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Steamer install Photos....Drop header with a new twist

Boilerpro_3
Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
For some of the nicest folks you could ever meet. I did their other steamer a few years ago,one of my early installs.

I expect that the addition of the 45 will help prevent carry over water from washing down on top of the steam coming from the other riser to help improve steam quality. We wouldn't take a one pipe riser take off from the top of the main, so why not use the same concept near the boiler?

Also, I added a place to add chemicals at the top of the skim port and used a cross to provide a clean install of the boiler blow down valve and feed line..... Next time I'll use a longer nipple to leave room for the relief valve and eliminate the offset in the feed line.

Thanks to Don Ban in Chicago for pointing out the differences in valve specs. This boiler is installed with all valves with verifiable steam specs....a few dollars more on the install, but extra insurance.

Boilerpro

Comments

  • Great steam install

    I like the idea of the 45 drop into the header . Smoother transition for the flow . Is that a 2 inch cross tee ? We couldn't find on in all the supply houses we use a few weeks ago .

    I also like all the unions strategically placed for a quick changeout if needed - while keeping all the piping as is . One idea - we were having pressure gage failures pretty quick when the end was piped directly into the boiler . We now move it past the pigtail near the pressuretrol and seems to last alot longer . Nice job Boilerpro , do you have any pics of what was there before ?
  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    Old Boiler

    was a 200,000 input National. It was just starting to rot through near the top. That's a new 140 input Burnham.

    I like your idea about the pressure guage. The guage is already bad on the other recently installed boiler I suppose its nice to have the guage seperate from the pressuretrol so its easy to see if you have a plugged pigtail. Maybe I'll just add a pigtail for the guage.

    Yep thats a 2 inch cross (Ward). It's funny how supply varies throughout the country.

    With the unions, I was thinking of moving them near the old piping due to the higher potential for leaks when connecting to the old stuff. On this one, I have to go back and rework the left takeoff connection to the old steam main.....drip drip drip. AAAARGH! I still need to work on my piping skills to match the quaility of folks like you.

    Well, its back early next week to take care of the leak, level the pressuretrol, maybe move a couple of pressure guages, and do some cleaning. Also, I'm going to add just a plain boiler drain to the copper boiler return to make it easier to drain the boiler.

    As Bartel's and Jame's would say "Thanks for your support!"

    Boilerpro
  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    Old Boiler

    was a 200,000 input National, just starting to rot out at top.

    I like your idea about the pressure guage, the one on the recently installed boiler in the next room is already bad. Having it seperate from the pressuretrol would probably make it easier to diagnose a plugged pigtail, so maybe I'll just add another pigtail for the guage.

    I was thinking of moving the unions closer to the old piping to deal with the increased potential for leaks when connecting to the old piping. I have to rework the left take off because it is leaking at the old piping.....drip drip drip.....AAAARGH! Still room for improvement in my piping skills before I get as good as guys like you.

    Well back I go early next week to fix the leak, maybe move a couple of pressure guages, level the pressuretrol, and do some boiler cleaning. Oh, and I think I will install a boiler drain on the copper boiler return to make draining easier by allowing the use of a hose.

    Thanks for your support!

    Boilerpro
  • Robert O'Connor_6
    Robert O'Connor_6 Member Posts: 299
    Awesome

    Nice job Dave . Excellent piping


    Robert

    ME
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,715
    Double Insurance

    against carry-over water- looks like you have at least 3 feet of riser height above the waterline-- and the 45s help dispose of any water that gets past those 3-foot risers. Nice job!

    What type of steam system was this? Did you make any other improvements to the system such as venting, etc?

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    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
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    Consulting
  • Mike Kraft_2
    Mike Kraft_2 Member Posts: 398
    Boilerpro

    You certainly "fit" your handle..........you are a boilerpro.Very nice piping!

    cheese
  • tommyoil
    tommyoil Member Posts: 613
    May I ask???

