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Re: Steam boiler replacement and hot water unit

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Posted by steve on November 30, 2007 at 04:12:47:

In Reply to: Re: Steam boiler replacement and hot water unit posted by HeatPro on November 29, 2007 at 20:37:04:

: : How does the time lag and a feeder system factor into the steam system.
: ++ a feeder system is unnecessary in a properly-installed steam system. Feeding once per week manually avoids having solenoid valves turn feeders into sprinklers systems.
++++ I thought you need the feeder make-up system to compensate for the smaller volume of water in a new boiler. How can one get around the need for the larger volume of water?

: : I like the way the radiator just uses a small area of wall space without the baseboard running along entire walls.
: ++ Fine, use the radiators.
++++ Are you saying one can keep the radiators and switch to hot water?

: : I agree that $6000 heating a year is a lot. Isn't there some way to up the efficiency of the steam overall.
: ++ No, you can't get a non-condensing boiler over 87% AFUE, and the steam lines should be insulated already.
: I mean for years boiler people have said a new boiler will be much cheaper to operate than the pre1920 one.
: ++ A new steam boiler will be about 85% AFUE no matter which. 1920 boilers were in the 40
: % AFUE range.
++++ I don't have it in front of me by the service folks usually got AFUE readings in the 70s on the old boiler.

: : I have read that is is a bad idea to blow insulation into the old walls as it can create all sorts of problems.
: ++ Read another book and call an insulation pro.
: Without insulation, I am not sure the savings would be as significant.
: ++ Correct. insulation is the big savings factor as it can cut the heat need to 1/3rd of an uninsulated house or more.
++++ Either way, with steam the insulation doesn't really gain one that much.
: : It sounds like you support only a natural gas hot water conversion.
: ++ "The tank is a major concern of mine. Are there liners that can be sprayed into the tank or are the only options replacement or abandonment and then a new smaller tank? " All an expense and worry compared to gas piping
++++ Isn't gas generally more expensive, particularly on a steam system? Do you know of tank liners for residential tanks? The options I see online seem commercial oriented.
: .
: How does one go about getting that done properly when it is so hard to do a simple boiler replacement.
: ++ If it is that simple you'll be dong it in a few hours. If not, it would take your contractor some hours to explain it all without writing it.
++++ The contractor has explained very little about the boiler, generally saying the heating sub contractor was there and recommended the system.

How do the on-demand water heaters compare with some sort of indirect system using the steam boiler. The old boiler had an indirect that was later replaced with a hot water tank.

How expensive (ballpark) is switching to gas at a later date by using the power burner? Would it be better to start out with a power burner if this is a possible direction?

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