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6 inch screwed pipe on commercial steam system

Paul S_3
Paul S_3 Member Posts: 1,257
i just came back from a service call ...VERY VERY long day...lol....the call was a steam leak on a six inch header... alot of this 6 inch pipe will have to be removed a repaired...my biggest pipe wrenches are 4 ft aluminum...and never worked on larger thatn 4 "pipe ...i doubt that would screw the six inch fittings....i have seen JSTAR INSTALL A SIX INCH DROP HEADER...about a year back just wondering what type of wrench should i buy to complete this job???thanks PAUL S ( P.S this is the weirdest and most difficult heating season ever since ive been in trade 12 yyrs 18 to 30 yr old) ive been running into problem after problem thank you guys in advance PAULS S
ASM Mechanical Company
Located in Staten Island NY
Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
[email protected]


  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Roughly speaking, one foot of wrench for every inch of pipe size.
  • Why has this header suddenly started leaking, and from where?
    I can't believe there is a rust hole in it, so is it leaking at a threaded joint-maybe from over pressure?
    Maybe cranking the pressure down will stop this.
    Ridgid makes a compound leverage wrench which might help get things apart here, although it is easily as heavy as a 6 foot conventional!--NBC
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,981
    Paul on the 6 and 8 i have done i usually use chain wrenches and 4 and 5 ft wrenches but the chain wrenches work great
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752
    5ft wrench for 6" pipe. The wrench is brutally heavy. I can never seem to make a chain-wrench work correctly. While putting the new pipe and fittings together, definitely use lamp-wick, teflon tape, and dope.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Can't you rent those large breed dogs? Unless you can bury the cost of the big dog in the job, you'll never use it again. Tool rental places rent everything you can imagine.

    I've been shocked at what some professionals rented that I laid out the cash to own. But I used them and had them available.

    Those compound wrenches are quite the silvery sheckles to own for a one time use.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,120
    Is it easier to cut and use flanges or compression couplings?
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,269
    5' pipe wrench can handle up to 8" pipe. As jstar said they are brutally heavy about 65lbs each one and you'll need two of them.
    Not so fun piping it all together but once your done you'll feel like you've had a good workout and satisfied of the work you've done.
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,269
    edited December 2014
    6" drop header i did a few months back.
    would like to thank jstar for assistance on the job.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,541
    WOW! Amazing!
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,429
    It isn't often someone can make my jaw drop, but that pic did it. That is unbelievable!
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    I try to avoid threading and wrenching anything over 4". I've been able to do up to 8" headers all welded, with threadolets and/or cut and welded nipples as necessary so I still have the swing joints i need. For 6" I use a set of chain tongs, which as @JStar‌ mentioned can be a pita sometimes to get on tight.
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,269
    Thanks guys much appreciated. I had a lot of fun doing that job.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 14,925
    EzzyT said:

    6" drop header i did a few months back.
    would like to thank jstar for assistance on the job.

    I have no doubt some guys would have piped that using a 2" header.

    That, is awesome work!
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,269
    You are most certainly right about that. The old single boiler was way over sized and only has a 4" header.
    Thanks Chris