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New York City's Orange Steam Funnels

If I were not a plumber, I would have no idea where these plumes of steam are coming from. I might not even care, but for those that do, this article opens your eyes to what goes on behind the scenes to provide hot water and heat to keep you comfortable.

https://www.nytimes.com/card/2024/04/02/nyregion/steam-funnels-con-edison-nyc
8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab

Comments

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,525
    Thanks, Alan. Heavy rain will also create a need for them. The rain water touches the outside of the steam pipes and flashes. 

    Denver’s steam system is the oldest. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 587
    As a kid growing up in NYC and going to school on E 94 ST.. we always thought it was smoke. And yes, we don't really give it a second thought after we see it the first time. How or why the smoke is created isn't something most care to learn more about. "Ah, it's just the ol' NYC subway construction." And google wasn't around then for the slightly curious.
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 912
    Those stacks are all over Philadelphia and downtown Boston, too.

    Bburd
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,701

    Thanks, Alan. Heavy rain will also create a need for them. The rain water touches the outside of the steam pipes and flashes. 


    Denver’s steam system is the oldest. 
    I came upon a NYC crew working in a hole in the street earlier this year where there was a lot of visible condensation escaping from the street, and this was exactly what they were addressing (a guy on the surface was nice enough to answer my question about what they were fixing). A pump in the street had failed, allowing storm water to come into contact with steam pipes.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Dollr
    Dollr Member Posts: 35
    Long ago I used to work in a restaurant in NYC on the corner of West Broadway and Canal Street. For decades there was one of those stacks always steaming right on the corner right outside the restaurant. One night the owner and the chef got drunk and painted the stack green to match the restaurant and added gold lighting bolts which was the logo for the restaurant. It was a great idea since the name of the restaurant was "Smokestack Lightning". Looked like it was planned that way!
    CLambAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 280
    Back in the early 1980s I walked from the World Trade Center to Water Street every morning to get to work. On the cold winter days I purposefully walked along Broad Street so I could be warmed by the steam leaking up from the sidewalk. Alas, several years later the steam leaks were repaired.
    PC7060Alan (California Radiant) Forbes