one-pipe steam system

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  • This topic has 4 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 24 years ago by Avatar photoGuest.
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    • #273043
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        My house has a one-pipe steam system. I want to install a 24″ Burnham Base-Ray baseboard radiator in a small (unheated) bathroom. Burnham says, however, that the Base-Ray is “not designed” for one-pipe steam. Why not? Will water come
        out of a steam vent installed in the top vent opening, because it is so low? If it will, can’t I just install an el and a short (I imagine a few inches) vertical pipe
        at the top vent opening, and install a vent valve at the end of that pipe? Or is there some other reason I can’t use that radiator?

      • #286775
        Avatar photoSylvanLMP

          A one pipe steam is designed to use the same pipe for supply as for condenstate return.

          The size of the inlet for a baseboard is normally 3/4 inch and I doubt if you can get enough pitch in the baseboard radiation to get the condensate back fast enough. What you could try is to install a steam trap on the outlet side of the baseboard tied in a floor below and connect it to the feed (steam riser) and that possibly could work. One pipe systems are a blip to work with .

          They still use them alot in rehab work in NYC as they are
          1- cheaper to install than any other system and
          2- if the tenant does destry the radiator only one appartment is damaged from the steam.

          Try contacting a fellow writer on this list

          and tell Dan Sylvan SAYS HEY .

          Dan is the heating GURU and the tops in steam/hydronics

        • #286776
          Avatar photohj

            It would not work since the steam from the lower level would rise up the return pipe and heat the trap bellows, which would keep the trap shut and prevent the condensate from exiting from the radiator.

          • #286777
            Avatar photoGuest

              Less than 24 hours after posting this question, I found and actually saw a similar installation. Low pressure one-pipe steam, the same radiator, only it’s three sections or six feet, instead of my single two-foot section. If it is pitched at all, it is not apparent to the eye (and that’s with the floor as a reference). It has a short 3/4 inch nipple coming into the inlet valve through the floor, the rest is one inch pipe back to the main, maybe ten feet away. My radiator will be less than five feet from the main. The air vent is a small cylindrical valve, maybe 1 inch tall and 1/2 inch diameter, turned on its side (!) to fit within the end enclosure of the radiator. The radiator was installed maybe five years ago by a licensed plumber as part of a kitchen renovation, replacing a old cast iron column-type radiator.

              It works just fine, delivering heat with no banging and no water coming out of the air vent. So my planned installation should work too. I guess that plumber and the plumbing supply house that recommended that radiator (I went there to buy a Slant Fin but they convinced me to get the cast iron Burnham instead) knew what they were doing, despite Burnham’s claim that the Base-Ray baseboard radiator “is not designed for steam.”

            • #286778
              Avatar photoGuest

                Correction, make that: “… despite Burnham’s claim that the Base-Ray baseboard radiator “is not designed for *one-pipe* steam.”

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