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New steam mini-tube installation in Ohio

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Comments

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,237
    I opted for the "free" flame job on my boiler. ;)
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,524
    Don't worry, the neon lights and the air bags are coming. My steamer's going to be rollin low and slow.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,237
    I have some LED rope lighting laying around unused (don't ask) that I may put around the inside of the access panel opening. I told my wife it's so I can see in there more easily....yeah that's it.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    MilanD
  • Don_197
    Don_197 Member Posts: 184
    I am buying my second house, and my first thought as i inspected it for the first time was that it was a natural for radiant (basement mostly unfinished.........30 yr old forced air furnace and central A/C) I envisioned ripping out the furnace prior to its failing, hanging a fan coil up near the ceiling to kkeep the central air operational, and installing a boiler in the furnace's place.......and doing staple up pex under the hardwood floors. Now you got me really thinkin bout steam. I definitely prefer radiant heat........and your custom convector in the bathroom has my mind reeling with ideas to build my own ornate convectors........like maybe actually making then THE CROWN MOLDING in the entire house? (just a thought) 8-)
    SeanBeans
  • Eastman
    Eastman Member Posts: 927
    edited November 2014
    I've been looking for that Select Temp manual...

    My summary:
    Regulating the output at the rads and from the boiler allows the boiler and distribution system to be sized for the heat loss.

    Small pipes, small boiler.


    I guess the question in my mind is; why aren't more systems upgraded to this level of performance when it's time for a new boiler?
  • Robert O'Connor_12
    Robert O'Connor_12 Member Posts: 728
    very cool!
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    Eastman said:



    I guess the question in my mind is; why aren't more systems upgraded to this level of performance when it's time for a new boiler?

    I think its cause most steam guys don't even know this system exists. I only know about it cause it was invented by a local company. It was post world war2 though. Thats when steam was being replaced by forced air which was quicker and cheaper to install and society had to crank out boat loads of houses fast for the returning GI's..it was a brilliant system, that came along to late in the game. So most folks only will learn about it if they happen to hang out here.

    What i want to do next is convert a one pipe steam system to two pipe mini tube and i want to do it without altering the supply side. Shouldn't matter if some steam got into the returns (old supply pipe) since it was sized to handle steam and condensate together..i also think we could do that potentially with gravity return if we stage fire the boiler..should be an inexpensive conversion then..
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Eastman
    Eastman Member Posts: 927
    edited November 2014
    So there would be a copper supply line paralleling the old supply? Are we talking about the mains or the runs to individual rads?
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    I'm thinking of running a whole new set of supply main and runout tubes, and use the existing supply side runouts and main as the return instead of the supply.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Eastman
    Eastman Member Posts: 927
    edited November 2014
    Have you ever considered a Select Temp style install?
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    The select temp heaters are no longer made. The Turbonics units can be used in their place or any other similar unit. I have a fan unit on my second floor at my house heated via mini tube.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Eastman
    Eastman Member Posts: 927
    edited November 2014
    I'm thinking more about the controls than the type of radiation or tubing selection. Based on the manual, it's my understanding that a SelectTemp system would have had a steady supply of steam in the mains throughout the heating season. I'm assuming this was accomplished by virtue of the pressure reducing valve installed on the riser coming off the boiler. So the boiler would cycle it's pressure up and down to maintain a minimum, while the mains remained steady at all times. There doesn't appear to be any type of central call for heat. Since the system was always filled with steam, this appears to be why a piping and pickup factor was not typically recommended.

    Likewise, since the convectors self regulated the steam entering each unit, the boiler was not required to match its output to the system's EDR. Hence the boiler was sized to the heat loss and not EDR. I don't see why this would change if you switched to cast iron rads or baseboard, etc, but TRVs would be required to replace the functionality of the SelectTemp thermostatic regulators.

  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    sounds like you have a good handle on the concept. You are correct across the board.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    Slow week on the Steam board. Here's a bump to bring it up.

    I absolutely love this thread. @gerry gill, I so wish you were in Cincinnati, but I'll settle for Ohio anyway I can get it.
  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 533
    Beautiful work beautiful system. I see all the radiators are suplied at the top. Would using the bottom tapping work?
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,511
    edited April 2017
    Great install, now 3 years ago!

