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Steam Boiler Header

Hello everyone.  I am new to this site.  It is because of this website

that I was made aware of my steam boiler installation.  After reading

several post here I realized my steam boiler was installed without a

header.  I bought the book "We got steam" to make sure of what I was

looking at.  It even states in the book that today's install guys do not

know how to correctly set up steam boiler piping.  This is the letter I

had to send to Peerless in hopes of proving my boiler install is

incorrect.  Is it possible for the guys here to tell me if my piping is

bad?  Any help is much appreciated.  Thank you. 


How are you.  I need your help.  I had a boiler installed by a heating

company a few years ago.  At the time I had no idea what the correct

boiler piping installation should look like.  I recently became aware

that my steam boiler was installed without a header.  My radiator steam

vents have always spit water and I could never figure out why.  This is

what lead me to trouble shoot my heating system.  I downloaded the

manual for the Peerless 63-64 installation and it clearly shows how the

riser and header should look (now that I know).  My boiler looks

absolutely nothing like your install manual.  I went into one of the

heating company locations and the install manager looked at the photo

and agreed it was wrong.  A service man was sent out to look at my

boiler and he agreed it was wrong.  An agent for the company called me

later telling me someone would return again to correct the improper

install.  Today 5 Dec 2012 the installation guys show up and agree it

was done wrong.  They take measurements and promise to return with

materials to start working.  Instead I receive a call from the owner of

the company.  He told me that he feels that my boiler was installed

correctly and that there would be no work done by his company.  The only

way he would agree to do the work is if the Peerless company tells him

that it is done wrong.  I have photos of the boiler and piping that I

can send you to show that there is no header.  Please advise me on this

installation.  If there is a Peerless rep that can come to my home I am

waiting.  Thank you.  Marlon.


  • Dave in QCADave in QCA Member Posts: 1,660
    Focusing on the positives

    I looked at your pictures and tried to see if there was anything at all in the whole project that could be described as correct.  All I can come up with is the following: 1. They used black iron pipe.  2.  They used two risers that appear to be the correct diameter.    And, unfortunately, that is about it. 

    What I see that is wrong is as follows:

    1.  The risers are too short.  2.  There is no header.  3. The equalizer is piped wrong.  4.  The Hartford loop is piped backwards.  5.  Connection to the building main is wrong. 

    Really, it is baffling how anyone could have made so many errors. 
    Dave in Quad Cities, America
    Weil-McLain 680 with Riello 2-stage burner, December 2012. Firing rate=375MBH Low, 690MBH Hi.
    System = Early Dunham 2-pipe Vacuo-Vapor (inlet and outlet both at bottom of radiators) Traps are Dunham #2 rebuilt w. Barnes-Jones Cage Units, Dunham-Bush 1E, Mepco 1E, and Armstrong TS-2. All valves haveTunstall orifices sized at 8 oz.
    Current connected load EDR= 1,259 sq ft, Original system EDR = 2,100 sq ft Vaporstat, 13 oz cutout, 4 oz cutin - Temp. control Tekmar 279.
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Boiler Piping Problems

    Hi- Sorry to hear that you are having problems. Besides the header, the Hartford loop is wrong. It sort of "reversed" from what it should be. (see attached picture) There is no equalizer pipe and what might be called an equalizer pipe goes directly to the Wet Return with the "reverse" Hartford Loop connecting to the boiler. This is no where near the drawing in the installation manual. The more faults you point out the less likely any one can say that it's okay.

     Since the heating company that did the installation buys boilers regularly and you only buy one every 10 to 15 years, the manufacturer, not wanting to upset a good customer, the heating company, will do their best to stay out of any controversy so you need to expect that happening.  I'm not saying that Peerless, who are a very good company, will do this, just that you need to understand which way the wind blows so to speak.

      I would contact the owner of the company and ask that he personally come out and take a look at the installation "as obviously he isn't able to tell how bad the installation is from pictures and what other are telling him".  No business owner wants to go to court and maybe seeing the mess he will come to some sort of compromise.

    Good Luck!

    - Rod
  • dudehorsedudehorse Member Posts: 6
    Steam Boiler Header

    Thank you Dave and Rod for your information.  I suspected as much.  However, I never thought I would hear that the Hartford loop was bad too!  Wow.
  • SteveSteve Member Posts: 486

    It Is going to be very hard to get the Original guy back to correct everything

    I would suggest you bite the bullet, hire somebody new, just make sure it is done correct this time.

