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Adventures In Steam Heating

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HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 650
edited May 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
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Adventures In Steam Heating

If you're looking for a market niche with little or no competition, you should learn about older heating systems, and then take it on with a big smile on your face.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Some mansions in Rosedale area of Toronto were steam heated. Classy. Boilers were in pits for good gravity condensate return? On the other hand it made ash removal more irksome?
    The Parkdale area had even older mansions I think. That area, and Jarvis as well, went from ritzy to trashy and then back to very ritzy. Some of the hot water systems were pretty elaborate too. By the seventies everyone was switching to natural gas. Plus measures were taken to reduce heat loss. Interesting times.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,443
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    Only comment I'd make, @DanHolohan , is that some vapour systems have crossover traps rather than main vents at the ends of the steam mains -- and all of the main venting where the dry returns get back to the boiler (sometimes just an open pipe up the chimney!). Don't fix those -- keep the vents where they are (you may need to add to them). Just make sure the crossover traps are actually working.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Get air out and return condensate to boiler. Then steam heat should work well. Those Toronto mansions' heating systems were supposed to work better than common varieties. Did venting have some sort of condenser?

    Only comment I'd make, @DanHolohan , is that some vapour systems have crossover traps rather than main vents at the ends of the steam mains -- and all of the main venting where the dry returns get back to the boiler (sometimes just an open pipe up the chimney!). Don't fix those -- keep the vents where they are (you may need to add to them). Just make sure the crossover traps are actually working.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,443
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    In theory... the venting shouldn't ever need a condenser. If the pressures are correct (low!) and the system is either equipped with orifices or functioning traps, then the only things that should ever get into the dry returns are air and condensate.

    That's the theory for most systems -- but not all. Some later systems had various ingenious schemes to prevent the differential pressure between the steam mains and the dry returns from exceeding a set -- again low -- value. This kept the water in the boiler -- and protected the traps. Those did need main vents which would close against steam.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,547
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    Thanks, guys. Good points, well made.
    Retired and loving it.