    Pro,
    Do you always do drop headers on all your steam boilers? I use them on commercial work but it never even entered my mind on residential. Is that what the manufacturer wants or did you just go the extra mile? This looks like quality work. Also, is the 45 really necessary in that location?? I understand about condensate raining down and drying out the steam as much as possible, but by the time it reaches the 2" takeoffs will it really matter all that much? Is it a form of insurance? Also, do you always use valves on the supply? Is that for cleansing purposes? or service purposes, or both, or neither? I gotta start considering those on my jobs. I never used them but could use some justification before I start. I'm positive you'll be able to give me some. I always put tons of drain valves everywhere and you mentioned in another post that you were going to add some. Usually 3/4" ball valves with 3/4" male X 3/4"hose adapters is what I use. This way if for whatever reason the bottom of the boiler loads up I can ram it out w/out having to pull off the valve with water in the unit. Open the ball, ram it out and close it without a huge mess. Looks like that outside 2" supply is pitching towards the boiler. I'm assuming you had no choice there. Ideally, wouldnt you want it pitching the other way? You have just given me another point of view with regard to the drop header. Thanks for that. I gotta learn to post pics so you guys can critique my jobs. GOTTA LEARN MORE!!! Nice work on this one. The new one doesnt look anywhere near 200,000, Is it?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,715
    Tommy, many of us

    use drop headers on all steamers, including residential, that have two or more risers to the header. They're MUCH easier to put together than a standard header, and they keep the steam dry. Here's one we did on a Columbia, but I like Boilerpro's better!

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    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Yep

    Wouldn't consider installing a steam boiler without it . Thanks goes to Noel for showing me the way .
  • tommyoil
    tommyoil Member Posts: 613
    can I ask

    Does it matter how long the nipples are on the drop side into the manifold. I have always piped standard header/manifold using boiler tapping size across the manifold. I also use full size tees for the take offs and then use reducing couplings as far away from the tees as possible. I hope you can picture what I'm talking about as I'm not sure I made myself clear.Man, I feel like Ive been living in a cave. I have done things consistently for many years. Its refreshing to turn the page and realize that"the way its always been done" can be improved upon. Also can someone touch on the supply valves and the reasoning behind them? Thanks.
  • Are you asking

    how far can you actually " drop " the header ? Good question - how low is too low ?

    I would guess the valves on the header are used for cleaning . Or maybe for testing - close them down and see if the pressuretrol is working .
  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    Certainly

    I started using drop headers on all my installs with the encouragement of the great guys here (many of them have posted on this thread already). They are not required, but when you start to consider the high velocities that steam is moving through these tiny pipes (tyically only 2 to 3 inches) near the boiler, you can carry over water pretty easily. That's also the reason for using both tappings. Burnham only requires one 2 inch riser on this little 140,000 input Burnham IN5, so 2 risers slows the exit velocity helping keep the steam dry under even adverse conditions.

    The 45 is my recent addition to help improve things even more. As I understand it, a top quaility install would use no 90's at all, only 45's...but the line has to be drawn somewhere. I understand on premium commercial work in the old days that what you saw.....all 45's.

    The king valves come in real handy. At installation, just close them and the Hartford loop valve and open your fill to get a preliminary air pressure check of most of the near boiler piping. Then, after releaving the air pressure, you can fill and fire up the boiler and it will build pressure nice and quick so you can check the operation of the guage and pressure control and make necessary adjustments. This also makes yearly service checks really easy. Cleaning, as you guessed is also easier with them.

    Drain valves are great! However, I try to use bigger ball valves at low points that allow a forceful flush of the bottom of the boiler and wet returns to help remove the mud on the bottom of the boiler. This boiler has 1 1/4 inch blow downs at the boiler and at the end of the wet return. I am going to add a cock just to eliminate the need to bucket flush water to a floor drain. I recently had the pleasure to pipe all the boiler blow downs, relief vavles, etc hard piped right to a nearby floor drain. Boy was that nice!

    For cleaning out the bottom of the boiler if it loads up, or for inspection, I have that capped nipple on the side of the Cross. You can take the cap off and insert a cleani wand to loosen up deposits or just use a flashlight to look things over for an inspection.

    I use your 3/4 inch ball valve with hose adaptor on the skim tapping pointing down. This allows a hose to be attached here and a nice slow long skim to be performed. I just started adding a place to add chemicals,as they sometimes are needed on stubborn systems.

    As I said that new boiler is only 200 input, the old one, as is typical, was way oversized even for this one pipe system. The slightly older when I installed in the next room a few years back, was only 112,000 input which replaced a 200 or 250 input WM EGH boiler.

    I haven't installed nearly as many steamers as the rest of the guys here, I'm sure, but I have yet to install one the same size as the one I removed, they have all been oversized, even when only basing size on radiation only.

    Yep, that one supply slopes back to the header. Not perfect, but hard to correct and the very slight condensate that would occur will either drain through the header or get carried by the steam up hill until the pipng begins sloping back down toward the end of the steam main.


    This is a GREAT Place to get new viewpoints, and there is almost never any trouble finding several very differnt views on a subject.

