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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default oil to gas steam heat conversion

    I believe I have an upcoming inspection where the house has oil fired steam heat and the buyer wants to convert to gas.
    Any heating gurus out there with words of wisdom re cost and specific issues to look out for?
    Obviously a new chimney liner may be in the offing, but I'm wondering mainly about the actual conversion at the boiler.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: oil to gas steam heat conversion

    In terms of conversion, are you talking about taking the oil burner out completely and installing a new gas fired unit or installing a gas fired unit into the existing oil burner carcass.
    Installing a new gas torpedo into an old oil carcass was very common. I did a number of these installs. I wouldn't recommend it anymore. Removing the oil unit completely and installing a new gas unit is a far better option.
    - new gas unit better efficiency, probable space savings due to smaller size; repairs and parts much easier; installation easier
    - parts and finding a boiler guy who can actually service a conversion may be difficult (at least around here), lower efficiency, potential chamber corrosion problems.
    - steam head and hartford loop will probably need to be modified
    Is it a one pipe or two pipe steam systems, radiators or baseboard? If it is a two pipe consider converting to hot water. If it is a one pipe the cost to convert to hot water is prohibitive.
    Make sure the contractor is experienced with steam boilers. Just because a guy can put in a furnace or hot water boiler does NOT mean he can do steam.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: oil to gas steam heat conversion

    Markus, Thanks for your helpful advice.

    I believe the buyer wants to keep the steam boiler that is there now and just change the fuel to gas. I don't know much of anything else about the system at this point.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

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