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    Dan, It's Time To Look To The Future (114 Posts)

  • black_gold black_gold @ 2:59 PM
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    old school

    I don't know about many of you...but I like to come here to see who's being bashed. I love to read everyones' take on what products are no good, the cobbled jobs contractors do, and who's getting cheated by who. It's great entertainment...and people get roped into it because it's just a natural thing everyone enjoys in a sick way. When I say everybody, it includes the this site's creator. I read a post a year or two that went on for weeks bashing a manufacturer for some sort of problem. Everyone was in on it...homeowners, contractors, all the experts - and then Dan suggested that they all start a class action suit against the company. Even he gets caught up in the fun sometimes - and it is fun. It's just like making fun of really fat people behind thier (fat) backs. Eeeeverybody likes doing it - don't any of you holier than thou's deny it. It's not polite, but it is fun. Then, last December I read a column that Dan wrote saying we shouldn't beat up on manufacturers because it's bad for the advancement of the industry. What irony!! I went to one of Dan's steam school several years ago. There was a mini trade show there, some rep hawking his wares, and three hours of piping diagrams beaming up from an overhead projector. Fortunatley the dirty jokes made the overhead transparencies bearable and I learned all about steam as well as some decent filthy jokes. Did I learn anything that movews the industry forward? No really... I learned how to work on systems that really should be replaced. Hot pipes, corroded components, water leaks causing mold, asbestos everywhere, low effeciency equipment - thes things don't belong in today's heating systems. Let's get rid of them - that would be moving the industry. So yeah, I agree this site is great entertainment, and I personally benefit from it almost every time I visit. But every day there is more belly-aching (like this) and less real info that really moves the industry.
  • Mad Dog Mad Dog @ 9:22 PM
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    and what do we tell the millions of folks....just in NYS

    who still have viable steam systems in their homes??? Rip it out now just to jump on the green bandwagon? Who's payin for that? Obama? We'll see about that. As much as I love The Steam and try to preserve it whenever possible, I will not rec'd keeping it when one guts a house or is adding on a multi-level extension...it just doesn't make sense. As for Dan...Thank GOD he still teached the steam class...what about all the young guys coming in??? where will they learn it? Like it or not...we will still have many viable steam systems even 20-30 years from now.....everybody doesn't have the $$$ to just rip it out and go hi-tech. Say what ever you want about me, but I have never posted anonymously....that's a cop out. This IS still America...you can Speak your mind without fear of retribution. Assert it NOW or lose it forever. I have learned MUCH about the Modernity of Hydronics through Dan's books like Basic Radiant, P/S made easy, and the rest. Like Dano, I believe I honor the past and embrace the future...not only in words but deeds. You're off base, Man. Mad Dog To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • N/A @ 9:33 PM

    As Always

    Follow the money. Steam heating isn't considered edgy and high tech. Mod-Cons presume efficiency, last for 5 years and sell. :-) It's a salesman's world. I also find it ironic just a few years ago valves were bad and pumps hanging from every piece of pipe in site was considered good. Nothing has ever changed, the industry just stop following sound design principles....
  • Wayne Wayne @ 6:06 AM
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    Dan, you should thank \"anonymous\"

    Free advertising for Steam School full of testimonials! You should start booking more of them today! It will be a fun way to look at the past and how it doesn't relate to the future! Bring your typewriters to take notes, check the ribbon first, we don't have spares Vib
  • Perry Perry @ 11:01 AM
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    TypeWitter Usage...

    While I admit that over 95% of all task that typewritters were used for that computers and modern printers can do better - there are still some things that a typewritter can do better. That is why they are still being used predominantly in at least 2 business areas that I know of. It is also why I still have a typewriter. I have some minor tasks - that I only need to do on occasion - that is still best done on a typewriter. I have tied to do this on modern printers and the results are not cost effective. I also note that mechanical pinhead printers are also still produced as they can do multi-part self carbon forms. Neither inkjet or laser can do that. Who knows, perhaps someday you will find that something you want done - or need to be done - is actually best done on a typewriter. Or perhaps you will never know - and never be able to see - the difference a typewriter can make in certain situations. Perry
  • ttekushan ttekushan @ 2:19 PM
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    seriously,

    I do, indeed have IBM selectric and a manual remmington/rand on hand (re tensioned, of course). I still marvel at the IBM's incredible electro mechanical action. And that they mass produced it.
    terry
  • Scott Scott @ 4:49 PM
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    Perry

    there are still some things that a typewritter can do better. Please name a few, considering that a pin type can do multi-forms ?? This place is starting to sound like Luddite.com Scott To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Mad Dog Mad Dog @ 9:25 PM
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  • Mike Mike @ 10:52 PM
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    You wrote:

    "no one has the numbers to back up their assertion that steam is less efficient than hot-water." Simply because you did not understand or pay attention in your 11th grade physics class or the accompanying text book, does not allow you to suggest they didn't - or don't now - exist. Your inability to comprehend is the issue - not whether the information exists. And in case you missed this one as well, the earth is also known to be round.
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 4:19 PM
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    Well, if you have the numbers

    then how about posting them, along with their source and how the study was conducted, what variables were involved, etc? If they exist, let's see them! But I really don't think you have such numbers, do you? Like I've said many times, I have never seen such a study, at least one that was done right. Comparing a broken-down steam system (which is almost always due to sheer neglect) to a brand-new hot-water system is NOT a valid method. Never has been, never will be, yet people continue to do it. And I don't remember them covering steam or hot-water heating systems in my high-school science courses. They did cover combustion. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Wayne Wayne @ 9:46 AM
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    Steamhead

    If you need a class on steam. maybe you should change your name
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 4:31 PM
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    Vib, I go to Dan's classes whenever possible

    not just on steam, but whatever he happens to be teaching. Also George Lanthier, Tim McElwain, Alan Mercurio and others, even if we've dealt with that subject matter before. Why? Because not only are these gentlemen some of the best in the business, but I always pick up something new every time I go to hear them. None of us will ever "know it all". There's always the latest device found in a basement, the most recently discovered variation of the basic system, whatever. For example, one that Gordo and I found (and were able to put a name to) was the Tudor system, the first Orifice Vapor design. There are five in Baltimore that we know of. I bet you hear about this at Dan's steam seminar now. And one of these days, I will build such a system. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • ttekushan ttekushan @ 5:24 PM
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    Looking at subject lines

    and its interesting to note what shows up now vs several years ago. Quick example in steam world- "wet steam." Water and steam quality become increasingly significant with lower water content/smaller water surface boilers replacing the big 'uns of yore. For quite a while it was rarely discussed as those encounters were formerly rare. Now we see all kinds of vexing heating system problems due merely to the contaminants of boiler and piping installation. I learned it when doing descaling and neutralization with alkaline water treatments. The process inherently produces wet steam until all contamination released by the descaling process is dispatched. Once the steam is dry, I discovered thats often the best place to start before balancing vents. These are problems decidedly rotund boilers of the past didn't have to any large degree. BTW, in my neck of the woods along lake eire we have very high calcium levels. Much of the East doesn't have this problem. I only mention it since you people probably think "What's Terry's obsession with descaling boilers? We don't have no stinkin' boiler scale!"
    terry
  • ttekushan ttekushan @ 10:28 AM
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    Interesting philosophy.

    vib said: "...FUN...TO LOOK AT THE PAST AND HOW IT DOESN'T RELATE TO THE FUTURE" Let that sink in. I am without comment.
    terry
  • Perry Perry @ 9:11 PM
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    A few things a Typewritter does better than a printer.

    1) If you need to write a document that contains very sensitive information - a manual typewriter cannot be read - nor the file recovered from. Thus, certain security services do in fact use typewriters for certain things. I do note that it is possible to read certain forms of electric typewriters from a distance and record every stroke it makes. 2) If you are going to do a personal note on 100% cotton bond paper, longer than a handwritten note. Typed is best. I note that 100% cotton bond paper does bad things to a laser printer drum (something I've learned the hard way); also, some people appreciate something hand done instead of computer done. 100% cotton bond paper has other legitimate uses as well; there is a real reason it is still made and available (although not in most office supply stores). I note that ink jet does not work well on most 100% cotton bond paper either (another thing I've learned). Perry
  • Wayne Wayne @ 4:48 AM
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    Perry, can my pet dinosaur

    borrow your typewriter? he has to type an essay on people who have so much time on their hands that they feel the need to write dissertations on every post. He wants to use a typewriter for security reasons.
  • Perry Perry @ 10:28 PM
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    Duplicat post

    Sorry
  • Mad Dog Mad Dog @ 10:51 PM
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    Thanks for the nice words...but you are way off base Bro.......