    It would be great to see some of your work. I'm sure we all will see something new!


    Boilerpro
  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    I like your Idea

    about using full size piping at the take off on the header. I have been thinking on this some my self. Using larger piping here would again slow the velocity of the steam and not tend to lift the water on the bottom of the header into the supply. Noel from Slantfin really brought this potential problem to my attention and recommended at minimum 6 inches between supplies to allow the water to settle back down before the next supply.

    Bigger headers cut down velocity, drying steam better. On the Burnham larger Independence boilers, at 175,000 and up, 2 risers are required and a 3 inch header. On the Plymouth Dunkirks I also install, 2 1/2 inch is all that is required with a single riser up to the largest size. However, I have one 187,500 input Plymouth piped with all 2 1/2 inch and a single riser and boy can you hear the header working on drying out the steam. I greatly prefer to use 2 2 1/2 inch risers on anything at 150,000 and up in the Dunkirks.

    Boilerpro
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    very nice BP

    ME LIKES IT ALOT ;)isn't steam great..putting in a water boiler today and i told the guy i'm doing it with that i'd rather be doing steam and he agreed...nice work BP.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    One pipe steam

    I had done some previous work on the system a few years ago, before getting "edumacated" here. Longer main has a big Hofmann and the shorter a little Hoffmann. I added some adjustable vents to some rads to help balance the system. The most interesting thing in this system is that there is probably about 15 feet or more of cast iron baseboard upstairs that is feed with a single 3/4 inch one pipe supply and it works just fine, even with the oversized boiler that had been in there.

    I always start out with 18 inch nipples out of the boiler or the supply tees on Dunkirks, just to be sure to get enough height.

    Boilerpro
  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    Shucks guys...

    I think you really like the install mainly because we haven't had a good fix of steam here in a while. Lots of hot water lately.

    Boilerpro
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Nicley done Dave

    I think we should refer to it as the Noel Drop Header :).

    This is truely the place to learn and teach.

    Scott

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  • tommyoil
    tommyoil Member Posts: 613
    more questions

    Can I use the drop header theory on boiler w/ only one supply tapping?(i.e. weil/mclain go3 and 4 sect) or is that practice reserved for double tapped blocks only? As far as using full size takeoffs from the header, I always understood it created less of a vortex(tornado effect)across the header. And the longer the nipple was at the takeoff the less of a vortex was created. Does this sound familiar here? I always use this approch where I have the room. But now, with the drop header theory,thinking back to the hundreds of jobs, room would almost never have been an issue. I feel like a caveman who has just been handed a new suit and pair of shoes. I guess I've been leading a sheltered life. Thanks for the help and the ideas.
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
    Another

    Another drop header. Got the inspiration from here on The Wall. -DF

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  • tommyoil
    tommyoil Member Posts: 613
    also

    I'm going to try to answer my own question here. Tell me if I nailed it. With regard to he nipples coming down to the manifold on the drop side. Does the theory of the longer the better apply here provided I maintain my "A" dimesion from water to steam line?
  • jackchips_2
    jackchips_2 Member Posts: 1,338
    Beautiful work, Pro.

    ALMOST makes me want to break out the big wrenchs.
  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    One tapping drop header

    The header still provides the same benfits for drying out steam. One thing I don't think has been mentioned is that the double swing joints that connect the header to the boiler tapping greatly reduce stress caused by piping expansion both in the header for multi tapped boilers and from movement of the system piping....all boilers.

    That stress on the boiler casting is the reason for offset headers on multi tapped boilers....drop headers just do a better job. That's also why I like to still leave some pipe length between the header and the boiler tappings...to reduce stress on the boiler by allowing the header piping to move very freely.

    Boilerpro
  • tommyoil
    tommyoil Member Posts: 613


    Nice looking drop. It looks awfully tight on the 24" from h2o line to bottom of manifold. Is the picture deceiving me? Also, are auto mixing valves required on the tankless. I couldnt spot one. My eyesight aint what it used to be.
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
    Drop Header

    Hi Tommy,

    The angle creates somewhat of an optical illusion as the boiler sits in a pit. There is 3+ feet from the water line to the top of the inverted "U" on the drop header.

    You can't see it from this photo but the tankless coil serves as a heat exchanger for a 100 gal. storage tank. DHW temperature is controlled by an aquastat on the tank. Thanks for the comments. -DF

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  • Beautiful work, Dave

    I'm not supposed to compliment other boiler company installations, but I can't help myself.

    I like the 45's a LOT.

    Noel
This discussion has been closed.