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whatever happened to the development of a steam assoc.?

There was talk last year about an association for steam heat forming. Any news? Ran into another homeowner who is ripping out his steam last week..sad..if there isn't enough interest or competent service people we all loss..

Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.


  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,668

    Start it!
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 11,157
    Dave and I were working on that last fall

    then the heating season hit with a vengeance and we both got extremely busy. I'll pass this on to him and see where we are.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,611
    we're getting older,

    and running out of time.

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • ttekushanttekushan Posts: 901
    Good question, Gerry.

    between you, Frank, Gordo, Dave, and a handful of others who do not necessarily post here frequently anymore or at all, there exists a significant preponderance of evidence that the steam heating medium can be both installed and operated in a very cost effective way. The choices of system styles is much broader than conventional wisdom suggests, and clear examples of low energy use also defy conventional wisdom.

    My claim that boilers that actually boil and the generation of latent heat, etc requires a second look at the relationship between what is generally believed about combustion efficiency and systemic efficiency is falling on deaf ears, with the possible exception of present company. Judging and designing a system reliant on latent heat from the prevailing viewpoint of those who deal exclusively with systems that don't, puts us at an automatic disadvantage in my view. Especially in regard to keeping unoccupied spaces heated, a luxury that the future may not find sensible.

    It has been claimed by a few detractors that our collective "anecdotal" evidence is not "real" evidence because, somehow, without the blessing of one "official authority" or another, "anecdotal" is a synonym for "false."

    My dictionary must be different from theirs. Certainly devising a simple way to do what Steamhead has suggested a million times, that is, an "apples to apples" comparison of modern, right-sized steam heating systems in actual new construction. Officially. Whatever that means these days.

    The minitube system in an older home with mediocre insulation should raise some attention and create some paradigm-questioning due to its remarkably low operating cost, let alone its lower installation cost due to its fundamentally small tubing size and simplicity.

    The orifice vapor system with multistage boilers and firing rates for load matching in similar construction as above should raise some attention and create some paradigm-questioning due to its low operating cost and the fact that this is achieved with a "heritage" heating system.

    But I can understand. A brick wall of institutional indifference can be very frustrating.

    Philosophically speaking, I absolutely don't understand why, in a world of 7 billion people and a nation of 330 Million people and a much larger number of heating systems installed as compared to a hundred years ago or whenever, Why is there such a push towards monoculture of everything particularly in the choice of forced air and a similar monoculture in hydronic heating? Is it true that in an era where I would think we should have and field test more and varied choices that we're being boxed into a few choices of mega-culturally acceptable ways of heating our homes?

    And that these choices are being further narrowed and enforced by the prevailing forces in the industry and their influence on regulators in government? And why must this new conformism to a particular form be so viciously enforced, especially by otherwise nice people?

    I used to think we had friends here from the hydronic side of the fence, and from those who understand the merit of elegantly designed systems that perform beautifully without high complexity; that operate with low energy use but without a level of complexity that brings into question their sustainability or long term serviceability.

    Our work in steam heat proves to me that it's a natural and legitimate counterpart to the momentum in the direction of increased complexity especially in the face of the nature and risk of rapid obsolescence before true life cycle energy savings may be realized.

    I now suspect that our honesty in our revelatory observations is questioned, or worse, dismissed. I don't know if it is mere groupthink, or what. I won't question their motivations any more than I expect mine to be questioned.

    But I thought we were all after the same thing. Economy, comfort, and the joy of creating such systems. Some of us steam types have proven to our own and clients' satisfaction that steam will serve economically with greater flexibility, simplicity and superior life-cycles. That it is a superior long term solution for a large number of circumstances.

    And somehow this isn't news.

    If a Steam Heating Association for the advocacy of the latest and best practices fails to get off the ground, I suspect it will be due to industry indifference. If it means that steam heating is suffocated at a time where the world needs it to be reborn, it won't be because of its real strengths or shortcomings.

    It will be for reasons and motivations I simply can not understand.
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 7,356

    is no longer anecdotal if it can be reliably repeated.  The scientific method is sometimes used as justification for dismissing facts which don't suit someone's favored theory.  Real science is not so monochromatic, and requires regular re-examination of one's assumptions.
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Posts: 1,349
    Speaking of evidence

    I posted a link to a DOE-sponsored study of steam system balancing and tuning a few months ago, but it didn't get as much discussion as I expected. You guys were probably pretty busy at the time, and the subject wasn't very descriptive, but here it is, in case you're interested.


