Forum / THE MAIN WALL / Steam to warm water conversions cost 3 times less to operate

## Steam to warm water conversions cost 3 times less to operate (35 Posts)

• ### Steam 2 water

>>>>>>Now look at these numbers again. Lets do the math, We put steam at 100. Then we put warm water at 32 Now hot water was twice what steam was so that should be at 64. That means 36%. It should cost 36% less to operate a hot water boiler in a steam system.<<<<<< ???? Do you mean to say that steam at 100degC and when it condenses to water (giving up latent heat) has less heat remember the room temp required would be 20 degC There fore 100-20 = 80degC diff. Over water at 80degC has more heat 80-20degC =60degC. Water at 32 deg would not be very warm, Whats this 64??? As I said I'm hot water fan, worked with it for over 40 yrs but the advantages of hot water relate more to lower maintenace, The radiators in a steam system can be smaller as they operate at a higher temp the lower the medium temp into the rads the lower the heat output. The lower the temp diff the lower heat output. By the way are you comparing some old inefficent boiler with a new high efficent condensing boiler if so the fuel saving would come from the change of boiler, We've just removed an old coal fired boiler and replaced it with a modern gas fired boiler complete with outside temperature compensating control and the saving on fuel was great too. This had no change in the medium (Hot water).
• ### Narroc, we've asked this before

Unfortunately, John's response is "call someone else"- see the "2 pipe steam" thread. I'd really like to get the full story on these jobs but shouldn't have to cold-call someone to do it. The magazine article is the same type of thing- if some details are left out, here we go calling and e-mailing again for the rest of the story. Most people on the Wall post their own jobs, and can answer any questions other participants may have. That's how it ought to work. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
• ### steam 2 water

Thanks Steamhead, As I said I'm a hot water fan probably because we don't use steam over here but the figures look all up the pole to me, Guess if you go off half cocked you get half cocked answers. If you compared an old 60yrs system with a new modern system you would get a big difference even if it was still steam 2 steam. John didn't say what exoperience he has had or is he just a theory man? Perhaps he is trying to sell these \$8.00 notes on the conversation? LOL. Wonder if he gets any suckers.LOL.
• ### Equal comparison

I said "I've known this all along. I did the math and I knew what the savings were. Now look at these numbers again. Lets do the math, We put steam at 100. Then we put warm water at 32 Now hot water was twice what steam was so that should be at 64. That means 36%." That statement describes an aproximate comparison of old steam systems to old hot water systems before the conversions took place. This would be an equal comparison. Both systems were maintained in the same way based on the following facts. ten schools were converted from hot water 180 degrees to warm water and saved an average of 49%. ten schools were converted from steam to warm water and saved an average of 68%!! To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
• ### John??

A couple questions Whats this, We put steam at 100 then warm water at 32, now hot water is twice steam so we put that at 64, that means 36%???? What that, 100deg, 32 degs and 64deg??? Whats this warm water, Do you mean a outside temperature compensation system control, Thats been done for years using either a 3 way valve or nowdays with wall hungs by direct boiler heat, We did one recently on a big school coal fired system as there was no gas for miles, works great, boiler at 80deg C, School water temp depending on outside temp.However the coal boiler will be there long after the hi-efficency boilers are scrap. Or what do you mean by warm water?? Would still have to come to full heat sometimes.
• ### warm water

Narroc, Hot water is defined as a system that has a high limit control on the boiler. Mostly they set them at 180 degrees. The system runs up to that all year round A warm water system has outdoor reset. It runs the water temps according to what is needed for that day. If a conventional boiler is used a minimum setting is needed such as 140 on american boilers. Buderus can take return water temps as low as 110. Condensing boilers work best at cooler temps and have no minimum setting. The lower the water temps the more money you save in fuel bills. JR To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
• ### Steam 2 water

> Narroc,
>
> Hot water is defined as a system that
> has a high limit control on the boiler. Mostly
> they set them at 180 degrees. The system runs up
> to that all year round
>
> A warm water system has
> outdoor reset. It runs the water temps according
> to what is needed for that day. If a conventional
> boiler is used a minimum setting is needed such
> as 140 on american boilers. Buderus can take
> return water temps as low as 110. Condensing
> boilers work best at cooler temps and have no
> minimum setting. The lower the water temps the
> more money you save in fuel bills.
>
> JR
>
> _A
> HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=
> "Find A Professional"_/A_

You have a funny way of describing a low pressure hot water system which is what we here in NZ call this type of system. These have been used by the Poms since Adam was a boy. Our School system have almost universaly used LPHW for donkeys years too, Although there is a drift to Air Conditioning especially in the admin areas, (Got to look after the office staff) This reset business you go on about sounds like a outside temperature compensating control. Which we have used for years too, Mostly via 3way valve although now with the wall hung condensating boilers which have these controls built in to vary the temp of the boiler, The saving in fuel you are on about comes from not overheating the classrooms like what used to happen before the main heat control was to open or close the windows. Mainly because teachers find it easier to open the windows than turn the rad valve off, Mind you most of the valve knobs have long gone missing years ago. This has nothing to do with whether steam is less or more efficency but whether the heat is wasted. You still havn't answered the business about 32,64,100,????

• ### Condensing Boilers.

