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Funky Drop Header.. please critique

This drop header is currently "happening" in my basement. I've never seen anything quite like it, so I'm hoping for some of your thoughts before I open my big mouth.

Some background- this boiler is replacing two older boilers, each of which once fed a separate main "loop" around the basement from a single boiler takeoff. This new drop header has two risers in the exact same locations to tie into the existing mains- thus the funky angle of the header. This also explains why the takeoffs from the boiler approach the header from opposite sides.

In the first picture, I'm concerned with what I understand as a bullhead t which could force water (that this oversized drop header is supposed to leave behind!) up into the system. The "drip" that will go at the bottom of this t is not yet in.

But now that I look at it, I don't know what to make of the other end of the main with a 90 up to the other riser, either. Is this doing the same thing? I guess I'm accustomed to seeing the takeoffs to one side of the risers, not in between them.

Can anybody A) talk me off the ledge here, or B) tell me why this ain't quite right?

Thanks,

Patrick

Comments

  • right idea but

    Right idea, but, piped wrong and you WILL have problems on one side of system
  • kevin_58
    kevin_58 Member Posts: 61
    header

    The header is not piped right, the risers off boiler should  connect to header than take offs to system then the equilizer so the equilizer can drain any water in header.Also i like to seperate all mains into seperate takeoffs off header.
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    edited November 2009
    Hoo boy...

    Ugh. So now what? The crew is expecting to "finish up" today.

    Kevin, I don't follow 100%- maybe I'm misuising terminology. Are you saying the _order_ (left to right or right to left) these things should occur on the header- supply from boiler, takeoffs to main, then drip to equalizer?

    The equalizer (Drip from the header) is not in yet, but you can see where it is intended to go- at the bottom of the T in the header.

    RJB- can you say what's wrong with the header?

    Any thoughts on how to save this/ how to explain what's wrong? What a lousy morning.

    Thanks,

    Patrick
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,036
    you are correct...

    all needs to be moving in ONE direction. H has the steam comong out of the boiler and expecting some to go left, some to go right and the rest  slamming into a bullhead and eqalize... steam is not that smart. One direction for everything... Look at the install manual. Ya the drop header won't be inthere but Smith still shows all the steam piping done properly.

    Good luck. Be gentle! But firm!
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    Oy

    I agree with what everyone else here is saying. This will not be an easy fix. Looks to me like they have to start over.



    Look at the piping diagrams in the installation manual. That's how things need to be done. The 2 risers on one end of the header. Next comes the mains. The diagram only shows one main, but all of them would go next. Last is the equalizer. It looks like they may have to drop the header down a little to get that one main across to the other side. Just make sure to maintain the 24" riser height.



    Click this link, http://www.heatinghelp.com/article/164/Steam-Piping/1352/Nice-drop-header



    then click Download PDF. You may have to zoom out to see the picture well, but that's one that's piped correctly.
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    And

    Make sure you follow the manufacturers pipe sizing. Can't tell what sizes are there in your pictures. 
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    SIGH

    Surprise, surprise- contractor says there's "no problem" with either point- the bullhead T or the order of operations on the header. I was polite but firm, but in the end, just a HO. My word against his here, it seem, and I'm having a hard time faulting him for not being compelled by the "I've done a lot of research on the internet" argument.

    Personally, I'll bet this'll at least work, and without some specific code violation to point to, I'm at a loss for recourse.

    Any other thoughts?

    Thanks, guys.

    Patrick
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    Oh yeah

    I'm sure it will "work". Heat will come from the radiators.



    But this unit will produce wet steam. Wet steam will rob BTU's, which results in longer burner run times which means more energy use. And more water in the mains means a greater possibility of noisy pipes.



    Show him the installation instructions and ask him why he thinks the factory doesn't know the correct way to pipe their own boilers.
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    edited November 2009
    Devil's advocate..

    Help me work through this- I'm with you, but I don't want to cave.

    The manual DOES show a diagram with two boiler take offs. In this diagram (which doesn't have much in the way of explanation/rationale) there's just one riser to a main. It's shown after the boiler takeoffs, but there's no note saying NOT to do this.

    *Plus, these takeoffs don't "collide in the header- in other words, the risers from the boiler aren't on the outside with the takeoffs to the mains on the inside. I get the impression that the contractor think this variant is OK. Again, just playing devil's advocate here to get my facts straight.

    Is it just "common knowledge" that doing so is a no-no, or is there some established rule/code that Joe Homeowner (me) can point to and say "please redo this, on your dime"?

    Thanks,

    Patrick
  • correcting boiler piping

    can you call tech support at the boiler mfg, and see what they advise?--nbc
  • its obvisliy (sp)

    That you or the installer doesn't have Dan's books on steam system... I had a customer with small building piped that way and I explained why its piped wrong... he checked with the installer and they said I was full of it as its doesn't matter since its steam, not hot water. He complaining about his 1200 dollars a month heating bill...
  • brian_44
    brian_44 Member Posts: 59
    Not even kidding...

    If I were in your shoes at this point, I'd contact the manufacturer and describe what's being piped now.  With the manufacturer saying "it's wrong" and the book saying "it's wrong", I'd tell the person "good day, sir".  Reduce your payment by the supplies and labor on the pipe and get someone who knows what they're doing if he refuses to acknowledge that it needs to be piped the RIGHT way.

    Just my opinion...even if your out a little more $, you'll save it in fuel and aggrivation. You'll have to live with that system after install, not him. (Tell him that, too.)
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    Update

    Well, I contacted Smith. Spoke with one of their font line people, and he generally agreed but deferred to a head engineer in such matters, Tom Neal. Of course, he's out of the office today, so I left voice mail.

    Did I mention were leaving town for a week this Saturday morning? And we currently have no heat. Not feeling really confident in telling anybody to "start over" if it could mean no heat while we're away- inneficient heat or not.

    I've said my piece to the installer- I guess I'll wait to hear back from Smith. Sound like a plan?

    Thanks for all your help and encouragement, guys.

    Patrick
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    Sure

    It's your call. See what the head guy says. I imagine he'll agree with us. Then it's all of us and the manufacturer telling him it's wrong. At this point I'm sure he doesn't want to loose any money on the job. If it were my house I'd give him 2 choices: Do it right or I'll have someone else do it right and pay you less. Either way he's in the same boat.



    Right is right. Period.
  • brian_44
    brian_44 Member Posts: 59
    Make sure...

    to tell your installer that you're waiting for a call from the head engineer at Smith. DON'T PAY HIM IN FULL...whatever you do...until you get the "blessing" on this configuration. Don't back down from your position...YOU hold the cards if you haven't paid yet.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,036
    where is the job?

    I'll bet he does not skim the boiler either...
This discussion has been closed.