    When, where, can you find any evidence that Dan does NOT embrace new technology? There is only one Siggy and Only one Dan Holohan. Both have made massive contributions to our industry and its future. Last I checked most of his books are on subjects other than The Steam and most articles on subject other than....Don't fault the man for what he hasn't done, butogive him some credit for doing what he has done...day in and out year after year. How many of us could keep up his literary pace? As ARNOLD, the man who put body-building on THE MAP once said: "....when you are #1 and on top, they will do everything to knock you down a few pegs...they will find little things to pick at.....Why??? becuase they can't do it themselves!!!! And, how do we know Dan doesn't have a book in the works on Solar or Geothermal or Mod-Cons? I believe Dan's greatest gift to the trade has been his uncanny ability to boil down technical mumbo-jumbo and put it plain English for dopes like me. Respectfully, Mad Dog To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Tony Tony @ 8:15 AM
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    Now, now

    You've changed the focus of the subject. Deflection, while a common tactic, really doesn't settle the debate. You said radiant is high head, I've shown otherwise. Now you want to compare it to CIBB. Then, you want to make the CIBB 2-pipe. I've seen LOTS of Bbd systems with 10+ ft hd. That's irrelevant. I'm pointing out your wrong statements about radiant being high head. Now you're questioning the longetivity of PEX, a product out for over 30 years. I like copper and iron too, but come on. Are you having buyer's remorse over the V in your basement ? Sounds like 2nd thoughts to me. One more question. Is your plant on shut-down right now ?
  • Perry Perry @ 9:52 AM
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    Apples to Apples

    This series of debates started about overall energy efficiency. Overall energy efficiency consist of 3 things in a heating system. 1) The efficiency of the boiler (including its electrical consumption, & other losses). 2) The efficiency of how the heating fluid is transmitted & controlled (pumping losses, control valves, etc). 3) The efficiency of the actual radiators at what temperature (of which the differences are so trivial for the different temperatures encountered in home heating that the pumping losses, control valves, etc can easily overwhelm it). I stated that in general that radiant floor heat was high head compared to baseboard. You pointed out (correctly) that monoflow-T's were responsible for much of the head loss in a single pipe monoflow-T system; and that radiant floor didn't have to be high head- and that if designed right it was low head. You then presented the "textbook" case of a radiant heating system with only 5+ Ft of head. I counterpointed that if designed right that baseboard was so low in head loss to be no comparison. Apples to apples... The normal best design of radiant heat - textbook; to the normal best design of baseboard. Now you object. We both know that there are many systems out there that were not built to be the most efficient out there (not to mention some real kludges) on any technology. Stating that you know of cast iron systems with higher that 10 Ft head is irrelevent to my point. How many radiant systems are there out there operating at 15 or more Ft of head. My point is that if you are designing from scratch - what is the most efficient system - overall. That it is baseboard or panels because it has the lowest pumping losses. I have no regrets on the Vitodens. It was the right thing to do for my situation - and I am very glad i did not go with any of the other options. My plant is not in shutdown. What do I care about: I care about long term energy consumption and really building green. Really building green involves the most efficient use of our resources (existing and new). Designing and building something that last a long time is often the best way to go. I personally believe that as far as heating systems go - that the basic heating system should be designed to last the life of the house (or building) and allow for modest changes over the years. Yes the boiler will need to be replaced, and any pumps (etc) from time to time. But their is no reason that I see that we can not have highly efficient boilers that do last a long time. Oh - they might cost another $50 or $100 than the ones that don't last. Have a great day. Perry
  • gerry gill gerry gill @ 11:25 PM
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    all i can say

    is steam heating is more than 50% of my income..hot water about 25% and plumbing about 25%..so steam is still relevant in my area anyways.. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.
  • bob young bob young @ 11:35 PM
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    steam work

    steam work has always been one the most lucritive areas of my plumbing business. one of the most most enjoyable too. the bigger the better.
  • Mad Dog Mad Dog @ 11:03 PM
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    Is it wise to \"look toward the future.....\" when

    so many posts on the Wall right now concern folks with PRESENT_DAY steam problems? These people could care less about future technology...they want/need answers NOW about Steam. MadDog To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 4:35 PM
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    Wasn't Brayton

    the same one who invented the two-cycle gas engine? To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 9:43 AM
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    Au contraire

    typewriter ribbons are still available online. Find out what models people will bring, and order them! To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • ttekushan ttekushan @ 10:22 AM
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    I like mine

    two-color. Black and red. Oh--and I prefer manual typewriter so I can "emote" with the amount of pressure. If this keyboard were a typewriter some words would punch right through the paper! Of course, since I work primarily in steam, I use a dial phone, wear spats, churn my own butter. My music selection has been limited since they stopped making phonograph cylinders and I guess I won't be having to re-tube by DuMont TV since broadcasts are going digital. -Terry FYI: For any ninny who took this seriously, I haven't used the typewriter in months. *snicker*
    terry
  • bob young bob young @ 8:48 PM
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    WHAT TYPE SPATS DO YOU WEAR FOR WORK
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 11:10 PM
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    I use spats

    When I am pouring molten metal in our foundry for foot protection. I also used old army leggings as spats when I kept bees to deal with nasty colonies and keep them from stinging my ankles and crawling up my pants. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 11:35 PM
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    And I have

    some dial phones that were made in the 1930s, and still work perfectly. They were built to last a long time. You can't kill them. Just like steam systems........ To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Wayne Wayne @ 9:35 AM
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    Mad Dog this is not an indictment steam systems

    Mad Dog you are loved and so is your work. You are the master! This was never an indictment of steam systems. No where did he say you should rip out steam and put up solar as misinterpreted. This looked like a test to see Wallie responses would be if Dan was questioned about future technology (which he proved he doesn't embrace) Siggy is Nostradamus here, he has been touting ECM pumps for several years not Hartford Loops and the art of skimming. I'll bet all you Steam Heads all know steam systems inside and out. You go to these meetings to meet Dan first, school second. And there's nothing wrong with that. I have met Dan several times and he is a beautiful man full of passion. I am sure all his steam night schools will be sold out this year and this sure has helped. He should put up a thank you and a $5.00 off "Pumping Away" coupon. Now I can sit back and learn more about steam than I ever did. It's up to 75+ posts and may never go away because of Perry's novelettes. Like I said, he makes Connie look like an amateur. The Wall used to have very lively debates, this reminds me of several years ago and I'm digging it. Mike & Perry, please keep it up, it's like the old days
  • Tony Tony @ 12:51 AM
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    Perry

    Reread my post about design of radiant systems. Low head is a result of design. Not all radiant is high head, nor does it have to be. Mfg's make high head circs to compensate for poor piping designs. As far as your 100 series to 007 comparison, it's not apples to apples. Cycle your 007 like your 100 was and see the difference in consumption. The 100's max head is about 10ft, the 007's 12ft. Difference being about 8 gpm. Get down around 7 ft and the 007 moves 7 gpm and the consumption drops off as compared to max head. Obviously, you could've run your old 100 Series continuously and achieved the same results comfort-wise. You would've also used considerably more power than a 007 under the same circumstances. Any idea what the head is on your monoflow system ? Those tees are pretty restrictive.
  • Perry Perry @ 7:45 AM
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    Head Estimate

    I estimate it in the 6 - 7 Ft range. Someday I may put a pressure gauge on the system and figure it out. If this was a 2 pipe system I would estimate the head to be only a couple Ft (max) based on the pressure drop charts for currently produced cast iron baseboard. I do not think you can get as low a head with a tube in floor (or wall) radiant system as you can get with a baseboard or wall panel radiator system. Perry
  • Tony Tony @ 8:22 PM
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    Sure can

    1/2" pex, 300 ft loops, 140* water, .7 gpm/loop = 5.25 ft hd. No guessing, it's in the book. The common 007 moves 15 gpm at that head, the 006 moves 4 gpm and the little known 005 moves 12. None of these are considered high head circs. Please stop making statements as if they were facts if you're only guessing. At least research it first. I get the impression that you're trying to dissuade people from getting radiant floor heat and/or mod/con boilers. Is that true ? If so, why ?
  • Perry Perry @ 10:28 PM
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    I have researched it...

    I have well researched the issue, and am surprised that you have not. Please see attached Cast Iron Baseray baseboard manual, page 2: The longest radiator in my house: 16 ft. @ 1 GPM = 0.33 inches of water of head (or about 1/36 ft of head). If you built a heating system using these on a 2 pipe system the total system head would be less than 1 Ft. You could even kick the flow up to 4 GPM (page 3) and still have a very low head system. For any given heat transfer to a room - you have substantially less head loss for the same flow rate (an order of magnitude or more less head) by using cast iron baseboard than by using pex in the floor or walls. Less head loss for the same flow rate = less pumping power = more efficient heating system. Please design any intelligent system you chose in PEX - then design it intelligently with baseboard - and tell me which has less power requirements to pump the water. I have no problems if someone wants radian floor heat because they like to have warm floors. I do have a problem in people selling it based that it is more efficient than baseboard - I think that is misrepresentation (and the studies I have seen have disproved the concept that people keep there house cooler with warm floors and thus use less heat). I have a secondary concern with the life of PEX. A good baseboard system should last 100+ years. As far as mod/con boilers. Great concept. I even have one myself. It is the most efficient boiler. My concern is that the vast majority of current mod/con boilers were not designed to be long lived - did not consider what is well known about the application and suitable metals - and will never pay for their premium price due to being fairly short lived items. I am cautiously optimistic about the life of the Vitodens 200 - but even there I know it can be affected by things (and the payback for the improved efficiency is long - not short). The sad thing is that there is a well proven material out there to build boiler HXs from - and several others identified in research papers of over a decade ago that would not have the problems of the current materials. I should also mention that there is no reason that a mod/con steam boiler could not be built as well. It would only be applicable on a sealed steam system that operated at a vacuum (and had a vacuum pump to vary the pressure/temperature). It would never be built due to cost; and the cost of the steam system also goes up - but it is quite possible to build it. I also concede that for single houses and small commercial buildings that hot water heat is more economical to build than steam heat. Baseboard or wall panel is the most energy efficient - and probably resource efficient as well. Perry
  • Mike Mike @ 10:40 PM
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    Tony,

    You are correct. Perry is quick to note his academic pedigree, but lacks fundamental awareness of the topic at hand - classic degreed engineer shortcoming. Many radiant panels are designed in a modified two-pipe, reverse-return form and have heads well below 10 feet, while running well over 10,000 feet of tube. Stick that in you smoke and pipe it!
  • Perry Perry @ 11:47 PM
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    Perhaps you are right - Perhaps not.

