Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Best way to add radiator to main

Guys,
I have a one pipe steam system. Want to add a radiator to heat an extension that was previously unheated. Wanted to know which of 2 routes was the best way to get steam off of the main. Instead of typing up a long explanation, please see the attached photo.

Basically, is it better to go directly off the main? Or should I tee/union in off of an existing 1" vertical , off of the main? Obviously, it would be easier to work with the 1" pipe than the 2". Also not sure if the 1" has the capacity to supply 2 rads at the same time.

Thanks for the help. Also, I'm aware about the asbestos.


Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494
    How many sqft of EDR is the radiator connected to that run out?

    That take off should also be installed with a 45 at the top coming off of the main at an angle, not directly off the top.
    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
  • mookie3333
    mookie3333 Member Posts: 83
    @ChrisJ - 24 SF of EDR on that existing branch. New addition is only a 10 section (20 EDR). I believe only 1 "take off" is at a 45 from the main, rest are directly on top like the picture.

    What's the reason for it needing to be at 45? Something with the return condensate mixing with through steam? just a guess.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494

    @ChrisJ - 24 SF of EDR on that existing branch. New addition is only a 10 section (20 EDR). I believe only 1 "take off" is at a 45 from the main, rest are directly on top like the picture.

    What's the reason for it needing to be at 45? Something with the return condensate mixing with through steam? just a guess.

    Yep, you want the condensate to run down the side of the main to the bottom, not drop down into live steam rushing down the pipe.

    So you want 44sqft of steam on that takeoff.
    What size pipe is it?
    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
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    Is that 1" run-out tied into the main using a reducer bushing? I doubt that you will have much luck feeding the second radiator off of that 1" run-out but if you could take that 1" run-out off, remove a busing in that existing Tee (if it is bushed down) run an 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" out to the first radiator and then tee off with 1" to each radiator, it will likely work.
    BTW, a lot of old systems have the run-outs off of the top of the mains. Not as "Safe" an approach as at a 45 degree angle but the flow of condensate, running counter to the steam, in those run-outs is slow enough that the water will just run down the side walls of the pipe anyway.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494
    Fred said:

    Is that 1" run-out tied into the main using a reducer bushing? I doubt that you will have much luck feeding the second radiator off of that 1" run-out but if you could take that 1" run-out off, remove a busing in that existing Tee (if it is bushed down) run an 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" out to the first radiator and then tee off with 1" to each radiator, it will likely work.
    BTW, a lot of old systems have the run-outs off of the top of the mains. Not as "Safe" an approach as at a 45 degree angle but the flow of condensate, running counter to the steam, in those run-outs is slow enough that the water will just run down the side walls of the pipe anyway.

    He never said anything about a 1" takeoff Fred. :)
    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
  • mookie3333
    mookie3333 Member Posts: 83
    Gentlemen, I just assumed it was a 2"x1"x2" tee- didn't even think about a bushing.

    SO the "blue" route would be the best way to go, at 45 deg.? I kind of assumed that using the existing narrow take off, and then teeing horizontally, then possibly a 90 or 45 would be too much resistance.

    May have to leave this job for spring, not sure if I want to be messing around with cutting the mains with winter coming up. Worse case, I guess I could attempt it. If I run into trouble, cap the one main and have heat on half of the house at least :#
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    @ChrisJ as I read and re-read his original post, he says it is a 1" vertical off of the main.
    My question is "Is it bushed down and can it be opened up to accommodate a 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" run?"
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542

    Gentlemen, I just assumed it was a 2"x1"x2" tee- didn't even think about a bushing.

    SO the "blue" route would be the best way to go, at 45 deg.? I kind of assumed that using the existing narrow take off, and then teeing horizontally, then possibly a 90 or 45 would be too much resistance.

    May have to leave this job for spring, not sure if I want to be messing around with cutting the mains with winter coming up. Worse case, I guess I could attempt it. If I run into trouble, cap the one main and have heat on half of the house at least :#

    Check that existing Tee. It could well be a 2'X2"X2" that has been bushed down and that would be the best path to take with a larger run-out. Putting a second run-out, right next to the one that's there is a bit of an issue, in terms of steam flow. I believe the run-outs should be a few feet apart. Not sure what the recommended distance is. One of the Pro's on here will advise.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494
    Fred said:

    @ChrisJ as I read and re-read his original post, he says it is a 1" vertical off of the main.
    My question is "Is it bushed down and can it be opened up to accommodate a 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" run?"

