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water use, steam vs. baseboard

Do steam system use significantly more water than baseboard systems?


  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    \"In what way?\", he asked.

    If you are asking in terms of initial water content, a steam system uses significantly less water. The piping is dry and the boiler is full to about 2/3rds. the way to the top. No argument there.

    A water system would of course have a full boiler and piping.

    (Both systems use the same water over and over again as a way to transfer heat. This is unlike a domestic hot water heater where you use it at the same rate it flows in.)

    Now, operationally: Ideally, both steam and hot water systems should never need make-up water in a perfect world.

    Realistically (I deal in reality), steam systems tend to use more water over time. There are a multitude of apertures; vents, drains, imperfect joints which can pass vapor if not sensible water outright. Plus a steam system requires occasional blow-down of your float type low-water cut-off to maintain it in a safe condition. What comes out must go back in.

    A hot water system, any closed system for that matter, ideally and realistically should only require new water when a portion is drained for servicing.

    Does that answer your question?

    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
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