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Stupid Pipe Questions

depends on how much radiation is on each main. A 1-inch wet return will handle up to 700 square feet of radiation.

Comments

  • Eric Scheidler
    Eric Scheidler Member Posts: 58


    1. What size pipe should one use for wet returns on mains made of 2" pipe? The wet return it will join up with is 1.25" pipe. One main is 20', the other is 30'.

    2. If the main is pitched (i.e., not perfectly horizontal), and the pipe down to the wet return is perfectly vertical, how does one get them to join together in a 90-degree elbow?
  • Tony Conner
    Tony Conner Member Posts: 549
    I Don't...

    ... have the books here to answer #1, but #2 is usually handled by leaving the 90 pointed horizontally (either right or left, whichever works better for the particular spot, then a nipple of "whatever" length, then a second 90. You've got 360* of rotation on the second 90. Straight up/down, horizontal either way - or anything in between. You'll have two 90's to play with for adjustment, so the drop can be dead plumb.
  • Tony Conner_2
    Tony Conner_2 Member Posts: 443
    I Can...

    ... believe that. A pretty good rule of thumb for industrial stuff is that the condensate line will be half the diameter of the steam line. I wasn't sure how well it translated into residential systems.
  • 1\" return is ok BUT???

    Steamhead is correct about the capacity of that 1" pipe, however, a wet return is prone to accumulating debris from the system, which historically is not removed on a regular basis by the HO or by techs doing annual service.

    Therefore, going slightly larger on that wet return can allow for a little debris to accumulate and not block the wet return quickly.

    I have never installed a wet return smaller than 1 1/4" for that very reason. (I really like to see 1 1/2" if possible). The cost difference of the pipe is not huge, and the labor to install is almost the same. The extra volume in the 1 1/4" vs. the 1" is substantial.

    See the recent post below regarding partially blocked wet returns.


    http://forums.invision.net/Index.cfm?CFApp=2&Message_ID=200424



    JMHO

    Ed
  • By the way

    Eric,

    There is no such thing as a stupid question, and none of the profssionals here will ever bust you about asking such a question.

    Better to ask and know than not to ask and do something you regret.

    Regards,

    Ed
  • bob_50
    bob_50 Member Posts: 306
    Stupid pipe questions?

    Ask the Pipe Dope!
  • Eric Scheidler
    Eric Scheidler Member Posts: 58
    I should clarify . . .

    . . . that I'm talking about drips at the end of the mains here, plus the wet return that joins them back to the boiler. The return that serves the radiators is 1.25" (5 radiators) and 1" (3 radiators).

    So that pipes I'm asking about here will only be handling that condensate from the mains (20' and 30'). Is 1.25" the way to go for the drips and wet return?

    If so, where should I do the reducing from 2" down to 1.25"?
  • Eric Scheidler
    Eric Scheidler Member Posts: 58
    Thanks.

    That makes perfect sense (double 90's).
  • Eric Scheidler
    Eric Scheidler Member Posts: 58


    There is no such thing as a stupid question . . .


    In that case, I'll ask another. Does anyone know a good online "how to" manual on pipe cutting? I've found one on cutting steal water pipe that gives me a pretty good idea of what's involved, but more resources would be helpful.
  • What do you mean?

    Eric,

    Not sure what you mean "how to cut pipe". A standard pipe cutter like a Rigid would normally be used.

    If the cut is in close quarters use a 4 wheel cutter.

    Standard pipe cutters usually go up to 2". Ream the inside edge after cutting. A good pipe cutter should leave no bur to inhibit cutting a new thread on the end of the pipe.

    Ed
  • ??? About cutting pipe???

    Eric,

    Not sure what you mean "how to cut pipe". A standard pipe cutter like a Rigid would normally be used.

    If the cut is in close quarters use a 4 wheel cutter.

    Standard pipe cutters usually go up to 2". Ream the inside edge after cutting. A good pipe cutter should leave no bur to inhibit cutting a new thread on the end of the pipe.

    Ed







    http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Pipe-Cutters/index.htm
  • Eric Scheidler
    Eric Scheidler Member Posts: 58


    Not sure what you mean "how to cut pipe"

    It's not so much the pipe cutting—I've handled that kind of thing before. It's more the threading and fitting, such as is described here for steel water pipe.
  • Bob W._3
    Bob W._3 Member Posts: 561


    Eric, if you haven't already done so, download the HeatingHelper pdf from Burnham's website. It has a lot of statistical data, re: steam systems.

    http://www.burnham.com/pdfs/htghelper.pdf
  • Oooooo, I C

    Eric,

    It is not a matter of not wanting to tell you how to use a threader, reamer, or to measure & fit swing joints etc., it is just not something that I can describe adequately in a post.

    Honestly, when I have hired new entry level service techs, (very capable people) and had them work along side of me for an entire day of fitting, cutting, threading and assembling, rarely could one of them actually start in the next day, and do it alone. It is just not that simple.

    You can cut pipe easily. It is a bit harder to learn how to thread properly. But to know exactly what fittings and pipe to use to create the proper configuration, is as much a learned art, as it is book learning knowledge.

    If you are connecting old work to new work, that work takes a special skill level all of its own.

    If you rent the equipment, please take the time to get used to it and be absolutely sure how to use it before you start seriously working with it. Even a small power vice has enough force to literally tear your arm off if you get caught in it.

    Good luck and please be safe,

    Ed
  • Eric Scheidler
    Eric Scheidler Member Posts: 58


    If you are connecting old work to new work, that work takes a special skill level all of its own.

    Fortunately, the area where I'll be working is all newer pipe—about half the piping in the basement (both main and returns) was replaced back in March, right before we bought the place.


    If you rent the equipment, please take the time to get used to it and be absolutely sure how to use it before you start seriously working with it.

    I absolutely will. I had planned to but a little extra pipe to practice threading. Also, I should be able to get a whole lot of the cutting and threading done at the pipe supply store, leaving only the last few pieces for me to deal with.
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