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Drop Header What are you kidding?

RAF Member Posts: 65
This past Tuesday I had a customer call us saying he had water on the floor. (Humm) So I sent a man over and sure enough the customer was right the boiler was leaking . This was a six year old  Crown Boiler and when I saw the installation it was a text book on how not to install a boiler hence a 6 year old pile of junk . Wish I had my camera.

Well with the storm coming I had my guys try to seal the boiler, needless to say it wouldn't seal.   To shorten the story we ended up going with a new Peerless Boiler however do to Wednesdays storm the install would be on Thursday.

 I came to the Wall about a month ago for some advise on another job having received some good information I decided to stick around and do some more reading here.

Its seems every one was carry on about this DROP HEADER .

 Having been to Dans classes years ago an after installing more boilers than I can remember I have always followed  the manufacturers piping recommendations. 


This time we install a DROP HEADER  the Boiler was a Peerless WBV-3 it called for a 2" riser and an 11/4 Equalizer . We did a 2" riser and dropped into a 3" header picked up a 11/2" main and a 2" main then dropped into a 11/4" equalizer we relocated the two main vents and re-piped the returns into a standard Hartford Loop. Started this job a 9 am and fired the unit at 6pm.

As the boiler ran I could see the water in the water gauge purging after all its full of cutting oil and oil form the castings typical on a new unit.  Ok here comes the steam as the Grip starts melting we are running around with rages cleaning it up my pipes start smoking hay where is the noise clink clank gurgle nothing. Ok here comes the steam down the return to the new G#2s still no noise now the Grip stops drippin what the heck . The home owner come's down stairs all smiles he said the only way he new the heat was on was he heard his vents hissing. Ok everthing is hot now  lets turn the thermostat down to test that its working off goes the unit .  As we stood in the basement looking at each other my guy started to smile I said What? All I can hear is your breathing.  He was right!

Thanks to the Wall and the guys that are here This Old Dog has learn an new trick.

If you read this and are considering a boiler replacement spend a little more for the DROP  HEADER it works I can't wait to see how much of a fuel savings this owner will have now that his steam is all dried up.


  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited February 2010
    very cool ...

    we wish you had some before and after pictures too...i'm looking at a drop header on my new unit too .. see my proposed picture here (all big pipes are 4", the existing overheads are 2") : http://content.screencast.com/users/JPF321/folders/Jing/media/4c2438f4-a5dd-47a2-b0ad-f569c80e9d46/2010-02-09_1659.png  .. i'm looking forward to it. 
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    good to see

    Great to see that some one who installs boiler for a living trying some thing different instead of just doing the same ole same ole  and stating it does not make a difference until they finally do one and realize that it isn,t all just hype,i have been using them for a few years(drop headers) and since the first one i did i use them on every job the difference in steam drying abilities compare to even a standard over sized header i feel the drop not only gives you more room to connet your existing piping but also really slows down that exiting velocity and dries out the steam it would take a real leap of faith for water to leap up into your mains .Great to hear it worked out for you ,next thing you know you will want to install them on every job peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Dropheaders are neat!

    Great story! I don't know why more boiler manufacturers don't specify dropheaders in their installation instructions. When you are using both exit ports in the boiler, the dropheader configuration makes it so easy to connect up, that what you save in labor goes a long way to paying for the  few extra fittings used plus you are reassured that there isn't any stress on the boiler sections caused by a slight miscalculation in pipe length.

     I noticed you mentioned using a 1 1/4 equalizer and I know that's what Peerless specs out for that unit. Since it sounds like your going to be doing a lot of dropheaders in the future I thought I might mention that Dan suggests in "The Lost Art..." Page 63 that one should not use an equalizer of below 1 1/2 inch. Apparently there are some system configurations where having a smaller size could cause a problem.

    - Rod
  • RAF
    RAF Member Posts: 65

    Glamor Shot
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