    But, I note that it seems that all the pumps commonly specified for use on tube based radiant systems all have much higher head pressure capabilities than older monoflow-T or two pipe systems with cast iron radiators. If radiant is so low pressure why in the world was all of those higher pressure pumps designed? Not only that - they are not moving that much water for the pressures involved. Heck, you can hardly even buy a pump that works right on a monoflow-T system from some manufactures as they cannot produce the flow needed at the low operating pressures of the system. Total power consumption is a function of head and flow; not just head. It'd be real interesting to put power meters (kill a watt, or similar) and compare the actual pump power required for a radiant system and a cast iron radiator system. Note that the comparison above on how the B&G series 100 pump was rated to use more power than the Taco 007 only tells part of the story. Pumps actually can operate at less power than their rated power - and in fact often do. Those rated powers are the power requirements for the worst efficiency point on the pump curve. Also, if I operated the Series 100 for 10 or 15 minutes an hour (if even that as sometimes the old boiler only fired a couple times every 8 hours) but the Taco 100 24 hours a day every day... It makes a difference. Again - the real comparison could not really be told without a kill-a-watt meter on the pumps. I do admit that my gas savings is indeed larger than my electrical bill. But I've got to wonder about all of those radiant systems I see with lots of pumps, solenoid valves, mixing valves, etc. I see a lot of electrical usage. How does that affect total system efficiency. Perry
  • Perry Perry @ 3:54 PM
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    The future for new construction

    Above I discussed that the most effective use of our resouces - the most "Green" thing to do was to maintain the existing systems. I did not really much discuss new construction. So lets look at the future for new construction: If you are building a house, or a small commercial or a few unit apartment building then you can look at the options: Good solar layout, space for geothermal, hydronics, forced Air systems, etc. You can also build a highly insulated building with minimal heating/cooling needs and possibly even incorporate realistic wind power. In this niche there is indeed quite the possibilities for alternate "future" technologies as long as the lot has the resources and the systems are properly designed and installed. However, in many cases there will be limitations on what your choices are - not to mention budget limitations on implementing what is realistically possible for the site. It should be mentioned that steam heat could be built at this level - but it tends to be expensive to construct compared to other options, and I doubt it would ever be constructed as a new system for this level of buildings (unless some steam purest is willing to spend the money just because). I propose that if you were looking for the most efficient overall fuel supplied heating system - from a total energy inputed to the boiler and electricity to pumps and controls - I suspect that a low pressure modulating steam boiler and radiator system would be very hard to beat. By low pressure I am actually talking about a system that operates below atmospheric pressure - and even adjust its pressure based on outdoor temperature. You can realistically have 110 F to 180 F steam depending on demand. Other than a vacuum pump and some controls this would be a very simple system. Not cheap to construct though. From a practical standpoint. I suspect that the cheapest long term durable and most efficient system to build for home or small commercial/small apartment would be a hydronic single pipe mono-T flow system, or a two pipe system (with TRVs), using either baseboard or wall panel radiators. Wall panels should be able to pull of hydronic cooling without many of the mold issues as well (You may still need a humidity control system for the house - perhaps as part of the air exchange unit a new house would require). But there is another build scenario - which involves densely packed housing and business. Classically this is a larger industrial building or a modest to large apartment building. It might be one of the recent dense packed housing communities being developed (why do we have to drive miles and mow fields of grass). If you study where most of the population in the US lives. Most of it lives in dense pack housing. It's cheaper to build on a per unit basis because it uses far less resources per unit. Everyone living in their own house and driving miles for errands is not green at all. In this element: Large industrial buildings and dense packed housing steam heat becomes king. There is not enough area for any meaningful solar or geothermal. Pumping cost in both energy and maintenance quickly rule out hydronic heating systems if they are looked at from a long term perspective. Steam heat becomes the overall least expensive to build and operate. On the smaller projects the steam systems may be similar to old style housing systems which operate at less than a few PSI. However, the larger projects probably have steam operating at pressures up to 50 PSI for heating (and higher than that if the steam can be used for other industrial processes). Cooling is often accomplished by chilled water systems (where the pumping cost and maintenance are the cheapest way to go). So, do not discount steam heat as a future. If we go more green as a nation - then we are likely to build more dense pack housing or dense pack communities. Steam heat is likely the natural fuel based heating system for these applications as it is the most green way to go. Most of the population already lives in dense pack housing - and that is likely to continue. So I am curious as to why "Future" thinks that steam is dead?
  • Bill Bill @ 1:33 AM
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    I wish more of the people who installed steam systems would learn about them. There are a lot of people who still use steam. In the area where I live I think it is a lot higher than the 10% it is supposed to be on a national basis. It always irritates me when I hear energy companies telling people how much they will save when they turn their thermostats down. There is nothing wrong with keeping your thermostat down as low as comfort will permit. What bothers me is why they aren't getting on the knuckleheads who could be saving way more energy than that by installing properly sized boilers, following the mfgs directions for correct boiler piping to produce dry steam, keeping the pressuretrol settings as low as possible etc. I think part of the problem is that the law has only required in the past that installations be safe, not efficient. In this era of energy crisis I think the installer has an obligation to make a system as efficient as reasonably possible. Actually New York state has a law called the fuel gas code - it states that the installer has to follow the manufacturers directions. I would urge any homeowner who was given undersized pipes, or an incorrect and inefficient pipe configuration, to withhold payment. Make sure you have an installation manual and check the diagrams there against your piping. Don't let the contractor zoom you. If you are putting yourself out as a steam boiler installer you ought to be able to install one according to the mfgs specs or get out of the business of doing them. If installers do even a minimally acceptable job they can save plenty of energy right now, a lot more than homeowners can by turning down their thermostats and freezing. The big deal about electronic ignition is that it saves 1% maybe on gas costs. Multiplied over many users that is significant. If every installer did a knowledgable installation it would be a heck of a lot more significant savings than that. Tearing a steam system out of an old home is prohibitively expensive - the payback, even if the new systems perform up to their promises is way too long. Making an old steam system as efficient as possible is the more pragmatic approach for most people. For this we need technicians who are knowledgeable about and interested in steam. Individuals who are intersted in saving the customer money with a proper installation, instead of being more concerned about what is playing on the radio while they rush through an incompetent installation because they think the customer doesn't know any better and they will get paid in any case.
  • Wayne Wayne @ 3:29 PM
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    ***

  • David Nadle David Nadle @ 3:27 PM
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    Progress

    I wasn't going to comment on this thread because the guy came off as a troll, but so many thoughtful people responded that I can't keep away. I have a couple of old fountain pens I like to use. Nothing fancy. Writing with a fountain pen that works smoothly is a pleasure. If you haven't tried one you should. Fifty years ago everyone over the age of six used fountain pens, but as they've been replaced by disposable pens knowledge of their care and use has almost disappeared. When they don't work right nobody close by knows how to fix them. So now we buy pens we can use for a while and toss out. Is that progress? Is that "green?" The more scarce steam heat gets, the more valuable this site will be and the more essential the people who study steam and specialize in it will be. I'm not an expert on how the efficiency comparisons are made between steam heated homes and other systems but if you're going to claim that steam must go to "save the planet" you'd better be armed with some facts, and take all the factors into consideration, including wasted labor and differences that can be attributed to factors other than the boiler, such as lack of insulation in older homes, etc. The original poster's arguments that this site is too focused on steam, or that steam is dying out, have been demolished. I don't expect him to be back with data supporting the supposed wastefulness of steam technology, but I'll be interested to hear him out if he does.
  • Mark Custis Mark Custis @ 5:50 PM
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    Perry

    keep up the good work. Nice essay.
  • Mike Mike @ 10:33 PM
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    Perry?

    Perry's penchant for verbosity neither clarifies nor adds to the debate raised by Steamhead's postulation which states - there is no proof that steam heating systems are inherently less efficient than water based heating systems. Perry's legendary tomes aside. Steam turbines, steam locomotives, and Old Faithful at Yellowstone are not the issue. Steamhead's notion is incorrect, misleading and based purely on wishful thinking. Steam heating is inherently inefficient as compared to water based heating.
  • Perry Perry @ 11:29 PM
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    I'd like you to offer any proof of your statement

    "Steam heating is inherently inefficient as compared to water based heating." Please provide me any form of proof of this statement. From a theoretical standpoint as I know it the thermodynamic efficiency difference between 212 F and 100 F heating systems is so very tiny that it really is not worth considering on a large scale - and you would have to consider the electricity required for all controls and pumping as well (which seems to me could easily overwhelm any thermodynamic efficiency). Also, you can have 100 F steam if you want too, which would involve an energy eating vacuum pump. Now you may have a point from a practical standpoint. I concede that it is cheaper to build a more efficient water based system that it is to build a steam system - much less one designed for the best efficiencies - at least for a small building. Since you are claiming inherent inefficiency I am sure that you can cite the heat transfer science and physics that backs that up. What have I missed - or have forgotten - or was never taught? Perry
  • ttekushan ttekushan @ 2:04 PM
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    you'll never see proof of that statement.

