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Dead men piping?

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Changed a valve for a buddy and when I went down into the boiler room to release pressure and turn off unit, I noticed some questionable piping.

if we saw someone pipe a new boiler like this we would all Gawk!

I guess they knew the system would run on such low pressure, it didn’t matter about the bullheads and funky equalizer?

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,889
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    That boiler had a huge steam chest so you could get away with piping like that, and it would work fine.

    Betcha the stack temp is pretty high though, unless someone's baffled it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,426
    edited February 2019
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    And never discount the fact that you couldn’t fix stupid back then either :wink:
    1Matthias
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    Might be wrong by todays standards but pipe a new boiler perfect and it wont last as long as that one has
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,426
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    It was wrong by 1920 standards too @EBEBRATT-Ed, but I agree it sure will last longer than anything we’ll put it.
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    The reality is that big pipes and big steam chests make life one hell of a lot easier. There is simply no way that 10% better fuel efficiency comes anywhere close to making up for the additional annual cost of the much shorter lifespans of today's boilers.

    Higher all in annual costs and more headaches. Same with scorched air. Come to think of it, same with roofs and refrigerators too. But wait, I keep hearing technology is improving things. Maybe for somebody, but clearly not the homeowner. That nut is getting harder to crack not easier. Younger folks are going to be increasingly pissed at us - with good reason.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    I went to an open house in Montclair, NJ yesterday and there was a boiler that looked somewhat similar to this. Is this a "snowman" design that I have read about?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,889
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    No- a snowman is a round boiler covered in asbestos.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    ethicalpaul
  • SeanBeans
    SeanBeans Member Posts: 520
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    @ethicalpaul you going to open houses for fun....?



    I’ve been guilty
    ethicalpaulCanuckercnjamros
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    Think that 1 of the reasons some jobs with lousy piping actually work is because the boilers are way oversized.

    Think of this. The only steam going through the header and the distribution piping is whatever the radiation will condense. You cant force more steam through than that.

    The boiler output may be double, triple what the system can condense. So an oversized boiler may have undersized piping for THAT boiler but be large enough to handle the system load
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    Makes sense, @EBEBRATT-Ed , but that would only apply after all radiators were shut to new steam, right? So that is potentially a lot of time where the bad piping could be at play
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    If the pipes are much bigger than "required" the details become less and less important. I have an old oversize boiler with a big steam chest and 4 inch header with a bull head tee in it and no equalizer. Makes no difference. It provides slow moving dry steam just fine.

    As you reduce the size of the boiler down to the absolute minimum you can get away with how critical the piping details are increases exponentially. Everything is then closer to the edge. Seems to me like a lot more ongoing angst over the life of the system for no good reason. It seems fairly obvious that the dead men always decided to skip the angst and spend the up front money for extra for the added benefit to all those who came after.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    @ethicalpaul

    Say you have a boiler rated for 800 edr but you only have 400 edr of radiation installed. So the installer does a **** job piping it and doesn't follow the mfg recommendations. Everything is wrong, not enough risers, small header. Then piping is undersized for the800 edr boiler.

    BUT

    The piping is large enough for the 400 edr radiation load. The flow through the piping is only what it needs to be to support 400 edr because the radiation can't condense more than that and because of that it works. Doesn't matter how large the boiler is....it depends on system load.

    Now if you install a 400edr boiler for a 400 edr load it has to be piped correctly to work
    ethicalpaul