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.

Steam indirect piping - will this work?

steve_173
steve_173 Member Posts: 140
I want to trust the plumber. He's making it hard to do so. You guys have all been so helpful. Thanks in advance.



Here's a picture of the indirect piping. It comes off the higher tapping on the right face of the Intrepid boiler and goes back into the wet return at the rear of the boiler. This doesn't seem correct to me. The indirect take off should be the lower left face of the boiler? And the return the upper right face? I also don't see a strainer.



<a href="https://sites.google.com/site/albumweb100/indirect">https://sites.google.com/site/albumweb100/indirect</a>

Comments

  • nugs
    nugs Member Posts: 77
    piping

    It's perfect.  He did a good job
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,451
    edited January 2012
    Wrong Wrong Wrong.

    I strongly disagree.  Please understand I am a homeowner, not a pro.



    While I cannot comment on the indirect not only is that header wrong it has a pretty good chance of cracking the block.

    It looks like he did a 3" riser and a 2" riser without swing joints, there is no where for the header to expand other than to put unbelievable stress on the block sections. 



    He also did not use a hartford loop on the return, this is a big safety concern.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Agree, and disagree...

    I think Nugs was talking about the indirect piping question, to which I agree. He is flowing across all sections (in a diagnol manner) of the boiler even during DHW production, which is a good thing. No hot spots allowed.



    As for Chris J's comments, if there is no piping below the boiler, underground, AND there is a low water cut off in place, then no Hartford loop is required.



    But, Chris J is correct in his assessment of the incorrect steam header piping. It WILL cause early failure on the push nipple betwixt the cast iron sections due to expansion stress being imparted. Needs some swing joints to avoid that possibility, and I am not sure who's boiler that is, but I can almost guarantee you that they require them. Never seen one that didn't....



    The tricky part of doing your DHW this way is making sure that you don't generate any vapor during DHW production during the summer months, or your home will be unnecessarily heated, which is not conducive to comfort.



    He needs to come back and redo the steam piping, and while he's at it, have him search this web site for dropped headers. It will guarantee a nice quiet operation. You, as the homeowner, should be willing to pay for this additional (dropped header) work. It is to your advantage. He should pay for the swing joints, because they are in the I&O manual.



    Here is a link to one of many conversations held here regarding the benefits of a dropped header.



    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/135363/Drop-header



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • steve_173
    steve_173 Member Posts: 140
    edited January 2012
    Header

    This is the second take on the header. I wondered about a drop header. The plumber might walk but the swing joints are important.



    Is the 18" riser not enough? I can't compare to the old boiler as it had no header at all, but two large risers, each of which met a steam main.



    There is a Hartford loop at the back similar to the the picture in the link you posted. The header goes into it and the returns come and elbows into it (first joint up on the 3" equalizer coming down) to it before it all goes back to the boiler return. Is that no good too?



    How should the DHW be piped if I don't want steam vapor risk in the summer? After the water goes through the Superstor, how realistic is hot vapor crawling up the wet returns? That water won't be at steam temperature. Isn't it better to pull the DHW off the lower front of the block where it is more below the water line even when there is steam moving about the system?
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    It depends on the manufacturer...

    If the manufacturer calls out 18", and the riser pipes are appropriately sized, you won't have MUCH problems. (some carry over is inevitable on cold start up)



    The problem with vapor is slop in controls. You set the control for 180 degree F condensate temperatures, but due to hysteresis (slop) the boiler actually achieves a slight vapor condition, causing radiators to over heat. Aquastat location and correct wiring is the key to avoiding summer time issues. You want to make certain that the sensing bulb is truly sensing the water (condensate) temperature, and not the vapor temperature.



    As for DHW tapping locations, so long as his supply take off is well below the normal standing water line, you should be OK. You will never be able to achieve the "perfect" condition of having a minimum of 5 feet of standing water column on the supply to the DHW pump, but it will work OK. The only other thing that you might want to change, would be the fitting configuration where the cooler pumped condensate returns back to the boiler. I can see how at times it might be possible to send pumped water up the equalizer, thereby introducing water into the steam main, causing carryover and hammer.



    It is hard to tell from the angle of the original picture, but make darned certain that the LWCO is properly installed and wired.



    The Hartford loop is generally right at the Equalizer pipe, and it piped with a close nipple between the condensate return and the equalizer. If the manufacturer recommends it, then regardless of whether you have a LWCO or not, it should be there. (sometimes shown as an option with a caveat)



    At present, due to improper installation, if there were any issues, you would not have a warranty. It states in most I&O manual, that if installation instructions are not adhered to, that warranty is nul and void. Can't blame them for that stance...



    As for your plumber, we don't eat plumbers here. At least not intentionally. If he is worth his salt, and he is interested in doing the right thing, he should be coming here for an education. All participants (homeowners or contractors) are welcome here. We are here to help, not here to denigrate. He doesn't even have to sign on with his real name if he is afraid (embaressed?) of someone seeing his name (although I'd prefer everyone here use their real names, and don't understand the reluctance to do so...).



