PLMB-120: Steam and Hot Water Systems

Business, Entrepreneurship, and Professional Development
Building Sciences
Energy Technology
Academic Level
Course Subject
Plumbing & Pipefitting
Course Number
Course Title
Steam and Hot Water Systems
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
32.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
32.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
ENT-103, ENT-104, and ENT-105
Catalog Course Description

For technical construction apprentices and those interested in seeking basic pipefitting -plumbing skills. Introduces principles of steam and hydronic systems, converter trap sizing, steam traps, and skimming boilers. Also examines the proper selection, sizing, and installation of pipe and fittings related to hydronic and steam systems. Application exercises allow students the opportunity to design and lay out typical systems. Laboratory activities.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Principles of heat flow in a building; use and application of heat charts and formulas.
  2. Heat loss calculations.
  3. Planning a heating systems.
  4. Steam heating systems: one-pipe, two-pipe, and steam traps.
  5. Steam heating system design: placement of pipe and specific connections.
  6. Class project: steam heating design.
  7. Hot water heating systems: direct-return, reverse-return, air control, and vents.
  8. Radiant panel heating panels, hot water boilers, and controls.
  9. Boiler fittings, valves, steam gauges, and relief valves.
  10. Design of a radiant heating system.
  11. Class project: series loop, one zone system.
  12. Class project -one pipe system.
  13. Class project: two pipe reverse-return system.
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Describe the principles of heat loss in a structure.
  2. Differentiate between steam and hot water systems.*
  3. Identify the procedures for how to lay out functioning heating systems.
  4. Classify the different types of systems according to their pipe arrangements.*
  5. Identify the safety equipment required by Michigan state law for work on boilers and furnaces.
  6. Design steam and hydronic systems using manufacturer sizing tables.*
  7. Demonstrate the selection process for sizing the vent and chimney liner using GAMA tables.*
  8. Describe relevant combustion safety devices and their use.*

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

All assessment of student achievement is left to the discretion of the individual instructor. 

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Summer 2014
ILT Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date