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burnham instructions

The reason we show both methods of piping basicly involves the fact that we still ship this boiler in its packaged form with the circulator mounted and wired on the return piping.This was retained mostly at the request of several of our larger national oil accounts. Most of our other boilers include the circulator but it is neither mounted nor wired. If you look closer though you will see that it is indeed still pumping away because we show the expansion tank on the return side also. Again, this was done as a request from some of our larger end users.

Glenn Stanton

Manager of Training

Burnham Hydronics


  • randy_17
    randy_17 Member Posts: 3
    piping diagram for burnham boilers

    I was on the burnham web site looking at the piping diagram for the burnham V8. As we all know always pump away from the boiler, burnham gives two drawings on piping their boiler with the pump on either side of the boiler! Do they do this to save their but when theres a problem or is there a legitimate reason for both piping styles.
    When i tell a customer that there boiler will run better with the pumping away method it makes it difficult to prove the theory when they can go online and see a different piping arangement.
    I am very confused by this.
  • Big Ed
    Big Ed Member Posts: 1,117
    pumping away

    What you are pumping away from is the expansion tank to produce the higher pressure in the system. This can be done with the tank and pump on the return , but with only one zone. Muti zones as well as better air expelling from water you need to pipe the pump and scoop on supply side of boiler.
  • Ron Schroeder
    Ron Schroeder Member Posts: 998

    It can be done either way with good results. Water does not know if it is at the beginning or end of the loop. I have yet to hear a good reason why the pump needs to be "away" from the boiler...Even Burnham does not have a preference!
  • Bill Nye_2
    Bill Nye_2 Member Posts: 538
    Greg ,

    I have to disagree, it does make a difference. Some one wrote an entire book about it.

    You can even ask my cousin , the Science Guy.

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  • John Cockerill
    John Cockerill Member Posts: 94
    pumping away

    My understanding was that the reason for the boiler bypass is to allow part of the hot water at the supply side to go to the bottom of the boiler to mix and warm the return water. To do this would require pumping away with part of that water recirculating through the boiler to even out boiler temps bottom to top. Rule was to have one third of the water go to the bypass, or use a taco variable speed temp system on the bypass. ??

    John Cockerill Exquisite Heat
  • John Felciano
    John Felciano Member Posts: 411
    Pumping away

    It's not so much the boiler as it is the point of no pressure change (the expansion tank). Glenn's picture does show a piping type thats pumping away but into the boiler.

    Do buy a copy of Dans book it's great reading.I read it many years ago and it changed the way I visualize whats going on in a heating system.Kinda made the light come on in my head.Now if I could just get some of the undertrained techs from the oil companies to read it and stop telling my customers "their boilers are piped backwards" I'd be a really happy guy.

  • Ken_8
    Ken_8 Member Posts: 1,640
    John is absolutely correct,

    We frequently suggest "pumping away" is best. Many people mis-interpret that to mean ...from the boiler! "Pumping away" means from the PONPC (point of no pressure change) which in all cases is where the expansion tank connection to the system piping is located! Since that is typically (but not necessarily) near the boiler, many incorrectly assume the two are one-in-the-same. They are not!

    The only thing we need to pump away from - IS THE PONPC!

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  • John

    Many folks do not realize that there are two distictly different types of bypasses.What makes these bypasses different is basically the location of the pump in reference to the bypass. The method we show with this boiler is indeed a "Boiler Bypass" because it is taking system return water and "bypassing the boiler" and reducing the amount of return water through the boiler.

    The other method is a "System Bypass" and it does as you are describing. It takes heated boiler supply water and sends it to the return of the boiler to aide in keeping the boiler warmer, thus "bypassing the system". We call for, at very least, a boiler bypass on most of our residential cast iron boilers with the exception of a couple of boilers we make that have a very small water content, which call for the system bypass.The "system bypass" has the pump on the boiler side of the bypass connection whereby the "boiler bypass" has the pump on the system side of the bypass connection. Hope this helps.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Training

    Burnham Hydronics
  • Jed_2
    Jed_2 Member Posts: 781
    And on another note

    I have heard it mentioned numerous times by "old timers", that feeding the boiler ABOVE the LWCO, while depicted everywhere in "pumping away" diagrams, can be tragic. If, and it is a big if, the limit control fails (it has happened), then the LWCO is nullified. Can anyone see white?


  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    Jed, can you explain the problem...

    with feeding above the LWCO further? It is often depicted this way on pumping away on a hot water boiler, but not on steam boilers. If the limit control fails, eventually the relief valve would blow - then makeup water is fed, so the LWCO probably will not open. Wouldn't this effect be the same, regardless of water feed location?
  • Ron Schroeder
    Ron Schroeder Member Posts: 998

    Thanks for the reference. I understand now that with the accummulator upstream of the pump, caviatation is less likely.
  • Fred Harwood
    Fred Harwood Member Posts: 261

    But when pumping away from an expansion tank on the return, the vent still goes on the supply, right?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,831

    if the tank and pump are both on the return you're adding the pump's pressure to the boiler, which can cause the safety valve to open in some cases. This is why it's best to have both on the supply.

    This is covered in Dan's book, but I don't have it in front of me so can't tell you what page it's on.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • jackchips_2
    jackchips_2 Member Posts: 1,338

  • Jed_2
    Jed_2 Member Posts: 781
    That's what I'm questioning

    Would boiler water content volume come into play if, say it was a low mass boiler? the relief valve would be passing flashed steam, wouldn't it? Would the make-up rate fed at the return tapping be sufficient to maintain current to the LWCO? Or, would the water level drop enough to open it? Fed from above, wouldn't there be a continuous connection between the probe and the pipe wall?

    Just want to understand it better.

  • Jed

    If the hot water boiler is in a runaway mode for reasons such as the high limit failing or possibly being overridden due to improper wiring of a secondary zone or Indirect Water heater control, the pressure will be such that the PRV will not feed. By this I mean that when the relief valve discharges, super heated water in the boiler and the sudden discharge of pressure will still retain a fairly good size bubble of steam in the boiler in close proximity to the LWCO or top outlet of the boiler. The LWCO is in this bubble and will keep the burner off. The pressure will still be elevated enough as to not be conductive to allowing makeup water in until things have cooled down a bit and that bubble of steam has changed back into water. By then things should have cooled down enough within the boiler so as not to allow cool makeup water to flash to steam when entering the system piping again.

    I have seen first hand what happens when an unknowing electrician wires an indirect heater such as the Amtrol models with a built-in 120v or 24v relay to the wrong side of the boiler high limit. This is one of the primary purposes for the LWCO requirement on hot water boilers in the first place. Hope this helps.

  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    I would guess that the degree of steaming...

    that actually occurs within the boiler may depend on factors such as the volume of the boiler, capacity of the relief valve, feed valve, etc... The scenerio that Glenn describes, and has actually witnessed, is one possible reaction - but, if the pressure has dropped so low as to allow steaming within the boiler and even the piping, wouldn't the feeder see that low pressure and begin feeding immediately?
This discussion has been closed.