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Steam Heating pipe size.

bluedevil30bluedevil30 Posts: 5Member
edited January 9 in Strictly Steam
My mother lives in the Boston area and has gas boiler, steam radiators.

Recently, she had a steam expert replace a leaking radiator fitting. The cost was very reasonable as every other plumber wanted to replace the radiator for way more.

When the steam repair guy was there he said her steam supply pipes were too narrow and would upgrade to larger diameter pipes for a reasonable cost.

Assuming this guy is truthful, how much efficiency is gained with this modification? Heat portion of her gas bill is about $ per year.



  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,404Member
    Probably very little -- and it's unlikely they really are too small. But if you want a thoroughly honest evaluation, get in touch with @New England SteamWorks .

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • bluedevil30bluedevil30 Posts: 5Member
    New England Steam told her the pipes were small. She waited 3 months for them to come but it was worth the cost savings.
  • FredFred Posts: 7,853Member
    If New England Steam Works told her the pipes were too small, then trust, they are too small!
  • bluedevil30bluedevil30 Posts: 5Member
    Her small apartment (1200 SF) heats fine, this is about saving money. She has all double pane windows but it's a 100 year old leaky house.

    If the payback was less than 4 years it might be worth the cost.
  • New England SteamWorksNew England SteamWorks Posts: 1,225Member
    edited January 8
    I believe I told her that her main vents were too small...

    And her returns are tied together above the waterline.

    And to be fair, she only waited 10 weeks...

    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,108Member

    I believe I told her that her main vents were too small...

    That's a huge difference versus what the OP is saying. If the mains are under vented it's all a question of burner on time savings. If better vents shave 1 minute (or more) off of the steam supply time, then that's 1 minute of fuels savings every time the boiler fires. Then it's just math.

    We can not say how much will be saved without timing the mains and comparing.

    To the OP, we do not discuss pricing here so it is appreciated if you remove that from your original post.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • bluedevil30bluedevil30 Posts: 5Member
    You guys are the best!!!
  • FredFred Posts: 7,853Member
    edited January 8
    You and your mother have to make the final decision but, it is not only just about payback, it's also about comfort, for your mother and the way the system runs while providing that comfort. If the pipes are small enough, it is possible condensate can't return while steam travels to the radiators, it's about having a quiet system, where the radiators aren't spitting water, because the radiators are filling with water, during the heating cycle as a result of pipes that are too small.

    Whatever you decide, if New England Steam Works told you something would help fix an issue. You can take that to the bank.
  • bluedevil30bluedevil30 Posts: 5Member
    I fixed my post. I'm a rookie just looking out for Mom. I have nothing but great regards for the company that did the work for my mother. I appreciate the prompt responses!!
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