I have installed a few condensing boilers too, And while they went ok I'm not that I cann't say I'm all that fussed on them, 1) They are a lot more fimisy than a good old type boiler, Someone told me the life expectance is about 10-15 yrs, All full of electronics. Now I know even some of the heating equipments we put only 8-10yrs ago we have a job getting new electronic boards or other parts for, Had to wait 2 weeks for a combution fan for an old appliance just recently. What's going to be like for some of these Hi-efficency boilers in 10yrs time when the parts stuffup. All the money saved by the hi-efficency will go to a new boiler. Well some saving. 2) I've just replaced a hi-efficency furnace 12yrs old (warranty on heat exchanger 10yrs) because it burned out. at least with the older less efficent furnace you could count on 20-30 yrs so what have you saved?? save say \$200 a yr on fuel then spend \$5,000 for new furnace after 12yrs?, Mind you in this case it was a new owner who had to fork out. of course the manufacturer is going say parts no problem as he wants to sell boilers but whats it like 10yrs down the track? Try and get parts for a 10yrs old auto ?? If we are going to compare then compare apples with apples not apples with bananas
• ### John,

perhaps you could fax the article to me? 516-579-3046. Thanks.
dan@heatinghelp.com

• ### none of use will be able

to quote or even guess at payback these days. Didn't gasoline hit an all time high today. I suspect fuel costs will continue to climb with instability in the middle east. What would ROI look like if fuel costs doubled or tripled? or more :) Suppose fuel oil hit 5 bucks a gallon, or gas and LP for that matter. Users will be lining up for building and power plant efficiency upgrades, I predict. hot rod To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"

• ### So, even if......

....you spend the literally thousands of foolish dollars converting (provided the rads hold water and there is minimal build up of debris), I don't see the point. ROI seems negligible at best over straight steam even with a 50% fuel reduction. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
heatboy

"The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
• ### More than the boiler!

I am sure that there is more playing into this savings than simply Steam versus Hot Water. There have to be numerous other things contributing to this savings that are System related such as the Heat Distribution Units, Multiple Zoning, Outdoor Reset, Fully Modulating Burners, etc.. In addition to that I would venture to guess that new piping and insulation have played into this as well. Maybe the old steam system was zoned but in 36 years in this business, I can count on one hand the number of Motorized Globe Valves that are actually still working on steam systems. Most of them are in the manual open mode due to leakage or motor and linkage failure. I would also guess that modular boilers have been installed in these buildings as well. We'll see when the article appears. Glenn Stanton Manager of Training Burnham Hydronics U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
• ### build up............

Heat Boy, The only real build up that we see is in the condensate returns that are below the water line and those get replaced on a conversion job. The steam pipes are always very clean inside. The steam system has much less build up then in a older radiator system with water in it. Build up is almost never a problem with steam. Also we have never seen any serious leaks on these systems. Once in a blue moon we get a slight leak in one or two fittings but that is no problem to replace. The clients are always so happy to have it done!! Conversions produce very happy clients because the before and after difference is big. JR JR To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"

• ### School Projects

When and if the article is posted, pay CAREFUL attention to ventilation! Old schools were typically designed with WHOPPING amounts of reheated fresh air--regardless of the heat source.
• Don't you guys sleep? I'm looking at the times of these posts.............from 1 AM to 3AM !!! I've heard of moon lighting, and "Oh, I'm a night person", but you guys are pushing it here. About this subject that has been discussed ad-nausium, to me there are some applications that work, and some won't. An old steamer in a single story residence w/an unfinished basement, easy to change over. But obviously it doesn't make sense in a 400 family high rise, considering the material and labor to remove the rad. steam traps,the end of main traps, condensate pumps and bft. Then installing trv's and system circs, air eliminators, and exp. tanks. So as I see it, it is up to the job conditions and the depth of the pocket of the h.o. But what do I know, I'm just a plumber.
• ### My 2 cents (pro-steam)

I have a one pipe steam system that heats my 2100 sq/ft house. I have a new boiler, and have made all improvements as suggested here on the wall. The house is one zone and during the heating season is 70(day) / 68(night) 24/7. I just added up all my fuel deliveries and last winter I used only 875 gallons of oil. I can't imagine much better efficiency than that. Proper steam systems are every bit as afficient as hot water, they just require more TLC.
• ### That's Great!

• > Heat Boy,
>
> The only real build up that we see
> is in the condensate returns that are below the
> water line and those get replaced on a conversion
> job. The steam pipes are always very clean
> inside. The steam system has much less build up
> then in a older radiator system with water in it.
> Build up is almost never a problem with
> steam.
>
> Also we have never seen any serious
> leaks on these systems. Once in a blue moon we
> get a slight leak in one or two fittings but that
> is no problem to replace. The clients are always
> so happy to have it done!!
>
> Conversions produce
> very happy clients because the before and after
> difference is big.
>
> JR
>
> JR
>
> _A
> HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=
> "Find A Professional"_/A_

• ### I will profer this........................................

Steamhead IS quite the scientist in his own right. He's done his OWN studies.....real boiler room studies NOT "lab condition - AFUE type studies" I think you have a good point John but you are leaving out the R.O.I. term and upfront costs that are associated with conversions. Respectfully, Mad Dog To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"

• ### In the meantime,

could you fax it to me?
dan@heatinghelp.com

• ### Or

e-mail it to me?
dan@heatinghelp.com