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Can I keep my steam heat but get rid of the 'one pipe's' ?

Neider Member Posts: 12

I'm looking into redoing my basement.  I love my steam heat and have mastered its maintenance over the years.  However, If I want the basement to be livable I have to tuck all of my electrical plumbing and HVAC (one pipe) into the ceiling before finishing.

I love my steam heat for several reasons, but would just like to get rid of the sloping pipes, if I redo the basement. 

I've heard I can retrofit my system to be a vacuum system (possibly eve to use for cooling purposes). 

Anyway, does anyone have advice for me.



  • Basement Piping

     Those sloping pipes are important as they convey the condensate (water) back to the boiler and have to "flow" so that is the reason the pipes are sloped. (You know the old saying, "water doesn't flow up hill!" )  I would get a steam pro to advise you what you could and couldn't do before I started any modifications.

    - Rod
  • Neider
    Neider Member Posts: 12
    One Pipe steam pro


    Can you recommend a steam pro that might help with my steam question?
  • Steam Piping Modification

    You might tell us your location as a lot of good pros visit this board. You can also go to the top of this page and click on "Find a Professional".  Skip the zip code part (new software and is a bit "buggy") and scroll down to "States". Pick your State and see if a steam pro is located near you.

    If you want to learn more about steam heating take a look in the "Shop" at the top of the page. Look for "We Got Steam Heat" and "The Lost Art of Steam Heating"  The books are available individually or as a package with another very good book. Here's a link to the package:  http://www.heatinghelp.com/products/Super-Deals/14/129/A-Steamy-Deal

    They are written so the homeowner can understand them and are loaded with information on steam heating systems, piping ,operation, etc., etc. The books are very worth while and will save you many times their worth.

    - Rod
  • Neider
    Neider Member Posts: 12
    One Pipe steam


    I'm familiar with these boards and have owned a copy of lost art for several years.  There is no pros in 49660 recommended from this site.

    I'm really just trying to find out if you can have steam heat with a system that doesnt' require gravity to feed the condensate back to the boiler.

  • Pipes in the Basement

    Well if you have "The Lost Art ,,,"  it will give you the parameters that are necessary for your steam system to run so you should be able to figure out what is practical and what isn't.  I'm afraid there is no magic  solution I can readily think of doing. With any method you still have to get the condensate back to the boiler. Vacuum just eliminates the air faster which makes the system more efficient. Perhaps you can figure out  an alternate routing for your piping that would move it so that  it doesn't take up as much overhead area. Just a thought - Have you considered digging the basement a bit deeper?

    - Rod
  • Neider
    Neider Member Posts: 12

    :) Thanks.  I didn't think there was a way.  I have considered digging deeper and may do that!

    Thanks again for your time!
This discussion has been closed.