    The only place there's any generally accepted difference is in AFUE efficiency of the steam boiler vs a condensing boiler. Steam has the advantage in distribution, all other things being equal. The only argument I've heard on steam distribution losses is that the temperature of the pipe is higher than that of a low temp water pipe. That argument quickly falls apart when one realizes that the amount of total enthalpy lost across that line is miniscule as a proportion heat reaching its destination. The latent heat is doing the heating, and all thats supplied to the heat exchangers is utilized. The steam and its latent heat content no long exist for the return route to the boiler. The remaining heat in the condensate is tiny compared to what was left by the release of latent heat. Hot water systems have their useful heat going in two directions instead. So we insulate the piping. The heat loss argument usually reveals the mindset and reference point of the person making it. When you work in low temp hydronics and don't consider the dynamic changes occurring within a steam system you tend to view things in terms of, say, delta T. If thats how one analyzes a steam system, conclusions on reticulation efficiency will be dead wrong. Even delta P on a steam system is different and is subject to change throughout the heating cycle as the proportion of condensible gas to non condensible gasses and liquid changes. You have to know the system's state, with pressure telling you something different at a cold start vs steady operation. Often, "water people" will ony see the result of an inability to "read" a steam system, that being excessive energy use. It never occurs to many that the symptom of high energy use is just that --a symptom. Well, don't blame the steam system unless it was poorly designed to begin with or badly modified, most of which can be corrected. Now, if you have a vested interest in not understanding the system you're working with, well... --- To illustrate a few differences, at cold start, air - a non condensible gas, acts far differently in piping and HX's than steam, a condensible gas. Steam generated in a boiler compresses air thus maintaining pressure in the system. Air is exchanged for steam. Now the pressure gage is giving you different information. This is one way to detect proper venting, which improves efficiency. Condensing steam creates a vacuum to pull steam as much as the boiler needs to push it. The colder the HX, the greater the vacuum and the greater the heat delivered. There's no such thing as "cooled-off steam" impeding the flow of "hot steam" into the HX to be pumped away, as there is with water and air heating. If there's a screw-up somewhere in the piping or steam supply, steam progress can actually stall within extremely cold (freezing temp usually) HX's. Steam heating's dynamic circulation i.e., the "pull" on the steam supply caused by the release of latent heat, is developed proportionally by the need for heat distribution itself. Furthermore, the above illustrates why modulating a steam boiler saves so much energy. The steam boiler doesn't need the pick-up factor at all after the boiler is done pushing air out of the system but it does need all that output if the heating demand is high. The gage pressure at the boiler can tell you what's going in the far reaches of the system. As long as the lower firing rates don't allow air back into the system, we can go lower and lower as demand drops. Delta T tells you nothing. Return temperature is irrelevant since there's no latent heat there. --- Do you see what I'm getting at? The latent-heat heating process is so different from circulating water or air that using parameters measured and managed in a hot water system will tell you nothing relevant about a steam system. Herein lies the basis of most flawed comparisons between HW and steam. You'd be better off approaching steam heating from a thorough refrigeration background, IMO. I understand that there are those who won't worry their pretty little heads over learning a subject to the depth required to make useful criticisms. I myself am critical of many steam heating system designs that I have encountered. Economizing and properly tuning and designing steam systems (including doing work-arounds with troublesome systems) requires a level of understanding and knowledge that is no different than any other endeavor if you value results. If you take your profession seriously and continually strive for greater knowledge then you come to places like this, among others, to learn and share. If you wish neither to learn nor share, perhaps you are in the wrong place. Most constructive contributors here are armed with theory, direct experience and curiosity whatever their stance. And we like to help others. Vapid criticisms without any useful experience on the subject of the criticism is something most of us here are not accustomed to. Many of us continue to bringto this thread detailed facts and experience without reciprocation of any substance whatsoever. I like the Monty Python "Argument" sketch as much as the next guy. Maybe more. An argument is not the same as contentiousness. Like the old saying goes, it takes a skilled carpenter to put up a nice barn door, but any old jackass can kick it down. -Terry
    terry
  • Leo G Leo G @ 1:15 AM
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    WOW!

    I now have an understanding of steam heat. Ihave never worked with steam, but now really want too! Thanx Terry, brilliant! Leo G
  • tommyoil tommyoil @ 9:57 AM
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    Sell some jobs????

    Yet you're sitting home (probably in a dark corner of your rented basement) posting assinine comments at 3:00 o clock and again at 3:30 in the afternoon. Success spawns jealousy and resentment and wannabes like you. Take the nipple off the gin bottle asshole and go get a job instead of hiding in chicken s**t fashion behind a phony name. It must be tough to live your sorry life with no balls. To have to "make fun" of people behind their backs is evidence of that. Your Mama must be proud of you(hope shes not fat with YOU as a son). When Dan says jump, I hope you find the highest building you can and take a flying freaking leap and do us all a favor. The world would be a better place (and it would be one less unemployment claim). I'd PAY to watch as would others here I'm sure. Then, we could give all the profits to charity. Now THAT would be entertainment. Count me in!
  • tommyoil tommyoil @ 8:27 AM
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    My preferences aside....

    I'm still not the one hiding like a scared child behind some bogus name. And it doesn't change the fact that as a business "owner" (thats a laugh) you're sitting in a dungeon ,glued to a computer, posting idiotic comments with zero value or credibility...sort of like the other aspects of your sorry existence... zero value and even less credibility (your family must be proud). The fact that you have time for this nonsense at 3:00 in the afternoon pretty much sums up how successful YOUR alleged business is. It probably just aggravates the s**t out of you that you cant hold a candle to one of the greatest and most progressive minds in the industry. Again, success spawns jealousy and resentment and you are the poster boy for that statement. So....now your here in a lame ass attempt to do what??? Diminish this sight somehow? Its not going to work. The people here see through your bulls**t from a mile away. Keep up the great and informative posts though. After all... you are a poster boy so live up to your name and at least do ONE thing right. Some psychiatric help and an AA meeting MIGHT help a sorry ass like you but I wouldn't hold out any hope. Is the nipple off the gin bottle yet?
  • frankiewrench frankiewrench @ 6:04 PM
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    WHAT I DO........................

    ............in NYC is maintain those old beautiful steam systems by keeping the boilers running or replace 'em. In that type of business ya gotta know the system or find something else to put food on the table. In this forum we share knowledge to improve ourselves and therefore stay able to give our customers the service they need. There are too many homes and businesses out there that require a knowledge service company. When me and my generation are gone (the baby boomers) and those heating and plumbing mechanics that have been keeping customers happy for so long are no longer around, who, may I ask is going to provided this valuable service? Unless the young'ins ared taught they will guess. And you know how dangerous a little bit of knowledge can be. These pages and the steam schools (along with the rest of 'em)that Good Ole Dan provides is a major contribution to our trade. The new trends, Mod-Con, Geo, etc. are all necessary for the newer buildings, but we cannot let steam go by the way side, all but forgotten. When I broke into this trade, we were doing steam boiler jobs. And guess what?? Forty years latter those structures still stand and still need steam, and I'm still doing steam boilers.
  • V8toilet V8toilet @ 8:49 PM
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    History

    "And very little of this would probably have happened without Dan Holohan. This is proof that one person can make a huge difference. We are forever in his debt." Amen to that! If I met Dan in person I would get on my knees and thank him over and over again for educating me on how to make my once fuel wasting, leaking, and unbalanced system a very efficient and unbelievably comfortable (and quiet) heating system. I have gained 51% total savings on my heating bill due to the improvements I made to my steam heat that I learned from Dan's books and this website. This is for a 1500 sq ft home in Massachusetts where there are still thousands of homes still heated by steam heat. Can steam heat be efficient? YOU BET IT CAN!
  • mdewolfe mdewolfe @ 2:29 PM
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    I for one am in complete agreement with the topic of this thread "look toward the future". I for one am looking forward to the future and on May 5th I plan on attending Dans steam heat night school. In my book Dan gets "steam heating mensch" status. Hope to see you there. Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 11:03 PM
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    As far as I know

    there has never been a scientific, apples-to-apples of the relative efficiencies of transporting BTUs by steam as opposed to hot-water. Without this, claiming that one or the other is "more efficient" is simply substituting opinion for fact. Further, disregarding the parasitic pumping losses we find in hot-water systems distorts any comparison we try to make. The only "comparison studies" I've seen involve brand-new hot-water systems and steam systems on the brink of total failure from neglect. This is not a fair comparison, never has been and never will be. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Mike Mike @ 8:55 AM
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    Steamhead,

    Your suggestion that only anecdotal "evidence" exists to support the claims of steam's inherent inferiority - or data resulting in lopsided new-water vs, ancient-steamers bias - is fraught with mis-information. The principals of latent heat, laws of conservation of energy, and thermodynamics are not black magic and witchcraft, they are scientific and the only acceptable methods to make the comparisons you suggest have never been done. They have been known for well over 100 years, laid out in any 11th grade high school physics book you find and common knowledge at the most rudimentary levels. For you to deny their existence - or an understanding of these well known thermodynamic principals, diminishes your standing as a self-proclaimed steam expert, relegating you to the world of quackery. To ask someone to cite something that is common knowledge does not bolster your position. Rather it certifies your ignorance. Allow me to turn the tables. Show us one document that supports your notion that steam is anywhere near as efficient as hot water! As an aside, this is not a debate as to whether a structure should be "converted" from steam to water - which is based on cost to do so - usually far too expensive to even ponder - not the inherent efficiency of the ultimate design.
  • ttekushan ttekushan @ 9:40 AM
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    Oh dear. You don't mind Steamhead, do you?

    Someone is confusing thermal efficiency of a 1865 steam locomotive engine with heat distribution again! So distribution of heat is the same as work produced by that heat. I see. Try again. Better tell the world's utilities to drop that bad old steam engine! Oh wait. They did. Okay: Better tell the world's utilities to drop that bad old steam turbine! Oh wait. There's nothing more efficient in thermal efficiency than a steam turbine. So hundreds of thousand engineers say. But what do they know. I'm sure they know so little as to drop the name "thermodynamics" and "conservation of energy" at parties to conceal their total ignorance. It gets worse. Those ignorant engineers have determined that the most efficient utilization of solar energy is via trough collectors to generate high pressure steam to run steam turbines! What a bunch of bozos. If only they heard of the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy. They must have dropped out of school in 11th grade. -Terry
    terry
  • Perry Perry @ 10:41 AM
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    Mike & TerryT - You're both Wrong

