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Dropped Down Header vs Regular Header

Is it any pros and cons between the piping configuration?Or is it all the same


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,654
    Either one will work fine if the header pipe is the right size, the correct configuration is used and the boiler risers are correct.

    No boiler MFG requires drop headers, many on here find them superior. IMHO they are unnecessary
    ScottSecorethicalpaulLong Beach Ed
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,274
    I believe that the drop header can give you more room for the risers to the main. If you look at the peerless with the Drop Header, the basement ceiling looks to be about 6 ft. The other basement looks like there is more headroom. The bottom line is to get the 24" above the water line riser to the header and still have room for connecting to the main risers.

    Just an observation.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 791
    edited November 24
    There are many variables in piping a steam system, and the above comments mention several. A dropped header will add more opportunity to dry the steam. Some boilers are more effective at producing dry (or good quality) steam. Generally, the less water in the steam the better it will heat. So the dropped header will be more of a benefit to some boilers and may be useless to others.

    As Mr. Young mentions above, the dropped header also gives the fitter more room to pipe his mains while complying with the manufacturer's required rise above the water line. This solves many basement piping challenges, but at a large additional cost in labor and materials.

    Most often a dropped header is not necessary and will provide little benefit. But it's a good trick to know and can be valuable when you need it.

    In the above illustrations, both boilers as piped have good vertical rise from the water line to dry out the steam and appear adequately installed. Those photos serve as good examples of the use of each configuration.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    I think the drop header makes it actually easier to get the pipes to align during installation. Ironically, I failed my inspection at first because the inspector said the drop header was not indicated in the Peerless manual (he's right that it's not). I had to get an email from Peerless saying a drop header would not violate my warranty (which was already voided by my self-installation LOL) in order for him to relent and approve it.

    Here's a demonstration of how my boiler definitely doesn't need a drop header:

    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Lance
    Lance Member Posts: 227
    A drop header is not always needed. It does however come in handy if you cannot get the height needed off the top of the boiler. Adding a drop to a lower header past the boiler risers to a second set of risers can make the difference in drier steaming. Reasons I use for building a DH. Adds swing joints, adds room for additional unions, adds more uniform pressure to multiple takeoffs to the multiple mains or branches. May help or not with steam zone valves near the header. One size does not fit all. Headers of all kinds differ when firing rates, sizes and pressures are involved. Imagine being at 3 Psi or more steam and that one zone valve opens. Of course, a good potentiometer motor would minimize the bad effect.
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 657
    A drop header is overkill if not needed. It's a great piping plan when you don't have the height needed to install a standard header.
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 791
    Okay Lance, where'd you get the 2" sight glasses?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    It’s “Paul” 😅 and you get them from Amazon or EBay. Search “tri-clamp sight glass”. You can get 2” NPT connectors, male or female 
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    Long Beach Ed
  • Subdural
    Subdural Member Posts: 28

    It’s “Paul” 😅 and you get them from Amazon or EBay. Search “tri-clamp sight glass”. You can get 2” NPT connectors, male or female 

    any downside to adding this to a system you are building?
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,912
    edited November 25
    No. In fact those tri-clamp fittings act as unions and they made it easy for me to assemble my header. They offset somewhat the price of expensive unions.

    They are rated for steam temps and high pressure and my inspector never blinked.

    I would think that installers could use it to show the customer how dry the steam is.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG