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Hot Water Loop From Hot Water Tank Instead of Steam Boiler

nycpa Member Posts: 108
Has anyone heard of creating a hot water loop from a 50 gallon hot water tank to heat a basement?  If so, is this widely practiced?  What are the benefits and risks?  Would this be better than setting up a hot water loop with a bypass from a steam boiler?  Thanks


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,947

    it could be done.  But keep in mind that hot water heaters are just that, and aren't really intended to be boilers.  Various threads on the Wall here seem to agree that it isn't such a good idea.

    Setting up a hot water loop running off a steam boiler is pretty simple, though.  Various approaches can be used, depending mostly on where the radiation is vertically in relation to the boiler waterline.  If the radiation is below the waterline -- for instance for heating a basement -- all you really need is a pump and some pipe and a thermostat (for the pump) and an aquastat (to keep the boiler warm).  You might want a bypass to keep the circulating water a little cooler, though, when the boiler is firing for steam!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,334
    A hot-water loop is pretty easy to do

    here's one we did- this one operates an indirect water heater rather than a baseboard loop, but the boiler hookup is the same. It's all the way at the end of this thread:

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service