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Fire museum in town

KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,052Member
Hanover, PA fire museum opened not to long ago and I visited the past couple weekends with my son.

It’s steam heated with an unusual system (I think). It is a down feed up feed combination of 1 pipe and 2 pipe air vent. Steam mains are in the ceiling of the first floor (14’ ceilings) and they downfeed the first floor and upfeed the second.

First floor return pipes go into floor and then basement, I have not been into basement, but the one gentlemen claims the boiler is an Iron Fireman.

They are supposedly going to stop using it and change to (my guess) forced hot air. I might try bending the ear of them and see if I can convince them otherwise. ;)

I am including a picture of one of the cool pipe radiators in the garage area. This fire house originally used horses and at one point a steam pumper. They have done a fantastic job with the preservation.

@Steamhead if I can convince them to get an evaluation from a real steam pro, would you be interested?
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

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,219Member
    Too bad that as the # of steam pros dwindle systems get ripped out. Maybe you can save it.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,720Member
    KC_Jones said:


    @Steamhead if I can convince them to get an evaluation from a real steam pro, would you be interested?

    Sure!

    Somewhere I have a diagram of a setup wherein the heating boiler kept the fire engines warm all the time. That way they could get steam up quickly when called. I'll see if I can find it.
    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
  • FredFred Posts: 7,727Member
    @KC_Jones , It's amazing how common old pipe can be so elegant. I love the fact the vent looks like a finial atop a column.
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,052Member
    @Fred let’s just say based on what I saw that vent should be considered decoration as it surely isn’t doing much. The mains don’t appear to be in the basement and I didn’t see a single main vent. Their main complaint....uneven heating. Shocker right? When you walk from the meeting room into the garage area the temperature drops dramatically. If I was to guess I’d say 10 degrees maybe more.

    The system needs help, but what’s visible appears to be unmolested except for some replacement radiator valves. It appears to be in excellent shape, but I haven’t seen the basement.
    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
  • FredFred Posts: 7,727Member
    edited January 27
    @KC_Jones , yea not much of a vent for that much pipe. Gives new meaning to "Vent radiators slowly", but again, I'm sure the original coal fired boiler ran from October through April.
  • BenKBenK Posts: 14Member
    Fred said:

    @KC_Jones , It's amazing how common old pipe can be so elegant. I love the fact the vent looks like a finial atop a column.

    I like looking at old plumbing work that looks like a work of art. I remember visiting Ellis Island and seeing the radiators in the stairwell that curved with the rounded inside corners. Now a days people don't want to see our work. I get hiding the pipes in the walls so they aren't exposed, but when was the last time you heard someone say, "Plunk that big ol radiator right in my living room; it'll be the showpiece of the whole room!" or "Show me the baseboard! It's almost as beautiful as the family pictures." Now it's all "the less you see, the better. Out of sight, out of mind :'( "
    "Don't try to win an argument; instead, try to have a conversation." -Steve Deace
  • FredFred Posts: 7,727Member
    edited January 27
    @BenK , Those of us who love historic/antique homes (and there are many of us) really appreciate the craftsmanship of those exposed features in our homes. I have to say most of it is hidden behind walls today because it is junk, just thrown in, typically to only be marginally functional, at best and thrown away in a few years when if fails. I'll take my 117 year old home and it's original steam radiators any day. Others can choose what they want too.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Posts: 14,448Member, Moderator, Administrator
    Retired and loving it.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 7,763Member
    Steam heating would be the most perfect solution for a garage space whose large doors are opened many times throughout the day, introducing at least a half room volume of fresh outside air to the inside.
    Using forced air would require a large number of cubic feet of air to be blown through the furnace to achieve the same result.
    Maybe the only thing the system would need is much better venting, and a thermostat. Certainly, that would be cheaper than installing a new furnace, with ductwork.
    How are they supporting the costs at the museum?—NBC
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,720Member
    @KC_Jones , my offer stands.
    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
  • Christian GaribaldiChristian Garibaldi Posts: 57Member
    Funny you mention the current setup, I have a similar layout in my firehouse.... Boiler in basement, 4 inch riser comes up from the header down there, through the concrete slab up to the 13 ft ceiling in the garage level and splits off to two main loops that travel along the ceiling level around the near perimiter of the building footprint (100'x 25') and the end of both mains meet back on the opposite side wall with the main vents there and drop back down through the slab into the basement. Along the mains that run along the ceiling any second floor rads are fed from risers that go up through the floor, and any radiators in the garage are fed from drops coming from the ceiling height, each with a gate valve bypass which I assume is to allow condensate to still be able to bypass and reach the return in the case that you shut down the radiator valve on any of the ones in the garage (Each radiator also has an outlet piped in on the lower opposite side of the inlet). There are two runs of return lines that run parallel with the floor by means of bare copper tubing that runs right along the perimeter walls (Even dipping under the slab at one point near a door threshold and back up to floor level again) and eventually makes a drop into the basement again. I'm guessing that may have been an option for making these types of systems work in configurations like this. I mean, who am I to question it, it was done lonnnnnnng before I got here, and it works fairly well. Its also raised the debate I have been having with myself for the years I have owned this building and have tried to make it run more efficiently as to whether or not it would be money well spent, or worth it to go through the process of insulating all of the exposed mains. My hesitance is that aside from appearance, I am technically getting usable heat off the mains as well, and it is heating the building. I know insulating them would help keep the energy as steam and help get it more to the radiators themselves, but the "lost heat" coming from them is still winding up inside my living space....albeit concentrating at mostly ceiling height, but the staircase and two firepole openings act as ducts that get it to the uppper floor as well. Thats probably a whole other discussion though. But getting back on topic, my place has a similar setup as the one you describe in PA.

    Heres some pics of how mine is setup















    Weil McLain EGH 95 400,000 BTU single pipe steam
  • SlamDunkSlamDunk Posts: 493Member
    You steam geeks!

    Isn't anyone going ask about the model train tracks in the photo?
  • KC_JonesKC_Jones Posts: 4,052Member
    SlamDunk said:

    You steam geeks!

    Isn't anyone going ask about the model train tracks in the photo?

    That was the main reason my son and I were there. We are train fanatics and they had a bunch of train layouts for Christmas. They also have a really incredible museum, not just fire, but a lot of history of our town.
    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
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