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How would you handle this?

A long time ago this takeoff was plugged, radiator and pipe removed. Now there is a need for another radiator in the same general area but the takeoff is now pointing in the wrong direction. There is not enough room to add elbows and pipe it in the other direction while maintaining pitch. If it could be swung around 1/4 turn it would point to the new radiator location perfectly. With the 2" main being tapered thread I am assuming the downstream pipe is already screwed in tightly. What are my chances of being able to swing that "T" a 1/4 additional turn? I have a Rigid compound wrench and room to swing it. My fear is forcing those threads and breaking something. I would prefer not to cut the main, turn the "T", and add a union downstream, if I could avoid it. The easiest way I can see is to use the dry return line hanging below the main. That line already has a union 5 feet away upstream. It would be a simple matter to cut the dry return, add a "T", and shorten the pipe going back to the union. It is hanging about 3" below the main and I could pipe that takeoff right up to where the main's takeoff is now. Is it advisable to feed a small radiator from a dry return line? It would be about 10 feet downstream from the last regular takeoff and the supply main vents and about 15 feet from the boiler, which also has a main vent. Here is a pic of the fitting and the dry return below. I have been oiling it up. The fitting is pointing up 45 degrees and needs to be swung towards the camera 90 degrees in the opposite direction.

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,891
    A dry return is never supposed to have steam in it... so I'm not sure how you would be planning to get steam to the radiator?

    Do you have enough headroom to put a 90 on that T, a close nipple, and a 45 and come off towards the camera that way?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Oldslowandugly
    Oldslowandugly Member Posts: 37
    No, there is a gas pipe and several water pipes in the way. There is an original main vent at the end of the dry return back at the boiler. Steam has to go there to close the vent, yes? Even though my return is not insulated and condensate would be flowing, why would there not be steam in the return?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,891
    A dry return is -- or should be -- isolated from the steam supply by the radiator traps and the crossover traps (if any)(if there are no crossover traps, then there are vents at the ends of the steam mains, but no other connection from the steam mains to the dry return),

    The vent at the boiler on the dry return has to be there to let the air out of the dry return when the air is pushed out of the radiators by the steam, through the traps. In most two pipe systems, steam never gets there -- it shouldn't, except on some vapour type systems and then only in odd circumstances -- and the vent never does close.

    Now, having said all that, some two pipe steam systems (and many one pipe systems) have the main(s) continue all the way back around to the boiler, with vents there.

    To be sure which you really have, you need to look at how the steam mains connect to the dry returns, if they do.

    I might add that if that pipe really is a dry return, and not some odd continuation of a steam main back to the boiler, and if it does have steam in it, you have at least one bad trap somewhere...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,300
    A dry return will always have steam if it is 1 pipe, two pipe with traps no steam in a dry return. You can't spin that tee your going to loosen one thread and tighten the other, it will probably break the fitting. Cut a chunk of pipe out, smash the old tee out and put in a union. You only have to cut 1 thread.

    a dry return in one pipe is just an extension of the main. If it's large enough you could feed a radiator off it. Check the size
    MilanD
  • Oldslowandugly
    Oldslowandugly Member Posts: 37
    edited November 2016
    My bad, it is one pipe, no traps, with a main vent at the end originally, another added by me after the last takeoff, so, the return would have steam. The main is 2" and the return is 1-1/4". The return gets as hot as a radiator so I leave it bare to heat the basement. The missing takeoff is reduced down to 1" so that is what would go to my new radiator. I admit I was looking to get away as easy as possible now that heating season is upon us. But after looking at it again I think I should cut the main and rotate the fitting. It will fit better and be a cleaner job. I've done it but I don't like threading pipe in the air. I would need to unscrew the cut main pipe from the next fitting down stream and thread it on my bench. Arrrgh- once again the hard way is the right way.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,415
    How far away is the radiator from the main, and what size is the radiator?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,300
    I know threading 2" in the air isn't fun but it may be preferable to taking it down.
  • Oldslowandugly
    Oldslowandugly Member Posts: 37
    edited November 2016
    Yeah, I've done it often, but it is not easy. The next fitting is about 6' away, so it's not all that much to unscrew. I just hate disturbing 100 year old pipes. The new radiator will be about 6' from the main. It is small, about 14" long x 20" high x 4.5" wide, 4 thin columns per section, inlet is 1-1/4". Good news though, I got the capped elbow off and I think if I can get the reducer fitting off the "T" I can get another critical inch of play. I think I can pipe it back in the right direction with elbows and miss the gas pipe. I'll have to work at it- no room to swing a big wrench.
  • Oldslowandugly
    Oldslowandugly Member Posts: 37
    Done! By using street bend elbows I saved enough room to clear the gas pipe and still have plenty of pitch in the takeoff. After that all I needed to do was build a swing joint at the end where it turned and went up through the floor. I power washed the radiator and painted it with white Rustoleum. Looks like new. Now if I can find a cover that small I'll be golden. Thanks for the input guys!