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Dan, It's Time To Look To The Future

black_goldblack_gold Member Posts: 11
I don't know about many of you...but I like to come here to see who's being bashed. I love to read everyones' take on what products are no good, the cobbled jobs contractors do, and who's getting cheated by who. It's great entertainment...and people get roped into it because it's just a natural thing everyone enjoys in a sick way.
When I say everybody, it includes the this site's creator. I read a post a year or two that went on for weeks bashing a manufacturer for some sort of problem. Everyone was in on it...homeowners, contractors, all the experts - and then Dan suggested that they all start a class action suit against the company. Even he gets caught up in the fun sometimes - and it is fun. It's just like making fun of really fat people behind thier (fat) backs. Eeeeverybody likes doing it - don't any of you holier than thou's deny it. It's not polite, but it is fun.
Then, last December I read a column that Dan wrote saying we shouldn't beat up on manufacturers because it's bad for the advancement of the industry. What irony!!
I went to one of Dan's steam school several years ago. There was a mini trade show there, some rep hawking his wares, and three hours of piping diagrams beaming up from an overhead projector. Fortunatley the dirty jokes made the overhead transparencies bearable and I learned all about steam as well as some decent filthy jokes. Did I learn anything that movews the industry forward? No really... I learned how to work on systems that really should be replaced. Hot pipes, corroded components, water leaks causing mold, asbestos everywhere, low effeciency equipment - thes things don't belong in today's heating systems. Let's get rid of them - that would be moving the industry.
So yeah, I agree this site is great entertainment, and I personally benefit from it almost every time I visit. But every day there is more belly-aching (like this) and less real info that really moves the industry.


  • WayneWayne Member Posts: 50
    Dan, Please Hear Me Out Before Deleting


    I choose to remain anonymous for many reasons and cowardice is not one of them. I see there is another Steam School. Isn’t time to hit the snooze button on Steam and leave it be. The world has changed since the fifties and you could be the leader and pioneer to lead these followers in the right direction. High efficiency gas and oil boilers, furnaces, ground source geothermal and solar are the future yet you still live in the past. I have heard that if you want to talk about the past seek out Dan Holohan. They should say if you want to talk about the future seek out Dan Holohan.

    Dan you are a legend to us wet heads but it’s getting stale. Steam like steam heads are almost all deadmen in the truest sense of the word. The manufacturers and most of the true legends of our industry have deserted this website because the few who always have an axe to grind. This site should be a celebration of our glorious industry and frankly it isn’t. It’s fools out to hear themselves rant. The ones who start typing away to condemn this posting probably weren’t around years ago on the Wall when it stood for change, progress and the future.

    The future is now, radiant, solar, geo is what the new blood and the progressive want to embrace. If we are going to attract the youth to our profession we have to be innovative and resourceful.

    Lead us, show us the way, we believe in you and this site. Teach us, mold us and lead. I don’t want to upset you or anyone else here I only ask that you take us into the future. It’s time to save our planet and valuable resources. I’ll sign up today for Wet Head 2009 and Beyond School.
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Moderator Posts: 11,877
    Every steam seminar we do

    sells out and that's where we get the money to maintain this site, which now has more people visiting each day than ever before.

    We talk about all the new technology here every day, and I promote it each Thursday morning in my eBlast, which goes out to nearly 5,000 opt-in subscribers. Do you get that?

    There's a place for everything here.

    Thanks for taking the time to write, whoever you are.
    Site Administrator

    [email protected]

    Hug your kids.
  • WthWth Member Posts: 1
    You couldn't have private emailed this?

    Half this freaking country heats with pot=belly stoves. Major cities are still running on steam. You must work in 90210 or something.
  • many of us

    do embrace the new technologies, yet we also know when older ones - like steam - are the best choice. There is no one size fits all.

