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Drop Header Question


 I'm doing a drop header as you can see in the photo.  I have two questions as to which is better.

Question 1: When I make the drop header and I turn the raisers so that my drop header start all the way to the right. Is this OK?

Question two 2: I want change so that the 2 mains leaves from 3 inch header as in photo.

Or should I do as photo number 2 where 3 inch main goes into 2 mains.

Independence IN8 Gas Fired Steam Boiler, NG, Electronic Ignition,- 245,000 BTU

4th photo is my original set up which I'm changing. header is 2"

Just looking for some imput.


  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,578
    Drop Header Question

    I'm guessing you want it above where the rag is?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,772
    What size is the existing header?

    and what model is that boiler? You might be able to connect both those risers to the existing header if the size is right..............
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • xcinek
    xcinek Member Posts: 14
    Existing header

    Existing header is 2 inch

    manual says do 3 inch thats is why i want to change everything.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    3" pipe

    has twice the cross-sectional area as 2" pipe, so when you bring two 2" risers into a 3" header, the velocity will be the same.

    Regarding your design, there's no reason to swing the swing-arm on the right so far to the right. The swing-arms do not need to be parallel. As long as they meet the riser a couple of diameters apart you've got enough separation. You can use that length of pipe to give you more vertical rise instead.

    If you keep the header roughly in the same place, but replace it with 3" pipe, you'll be able to bring the boiler risers straight up before dropping to the height of the header. This has the advantage of allowing water droplets to fall back before they even reach the header.

    You should leave those two system risers right where they are and connect them to the new header. Your system risers should always be connected independently to the header.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • xcinek
    xcinek Member Posts: 14
    Thanks for the info

    Thanks for the input. I either put one all the way to the right. or bend the the header to the right because I dont have to much space or I have to move the water feeder line and the return lines.
  • xcinek
    xcinek Member Posts: 14

    Are you saying its better to put in a 4 inch header. I want to slow the steam down.

    Manual says 3 inch.
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,787
    4" vs. 3"

    Sure, 4" would be better--bigger is always better, within reason, but there's something called diminishing returns. If the manual says 3" is adequate, it is, and the small improvement you'd realize from using 4" pipe would not justify the added cost.

    The purpose of the header is to reduce the velocity enough to allow entrained water droplets to precipitate. If the manual recommends a 3" header, that will give you the right velocity. Since the cross-sectional area of each riser is half that of the header, that means the steam will be moving at the same velocity through the risers. That's a good thing. It doesn't mean the header is too small; it means the risers are plenty big. If you run these risers straight up for 3 feet or more, most of the water will fall right back into the boiler.

    Of course there's more to good header design than the diameter of the pipe used. The 90° exits of the system risers allow the steam to exit while water droplets continue moving in a straight line due to their greater inertial mass, and the proper orientation of the equalizer to the end of the header provides an easy path for that water to return to the boiler along with any condensate that forms inside the header.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    The magic number is based on exit velocity.

    To stay at 15 feet per second, a 3" header will handle 106,416 BTUH.

    At 20 feet per second, 141,888 BTUH.

    A 4" header @ 15 ft/sec = 183,312 BTUH

    A 4" header @ 20 ft/sec = 244,416 BTUH

    Staying with a 3" header will make your velocity 34.53 feet per second. Low, but not low enough for me.

    I would personally go for a 4" header. I tend to think that you can never oversize a header.
  • xcinek
    xcinek Member Posts: 14

    Great info. I'll look into putting 4 inch header

    As to height of raisers right now I have 29" high no problem raising it to 36"

    As previously posted I changed the setup to this.
  • xcinek
    xcinek Member Posts: 14
    in Process

    I m currently working to have this done.

    I decided to go with 4 inch pipe.

    See photos.

    The guys at the plumbing store looked at me like I was weird put in a pipe like this.
  • xcinek
    xcinek Member Posts: 14
    After Photos

    Finished Product

    4 Inch Drop Header

    2 King Valves

    Mud Leg
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,564

    Is the horizontal leg on the equalizer backpitched?
  • xcinek
    xcinek Member Posts: 14
    edited October 2013
    Back Leg

  • xcinek
    xcinek Member Posts: 14

    It is slightly but you have a 2 inch return where it will push all the water down. I dont think it should create water hammer.

    What do you think ?

    I will replace with 45 degree elbow if it creates a problem.
This discussion has been closed.