    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • My customers are my fan club, not my competitors

    Hello everyone, longtime no post, but time flies at the speed of steam. I've also long wanted to find a movie star to champion a boiler sanctuary where we'd send old and tired boilers for a well earned retirement of loving care in beautiful coal field pastures – just like they do with old zoo bugs and horses in Hollywood while the young boilers full of steam take on the lead. You've all seen the touching pictures of the venerable boilers that gave us all the good life and the good comfort. The great generation. Upstanding stuff.

    Would anyone really think of stopping to look at a used furnace coughing out old dust and oozing condensate slime? Deep down we all know the truth and the real comfort of warm bodies.

    Meanwhile, I'm setting up a business page here – long overdue. Check it out when it opens.

    I already have the motto : INSTAURARE OMNIA IN VAPORE and we pray to St Cecilia for good steam. And it seems from this post that there is also a good base for an Ohio chapter to this Steam Team.

    Best wishes to all
  • ttekushanttekushan Posts: 901

    It's great to see you back!

    I had drafted an email to you to catch up, and maybe give you a heads up on this thread, but didn't have time to make it brief enough, but I see that won't be necessary.

    We've missed your eloquent, almost lyrical postings. But time does have a way of getting away, doesn't it?

    I agree. An Ohio chapter would be of inestimable value to the association!
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,611
    Good article Hap

    thanks for sharing it.

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,611
    Terry & Christian

    we have to get together this summer for a steaming chow down..we can pig out and talk steam.

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Danny ScullyDanny Scully Posts: 547
    I want in!

    I want in guys! Lets get this thing going, I'd be glad to create a website or any means of communication for all of us. Let me know of anything I can do.
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,611
    i think a handful of us

    are just going to have to get together one day and decide what we are going to do. Where are you located Danny?

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • The menu : steamed everything

    It's so nice to see you all. I can't believe how long the time has been.

    If we want to rock on, we should meet in Cleveland, well because, Cleveland rocks. Dayton's claim to musical discoveries is Funk, so let's get rolling first.

    My find-a-pro page is working.

    Thanks Dan and your excellent team.
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,668

    The sooner, the better. Any help I can do from NJ, I'll be all over it.
    - Joe Starosielec
    [email protected]
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 1,343
    edited May 2013
    Regarding proof.

    Other posters have called for fairer studies to compare systems.  It may help if owners of oil companies (people who have real world access to numbers) can report their findings.  Here's an excerpt I posted on another forum.  It was basically a customer complaining they are burning too much oil with their steam system. I compared 3 of my customers houses--steam to bad steam, and steam to bad gravity conversion.....

    ....Tricky....hard to tell without a piping diagram and all the math. Is anyone looking at the option of making sure the steam system boiler is sized properly, and working the way it was originally designed? For example, near boiler piping is right, all pipes pitched correctly and insulated, all vents/traps working, etc.

    When was the last time (if ever) the steamer was skimmed?

    A proper working/performing steam system is a thing of beauty and comfort.

    Don't forget, when you switch to water, this thing could leak anywhere and almost everywhere with the higher pressure.

    If their only complaint is what they think is higher fuel usage, getting the steam up to snuff, skimming the boiler, make sure all vent/traps are properly sized and working, and adding insulation to the house might do the trick (doesn't make you as much money as a replacement), and will reduce their fuel bills.

    Here are some examples from my customers:

    All houses are blocks from each other, 3 story, mildly insulated, 120 years plus, oil heat, fuel usage from Oct-May 1st

    House 1. One pipe steam, everything maintained perfectly--550 gallons for last season.

    House 2. One pipe steam, completely knuckleheaded, owner refuses to spend any money (gonna move soon, 5 years ago, lol)--1123 gallons for the season.

    House 3. Boiler, forced hot water, converted from gravity (poorly)--1275 gallons for the season.

    Just something to think about.

    Maybe others have information to share too.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 11,157
    Thanks for posting this, Steve

    I'm assuming the houses were about the same sizes, insulation, windows etc... just making sure. Is that another heating industry board that we don't know about?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 1,343

    Yeah they are relatively close, in size, location (a few blocks), original windows,and remodeling (almost no remodeling). 

    The other site is, which most everyone knows, but they hardly get any posting in oil or hydronics.  But they are big on vetting, and locked areas for tech to tech chat.

    As we all know, this is still the best place to be :)
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