    to look at this, get in touch with us. I've done consulting further away from Baltimore than Bloomsburg is. Road trips are always fun ;-)


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