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Richard Trethewey...

with him!

I was watching an old This Old House Classics episode, the first in the Kirkside series. This is the big old house by the church. Richard & Steve are standing beside a decent oil boiler. Richard says: this system is steam and steam is not an efficient way to heat a house!!!!!

His proposal and what he did was switch to forced hot water.

Comments

  • kevin_5
    kevin_5 Member Posts: 308
    I smell blood...

    Clear the bench boys ! Lets have a clean fight here. Kevin

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  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Remember

    That young guy who used to wear your clothes. That young kid made alot of mistakes you would'nt do.

    Richard has done a Great Job promoting hydronic heating and stands firmly in our corner.

    Forced hot water is certainly more flexable.

    Scott

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  • bb_3
    bb_3 Member Posts: 9
    At least

    He did not say go forced air!
  • Brad White_2
    Brad White_2 Member Posts: 188
    I know Rich

    and he lives one town over from me. I better go warn him....
  • John Starcher_4
    John Starcher_4 Member Posts: 794
    That means you, Mad Dog!!!

    Down boy!!


    Down!!!!!!!

    Heel!!!!!!!!!!

  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    :)

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion..:) And we all know what they are worth...:) -
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    Yes-suh!

    I agree & I'm looking forward to seeing Richard at ISH. Great guy who always seems to be smiling. I get a charge out of seeing him on TV & he represents plumbers quite well. Thanks & a tip of the hat.

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  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
    Maybe

    Not to defend anyone but perhaps the rest of that system sucked j.lockard
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    \"Steam is not an efficient way to heat a house\"?

    > with him!

    >

    > I was watching an old This Old House

    > Classics episode, the first in the Kirkside

    > series. This is the big old house by the church.

    > Richard & Steve are standing beside a decent oil

    > boiler. Richard says: this system is steam and

    > steam is not an efficient way to heat a

    > house!!!!!

    >

    > His proposal and what he did was

    > switch to forced hot water.





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    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    \"Steam is not an efficient way to heat a house\"?

    Obviously Mr. Rip-it-out Rich has never encountered a steam system that Dan H., Mad Dog, Noel, Boilerpro, Dan Foley or I have worked on!

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • I'm an optimist, Jim

    Any system older than my folks that is still heating the building is probably one of the better installations of that day and age.

    I've got hope for any that still heat.

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


    richard also loves plastic pipe which i for one consider to be garbage. he may be more actor than plumber
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
    Kevin,

    I too, thought that this would bring out the steamheads, "kicking and screaming" a while back,but it was not to be.(I love steam and am a throwback because of the time I've spent retrofitting old steam systems to new).

    As someone stated earlier, a PROPERLY PIPED steam system IS hard to beat. Weighing the associated costs are big decisions and factors. If a proprely piped steam system will work as it was intended to by the Deadmen, and the intended scope of the job at hand will fit the bill,there would be no question as to the way I would proceed. HOWEVER, as Scott pointed out, there will be FAR more options when and if a steam system can be (economically) switched to hot water.

    Mr. Trethewey has also started speaking on the virtues of the "fossil fuel supply" being finite.Last week he had a room of 100 people considering the fact that we now need to turn our thinking to the natural resourses that we started to tap during the first fuel shortage in 72.He's trying to promote "efficentcy" and not so much trying to slam the old way of thinking.The other side of this coin is COMFORT.We are all finding that because of older system designs, we can keep the folks that own them more comfortable at LOWER temperatures. Increased insulation and properly sized systems are far more important than replcing any unit with what size WAS there before.(Do a heat loss!) Upgraded windows and insulation have to be taken into consideration to properly size a SYSTEM. (Biggest point being that the house/home/business should be looked at as a whole system, not the sum of the mistakes that someone made earlier.)

    I get a kick out of the way I've seen SYSTEMS sized over the 20 years I've been in this field. Heat loss programs are a big step in tne right direction, but Lord knows, there were some really bad and oversized things going into the wrong places at times.(being green and not questioning things that I was told to do made ME start thinking that something was wrong and now I trust no one until I see the numbers firsthand!)I actually watched a guy stand across the street and hold his fingers to the side, to figure a heatloss.Talk about guessing? I shortly thereafter, moved into the same home, and had to service the new heater.(short cycling an oil boiler is very wasteful) After all the windows and insulation were upgraded, I got rid of the seperate electric water heater and installed a 40 gallon indirect, to get rid of some of the way too many BTU's that were installed.It still short cycled, but far less than the original boiler/guess did.

    I guess I'm trying to beat into our collective heads that we have to look at any job as an overall "scope of what needs to be there", not just look at the previous rating plate and take it as a given. Take the measurements and find a way to do it right. Richard wasn't trying to "get rid of the steam" as much as he was trying to make the homeowner happy and COMFORTABLE.He also had to look at the budget, and make decisions based on it.Don't we all?

    I don't mean to pontificate on this, but there's sometimes FAR more than meets the eye.We can all second guess, but the bottom line is to get as much training as possible and be able to offer the customer,(remember them, the people that keep us going and pay the bills ?)as many options as possible/practical. JMHO. Chris
  • kf_2
    kf_2 Member Posts: 118
    Here is a question?

    We have 2 completely identical houses on identical lots using the same fuel type. Both house envelopes are identical as well as all climate factors.

    House "A" has a top notch best of the best steam heating system with all available bells and whistles, installed and maintained by the most knoweldgeable steam contractor, Dan H. perhaps or many others here.

    House "B" has a top notch best of the best hydronic heating system with all available bells and whistles, installed and maintained by the most knowledgeable hydronic contractor, again like many here.

    Which house costs less to heat and maintain, and why?

    Remember, the question I'm posing isn't whether or not there is an adequate payback in replacing system "A" with system "B", but if all were equal which would cost less to run.


    kf
  • Hot water

    But let's do it this way.

    2 identical houses, both with steam heat.

    Strip the piping and radiators out, completely install hot water heating, and renovate the mess that you made in one house.

    Fix the steam up in the other house.

    That's a more realistic comparison to the question that was asked.

    I'll save what's there, in the interest of the customer.

    Next question. Do both types of heating feel the same?

    Does comfort matter, or only cost to run?

    Noel
  • He gave his professional opinion!

    Richard has never been anything but kind, mostly friendly, knowledgeable and insightful with me.

    Regarding our industry which holds MUCH room for improvement and growth, he stands alone as a Superstar Plumber, Hydronics Pro and Educator. Believe me, he knows some things about steam heat. He recommended changing to forced hydronic circulation on that episode for what I'm sure was a very DARNED good reason.

    This guy has stood up for, and increased the market share of our wet heat community for as long as he has been on TV after replacing his Dad on the show. Just think about it for a while. Could you really do his job any better? For what he gets from PBS? He's also one heck of a Manufacturers Representative. One of his guys just helped bail me out of a situation that could only be done by an experienced Rep. Thank you Mr. Bean and Richard for all you do.

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