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Reclaim Headspace from Steam Pipe

I have an older house with some pretty decent headspace to finish the basement, but the steam pipes are getting in the way. One contractor suggested I replace the pipes with PEX which as I have learned is NOT the way to go.

Are there alternative small pipes to be able to repipe the system and get back that space? or am I out of luck with my options to reclaim my headspace?


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,533
    Pex is a no no on steam. Don't let that contractor touch it.

    There may be ways of repiping tp give you more room.

    Can you post some pictures?

    Steam and condensate pipes need to be pitched 1/4"/foot minimum to work. So a 15' run of pipe would need to drop 3 3/4" for example.

    So a good pipefitter can get creative there are lots of tricks to help with this including condensate pumps if need be. Cost is a separate issue
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,313
    It is unlikely that you can get away with smaller pipes, but as @EBEBRATT-Ed said, sometimes creative ways can be found to help. Problem is, the more creative one needs to be, the better and more knowledgeable the steam contractor you get to work on the job has to be.

    One hopes the person who suggested PEX was joking. If not, they are totally incompetent and shouldn't be asked even to do simple plumbing, never mind heating.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
    How about pictures of your boiler and piping around it?
    Are you absolutely sure it is steam and not hot water?