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Near Boiler Piping

Phil_17 Member Posts: 178
But there are a couple of things that jump out of your pictures for me.

- The capped off tapping on the boiler. That's going to cause the steam velocity to be higher than it needs to be coming out of the boiler and could cause the water level to tilt inside (both issues can contribute to wet steam).

- The geometry of the piping is indeed all wrong. There should be a horizontal run (header) which goes straight to the equalizer with no bends or turns. That way the momentum of any water in the steam will tend to carry it back to the boiler rather than into the mains. Your setup is going to tend to carry the water into the first main rather than back to the boiler Each main should then be branched vertically (or at least as upright as possible) off the header.

- Those return lines (they are returns, right??) look to be way oversized. Not sure that it makes any difference in the operation, but they are unlike any that I've seen before. Perhaps they oversized them to eliminate hammer problems with all the water that is getting put into the first main??

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the folks who did this installation had a particularly strong grasp on the fundamentals :-(


  • George_34
    George_34 Member Posts: 3
    Near Boiler Piping

    When I purchased my house about 4 years ago a new boiler for my one-pipe steam heating system had just been installed. During those 4 years the heat has been very unbalanced with two radiators virtually not heating. The system has two main lines. All of the radiators on the second line work great but the radiators on the first line progressively get worse as you travel down the line. The boiler has one riser that connects directly to the first main with a tee that creates a horizontal header that then supplies the second main.

    I'm not a professional, but it seems to me that this piping arrangement is incorrect and that since the first main line is being supplied directly from the vertical riser it has wet steam that is being pulled up from the boiler and the second line is getting the good dry steam because it is being supplied from the horizontal header. Shouldn't each of the main lines be supplied from a horizontal header that would help to seperate out the moisture from the steam?
  • would help if

    Many wallies here would help you more if you can post some pictures of the bolier installation. While waiting for answers, have you check out the book " Lost Art of Steam Heating" ?
  • George_34
    George_34 Member Posts: 3

    Yes, I have read that book and I've also read Dan's introductory book "We Got Steam Heat". Each provide a wealth of information. Attached are a couple of photos showing the piping around the boiler. With this set up I don't think the moisture has a chance to seperate from the staem and be pushed down the equalizer piping before being sent up into the first main.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    What is kind of sad is that

    the second boiler tapping was made ready to go but sits there at the altar... using that would cut your steam exit velocity in half.

    Definite room for improvement. I would use both boiler tappings and even increase them. A dropped header might be a nice touch and you may very well need that in order to get a good initial 2 feet of riser out of the boiler tappings.

    I would start visually with the right side tapping, rise at least 24 inches and head toward the left. Pick up the second boiler tapping and continue toward the left. Make a u-turn and come back toward your equalizer. Your branches to your system would roll off of that last straight section, preferably with 45's.

    What you now have as a "direct tee" going up would become a branch tee. All of the initial condensate would flow by the upfeeding tees toward the equalizer.

    Plenty of room for improvement. All I can give you in the moment is this mental sketch.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
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