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dropped and oversized headers
I have installed many steam boilers over the past 12- 15 years. I almost always use Burnham. We use one 2" riser with a 2" header for an IN4 through IN6 and 2 2" risers with 3" or 4" header for 7-12 depending on what size the mains are. This method meets the manufacturers specifications. If it is a commercial boiler we install whatever size header and number of risers is specified in the manual. We don't install a dropped header unless we can't get the height that we need or sometimes customers ask for it. We never have problems with noise, spitting vents, etc. I notice almost all of the very knowledge steam pros that are on this site oversize the header, use two risers even when not required, and install dropped headers. I'm just wondering how much of a difference it makes. If I'm piping it according to the specs, properly venting the systems, getting dry steam, and everything is working do I really need to do it? There is a pretty big price difference between 2" CI fittings and 3", it's more labor, it's more/bigger threading equipment to set up, it takes a lot longer to thread, and we are already trying to compete with installers that have no idea how to pipe a steam boiler to begin with. We are almost always the highest bid. What will I notice different if I start doing it this way? It just seems like overkill, especially on smaller boilers. I did an IN4 with two risers and a 3" dropped header for a customer because that's what he wanted and it works great. It doesn't seem to work any better than any other system I have worked on or installed though. What am I missing?