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convert steam system tohot water

The good steam men here discourage such and some even refuse to convert.

Unless the system is utterly hopeless, you'll most likely be better of getting it in top-notch shape. Check "Find a Contractor" here and I'd suggest buying Dan's (owner of this site) books regarding steam systems as well. There is quite a lot a reasonably handy homeowner can do to a steam system (maintenance and repair) provided they study.


  • john morrow
    john morrow Member Posts: 2
    convert steam system to hot water

    i need detailed information on how to convert steam system to hot water
  • john morrow
    john morrow Member Posts: 2
    convert steam system to hot water

    i need detailed information on how to convert steam system to hot water
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Amen, Mike

    Our company is one who does not recommend or perform such conversions, and will not work on a system someone else has converted. The liability is just too great- there are too many things that can go wrong.

    I've seen some botched conversions in our area, several of which have chronic leak problems. It's amazing the lawyers haven't shut down the contractor who did them. They deserve that fate, since their incompetence makes all heating contractors look bad.

    If you're looking for increased efficiency, there are plenty of ways to make a steam system work more efficiently. BTW, there has never been a scientific, apples-to-apples comparison of the relative efficiency of transporting BTUs by steam as opposed to hot-water. At least, not that I can find- and I've looked hard.

    So if you're being told steam is inherently inefficient, ask the person telling you for their numbers. Either they won't have any, or they'll have something that is fatally flawed, like that school system "study" where they compared new hot-water systems to steam systems that were badly in need of repair. In one case, the steam boilers were being started and stopped MANUALLY- indicating a complete control failure. This is not a valid basis for comparison.

    Why do you want to convert in the first place? What's wrong with the steam system?


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  • laurence salvatore_2
    laurence salvatore_2 Member Posts: 86

    > i need detailed information on how to convert

    > steam system to hot water

    Here is the information you seek: Don't do it. Leave it alone. Have compotent professional evaluate it then follow that person's recomdations. Nothing gets neglected like a good steam system. Yours just needs a little attention. If it really bothers you sell the building.
  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 958
    start over.

    At the risk of sounding a bit snarky, the reason you are not getting the response you are demanding is that:

    a) steam systems, when properly tuned by people who actually know what they are doing with steam, are difficult to beat in terms of comfort and operating costs;

    b) existing low pressure steam systems and all their associated piping, etc. have never been subject to the pressures used in circulating hot water systems. So be prepared for so many costly surprises that you wish you had just... started over.

    If you want a new heating system, then build one. Where the total economy lies (in all that "economy" means from fuel consumption to the energy embodied in the existing system), I don't know. I'm sure you have a circumstance that absolutely requires this change, and as such, you will be disappointed in anything short of a complete replacement heating system.

This discussion has been closed.