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drawing of my near boiler piping.

JN Member Posts: 28
Here is what I am currently dealing with, all near boiler return piping after the vents is copper. Should this all be iron as well?  The vents are still undersized. My gorton #2's are on order. Can I get away with mounting them 12" above the drip on the wet return? That way I will be able to get away without cutting and re-threading the return pipe as the vents are sitting directly on the return like in the drawing.

There appears to be a strange steam feed going to th back side of the return.

I just got my copy of the Lost Art yesterday and I'm about 26 pages in good stuff.


  • JN
    JN Member Posts: 28

    Just realized there is no Hartford loop either.
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,231
    Not good...

    You need to cut most, if not all, of that piping out and start over. Keep reading the book and the reasons will become obvious to you.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
  • Hints

    Hi Josh- 

    Glad to hear you got  "The Lost Art....." !   You found the missing Hartford Loop ! Good for you!   Now you're rolling!

    JohnNY's advice is good. Your piping as it is now (per your drawing)  needs  drastic rework.  I drew on your drawing a bit just to give you some "hints" . The piping in your drawing that there is no use for I marked with green squiggle and the word "no".  Other items  I marked with an arrow and number . These are the "notes" below.


    1. See Page 51 - Note drawing at the bottom of the page. Note red arrows on your drawing.

    2. Read page 54 on Bullheaded Tees.

    3. This marks the end of the mains where the main vents can be placed. they are okat where they are in your drawing as long as you have the proper  "A" dimension.

    4. Your better off carrying this drip all the way to the floor like the other one.

    As you are studying the different piping configuration think like a molecule of steam.

    Steam "floats" and can travel in any direction as long as "air" isn't in its way, but when the steam turns back into a water molecule, as condensate (water), it must flow downhill (think a kid's slide) so slope is very important to move the condensate (water) back to the boiler.  Since steam condenses (turns to water) throughout the system you always have to keep slope +direction in mind everywhere in the system.

    I've also marked your drawing on the return drip- "Dry return" and "Wet Return". Dry return referes to the part of the return piping above the waterline and "Wet Return" refers to the part of the return piping below the waterline. This can be on the same pipe!  Just wanted to mention this as it confuses a lot of people at first.

    Just continue reading and it will soon all fall into place for you.

    - Rod

  • JN
    JN Member Posts: 28
    Thank you

    I will definitely look into it all!  The first thing I will do is update the vents as they are 1933 radiator vents. I ordered some Gorton 2's. 

    The near boiler piping will either have to be done asap or have to wait till next spring. hmmm.
  • Info


     what is the make and model of your boiler?
  • JN
    JN Member Posts: 28
    Its a

    Dunkirk PSB-4D.
  • Dunkirk manual

    Hi Josh-

       I don't know if you have a copy of this already but here a link to the Dunkirk manual for your boiler.  http://www.ecrinternational.com/secure/upload/document/397.pdf

    I've also attached a blow up of the piping drawing in the manual. You need to study the piping sizes and measurements in the drawing and keep these in mind as these must be adhered to when repiping your boiler. I've also attached a second copy of the piping drawing showing where you second drip should attach to the wet return. Note the pipe diameters of the return I think you were asking about this earlier.

    Here are also some links to pictures of dropheaders on Dunkirks.

    These are from the Library -steam piping on this site





    These are from "Library "on this site under the heading "Steam Piping". You might want to visit it as it has other great examples of dropheaders  although they are on other makes of boilers. Also check out the other piping on the boilers the Hartford Loop and returns. You can see interesting variations of that the manufacturers drawing while still observing the proper dimensions and sizes. Note of the last dropheader in the list above which is by Gerry Gill that the dropheader after the attachment of the risers from the boiler turns 90 degrees before the risers to the mains are attached and then continues to the equalizer. Also note the ball valve attached to the tee on the riser coming out of the boiler. This is great for "skimming".

    I found that studying pictures of realyl good pro installations like the ones above as I was reading "The Lost Art...." was really helpful in understanding what the near boiler piping was all about so I hope this is helpful to you also

    - Rod
  • JN
    JN Member Posts: 28
    Geat stuff

    Thanks a bunch. One question, does the takeoff pipeing from each side of the boiler have to be the same length before connecting or turning into a drop header? 
  • Riser Length

    I asked this same question a while back and the answer I got from the pros is that equal riser length to the dropheader doesn't matter from a function standpoint but it looks rather "mickey mouse" if they are too much out of symmetry. 

    If you notice in your installation drawing, it gives the minimum height to the header above the boiler designed waterline. This is more a riser height than to the dropheader height though it's not a bad idea to extend you riser height above this and keep this dimension to the bottom of you header. The extra riser height results in dryer steam.

    I've attached a couple of pictures of long riser/dropheader jobs done by the  "steam pros".  The more you study them, the more you appreciate the thinking that went into them.

     The first is by Norm Harvey. Note the height of the risers and the fact that he went to larger diameter riser pipe after coming out of the boiler. This slows down the velocity of the steam so that water that is carried with the steam, drops back into the boiler resulting in  dryer steam.

    The second is done by Boiler Pro. It is a Dunkirk. Note the valve on the tee coming out of the boiler for skimming.  Note single riser going to, in this case , multiple mains similar to your situation I believe.

    The third is by Ron Jr. Another nice job  with high(long) risers. Note the equalizer. It doesn't have to drop straight down. It can slant a bit as long as water doesn't pool.

    Remember on the header pipe, there must be slope towards the equalizer so that water will drain back to the boiler.  As I mentioned you can learn a lot by studying excellent piping layouts such as these.

    - Rod
  • JN
    JN Member Posts: 28
    Very nice

    Thank you so much for the in depth explanations! I was thinking about a lot of that stuff like proper flow of condensate back to the boiler through the equalizer and such today before I read your post.

    That Dunkirk is the same as my boiler. 

    So on the header after the drop, should I feed my 2 main lines individually from the header, or can I come off of that with a single pipe and split that to my two mains?

    Thanks again!

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,578
    let's have a little respect

    for mickey mouse, after all, he has never pretended to be an engineer! of course everyone is thinking of his lack of foresight in "fantasia" when he went over board  with the brooms et. al; therefore, shall we discard this term from our descriptions here!!.--nbc
  • Feeding the mains

    Ideally (by the book) you have an individual riser connecting the header to each main. That being said I have seen a lot of pro jobs where they used the old single riser which fed several mains. They have the experience to look at old piping and determine what will work and what won't.  Bullheaded tees are a "no-no" but in some cases an ordinary tee setup is apparently okay. The old single riser piping is generally what was left over from the original "steam kettle" boiler.

     If you could you might post the pictures of your piping again without the colored markings it might be a help.  I tried to blow up your piping to see more detail but the blownup markings then got in the way. 
  • Unknown
    edited October 2009

    NBC- ROFL !  I apologize if you took offense to my remark. It was never directly personally at the Disney rodent and I sincerely hope it hasn't hurt his self esteem. It's just that my vocabulary is rather limited and for describing some situations, the term is the only one I know that would be accepted in the polite society of this board.
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