Converting steam boiler to hot water

Old 01-25-06, 08:21 PM
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Converting steam boiler to hot water

We have an old house with one pipe steam heat. The existing boiler is about 30 years old. We are planning an addition and cannot afford to replace the whole heating system. Can a new steam boiler be configured to steam heat the existing house, a hot water loop installed to heat the addition (baseboard or radiant) AND the boiler later converted to an all hot water system (baseboard)? Looking at Crown, Peerless and Smith - any preferences?

thanks: olivehound
Old 01-26-06, 05:16 PM
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It is a big job to change a single pipe steam system to hot water. You would have to reconfigure all the radiators and add a second pipe on each and get them back to the boiler. It is not nearly as much trouble to convert a steam boiler to hot water. It can be a little tricky to get a hot water loop off of the steam boiler and keep the air out. I have done it a handfull of times when there was no other option and none of them have been troublesome but it may not be a good DIY project. I have never converted a single pipe steam system to hot water but having worked with old radiators, I can tell you it will be difficult to get the plugs out of the blank end and it by some chance they are true steam radiators, the tops of each section are not connected internally and that type can't practically be used for hot water.

Old 01-27-06, 03:37 PM
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Steam to hot water

Ken's right about the radiators. "In theory" adding the return piping isn't a big deal but in the real world it is usually a real bear. Sometimes radiators get broken trying to get the plugs out.

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