    As for rants & mfgr bashing? I ignore that trash & move on. Kinda like TV - don't like the show (or thread in this case) - switch channels (threads).
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    WOW !

    i certainly do not have the impression that this website is all about steam, and only steam. i come here for steam information, because that is my major system to maintain. there are many steam systems out there, which are unchangeable, either from a financial perspective, or a practical one. i also do not think that the boiler manufacturers will soon be discontinuing their lines of steam boilers. nor will hoffman and gorton give up on their steam related products.

    what contiues to make this site of CONTINUING importance is the possibility for steam users to restore their systems to proper running condition, either with the help of a steam professional, or on a do it yourself basis.

    as far as the existence of another steam forum, many people frequent the other "room" as well as here. i wonder which one they prefer? perhaps the new website will make it possible for people to register their systems as far as what type-steam [2 flavors], hot-water, etc. i think the steam system count would be surprisingly large.

    naturally it would be unusual to see a brand new steam system [not impossible], but for those of us with well-behaved steam, it's hard to make a change.--nbc
  • JohnNYJohnNY Member Posts: 1,822

    I live and work in New York City and my service area includes a large portion of north New Jersey.

    My shop and my 6 service vehicles see steam all day long every day 6 days a week.

    You know what we see VERY little of, by comparison? Modulating boilers, radiant floor heating (high rise buildings with 3-million-dollar two bedroom apartments don't allow it), panel radiators..etc.
    You know what I've NEVER been asked to work on? Ground source geothermal.

    I've made money and built my business, in significant part, by what I've learned through Dan Holohan and his writing.
    And it's by those same texts that I'll keep my business going and growing so long as I work in the area I do.

    This industry has enough radiant pushers. The Green thing is getting tiresome as it has been exploited to near death.

    Dan's understanding of steam and the experience he's already shared with our industry is all he ever has to do as far as I'm concerned.

    I hope to achieve half as much or be so duly credited with such a contribution in my lifetime.

    You really need to figure out something else to complain about. Surely there is something more valid.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    For private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    Or at Gateway Plumbing & Heating
    John travels regularly to out-of-state clients for consulting work.
  • WayneWayne Member Posts: 50
    It's Time To Save The Planet

    Look ahead not behind, don't be afraid what's new, embrace it, love it, want it, need it and you are either moving forward or backwards you can't stand still.
  • JohnNYJohnNY Member Posts: 1,822

    Oh I see.

    This is what's called a Troll Post.

    Worn out all the free porn sites, have you?

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    For private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    Or at Gateway Plumbing & Heating
    John travels regularly to out-of-state clients for consulting work.
  • WayneWayne Member Posts: 50
    No it's not John

    Let's move forward, like I said it there was a 2009 and beyond class I would be the first to sign up, Steam is stagnant
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    new knowlege

    never heard that phrase before, but after you identified the situation, i was able to do a little research: best advice seems to be: "don't feed the troll"!--nbc
  • FrenchieFrenchie Member Posts: 113

    I live in rural Wisconsin in a small town with 3000 people. Steam is not only in big cities!! We have many steam heated single family homes built in the 1800's and early 1900's. These homes still need to be serviced and boilers replaced, etc. I will guarantee you not one of these people will rip that system out and replace it with a heat pump, geothermal or otherwise. It would be WAY too expensive in the first place, and people here seem to really like the steam heat. Heck, I wish my house was steam (it's forced hot water). MOD-CON boilers- Well lets just say as far as I know, I doubt there is a single one in the whole county. I woulld not dare have one in my home unless I felt like freezing to death looking for someone to service it. I will pay whatever it costs in fuel to keep my family warm with a reliable and entirely hassle free cast iron boiler. Yes, you are correct that these new technologies have a place, but these old houses are not all going to just disappear one night!
  • realolmanrealolman Member Posts: 513

    to me like JohnNY knows exactly what he's talking about.

