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I've got a Head Knocker I want to move!

ctjomac Member Posts: 52
We are still planning our replacement boiler as son as we can turn the heat off. We are going with a Burnham MST396. Our system is a one pipe system. At the time of putting the boiler back in we are going to replace the wet returns. An addition idea we had was to relocate one of the dry returns as it's a head knocker and in the way. The problem with doing that is this: From what I've read in the books it seems like I have to have 28" from the bottom of the dry return before it can be wet. What would happen if I left one dry return a alone 28" plus) and made the one that I knock my head on only 25" down to the water line? Will this cause me problems with the boiler or with that 1/2 of the system that it serves? As always Thanks for your help~!!!! Joe


  • Ron Jr._3
    Ron Jr._3 Member Posts: 603
    If you can keep

    the steam pressure below 2 psi you shouldn't have a problem . A vaporstat would work well on your new system . What obstacles are you going around for the drop in the dry return ? Any chance to make that lower dry return a wet return ? 
  • ctjomac
    ctjomac Member Posts: 52
    Two windows

    If we leave the pipe alone I hit my head ALL the time. If we just move it hrizontally it will end up smack in the lower part of 2 windows. I never thought about making it wet...right now I have 2, 10' wet returns (0ne for the front 1/2 of house and other 1/2 from rear of house). It would make one of them 20' long. Would I have more maintenance and upkeep with a wet return?
  • Rod
    Rod Posts: 2,067
    Reconfiguring the Return piping

    Hi- If it is more convenient you can run drip lines straight down from the ends of the steam mains.  If they aren't located there already, you'll have to install the main vents near the end of the steam main before it drops down.  I've attached a diagram below showing drips and new Wet Return.

    I used copper for my Wet Return and am sold on it as it stays very clean. I have a flushing setup similar to what i put in the drawing. I just hook up two garden hoses, one for water in and one for water out and flush it out every summer. If you use copper and flush it fairly regularly, you should have problems if the Wet Return is a bit long.   If the wet return piping is now crossing the the center of the floor, you can reroute it along a wall if that's more convenient.   A bit of slope in the Wet Return is nice but not necessary. At my neighbor's home we moved the wet return to over to the wall and then boxed it in to hide the bare piping as he wanted to make a finished room in the basement.

    - Rod
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,756
    Just a suggestion

    If you can make the diameter of the last five or six feet of horizontal pipe leading to the Hartford loop a little bigger it reduces the flow rate and turbulence, allowing more of the muck to settle out before it gets swept up into the boiler. This is all theoretical, of course, but it seems like it should help.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    RDSTEAM Member Posts: 134
    go with the wet return

    following Rod's diagram. don't forget about putting your vents about 15" back from your drop down into the return. this may not be feasable for you as you be required to repipe the ends of your mains.
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