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Copper OK for return pipes?

gerry gill
gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
and say you shouldn't..like steamhead says, this is heavily debated amongst us..my studies of cathodes and anodes lead me to say no..

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  • Jennifer_6
    Jennifer_6 Member Posts: 5
    Copper OK for return pipes?

    I'm sure with enough time on my hands, I might find the answer to this question on the site, but was hoping for some quick feedback. I need to have most of my return pipe replaced on my one-pipe steam boiler. My heating man recommends copper, but I know in Dan's book he recommends steel for any piping near the boiler. My heating man said copper is OK on the return line since the water is not hot.
    Any feedback and opinions will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  • This is a controversial subject

    but many of us, including myself, think that if the pipe does not carry steam in any way, shape or form, it can be copper.

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  • Brad White_149
    Brad White_149 Member Posts: 24
    I say

    if Steamhead says it is OK, that is good enough for me, with the conditions stated (water, not steam). Formerly, I would say to use only Schedule 80 steel for condensate, but I have to bow to the practical experience of those in the field.
  • David Sutton_6
    David Sutton_6 Member Posts: 1,079
    I'm with Steamhead

    As lomg as its below the water line,

  • Jennifer_6
    Jennifer_6 Member Posts: 5
    Didn't realize this was so controversial...

    ... but that leads me to want to choose steel then. If I understand correctly, the debate is only about the use of copper, but all would agree steel is A-OK.
  • Brad White_149
    Brad White_149 Member Posts: 24
    Steel Yes

    but Schedule 80 (heavier wall than Schedule 40 as you would use for steam) will increase longevity.

    Copper becomes a viable option below the water line.
  • Jennifer_6
    Jennifer_6 Member Posts: 5
    decision time soon!

    This is all so interesting everyone, thank you. The pipes that need replacing are all in fact below the water line. It is my Hartford loop that has to be re-piped. I am just a relatively new homeowner that wants to make informed decisions... and I need to make my final decision by tomorrow, since the repair is scheduled for early next week.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,744
    I've done both.......................................

    I think it is a question of longevity and agree with Both Gerry and Steamhead. I believe steel WILL probably last longer than copper IF......it is flsuhed and cleaned every few years ( this rarely happens). On the other hand copper is much smoother and less prone to build up those big carbuncles in the returns. It is economic too: If people are willing to pay for the extra labor, I will offer black pipe. Most don't. Mad Dog
This discussion has been closed.