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Old 08-21-2008, 04:53 AM   #1
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Conversion of steam to hot water heat questions...


Hi - I've seen this topic visited a bit here - but not quite what applies to me - at least what I have found. Please forgive me if I overlooked something...

I have a steam system with a new boiler (about 3 years old).
I have been told I can convert to a water system because of the following factors: I have two-pipe steam, and I have radiators that flow top and bottom.

How is this done? I've seen and heard talk of creating manifolds, pressure testing, etc.

My main concern is the valves on the radiators. Some whistle when the steam system is operating - will this be a concern going to water?

Lots of questions - just not sure where to start.

Considering using a High-efficiency electric water heater with pumps to power the system.

Any help or information is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

--Jeff

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Old 08-21-2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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Conversion of steam to hot water heat questions...


Two pipe meaning that you have a steam supply and a condensate return, vs. a hot water supply and return. All steam systems have a condensate return, which returns warm water to the boiler to be heated again or regenerated into steam.

Do you have cast iron radiators, and have you calculated the energy usage one vs. the other retaining the original radiators and cost of conversion?

Steam enters the top of the radiator, and as it condenses, water leaves at the bottom, I believe that the opposite is true of a converted radiator, I will check that . Pipe size may be an issue, as well as the effectiveness of a radiator vs. baseboard which actualy directs cool air through the heating element as the air is heated and rises.

Im sure that hot water wont whistle, if thats any consolation, but you can get a lovely gurgling sound occasionaly.


Last edited by 8 Ball; 08-21-2008 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:18 PM   #3
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Conversion of steam to hot water heat questions...


I lived it an apt. house for 30yrs. it had steam heat I loved it! Thats all I got to say
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:42 PM   #4
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Conversion of steam to hot water heat questions...


Well I checked, and it depends on the style of steam radiation you have. If its the floor mounted cast iron sectional type, that everyone thinks of, it doesnt really matter whether the hot water goes in the top or bottom. Of course you will need an air bleeder at the top.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:29 PM   #5
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Conversion of steam to hot water heat questions...


Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Ball View Post
Well I checked, and it depends on the style of steam radiation you have. If its the floor mounted cast iron sectional type, that everyone thinks of, it doesnt really matter whether the hot water goes in the top or bottom. Of course you will need an air bleeder at the top.
..."it doesnt really matter whether the hot water goes in the top or bottom..."

That's assuming the system contains a recirculating pump, right?

I wouldn't think hot water gravity feed systems could work too well if the cold water return is at the top where the hot water is rising.
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:22 PM   #6
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Conversion of steam to hot water heat questions...


The whistling vents your talking about, if they are mounted in the lower side of the rads, must be removed, and a threaded plug install in their place.
Then new holes must be drilled for air vents for hot water. At the top of the side of the rad.

If they are in the side at the top of the rad, then they are removed, and hot water air vents installed in their place.

Is your boiler oil or gas fired.
Whats your electric rate, all fee's and taxes included.
And what is the cost of the fuel your boiler uses.

It may be possible to convert your current boiler to a hot water boiler.

You may still run into other piping problems.

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