Re: Steam Baseboard heating

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Posted by Harold Kestenholz - Hydronic Network on July 05, 2001 at 16:17:25:

In Reply to: Steam Baseboard heating posted by Ron Kuoppala on July 05, 2001 at 11:21:05:

burnham says you need a two pipe system for the baseboard to work, because the inlet radiator is 3/4", which is to small for water to return back, as its filling up with steam, which will then cause it to knock.

*** Burnham is correct if you try to install the baseboard as a one-pipe system. However, you plan to add the baseboard as a two-pipe, so it may work your way. ***

: My local plumbing supply house says you can do it with a single pipe only and that it is done alot.

*** If it is done a lot, I am surprised. I have heard of few persons doing it, successfully or otherwise. It is a gamble.***

Could I put a return line from the other end of the radiator, with a steam trap and pipe back to the return loop in the basement. I also plan to tee off the original 1 1/4" pipe for the two different baseboard locations, will this work also. Any advise would be appreciated.

*** Your design will work. You do not need to use a mechanical steam trap, a water trap in the return line from the baseboard looping below the return and coming back up to the condensate line (including a cleanout plug) should be sufficient. A mechanical trap will require a pressure differential that does not exist in the one-pipe system you have. The pressure should remain below 2 psig and average about 1 psig. The return from the baseboard will come from the bottom baseboard tapping, the top tapping above the return line will have a steam vent on a 4-inch riser. A non-electric adjustable steam vent may be a plus. Make the baseboard slope slightly toward the return to prevent puddling and banging. Attach the steam supply to the top tapping of the baseboard.

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