    Some how I missed that on the first one.......
    If that's 1", I doubt it can handle 44sqft, I'd want an 1 1/4" for that.
    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
  • RomanGK_26986764589
    RomanGK_26986764589 Member Posts: 229
    edited October 2016

    Guys,
    I have a one pipe steam system. Want to add a radiator to heat an extension that was previously unheated. Wanted to know which of 2 routes was the best way to get steam off of the main. Instead of typing up a long explanation, please see the attached photo.

    Basically, is it better to go directly off the main? Or should I tee/union in off of an existing 1" vertical , off of the main? Obviously, it would be easier to work with the 1" pipe than the 2". Also not sure if the 1" has the capacity to supply 2 rads at the same time.

    Thanks for the help. Also, I'm aware about the asbestos.


    1'' can handle 25 EDR. 1-1/4 can handle up to 55 EDR. So 1-1/4 directly off the main at 45 would be better. If it's only 20 EDR rad than 1" directly off the main would suffice.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,502
    edited October 2016
    ChrisJ said:

    How many sqft of EDR is the radiator connected to that run out?

    That take off should also be installed with a 45 at the top coming off of the main at an angle, not directly off the top.

    Correct, assuming it is a one-piper, Deadmen didn't make mistakes often. Because it's coming off at a 90º, he might have 2-pipe steam. Then he can forget the 45.

    And yes, you need a new take-off from the main.

    You also need a Ridgid 700 :)
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,416
    The 90 degree takeoff, while not ideal, isn't necessarily a mistake. Done this way, you can expect a 5% decrease in system capacity. Also, I find the 65R is great for threading in place.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494
    I love my 65R-TC.
    Of course, @RI_SteamWorks it takes a real man to use one of them........... :p

    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
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,502
    ChrisJ said:

    I love my 65R-TC.
    Of course, @RI_SteamWorks it takes a real man to use one of them........... :p

    You forgot one adjective. It takes a real young man to use them :p
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    b_bz
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,502

    The 90 degree takeoff, while not ideal, isn't necessarily a mistake. Done this way, you can expect a 5% decrease in system capacity. Also, I find the 65R is great for threading in place.

    Hey, being a devoutly religious man, I only know what's in the bible: Holohan 9:122
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    Sailah
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,416
    That is in the bible :wink:
  • mookie3333
    mookie3333 Member Posts: 83
    @RI_SteamWorks - It's 1 pipe for sure. All of the takeoffs are 90, except for 1 that's at 45.

    I may not even touch this job until spring - the "extension" it will heat is leaps and bounds more insulated than the rest of the house. After heat is kicking for a few hours, it's not even noticeably cooler in that room. Then again, it hasn't really dropped below 45 degrees yet.

    Just wanted to have an idea what to do - I think I know what to do now. Thanks guys.
  • mookie3333
    mookie3333 Member Posts: 83

    ChrisJ said:

    How many sqft of EDR is the radiator connected to that run out?

    That take off should also be installed with a 45 at the top coming off of the main at an angle, not directly off the top.

    Correct, assuming it is a one-piper, Deadmen didn't make mistakes often. Because it's coming off at a 90º, he might have 2-pipe steam. Then he can forget the 45.

    And yes, you need a new take-off from the main.

    You also need a Ridgid 700 :)
    Why do I need a threader? Why can't i cut/break/collapse that section of pipe at each fitting and thread into with new pipe/union?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494

    ChrisJ said:

    How many sqft of EDR is the radiator connected to that run out?

    That take off should also be installed with a 45 at the top coming off of the main at an angle, not directly off the top.

    Correct, assuming it is a one-piper, Deadmen didn't make mistakes often. Because it's coming off at a 90º, he might have 2-pipe steam. Then he can forget the 45.

    And yes, you need a new take-off from the main.

