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Main Venting and Wet Return Plans. Thoughts?

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fxrgrunt
fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
One pipe system. At the end of my mains I have the typical Ts where the main vents were mounted on top at the end of the lines. I have since updated my main venting to antlers with Gorton 2s. I understand that the main vent location is not ideal due to the possibility of water hammer destroying the vents. I am pondering (after heating season of course) about cracking the Ts on the end and adding a new T with main vent on top, then a 15 inch nipple, then elbow going down to wet returns on each. At the bottom of both wet returns before they become one I was thinking to add isolation valves on both lines with hose bib attachments. Then after they have connected at the floor add another isolation valve with clean outs to give me access to all of the wet return for cleaning. I drew a diagram and I'm curious if you guys think this would be worth it? Thanks!


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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
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    My opinion? That would be overkill. I presume your antlers are like the sketch, but mounted like the vents in the photos?

    My logic is this: if you have a water hammer at that location sufficient to get a solid slug of water up into your antler to damage a vent, you have a problem. And the problem isn't the location of the vents. Should this seem to be happening, I'd attack the problem -- not the symptom.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgrunt
    fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
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    My opinion? That would be overkill. I presume your antlers are like the sketch, but mounted like the vents in the photos?

    My logic is this: if you have a water hammer at that location sufficient to get a solid slug of water up into your antler to damage a vent, you have a problem. And the problem isn't the location of the vents. Should this seem to be happening, I'd attack the problem -- not the symptom.

    Jamie,

    My antlers are below which I believe you have commented on. The one on left (with the two Gortons) doesn't seem to have enough pitch so I plan to make into a Menorah on Thursday when I have off. I do not believe I am getting crazy water hammer but I did want to work on my wet returns anyways on the next off season. I keep seeing how the way mine is piped is wrong or at best not ideal regarding the main vents but if is not something I need to do then it makes sense to avoid it. I do need to remove those 1/4 reducer bushings and atleast run it 1/2 inch right out of the T when I have a chance. I am not sure how difficult it will be to take those old reducers out. I appreciate your input.





  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    @fxrgrunt

    You have plenty of room between the two return lines to crack both tees off and put new tees on with the branch pointing up with the vents on the new tees (just like your sketch). Use the longest nipples you have and raise the vents as high as possible.

    When you turn down use a full size elbow drop down 6" with a full size nipple and then reduce.

    As far as the valves go if you think you need to flush the returns then add the valves. I would put a valve on each riser as soon as you reduce and put a hose bib valve on a tee under that valve then you can flush from the boiler end

    Is all this overkill? Probably. If you keep the pressure low and your vents don't spit water as is your fine.

    But if you repipe you might as well do it right.

    How is your system running? Go by the symptoms your having
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgrunt
    fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
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    @fxrgrunt

    You have plenty of room between the two return lines to crack both tees off and put new tees on with the branch pointing up with the vents on the new tees (just like your sketch). Use the longest nipples you have and raise the vents as high as possible.

    When you turn down use a full size elbow drop down 6" with a full size nipple and then reduce.

    As far as the valves go if you think you need to flush the returns then add the valves. I would put a valve on each riser as soon as you reduce and put a hose bib valve on a tee under that valve then you can flush from the boiler end

    Is all this overkill? Probably. If you keep the pressure low and your vents don't spit water as is your fine.

    But if you repipe you might as well do it right.

    How is your system running? Go by the symptoms your having

    I need new near boiler piping for sure to completely dry out my steam as I know I am getting some wet steam and the first radiator off the mains vent keeps clogging with water. I spoke with Charles Garrity and he may be able to come out mid-November to help me with that. Its something I would attempt myself if not right before winter. But I would rather have it done right and he seems like a great stand up guy who knows what he is doing. Once that is done then I can re-evaluate where I am at. I do believe the one antler I have is not pitched enough and is letting water sit in the antler piping which as stated previously I will change out this Thursday to a menorah to try to mitigate that.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
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    Perhaps because I am considered old and my shoulder hurts from using pipe wrenches, I approach this maybe an easier way.

    Yes, a 3/4" full size drain port on the wet return at the boiler is needed. Isolation valve on riser to Hartford Loop also.

    Then, remove the air vents. Hoping that the opening is at least 1/2", I would take a garden hose with a control valve and a length of 1/2" OD copper and stick the copper in down the open port of where the vent was.

