Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Two equalizers?

My near boiler piping is a mess and I had a professional here from the company that installed the mess and he agreed that it was a mess and that it has to be re-piped. One of the things he proposed was an additional equalizer although the existing equalizer is properly sized. I would have 2 equalizers and am wondering if that could cause the boiler to flood?




  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    edited March 2011
    Lets have a look

    at this mess.  Can you post a picture?  Thanks for the picture.  I just wanted to give you a rough idea of what direction you need to go with this.  You likely want to get the boiler closer to your system risers.  The flow should look something like this.  I am not a pro but just an armchair enthusiast.  I will now explain my diagram.  The steam RED  GREEN comes out of the boiler at least 24" high, then turns right and goes toward the header.  Then it drops into the drop-header.  At the end of the drop-header it then goes down to the equalizer and back to the boiler.  The two wet returns BLUE YELLOW drop to the floor then go toward the Hartford, then up into the Hartford Loop, just below the waterline, then combine with the steam and water in the equalizer, and back into the boiler. 

    Hope this helps you understand the direction you need to go. 

    Also there are a whole bunch of technical rules you have to follow such as pipe size,type, and elevation.  Hopefully the boss of the company who installed it to begin with knows what to do. 
  • Crisscross
    Crisscross Member Posts: 14

    Here are two photos of the near boiler piping. Attached to the 3" opening of the boiler is a 90 degree reducing elbow and the 2" "header" is right on top of the boiler jacket before creeping into the 4" old piping. It is not visible but there is a reduction to 1 1/2" within the insulated turn that brings the condensate back to the boiler.


  • Crisscross
    Crisscross Member Posts: 14
    small images

    I am surprised to see those pictures so small. How can I enlarge them?


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,934

    double click on them.  Then click in the margin somewhere to go back to the thread.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jimmythegreek
    jimmythegreek Member Posts: 56
    edited March 2011

    If it was my boier I would do the following:

    1. rotate the boiler one quarter turn and install a drop header.  Ur gonna need a drop header regardless cause fo the height of the header unless you wanna repipe all the way to the ceiling.

    2. I would remove the jacket of boiler and see if theres another tap available.  I would bet there is and DEFINITELY use it if its there.  This may get you away from having to rotate the boiler to better pipe it.  I would print some pictures of drop headers that are on this site and show the installer and make him pipe just like what you see.  Use NO reducers from tap to header, only enlarge and use both taps if possible. 

    3. Insulate every pipe that you can in that basement, as best as you can.  You can do it yourself and save some $$$ for sure.

    4. Check for main vent locations and replace them with new proper size main vents and make sure the returns are free and piped correctly.  You have a "mud leg" in you pics but the return should be piped a little differently into the hartford loop that should be right off the equilizer. 

    5. Get rid of the copper attaching boiler to header and use all black pipe for everything on that boiler, no copper

    After that skim and clean the system well, check rad valves and vents, and you'll have a beauty of a system
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    edited March 2011
    re-piping boiler

    you should be able to get the installation manual from the mfg's web-sight. study the required piping diagram and compare it to what you have. those mfg's requirements are the minimum required, and will show you the relationship with the second riser. 

    a drop-header would be a big help on this one, to fit every thing into your constricted space, as jimmy says. there are plenty of pictures of them here. i don't think there is any necessity for a second equalizer as long as the one there is big enough.--nbc

    is this the right one?:

  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    What is

     the model number of the boiler?
  • Crisscross
    Crisscross Member Posts: 14
    Thanks everyone,

    I guess I am wondering if there is a danger of boiler flooding if there would be 2 equalizers or better if the equalizer would be over-sized? In his book "Greening Steam" Mr. Holohan warns that a undersized equalizer can cause the water to get sucked out of the boiler. I am wondering if oversizing the equalizer would cause the opposite effect?

    I got the installation manual. The model # is GB 250-6. Minimum requirement have not been met in regards to venting and near boiler piping. I thank you all very much for your suggestions so far. It's a great forum and I enjoy reading "The Wall"

  • Crisscross
    Crisscross Member Posts: 14
    Thanks crash 2009

    I almost missed this post. Thanks for the drawing!
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    Do yourself a favor

    Get rid of the knuckle head who tryed to do a short cut install for you and find some one who can cut ream and thread pipe and pipe up to 4 inch to boot and owns at least a four ft pipe wrench .Any installer who would think they could get away with that configuration of piping should be sent walking and know nothing about proper steam piping nor how to read instructions .From looking at your install pic it looks pretty cut and dry get rid of the old crap and pipe up a proper drop header with a properly sized equalizer and reattach the existing steam riser and do the returns .I find this all to common and from the looks of it this guy did the work at a price that half of us would not even turn the key in our trucks for or he could sell snow cones to a Eskimo.Like my dad says you ain't fix some that ain't done right the first time bite the bullet and get a pro in there and ger yer done right .On another note don't judge books by a cover just cause they are dressed nice and clean is no guarantee that the workmanship will be the same .peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Crisscross
    Crisscross Member Posts: 14
    Global leader knuckelhead

    Clammy, you got it all wrong. You judged the images right and no question it is a knucklehead job. But it wasn't done by a guy who can't afford a thread cutter. The complete opposite is the case. The company who did this job calls itself "a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries..." It was named one of the worlds most ethical companies by Ethisphere. This is an industrial giant!!! This was probably the most expensive company the prior owner could find to do this job. They wanted peace of mind by hiring the super-professional. I would reveal the name of this company but I still hope that they will do the right thing and at least hand me the materials needed to fix that mess. Thanks for your advise!

  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    It may be cheaper and easier

    to have them just pay a proper installing contractor to fix it then they can take photos and use them for training.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
This discussion has been closed.