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How many single pipe systems still exist?

Will, it's time to take the Steam Plunge.

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Comments

  • Andy B
    Andy B Member Posts: 3
    How many single pipe systems still in use?

    Can any one offer an estimate to how many single pipe steam systems still exist in the U.S.? Thanks.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,687
    Estimate

    Less then 1%
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Andy B
    Andy B Member Posts: 3
    How many single pipe systems still exist?

    Thanks for your response.
    Do you mean that less than 1% of all the single pipe systems that were ever installed are still in use today? Can you put a number to this?
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Probably in the millions

    You find them mostly in older cities and towns, where much of the housing stock was built before World War 2. At that time, the industry was moving away from air-based heating because ducts were bulky and impossible to keep clean inside, and they could not offer the comfort level of steam or hot-water.

    After the war, the game changed to "just put in whatever is cheapest, we don't have to live with it" which is why we find a lot of furnasties and heat pumps in newer houses.

    Water-based systems are still being installed, and some of us even install or add to steam systems. There have been people who have predicted the complete demise of these systems, but time and again they were proven wrong.

    "Steamhead"

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  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,537
    In my experience

    the vast majority of steam systems are still in operation. I would say 70% plus. As far as a % of US housing stock,I would say well under 1%. More than 90% of US homes are not hydronic,and the majority of homes have been built since WWII.The majority of those have been built since 1980
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  • Big Will
    Big Will Member Posts: 396
    San Fransisco

    Is full of it. Many of the homes are being remodeled now and the systems are being replaced. The earthquake in 1906 destroyed a lot of homes in San Fransisco. They were rebuilt with one and two pipe steam. I would say that about a third of the homes that were built in San Fransisco in the first 40 years after the earthquake still have working steam. About half of those are single pipe. I have thought of getting involved with steam but there is no one to learn it from around here that I know.
  • Andy B
    Andy B Member Posts: 3
    How many single pipe systems still in use?

    Interesting statistics. Thanks.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Sounds like

    a San Francisco trip might be in order- what say ye, Steam Men? We might be able to get Will to the point where he corners the steam market there.....

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  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641


    many 1 pipe steam systems in commercial apartment buildings and because of the cost that would be involved to change it they will be around for a long time
  • gerry gill_2
    gerry gill_2 Member Posts: 29
    Will, what stops you

    from doing your homework and becoming the local expert? with the internet were just a touch away to assist you..

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  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177
    steam fitting

    A competent plumber can usually master one pipe steam without too much grief. especially if he likes it. it sure gave me the edge.
  • oil-2-4-6-gas
    oil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641


    > A competent plumber can usually master one pipe

    > steam without too much grief. especially if he

    > likes it. it sure gave me the edge.



  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,894
    Gerry's right, Will --

    It's not all that hard, once you get your head around it, and the guys on this Wall are absolutely incredible at helping out when help is needed!

    Go for it!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Kool Rod
    Kool Rod Member Posts: 175


    Will- I live in Los Angeles. I have always considered steam heating an east coast thing and when I read this post and I saw San Francisco mentioned, my first thought was, "Ya, that makes sense. They have a lot of old buildings up there and it is cold in winter". My second thought was: " Boy, I bet a steam guy could make out like a bandit up there!"

    I strongly agree with what Gerry, Bob and Jamie have said.
    It would be a great specialized niche and when the word got out I think you'd have all the business you could handle, with little competition.

    So now you have 3 steam pros and a dumb home owner(me) thinking San Francisco has great steam potential. I think you should seriously consider it.

    - Rod
  • Frenchie
    Frenchie Member Posts: 113
    What fuels?

    What fuels are used out yonder on the Pacific coast? any oil, any LPG, or is it all natural gas and electricity?
  • Kool Rod
    Kool Rod Member Posts: 175


    As most of the Pacific Coast housing and infrastructure is fairly new (compared with older eastern cities) you find a predominance of gas heating being used. Oil can be found more in rural areas and in the Pacific Northwest generally in older houses. Electricity seems to be used more for stove/cooking and gas for heating /hotwater /clothes dryers. Most tract houses come with a choice of gas /electric for the dryer.

    - Rod
This discussion has been closed.