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Fixing the Funky Header

Well, progress has been made- got my contractor to remove the bullhead T from my drop header (as seen in the picture below). Still, there's this problem of the risers in between the main takeoffs. I've done my homework and dug up several sources- print and otherwise- saying that this is wrong. I've got a call into Smith's engineer and expect he'll reiterate (tomorrow). All in all, my installer is a good guy. So assuming all goes well and the installer is ammenable, how does this "path of least resistance" sound?<ol><li>Remove all fittings between the two main takeoffs and replace with a new nipple.</li><li>Replace the 90 on the right (feeding the one main) with a T</li><li>To the right of this T is another T which accepts one boiler takeoff</li><li>To the right of this T is a 90 which accepts the other takeoff.</li></ol>

There- the installer doesn't even need to buy any new 4" fittings, other than the new nipple. This might be a "stretch" for the takeoffs from the boilers, but it would allow steam to flow in ONE direction from boiler takeoffs to main risers to equalizer. The header already has a gentle S bend to it (may be hard to detect from the picture)- this wouldn't correct that. A few have noted how the main risers split at the top to feed two mains- this will be corrected in a later piping project and the radiator takeoffs will be consolidated onto one set of mains.

Anybody see an easier/better way or find fault with this plan?

Thanks to all for your help AND the moral support! I'm no good in these situations, so it's been a big help.

Thanks again,

Patrick

Comments

  • DavidK_2
    DavidK_2 Member Posts: 124
    edited November 2009
    I'm no expert,

    so I can't comment on how best to pipe your system.



    But I think it is important to remind people that "this boiler is replacing two older boilers, each of which once fed a

    separate main "loop" around the basement from a single boiler takeoff."



    I think I might have taken each outlet from the new boiler and treated it as the single outlet from the old boilers. But again, I'm not an expert. And this might have been stupid and misguided (hey I just ordered the books today ;)



    In fairness to your contractor, I think if you are going to question what he/she did you should have decided up front how you wanted the system piped. Isn't the time to decide on how piping should be done before actual pipes are installed? You say the installer is a "good guy" - does that mean you trust them and think they are know what they are doing?



    I don't do boiler installs, obviously, but if a customer told me how they wanted things done, against my judgment, and there were problems, that would be the customers fault.



    And, if they changed what we had agreed upon there might be "change order" charges.



    Good luck with your project - no doubt it is worth getting right the first time if at all possible (even if it ends up costing you a little more).



    I'm curious, did your old system have one thermostat controlling two boilers, or, are you going from two thermostats to one?



    Do you have pictures of how things used to be plumbed? This might help the experts decide how to best combine the two systems into one.
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    ?

    Not trying to get something for nothing here, just want the job done right. My specifications for type and size of header were met- my issue is with the execution, which most folks on the Wall found lacking. Not notpicking details here- this was fundamentally wrong piping.

    By "good guy," I mean that I don't think the contractor is out to cheat me. I'm hoping to get advice on correcting this install in as "low impact" a way as possible in the hopes that this makes the whole business go smoother.

    Thanks,

    Patrick
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,549
    Me

    If I hired someone to install a steam boiler for me I would expect him to do the correct piping job. I would not expect to have to tell him how to do it correctly.



    Patrick, Your solution sounds to me like it will work. That just puts the risers from the boiler pretty far to one side. Hope it's not going to be a place to bang your head every time you walk into the basement.



    Of course, all of this is my opinion. If your plumber takes care of the piping properly, maybe you should give him a copy of Dan's book. http://www.heatinghelp.com/products/Books/5/68/Lost-Art-Of-Steam-Heating  It is a great guide to steam heat and will help him to understand all that we've talked about.
  • Mike Kusiak_2
    Mike Kusiak_2 Member Posts: 604
    Another possibility?

    What if you left the risers as is, but replaced the 90 at the right end  with a tee for the takeoff as you did on the left side, and then ran another equalizer down from the right tee?



    This would effectively split the flow in the header and would allow the excess water in the header to drain at each end, although it would not allow any downward slope to aid the draining of water.



    Although it might not be the optimum solution, it would simplify the piping and eliminate the need to run the risers in a contorted fashion.



    Just a thought...
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    Hmmm- interesting.

    This certainly sounds easier. I can bring that up when I speak to Smith's rep. Anyone every do this?

    Patrick
  • Header Slope

    LOL....I guess that might work if you bent the header in the middle so it would drain both ways! I think you forgot about the need to have the header sloped so that the condensate will drain towards the equalizer.

    - Rod
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    Duly noted!

    Guess I'll cross that one off the list to ask the Smith engineer about...

    Thanks!

    Patrick
  • EsoxAngler
    EsoxAngler Member Posts: 1
    Just wondering

    Provided the piping is large enough on the one side, won't the condensate run in opposite to the steam, just like in a counter-flow system, without any problems?

    I ask this because I once lived in a house where the boiler piping had two system takeoffs located between the boiler risers (contrary to everything I've ever read here or in Dan's books) and I never had a problem with it. Mind you, the piping was quite large, 4 inches if I recall. (I loved that system. Now I live in the south with scorched air, bleh!)
  • Parallel Flow

    Ideally you avoid counterflow situations as much as possible as the Steam Stream and Condensate Stream oppose one another, This often result in collision between the two streams and also the turbulence created has to affect the over all efficiency of the system. It maybe minimal though in this day and age every bit counts.

     Parallel flow mains were an advancement on counterflow mains though you still had counterflow on the radiator laterals and which the further advancement of the 2 pipe system remedied. While odd ball things do sometimes work you always better taking the proven method.

    - Rod
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,324
    Nope

    the only way to do this is the right way. No exceptions.



    Pat, which Smith are you getting?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Patrick_North
    Patrick_North Member Posts: 249
    It's a Smith

    "G"-8, 5 section, with the Carlin EZ burner. My wife thinks it's great because it's red. What a crappy week. I've said it before- why can't they all be Wallies?

    Patrick
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,324
    edited November 2009
    Show him this

    it's a G-8 we installed. I have more G-8 pics on my other computer, I'll post them later.



    Edit- 2 more G-8 pics posted. The left and middle are 6-section, the one on the right is a 5-section.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
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