    Take your time and get all the correct info which You seem to be doing already.
  • fixitguyfixitguy Member Posts: 70
    edited December 2012

    This is the same boiler properly piped.
  • dudehorsedudehorse Member Posts: 6
    Steam Boiler Header

    Hello again.  Today I received a call from the heating company

    secretary.   She informs me that the owner has now decided to make the

    correction on the boiler?  ????  Figure that one out?   The install guys are supposed

    to return Saturday morning to re pipe the boiler.  I appreciate their turn

    around on this matter but I am concerned about the re pipe being done correctly.  Just

    because they will re pipe doesn't mean it will get re piped the proper way even this time.  I could see the header was wrong (now that I know).  But I never suspected the equalizer and Hartford loop was bad too.  If I complain about that to the install guys I know the owner is going to say screw that guy and they will leave.  I need to thread lightly on this.  I know the owner does not want to do the work.  I shouldn't have to walk on egg shells about getting this done right.  But that is how I feel.  My question if you can help is how should the equalizer and Hartford loop look on my boiler?  Thank you.  Marlon. 
  • RodRod Posts: 2,067
    Boiler Repipe

    Hi- Great news! I‘m glad they decided to take responsibility for it and are going to repipe it properly. There shouldn’t be any problems with this.. Just tell them you want the boiler piped/installed  per the instructions in the I& O  manual . That’s what you contracted for and  that’s what you should get! (And that includes the Hartford  Loop piped properly! ) I’ve attached a I&O Manual (Installation & Operating)  for the Peerless 63-64 below.  The installers may or may not have the I&O manual with them so I would print the manual out so it can be easily referenced by all.

    Info on boiler piping -  You might want to start by first watching this video on the importance of near boiler piping.

    Notes on the I&O Manual

    All the piping instructions for a steam boiler are on page 14 and Page 15. Read them over. On Page 14, Figure4.4 “Dual Supply Connections” is how your boiler should be piped. Note the In this drawing note the Hartford Loop conncetion and also the written instructions. On Page 15 Table 4.1 “Steam Supply and Head Pipe Sizing shows the sizes of the boiler piping. Look at the table - Your model  is a 63-04 and your using TWO connections (Boiler Risers)  The two boiler risers are 2 inch pipe. The Header is 2 ½ inch pipe and while the table states that the Equalizer pipe should be 1 1/4 inches you are better off with 1 ½ inches per Dan’s books.

    . If they will do the Equalizer Pipe  in 1 ½ pipe fine!  If they are going to stick to the instructions at 1 1/4 that’s okay  too. (They may have strict instructions from their boss to pipe it exactly per the manual.)

    Note Instruction #3 on Page 14 about the header pipe needing to be a minimum of 24 inches above the boiler waterline.

    All the piping that carries steam has to be black iron with threaded fittings.

    Maybe one of the other Wallies has a picture of a Peerless installation they can post that will  give you a better idea of the boiler piping. I’m sure the company is going to send their more experienced guys to do the piping so you are less likely to have problems. 

    Good Luck! Everything should work out okay!

    - Rod

  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,349
    Pictures of Peerless Near Boiler Piping

    I recently repiped my Series 61 and posted the pictures.

    I'm not a pro myself, but I got a lot of help from the pros here.

    I included a "before" photo so you can see the problems I was addressing. It's interesting because, while one could claim that it had a header and swing-arms, the swing-arms were above the header, and the header was under size, so they weren't doing what they were supposed to do.
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • dudehorsedudehorse Member Posts: 6
    Steam Boiler Header

    How are you.  Sorry for the delayed update.  Your information has helped

    a great deal and I appreciate it.  The install guys showed up on Saturday.   Yes, I had their most experienced steam guy.  They have 60

    installers and only 4 of them are steam/hot water guys.  He agreed that

    the piping was wrong and wanted to reinstall to my liking.  His only

    concern was removing the existing pipes that are connected directly to

    the boiler.  He was afraid that he might crack the boiler tugging on the

    piping.  He stated that he knew for certain that his boss was not going

    to replace any boiler parts.  Only piping.  So if the boiler was

    damaged it was on me.  Yes,  he had a very difficult time breaking free

    the pipes.  I

    actually helped pull on the wrenches and even went to my garage and got

    my trusted 6 ft long 2 1/2 inch cheater pipe for leverage.   The header

    was done (photos) but he didn't feel good about trying to redo the

    equalizer pipe because it was attached right into the boiler.  He did

    agree that the equalizer pipe set up should be flipped around but

    promised that the water is still sitting in the pipes the same.   I

    figured that I won enough of the battle and settled for the most

    important thing.  The header was done.  So, this is how it turned out. 

    What do you think?  Keep in mind that I did not realize how much time

    has really pasted since I purchased the boiler from the company and they

    installed it.  8 years!!!!!   It was 8

    years ago.  My goodness time flies. No wonder the owner had a fit.  But,

    it was still installed wrong.  It took this long for me realize it. 

    Thanks to the Heating forum and the books I have read.  So, hats off to

    the heating company for acknowledging the error and addressing it. 
  • Hap_HazzardHap_Hazzard Member Posts: 1,349
    Better, but...

    The header is under size. The IOM says you can use 2"risers if you use 2, but the header should be 2 1/2".
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S
    3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
This discussion has been closed.


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