    But on the other hand, I would like to know some more about heating with Dilithium chrystals
  • amhplumbamhplumb Member Posts: 62

    Agreed, don't read the steam stuff if you don't want to. But do join in and share info regarding the new technologies! There's plenty of room for everyone here! While we move into the future, the past isn't going to go away that quickly. There's still a lot of steam and older hydronic systems and equipment out there that needs tended to. Unfortunately, in these economic times our customers are going to be forced to make what they already have work for them. Knowledge of the old stuff may become even more valuable. Just my 2-cents worth!
  • Fred HarwoodFred Harwood Member Posts: 193

    The only problem with DC, is getting some (reportedly takes just a few to accomplish most anything, including Warp 5).

    I just want to say that this site is unique and invaluable. Only here on The Wall have I found the frank openness that informs the intelligent layman and frustrated serviceman. The larger point is not the assertion that steam is doomed. The larger point surely is that useful information remains King, and the rest will sort itself out over time, and circumstance, which may confound many a futurist.
  • David SuttonDavid Sutton Member Posts: 1,072
    Small towns and big citiys

    I live in a small town and next to two big citiys with lots of people doing heating but are few who do steam right, Steam is a great heating source just as eff as baseboard and Far more than scorced air!! everyone and i mean everyone that i have seen who had there steam removed say it was the worse thing they ever did !!!! and wish they could put it back!!!

    what makes steam bad it the monkey that did not go to Dans class and read his books and learn to do it right! hell i did i look back at some of my old installs and scare myself cause i just didnt know i didnt know!

    Dan please Keep up the great things that you do

    David aka DrPepper
  • PerryPerry Member Posts: 141
    We are: Saving The Planet - which is the correct future.

    "Date: January 08, 2009 04:46 PM
    Author: Legend of The Past
    Subject: It's Time To Save The Planet

    Look ahead not behind, don't be afraid what's new, embrace it, love it, want it, need it and you are either moving forward or backwards you can't stand still."


    The first step in saving the planet is to effectively use what we already have. The average house or "core" office/business building last about 100 years, and it is not uncommon to see 150 year old houses and buildings (and a few older than that) - so that means that its heating system has to be maintained effectively. From a resource standpoint and overall energy utilization standpoint it makes no sense to tear down and replace otherwise good structures. Thus maintaining the existing systems effectively is moving forward. Someone has to teach the technicians for the next 75 - 100 years about steam heat and of the early hot water radiator systems.

    The second step is understanding that just because something is a fad - that does not mean that it truly is the most efficient or effective. In this I am talking about radiant floor heating. It takes a lot of energy to pump that water - and I have not seen any good studies that showed that radiant floor heating is more energy or cost effective than other forms of heating (the studies I've seen show that people actually keep their house the same temperature even with a warm floor - I.e., the warm floor allows you to keep the house cooler and save energy is a myth). Radiant Heating Panels & Cast Iron Radiators are in fact more energy efficient as they only need a very low pressure pump to circulate the water with (less than 10 Ft of head - and often 5 will do). They also need a less resources to construct.

    Hydronic heating has its advantages (comfort, air purity, etc); but even there I'm not sure that it is the most efficient heating system. The reason that forced air is so big is because of its cost advantages and it can be tied with an air conditioning & humidity control system as well.

    Solar and ground based geothermal have their practical limitations and often are not suitable for retrofit to an existing home for more than token purposes (I really wanted to go this direction). Domestic hot water is likely a practical use for solar energy in a number of existing homes.

    Solar and ground based geothermal are best suited to new construction - and then are still restricted by location of the house and density of home construction. You will see very little of this in any major city.

    As for Solar - no one has figured a cost effective way to store solar more than a couple days worth of solar energy yet either - if even that. I have personally done some work in this area: I can store enough energy during the summer to get my house through a Wisconsin winter with an appropriately sized solar panel system & storage system; which cost about as much as the house itself (I have designed a solar "battery" that can store large quantities of solar energy for very long periods of time with minimal leakage - but it is very expensive to build - and would need its own storage vault).

    I remember vividly the ground based, solar, and wind energy hucksterism of the late 70's and early 80's. I really wanted to spend my career in the energy saving field. But my review at the time indicated that most of the systems were not long term durable - and a lot of them did not even work well up front (and I could see that with just a few years experience maintaining a steam plant when I was in my 20's). So I went into Power Plants instead. I was proven right on the status of the technology.

