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Drop Header Steam build (I wanna do it properly)

Subdural
Subdural Member Posts: 28

Pulled out the old steam boiler, was issue. Removed all near pipes. Making plans for a drop header and want to build it properly. Plan to use blue moster on joints. Pennco 1607HSID with 5 sections. 2 taps out of the top, using 2 1/2 inch all the way to the Header, then header will be all 3inch. Thank you in advance.
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Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,044
    What determined the boiler size?

    Do both boiler outlets come out the same side or on opposite sides?

    You could use 3 X 2 tees for the steam main risers and eliminate the nipple and reducers??

    This will get pretty long, do you have the room for that much horizontal header.

    You can put a 3" 90 in to make an "L" shape if room is a factor.
    Subdural
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,274
    Here are a few minor adjustments I might make.
    Otherwise this looks like a great design.

    Love to see the finished job!
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

    SubduralJHK
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    > What determined the boiler size?

    ^^ The most important thing right there. What is the sq ft (EDR) of all your radiation?

    I'd rather see a reducing 3" to 1.5" elbow instead of the Tee but it probably won't matter. If everything's the right size you won't see any water to speak of there.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @JUGHNE size was 175 BTU from the one we pulled out, (measured all the radiators and the supply place said looks ok), outlets on L and R side. I was gonna do the 3x2 T but was concerned of Bernoulli's principle perhaps taking water up with increased velocity. from top of boiler im good going up the 24 inches, back 12 inches and down 12 inches. so i think it will fit. I was thinking of doing the 90 degree before going to the harford loop. I really appreciate you looking it over.
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @EdTheHeaterMan I was planning the 15 inch because I saw a NYC code spec that said not to reduce size till down by the water line (?accurate). My book that came with the unit spec's out 15 inches between the boiler "in" and the first steam main, so i kept it. If i shorten up by 1/2 inch to tilt the header, will my fittings still match up? (I guess they will as you wouldnt tell me to do that - ill update and make one 11 1/2 in the final as that seems like great idea). Ill purchae the close nipple and cap.. thanks for that tip!
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @ethicalpaul boiler size, we measured all of the radiators and old unit we pulled (but no clue if that was sized) - so the 175 seemed to fit.

    the book does show a reducing -pointing down. But the image (common one online) from NYC and some videos i watched said to keep it full size till down close to the harford loop (or water line). So im unsure, cost isn't a current issue on the job - I just wanna build it a way the next guy will say - nice build.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,274
    edited November 22
    When ever I installed a steamer, I would buy multiple pipe lengths in quantities 4 times the amount I actually needed. And then a few more of the next size longer and shorter. The supply house knew I was returning most of them. they had no problem with that as long as there was no pipe sealer on the pipe nipples they were happy to restock with no restocking fee. The purchase of a steam boiler was enough incentive for the extra service to have the necessary pipe already on the job. Saved a lot of time with cutting and threading on the job too.

    Ask the counterman at the supply house about the return policy on pipe nipples and fittings that go unused. Most will work with you, knowing they are selling a steamer.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @EdTheHeaterMan you are accurate, the supply is 1/4 mile away and they will take what we dont need/use right back. I was pumped to buy from them as they had 3 huge guys come and put it into the basement - that was gonna be rough just me and my daughter! Pipe sealer.. blue monster ok on all of this? Its blue - and they said it will work well. Sadly, no threader here - but guys who have this as their profession must have a ton of fun.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    > @ethicalpaul boiler size, we measured all of the radiators

    Ok cool! What was the number?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @ethicalpaul well, went to the service desk at the supply and he did his work (i dont know what the total was) but he said 'could get buy" with a smaller unit 145 - but as we pulled out a 175btu i figured we just stick with that size. Do you think it was a mistake?
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 791
    edited November 23
    Tip the counterman well. He earned it. The blue pipe dope is fine; we like the Teflon. It makes less of a mess. Just use it sparingly. Most of the amateurs here really make a mess of it. If you buy imported fittings, the one buried the deepest will be full of sand hole leaks. Don't be penny foolish. Buy something like Ward domestic cast steam fittings.

    You should have done your own calculations and chosen your own boiler. What does a salesman know about sizing radiator outputs? Ever ask a barber if you need a haircut? Go over the calculations now, yourself, before you install that boiler and make sure it will work.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    Yes. Always go with the smaller one if it's close. My guess is that the actual number was probably under the sq ft of the smaller one. Do yourself a favor and ask your installer what the sq ft number of your radiation (EDR) was. Don't use BTU, it's too easy to confuse between input and output, for example.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @Long Beach Ed thank you - def going with domestic where we can get the parts! Wish I came here before the purchase for size info (its 800 pounds and "stay as they lay" at this point)
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @ethicalpaul Wish I came here with the project before the purchase.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,260
    Subdural said:

    @ethicalpaul well, went to the service desk at the supply and he did his work (i dont know what the total was) but he said 'could get buy" with a smaller unit 145 - but as we pulled out a 175btu i figured we just stick with that size. Do you think it was a mistake?