    You also need a Ridgid 700 :)
    Why do I need a threader? Why can't i cut/break/collapse that section of pipe at each fitting and thread into with new pipe/union?
    Yes,
    Assuming you can get nipples the right length, and or have someone else do the threading.

    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: 15,494

    ChrisJ said:

    How many sqft of EDR is the radiator connected to that run out?

    That take off should also be installed with a 45 at the top coming off of the main at an angle, not directly off the top.

    Correct, assuming it is a one-piper, Deadmen didn't make mistakes often. Because it's coming off at a 90º, he might have 2-pipe steam. Then he can forget the 45.

    And yes, you need a new take-off from the main.

    You also need a Ridgid 700 :)
    I'm sorry but I have to respond to this.
    The deadmen made tons of mistakes all of the time.

    Bullheaded tees, no headers, no equalizer or hartfort loop (after it was introduced of course). Grossly oversized boilers, grossly oversized radiation. Lack of main vents etc.

    There were absolutely tons of mistakes just like today. Perhaps far less with steam, but that's because it was the known technology just as forced air is now.

    Yes, older boilers got by without a header but it was't correct even back then and those mains tied together with a bullhead tee works, but it wasn't correct then and it's not correct now.

    Sorry, but the deadmen weren't flawless, far from it.
    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
    RomanGK_26986764589
  • mookie3333
    mookie3333 Member Posts: 83
    @ChrisJ - yep - it's not a problem for me to get custom cut pipe, just not on site.

    Agree about the deadmen. Also, back then, like today, there were always different grades of tradesmen (in EVERYTHING, not just steam).
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494

    @ChrisJ - yep - it's not a problem for me to get custom cut pipe, just not on site.

    Agree about the deadmen. Also, back then, like today, there were always different grades of tradesmen (in EVERYTHING, not just steam).

    And even a top shelf guy makes mistakes.
    They also cut corners at times, or make something work the best they can under the circumstances.
    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
  • mookie3333
    mookie3333 Member Posts: 83
    Speaking of dead men, I decided to take a crack at replacing my second main, after the first one gave me hell. First one wouldn't budge - heat, multiple soakings of kroil, etc. The bushing (3/4 x 1/2) broke off and I had to saw it manually with a hacksaw blade.

    Second one had a smaller bushing (1/2 x 1/4?) . Put a 24" wrench on it, and it screwed right off. Surprising.

    Anyways, my point is, why would the dead men put a 2x1/2x2 tee on this, and a 2x3/4x2 tee on the other? Granted the first main has a couple more EDR than the one with 1/2"......
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542

    Speaking of dead men, I decided to take a crack at replacing my second main, after the first one gave me hell. First one wouldn't budge - heat, multiple soakings of kroil, etc. The bushing (3/4 x 1/2) broke off and I had to saw it manually with a hacksaw blade.

    Second one had a smaller bushing (1/2 x 1/4?) . Put a 24" wrench on it, and it screwed right off. Surprising.

    Anyways, my point is, why would the dead men put a 2x1/2x2 tee on this, and a 2x3/4x2 tee on the other? Granted the first main has a couple more EDR than the one with 1/2"......

    I assume when you speak of these bushings, you are referring to locations on the main where vents are installed? I suspect someone other than the deadmen put that 1/2X1/4" bushing in at sometime over the more recent years.
  • mookie3333
    mookie3333 Member Posts: 83
    Fred said:

    Speaking of dead men, I decided to take a crack at replacing my second main, after the first one gave me hell. First one wouldn't budge - heat, multiple soakings of kroil, etc. The bushing (3/4 x 1/2) broke off and I had to saw it manually with a hacksaw blade.

    Second one had a smaller bushing (1/2 x 1/4?) . Put a 24" wrench on it, and it screwed right off. Surprising.

    Anyways, my point is, why would the dead men put a 2x1/2x2 tee on this, and a 2x3/4x2 tee on the other? Granted the first main has a couple more EDR than the one with 1/2"......

