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Finally did my drop header

I had planned on this for several years and I finally got the time and ambition. The boiler was installed in 2011 and the plumber did a quicky job on the near boiler piping. The result was loads of carry-over water and serious water hammer. So I bought a used Ridgid pipe threader tool set, a pipe vise, and all the fittings. I unscrewed all the pipes and I needed my Ridgid compound wrench for many that were badly rusted. Quite a few were able to be re-used and I bought all the rest new. I used Dan's books and the posters here to design a drop header that would dry out the steam yet conform to my existing main piping and the tight space limitations. I used flanges at the boiler exits and in the middle of the header, and swing joints where I connected to the mains, to allow for expansion/contraction. While Dan says you need at least 24" in the "A" dimension, he wrote you should go "as high as possible" so I went for 48". I used both 2" exits on the boiler to slow the velocity and expanded to 3" at the header. The two main take-offs then again climb 24" up to the mains. I used plenty of strap steel supports as these pipes are pretty heavy. I used Permatex anti-seize on all the threads in case I needed to take any apart later. The anti-seize worked great as a thread lubricant and the pipes sealed so well, not a single leak. Now my steam is dry and the system is working better than I even expected. Thanks Dan! You were absolutely right! Many thanks to the posters who contributed pics and ideas about drop headers. See before and after pics.



  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,412
    Thyat's a great job, it should be a big improvement over what you had.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,287
    Beautiful. Ever think of switching careers?

    Now all you need is better main vents- I think I see an old Dole on that return line.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Oldslowandugly
    Oldslowandugly Member Posts: 37
    Thanks Bob- it was a big job for me but the system is working great now. Steamhead- I'm a retired mailman so, I'm done with having to be anywhere. But I do love to play with cars, boats, plumbing and electrical stuff. I'm never bored! Yes that is an older-than-me Dole Quick Vent on each of the dry returns. They still work so I left them there. I did put a 3/4" manifold on each of the two mains right after the last take-off. On each manifold there are two Maid-O-Mist #1 main vents and the system is very balanced. While correcting the pipe pitch a rusted T fitting broke. Water had pooled and rusted it out. I found that rusted pipe feeding two problematic radiators on two different floors so I cut out the bad pipes and gave each radiator it's own feed. Now the main pipes are pitched correctly those radiators get hot properly. I followed Dan's books and every single thing worked out just like he said it would.

  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
    From a pictorial perspective it appears you did all that work with one screw driver, some Whirley pop popcorn and three cases of Stegmaier Porter. Not bad,
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,851
    I like the fishing rods above.........and the Stegmaier. Good job. like many of us have said it's not rocket science.

    Your a homeowner who took the time to read and you figured it out.

    Why can't we get all the Professional?? installers doing this for a living to sit down and read the install manual??

    Cause they can't read or their lazy.

  • Hitzkup
    Hitzkup Member Posts: 63
    Nice Job Done, thinking like a mailman, now everything - steam and condensate - gets delivered quickly and efficiently to the right address.
  • Oldslowandugly
    Oldslowandugly Member Posts: 37
    Thanks guys. I could not have done it without researching on this site and Dan's books. When I looked at the instructions that the installer had not followed- there were two options. I went with the drop header. Oh, and the Stegmaier played a BIG part!