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Boiler as steam source for steam box?

Having just purchased an old house, there are a lot of windows and doors that need to be stripped and re-glazed. One of the best ways to do this is to use a steam box (here is an example: http://www.oldewindowrestorer.com/steamcabinet.html). Electric steam machines do not produce a lot of steam and must be refilled frequently. So the question is... can I use steam from the boiler to do this?

My biggest concern is reducing the boiler’s lifespan due to the introduction of too much makeup water.

Now, IF I’m going to do this, I assume that it would be possible to route the steam below the boiler’s water line considering that excess condensate would not be returned to the boiler. Is that thought correct?
Homeowner from Providence, RI
Home b. 1897, one-pipe steam with a indirect gravity hot air system using Gold's pin radiators.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,536
    edited September 2019
    Well... you can do it (in fact, I contemplated such a thing once, for a canoe -- but decided Cedric wouldn't like it) but, as you note, there will be additional corrosion and, depending on your water source, scaling and sludge in the boiler. Perhaps not that much, though. And the steam can be run pretty much where you want it to go -- but for efficiency, insulate everything in sight.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jsavage
    jsavage Member Posts: 42
    @Jamie Hall thank you for all your help everywhere on this forum! I’m going to give it a try and see where it gets me. If it gets me somewhere productive, I’ll post some info on what I did.
    Homeowner from Providence, RI
    Home b. 1897, one-pipe steam with a indirect gravity hot air system using Gold's pin radiators.
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,194
    You could look into at least feeding it with a reverse osmosis system and then build a deaerator. Basically a mini feed water system like an industrial plant would use. Would minimize the impact.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,190
    Iv'e steamed windows before and my electric steamer goes through at most about 1 gallon of water per steam cycle on a half sash ( about 25 minutes of steaming) probably with a bigger steam source you can probably raise the temp faster and use less water per cycle. Even with steam, not all the putty will soften, it seems.
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  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,121
    Snow melt or rain water? Balance pH if need be?