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How to build a steam heat system - Order of operations

stormbytes
stormbytes Member Posts: 31
edited January 2022 in Strictly Steam
I'm planning to replace the steam system in a 100 year old 2-floor house in NYC. I have my steamer selected and I've been slowly making my way through Dan's book, The Art of Steam Heat Revisited. The system will consist of a boiler/nbp, 2 main steam trunks, the requisite takeoffs to supply radiators on the first and second floors, and a wet return from either end. I will be redoing the entire system, so it's basically soup to nuts. In planning the job I'd like to understand the best order of operations to tie all the piping together in logical sequence. TIA!

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,513
    @stormbytes

    1.heat loss & type of system (one or two pipe)
    2. select a & locate radiation
    3. select boiler size & locate (clearance from combustables)
    4. make piping layout (steam mains,dry return, wet return, heights required above the water line) size of mains and runouts. Allowance for proper pitch
    5. size piping & main vents. Size runouts first, then mains then drips and then returns
    6. Combustion air requirements
    7. flue pipe and chimney/liner
    8. electrical & controls
    9. Fuel and burner piping
    10. City water MU with backflow and feeder if used
    11.Fill, start, test, adjust and skim
    12.pipe insulation
    13. permit and inspections

    Since you have wet returns going in I would make provisions to drip any second floor risers into the wet returns.

    If one pipe make steam take offs with a 45 (no 90s).
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,846
    Are you using cast iron radiators, convectors or something else?
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701
    So you do the permit after the work is done too? :wink:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • stormbytes
    stormbytes Member Posts: 31
    edited January 2022
    @EBEBRATT-Ed

    1.heat loss & type of system (one or two pipe

    Its a 1-pipe system. Could you elaborate on what you mean by 'heat loss' ?

    2. select a & locate radiation

    I presume you mean location and size of the radiators. There have been all sorts of changes to the system over the years. Radiators were added. Walls relocated. Rooms are over/under heated. I am actively planning this.

    3. select boiler size & locate (clearance from combustibles)

    No issues here. Boiler is situated at the rear of a gutted basement. Everything is wide open. No combustibles anywhere near the site.

    4. make piping layout (steam mains,dry return, wet return, heights required above the water line) size of mains and runouts. Allowance for proper pitch

    Runouts = take offs? (eg. smaller, horizontal/pitched pipes leading to radiators)

    5. size piping & main vents. Size runouts first, then mains then drips and then returns

    What are 'drips' ?

    Why are you sizing run outs first?

    What is the correct way to size 2 mains?

    Since you have wet returns going in I would make provisions to drip any second floor risers into the wet returns.

    Do you mean that second floor risers should drip condensate into their own lines tying into the wet return? I want to make sure I understand what you mean by 'second floor risers'. As the system is now, each takeoff leads to an individual radiator. There are no 'risers' per say that feed the 2nd floor (and subsequently branch out to feed radiators locally).

    If one pipe make steam take offs with a 45 (no 90s).

    Its a 1-pipe so I'll be using 45's for the take offs along with swing joints.
  • stormbytes
    stormbytes Member Posts: 31

    Are you using cast iron radiators, convectors or something else?

    Bit of everything. I understand 'convectors' to mean boxy looking cast iron radiators (Burnham made some way back in the day) that have no visible sections or columns. I've got a few of those, and some regular column type radiators. Will also be using cast iron baseboard radiators for the hot water loop in the basement.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,513
    Heat loss of house & rooms. How will you know what size radiator or boiler to install without it?

    You need to read Dan's book and see my responce to your other post