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Converting one pipe steam to two pipe hot water radiator

Bio Member Posts: 278
Looking into possibly convert to oil steam -to- gas hot water conversion and came across this product "Converting one pipe steam to two pipe how water" see link <a href="http://www.hydronicalternatives.com/Steam-to-hot-water-conversion-valve.pdf">http://www.hydronicalternatives.com/Steam-to-hot-water-conversion-valve.pdf</a> by hydronics alternatives, what are your thoughts and experiences, please share


  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Never used one of THOSE...

    But I have used a lot of other TRV's, and they work fantastic. However, you have to be careful about whose steam radiator you use them on. If the tops of the sections are not connected all the way across the top, it will not work. No convective currents,

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278

    Yes, I'm aware of the TRV's but i'm looking to possibly change to HW heating to take advantage of state rebates and higher efficiency that I can't get with steam boilers and also be able to use temperature reset control, I'm still doing some more research as oil prices are not getting any better
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278

    Yes, I'm aware of the TRV's but i'm looking to possibly change to HW heating to take advantage of state rebates and higher efficiency that I can't get with steam boilers and also be able to use temperature reset control, I'm still doing some more research as oil prices are not getting any better
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    seen product

    But if anybody has installed this product or seen it please post your experience
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    Havent tried one but

    you would need to have existing water style radiators on your one pipe steam system for it to work..just make sure you dont have true steam radiators.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,715
    edited April 2012

    even if your existing rads will work with hot-water, they may not be big enough to provide enough heat with hot-water. A hot-water rad only gives off about 2/3 the heat of a steam one. And even if they are `big enough` they will need to run at such high temperatures that a condensing boiler will be out of its condensing range much of the time. Bye-bye promised high efficiency.

    And a hot-water system needs about ten times the pressure of a steam system. If there are any weak points in the rads or piping, they WILL leak. Will the state pay for the damages that result? I didn't think so.

    It is far simpler and less risky to put in the most efficient steam boiler you can find. The two best are the Smith 8 series and Slant/Fin Intrepid series with power gas burners instead of oil burners. I'd post pics of these, but can't get to my archive from Japan.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    Boiler type plus reset control?

    OK, decision made, will stick with steam, very valid points everybody, so which is the best choice for steam gas boiler, I did a "replacement boiler sizing chart" measure all radiators and came up that I need a 39,192 BTU boiler, also is there an outdoor rest for steam boilers out there?
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    The reset control for steam

    isn't really something you would normally find in a house..its a glorified timer that runs the boiler for certain time lengths based upon outside temps..apartment buildings generally use them..thats not to say you couldn't use it in a house..tekmar 279 is one model.
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Your best bet....

    with one pipe steam is to use Thermostatic radiator valves thoughout your home, except where the thermostat is located.  This is the norm throughout the rest of the world and gives improved comfort and fuel savings.  I wouldn't go too far with fancy controls as a heating load that light shouldn't be very costly to pay for and the payback for fancy controls or high efficiency steam boilers may not be there.
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    thermostatic valves vs tekmar

    Just trying to educate my self, with the tekmar 279 do I need to set thermostat at one temp all day and leave it alone or can I use it my programmable thermostat which is set to be on only when someone is home, now with thermostatic valve, the thermostat is at the main floor and my room which is in my finish attic, attic is usually colder then main floor, could be a good idea to move thermostat to attic and have the main floor on thermostatic valves?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    Fixing the old steam system

    If you choose a new gas boiler, which has been correctly sized to the load(edr), with insulated main pipes, installed as the mfg. specifies,

    And install extremely generous main (not rad) vents, whose capacity is verified by a low 2 ounce back-pressure(gauge store.com 0-3 psi), during the initial phase of venting,

    and you have a thermostat properly set up for steam, and correctly located,

    Then you can wait to see if you need any trv's at all.

    Do a search here for "set back", and you may decide not to have much set back at all, after reading all the posts.--NBC
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    Cant find decent plumbers

    Went through 3 companies already to give me an estimate, none of them measure my radiators and when I ask i they will do black iron piping two of them said will do copper and the other one said that's old school and those pipe will corrode ( all will use uticas boiler)and leak, I will be calling the only plumbing company I could found in this site using my zip code and will ask for right thermostat
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Thermostats etc.

    Hi-  Just to sort of reiterate what others have said and add a few comments-

    Heating controls -Thermostat - There are outdoor reset controls like the Tekmar 279 but on a small system you really don't need it . They are more geared to an apartment building or a very large house so a good regular thermostat will work fine.  For steam you need to make sure the thermostat you get has a function that will allow you to set the number of heating cycles per hour. For a steam system it is usually set at 1 cycle per hour.

    Thermostat setback-  Most modern thermostats allow you to program the operating temperature to a lower level during periods when you plan to be absent from the dwelling.  With steam, the general consensus seems to be that having a setback of more than 5 degrees uses more fuel  to raise the temperature back to its normal occupied temperature than just maintaining the original occupied temperature.  One way to save a lot of fuel is to lower your normal occupied temperature. Setting it a 68 will save a lot of fuel over setting it at 70.   My wife and I have found that once you get used to it,  65 isn't all that bad and if you get cold, a sweatshirt or sweater works well.

    1. Attic- You don't want to move the thermostat to the attic. Leave it where it is.  There is no sense in using more fuel and overheating the rest of the house just to get the attic warmer. What do you have now to provide heat to the attic now?   I would consider increasing the insulation in the attic and /or increasing the heat source. (larger radiator)

    TRVs -  TRVs work great!  We have them on 3/4 of the rooms in our house. With them we can shut down rooms we don't normally use in winter.  We put them on a setting around 45 degrees as this stops the water pipes in the wall from freezing.  We also use them in the bedrooms to keep the rooms at around 55 degrees at night for sleeping. In both cases if you want the room at a high temperature you just  change the setting on the TRV.   There is a specific model TRV for a one pipe steam system so you have to make sure you get the right type. Also as was mentioned in an earlier post you don't use TRVs in the same room as the thermostat as it causes the thermostat to be inaccurate.

    You mentioned the BTUs you felt you needed . What was the total EDR of  your radiators?  (with no pickup factor)

    Piping- Black pipe is to be used for all steam bearing piping. Anyone who tells you different doesn't understand steam heating. Copper can be used for non steam bearing returns. ie: the Wet Returns

    - Rod
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
    thermost, TRV's, New boiler

    I will probably stay with one temperature set for whole day on the thermostat since the price of the tekmais too expensive for steam and not worth it for residential, will stick with TRV's and as far the attic, when I bought the house a radiator was existing it looks like they put a tee on one of the rooms and split it the one pipe and both the attic and the room are getting heat although the attic gets colder faster than the main floor, can steam pipe be zone or what other choices do I have, now the EDR's for the radiators, I don't have them handy will post it tomorrow, still getting quotes on new gas-steam boilers still none of them are measuring radiators
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