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If there is a 3" header should I pipe in 2 - 2" risers?

I have been in the heating industry for over 15 yrs and I have not been around you Dan enough... I miss your consulting @ the Prudential in Boston... Anyway I have a friend of mine ask for some help and I found that he bought a 150+yr old Victorian several years ago... The boiler is a peerless model and has only one riser on it... He ran out of oil and of coarse I said I would help out... Now when I got there I noticed right away that there was a three inch header with two 2-1/2" supplies off it... The thing that struck me right off was that there was only one two inch riser off the boiler...?  I changed the filter that was at the burner...(nice but rare) and the oil line though poly protected was a single line overhead... which had lost prime, but never ran out of oil in the tank, came close... 275 gallon / vertical 1998 fuel storage tank... Back to my discovery... My friend Scott was present the whole time curious and full of info for me... Once I started the boiler I noticed in short time it was very loud so I checked the flame and needless to say even after the initial air adjustments found I needed to down firer the boiler... 6" breech and stack temp of 550 degrees F.  the pump pressure was 140 and .85 - 60 degree solid nozzle... The water in the sight glass was bouncing allot and eventually went below low water level in the sight glass...Than Scott informed me that he has had problems with water coming out of his radiators on the first floor...Next he shows me auto water feeder that was replaced before he moved in...We have now eliminated this problem by filling every week if needed when he flushes the low water cut-off anyway... Right away I changed the size of the nozzle and angle... Finally after getting the boiler eff% to 851/2 the stack temp was 325-350 degrees now... The water level now stays relatively in the upper 3/4 area of the sight glass...still bouncing up and down 1-1/2" + or - 1/2" ( Due to the Tankless coil I explained to him he needs to keep the water level at least a inch or two above the coil for more eff% transfer of heat for domestic water temps... My main question is: Should I add another 2" riser since there is only one..?  It takes roughly 30 minutes run time to heat and satisfy the t-stat when the house is up to temperature...  The other thing is that the pipe insulation was removed because of being made of that wonderful asbestos material... Now we will have re insulate the complete basement to sustain a longer lasting system temp between cycles... Now it cools right down because of lack of insulation in the entire structure... Either way I think by making these improvements I will be able to get the run time still down another 10 to 15 minutes more...  I am working now on heat loss and design making sure that there is enough radiater square inches to meet the complete system design... Dan Thanks for being here for us passionate steam guys!!! Still have my Dead man hat can't wear it because its pretty bad... Time I think to checkout another one... Again thanks for your help Dan the Steam Man!!!  Rayzorman7


  • Peerless piping

    What does the peerless installation manual show for this boiler? How does the present riser compare to their instructions as well?

    Before insulating the piping, check for any sags with a level, as it is easier to see the pitch of the piping on bare metal.

    Keep the pressure down, and make sure the main venting is functioning properly with a low back-pressure.--NBC
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,568
    No harm...

    to a riser feeding a bigger header.  Not a bad idea at all.  But as NBC said, you want to check and see what Peerless requires for that boiler.  If they say one 2" is OK, it is, even though it is a minimum.

    A waterline bouncing an inch or so is no big deal.

    I love it when people strip the asbestos off their pipes.  Much much better and safer all around to encapsulate it and leave it.  But... you can't convince them.  You do need to get all of that re-insulated, and the sooner the better.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,826
    Not a priority.

    Generally, the more cross-sectional riser area, the slower the steam rises, and the less water it carries with it, so adding another riser will probably give you drier steam, but I wouldn't make it a priority. The highest priority should be insulating the pipes. If steam is condensing in the mains you're not going to get dry steam anyway.

    The scenario you describe is a common one. When everybody realized that asbestos was bad, they were in such a mad rush to tear off all that pipe insulation, they forgot to put anything back on. When homeowners noticed that their radiators weren't getting hot, the knuckleheads and the do-it-yourselfers knew just what to do: crank up those burners!

    Of course it wasted tons of fuel and drove water up the pipes by the bucketfull, but fuel was cheaper back then, and, well steam heat is supposed to be noisy. If they couldn't take it, they could always upgrade to a modern hot air system, or at least hot water. Or you could live with it until the carbon monoxide killed you, but at least you were safe from the horror of asbestos.

    A lot of the work people talk about here is just about restoring their systems to the original state. Some take it a step further, but you need to get back to square one first.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
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