    Forgive my steam ignorance, but I thought it was not accepted to use copper above the waterline. I remember the video @gerry gill made on his own system and thought it was very neat, but didn't realize he made more of these systems. Can anyone explain why the use of copper is ok/not ok in steam, and how the higher pressure of a mini-tube system affects overall efficiency.

    I'm a wethead, steam is mysterious... ;)
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    JohnNY
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,602
    Very neat! Very clean! Love the flanged union in the header. Better than a union for bigger pipe, less likely to leak.

    Really nice job
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    Grallert said:

    Beautiful work beautiful system. I see all the radiators are suplied at the top. Would using the bottom tapping work?

    haven't tried it on the bottom. I would think it would be fine as long as the steam entrance port is higher than the trap entrance.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045

    Forgive my steam ignorance, but I thought it was not accepted to use copper above the waterline. I remember the video @gerry gill made on his own system and thought it was very neat, but didn't realize he made more of these systems. Can anyone explain why the use of copper is ok/not ok in steam, and how the higher pressure of a mini-tube system affects overall efficiency.



    I'm a wethead, steam is mysterious... ;)

    Copper expands readily when heated compared to steel. Notice the near boiler piping is still steel and iron. The solder joints in the piping are much freer to move than they would be if the header were done in copper. The branches off the main are actually soft copper tubing, so as the main expands things can actually move and not stress the joints.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    MilanDSolid_Fuel_Man
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 601
    Incredible! I love it! That's just what I want to be installing for my customers.
    Way to raise the bar.
    What is the pressuretrol set too?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,009
    Question on the really neat steam tower in the bath. Is there an internal riser for the steam (think WH dip tube upside down) and simple drain stub for the condensate going to a trap somewhere?
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > Question on the really neat steam tower in the bath. Is there an internal riser for the steam (think WH dip tube upside down) and simple drain stub for the condensate going to a trap somewhere?

    Yep, there is a pic of Gerry as he was making it. Upside down dip tube going up inside on the supply side.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,009
    OK, now see it, thanks.
    Trap and air vent??
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > OK, now see it, thanks.
    > Trap and air vent??

    Thermostatic below floor, I believe, ft at the end and main vent.
  • newagedawn
    newagedawn Member Posts: 586
    thanks for the share @ gerry gill, just joining the party,.lol very very interesting really like that old radiator with all that detail dont see to many of those anymore around here
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    MilanD said:

    > @JUGHNE said:

    > OK, now see it, thanks.

    > Trap and air vent??



    Thermostatic below floor, I believe, ft at the end and main vent.

    yes, trap is in basement.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Phil53
    Phil53 Member Posts: 73
    Any feedback from the customer on fuel bill for this job? And have you had any operation or maintenance problems so far?
    Very nice job and should be a way to persuade home owners to keep their steam systems or possibly convert hot water and forced air users to steam.
  • Phil53
    Phil53 Member Posts: 73
    Also wondering if this system would work on cast iron baseboard without pitching the radiators too much. My system is currently hot water and would consider changing when I replace the boiler if there wouldn't be too much additional expense.
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    Hi Phil- i dont know how it would work with cast iron baseboard. My gut says it would be fine as long as steam enters the top inlet instead of the bottom.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • brandonf
    brandonf Member Posts: 205
    > @gerry gill said:
    > The copper coil is indeed a cooling leg to allow the trap to open. The radiators were all used radiators that were sandblasted and powdercoated which now look brand new. The one exception is the powder room radiator which i made out of 2x4 steel tubing so that it would fit beside the toilet tank.

    So the black pipe inside the tubing is for the steam and the tubing outside is just there for looks or to increase the radiation?
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    huh? to what are you alluding to?
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • brandonf
    brandonf Member Posts: 205
    @gerry gill What do you think the life expectancy of the fabricated bathroom radiator is compared to the cast iron radiators? Is it regular steel or stainless?
    Homeowner, Entrepreneur, Mechanic, Electrician,

    "The toes you step on today are connected to the butt you'll have to kiss tomorrow". ---Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,045
    Regular steel. I assume i will be long planted before it fails.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    vaporvac
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,602
    It's the same material pipe is made from. How long does a steel steam pipe last??.......................................... Plenty long enough
    vaporvac