    As a Mechanical Engineer (the kind that studies and implements thermal design); and also one who has spent much of his adult life working with energy systems (steam & Hot water): I can say you are both wrong in your points. First you have to define the application: Burning fuel to heat something up (a house). This is not burning fuel to produce mechanical work or generate electricity (and you cannot compare these two task). There is no inherent efficiency of using hot water over steam for general heating if you are using a non-condensing boiler (a condensing boiler does have an efficiency gain if it can be effectively utilized). The theoretical differences between low pressure steam and unpressurized hot water are within the realm of pumping and system configuration losses. Steamhead is correct that you would need a best designed and constructed steam and a best designed and constructed hot water system for an apples to apples test (and likely several different system and sizes). I will take him at his word that he is unaware of such a study. I personally find it very plausible that a steam system would in fact be more energy efficient overall than a hydronic system. This is especially true of in floor radiant heating with its high head pumping cost, energy use and pressure drop from multiple control and mixing valves, etc. As far as a steam - steam turbine being the most efficient way to produce mechanical or electric power by burning fuel. That too is wrong. Of the equipment and systems that can currently be built: A fuel cell is the most efficient way to produce electricity - but it requires an ultra-clean fuel which is normally cost prohibitive. A gas turbine (combustion turbine - Jet engine) based plant is in the range of 50% efficient. It requires a fairly clean fuel. Literally hundreds of $ Millions have been spent tying to develop a coal fired gas turbine that would be long term durable. No success to date. Thus, these are currently only used with premium priced fuels (natural gas and highly refined petroleum). There is development work on a nuclear gas turbine (the pebble bed reactor, and others); and I believe these will eventually be developed. But it is far from proven that it will work long term (test plants have been built). Steam cycle plant (boil water - run steam though turbines) are in the Mid 30's for efficiency. But, they can handle dirty fuels, can be nuclear powered, and are highly reliable and durable - even if somewhat expensive to build. Being able to handle dirty fuels (coal, crude and residual oil) and being able to utilize a nuclear reactor are the reasons these are built - despite their current low efficiencies compared to other options. Thus, the next hundred or so major power plants (not to mention a thousand or so smaller commercial plants) will be based on the steam cycle. I for one am looking for the day that major power plants will not be steam cycle based. It will be a huge jump forward in efficiency. We just don't know how to do this from a technical standpoint yet beyond short lived research plants (and they all have been short lived). Perry
  • ttekushan ttekushan @ 5:00 PM
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    Perry, whats your point, really?

    You made my point for me that heat distribution has nothing to do with heat engines. I think this is what I said. I merely thought it strange to assume steamhead knows nothing of thermodynamics, etc. since he was speaking of comparative heating media. A rudimentary class in physics doesn't provide all the answers! Your last point about steam heating being equivalently efficient is mentioned in my first post. Its been sort of a theme for me here for years. My own real world work in the field has garnered the kind of results that support the case. With regard to electrical generation, I don't recall mentioning specific efficiencies but comparative ones. Are you talking steam generation efficiency, turbine efficiency, power generator efficiency, or the efficiency of the whole system? Are Brayton cycle turbines the answer? My point is that it certainly appears at this time steam power is the best we've got that can utilize the fuels we have. Its near universiality seems to give that point some credibility. I have to assume also that non-dirty fuels have some sort of costs associated with their utilization. I am truly interested in what the future holds with regard to other generation techniques which have a good chance of working reliably and efficiently and when we can expect to see them. Obviously this is a totally different topic of discussion than using steam as a space heating medium. So I still can't figure out where we disagree. My post went to a ludicrous extreme merely to point out the fallacy of high school physics students being able to definitively answer the question of comparative space heating media efficiencies and cost of operation. BTW, I'm one of those who takes the time to read your thoughtful posts. They've always been worth my time. Likewise, please take time to see my point. -Terry Oy. Now I'm off to a sunday evening emergency service on a 1 year old high tech HW boiler. This should be interesting.
    terry
  • Perry Perry @ 12:01 AM
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    Terry - I may have misunderstood your point

    I thought you were trying to compare the efficiency of heating to the efficiency of doing work. The efficiencies related to doing work or power generation were for the entire system. A Carnot steam cycle power plant is only going to be in the mid 30's. Yes the turbine is highly efficient - and so is the generator; but all the pumping and other cost of operation are significant (you could run a small to medium sized city off of the "Auxiliary" Power required to run a full sized power plant). When you look at energy in compared to energy out - you are in the range of the mid 30's on overall efficiency. Fuel source really does not matter. The Brayton cycle (gas turbine) is likely the future of major power generation; but we are still probably at least 25 years away from realistic commercial sized applications for non-premium fuels. A lot of $ is being spent on R&D in this area for both waste/dirty oil, coal, and nuclear. There is indeed a premium cost for the premium fuels used in current gas turbines (oil and natural gas). Cheap to build with very high fuel cost. That is why coal & nuclear steam cycle plants produce the lowest electrical power in the world - despite their inherent inefficiency compared to the Brayton cycle. This premium also affect fuel cells. You have to purify natural gas for it to be usable in fuel cells at this point. I hope your emergent boiler job went OK. Have a great day, Perry
  • Brad White Brad White @ 7:04 AM
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    Perry

    "Date: January 11, 2009 10:41 AM Author: Perry Subject: Mike & TerryT - You're both Wrong As a Mechanical Engineer (the kind that studies and implements thermal design); and also one who has spent much of his adult life working with energy systems (steam & Hot water): I can say you are both wrong in your points." Technical expertise aside, with that kind of tone, can you design a condescending boiler?
  • Wayne Wayne @ 7:55 AM
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    Perry you are putting me to sleep

    I hear you can give some sound advice on that too!!! http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/message-boards/viewtopic.php?p=8949&highlight= Will the real Slim Perry, please stand up, please stand up
  • Perry Perry @ 10:14 AM
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    Sleep well... And you really don't know me unless...

    I hope you all sleep well at night. Also, yes I have posted on many a different forum on many subjects over the years. That post is from almost 6 years ago - and I still help people with AutoCPAPs. Even though I am no longer active on some of those forums - I have people contacting me individually on that issue. But, for those wondering about knowing me - and about how much time it takes for me to post... You really don't know me until you find my poetry posts. Poetry takes time to write. Try it some time. Perry
  • Wayne Wayne @ 10:19 AM
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    A Poem for you

    There once was a guy named Perry ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Who some thought he was contrary ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz He said with a grin ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz As he wiped off his chin ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz If my zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Sorry, I fell asleep
  • Tony Tony @ 11:31 AM
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    Perry

    You keep stating that radiant is a high head application. That's simply not true, when designed properly. My radiant panels are designed with a usual head of 6-7 ft. EASILY within a 007's curve. Some get a 006. Never more than a 008. I also strive to design for one water temp throughout the system. It's very doable. Using a mod/con, plates where applicable, and none where not needed, keeps the system simpler to install, maintain, and operate. A monoflow system is a good example of unnecessary head to achieve balanced water temps. They work well, but a parallel system works as well, if not better, with more control of individual emitters at sometimes greatly reduced head. My 2 cents.
  • Perry Perry @ 12:07 PM
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    Tony:

    Note that I specifically claim in the above post that it was radiant is high head. By radiant I have meant in floor heating - which I admit might not be technically correct (but what is normally sold by people claiming to sell radiant). If you follow my other post you will see me state that mono-flow T and 2 pipe systems are (generally) low head - and more efficient than radiant. One problem with most condensing boilers is that they are also have higher head loss than past boilers (the exception being the TT Prestige). I readily concede that an old fashion cast iron radiator/baseboard or radiant wall panel system parred with the right boiler is a low head system and highly efficient. But, that still leaves a question of the pumping losses. Steam heat generally needs no pumping. Which is more efficient? It is really interesting to note that when I replaced my boiler that my electric bills jumped $10-$20 per month over the last boiler which only ran a B&G Series 100 pump intermittently on call for heat (I have a mono-flow T system with cast iron baseboard). Now I run a Taco 007 24/7 + run the Vitodens 200. The change in electric usage was noted immediately. Perry
  • Tony Tony @ 12:40 PM
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    Yeah

    I'm talking about radiant being in-floor. By "panel" I mean a floor, ceiling or wall. I stand by my statements about head in radiant systems. Proper design is the key. Monoflow tees add quite a bit of head. Certainly more than a parallel system. A 007 draws .74 amps, a 100 series 2.4 amps. I would bet there's more to your increased electrical costs than a lone 007 constantly running. Furthermore, your fuel usage savings should negate the electrical increase, by far. It's the system, not individual components that make the difference.
  • N/A @ 12:28 PM

    Steamhead has a valid point

    You can rant all you want about principals of latent heat , conservation of energy , thermodynamics , blah blah blah ........... Try selling a top of the line system to a homeowner , armed with just that technical info . Mike , you know you'll get the deer in the headlights look from anyone you try to upsell a system to . Going about it that way . What people want to know is ACTUAL fuel use savings , not formulas and ratios and a need for a degree in advanced calculus to decipher your sales technique . How do YOU prove to your customers that this expensive , total rehab of their system will save them any significant amount of fuel ? On this website I often read 30 to 40% fuel use savings when going from and ancient steam system to a top of the line water system . Funny thing is we get those same numbers when upgrading an old steamer to a new one . That's without the necessity to install a new heat source in every room . I wonder how much more fuel can be saved by swapping out the oversized rads and mains for properly sized ones , since most homes have been weatherized .
  • Mad Dog Mad Dog @ 10:55 PM
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  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 5:05 PM
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    Mike, I'm going

    by what I've seen so far. You may have noticed that when Gordo or I, among many others, post fuel-savings percentages resulting from the work we do, we have the numbers to back them up. To do so without the numbers would be a disservice to everyone involved here. You will notice that I have never said hot-water is necessarily LESS efficient than steam. I don't have the numbers to back that up. By the same token, no one has the numbers to back up their assertion that steam is less efficient than hot-water. My own house has a converted gravity hot-water system- I doubt I'd rip it out even if we could show that steam was slightly more efficient. It wouldn't make sense to do this when you consider how much energy is needed to manufacture and install the new equipment. And it has come in real handy as a test-bed........ I have, however, seen several well-done studies that claim an average loss of 20% in the typical scorched-air duct system. Most people aren't aware of this, since air leaking from ducts is not nearly as obvious as water or steam leaking from pipes. Also, scorched-air can pressurize and depressurize rooms which would result in more infiltration. Try these links: http://oikos.com/esb/28/duct_losses.html http://oikos.com/esb/44/forcedair.html http://hem.dis.anl.gov/eehem/93/931114.html http://forums.invision.net/Thread.cfm?CFApp=2&Thread_ID=25079&mc=7 To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Timco Timco @ 12:02 AM
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    Mike, Care to compare steam to hot water in a 50+ unit building? How about the install cost, or the maintenance costs? How about the efficiency then? HW may work out better in a house, but what about large scale? Tim
    Working on steam and hot-water systems isn't rocket science....it's actually much harder.
  • Paul Fredricks Paul Fredricks @ 3:43 PM
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    Why do I get the feeling that one person has logged in here under a number of aliases. And is trying to stir the pot for his/her own enjoyment.
  • N/A @ 7:44 PM

    Well how about getting

    rid of all them steam systems. In the inner city of Providence, Boston and other major cities steam is the heating system for many a three and four floor apartment house. The folks who own those can't afford new systems so we fix them and fix them again until they finally go. Then we put in a new steam boiler and clean up the old system and it runs for another 25 or 30 years. I have been seeing this for the last 40 years. So do we still need to learn about steam I hope to tell you we do. I am running a new class of techs through my night school we are down to two left in this class as lay offs and the poor economy have caused people to drop out. We keep going however as thsoe two deserve my best, which by the way includes a full series of instructions on steam systems. I use the "Lost Art of Steam Heating" as one of my text books for the class along with my own books on steam. Why do I like the way Dan presents steam - it is entertaining and informative. That makes learning much easier. Steam is the basics, learn steam and then move onward and upward to forced hot water and all that it offers. I guess the future is "GREEN" well green as far as I can tell costs a lot of money and not everyone can afford solar and geothermal. My son and I have offered it to several well to do people and when it all priced out they decided it was not for them. They by the way could afford it. As one who has been in this since I was 13 and am now 69 years old it is very apparent to me that everyone who services and installs must learn the old so they can understand the new.
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 10:55 PM
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    You might be right, Paul

    the style of writing is pretty similar...... might be pretty interesting to compare their IP addresses...... To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Darrell Darrell @ 12:12 AM
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    My son and I drove three hours over a mountain to attend a seminar that Dan did here in Alaska...not much steam heating here, especially in the residential end of things. But, both of us came away with a keen sense of the legacy that the dead men have left to us. So much of the technology that we so glibly use today comes to us from the past, either directly, or in response to it, or because we have forgotten it. Unfortunately, too many of us have reduced out trade from an art and science to cram it in and cash the check. How many of us would even condider heating an entire house with hot water and no circs...yet the dead men did. We stop at the local supply house and use whatever they happen to feel like stocking based on some bean counters charts. The dead men knew what they wanted, and settled for nothing less even if they had to make it themselves. I worked in Wisconsin for several years and wondered at the forces that somebody long dead...over one hundred years...had harnessed to his needs and tamed to his desire. I can only hope that my work will be in service 100 years from now. We spend hours beating the drum on this site about ever higher efficiencies and green solutions, all the while hoping that these new technologies will last 5-10 years,(according to another post)! How very sad...have we really progressed? At what cost? History is the foundation on which all that we know is built...please do not close the door on it. Bonesy lives!!!
  • Brian R Brian R @ 9:00 AM
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    My momma always said......

    I would propose to "Mr. Legend of The Past", (as momma always said), if you don't like the way something is being done, get involved to (try) make a change. If you think seminars should be hosted to cater to the "new" heating technologies....Then go ahead and run them. The marketplace will determine if there's any interest in them. If you feel a new website, or forum should exist to cater to your views, go ahead and create it. I for one think Mr. Holohan does a great service to the pros here, and people like me (homeowner) who like to learn. As DAD always said...."Learn something every day"
  • John R. Hall John R. Hall @ 12:38 PM
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    My two cents

    Having known Dan for over ten years and having attended some of his seminars, including steam, I know how entertaining and informative he can be. And correct me if I am wrong -- isn't that the point of attending a Holohan seminar? I am sure that if the day comes that fewer people would sign up and the costs would exceed the revenues, Dan would find some other way to entertain us. But as the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
  • Perry Perry @ 7:16 PM
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    We are: Saving The Planet - which is the correct future.

    "Date: January 08, 2009 04:46 PM Author: Legend of The Past Subject: It's Time To Save The Planet Look ahead not behind, don't be afraid what's new, embrace it, love it, want it, need it and you are either moving forward or backwards you can't stand still." ------ The first step in saving the planet is to effectively use what we already have. The average house or "core" office/business building last about 100 years, and it is not uncommon to see 150 year old houses and buildings (and a few older than that) - so that means that its heating system has to be maintained effectively. From a resource standpoint and overall energy utilization standpoint it makes no sense to tear down and replace otherwise good structures. Thus maintaining the existing systems effectively is moving forward. Someone has to teach the technicians for the next 75 - 100 years about steam heat and of the early hot water radiator systems. The second step is understanding that just because something is a fad - that does not mean that it truly is the most efficient or effective. In this I am talking about radiant floor heating. It takes a lot of energy to pump that water - and I have not seen any good studies that showed that radiant floor heating is more energy or cost effective than other forms of heating (the studies I've seen show that people actually keep their house the same temperature even with a warm floor - I.e., the warm floor allows you to keep the house cooler and save energy is a myth). Radiant Heating Panels & Cast Iron Radiators are in fact more energy efficient as they only need a very low pressure pump to circulate the water with (less than 10 Ft of head - and often 5 will do). They also need a less resources to construct. Hydronic heating has its advantages (comfort, air purity, etc); but even there I'm not sure that it is the most efficient heating system. The reason that forced air is so big is because of its cost advantages and it can be tied with an air conditioning & humidity control system as well. Solar and ground based geothermal have their practical limitations and often are not suitable for retrofit to an existing home for more than token purposes (I really wanted to go this direction). Domestic hot water is likely a practical use for solar energy in a number of existing homes. Solar and ground based geothermal are best suited to new construction - and then are still restricted by location of the house and density of home construction. You will see very little of this in any major city. As for Solar - no one has figured a cost effective way to store solar more than a couple days worth of solar energy yet either - if even that. I have personally done some work in this area: I can store enough energy during the summer to get my house through a Wisconsin winter with an appropriately sized solar panel system & storage system; which cost about as much as the house itself (I have designed a solar "battery" that can store large quantities of solar energy for very long periods of time with minimal leakage - but it is very expensive to build - and would need its own storage vault). I remember vividly the ground based, solar, and wind energy hucksterism of the late 70's and early 80's. I really wanted to spend my career in the energy saving field. But my review at the time indicated that most of the systems were not long term durable - and a lot of them did not even work well up front (and I could see that with just a few years experience maintaining a steam plant when I was in my 20's). So I went into Power Plants instead. I was proven right on the status of the technology. Sadly, I see much of the same hucksterism going on now as well. Its our future.... But only if the systems work, are designed right, are installed properly, and are long term durable. Now where are people (technicians to homeowners) going to learn these things without The Wall. I am personally convinced that many of the current mod/con boilers on the market are not likely to last long enough to pay for themselves - for reasons well known (and well documented in the 80's and early 90's). But there is profit in selling the "potential" - and who cares if the failure mechanisms of the past have not been appropriately addressed. Who cares if the equipment does not last that long - that's a built in replacement market... It seems to me that only one company seems to have really tried to address the issues. Another company has made at least a partial attempt - but have probably missed on a golden opportunity to do it a lot better. Many subjects are discussed here on The Wall. Steam Heat is of course solidly represented. My gut feel is hydronic heating is more discussed. Solar pops up from time to time - and no one is disrespects it. Several of the Professionals on this forum actually try to incorporate it when they can. Same with ground based geothermal. There is plenty of room for your participation if you want to move forward with the future of saving the planet - and of applying the most beneficial use of our resources long term - which is what "green" and all the other slogans are really about. Maybe the reason that so many of the "Wonderful Concepts" do not get a lot of press and attention here is that a lot of the participants have not figured out how to make them really work yet - or work in their situation. Some of us have personally spent thousands of dollars in self guinea pig situations to try new technology or a different way of doing things. Some will work - some doesn't. Time will tell - and the results will most likely be posted here. Perry
  • realolman realolman @ 5:55 PM
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    Sounds

    to me like JohnNY knows exactly what he's talking about. But on the other hand, I would like to know some more about heating with Dilithium chrystals
  • JohnNY JohnNY @ 4:31 PM
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    Seriously?

    I live and work in New York City and my service area includes a large portion of north New Jersey. My shop and my 6 service vehicles see steam all day long every day 6 days a week. You know what we see VERY little of, by comparison? Modulating boilers, radiant floor heating (high rise buildings with 3-million-dollar two bedroom apartments don't allow it), panel radiators..etc. You know what I've NEVER been asked to work on? Ground source geothermal. I've made money and built my business, in significant part, by what I've learned through Dan Holohan and his writing. And it's by those same texts that I'll keep my business going and growing so long as I work in the area I do. This industry has enough radiant pushers. The Green thing is getting tiresome as it has been exploited to near death. Dan's understanding of steam and the experience he's already shared with our industry is all he ever has to do as far as I'm concerned. I hope to achieve half as much or be so duly credited with such a contribution in my lifetime. You really need to figure out something else to complain about. Surely there is something more valid. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • bill bill @ 1:34 AM
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    Remember back in high school and college

    when you would get a real good teacher and then you would get a real jerk who is there for his own ego? D.H. is one of the great ones. D.H. is a great teacher. So what if theres new schools, Good,hope it works out. Now for the identity issue. I hope it's one of D.H.'s friends just screwing around-probably. I think in know. The other schools hired an advertising and marketing agency and there strategy is to berate the leader in the field. Utter geniuss' these marketing folks!
  • Jed Jed @ 7:37 PM
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    I predict:

    That the hot-shot young upstart "Legend of The Past" will be old and gray, and Dan will have wisely passed the torch to his successor to brilliantly run this site; and Steamhead's grandson will be chiming in with words of wisdom for the very proud conservators of steam heating systems in need of TLC. Jed
  • Singh Singh @ 8:32 PM
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    We are going full circle.

