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replace copper? (with photo)

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Am considering the value of replacing a welded copper riser with iron on my three-year old gas boiler. Is it too late, the damage done? Would the galvanic reaction of copper condensate on iron be causing the brown flecks I see in the sight glass? I keep the ph around 9.0 but this galvanic reaction thing bothers me. There's no loss of water through leaks where copper meets iron (yet). Crown told me copper's okay beneath the water line, but that a galvanic reaction occurs when copper condensate returns to the boiler, accelerating corrosion. See photo...

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  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,739
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    If it was mine I would want it re-piped mostly because it's piped improperly not so much because of the copper. The recipe gets rid of the copper also, so it's 2 birds with one stone.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    SteamedInWharton
  • Bio
    Bio Member Posts: 278
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    On a three year young boiler, I would, Crown offers a couple piping kits for easier installation

    http://www.crownboiler.com/documents/bsi_piping_kit_2_risers.pdf
    http://www.crownboiler.com/documents/bermuda_near_boiler_piping_schematics.pdf
  • wcs5050
    wcs5050 Member Posts: 131
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    And further down return where it connects to boiler, but at least what you have indicated. Ideally what kc says. If your doing it, do whole thing.
  • vr608
    vr608 Member Posts: 144
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    Sorry to hijack, but does this "no copper above water line" rule apply everywhere? Part of my main was replaced with a 15' section of copper by the previous owner years ago, and I've always assumed its fine since it doesn't directly connect to the boiler. Am I mistaken?
    Peerless 63-03, 118,000 BTU (308 sqft), single-pipe steam system connected to 286 EDR of radiation, 30ft of baseboard and indirect DHW
    3PSI gauge
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Best practice is "No copper above the water line" on a steam system. At some point the joints are likely to leak due to expansion and contraction. When that happens, replace it with black iron. Are you seeing any reaction/corrosion between the copper and iron at either end of that copper?
  • vr608
    vr608 Member Posts: 144
    edited November 2015
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    It's nicely packed with insulation so I'll have to check :-(

    When I noticed the new piping last year I didn't see anything out of the ordinary rust-wise, but things may have changed in a year. I'll have to keep an eye on it.
    Peerless 63-03, 118,000 BTU (308 sqft), single-pipe steam system connected to 286 EDR of radiation, 30ft of baseboard and indirect DHW
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,695
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    vr608 said:

    It's nicely packed with insulation so I'll have to check :-(



    When I noticed the new piping last year I didn't see anything out of the ordinary rust-wise, but things may have changed in a year. I'll have to keep an eye on it.

    My opinion on it is as long as it's a straight run with no turns, you'll likely be fine. Copper headers on boilers break due to things being twisted and flexed as they heat and cool. This shouldn't happen as much on a straight run though 15' is pushing your luck IMO.

    If it was mine, I'd replace it in the near future. I have two short 2' or so copper connections to radiators that I want to replace as well, just because.
    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
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,695
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    mitchg said:

    Am considering the value of replacing a welded copper riser with iron on my three-year old gas boiler. Is it too late, the damage done? Would the galvanic reaction of copper condensate on iron be causing the brown flecks I see in the sight glass? I keep the ph around 9.0 but this galvanic reaction thing bothers me. There's no loss of water through leaks where copper meets iron (yet). Crown told me copper's okay beneath the water line, but that a galvanic reaction occurs when copper condensate returns to the boiler, accelerating corrosion. See photo...

    Yes, please replace it.
    As was said, mainly because it's piped completely wrong. The boiler will likely be fine as long as you kept the PH around 9.
    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