Steam heat??

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    • #273971

      I have a 25 year old Utica boiler that seems to be on it’s last legs. Is it wise in the year 2000 to replace a stream boiler or would I be better off with a hot water or hot air system. I have always had steam, but is it considered stupid to buy a new boiler? My house is small but I would like to add on in a few years. Any thoughts?

    • #288928

      They key words here are ‘add-on’. Adding to a steam system later is difficult. The new steam boiler has to be sized to include the new steam radiation as the boiler has to be able to fill the future system completely or the system will have problems. An oversized steam boiler has short-cycle problems. The future steam system must have the proper pitches in supply and return to return the condensate. Unless you know the exact dimensions and floor plan of the addition, you will guess at the proper steam piping plan. Otherwise, new steam boilers are quite efficient. It is just that the heating of all pipes to 212F on every cycle in all weather is inefficient.

      It is not unusual to have an oversized hot water system boiler work OK, so future expansion to the future load of the new boiler is uncomplicated. The hot water is in a sealed system with no requirement for pitching pipes for returning water, water is everywhere in the system. It is easy to zone the hot water system. The comfort and quiet operation is always superior to a warm air or steam system.

    • #288929

      TWO pipe hot water system with each radiator having a non electric zone valve connected on either the supply or return is the ONLY way to go.

      There are lots of great games a hot water system affords the user.

      Comfort for example is #1 reason for hot water heating ABOVE GROUND

    • #288930

      I’m not a plumber, but are you refering to a forced hot water system? Baseboards and such? Is there any way that I could buy a steam boiler now and have it converted to hot water in the future? Money is an issue, but staying warm is the priority. Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas from The Masters is greatly appreciated.

    • #288931

      Several cast-iron boilers are convertible from steam to water by changing their accessories. It is possible to change in the future. Yes, the hot water system is also called forced hot water.

    • #288932

      Thank you gentleman for sharing your wisdom. If I had one more question, it would be WHO makes a good boiler these days? Perhaps I would better ask who does not. This may be going out on a limb for you, so if you feel more comfortable emailing me at I would be greatful. This is a great board with great advise. Thank you!

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