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bullheaded tees with steam

michael_15 Member Posts: 231
where it seems I must simply have way too much time on my hands, I was thinking about the comment from "Lost Art of Steam Heating" where it says to avoid bullheaded tees.

The theory, as I understand it, is that the steam doesn't just split off in both directions, but rather, it "bumps" against the back of the tee and then bounces back, as in <b>Figure A</b> below. Then, you get all sorts of unhappy things, like unstable waterlines and so forth.

But then I thought, "How is this different from just hitting the back wall in a 90 degree elbow?" This is <b>Figure B</b> below.

But, "ah!," you might say, "elbows have curved walls to prevent this! See <b>Figure C</b>!"

But if it's that simple, couldn't we just add a little widget, as in <B>Figure D</b>, to fix that problem? I'd imagine that once you have the molds, it's no more difficult to cast a tee with the bump in it as it is to cast a tee without one.

Often, of course, I just don't know what I'm talking about.



  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    I'm a mere homeowner myself, but here goes...

    The issue is not with the steam bouncing back so much as what the water entrained in the steam might be doing. To make the steam as dry as possible, I have seen people do the following:
    • Pitch the header towards the equalizer to make the condensate run that way naturally.
    • Insulate the piping to prevent the steam from condensing and reducing the pickup-factor.
    • Mount take-offs for steam on top of the header. The steam rushes towards the lower pressure of the main, while the condensate stays in the header.
    • Install a drop header to fling the entrained condensate onto the header and have it drain from there.
    • Multiple take-offs are on a boiler usually mounted with a series of curved connections to allow the sections to move w/o cracking.
    Anything else I missed?
  • jeff_51
    jeff_51 Member Posts: 545
    Hey Constantine

    You need a hobby, you a spending just too much time on this site.
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Participating in this site is one of my hobbies...

    ... presumably it's the same for everyone, since none of us are getting paid for our posts and some even contribute bricks, buy merchandise, or click on ad links.

    Now, how about helping with the question that spawned the thread instead of telling me what to do with my time? :-)
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,710
    Mike, they actually used to make them that way

    the fitting was called a "double elbow" or something like that. I'll post a scan of one if I can find it......

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