    Sadly, I see much of the same hucksterism going on now as well. Its our future.... But only if the systems work, are designed right, are installed properly, and are long term durable.

    Now where are people (technicians to homeowners) going to learn these things without The Wall.

    I am personally convinced that many of the current mod/con boilers on the market are not likely to last long enough to pay for themselves - for reasons well known (and well documented in the 80's and early 90's). But there is profit in selling the "potential" - and who cares if the failure mechanisms of the past have not been appropriately addressed. Who cares if the equipment does not last that long - that's a built in replacement market... It seems to me that only one company seems to have really tried to address the issues. Another company has made at least a partial attempt - but have probably missed on a golden opportunity to do it a lot better.

    Many subjects are discussed here on The Wall. Steam Heat is of course solidly represented. My gut feel is hydronic heating is more discussed. Solar pops up from time to time - and no one is disrespects it. Several of the Professionals on this forum actually try to incorporate it when they can. Same with ground based geothermal.

    There is plenty of room for your participation if you want to move forward with the future of saving the planet - and of applying the most beneficial use of our resources long term - which is what "green" and all the other slogans are really about.

    Maybe the reason that so many of the "Wonderful Concepts" do not get a lot of press and attention here is that a lot of the participants have not figured out how to make them really work yet - or work in their situation.

    Some of us have personally spent thousands of dollars in self guinea pig situations to try new technology or a different way of doing things. Some will work - some doesn't. Time will tell - and the results will most likely be posted here.

  • Fred HarwoodFred Harwood Member Posts: 193

  • leelee Member Posts: 458

    Well stated as usual
  • JedJed Member Posts: 781
    I predict:

    That the hot-shot young upstart "Legend of The Past" will be old and gray, and Dan will have wisely passed the torch to his successor to brilliantly run this site; and Steamhead's grandson will be chiming in with words of wisdom for the very proud conservators of steam heating systems in need of TLC.

  • dondon Member Posts: 19

    If one were testing steam boiler over mod/con and two stage equipment they would find that steam is more efficent then people think.

    Think about it for a second.A steam boiler is always firing at max input.
    A steam boiler has the lowest wattage use then many other system on the market.

    A steam boiler has less parts to fail.

    Should I keep going?

  • SinghSingh Member Posts: 24
    We are going full circle.

    I am passionate about conservation. And if that means the preservation and rehabilitation of older steam systems, so be it.
    Now the last time I got involved with a steam system, I was just a young jedi in the big apple, many moons ago, and even then I was just on the business end of a 300 machine. I currently don't go seeking out steam systems , but should one come my way it's nice to know there is a resource like The wall, and Dan around.

    Now the new save the planet systems are not all that. For one thing think about the natural resources required to manufacture these new fangled systems.
    Let's take a close look at Stainless Steel HX 's, Chromium,Nickel,Titanium, are just a sample of some of the metals required to make them, and about 60% of the alloy is recylable.
    Let's take a close look at all the electronics found lately in modern hydronic systems. These controls required some serious heavy metals, and I'm not talking about Metallica. These metals came from somewhere, and I guarantee you, the planet has suffered as a result of mining the soils of the earth for the materials found in that micro processor.
    Same goes for the metals found in a solar panel PV or thermal. Wind turbines etc.. Smart pumps? Nothing smarter than a system that does not need a pump, right?
    So, this is why I advocate conservation, let's think passively first and foremost. South facing homes, intelligent use of window glazing and area, good insulation, water conservation, etc..

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Steamhead (in transit)Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Well, in the Fifties

    according to Dan, everyone was saying steam would just go away.

    It didn't.

    We heard more of the same in the Seventies and Eighties, but once again, steam didn't disappear. The business just doesn't work that way.

    Then in 1992, a seminal book came out called "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". This has led to many, many steam systems being rehabbed, de-knuckleheaded, made more efficient. It also led to some brand-new steam systems being installed- go here for more:

    You're right, "Legend"- the world really has changed since the Fifties.

