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new residential steam?

AJG
AJG Member Posts: 16
I'm restoring an old one-room schoolhouse and I'm trying to decide on a heating system. Because the heat-loss will be very high, (16ft ceilings, unisulated brick walls, lots of single pane windows) I'd like to heat primarly with a woodstove, but I need back-up system also. I'm thinking the back-up should respond very quickly since it will only be on for short periods. Forced air is out of the question, I can't stand it. I was thinking radiant floor or hot water with old radiators but that takes a long time to heat up.
Which leads me to steam. I have heard that steam is less efficient than hot water, but would that be true in this case, where it's only on for a couple hours at a time?
Does this make any sense? Any help or ideas appreciated.

Comments

  • I've done that

    You still can build a steam system. Your ideas are good.

    Where are you located?

    Noel
  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177


    how about a gas-fired unit heater or ceiling hung radiant panels.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,710
    Steam will work great

    the only thing is, you have to have a basement to put the boiler in.

    I've designed and installed steam too. If the boilers are similar and the systems are in good shape, a steam system will equal the comfort and approach the efficiency of hot water.

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  • AJG
    AJG Member Posts: 16


    I don't have a basement. I guess a steam boiler has to be below the radiators right? How much lower would it have to be?
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    What if he went with downfed radiators and a condensate pump?

    ...in a pit...I know it may be more involved than he wants to get, but that would work too, right guys? Mad Dog

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  • Wouldn't need the pit

    if the radiators are above the tank inlet.

    Noel
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    Why not...

    put the boiler on the main level, and as Noel and MD says, place a receiver and necessary accourtements below the boiler to manage the condensate. Small pit, minimal access needed.

    Yeah, it's more of a PITA then it would be if it were all gravity, but what they hey, it is STEAM!!

    Talk about the ultimate application for a drop header!

    Just thinking out loud here (maybe a little too loudly)...

    His obvious alternative would be to go high temp hydronics. Same feel, just a different system. Still looks antiquish.

    ME
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Right, but that's if he doesn't mind........

    wall hung radiators...hey we've seen alot of them in the old houses, right noel? MD

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  • AJG
    AJG Member Posts: 16


    What are high temp hydronics?

    Your joking about the drop header right?

    Thanks for the input so far.

    P.S. I'm a cabinetmaker by trade so speak english :)
  • scrook_2
    scrook_2 Member Posts: 610
    Hydronics

    High temp hydronics would be hot water (say 180° - 190°F) instead of steam. Use CI radiators and it'll look like a steam system but for two pipes to each rad vs one. It should heat about as fast as a steam system, though the radiators would need to be slightly bigger, as the water'd be cooler.
  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317
    High temp

    The regular boiler is low temp which means less that 250 degrees by code. So you can design up to 240 degrees if you choose, The old IBR schools used to call these micro tube systems where smaller copper tubing could be used to supply the baseboard. The higher temp makes up for lower flow. So you can run high temp, some noise expansion issues to be dealt with but it can be done. I think this is better suited to your needs than a steam system which would need to come up to temp before giving heat.
  • paul_20
    paul_20 Member Posts: 4
    anticipator setting

    can anyone help me out? I have a weil mclain SGo6 oil fireed steam boiler? A two pipe system. Where should the anticipator be set wide open because it is steam or to the matched setting?


    Thanks
    Paul
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,710
    Controversial subject

    I like to start with the rated thermostat current, and if the system is slow I like to find out why rather than reset for a longer cycle. But sometimes a longer cycle is needed even after the system is tuned up.

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