Hot water rads to steam?

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Old 01-24-12, 08:04 AM
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Hot water rads to steam?

Hi Folks,
I have a chance to get a used Weil Mclain SGO-6 steam boiler to replace an old Utica hot water boiler. I'm curious if I can use a steam boiler in my system which consists of;
Utica model # 014 boiler.
One pipe, one zone supply to rads.
Cast iron Baseray radiators.

If the steam cannot work with my radiators, can a steam boiler be 'detuned' to run hot water instead?

Thank yous for your time,
Pither
 
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Old 01-24-12, 10:49 AM
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Changing a hot water system to steam would likely require a complete re-piping of the entire system. Also, it would be a horrendous step backward in my opinion.

Some boilers are dual rated for either steam or hot water. Converting may be cost effective IF the boiler is free, not damaged AND of the proper size. The chances of all three being true is remote.
 
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Old 01-24-12, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply and yeah, I wasn't too interested going to steam unless little had to be done.
It's a 10 year old Weil-McLain P-SGO-6 @ $400.00. Not quite free, but not too bad considering. Without doing a heat calc, it probably is a bit big, but no bigger than what I have now. I have a 1300 sf ranch with nice and big, drafty windows. Yeah, I know, fix the drafts.
I'm looking through the brochure, but don't see if it is easily changed to Hot Water. It is still hooked up to the owners system, but she is converting to gas and will have it removed soon.

Thanks again for the reply,
Pither
 
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Old 01-24-12, 08:24 PM
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Pither, The SGO is the steam version of the WGO. You would need to download both manuals and determine what you need to convert. Basically, all the 'steam trim' needs to be removed, and the 'water trim' added. Could get costly.

I have a 1300 sf ranch with nice and big, drafty windows.
A 1300 square home should run 'about' 50K BTUH heat loss. That's taking account for the drafty windows, and no insulation.

By comparison, the same home built today with modern standards would probably need about 35K BTUH of boiler in order to heat it.

Another way to look at this:

'Typical' modern construction can achieve heat loss around 20-25 BTU per SQ FT. A really well built home today can easily achieve 15-20 BTU / SQ FT. Large old leaky homes might be as high as 40-50 BTU / SQ FT.

Even if using the IBR rating of 184K BTUH of that boiler, you are installing a boiler that would be capable of producing ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY ONE BTU / SQ FT.

The boiler you are considering is rated at (DOE) TWO HUNDRED AND TWELVE THOUSAND BTU... do you think it's really a wise choice to install a boiler that is at LEAST four times too large for your home?

Any way you look at this it simply makes no sense at all, even if the boiler was free... you would be paying for it every time that thing fired up... that boiler is big enough to heat a 7000 sq ft home.

It would be like putting a 396 Chevy Big Block in a Honda Civic.

Those particular boilers use 'elastomeric seals' between the sections. Don't be surprised if it leaks after you reinstall it at your home.

I would strongly advise against it...
 
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Old 01-25-12, 08:14 AM
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Thanks for sitting me straight NJ Trooper. That's the kind of quick, straight forward advice I was looking for, especially the down and dirty heat loss spec. which would have taken me much time to figure out, (and thanks to you as well Furd).
The tag on it says it's rated at 157,000 which as you point out is way too much so, along with other reasons, I'm taking a pass on it.

By the way, what's wrong with a 396 in a civic?
[wild off topic of a blown 396 in a civic removed... too far off-topic!]

Thanks again guys,
Pither
 

Last edited by NJT; 01-25-12 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 01-25-12, 05:29 PM
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rated at 157,000
I didn't look at the steam ratings... maybe that's what that is, but what I saw of the water ratings were what I quoted above, DOE 212, IBR 184.

Not only a rat motor, but a BLOWN rat motor! Good Lawd I'd like to take just one run in that!

Sorry I hadda remove the link to the vid though... it's a bit of a stretch off topic for that, but I enjoyed it!
 
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