    90%+ steam boiler efficiency IS possible. It's been done elsewhere. The first American boiler manufacturer who goes after this market with a high-efficiency line of steamers will clean up big-time. Until then, the MegaSteam rules.

    If I were building a house now, I'd heat it with steam. Preferably a Tudor system, which has the fewest moving parts of any system out there. In a small house, I could build such a system with only two moving parts aside from those on the boiler itself. No other system even comes close.

    And that system, like pretty much any steam system, would have a minimal risk of freezing in an extended power or fuel failure. Oh sure, you could put glycol in a hot-water system, but that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.

    Like JohnNY and others, Gordo and I have built a successful business specializing in steam and Vapor systems. Some of our customers have saved over 30% on their fuel consumption while enjoying almost perfect comfort, after we've worked on their systems. Fixing an existing system instead of wastefully, disruptively replacing it- sounds pretty "Green" to me. We're saving the planet, one system at a time.

    And very little of this would probably have happened without Dan Holohan. This is proof that one person can make a huge difference. We are forever in his debt.

    But the thought of me having a grandson....... now THAT's scary...... :-0

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • DarrellDarrell Member Posts: 9

    My son and I drove three hours over a mountain to attend a seminar that Dan did here in Alaska...not much steam heating here, especially in the residential end of things. But, both of us came away with a keen sense of the legacy that the dead men have left to us. So much of the technology that we so glibly use today comes to us from the past, either directly, or in response to it, or because we have forgotten it. Unfortunately, too many of us have reduced out trade from an art and science to cram it in and cash the check. How many of us would even condider heating an entire house with hot water and no circs...yet the dead men did. We stop at the local supply house and use whatever they happen to feel like stocking based on some bean counters charts. The dead men knew what they wanted, and settled for nothing less even if they had to make it themselves. I worked in Wisconsin for several years and wondered at the forces that somebody long dead...over one hundred years...had harnessed to his needs and tamed to his desire. I can only hope that my work will be in service 100 years from now. We spend hours beating the drum on this site about ever higher efficiencies and green solutions, all the while hoping that these new technologies will last 5-10 years,(according to another post)! How very sad...have we really progressed? At what cost? History is the foundation on which all that we know is built...please do not close the door on it.

    Bonesy lives!!!
  • ttekushanttekushan Member Posts: 901
    Steam systems threaten the planet?

    Amazing that a medium with the highest enthalpy per unit mass (almost one thousand times that of water) and the lowest transit loss when all LATENT heat is extracted at its destination is somehow going to create the destruction of our planet.

    Funny how the numbers have been turned on their heads. Slap a compact economizer on an 85% low pressure steam boiler and combine that with the ease of steam reticulation throughout a system, and the joke won't be on the steam medium as a method of moving heat.

    I call my business Efficient Steam because I dislike waste on all levels of a product's life cycle. I analyze each system and use strategies that bring cleanliness and precision into its operation to achieve minimum practical fuel consumption. There are few who care to learn about proper maintenance and tuning of these systems. Not because they're inherently defective but because of the simplistic notion that older must mean simple.

    Steam's dynamic nature is NOT simple at all, and if you think it is you are part of the problem, since self fulfilling prophecies seem to have an indefinite life span. The only reason that many steam systems are the way they are is because ignorant people charged with their care say with a shrug, "thats the way they are." So they stay the way they are. Well, duh.

    All you have to do is read Dan's books on the subject to realize the truth of this. Dan Holohan's outstanding volumes on this subject and his providing this website have likely saved far more total energy than empty and, quite frankly, arrogant platitudes rife with current buzzwords and grandstanding. To trash a knowledgeable and dedicated group of contributors who have a perfectionist mindset, a thirst for sharing knowledge, who understand efficiency and conservation in its broadest sense is a real cheap shot.

