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pigtail questions

Brian_74 Member Posts: 237
I want to inspect the pigtail. I wouldn't be surprised if it's full of crud. I have a replacement on hand. I've been walking through the procedure in my head, and had a few questions.

First, it looks like the pigtail is installed 90° off. I got this idea from reading "We Got Steam Heat!" (page 126). Am I right? Should the new one be installed with the loop coming out toward you?

Second, I was thinking that I'd remove the long horizontal pipe (the one with the NOTICE tag on it) and hang the pressure control on some wire. Will that work or do I have to remove the pressure control?

Lastly, I don't need to use any teflon tape on the threads, do I?

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  • Pigtail

    On the pigtail you shouldn't be able to see the loop when standing in front of the control/ gauge.  Your pigtail, as it is in the picture, is wrong . It should be 90 degrees to what it is now. The reason for this is that pressure controls need to be mounted level (side to side) and the movement from the  expansion/contraction of the pigtail in your present orientation would affect this and perhaps cause the pressure control it exhibit false readings.

    I would use a tee on the top of the pigtail and put the gauge and pressure control out on its own "arm" on both sides of the tee. 

    I'm not quite sure of what you are asking in your second question "hanging the pressure control on some wire".  You don't have to disturb the pressure control's wiring it that's what you are concerned about.  Just cut the pipe and use a pipe union to connect the control back to the new piping.   Yes, Use teflon tape but use just a bit.  I see people wrapping layers and layers of tape around a pipe thread. Normally you only need one layer. All the teflon tape does in cut the friction between the pipe threads and allow you to get the pipe joint tighter.

    - Rod
  • Brian_74
    Brian_74 Member Posts: 237
    Pigtail R&R

    Thanks, Rod, for confirming that the pigtail was installed the wrong way. I was asking about hanging the pressurtrol during the removal process. I want to remove the pigtail to clean or replace it. Do I have to disassemble everything that comes after it starting with the pressuretrol or can I start the disassembly with the horizontal pipe?

    Put differently: if you wanted to remove the pigtail, how would you do it? What would you remove first?

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  • Unknown
    edited November 2009

    Hmmm--- I think first I'd remove the pressure gauge and take a look/see. Since the pigtail is bronze, it maybe clean already. Trying blowing through the pipe where the gauge was connected and that will give you an idea of whether it is plugged or not.

    However that won't check the branch (which is iron pipe and more likely to corrode) going to the pressure control.

    I guess it depends on whether you want to disturb the wiring or not. Normally you'd work from the top down - gauge and control off first. You'd have to disconnect the wiring to the control to unscrew it. If you didn't want to touch the wiring, you could just cut the pipe between the tee and the control and use a new pipe and a pipe union when replacing it.

    - Rod

    Had a second thought - While you can just remove the wiring and break it down from there, clean or replace the parts and build it back up as it is now, using a union would make it much easier to inspect in the future.
  • Brian_74
    Brian_74 Member Posts: 237
    Soaking the old pipes

    Thanks, Rod. I took everything apart. Well, almost everything. The pigtail, valve, and tee fitting don't want to come off easily. I forgot to soak them in penetrating oil the way I had done for the rest of the setup. Anyway, there was some crud in the pigtail and other pipes. And there was black water. The LWCO was full of it a few years ago when I replaced the frozen blowdown valve.

    The pipes I removed are now soaking in degreaser. In a little while I'll rinse them and put everything back together. I'm not sure if I fixed anything but these little projects help me understand the system a little more.

    Although I'm going to reuse the old pigtail for now, I'm glad that I had a new one on hand. I used it to stop the water from coming out of the LWCO.

    Thanks, too, for the re-piping suggestion. I'm thinking about adding a more precise gauge and I might follow that idea then.



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  • Durafoil
    Durafoil Member Posts: 2
    Get some brass fittings

    Too bad you have the brass pigtail attached with black iron fittings. Get a 1/4" brass tee and two street elbows and you will not have to worry forever.

    The 90 degree is only to apply mercury switch type pressure switch. If that Wite Rogers has microswitch inside, you are fine anyway you want, But watching the mercury slushing back and forth is "fun"

    Good luck
  • Brian_74
    Brian_74 Member Posts: 237
    Success, or something like it.

    Well, I got everything back together and it seems to work as it used to and it doesn't leak. So that's success in one sense. And it avoids me having to call myself back to fix it. Cleaning the pipes didn't resurrect the gauge, though, and I doubt it will have an impact on the pressurtrol.

    Thanks for the brass fittings tip, Durafoil. I'll have to look into that when I plan how to plumb for the lower pressure gauge.

    Thanks for the union tip, Rod. I'll have to add that to my plans, too. I saw the unions incorporated into the antler and menorah plans you posted earlier, and I thought that was clever.

    Thanks guys!


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