    With the drain valve open at the boiler, hopefully going to a floor drain, and the isolation valve to HL closed, I would then wash down the drop of the return. Until hopefully you can run full stream into the wet return.

    The length of copper stuck into the pipe is to insure that your water stream goes down the vertical drop and not into the horizontal pipe.

    You carefully throttle the water flow and you can see what comes out of the drain valve at the boiler.
    (The reason for a full 3/4" drain is to remove any sludge).

    If this seems to work and you don't get a shower at the vent location (because the wet return is partially plugged) then you could almost be certain the pipe is clear. (as clear as it would be with the pipe modifications at the wet return drop area).

    Then if this seems satisfactory, I would put a tee on where the vents are, put a nipple/cap on the top.
    You could flush in this method every season if wanted, just be sure not to shoot water into the air vents or the horizontal pipe.

    You could also go to the wet return drain valve and carefully "chase" sludge back towards the drops.
    This may loosen any chunks of junk. Again don't push junk up into the horizontals.

    Then out the side branch add a length of pipe for your vents and as tall of risers as possible.

    To get the slope to drain that length of added pipe, you may have to add a "swing 90" to the outlet of the tee (the branch) after turning it 90 degrees.

    A lot less work and materials. IMO....work easier not harder.

    fxrgruntBobC
  • fxrgrunt
    fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
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    Instead of using a isolation valve a full port valve separate, could I use these valves on the wet return? Or should I still use an isolation valve separately?

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Webstone-40613-3-4-Pro-Pal-Full-Port-Forged-Brass-Ball-Valve-w-Hi-Flow-Hose-Drain-Reversible-Handle
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
    edited October 2021
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    If you use the swing 90's to get slope for drain back, then you can point that horizontal pipe in any direction.
    This may allow you more height if you can run that pipe parallel to the floor joists.
    IMO, the taller the riser from the old tee would give you the most protection from water slugs (if any).
    Then tall risers to each vent, this helps keep their feet dry.

    If you try that flush method, please let us know how it works out.
    Personally I have not tried it for wet returns but in other applications it has worked.

    If the wet return was seriously plugged then water might back up into the other drop.
    You could even use a hose wye and do both at the same time.
    Once you got some flow, I would let the water run for some time until clear.
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgrunt
    fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
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    Question. How difficult do you think it would be to remove that old bushing off the T so I could get rid of all the couplings and run a straight 1/2" riser before the swing joint to the main vents? Any recommendations on getting it off without breaking or stripping the T it is sitting in?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
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    Many applications of PB blaster or Kroil spray.
    A little rapping on the bushing....not much on the cast iron tee.

    I would leave the nipple in the bushing when trying to unscrew the bushing.
    Without the nipple sometimes the bushing can egg shape and be wedged inside.

    Two big wrenches.

    Or after soaking and rapping... and if you have a 6 point impact socket just the right size, it may come out that way with maybe a 1/2" impact driver.
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgrunt
    fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
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    JUGHNE said:

    Many applications of PB blaster or Kroil spray.
    A little rapping on the bushing....not much on the cast iron tee.

    I would leave the nipple in the bushing when trying to unscrew the bushing.
    Without the nipple sometimes the bushing can egg shape and be wedged inside.

    Two big wrenches.

    Or after soaking and rapping... and if you have a 6 point impact socket just the right size, it may come out that way with maybe a 1/2" impact driver.

    I do like the idea of using the impact driver because it wont put the pressure on the fittings that two giant wrenches will. Would there be a chance of the impact driver cracking the T or anything like that with the multiple impacts while its loosening?
  • fxrgrunt
    fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
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    Also, if not the impact driver, you think a 36" wrench is long enough or should I get longer? @JUGHNE
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,075
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    When I used an impact driver on what could be a tough cookie, I also use a back up wrench just in case.
    But a 36" needs to not slip and apply equal leverage for back up on the tee.
    fxrgrunt
  • fxrgrunt
    fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
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    @JUGHNE @EBEBRATT-Ed in regards to the wet return, could I use these valves vs having an isolation valve and hose bib separate? Just put one of these on each end of my wet return to clean it out?


  • fxrgrunt
    fxrgrunt Member Posts: 157
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    Anyone know anything about these valves?