    For anyone coming into this thread for information. The size of the old equipment should never be factored into any decision that is made about new equipment. The fact that the counter person did that, shows their lack of knowledge. Also, bigger is never better with boiler sizing.

    Let's just hope it's not massively oversized and only 1 size too big (I have doubts). Not that you came here for this, but if you post the information you gave to the counter guy, we could verify where you are at. This can be useful information to have realistic expectations about system performance. The more over sized, the more chance of short cycling before reaching set temperature. For me that would be good to know so I didn't do all this work and then have it perform in an unexpected way. Doing the oversized drop header may help a bit with the oversizing, but it can only account for so much.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • AdmiralYoda
    AdmiralYoda Member Posts: 492
    @Subdural You've done plenty of homework on properly installing the boiler and pipe layout... in my opinion calculating the EDR is the easy part. It may be too late now but it may still be worth the exercise to figure it out. It is surprisingly simple and there are plenty of worksheets on here and various other sites on the internet.

    I'm not sure if you would have any options if you already have the boiler in place, but it would be horrible to go through all this work just to have it ruined by a grossly oversized boiler that short cycles on pressure.

    It should take only a few minutes to calculate your own EDR...and perhaps post the make and model of the boiler you have and the pro's here can tell you if you are in trouble or not.

    A quick story...my house had an oil boiler installed in the 30's. Over the years radiators were removed from certain bedrooms for unknown reasons. In the 80's the previous homeowners installed a gas boiler (still going) the next size up from the old boiler "just in case". Now with even less EDR than the original install, and a boiler even bigger...I am grossly oversized by about 60%. I cycle on pressure all the time and I hate it.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    Yeah what KC said. I'm sorry, I thought you were still in the "to be purchased" phase.

    Has it been installed yet? I ask because at least we can let you know what to look for regarding the piping. Oversized is not necessarily much of a problem, depending (almost every steam boiler in the US is oversized apparently), but the piping is pretty critical
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @ethicalpaul @KC_Jones If i go back now and get the measurements, that would still help? I forget how to do the calculation, the radiators are 38inch tall and all we did was measure up how many sections each room had as they are all the same, just different number of sections in each room.
    ethicalpaul
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @AdmiralYoda @KC_Jones @ethicalpaul going to do the EDR, ill figure it out and get a number here on the post.. thank you everyone!
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    It would help you, yes, so you would have some idea how oversized your boiler is going to be. It will let you know what to expect from its operation and plan for possible minimization of problems.

    Make note of any radiators that you plan on disabling too
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,044
    If you look into the steam outlet ports of that boiler, you might see the internal header going across the sections is reduced in diameter.

    IMO, I believe you need to add a reducing coupling from 2 1/2 down to 1 1/2 to use as a skim port.

    This makes the skimming water rise up above all sections as you flow the water out.
    Without the reducer you are only getting water from the closest section.
    EdTheHeaterManSubdural
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @ethicalpaul so i ran the columns she has in the house (adding up all of the radiators). they are the 7 1/2 inch by 38 tall. total of 89 columns thru the existing rooms. she plans a small addition in the future (but its not going to be installed) perhaps another 11 columns there. I tried to do the calculations, but get different answeres based on what calculator i use.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,260
    edited November 24
    Post a picture of a typical radiator.  Need to see what style radiator it is, thin tube, tube, or column.  By the dimensions I’m guessing column, but pictures will answer it.

    For the little bit of extra that might happen in an addition, I wouldn’t include it.  Any boiler will have some excess and you would be fine IMHO.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaul
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @KC_Jones typical radiator here, 5 column, 38 inch tall, 7 1/2 wide.
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @JUGHNE the manual specs out a 2 1/2" Tee (same as what comes off boiler) in this location. I am planning to change the plug to a nipple with cap (as @EdTheHeaterMan suggested - blue). What are your thoughts? The skimming seems to be one of the longest parts of the job - and we will want to do it properly. We grabbed a container of Surgex boiler treatment to "dump" in before closing it up - do you use that? (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008A3UEN2?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details) I saw a guy on youtube with a new install and he "does it in all his new installs".
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @AdmiralYoda my calculations on the EDR seem to come out different based on what "calculator" i find/use online. She has a total of 89 of those columns in the house. Any thoughts?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,044
    Do as Ed said with the 2 1/2 nipple, but rather than the cap, put the 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 reducing coupling with a nipple/cap on that to close it up.

