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Is REPIPING necessary?

OK, I'm hoping this will be my last post for a while.

But I've gotten far enough into WE GOT STEAM HEAT that I hauled out the installation manual for my Slant/Fin TR-40 boiler, and discovered a few odd things.

1) First, as you can see from the attached manual diagram, I'm pretty sure the header is supposed to be at a minimum of 18" above the top surface of the boiler, but the header is only about 11" above the top.

Second, I think the diagram says the short riser to the header, and the header, should be 3" pipe. I'm no professional, but I'm pretty sure both of those (see attached) are 2" pipe.

ALSO, the header (and the riser to the mains) are made of copper. Shouldn't they be iron,

Lastly, you can see in the main picture of the piping that the three mains all diverge from a riser that runs a few inches horizontally off the header and then turns upward. Does that match what the diagram indicates, or is that incorrectly piped, as others have suggested before?

2) In other corners of the basement, I have found no fewer than three different faucets attached to condensate returns near the ends of different mains (also pictured). Is this some kind of strange-but-not-uncommon hand-operated version of a main vent? Did some doofus just install these when the main vents failed 15 years before I bought the house? Or is there some other reason to be able to tap the returns?

3) I live in the Hudson Valley, near Tarrytown, NY. Can anyone recommend a first-rate steam man who has the interest, and the patience, to closely examine and diagnose a cranky old tangle of pipes and radiators such as mine?

Thanks to all the kind souls who tolerate my questions,

ted





Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,422
    Is there an equalizer at the end of the header, after the connection to the main(s)? If there is none, and just a connection up to the main, I would be worried about excessive water being carried up into the mains, and the radiators.
    The risers and header from the boiler should be 3 inch iron pipe. The dialectic union may be a source of leakage later, as its gasket is probably not rated for steam temperatures.—NBC
  • SteaminTed
    SteaminTed Member Posts: 16
    edited January 2018
    Hi, NBC!

    Yes, at the back end of the header an equalizer drops down to meet the wet return. There is a Hartford Loop.

    t
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    - Any piping above the boiler water line should be black iron, whatever diameter the Installation manual calls for , at a minimum. No bushing should be used in the tapping out of the boiler.
    - Faucets at the end of each return is not, in any way a vent. While unconventional, someone may have put them there so that a garden hose could be attached, the valves opened and water run though the dry returns as well as the wet retuns to flush the entire return system out. Is there a shut-off valve in or before the Hartford loop that can be shut off to prevent crud from being washed into the boiler?
    - Most manuals require the Header to be at least 24" above the Normal Boiler water level. If yours is, that height is probably okay.
    - Each Main should drop into the header. Taking one riser up and tying two or three mains together is not desirable, especially with only one riser out of the boiler.
  • SteaminTed
    SteaminTed Member Posts: 16
    Hey Fred, thank you! Wet return pictured here (closer shot on Hartford loop). I don't think there's any shutoff in the wet return for crud prevention...

    t


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,319
    Yes, that piping is way too small. The Intrepid series has a 3" steam outlet so water won't be drawn up with the steam. Reducing it like that causes wet steam, reduced efficiency and possible banging.

    Here's a video of a properly piped Intrepid, taken with an infrared camera. This one has a gas burner instead of an oil burner. You can see how the steam distributes through the header:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/161736/flir-video-of-slant-fin-intrepid-boiler-fired-with-carlin-ez-gas-burner
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    SteaminTed
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    That Hartford loop is way, way too high. well above the boi;ler water line. There has to be some hammer in the return .
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,319
    I’ll be installing an intrepid w/ Beckett gas gun tomorrow. I’ll be sure to take pictures!
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 165
    Fred said:

    - Any piping above the boiler water line should be black iron, whatever diameter the Installation manual calls for , at a minimum. No bushing should be used in the tapping out of the boiler.
    ...

    I have a similar situation to this but my Peerless 63-04 calls for a bushing to reduce the tapping from 3" to 2-1/2". Installer just put in 3" nipple, with 19" A dimension and short header that then ties into copper via a reducer and on to the mains. I've been wondering if re-piping would work with the 3" for the header and if so what to reduce it to at the equalizer. It would be out of spec at 3" and with no bushing. I'll need a pro on it when the weather calms down.

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    The manual provides a "Minimum" requirement. A 3" riser out of the boiler poses no problem at all. The equalizer should be a minimum of 1.5" but if it's 2", that's fine also. Just make sure the reduction for the equalizer, occurs on the vertical and not on the horizontal of the Header. The copper up to the mains, not so good but it can wait until it starts to leak. Hopefully he didn't reduce that pipe to something smaller than the main??
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 165
    Looks like the same as the main, but from what I've picked up on this board and elsewhere since this last heating season I can see it's all wrong now and it makes alot sense why in the beginning I had spitting main vent and regular water hammer right after startup. I've been babying it these last few weeks with the single digit temps it's working well enough but I wonder if I'm using double the fuel I would be otherwise.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,513
    Start a new thread and Post some pictures. Let's see what you have.
  • Dan_NJ
    Dan_NJ Member Posts: 165
    I definitely will get a good set uploaded in a day or two, going to count sheep right now but they're coming soon :) thanks
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