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Neal Lewis

Steam Boiler

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The risers on this steam boiler have this strange cross piece. There is no header. Clearly, this installer didn't know how to pipe a steam boiler.

What effeect, if any, do you think this piping arrangement will have on the system?

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The 2 steam mains are directly aligned with the 2 risers from the boiler. A proper manifold configuration has the mains connected to the manifold between the risers and the equalizer. Also, swing joints need to be installed to offset the manifold from the risers.

The installation in your picture will result in the pressure in the header (supply side) and the return side of the boiler not being equal. Water won't stay in the boiler.

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The Burnham Heating Helper

A good PDF to keep in your reference section. I've uploaded it to the file section as well but most likely pending approval.

That's a dandy book.

Nice diagram of the 2 pipe steam too.

This place continually informs me I don't know nearly what I thought I knew.

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Peerless boiler?

Copper should never be used for steam boiler piping, especially the header/manifold.

The first thing that is going to happen is, without any swing joints in place, something you can't have with soldered Copper pipe, the thermal expansion, which is more significant with Copper than Iron, is going to cause that horizontal pipe to pry apart the sections of the heat exchanger, causing a leak.

Kinda like this one.

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That boiler look familiar?

Then the Galvanic corrosion from the Copper and Cast Iron in the presence of water & O2 is going to rot the heat exchanger in about half the time is should live.

I had told this guy ten years before he better get someone to change that piping. This one failed at the ripe young age of 18 years. Probably had a hole in it for a year before he called me.

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The one you have there was piped by a buffoon.

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Kyle, yeah it's a Peerless. The Peerless steam boiler in my basement has been piped with copper since 1987. And it's even piped wrong with a bullheaded tee. It's been doing OK with no leaks. Knock on wood.

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Kyle, I agree about the copper piping, but have given up reporting it. Almost every time I've reported it (hundreds), the installer calls me and states that it's not required by code. Only a couple manufacturers mention it in their installation instructions, but when contacted, refuse to condemn the installation. In other words, they always side with the installer rather than stand behind their own published document.

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I mention copper as an FYI.. A Mestek seminar (H.B.Smith Boilers) instructor told us it can 'delaminate'. I found it so once...

A lot of this plumbing/heating stuff also depends on the water-quality as well..

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