Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Copper mains on a steam boiler replacement

This was a one day changeout , so we really couldn't go around and replace all the copper . The owner's son was the one who ran the copper to 2 separate pieces of Slant Fin . I highly recommended she look around for 2 rads because I don't think 2 feet of baseboard will heat up any room in that house . Oh well , I'm just glad the son didn't try to get away with 1/2 inch copper . Thanks alot Kevin .


  • I am definitely not an advocate

    of using copper on any steam mains , but sometimes you got no choice . We saw the telltale signs of an internal leak when we drove up . The plume from the chimney could be seen a block away .
  • Check out the piping !

    After looking at this mess for 1/2 hour , we boiled it down to one steam main and 2 pipes that went to individual rads . All the pipes had some copper attached .

    Someone left a bonus - the original mailbox boiler . They had time to take the coil though .....
  • Burnham V83

    Not exactly our proudest moment with all that copper on the header . The near boiler header is doing double duty as a return for the 2 rad pipes . We have to go back and change all the vents . If theres a problem with those 2 pipes , we'll cut in some tees and make drips to the return .

    I wasn't going to post this job , but I thought I could show how we have to adapt to the situation and compromise sometimes . I have no doubt the brand of solder we use will last a good long time under steam temps .
  • Bob W._3
    Bob W._3 Member Posts: 561

    Still a nice looking job Ron. Other than the dissimilar metals and possibility of some galvanic action, isn't the problem with copper when you use it for the risers and header off the boiler, since the expansion/contraction can tear it apart? The way you used it off those Tee's I can't see that there would be any such problem. My .02.
  • kevin coppinger_4
    kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
    Well Ron....

    sometimes you have to do what you have to do.....life is like that. It is still a much better job than some of the nightmare posts that we see time to time. did you really have time to do it all in steel and allow them to have heat by days end?....carry on the great work! kpc

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Al Corelli
    Al Corelli Member Posts: 454

    Nice work Ron.

    I too, hesitate to post some of the stuff we do for the oil companies. Not everything can be optimum.

    That Taco SR501 is for the Riello, right?
    I was told there would be a 24v primary control for them in September.

    Have not used a Riello since a Buderus install last month, and that (of course) did not need a relay.

  • Bob

    I'd guess we see 1 out of 2 steam systems with some amount of copper ; be it on the mains , the returns , a loop of baseboard , a coil . Some have been on systems for decades with no adverse effect to the boiler . I agree that there is more of a chance the fittings will separate if you use copper , but in real world situations , I don't see it happen often . Thanks for the kind words Bob .
  • I hear ya Al

    Sometimes the job is so messed up you can't possibly fix everything . Well , you could , but is the customer always willing to pay for the extra work and also willing to be without heat overnight ? Most will say no to both options . Needless to say , we always fix anything that is a potential danger , regardless if they paid for it or not . Things like repitching fluepipe , changing it if necessary , replacing crumbly wiring , things like that .

    Yep the Taco is for the burner . The low volt primary would make wiring simpler , but I don't think any of our servicemen carry that control . They do carry the Taco relay , so we install what they have handy . Thanks Al .
  • ernie_3
    ernie_3 Member Posts: 191

    Although I'm not a fan of copper above the water line on any steamers....looks nice. I especially like the drop header. This will ensure saturated steam to the connected load. Nice job.
This discussion has been closed.