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Two pipe return

keith123
keith123 Member Posts: 103
This two pipe steam system has steam traps at each radiator.
The current near boiler piping has all the returns piped into the equalizer.
The steam main off the header actually loops around the entire basement. At first I thought there were two mains until I noticed them tied together. Off this supply loop is a tee that drops down to a wet return. This is the only return to drop below the boiler water line.

I'm inclined to repipe the boiler to install all the returns below the water line and add main vents on the ends of the returns. In addition I'd install drop headers.

Thank you fellow wet heads

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,312
    Why not post some pictures. Knowledgeable people here can help fix your problems
  • keith123
    keith123 Member Posts: 103
    The main connects to itself at the same spot, a separate tee continues then drops to the wet return.

    My thought was to perhaps disconnect the loop, install main vents at each end and drop them down like a traditional one pipe system. I just have to verify the pitch to make sure one of the mains doesn't turn into a counter-flow.

    Thank you for your thoughts.
  • keith123
    keith123 Member Posts: 103
    I've conquered many a one pipe system. I pipe my risers as high as possible. I install drop headers. I upsize my header one whole pipe size then my risers. I even install a giffords loop on each job. Here's a question. Does the near-boiler piping for a two pipe system the same as a one pipe?

    Also ,what part of my description is ambiguous?

    Thank you
  • keith123
    keith123 Member Posts: 103
    I have tons of experience with one pipe steam. Not so much with two pipe. I'm looking for help from other pros that are more experienced with two pipe.

    I am doing my own homework, but I like to learn from others as well.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,912
    Two pipe works superbly well and has a lot of advantages -- like being able to use the valves for balance or even turning the odd radiator off when you don't need it. Among other things...

    Don't convert it. What is the matter with it now? What you could do is break the looped steam main -- if it really does go both ways from the boiler and then meets off somewhere else -- to two separate mains. Put a main vent at the end of each one. Then put two equally large vents on the dry returns where they join and drop. I'd rather see it drop to the wet return, before the Hartford Loop, rather than into the equalizer. Do check the pitch on the resulting split main -- it would be much better if both mains were parallel flow, but if they aren't they aren't. If one is counterflow, though, it should have a drip to the wet return before it ties into the header. Drip if needed should be a full size T, but you can reduce on the vertical.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • keith123
    keith123 Member Posts: 103
    Thank you Jamie for co-signing some of my ideas and giving me more ideas. I feel much more confident now. Thank you. The home owner has water hammer problems and noisy pipes. I'm very methodical when assessing these beautiful steam systems.

    I now know I'm going to have to repipe the boiler and get the dry returns out of the equalizer for starters.

    Thanks again
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,912
    Water hammer? Check all your pipe pitches and also check for any low spots and sags. I'm always amazed that a nice chunk of hefty iron pipe can sag -- but it can.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • keith123
    keith123 Member Posts: 103
    These pipes definitely have pitch issues too