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large steam threaded piping

Paul S_3
Paul S_3 Member Posts: 1,257
i was giving an estimate in the Bronx NYC yesterday to replace a boiler. Boiler there was 1.8MBH..... i was taking a look at the system piping and i came across these steam mains. i thought you guys would enjoy. i measured the circumference of the steel nipple it was 30 inches.... i could be a little off. i think these are 8 inch threaded steam mains? there's a 20 ft length of straight pipe. crazy what the dead men did. they want me yo go back to check out another problem ill try to get more pics
ASM Mechanical Company
Located in Staten Island NY
Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
[email protected]


  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,221
    That's impressive. No doubt they were proud of the work they were doing.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,992
    8" would be 27" and 10 would be 33". but it's big whatever it is.

    Think back to when these buildings were built. Cars and trucks and electricity weren't even common.

    From what I have been told, they put strings up where they wanted their pipe runs and took all the measurements they could. Then most of the pipe was apparently cut and threaded at their shop where they had power.

    probably hauled the pipe and fittings with a horse and wagon.

    As I understand it welding didn't really get started until WWI and it was many years after that before it was in widespread use.

    Sure wish and old timer was around to tell the story.

    I would have loved to see how they installed it and what they had for tools, trucks and rigging
  • Wrap35
    Wrap35 Member Posts: 1
    How would you like to swing that pipe wrench, talk about Mr. MANLY
  • WayneMech
    WayneMech Member Posts: 53
    Way out here in Peoria, there is a building that was built in, I believe 1886. 20 years ago, it still had a 12" threaded steam main running along the basement ceiling, still hauling steam. It may still be in use. As a young apprentice, I was awed by what could be done without all the technology we enjoy today. I guess I still am.
  • Mike
    Mike Member Posts: 94
    Swing the pipe wrench? How about picking it up.
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,221
    If you forgot to figure in the thread sealant in the job cost, you'd be bankrupt.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,689
    Imagine screwing all that together, then when you're all done, having a leak. Perfection wasn't an option
  • Gordo
    Gordo Member Posts: 797
    That massively huge main, and it is vented by only one Gorton #1?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
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    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 492
    I would be willing to bet that they used hardwood cribbing or railroad ties to raise the pipe into position one layer at a time until they were close enough to use hardwood wedges to lift the pipe section up in place for the steam mains.

    Is this pipe using the 8 NPT schedule 80 pipe?
  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 181
    Takes me back to my days at the old Eaton store here in Winnipeg when I was 19 and a steamfitters helper. They had a machine from 1896 that cut and threaded up to 10 inch. We had a welder on staff but they believed screwed was better because you take it apart for repair. The first job I did was screwed six inch I still remember doing chin ups on the chain bar trying to screw that pipe in and big Stan telling me go for it lad its moving.The water mains were thity inch flanged pipe 30 inch diameter and all the elevators were water. In the day of horses the stables were on the second floor and the horse elevators were water powered. It is so cold here in the winter they had to be on the second floor so they were warm. That was forty six years ago and it was something I have not done since. All the best from Canada
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,992
    @leonz, that pipe would be schedule #40.

    Schedule 40 pipe can be used even on high pressure steam (above 15psi) depending on the temperature/pressure of the steam.

    As the temperature and pressure is raised the switch is made to schedule 80, depends on weather steam is saturated or superheated and other factors

    Condensate on commercial job is where schedule 80 is commonaly used
  • Paul S_3
    Paul S_3 Member Posts: 1,257
    I once saw a threaded fitting down the block from this job that the threaded pipe was at least double the circumference of this one.....I'm thinking it was around 16 inch threaded.... @Gordo in NYC that's a lot of venting most mains don't even have vents...
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    [email protected]
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,564
    There is the advantage of a vacuum system-let the air escape in autumn, and keep it out for the rest of the winter!.—NBC
    Paul S_3
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,046
    In '70 when I began my apprenticeship with Local 109 out of Ithaca, NY I was up in the attic of a defunct company, American Warming and Ventilating in Elmira. They had 8, 10 and 12" dies. I took one look at those and went to the welding classes;) What do you think the reduction gears on something like that would be. "Hey, good kid, it moved and 1/8 of an inch..."
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    As an apprentice in the late 80s, we had to do some repair and replace some sections of 12" screw pipe, fire line in The bowels of Rockefeller
    Center. Our foreman John, an old Navy man sketched it out, cut and threaded out at a big Mechanical contracting shop in Hicksville.
    We did the shut down & replacement late at night. Being 19, strong and eager , one of the younger mechanics and I were elected to catch the first tee. Lots of quick wick and a whole can of real stuff. We were also 30 feet in the air...no harnesses, hardhats or sissy stuff like that..straddling the pipe like a cowboy .ha ha... John's measurements were perfect and although the tee was cumbersome, it went right together. We used.a Big A-- Ridgid compound wrench and ancient 6 foot chain tongs with cheaters on them. It was slow going, but no leaks! I learned from The best men in the business. Brutal taskmasters, until you earned THEIR respect. Today, it's the other way around. R.I.P John Nolan and Jimmy O'Brien....they were Deadman while they were living! Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    steamhousePaul S_3CLamb