    To have someone with an amazingly narrow and incomplete notion of "conservation" descend from on high and pass judgement on those actually practicing conservation, and then proceed to speak on behalf of the entire heating industry strikes me as pretentious. Contributors here gladly help others on this site without having to take a large chunk of their money first.

    In every post we submit, we act in the spirit of cooperation, conservation and economy without ever having to rationalize the total destruction of quality components of great utility, long life and thoughtful design -- along with all the wasted energy that such mindless destruction entails. How does this threaten the planet?

    I take my work very seriously and have very high expectations for the results. I find it difficult to believe that you hold a position of such knowledge as to understand my motivations. I have all the work I can handle by word of mouth because of my dedication and guaranteed results. I charge my wealthy clients a bit more so I can help the elderly, poor or vulnerable realize energy savings where they can't afford to replace expensive equipment. The worst my work achieves is about 10% fuel savings. The more freedom I have to work the parameters of the heating system, the greater the results.

    For example, my latest historic church project involves a butchered but elegant steam system where the advocates for total replacement with condensing hot water (or forced air fer cryin' out loud) proclaimed that a 50% reduction in fuel consumption was expected. I asked the trustees to give me a chance. With a detailed proposal and detailed references from other churches they allowed me to service the existing system. I didn't replace a single radiator or pipe and the original boiler is retained. It came to descaling, cleaning, tighter control over water level, effective boiler downsizing, firing rate changes based on steam demand and available draft, proportional venting and zone sequencing based on existing edr per zone volume of space. Analyses compare the before and after fuel consumption while firing at different levels and average length of cycles. The calculations show about a 55% reduction in average fuel consumption. The gas usage figures coming in for the last two months are beginning to bear this out.

    Face it. There's nothing "green" about central heating. If we insulate effectively, there's not much need for heat at all. If efficiency standards result in the waste of relatively economical systems to be replaced with new systems of limited life expectancy, then the standards could very well increase total energy consumption in the new system's total life cycle. You won't read that in the journals. There's far more to wasted energy than several percent's worth of fuel consumption.

    Terry Tekushan
    Efficient Steam
  • billbill Member Posts: 429
    Remember back in high school and college

    when you would get a real good teacher and then you would get a real jerk who is there for his own ego? D.H. is one of the great ones. D.H. is a great teacher. So what if theres new schools, Good,hope it works out. Now for the identity issue. I hope it's one of D.H.'s friends just screwing around-probably. I think in know. The other schools hired an advertising and marketing agency and there strategy is to berate the leader in the field. Utter geniuss' these marketing folks!
  • I have a nephew

    and a friend who is a salesman at a local wholesaler that just tried to sign up for the king od prussia seminar and it was sold out and are dissapointed but realize now they have to get on early. Do you have any more coming around the philly, lancaster area? They are moving alot of steam in Reading this year.
  • ErichErich Member Posts: 135
    Steam Lives

    Legend, it would make your words more believable if you used your real name. Steam actually lives. It is the most efficient way to transmit energy in a district heating plant. You talk about radiant heating as if it were something new and wonderful. Fact is it has been around for a real long time and I dare say that a radiant system from the 1940's is often better constructed, more durable and often more comfortable using a lot less controls and circulators. You can go into any number of buildings in New York City and find 100 year old boilers. There is a thriving industry of retubing boilers and providing emergency steam boilers. Just because something is new does not mean it is better. You sound as if you would be a perfect candidate for a steam school so that you could learn about the elegant simplicity of steam and appreciate the masters who installed them. You could also learn about the incompetent people of today who bad mouth steam and wreak havoc by not knowing anything about steam. Tell us how many steam systems you have worked on and where you live.
  • Robert O'ConnorRobert O'Connor Member Posts: 722
    New..... steam!

    Steam is very much alive and being built now! Here is a job I've been involved with still under construction right in lower Manhattan (hey JohnnyNY, I can seeee you!). Everything operates with steam. Pictured are the high pressure main, steam controls, meter and two of the many water heaters. Click the link to see who's building it. Not a person new to construction nor a person who likes to lose money.

    Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • Brian RBrian R Member Posts: 17
    My momma always said......

    I would propose to "Mr. Legend of The Past", (as momma always said), if you don't like the way something is being done, get involved to (try) make a change. If you think seminars should be hosted to cater to the "new" heating technologies....Then go ahead and run them. The marketplace will determine if there's any interest in them. If you feel a new website, or forum should exist to cater to your views, go ahead and create it. I for one think Mr. Holohan does a great service to the pros here, and people like me (homeowner) who like to learn. As DAD always said...."Learn something every day"
  • John R. HallJohn R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    My two cents

    Having known Dan for over ten years and having attended some of his seminars, including steam, I know how entertaining and informative he can be. And correct me if I am wrong -- isn't that the point of attending a Holohan seminar? I am sure that if the day comes that fewer people would sign up and the costs would exceed the revenues, Dan would find some other way to entertain us. But as the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
  • JJJJ Member Posts: 146
    I'm with Jason!

    My 1923 home has a one-pipe system that works great. I will never tear it out. When the 27 year old boiler goes I will install a properly sized unit, and not worry for another 30 years or so (not that I don't have the boiler serviced mind you).

    When replacing, I will be able to use a boiler that is more than 2x's smaller than the current one. We have added insulation, removed un-needed radiators, calculated the radiator EDR and performed a heat loss find that we only need 45K BTU vs. the 145K output now.

    So, rather than wasting money on a new forced hot water system....I plan to use the $$ for solar electric and thermal installs. I can pretty much provide all of our electric and domestic H2O needs from two small systems. evaporative cooler, a really old technology, provides excellent cooling at a fraction of the cost and evironmental impact of A/C.

    But then, not everyone is blessed to live in Colorado where the RH is good for evap and the sun shines all the time for solar applications (and lots of winter daytime gain on the 1 ft brick walls).

  • David NadleDavid Nadle Member Posts: 624

    I wasn't going to comment on this thread because the guy came off as a troll, but so many thoughtful people responded that I can't keep away.

    I have a couple of old fountain pens I like to use. Nothing fancy. Writing with a fountain pen that works smoothly is a pleasure. If you haven't tried one you should. Fifty years ago everyone over the age of six used fountain pens, but as they've been replaced by disposable pens knowledge of their care and use has almost disappeared. When they don't work right nobody close by knows how to fix them. So now we buy pens we can use for a while and toss out. Is that progress? Is that "green?"

    The more scarce steam heat gets, the more valuable this site will be and the more essential the people who study steam and specialize in it will be. I'm not an expert on how the efficiency comparisons are made between steam heated homes and other systems but if you're going to claim that steam must go to "save the planet" you'd better be armed with some facts, and take all the factors into consideration, including wasted labor and differences that can be attributed to factors other than the boiler, such as lack of insulation in older homes, etc.

    The original poster's arguments that this site is too focused on steam, or that steam is dying out, have been demolished. I don't expect him to be back with data supporting the supposed wastefulness of steam technology, but I'll be interested to hear him out if he does.
  • WayneWayne Member Posts: 50

  • Paul FredricksPaul Fredricks Member Posts: 315

    Why do I get the feeling that one person has logged in here under a number of aliases. And is trying to stir the pot for his/her own enjoyment.

  • Well how about getting

    rid of all them steam systems. In the inner city of Providence, Boston and other major cities steam is the heating system for many a three and four floor apartment house. The folks who own those can't afford new systems so we fix them and fix them again until they finally go. Then we put in a new steam boiler and clean up the old system and it runs for another 25 or 30 years. I have been seeing this for the last 40 years. So do we still need to learn about steam I hope to tell you we do.

    I am running a new class of techs through my night school we are down to two left in this class as lay offs and the poor economy have caused people to drop out. We keep going however as thsoe two deserve my best, which by the way includes a full series of instructions on steam systems. I use the "Lost Art of Steam Heating" as one of my text books for the class along with my own books on steam. Why do I like the way Dan presents steam - it is entertaining and informative. That makes learning much easier. Steam is the basics, learn steam and then move onward and upward to forced hot water and all that it offers.

