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HeelteeHeeltee Member Posts: 19
I want to replace my underground returns and bring them above the basement floor. This is a one pipe steam system. Is there any thing I should be aware of before I begin. Thanks


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,694
    Be sure

    to keep them below the waterline of the boiler!

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • HeelteeHeeltee Member Posts: 19

    Thanks ! That I will do ! Anything else ?
  • SteveSteve Member Posts: 486
    I would

    Use copper on the wet return. NEVER above the water line though.
  • crash2009crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484

    Install a couple drain valves, one at each end so you can flush them out in the future.  If you re-do the Hartford as well, install a Hartford valve.  Watch this video to see why.
  • Long Beach EdLong Beach Ed Member Posts: 686
    Some Tips...

    Bring down the drips in iron full size of the main until below the water level.  Reduce them below the water line.   Tie them into copper returns with brass couplings.  That will control electrolysis.   You don't want copper threaded into iron. It will leak.

    Size your returns using piping charts.  No need to oversize copper.  Many iron returns were sized bigger than necessary to allow for corrosion. 

    Pitch the returns toward the boiler to control the buildup of mung.  We hang them from iron "L-Brackets" nailed into the walls every four feet with Hilti fasteners.  We also insulate the returns with Armaflex foam insulation.  You don't want the copper rubbing on or against concrete. 

    Assembling the returns with Pro-press fittings saves us hours of soldering copper. 

    As Crash recommends, hose cocks or plugged tees at the ends are nice for flushing, probably in someone else's lifetime. 
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,349
    I prefer a dry return.

    You can run the returns above the water line as long as you keep them above the "A" dimension (28" above the water line) and keep them separate, then drop them into a short wet return (or "mud leg") run to the Hartford loop. The return piping can all be 1" except for the mud leg, which should be larger in diameter to reduce turbulence. This allows sediments to settle out of the water before it returns to the boiler. Use a tee to connect the mud leg to the Hartford loop, then put a short nipple and a full-port ball valve on the other end of the tee so the sediment can be drained. A water pipe can be connected to the far end of the mud leg to flush it out.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • HeelteeHeeltee Member Posts: 19
    Returns !

    Thanks to all who Reply.
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