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Sizing a Steam Boiler

Stan_9 Member Posts: 6
Thank you for the suggestion.


  • Stan_9
    Stan_9 Member Posts: 6
    Sizing a Steam Boiler


    Our condo building in in the process of replacing the old steam boiler (which has died prematurely, perhaps due to the faulty piping around the boiler, which, from what I have heard, was done in a hurry when the previous boiler had exploded). I am baffled to see the wide range of BTUs / Sq. Feet of steam estimates. The curent boiler is has 9 sections, rated at about 280,000 BTUs, at least this is what I see on the panel. We have been proposed a 7 section at 210,000 BTUs(twice), 8 Section at 245,000 BTUs (once), and unknown at 137,000 BTUs. The square feet of steam estimates have ranged from 595 (for the 8 section) and 542 (for the 7 section), to 417 (for the unknown at 137,000 BTUs). Since I can't imagine it would be pleasant to discover in the middle of the cold season that we have an improperly sized boiler, what would you suggest for me to do to confirm the proper sizing? I can measure all radiators / main pipes (but can only guess the rest of the piping). This is for a 3-story brick building, more than 100 years of age. Thank you for your suggestions.

  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Do a radiation count

    for EDR charts of about every darn radiator you might have, go to the Online Store of this site and order Dan's book "E.D.R.".

    Steam boilers, in addition to the BTU ratings, will also be rated in Square Feet which is the same as EDR. Choose a boiler which is as close as you can get to your building's EDR without going under. Don't add the piping load- the Square Feet rating has the piping/pickup factor built in. If the steam piping is not insulated, insulate it.

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