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New drop header

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delta T
delta T Member Posts: 884
edited February 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
Just finished building my 3" drop header for a replacement/upgrade on an interesting old system.

This is a rather unique replacement and I have a couple of questions for the steamheads.

The house was originally two houses, the original house is from the 1860's, then the next door house was turn of the century, then the two houses were tied together into one house. Lets call the 1860s house House 'A', and the later house 'B' for the sake of clarity. House B has the boiler, and there is a small tunnel between the two where one 2" main and dry return was run to A. B has an original Trane vapor system with double orificed 90's on the outlets of the rads. We will be removing the orificed 90's and installing condensate traps on all of these rads. Because of height restarints we will have to install a condensate receiver so there will not be any vents except for the receiver vent. There are some questionable tie-ins to this system to serve some Trane convectors in the bridge between the two houses, these will be corrected. My main question is this: The 2" main that serves A has good pitch, proper radiator takeoffs, good dry return with proper pitch coming back after the F&T, but the main is well below the boiler's water line (House A is about 4' lower than B). I am doing a drop header (obviously, pic attached) and will have nice dry steam. Are there any considerations I should take into account? I have attached a rough sketch of the relevant piping for the old boiler (in a pit) and the new boiler location and roughly how I plan on piping it. Any problems that I am not seeing? Just seems so counter-intuitive to tie into a main so low, but I can't find anything that will go wrong in my mind's eye.

Input appreciated and updates will come as we get rocking on this. Thanks in advance!







Comments

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    Just keep your pressure as low as possible and see how it goes. Nice work, bro. Mad Dog
    delta T
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    Keep us apprised. Mad Dog
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
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    Thanks!

    Thats my goal, I'm aiming for ounces, pressure drop shouldn't be an issue so I think I will be fine. This is one of those jobs where the previous contractor ordered the boiler, and got paid for it, delivered it to the job, then did not go any further. Surprisingly enough the boiler is sized almost perfectly, so that will help me keep the pressure low. I will post pics as it progresses.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,000
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    I'd look at putting the new boiler down in the pit where the old one is, that way you'd have enough height for the "A" main and you wouldn't need the condensate receiver.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    delta Tethicalpaul
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
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    nice looking so far!
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

    delta T
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,801
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    It’s problely just me but I like cast iron fittings for steam...
    delta T
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
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    @Steamhead Believe me we did, but the dimensions of the hole just wont allow it. We looked at every which way and tried our best to find some way to fit it in the pit, have room for the piping, and still maintain any clearance for service and it is just not going to happen. It was an old snowman boiler originally, and the return tie-in was actually in a 3" deep depression chipped out of the side of the pit. The most we could figure on was having about 10" in front of the boiler for service in a 4.5' deep hole.

    Any advice for using the reciever other than having a valve on the outlet of the pump to temper the flow (as per LAOSH recomendation)?
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
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    @j a I've tried to get someone down here to stock them or have any interest in ordering them, but it just isn't happening, wish I could.

    We recently moved our business to a small town and the battle of getting material down here is a big one.
    j a_2
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    @delta T looks like your good to go to me. Nice job
    delta T
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,429
    edited February 2018
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    How inconceivable is it to make the pit bigger? I’m with @Steamhead 100% on this. Think long term.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    There's what you want, and then there's what you get. I'll always go out of my way to get Steam fittings, but when I can't I'm not gonna go MAD over it. The several that I have done down in a pit were like slipping your size 10 foot in a size nine shoe and the old Officers Quarters I did up in Sea Ciiff (Steamhead would remember) was in the center of the home with the rooms built right around it. I'm talking beautiful raised panel walls and mouldings, so expanding the pit wasn't happenin! I learned on that job how close you could push it with your "dimensions", a super clean boiler, and ounces of vapor. Mad Dog
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
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    making the pit bigger is not an option as one edge is foundation wall, and the other carries the weight of another beam. expanding the pit would require some extensive structural renovation.

    As far as fittings go, what do you guys think I can expect for problems using black vs CI? I know that CI is better and longer lived, but if the system is installed correctly, does not take on fresh water, what would the problems actually be?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    Malleable fittings are fine I prefer them myself. Cast Iron has 1 advantage:

    you can bust them apart with two hammers (we have sawzalls now) and 2 disadvantage: you need bigger wrenches and the wrenches sometimes slip on CI.

    My advise, stay out of the pit. Pits hold water and bad things can happen like flooding, difficulty of accessing the boiler to work on it and a rusting boiler jacket.

    Nothing wrong with a well maintained condensate pump
    delta T
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    I like Cast Iron for one reason:
    (To Paraphrase Dano) Using Malleable [insert whatever item here] is like wearing white sneakers with a tuxedo! Ha ha. I just like the thick, chunky, Sherman tank Thickness
    AND aesthetics of C.I. Do I use Black Mall. In a pinch? Of course
    Even galvanized on a no heat emergency. Mad Dog
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    LOL,
    I know how to end this discussion. Malleable fittings have a higher steam rating 150# versus 125# for cast iron. Also less likely to have a "sand hole" in a malleable fitting.

    Also caps and unions, reducing couplings (usually) and couplings are malleable , not cast iron and malleable fittings can be cut out with a torch. And left over cast iron fittings can't be used on gas.

    Inventory reduction

    Besides, who cares?

    LOL

    delta T
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,429
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    Those are the best points I’ve ever heard you make @EBEBRATT-Ed :wink:
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    We all have our preferences, and then we look through the box from the supply house and INSTALL it. Hey Ed, you coming to the Big Ugh? Mad Dog
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,829
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    @Mad Dog ,no unfortunately I can't make it. Too bad. @Danny Scully low pressure steam I don't care about malleable versus iron LOL I just felt like playing defense attorney or prosecutor for a while.

    It's hard enough to get the installers to read the manual and pipe it right!
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,241
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    Exactly, materials are the least of the problems out there! Mad Dog