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HARPER

harper
harper Member Posts: 9
I HAVE A QUESTION THAT I CAN'T SEEM TO GET A CONSISTENT ANSWER ON. I CURRENTLY HAVE A 2 PIPE STEAM HEATING SYSTEM FUELED BY OIL. I AM DEFINATELY CHANGING TO GAS AND I AM BEING ENCOURGED TO CHANGE TO A HIGH EFFICIENCY HOT WATER SYSTEM.

QUESTION #1 CAN I USE WATER IN THE RADIATORS INSTEAD OF STEAM?

#2 WILL THE RADIATORS GET AS HOT AS WITH THE STEAM OR WILL I HAVE TO ADD MORE RADIATORS TO HEAT THE SAME SPACE?

YOUR COMMENTS ARE APPRCIATED.

Comments

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,667
    some things to think about

    Yes harper it can be done but converting a 2 pipe steam system to a hot water system requires some math to ensure the raditors can produce enough heat to heat your home on design day . Also the bigger promblem is will the existing piping going to be able to handle the 15 to 18 psi  of pressure which it has never seen as a steam system that is the real question and an be costly . Unless you are willing to take those chances make sure who ever does this conversion fiqures the edr of your existing rads and a room by room heat lose for your home i believe that you would save more and have less hassle to have your 2 pipe system checked out by some one who knows steam 2 pipe systems and have them check every out to ensure all traps ,crossover traps and controls are working properly.I myself like other on this site would never do that type of conversion job.Over time you may develope leaks due to the piping never seeing that type of pressure and who ever does it make sure they add some exrta pipe supports being now those pipe shall be handling alot more weight then the piping supports have ever seen.I am wondering why you want to convert do you presently have issues with your systems performace? i think you won't be see alot of savings unless your existing raditor are grossly over sized  and you are installing  a modulating condensing boiler and please remenber  that no matter what boiler type you put in be sure that the system is completly flushed out of crude and that y strainers be installed on the return to keep that crude out of your boiler and out of your circulators impellar.I personally have done work on promblem systems that where knuckle headed by others and when done the HO where amazed that there fuel usage went way down and there indoor comfort went way up things to consider.Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Steam to Hot Water:

    I'm not a Steamer, but a wet head. If you had asked me to look at your system, I doubt that I would have suggested you do what you are asking about. I would have first done a complete heat loss of the house and the system. It's possible that there is nothing wrong with your system other than it needs long neglected servicing.

    Most wet heads are not all that familiar with steam. I am and know that it is another field. A lot of "new" wetheads now, have no practical experience and the only thing they seem to know is Mod/Com Gas and converting all to their latest ideas. The fact that they suggested converting to a Mod/Con and using the existing radiation shows to me a lack of understanding that there may not be enough radiation in the building to do the job and the danger of running 18# water in a system that has never seen any pressure.

    The guy (like me) who goes into your house and does a complete heat loss on the building, room by room, measures all the radiators and lists them room by room, etc, will probably be the highest price quoter. It takes time(money) to do all this work. The guy who doesn't, doesn't know what he is doing.

    Whenever I personally have been confronted with a situation such as your, I always give all the choices. From what you suggest here to replacing the boiler with a modern, efficient boiler and doing needed efficiency improvements to a complete re-do of the system like you mention. After the customer compares the cost, I've never done a complete re-do. People just won't spend the money.

    I personally would rather be paid to improve your system and be paid for my work than see you get prices to do something so expensive that you don't do anything. I loose from lack of work and you are stuck with no improvements.

    And I am constantly amazed at how careful people are with their money, clipping coupons to get small items they don't use when the larger item is the far better deal, and their willingness to spend potentially huge amounts of money on heating system improvements with little pay back unless factored over many, many years. When the house may be sold in 10 years.
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