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Old 05-23-2010, 09:55 PM   #1
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Coverting from Steam to Hot water Boiler


Hello,

I recently purchased a 1940s 3BR colonial that has very a large and ineffecient single zone oil fired steam boiler that also supplies domestic hot water without breaking the bank. Each room in the house has modest size one pipe cast iron radiators that are in great shape. I would love to convert the entire system to a gas fired, hot water, multi zone condensing boiler that will also supply domestic hot water. I would like to keep the most if not all of the cast iron radiators and covert them to 2 pipe hot water radiators. (I am familiar with adding the 2nd pipe on the other side, plugging the steam vent and taping for the air bleeder.) If this was not a cost effective I would consider baseboards as well for most of the house and only keep the radiators in the LR and DR since the are built into the exterior walls. My questions are as follows:
1. Am I crazy for thinking that this could be done without spending more that $8-10k to upgrade if I did all of the piping and conversions myself and only hired a pro to hookup the mechanicals?
2. Could I home run 2 PEX type lines to each radiator and potentionally make each of them their own zone or group some of the them together as a one zones?
3. Could I mix and match between floors. e.g. radiators on the 1st floor and baseboard on the 2nd.
4. Could I add radiant tubes to the floors in the kitchen and bath at a later date?
5. What is the best brand boiler that is not to expensive on the market for what I am trying to do? e.g Weil-McLain, Utica, or Rheem
6. If I use the boiler for domestic hot water will I need to buy the indirect hot water tank or will the boiler supply hot water on demand like the tankess hot water systems?

Any advice or links to the products that i should be looking at to accomplish this will be greatly appreciated. I am trying to do as much research as possible well in advance of the heating system so I can select the best system for my home. My goal is to be upgraded by the end of August.
Many Thanks, Eric

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Old 05-23-2010, 10:03 PM   #2
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Coverting from Steam to Hot water Boiler


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Originally Posted by ericm215 View Post
Hello,

I recently purchased a 1940s 3BR colonial that has very a large and ineffecient single zone oil fired steam boiler that also supplies domestic hot water without breaking the bank. Each room in the house has modest size one pipe cast iron radiators that are in great shape. I would love to convert the entire system to a gas fired, hot water, multi zone condensing boiler that will also supply domestic hot water. I would like to keep the most if not all of the cast iron radiators and covert them to 2 pipe hot water radiators. (I am familiar with adding the 2nd pipe on the other side, plugging the steam vent and taping for the air bleeder.) If this was not a cost effective I would consider baseboards as well for most of the house and only keep the radiators in the LR and DR since the are built into the exterior walls. My questions are as follows:
1. Am I crazy for thinking that this could be done without spending more that $8-10k to upgrade if I did all of the piping and conversions myself and only hired a pro to hookup the mechanicals?

Probably another 50% moe yet.

2. Could I home run 2 PEX type lines to each radiator and potentionally make each of them their own zone or group some of the them together as a one zones?

If the pex is big enough. And zoning adds more upfront cost.

3. Could I mix and match between floors. e.g. radiators on the 1st floor and baseboard on the 2nd.

If you zone it, yes.

4. Could I add radiant tubes to the floors in the kitchen and bath at a later date?

Yes.

5. What is the best brand boiler that is not to expensive on the market for what I am trying to do? e.g Weil-McLain, Utica, or Rheem

Is no one best. I'm partial to Weil McLain.

6. If I use the boiler for domestic hot water will I need to buy the indirect hot water tank or will the boiler supply hot water on demand like the tankess hot water systems?

One or 2 brands include a tank. Usually, its too small. So figure on using an indirect.

Any advice or links to the products that i should be looking at to accomplish this will be greatly appreciated. I am trying to do as much research as possible well in advance of the heating system so I can select the best system for my home. My goal is to be upgraded by the end of August.
Many Thanks, Eric
Research primary secondary piping.

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