    We're here to help. Hence the name, HeatingHelp.com



    Like so many uneducated plumbers (I am a plumber BTW), they think that installing this stuff is a simple matter of hooking it up and letting it rip. It's as much a science as it is a trade, and one has to constantly study to keep up with the changes. Doing it right the first time makes the job SO much easier, and profitable. Learning from your mistakes may set it in your brain forever, but at what expense? Loss of customers, loss of sleep, loss of revenue, possibly loss of personal assets if it goes to a legal situation (hopefully not).



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • steve_173
    steve_173 Member Posts: 140
    edited January 2012
    Swing joints

    So far, he doesn't want to do the swing joints.



    So you see a drop header as unnecessary but superior?



    I too wondered about the flow of the pump against the gravity fed return lines. How would you revise this?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,451
    edited January 2012
    swing joints

    Mark can probably answer better but, the manufacture of that boiler isn't going to care what the plumber did or didn't want to do when the block fails and they deny the warranty claim.  The manufactures instructions MUST be followed, he should not have taken the job if he didn't know what he was doing.





    A drop header is both superior and easier but more costly to build.  Both a standard and drop header have the necessary swing joints to take pressure off of the block.



    I'm sorry if this seems a bit harsh,  I just had a friend go through a similar problem and it wasn't much fun.  Please, get this problem rectified now, while you can somewhat easily.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • nugs
    nugs Member Posts: 77
    DHW piping

    I was only commenting on the DHW piping and honestly, didn't really look at the header which as you all say, is not the right way to go about that.  The Hartford loop ain't an issue either unless there's a wet return that I can't see in the picture.  I have not looked up the installation instructions for that boiler but...... I suspect that the easiest thing to do here is get rid of that 2" that runs up to the header.  BTW I am a huge fan of Everhots steam condensate tanks for residential installs.  It's pretty cheap money and keeps the water out of the mains. 
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Near boiler condensate piping recommendations.

    The current configuration has the forced flow running directly into the gravity flow on a bull headed tee. The force flow should go through the run of the T, with the condensate coming in through the side branch of the tee. You would have to turn the tee 90 degrees CCW. None of this is going to be easy because of the fact that it is piped in black iron pipe. It MAY not cause a problem, but then again, it might, and if it does, it will be much messyer to do once the boiler has been filled.



    Dropped headers have more to do with sending extremely dry steam to the system, which lessens water hammer potentials. THe manufacturers don't require it, but it has been proven many times to lessen and in many cases eliminate water hammer due to the steam carrying over water.



    As far as eliminating the smaller riser, it depends n the connected loads. If the boiler is capable of handling it with one large riser, then the other smaller riser could be eliminated, and casting stress avoided, but one known problem of a single outlet is nuisance LWCO lock outs due to tilted water line inside of the boiler vessel. Using two risers pretty much eliminates that possibility.



    If this were to go to a suit, your plumber would lose because he is not following the manufacturers recommendations, nor is he exercising an industry accepted "standard of care" in his practice. I don't like being critical, but he is not going to win if this does go to trial, and I hope it doesn't...



    All he has to do is comply with the manufacturers installation manual of record.





    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,723
    edited January 2012
    The boiler

    is a Slant/Fin Intrepid. The I&O manual showing the piping requirements is here:



    http://www.slantfin.com/images/stories/Technical-Literature/installmanual_intrepid_tr_40.pdf



    The second 2-inch riser to the header is required on Intrepid steamers 5 sections and larger. The diagram clearly shows an offset header as the minimum standard. A drop header would be the ideal solution here.



    He needs to re-do it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • steve_173
    steve_173 Member Posts: 140
    edited January 2012
    Header

    Slant/Fin didn't originally have a rear riser even on the 5+ section Intrepid. It was added to deal with internal pressure imbalance.



    It's hard to tell from the manual that an offset header is required. The only clear indication seems to be that there are two markings for the 2" riser where one is the offset/elbow. It looks like most of this header can be reused and converted into a drop header. Is a 24" riser high enough for the drop or is even higher better?



    So far he's insisting swing joints are overkill and the header is fine.
  • steve_173
    steve_173 Member Posts: 140
    edited January 2012
    Tee

    You're referring to the tee going into the boiler return linking the wet return/Hartford loop and the DHW return?



    Simply routing that so that the DHW shoots straight in and the wet return comes in at 90 degrees is enough to resist the pump pressure head? Can't the pump still send the water up rather than back into the boiler?
  • nugs
    nugs Member Posts: 77
    piping

    I see two diagrams for steam piping on the Alpine.  One shows the 2" and the 3" other just the 3"18
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,723
    You mean the Intrepid

    the diagram with the single riser is for the 3- and 4-section units.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
This discussion has been closed.