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Say goodbye..............

This system was installed in 1906 in Piedmont. It looks untouched. Probably the same as it did when it was first installed. It's beautiful and a testament to the craft of the "Dead Men".

New owners are doing a major remodel; want the radiators to disappear and have radiant heat along with a more efficient system.

Often wrong, never in doubt.
Steve Minnich

Comments

  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    Why do this to us....why?
    ChrisJ
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,182
    That system would make a great display in a museum so people could learn what we were capable of before pursuing the almighty dollar became our only goal.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,621
    edited July 2015
    I think I might cry myself to sleep tonight. On a serious note I still can't figure out why people buy a house they obviously don't like and then spend money to tear everything out? I know in my area it would be WAY cheaper to just build a new house and be done with it.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202744301871904.1073741828.1330391881&type=1&l=c34ad6ee78
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,320
    You can't fix stupid.

    Alan, salvage as much as you can. It's much too nice to scrap.
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    ChrisJ
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    Criminal, Just Criminal!
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    I'd give that Crane pressure gauge a good home if it is up for grabs :) Looks like a big (heavy) job.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    I feel the need to echo KC Jones' statement. Why buy a house when all you're going to do is gut it and start over? Sigh. I'd kill for a steam system that original, that untouched, and put together that beautifully. Even just the radiator valves are a thing of beautiful simplicity.

    Rip it all out and install radiant. I have no issue with radiant (meaning floor/slab), but when you have a basically pristine system like that to start with, I mean, COME ON...

    And this is coming from a guy that generally favors gravity hot water to anything else. But I recognize, and appreciate, beauty in engineering when I see it.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,134
    So much of that looks so new and unsoiled by those who don't know what it is. :/
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,422
    See if you can get the fuel consumption figures, so we can see how much less they use, at the end of next winter. A vacuum vapor system, like that has got to be as economical as they come!
    My guess is that a desire for a bigger kitchen has driven this decision to scrap the old system. Maybe a hot water loop serving the areas where rads must be moved would serve them better.
    When the estimates for all the work come in, they may be having a rethink on this.--NBC
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    If you look at the pressure gauge it is reading ten PSI (I assume it is stuck because I doubt the boiler is running at this time of year)! They probably have unresolved issues and have decided that steam is always loud and messy. What a shame!
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    I've flat out refused to do jobs like this.
    RobGChrisJ
  • These are new owners and want to add 500 sq. ft. to an existing 4,000 sq. ft. house.

    NBC: That's a great idea to leave the existing system and add heating in the new or unheated areas. They might go for that.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,182
    I find a lot of new homeowners here want the chimney gone and are easily convinced to scrap the old steam or hot water system. In the last 5 years about 10 homes near me have sold and in every case they have scrapped the existing heating systems, some of them had 3 yr old steam boilers.

    They may have decent jobs and be making a good buck but they have the collective common sense of a gnat.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    I'm sick. eriously, what is the issue with rads? they totally complement an old house (and new ones for that matter.) I love to know the ROI.some people just need to buy a new house, made to "look: like an old one.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • Roohollah
    Roohollah Member Posts: 117
    Dear friends ,

    I would first like to thank you for sharing these photos .What I derive from the system is that how good the former heating installer was at choosing reliable pipes and fittings in which lasts for more than a century ,and the point is this system has worked since 1906 .it is an excellent job .I wish I would be there to just touch these sort of systems .

    Nowadays, technology surpass our expectations and we welcome it with open arms to make life easier and ,more comfortable ;in this case, old fashoined systems have given way to new ones for decades .Indeed , most people prefer to hire healthier heating system which is more efficient and less fuel consuming .Also, heating installers would like to work with state an art products ,and turn the spooky boiler rooms into beautiful and well designed one as I have seen At FLOproteam website .


    So, thank you for familiarizing us with oldtimer's takes on hydronics heating systems . Further more , we pray for those ones who are not with us today ,and wishing them rest in eternal peace .



    Yours Sincerely,
    roohollah
    RobG
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,182
    The key to a lot of these old systems was simplicity, there was little that could break and when something went wrong it was fairly easy to figure out what it was.

    Efficiency gains, at the cost of complexity, may not be as attractive over the life of a system. If the right materials are used and the system has enough diagnostic tools built in to make troubleshooting easy the complexity can be worth it. A system should last at least 20 years with good upkeep and the maintenance costs should not be onerous.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,320
    "Spooky boiler rooms"?

    Obviously you have not been paying attention to the steam boiler replacement pictures on this site. Nothing spooky about these!

    Since some of these old systems are now running on a third less fuel, you can't assume that tearing them out is the only way to go. The return on investment is much, much better when you fix a steam system instead of tearing it out.

    And many of us would much prefer to work with a steam system than a sometimes-finicky mod-con. It's pretty easy to fix a steam system using standard parts- but everything on a mod-con is proprietary, so the components aren't interchangeable. Customers don't appreciate being told parts are several weeks away on those 5-degree nights.

    And a steam system is far less likely to suffer freezing damage than a hot-water system.

    Advantage: Steam!
    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    jonny88ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,491
    Why is it whenever someone does an addition no one can ever do an addition onto the steam system? Is it that difficult to extend, or add a main?

    From my eyes it's not that big of a deal but perhaps someone like @Steamhead or @JStar that are actually in the field can give some feedback as to why this seems like it's never done. I'm going to assume ignorance.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,320
    edited July 2015
    ChrisJ said:

    Why is it whenever someone does an addition no one can ever do an addition onto the steam system? Is it that difficult to extend, or add a main?

    From my eyes it's not that big of a deal but perhaps someone like @Steamhead or @JStar that are actually in the field can give some feedback as to why this seems like it's never done. I'm going to assume ignorance.

    We've installed steam in additions. Others don't do it because you can't fix stupid. Here's a recent one that still has pictures:

    http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/151513/lets-start-the-new-wall-off-properly

    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.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    ChrisJ
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