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Joined on February 27, 2010

Last Post on July 23, 2014

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@ July 23, 2014 6:03 PM in Homeowner

Which contractor measured the radiators to find the right size?
Is the existing boiler sized correctly?
Did anybody find out what might have caused the old boiler's failure?
Are there any other upgrades that were mentioned about the entire system?


@ July 16, 2014 5:53 PM in Converting One Pipe Steam Rads to 2 Pipe Hot Water

If it's not connected on top, it won't work very well. Do you have a picture of the entire radiator, or a name on it?

Are you converting a steam system to hot water?


@ July 15, 2014 7:47 PM in Mod/con poll. Installers only.


We don't install low-efficiency anything. It's just not our style. If properly installed and maintained, the mod/con will deliver all of its promised results with the same amount of maintenance and service as a CI boiler. Yes, SOME of the parts are more expensive, but that's the risk we take for improved comfort and fuel consumption. I see it as a good reason to get your customers signed up on a service plan that will dramatically decrease their service costs.

Plus. natural draft is an evil mistress. I'm all for anything that uses sealed combustion and releases a home from the inefficiency of a chimney.


@ July 10, 2014 9:19 PM in CO deaths because someone cut off the exhaust:

I'm going to print this article and hang it around our shop. A horrible event, but a good reminder for everyone else to be smart, and never leave a system in an unsafe condition. I always encourage my guys to spend the last 10 minutes of every job just standing back and looking around the basement/attic/house/whatever. Sometimes it takes a relaxed mind to notice something that was right in front of you all day.


@ July 9, 2014 6:10 PM in Getting into mod/con business

...this threads going to be deleted, too.

Maybe just keep the first couple of posts?


@ July 9, 2014 3:10 PM in Watts

Otherwise, that would be a pretty boring display.


@ July 8, 2014 1:30 PM in Can I add hydronic furnace to steam system with IWH?

You can tie a circulated loop off of the steam boiler as long as the capacity does not take away too much from its ability to maintain steam for the rest of the system.

Where are you located? We may know somebody who can handle all of your systems.


@ July 7, 2014 6:55 PM in New Radiant System

What city? You obviously have not found a true steam professional.


@ July 7, 2014 6:52 PM in Getting into mod/con business

I lose you when you say that a mod/con can't reduce fuel consumption by 50%. How is that impossible? I can turn the boiler off completely, and it will save 100% fuel.


@ July 7, 2014 5:40 PM in Getting into mod/con business

Let's say that the average mod/con does only save $300-400 per year. The cost of my mod/con install versus a conventional boiler is maybe $2500. So the payback on cost difference is about 6.5 years. That seems VERY smart to me. Plus, each future install will be cheaper than the original one; venting and piping being salvaged for the next boiler.

Combustion efficiency may only be 20% better, but modulating can add another 30-50% in fuel usage reduction.


@ July 1, 2014 6:14 AM in New gas boiler sizing

Luckily you have the whole summer to find the right contractor; one that will perform a heat loss, and analyze the entire system to make sure that you'll be operating as efficiently as possible. Any heat loss numbers that we offer here will be a complete guess.


@ June 27, 2014 7:12 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

You might be able to install 3/4" pipe. That's my point here. You can waste a lot of time and materials and money by guessing.


@ June 27, 2014 6:24 AM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

We're neglecting half of the concern here. Yes, the 1" pipe might satisfy RESTRICTION and FLOW, but will it handle the required VOLUME?

It's not about's a healthy concern for implementing proper calculations learned from experience and study.


@ June 25, 2014 7:33 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

It doesn't sound logical. You are just guessing at the 1" being the correct size. That is illogical.

Loop Seal

@ June 25, 2014 5:56 PM in One Pipe Steam - What Is This?

How high is the normal water line in that picture? It was probably acting as a steam trap to keep steam out of the returns.


@ June 23, 2014 10:39 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

Point being...if you guess, you'll likely guess wrong. Proper calculations and design prevent a lot of wasted time/money/energy.


@ June 23, 2014 10:19 PM in Need help rating these radiators.

1. Upgrade the steam system
2. Save 30-50% on the fuel bill
3. Put that $400K towards something useful like feeding the hungry, or building shelter for the homeless.


@ June 23, 2014 9:32 PM in Need to replace big old galvanized pipe with pex

Here's the one answer that everybody hates hearing...It depends.

It depends on the heat loss of each room, and the ratings of the heat emitters. With those numbers, you'll need to calculate the required flow to each run. And then, after that, you'll be able to determine pipe size.


@ June 23, 2014 4:02 PM in Sales

A mod/con with a firetube HX is the ideal boiler for this application. You'll most likely be able to avoid primary/secondary piping and really simplify the entire system. Install it like a normal boiler, pumping away, and you'll be fine.


@ June 23, 2014 4:00 PM in Need help rating these radiators.

Why not keep the steam and add A/C separately?


@ June 23, 2014 8:49 AM in STEAM BOILER W/ INDIRECT help !!!!

I would be cautious about adding any BTUH's to the steam boiler. You'd be surprised at just how effective an indirect tank will be, even at lower input BTUH's.

At 14 showers, I would look for a First Hour Rating of 240. If your total BTUH's are close to 200K, you'll be fine not adding any extra.


@ June 19, 2014 9:01 PM in Adding a Radiator to an existing one pipe steam system

You should consult a steam pro. Where are you located? We may know somebody nearby.
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