    I am passionate about conservation. And if that means the preservation and rehabilitation of older steam systems, so be it. Now the last time I got involved with a steam system, I was just a young jedi in the big apple, many moons ago, and even then I was just on the business end of a 300 machine. I currently don't go seeking out steam systems , but should one come my way it's nice to know there is a resource like The wall, and Dan around. Now the new save the planet systems are not all that. For one thing think about the natural resources required to manufacture these new fangled systems. Let's take a close look at Stainless Steel HX 's, Chromium,Nickel,Titanium, are just a sample of some of the metals required to make them, and about 60% of the alloy is recylable. Let's take a close look at all the electronics found lately in modern hydronic systems. These controls required some serious heavy metals, and I'm not talking about Metallica. These metals came from somewhere, and I guarantee you, the planet has suffered as a result of mining the soils of the earth for the materials found in that micro processor. Same goes for the metals found in a solar panel PV or thermal. Wind turbines etc.. Smart pumps? Nothing smarter than a system that does not need a pump, right? So, this is why I advocate conservation, let's think passively first and foremost. South facing homes, intelligent use of window glazing and area, good insulation, water conservation, etc.. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • michael michael @ 10:02 AM
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    well said Singh

    We wouldn't need saving the planet if all of us would stop by not needed gadgets in our homes that waste energy. Just turning a damn light off in a room your not in and getting rid of Phantom loads. The most important part in heating a home in my less than humble opion is to reduce it's heat load. Fill those walls, seal those windows batten down the hatches. All new constructed homes should be built passive solar. It should be a mandate. These freaking Mc Mansions that face the road for all to see or facing the mountain prairie is B.S. Face 'em south. I've lived all over this country and I have lived with all types of heat. I have to say my favorites are wood and steam. There is nothing like a winter morning and you get out of the shower and your towel is hanging over a steam radiator. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh that is nice!!!!! And wood warms you to the bone. This unanimous Writer that has stirred us all in a frenzy should stop being a wus and come out play! Being a solar guy, I have the right to say Dan has more and definitely backed solar and renewable energy. Every Thursday I find something in his newsletter about renewables. Renewables are not the only answer! They are only part of the equation. Proper construction is first (for new homes) and whatever you can do to lower the heat load in older homes.
  • Mad Dog Mad Dog @ 10:37 PM
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  • Fred Harwood Fred Harwood @ 7:25 PM
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    Amen

  • lee lee @ 7:31 PM
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    Perry

    Well stated as usual
  • don don @ 7:48 PM
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    Testing

    If one were testing steam boiler over mod/con and two stage equipment they would find that steam is more efficent then people think. Think about it for a second.A steam boiler is always firing at max input. A steam boiler has the lowest wattage use then many other system on the market. A steam boiler has less parts to fail. Should I keep going?
  • Fred Harwood Fred Harwood @ 6:14 PM
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    Crystals

    The only problem with DC, is getting some (reportedly takes just a few to accomplish most anything, including Warp 5). I just want to say that this site is unique and invaluable. Only here on The Wall have I found the frank openness that informs the intelligent layman and frustrated serviceman. The larger point is not the assertion that steam is doomed. The larger point surely is that useful information remains King, and the rest will sort itself out over time, and circumstance, which may confound many a futurist.
  • Frenchie Frenchie @ 5:52 PM
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    Steam

    I live in rural Wisconsin in a small town with 3000 people. Steam is not only in big cities!! We have many steam heated single family homes built in the 1800's and early 1900's. These homes still need to be serviced and boilers replaced, etc. I will guarantee you not one of these people will rip that system out and replace it with a heat pump, geothermal or otherwise. It would be WAY too expensive in the first place, and people here seem to really like the steam heat. Heck, I wish my house was steam (it's forced hot water). MOD-CON boilers- Well lets just say as far as I know, I doubt there is a single one in the whole county. I woulld not dare have one in my home unless I felt like freezing to death looking for someone to service it. I will pay whatever it costs in fuel to keep my family warm with a reliable and entirely hassle free cast iron boiler. Yes, you are correct that these new technologies have a place, but these old houses are not all going to just disappear one night!
  • JJ JJ @ 3:07 PM
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    I'm with Jason!

    My 1923 home has a one-pipe system that works great. I will never tear it out. When the 27 year old boiler goes I will install a properly sized unit, and not worry for another 30 years or so (not that I don't have the boiler serviced mind you). When replacing, I will be able to use a boiler that is more than 2x's smaller than the current one. We have added insulation, removed un-needed radiators, calculated the radiator EDR and performed a heat loss calc....to find that we only need 45K BTU vs. the 145K output now. So, rather than wasting money on a new forced hot water system....I plan to use the $$ for solar electric and thermal installs. I can pretty much provide all of our electric and domestic H2O needs from two small systems. BTW...my evaporative cooler, a really old technology, provides excellent cooling at a fraction of the cost and evironmental impact of A/C. But then, not everyone is blessed to live in Colorado where the RH is good for evap and the sun shines all the time for solar applications (and lots of winter daytime gain on the 1 ft brick walls).
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 5:37 PM
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    new knowlege

    never heard that phrase before, but after you identified the situation, i was able to do a little research: best advice seems to be: "don't feed the troll"!--nbc
  • Wayne Wayne @ 4:46 PM
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    It's Time To Save The Planet

    Look ahead not behind, don't be afraid what's new, embrace it, love it, want it, need it and you are either moving forward or backwards you can't stand still.
  • JohnNY JohnNY @ 5:01 PM
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  • Wayne Wayne @ 5:23 PM
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    No it's not John

    Let's move forward, like I said it there was a 2009 and beyond class I would be the first to sign up, Steam is stagnant
  • bob young bob young @ 1:52 AM
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    steam still rules

    steam will still be going strong long after you are gone & you can take that to the bank.
  • Mad Dog Mad Dog @ 9:19 AM
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    Stagnant????? The money made on steam work has helped our

    bank account "grow" not stagnate. There is still too much steam out there to dismiss or bypass it. Mad Dog To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • ttekushan ttekushan @ 12:47 AM
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    Steam systems threaten the planet?

    Amazing that a medium with the highest enthalpy per unit mass (almost one thousand times that of water) and the lowest transit loss when all LATENT heat is extracted at its destination is somehow going to create the destruction of our planet. Funny how the numbers have been turned on their heads. Slap a compact economizer on an 85% low pressure steam boiler and combine that with the ease of steam reticulation throughout a system, and the joke won't be on the steam medium as a method of moving heat. I call my business Efficient Steam because I dislike waste on all levels of a product's life cycle. I analyze each system and use strategies that bring cleanliness and precision into its operation to achieve minimum practical fuel consumption. There are few who care to learn about proper maintenance and tuning of these systems. Not because they're inherently defective but because of the simplistic notion that older must mean simple. Steam's dynamic nature is NOT simple at all, and if you think it is you are part of the problem, since self fulfilling prophecies seem to have an indefinite life span. The only reason that many steam systems are the way they are is because ignorant people charged with their care say with a shrug, "thats the way they are." So they stay the way they are. Well, duh. All you have to do is read Dan's books on the subject to realize the truth of this. Dan Holohan's outstanding volumes on this subject and his providing this website have likely saved far more total energy than empty and, quite frankly, arrogant platitudes rife with current buzzwords and grandstanding. To trash a knowledgeable and dedicated group of contributors who have a perfectionist mindset, a thirst for sharing knowledge, who understand efficiency and conservation in its broadest sense is a real cheap shot. To have someone with an amazingly narrow and incomplete notion of "conservation" descend from on high and pass judgement on those actually practicing conservation, and then proceed to speak on behalf of the entire heating industry strikes me as pretentious. Contributors here gladly help others on this site without having to take a large chunk of their money first. In every post we submit, we act in the spirit of cooperation, conservation and economy without ever having to rationalize the total destruction of quality components of great utility, long life and thoughtful design -- along with all the wasted energy that such mindless destruction entails. How does this threaten the planet? I take my work very seriously and have very high expectations for the results. I find it difficult to believe that you hold a position of such knowledge as to understand my motivations. I have all the work I can handle by word of mouth because of my dedication and guaranteed results. I charge my wealthy clients a bit more so I can help the elderly, poor or vulnerable realize energy savings where they can't afford to replace expensive equipment. The worst my work achieves is about 10% fuel savings. The more freedom I have to work the parameters of the heating system, the greater the results. For example, my latest historic church project involves a butchered but elegant steam system where the advocates for total replacement with condensing hot water (or forced air fer cryin' out loud) proclaimed that a 50% reduction in fuel consumption was expected. I asked the trustees to give me a chance. With a detailed proposal and detailed references from other churches they allowed me to service the existing system. I didn't replace a single radiator or pipe and the original boiler is retained. It came to descaling, cleaning, tighter control over water level, effective boiler downsizing, firing rate changes based on steam demand and available draft, proportional venting and zone sequencing based on existing edr per zone volume of space. Analyses compare the before and after fuel consumption while firing at different levels and average length of cycles. The calculations show about a 55% reduction in average fuel consumption. The gas usage figures coming in for the last two months are beginning to bear this out. Face it. There's nothing "green" about central heating. If we insulate effectively, there's not much need for heat at all. If efficiency standards result in the waste of relatively economical systems to be replaced with new systems of limited life expectancy, then the standards could very well increase total energy consumption in the new system's total life cycle. You won't read that in the journals. There's far more to wasted energy than several percent's worth of fuel consumption. Terry Tekushan Efficient Steam
    terry
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 9:36 PM
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    Mr. TerryT

    You are a Philosopher-King of Steam. Well said, my liege. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • nicholas bonham-carter nicholas bonham-carter @ 3:38 PM
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    WOW !