    I guess the future is "GREEN" well green as far as I can tell costs a lot of money and not everyone can afford solar and geothermal. My son and I have offered it to several well to do people and when it all priced out they decided it was not for them. They by the way could afford it.

    As one who has been in this since I was 13 and am now 69 years old it is very apparent to me that everyone who services and installs must learn the old so they can understand the new.
  • Steamhead (in transit)Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    As far as I know

    there has never been a scientific, apples-to-apples of the relative efficiencies of transporting BTUs by steam as opposed to hot-water. Without this, claiming that one or the other is "more efficient" is simply substituting opinion for fact.

    Further, disregarding the parasitic pumping losses we find in hot-water systems distorts any comparison we try to make.

    The only "comparison studies" I've seen involve brand-new hot-water systems and steam systems on the brink of total failure from neglect. This is not a fair comparison, never has been and never will be.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • BillBill Member Posts: 52

    I wish more of the people who installed steam systems would learn about them. There are a lot of people who still use steam. In the area where I live I think it is a lot higher than the 10% it is supposed to be on a national basis.

    It always irritates me when I hear energy companies telling people how much they will save when they turn their thermostats down. There is nothing wrong with keeping your thermostat down as low as comfort will permit. What bothers me is why they aren't getting on the knuckleheads who could be saving way more energy than that by installing properly sized boilers, following the mfgs directions for correct boiler piping to produce dry steam, keeping the pressuretrol settings as low as possible etc.

    I think part of the problem is that the law has only required in the past that installations be safe, not efficient. In this era of energy crisis I think the installer has an obligation to make a system as efficient as reasonably possible. Actually New York state has a law called the fuel gas code - it states that the installer has to follow the manufacturers directions. I would urge any homeowner who was given undersized pipes, or an incorrect and inefficient pipe configuration, to withhold payment. Make sure you have an installation manual and check the diagrams there against your piping. Don't let the contractor zoom you. If you are putting yourself out as a steam boiler installer you ought to be able to install one according to the mfgs specs or get out of the business of doing them.

    If installers do even a minimally acceptable job they can save plenty of energy right now, a lot more than homeowners can by turning down their thermostats and freezing. The big deal about electronic ignition is that it saves 1% maybe on gas costs. Multiplied over many users that is significant. If every installer did a knowledgable installation it would be a heck of a lot more significant savings than that. Tearing a steam system out of an old home is prohibitively expensive - the payback, even if the new systems perform up to their promises is way too long. Making an old steam system as efficient as possible is the more pragmatic approach for most people. For this we need technicians who are knowledgeable about and interested in steam. Individuals who are intersted in saving the customer money with a proper installation, instead of being more concerned about what is playing on the radio while they rush through an incompetent installation because they think the customer doesn't know any better and they will get paid in any case.
  • bob youngbob young Member Posts: 2,174
    class A work

    that is some serious piping, Robert. is that holby piped correctly ? no 27 " heat sink on cold water connection.
  • bob youngbob young Member Posts: 2,174
    steam still rules

    steam will still be going strong long after you are gone & you can take that to the bank.
  • tommyoiltommyoil Member Posts: 613
    Sell some jobs????

    Yet you're sitting home (probably in a dark corner of your rented basement) posting assinine comments at 3:00 o clock and again at 3:30 in the afternoon. Success spawns jealousy and resentment and wannabes like you. Take the nipple off the gin bottle asshole and go get a job instead of hiding in chicken s**t fashion behind a phony name. It must be tough to live your sorry life with no balls. To have to "make fun" of people behind their backs is evidence of that. Your Mama must be proud of you(hope shes not fat with YOU as a son). When Dan says jump, I hope you find the highest building you can and take a flying freaking leap and do us all a favor. The world would be a better place (and it would be one less unemployment claim). I'd PAY to watch as would others here I'm sure. Then, we could give all the profits to charity. Now THAT would be entertainment. Count me in!
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