    I assume when you speak of these bushings, you are referring to locations on the main where vents are installed? I suspect someone other than the deadmen put that 1/2X1/4" bushing in at sometime over the more recent years.
    Yes.... I'm talking about at the end of the mains, where the last stretch of horizontal main elbows vertically down, and becomes the return. On each "elbow" down, there's a tapping for the vents. Bushings removed, there's a tapping of 3/4" on one, and 1/2" on the other. just wondering why the difference.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542

    Fred said:

    Speaking of dead men, I decided to take a crack at replacing my second main, after the first one gave me hell. First one wouldn't budge - heat, multiple soakings of kroil, etc. The bushing (3/4 x 1/2) broke off and I had to saw it manually with a hacksaw blade.

    Second one had a smaller bushing (1/2 x 1/4?) . Put a 24" wrench on it, and it screwed right off. Surprising.

    Anyways, my point is, why would the dead men put a 2x1/2x2 tee on this, and a 2x3/4x2 tee on the other? Granted the first main has a couple more EDR than the one with 1/2"......

    I assume when you speak of these bushings, you are referring to locations on the main where vents are installed? I suspect someone other than the deadmen put that 1/2X1/4" bushing in at sometime over the more recent years.
    Yes.... I'm talking about at the end of the mains, where the last stretch of horizontal main elbows vertically down, and becomes the return. On each "elbow" down, there's a tapping for the vents. Bushings removed, there's a tapping of 3/4" on one, and 1/2" on the other. just wondering why the difference.
    It could have been what the installer had on hand when the mains were installed. It may have been what he felt was adequate to vent that particular main. It could have been based on the size of the vents he had available. Who knows. One thing is for sure, "standardization", in terms of fittings/piping, was not a priority back in the day.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    What we call "Dead Men" mistakes seem wrong now, but may not have been an issue in the original installation.

    Slow and steady coal burners may not have benefitted from main vents, steam may not have ever shut down on a leaky building in the cold of winter. Main vents must have been an expensive item a 100 years ago. All that I have seen from that era are chrome plated brass, something special that you would not have an antler full off. (Kind of like having only one radio or phone in the house). Vents were probably the high tech item for the industry at that time. Maybe cost a days wages??

    Lack of proper headers was overcome by having a steam chest the size of a VW Bug.

    And if it had some noise you knew it was working. We have to realize the heat available before steam. Consider feeding multiple wood/coal stoves on 2 or 3 floors.

    I used to criticize old work from the 40's & 50's that was installed by handymen. Lack of materials created some very resourceful installations. The customer was just happy to not go outside in the wintertime to the outhouse, glad to have running water in the house and not have a frozen outside pump to deal with every morning. For instance my parents built a house from used material in 1941-42, every nail was recycled and for the CI joints he used concrete, as lead was scarce in those years. It is still holding today. Just don't try to move the pipe or it cracks the mortar joint.

    And someone else commented that if a steam system was a real disaster 60 to 70 years ago it eventually got torn out and replaced by hot water gravity or forced air. Of course it may have turned into a disaster by lack of education and knucklehead repairs......just like today.
    b_bz
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,494
    @JUGHNE The lack of a header was still wrong back then, just as it is now.

    Yes, the boilers with the large steam chest worked fine like that, but it was still wrong.

    Two mains tied into one riser via a bullhead tee was very wrong.
    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
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    It was wrong but, like most things, the installation of steam systems was an evolutionary process. Many people jumped on the band wagon early on and didn't benefit from the lessons learned. Some of those old steam systems replaced old gravity fed hot air. That is, in large part, why so many old homes have the pipes exposed in a corner of a room. Even done wrong, I'll bet most of those old home owners thought they died and went to heaven. :)
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    edited October 2016
    The shame is that new steam systems fell off the table after WWII because of the cost compared to forced hot air. A minitube system would be substantially less expensive o install than a typical system with rigid steel pipe.

    Asto the old boiler with huge steam chests vs newer boilers with proper headers I think it had a lot to do with those old systems running on coal. Light it off in late October and let it burn till April. That is rreally a different beast than the bang systems we have now with oil and gas fired boilers. Now if you had a modulating steam boiler coupled with a minitube delivery system . . .

    And a vacuum system to go along with it.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge