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Thread: Steam Bath Chemistry?

  1. #1 Steam Bath Chemistry? 
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    I have a question about steam. I was told this will work, but I would like to verify before attempting.

    Can I produce a large amount of steam (for a steam bath/shower room) if I ran 165 degree water (from a boiler) through a pipe (black pipe) in the steam room and misted cool water onto the hot pipe?

    Thinking of using a 24 inch long pipe (1 inch in diameter), with misting heads spaced every 6 inches. Not sure if I need hotter water or how much spacing should be between misting heads to get the chemical reaction.

    Appreciate any thoughts.


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  3. #2  
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    Please read this....
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  4. #3  
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    Thanks! I know that a steam generator is the most common source for steam showers, but heard of this other method and I'm trying to verify.
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  5. #4  
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    If that is 165 degrees "C" then this will work well. If this is 165 "F" then much more problemactic. The surface that you spray your source water onto needs to be hotter that the boiling point of water. 165 F is not hot enough to produce steam but is plenty hot enough to burn human flesh that comes into contact with it, so not a good thing to have in a steam room.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbone812 View Post
    I have a question about steam. I was told this will work, but I would like to verify before attempting.

    Can I produce a large amount of steam (for a steam bath/shower room) if I ran 165 degree water (from a boiler) through a pipe (black pipe) in the steam room and misted cool water onto the hot pipe?

    Thinking of using a 24 inch long pipe (1 inch in diameter), with misting heads spaced every 6 inches. Not sure if I need hotter water or how much spacing should be between misting heads to get the chemical reaction.

    Appreciate any thoughts.
    This is not chemistry: there is no chemical reaction. It is just a phase change from water to steam. As the question is all about the practicalities of construction, rather than the science behind it, this belongs under Engineering if anywhere.

    But, as others have pointed out 165F (74C, 347K) won't give you a huge amount of steam, as the vapour pressure of water at that temperature is only about 1/3 of an atmosphere. I'd talk to someone in the sauna business rather than a science forum, if I were you.
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  7. #6  
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    Thanks for the input. I'm still puzzled that domestic hot water at under 120 F can produce enough water vapor to fill a shower room with what appears to be steam. The person that told me about the pipe and mist method described it as the method used in old steam baths. Additional, as for safety, the hot pipe and misting setup would not be in an exposed area and protected by high temperature polypropylene mesh (rated at 305 F softening point).
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbone812 View Post
    Thanks for the input. I'm still puzzled that domestic hot water at under 120 F can produce enough water vapor to fill a shower room with what appears to be steam. The person that told me about the pipe and mist method described it as the method used in old steam baths. Additional, as for safety, the hot pipe and misting setup would not be in an exposed area and protected by high temperature polypropylene mesh (rated at 305 F softening point).
    Well, what you see is not proper steam (i.e. water vapour). What makes "steam" visible is when some of it condenses, into very fine water droplets, i.e. like the clouds in the sky, or mist or fog. Hot water does evolve some water vapour, but the vapour pressure is well below 1 atm, so it can only evolve vapour from its surface, not by forming bubbles within the body of the liquid which is what happens when a liquid boils.

    The more water vapour is in the air, the more condensed "steam"' you will see, because when the air is close to saturated very little more can be held in the vapour phase. It may be that if the effect you seek is clouds of visible "steam" and saturated warm air in the room, giving a muggy feeling to people breathing it, then you may get there with the arrangement you propose. But as I say, that is an engineering question rather than a science one.
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  9. #8  
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    I just spoke with a steam generator tech and his steam comes out of the inlet at 200+ F degrees. The room however never gets above a max of 125 F. It doesn't seem like the pipe and mist method can reach those temps, and temp is a major part of what is desired.
    EX thanks for your insight and advice! I may try engineering too. Thank!
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