has anyone gone through the process of converting a steam system to
hot water by using the old steam radiators and piping? i have been
told i can do this since i have a two pipe system with the hot water
type of radiators. but I can't help but wonder whether my the size of
my steam pipes is too large. i think my main is 3". also i wonder if
the system will leak with hot water. any thoughts. thanks.
Why would you convert it? Steam heating works well and new steam boilers
are readily available. Not like it's something obsolete. You can fuel a
steam boiler with gas or oil, just like a hot water boiler. Why try to
partially convert a system to make it less efficient?
i would like to zone my house. my boiler is at one end of my house
where coal used to be delivered. certain rooms are much colder than
others. my problem is finding someone that really knows steam well.
also i think my house has too many radiators for the size of the
house. i have done quite a bit of insulation. so i think water at a
lower than steam will fix my over radiation problem. does that make
any sense or am i just using screwy logic?
IMO, "no" and "yes"... :)
The boiler will still be at the same location, you'll still have the
same number of radiators and there will still be the same _relative_
drop around the loop.
The solution is to cut down the flow to the closer areas and even, if
necessary, simply close one or more radiators if you really now do have
more than required owing to the addition of insulation. Unless you
don't have individual radiator valves, you should be able to do this
experimentally until you have a good idea what is needed. Then you
could perhaps eventually remove an excess radiator or two if really desired.
I don't think the conversion to water from steam is really going to fix
the problem--it's the redistribution and control of what you have that
needs fixing imo.
The cold room issue, is something i'm currently working on in my house
as well. It's about controlling distribution of steam, so that all
radiators get steam at the same time.
Get adjustable steam vents for all your radiators (they can be had for
between $25 and $50 a piece depending on where you get them), that will
give you fine tuning adjustment.
With the above method, I've been able to even out the heat on the 2nd
floor of my house, the only cold room is the one with broken vent, that
just won't vent.
In the cold rooms, you may want to check to be sure the radiators are
venting at all. I'm assuming that the cold rooms are furthest away from
the boiler, in which case what is happening is this:
Boiler makes steam, steam goes into mains, then up to heaters. If the
vents on the closest units are too big, they'll vent and get hot, and if
the t-stat is in one of those rooms, the furnace will shut down before
the far units get steam.
So restricting the vents a little in the hot rooms and opening them in
the cold rooms, will force more steam to the cold rooms sooner.
The above will take a couple hundred bucks for new vents, and a few
days/weeks to get the balancing correct.
Either way, it cheaper and less hassle than a conversion and a new boiler.
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