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Dual inlet return piping who would dare and why

clammy Member Posts: 3,111
I rarely post much these days but I thought I de throw this out there . Not long ago I was asked to look at a poorly piped slightly oversized Jed Utica 500 not not favorite side tap boiler but they needed some real help aside from a lot of other issues which I straighten out including repiping condensate pump end of line f and t s boiler feed pump install a water column and a float lwco to control the boiler feed . Aside from that I also replied the boiler w a 4 inch drop header and washed out the boiler within an inch of its life . I owning that this type of boiler is prone to unsteady water line I decided to use both return tappings and pipe my equalizer to the rear of my two inlets . Not much to my surprise I had a super steady water line no slanting no carry over . Most only go for a single return into the boiler . I know on larger style cast boiler ex smith old Weil 80 they would show using both returns on some I did on most no . After using both returns I am now a firm believer that on even larger residential steam boilers there’s may be a larger advantage aside from more fitting and more spinning and let’s not forget swing joints there is clearly a advantage of feeding and equalizing both return inlets instead of just one inlet . I believe on smaller boiler up to a 4 or 5 section it may not make much of a difference if your not reducing your inlet by bushing it but on larger and especially side tap boilers there may be more to it then meets the eye . After the recipe of the boiler I had a amazingly steady water line through a complete cycle ,building owner stated he had never seen the sight glass not surge . Even though I had not wanded and or skimmed the boiler I was very impressive that even fairly dirty I had a steady water line .
So maybe next time you have a side outlet steamer that is clearly very clean top and bottom and water testing has been done to assure that water chemistry is not the surging cause and near boiler piping is above manufactures specs ( one size larger then manafactures specs ) and still have a unsteady line maybe you should try using both return tappings for myself and in the future I will be adapting this into my own bags of Gucci tricks to tame those side outlet steamers and of course on anything over about 250 btu extra work but in my option well worth the results .
Some times a big double check and reading other manufacture lit will shine a light on your brain and make you re think and just do it . I took that leap and was impressed especially on a boiler that I personally have seen more then a few w water line issues ,some dirty water some piping but all never held a steady water line food for thought and for those who feel a equalizer is not needed go pipe a 1/2 mil steam w out one and let me know how it goes and how re piping in the eq later for free goes because your theories where nil and void stick to the instruction they where written w your safety in mind and usually by people w vastly more experience then some one who has installed just one boiler ,that does not make one a expert I would think but heck what do I know lol. Like my dad always said No one knows it all and no one woke up knowing it all it takes many years of reading study grasping therories and doing it first hand , none of us are perfect and the know it alls do all hero well for bless them there better then me for sure ,where all just guys spinning a wrench trying to make the best of what we do for a living and do it in a honest fashion w integrity maybe not for the whole world but maybe possibly just our own little corner of it if we can and for those who are willing to pay for such knowledge and experience other wise there plenty who are more then willing to do nothing and get no result but still get payed
Always stirring the brewers pot
Peace and good luck clammy
The sweeting of a cheaper price is after the bitterness of poor quality
R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
NJ Master HVAC Lic.
Mahwah, NJ
Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
Mad Dog_2reggi


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,519

    Like you said many of the old boilers were piped this way...makes sense.

    Caution to anyone that does this ALWAYS swing joint do no be tempted to go straight across or you will buy a new back section.

    It makes sense that both sides of the boiler are the same temperature will steady the water line/
    .good call
    Mad Dog_2reggi
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,921
    I'm sure it improves heat transfer and flow   mad Dog 🐕