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Inherited Copper Pipes

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Hi all, I just purchased my first home and am going through my first winter. I've dealt with a self-inflicted flooded boiler, and some annoying water hammer. Next on my list is quieting down the air vents from gurgling and spitting (albeit, just a little), but at least my home is warm. The house was redone before I moved in, and I noticed that copper piping was used by the boiler. I've read Dan's book (We got steam heat!) and know that this is not the correct material. Does anyone have any insights into how long the copper may last, and is it worth it to try replacing immediately?

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  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,177
    edited January 2019
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    The question is, is it improperly piped? Post up a couple pics of the boiler piping. Copper is not recommended as the expansion rates are much different then the boilers cast iron, from all the expansion and contraction over the years the soldered joints could come loose and create leaks. If they utilized both risers in copper it can then create stresses on the boiler sections causing them to fail and leak.
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  • AjhDr0p
    AjhDr0p Member Posts: 3
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    Thanks for the quick reply Dave. Attached are some pictures.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,656
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    The good news is that it's threaded pipe on the steam lines from the boiler. The bad news is that it's almost all wrong... I'm not a bit surprised that you have some gurgling and spitting vents.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • AjhDr0p
    AjhDr0p Member Posts: 3
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    I'll take that good news (and wish it stopped there). Any additional info on what's wrong with the setup, or how to stop the gurgling and spitting from the vents? I've been trying to troubleshoot (the vents all seem to work, although I've just invested in a few more (Varivalve 925005-00 Adjustable Angle Vent Valve), radiators are all pitched, the water is crystal clear (except when going through a cycle).
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2019
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    Other than the water supply pipes , I don't see any copper on the STEAM related pipes.

    Hard to see, but are the elbows and Tees the copper you are talking about?
  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 722
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    > @AjhDr0p said:
    > I'll take that good news (and wish it stopped there). Any additional info on what's wrong with the setup, or how to stop the gurgling and spitting from the vents? I've been trying to troubleshoot (the vents all seem to work, although I've just invested in a few more (Varivalve 925005-00 Adjustable Angle Vent Valve), radiators are all pitched, the water is crystal clear (except when going through a cycle).

    The near boiler piping couldn't be better set up to get wet steam into your system. That's the most likely reason you hear gurgling. It needs to be repiped to at least what the install manual recommends. You can do it yourself, if you're feeling up for it
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two