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Drop Header

GasperGasper Member Posts: 131
I installed a WM EGH 85 with a drop header. The inspector thinks it may be piped wrong. I'm sure he's wrong. But I'm trying to locate a drawing with explanation of a drop header (yes it is a steam job). Can't find one as of yet. Can anyone help? I'm 99% sure it is better and exceeds the specs. Can anyone tell me otherwise?

Frustrated in Detroit


  • BigedBiged Member Posts: 117
    Drop header

    Call Burnham they have a drawing with measurements for drop headers.
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131
    Thank you

    I will contact Burnahm........I buy a lot of their boilers.

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  • ConstantinConstantin Member Posts: 3,782
    Ron Jr. went through this last year...

    ... got into trouble with the BI for installing a drop header when no such option was listed in the manual, IIRC. I'm not sure what brand that was and whether they stepped up to the plate to sanction the use of drop headers or not.

    Do you have a copy of Dan's The Lost art of Steam Heating? It's a great resource and doesn't it explains the benefits of drop headers and how to pipe them quite clearly?... perhaps that would sway the BI?
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131
    What page?

    Have several copies. I didn't find much about drop headers in Lost Art. Obviously I may have missed it, but if you have specific page #s I'm all ears.

  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Moderator Posts: 11,877
    Why not just go

    to the Library and scroll to Steam Piping where you will find many photos of well-done drop headers.

    It pays to wander off the Wall.
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  • The Great Drop Header Debacle

    Yep , we did fail an inspection for a drop header . Since this particular arrangement was not in the boiler literature , it was piped wrong in the eyes of the inspector .

    We did manage to convince him that drop headers are perfectly acceptable - thanks to a few kind people who emailed me diagrams of drop headers . Burnham has a parts breakdown for their steam boilers .

    I'll check my computer and see if I can dig up those diagrams .

    Do you have any pics of your drop header ? If not can you post a diagram of how it's piped ? Did the inspector say why it's piped wrong ?
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131

    All (ok most) are very nice. But my dilema is I need something on paper, like out of a book, or a install manual, to fax to this shmoe-inspector. I have spec drawings showing drop headers tying two boilers together but nothing showing one boiler with a drop header.

    Still frustrated in Detroit...........sorry
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131

    I could go back and take a pic. But it is perfect. Sorry no other way to put it. I don't know much, but piping a steam boiler I know.
  • Mark HuntMark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Here is a picture

    from "The color of Steam" I received from a Peerless rep.

    It shows two boilers, but the header is dropped.

    Mark H

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  • Mark HuntMark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Here's a pic

    It's from Peerless's "The Color Of Steam"

    It shows two boilers, but the header is dropped.

    Mark H

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  • ConstantinConstantin Member Posts: 3,782
    I have to get my copy back...

    ... maybe yet another reason to buy another copy - I lent out mine and haven't got it back! I thought drop headers were brought up in the near boiler piping section where Dan details the evils of bull-headed T's, the need for low pressure, proper pitch, and so on. But unfortunately, I'm going on two-year old memory here as my book is AWOL!
  • ask the inspector

    Ask the inspector what he KNOWS about the drop header system and what's his credentails (sp) within the steam system. Good and understanding ones will leave and learn the system at our expenses... and thanks us for the education. I replaced a 32 years old weil mclain egh85 (dry fired due to inproper installed replaced lwco by furnace co) with another weil mclain eg85 steam bolier, this time with drop header. Tenents thought they were losing their hearing as the system is MUCH quieter and even heating...
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131

    Excellent drawing. Thanks!

    Now if I can just figure out how to print it argghhhhhhh
  • Mark HuntMark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Right click

    and "save picture as"

    Save it to your computer and print it ftom there.

    Mark H

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  • S EbelsS Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Tell him to come here

    If he wants to see how steam should be done, give him this website address. It truly is a lost art and even the inspectors don't undesrtand it. Nearly all they get to look at is commercial in nature. Here in gray, cloudy, snowy Michigan, they probably run across a new steamer about once in a blue moon. Sadly, a good share of them wouldn't know what they were looking at when confronted with something like a drop header.

    When inspecting a three temp system using a Vitodens near Cadillac, I actually had the inspector ask me to explain everythign that was going on to him. He flatly stated that he didn't have a clue. I respect him for saying that. We went over everything piece by piece and he asked lot's of questions as we worked through the system. In the end he was more than satisfied and gave me the little green sticker.

    The problem is, they (inspectors) rely on manufacturers recommendations and drawings and if they see something that's not illustrated or listed, it's a red tag. Most of the time, they are right to do so as we have seen hundreds of butchered steam systems here on the Wall. Maybe we need to make some phone calls to some of the manufacturers of these boilers and tell them to update their illustrations.
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131

    I agree, a lot of them are sheet metal guys or plumbers of the "set the toilet or sink" variety. These are some of the guys I come behind and repipe their install.

    Some of the tech help people at the manufactures' home offices don't even know what a drop header is.
  • You mean

    to say your steam main pipework is " perfect " and you don't take pics of these installs ? Anyone in your company think of carrying around a book of pics of past installs
    to show potential customers ? If the work is as good as you say , the stuff will sell itself .

    I thought about our situation when the job failed . I guess I can see the inspector's point , to a fault . The thing that pissed me off the most is the customer had ALL the radiators heating better than ever , and there was no noise in the pipes anymore . Made it a point to tell the inspector too .

    Imagine repiping a boiler working " perfect " .....
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131

    I said the piping was perfect. I didn't say our complete operation was perfect. We are a small company, and no we don't always take pics. In my mind it's darn near perfect. Quite honestly I see a lot of pics on here that are good jobs........but I see I see things like equlizers changing direction before the water line, lots of black to copper to black without dialectrics, and so on.
    Yes we do a big portion of our work through word of mouth (without pics). I explain, in detail, to the custumers, verbally and in our quotes the details about dry steam, pitches, correct pipe sizes, using all the tappings, etc. A lot of people don't understand or care, but they see that we know what we are doing, don't cut corners, and for some crazy reason like working on steam boilers, and that is what sells in my opinion. But you are right, gotta take more pics and use em.
  • I work for

    a large company , and I'm the only one taking pics . Not that the other installers don't do good work , I just like keeping a record of what I did . Maybe to peruse in retirement ........

    Are you gonna be hangin' around here for a while ? I'd love to see some of your steamer jobs , if you take some pics . I improved my install work considerably from the contructive critiqes from the experts here . And stole some ideas from the same gents .

    By the way , where did you learn the art of drop headers ? I tried my first one after seeing a job installed by Noel Murdough of Slant Fin - back in 2002 or so . 90 percent of my steamers have a drop now .

    Good luck with the inspector Patrick .
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131

    29 years experience. My Dad was a steamfitter (as am I, brother, cousin, etc). Some osmosis going on I guess. As well as Dan and all the sharp cookies (most) visiting this website.
  • GasperGasper Member Posts: 131

    Drop headers are a no brainer in my book. It takes all the stress off the sections. Also your header between the risers can be a tad long or short and no problemo. No fighten trying to connect that big union in the middle. Actually I put my unions in the risers. A couple of 2" unions can save more $'s then buying a big 3" (or whatever size) union.
  • AlAl Member Posts: 170

    I know that the Detail "A-A" shows that it is supposed to be a close nipple connection. But what is Detail "B-B" showing? Is there a reason that needs to be a close connection, or am I missing something?

This discussion has been closed.


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