    This will put the skim water above all sections in the boiler.

    You could also put a tee on the opposite outlet with nipple/cap.
    This would allow you to "wand" clean the upper sections, wanding is quicker than skimming but not eliminating the process.

    Search on the wall for "wand cleaning".
    Subdural
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,260
    Subdural said:
    @KC_Jones typical radiator here, 5 column, 38 inch tall, 7 1/2 wide.
    Need a picture of the end to identify how many columns it is.  It’s definitely a column style radiator, but need to see how many columns per section.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,260
    One other question.  Which exact brand and model boiler was selected?
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @KC_Jones from the side its just an up and back, like a loop. (see pic). Pennco, 16 series, gas-fired steam boiler Model 1606HSID input BTU 187,000, Heating capacity MBTHU 153, AFUE% 82, AHRI Mbh 115, NET AHRI sqft 479



  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,260
    By my calculations you have 356 sq ft.  The boiler you have is absolutely oversized, the next step down (1605) would have been proper.

    Whoever sized it for you needs to relearn what they are doing, or stop sizing boilers.  Doing a severe disservice to the customers.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaulJUGHNE
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,044
    Do all of you rads look like the last picture you posted?
    It looks like a connection on each end?

    Do all of the rads have only one pipe connected to them, with a valve on one end and an air vent on the other?....or is a mix of one pipe and 2 pipe connected?
    mattmia2
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,260
    Looking at the numbers again and to give you further data on the situation.

    The one you have has a net out put (gross x efficiency) of 153,000 BTU’s
    You have 356 sq ft in that system.  That requires 85,440 BTU’s
    153,000-85,440=67,550 which is the pickup factor you have
    That equates to 79% pickup, current industry standard is 33%. So you’ve got more than double the pickup you need.

    The next size down works out like this.
    122,000 net output
    122,000-85,440 = 36,560
    43% pickup factor, which is still over industry standard by 10%

    That should give you an idea how (IMHO) ridiculously they sized that boiler.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @JUGHNE each has the valve at the bottom, and on the opposite side at the top there is a "vent". but only one way in..one way out. (the flat black pic above is better indication of what they all look like).

    @KC_Jones the piping that we tore out was not set up properly (perhaps the guy before just hooked into the system before that?) we tore out a 175btu, 440sq ft. Weil-McLain E-6 series 2, - so if that was oversized (and never heated house properly - per last family) What could be done now with the near piping(?) Pipe some outside ? We are gonna be stuck with what is there as impossible for us to move it or return - and I cant go back as pretty destroyed the old unit as disconnecting all of the rotted pipes.
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    No pipes carry any insulation @KC_Jones if that matters - and perhaps ill find a post how to do it properly as i finish the system, or let the pipes heat the basement?
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 791
    edited November 25
    At worse you'll have a steam heating system that's better than most. Nearly every house has an oversized or overfired boiler along with being poorly piped. At least yours will be piped correctly.

    Hey, you can build a metal shed in the back yard and heat it, or add a heat exchanger zone for domestic hot water, or buy a steam clothes dryer.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,260
    A system not heating properly is mostly due to improper piping and venting, but can also be a function of oversizing, yes a “too big” boiler can cause things to not heat properly.  If the boiler is too oversized the pressuretrol can cut the boiler out before steam gets everywhere.  Every time it cuts out it’s, to an extent, starting over getting steam into the system.

    The improper piping can hinder the steam flow, either through construction, or more commonly through wet steam wreaking havoc in the system.  The next issue could be venting.  If the system was not heating properly before you should absolutely do a system wide venting analysis ti ensure that too is proper.  Main vents being the very first thing, and the. Once that’s correct the radiator vents are next.

    Regardless of if you go back on the supply house that picked the boiler size, I would absolutely be expressing my displeasure with their mistake and explain to them how they got it wrong.  The calculations are so easy and simple it’s really quite sad they can’t get it right, and all the customers are paying for it.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaulmattmia2
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    > 43% pickup factor, which is still over industry standard by 10%

    If the standard is 33% (I thought it was said to be 30%), then 43% is 30% over that
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,350
    The rated sq feet of steam on steam boilers does not count the built in 33% pickup factor, That means a 300 sq ft rated boiler is actually delivering 399 sq ft of steam.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28
    @KC_Jones anything i can do with this situation? larger near boiler pipes? Or is it close enough with proper near boiler pipes that it would work?