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Old 08-24-2008, 06:07 PM   #1
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Going back to single pipe steam heat?

We moved into our house a year ago and the previous owners had ripped out the boiler, put in forced hot air which is blown from the A/C vents in the ceiling and does not work very well. I was trying to figure out what I might be looking at to get this going. First, how much $$$ am I looking at for a new boiler? Gas fired... existing masonry chimney.

Water is right there because the hot water heater is there. Chimney is right there, gas line is right there. The boiler used to be there so not really much new that needs to come in.

Now I have no clue how a single pipe steam system really works. I see two abandoned pipes and not sure how that fits in with a single pipe system. Maybe they both just go to different parts of the house? One is smaller diameter has a faucet opening, then goes into the wall so I dunno where else it leads. The other is larger and I can see that it goes to several radiators throughout the house.

My guess is that there was nothing really wrong with the system,they just wanted to kill 2 birds with one stone.


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Old 08-25-2008, 07:31 AM   #2
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How would a single pipe radiator work? It would have a single supply but has to have a return. Correct?


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Old 08-25-2008, 07:39 AM   #3
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From what I understand the radiators and pipes are on a slight angle so the condensate runs back down. That is about the extent of my knowledge on that unfortunately.
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:10 PM   #4
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http://tva.apogee.net/res/rehdone.asp This should explain the system in question. They are a very good way to go, but if someone hacked it up you will need a plumber who knows his stuff.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:52 PM   #5
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Single pipe steam is an amazingly simple system if set up correctly. The guys who designed and installed these systems are mostly dead now, but the info to do it right is still around. Look for a book called, "Pumping away" by Dan Holohan, and even " Ye Compleate Workes of Dan Holohan" and start there. This author has a gift for speaking plainly and getting the information into your head- where you can use it. As for finding a plumber who know his stuff on single pipe steam, that would help too, but these books will let you know who does know his stuff, and who doesnt.
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