    i certainly do not have the impression that this website is all about steam, and only steam. i come here for steam information, because that is my major system to maintain. there are many steam systems out there, which are unchangeable, either from a financial perspective, or a practical one. i also do not think that the boiler manufacturers will soon be discontinuing their lines of steam boilers. nor will hoffman and gorton give up on their steam related products. what contiues to make this site of CONTINUING importance is the possibility for steam users to restore their systems to proper running condition, either with the help of a steam professional, or on a do it yourself basis. as far as the existence of another steam forum, many people frequent the other "room" as well as here. i wonder which one they prefer? perhaps the new website will make it possible for people to register their systems as far as what type-steam [2 flavors], hot-water, etc. i think the steam system count would be surprisingly large. naturally it would be unusual to see a brand new steam system [not impossible], but for those of us with well-behaved steam, it's hard to make a change.--nbc
  • Wayne Wayne @ 3:02 PM
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    Dan, Please Hear Me Out Before Deleting

    Dan, I choose to remain anonymous for many reasons and cowardice is not one of them. I see there is another Steam School. Isnít time to hit the snooze button on Steam and leave it be. The world has changed since the fifties and you could be the leader and pioneer to lead these followers in the right direction. High efficiency gas and oil boilers, furnaces, ground source geothermal and solar are the future yet you still live in the past. I have heard that if you want to talk about the past seek out Dan Holohan. They should say if you want to talk about the future seek out Dan Holohan. Dan you are a legend to us wet heads but itís getting stale. Steam like steam heads are almost all deadmen in the truest sense of the word. The manufacturers and most of the true legends of our industry have deserted this website because the few who always have an axe to grind. This site should be a celebration of our glorious industry and frankly it isnít. Itís fools out to hear themselves rant. The ones who start typing away to condemn this posting probably werenít around years ago on the Wall when it stood for change, progress and the future. The future is now, radiant, solar, geo is what the new blood and the progressive want to embrace. If we are going to attract the youth to our profession we have to be innovative and resourceful. Lead us, show us the way, we believe in you and this site. Teach us, mold us and lead. I donít want to upset you or anyone else here I only ask that you take us into the future. Itís time to save our planet and valuable resources. Iíll sign up today for Wet Head 2009 and Beyond School.
  • David Sutton David Sutton @ 6:27 PM
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    Small towns and big citiys

    I live in a small town and next to two big citiys with lots of people doing heating but are few who do steam right, Steam is a great heating source just as eff as baseboard and Far more than scorced air!! everyone and i mean everyone that i have seen who had there steam removed say it was the worse thing they ever did !!!! and wish they could put it back!!! what makes steam bad it the monkey that did not go to Dans class and read his books and learn to do it right! hell i did i look back at some of my old installs and scare myself cause i just didnt know i didnt know! Dan please Keep up the great things that you do David aka DrPepper
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 11:55 PM
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    Well, in the Fifties

    according to Dan, everyone was saying steam would just go away. It didn't. We heard more of the same in the Seventies and Eighties, but once again, steam didn't disappear. The business just doesn't work that way. Then in 1992, a seminal book came out called "The Lost Art of Steam Heating". This has led to many, many steam systems being rehabbed, de-knuckleheaded, made more efficient. It also led to some brand-new steam systems being installed- go here for more: http://www.heatinghelp.com/newsletter.cfm?Id=205 You're right, "Legend"- the world really has changed since the Fifties. 90%+ steam boiler efficiency IS possible. It's been done elsewhere. The first American boiler manufacturer who goes after this market with a high-efficiency line of steamers will clean up big-time. Until then, the MegaSteam rules. If I were building a house now, I'd heat it with steam. Preferably a Tudor system, which has the fewest moving parts of any system out there. In a small house, I could build such a system with only two moving parts aside from those on the boiler itself. No other system even comes close. And that system, like pretty much any steam system, would have a minimal risk of freezing in an extended power or fuel failure. Oh sure, you could put glycol in a hot-water system, but that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms. Like JohnNY and others, Gordo and I have built a successful business specializing in steam and Vapor systems. Some of our customers have saved over 30% on their fuel consumption while enjoying almost perfect comfort, after we've worked on their systems. Fixing an existing system instead of wastefully, disruptively replacing it- sounds pretty "Green" to me. We're saving the planet, one system at a time. And very little of this would probably have happened without Dan Holohan. This is proof that one person can make a huge difference. We are forever in his debt. But the thought of me having a grandson....... now THAT's scary...... :-0 To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Erich Erich @ 7:43 AM
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    Steam Lives

    Legend, it would make your words more believable if you used your real name. Steam actually lives. It is the most efficient way to transmit energy in a district heating plant. You talk about radiant heating as if it were something new and wonderful. Fact is it has been around for a real long time and I dare say that a radiant system from the 1940's is often better constructed, more durable and often more comfortable using a lot less controls and circulators. You can go into any number of buildings in New York City and find 100 year old boilers. There is a thriving industry of retubing boilers and providing emergency steam boilers. Just because something is new does not mean it is better. You sound as if you would be a perfect candidate for a steam school so that you could learn about the elegant simplicity of steam and appreciate the masters who installed them. You could also learn about the incompetent people of today who bad mouth steam and wreak havoc by not knowing anything about steam. Tell us how many steam systems you have worked on and where you live.
  • Robert O'Connor Robert O'Connor @ 9:00 AM
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    New..... steam!

    Steam is very much alive and being built now! Here is a job I've been involved with still under construction right in lower Manhattan (hey JohnnyNY, I can seeee you!). Everything operates with steam. Pictured are the high pressure main, steam controls, meter and two of the many water heaters. Click the link to see who's building it. Not a person new to construction nor a person who likes to lose money. http://www.trumpsoho.com/ Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • bob young bob young @ 1:48 AM
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    class A work

    that is some serious piping, Robert. is that holby piped correctly ? no 27 " heat sink on cold water connection.
  • N/A @ 3:01 PM

    Robert the work is just beautiful except there is one small mistake. The building looks a little off like that one in Italy. Job looks great. Peace Be With You David C. Broome
  • JohnNY JohnNY @ 9:56 AM
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    Hey, Robert.

    That building is practically in my backyard. Do you have access to the mechanical room? I'd love to take a tour. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Mad Dog Mad Dog @ 9:29 PM
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    What are you afraid of????????

    For the life of me...I can't understand when men don't wanna stand up. I don't care if some disagree with me or not...there is a certain satisfaction and comfort and being 100% real.and speaking one's mind..FDR (not my favorite prez or anything but a strong man) Nothing to fear but fear itself! Mad Dog To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • don don @ 10:09 AM
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    In that

    In that why I love me some maddog.You're so right my brother. I like judge Joe Brown too.He always protecting womanhood and promoting manhood.LOL. To be the man...you have to act like a man. Carry on.
  • Mark Eatherton Mark Eatherton @ 10:23 AM
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    Dear Legend of the Pest...

    If you want to learn about the future, attend a John Siegenthaler presentation. John addresses just about everything except Hydrogen Fuel Cells, and it wouldn't take much for him to adapt to that technology. I know John personally, and have attended many of his seminars, and I mean nothing derogatory, but John is not an entertainer. Very much worth the time and money, but Dan is VERY entertaining. John doesn't try to be entertaining. Dan does. As for steam, it was KING at one point in time, and like it or not, it's going to be around for a long, LONG time to come. You can't just wave your magic wand (LED flashlight) over a one pipe steam system and have it grow enough piping to allow it to be converted to a hydronic heating system. Besides, if it were properly sized, there will not be enough radiation to make it work with lower water temperatures any way. So, if you want to learn about the future, and be educated, go with Siggy. If you want to be entertained, educated and taught about the rich history we have to deal with in the BEAUTIFUL "SYSTEMS", attend a Holohan steam seminar. Dan is quite comfortable doing what it is that he does. ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Wayne Wayne @ 4:52 AM
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    Vib said it best

    It will be a fun way to look at the past and how it doesn't relate to the future! Mark, If I want to be entertained, I'll take in a Shecky Greene show at the Copa Cabana. Steve Lawerence and Edie Gorme are the opening act. There will probably be jokes about steam! haha
  • Steven Gronski Steven Gronski @ 5:18 PM
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    I think this pretty much sums up........

    The legend of the Past ......
  • Wth Wth @ 3:13 PM
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    You couldn't have private emailed this?

    Half this freaking country heats with pot=belly stoves. Major cities are still running on steam. You must work in 90210 or something.
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH) Dave Yates (GrandPAH) @ 3:35 PM
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    many of us

    do embrace the new technologies, yet we also know when older ones - like steam - are the best choice. There is no one size fits all. As for rants & mfgr bashing? I ignore that trash & move on. Kinda like TV - don't like the show (or thread in this case) - switch channels (threads).
  • amhplumb amhplumb @ 5:58 PM
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    Agreed, don't read the steam stuff if you don't want to. But do join in and share info regarding the new technologies! There's plenty of room for everyone here! While we move into the future, the past isn't going to go away that quickly. There's still a lot of steam and older hydronic systems and equipment out there that needs tended to. Unfortunately, in these economic times our customers are going to be forced to make what they already have work for them. Knowledge of the old stuff may become even more valuable. Just my 2-cents worth!
  • Dan Holohan Dan Holohan @ 3:11 PM
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    Every steam seminar we do

    sells out and that's where we get the money to maintain this site, which now has more people visiting each day than ever before. We talk about all the new technology here every day, and I promote it each Thursday morning in my eBlast, which goes out to nearly 5,000 opt-in subscribers. Do you get that? There's a place for everything here. Thanks for taking the time to write, whoever you are.
    Site Administrator
    dan@heatinghelp.com













    Hug your kids.
  • N/A @ 7:12 AM

    I have a nephew

    and a friend who is a salesman at a local wholesaler that just tried to sign up for the king od prussia seminar and it was sold out and are dissapointed but realize now they have to get on early. Do you have any more coming around the philly, lancaster area? They are moving alot of steam in Reading this year.
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