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counterflow steam piping

I am looking to replace an old coal era steam boiler. The piping sytem is counterflow. The existing supply comes straight off the top of the boiler into a bullhead tee that takes the main(s) off to the left and right into the building. No header at the boiler, no drips on the mains. How should I properly configure my new near boiler piping? Experienced advice greatly appreciated.


  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,393
    Near Boiler Piping

    should always conform at least to the practices diagrammed by the manufacturer. NBP is really part of the boiler but for that little shipping/crating issue, you see :)

    If there is a bullhead tee and that is your point of connection, you might split that in two so that each has it's own header connection. At least eliminate what might be a cross to bear, literally.

    Being counter-flow, your pipe sizing must take that into account. Rule of thumb says take it up one size from standard but there are tables and guides more specific to the EDR or pounds per hour being served/delivered.

    I can see the counterflow issue being benefited by a dropped header. This will help take that back-wash of condensate back to the boiler via the return versus back against the leaving steam. Has to be better.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Here's some choices

    Follow the instructions that come with the boiler, of course, and I would take out the bullhead tee and come into the header with two different tees.

    Header piping

  • I agree

    I agree with Noel's drawings shown feeding the two mains from above but in reality that can't be done when there are space constraints or finished ceilings that the local inspectors will not let you penetrate. Here is another method which splits the two branches out and fed by individual risers from the header but with return drips for condensate to be cut out of the main. The two drips connect together and return the condensate as wet returns via Hartford Loop connection. See attached drawing.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Technical Development

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • You have such nice pictures, Glenn

    They always impress me.

    I like the method as well.

  • Thanks Noel!

    Thanks for the compliment, but I just noticed I neglected to draw in the drain valve on the wet return. I'll have to fix that when I find some time. Hope all is going well with your new digs! I was thinking of you while driving through NH last week on my way to and from Augusta.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Technical Development

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
This discussion has been closed.