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Steam supply line question

First I want to say what a great resource this forum has been for me! I have been learning a lot about steam boiler systems and this has been a necessity for me because I live on a small island in the Tropics and I haven't found any steam experts or advise here. I have a Peerless 63-04 boiler that I am using to heat some jacketed processing kettles for boiling water. After reading the forum I have decided the near boiler piping design should be a dual riser with a drop header. The risers will be approximately 28" above the waterline and then the drop header will drop about 10 inches. Now my question is how high should the steam supply process line be run off the header and can I drop close to or below the boiler waterline? Here is what I would like to do and let me know if this will work or is it doing something totally unacceptable.

I would like to bring the steam supply line up off the header 12" or so and then drop it down to about 30 inches off the floor to create the main steam supply line. This is to allow me to keep the piping low on a wall. I would take my two feeds off the top of the steam main to go to my kettles. The oulet side of each kettle will have a F/T trap going into the condensate return line, the end of the steam main will also have an F/T trap that feeds into the condensate return line. The condensate will drop into a tank/return pump and then return to the boiler at the bottom of the "equalizer piping". From reading Dan's primer on Hartford Loops it is my understanding that once the condensate is being returned via a pump the return is now open to atmosphere and the equalizer is now just acting as a condensate return from the header and he recommended against pumping into the Hartford loop.

So the question remains, can I drop the supply line to near or below the boiler waterline if I have a pumped return, and what other considerations do I need to take in a system designed as such.

thanks for any advice


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,893
    You can do it, and it will work. You will want to use boiler feed pump type controls on the return condensate tank. You will also need to have good main venting -- as always! -- but in this case you will also want to have a vacuum breaking vent at the high point on your steam line.

    You definitely want dual risers and the drop header configuration, and go as big with both as is reasonable (you don't specify the size boiler here). You want the driest possible steam.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • kbrown
    kbrown Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for your input, it will be put to great use!