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    Copper near boiler piping (17 Posts)

  • gerry gill gerry gill @ 8:53 PM
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    Jerry, its not the copper

    that electrolyis attacks..its the FERROUS METALS..of course the thousands of miles of the copper looks fine...this is exactly what i was getting at..keep using it..your doing your customer a dis-service.. http://www.eaa1000.av.org/technicl/corrosion/galvanic.htm To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
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  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 9:00 PM
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    No, you said

    "creates a danger from melt-down due to high temp failures". That's what I corrected you on. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Jerry Jerry @ 9:13 PM
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    You're right, melt down was a poor choice of words. What I meant was catastrophic failure from a blow out in the boiler room due to joint failure, from high heat, high pressure, or just a bad sweat joint. Copper has no place on near boiler piping, think I said that too. I'll try to be more specific in the future
  • gerry gill gerry gill @ 7:21 AM
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    what i'm saying is

    that if a cast iron boiler lasts 20 years with a bunch of copper pipes in the system, it may have lasted 30 years if the copper wasn't there. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
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  • Jerry Jerry @ 10:27 AM
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    I seen many a boiler where copper was used to replace rotted out steel wet return lines, 20 to 30 years ago, on 60-80 yr old boilers. The piping is fine, the boiler is fine. How do I know? Because I took em out section by section to do an up-grade. Two pipe convector are typically run in copper also, I've never seen a problem there either. The only time I ever see electrolysis is when some galve was used on a repair; disaster, and fast. What are you guys running out there, sea-water? Again, for the fourth or fifth time, I do not advocate and do not use copper on near-boiler piping. Lighten up!
  • Tom Tom @ 9:28 PM
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    copper trouble

    I recently came to care for this one pipe steam sytem. The boiler was replaced five years ago, with copper near boiler piping. It is now leaking in 2 places on the copper lines . I think I should cut it all out and re-do it all. Do I use cast iron or malleable iron pipe? I can move the boiler over to the right and get the outlet close to the header, but would need to use 2 45's to get to the header, I run out of room to have a straight shot. Is this acceptable? How about that equalizer!? I will repipe it to the header. Surprising, the system heats the house and is very quiet, just expensive to run. I have a copy of the Lost Art of Steam Heating, and I know a few things are wrong with this piping. Any suggestions??
  • Brad White Brad White @ 9:43 PM
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    Pipe it in Iron, Sell the Copper to Pay for It :)

    Seriously- yes, re-do the near-boiler piping in iron. Technically it is Schedule 40 carbon steel (ASTM A-53 or A-106). Your question of whether to use cast or malleable iron goes to fittings, not pipe. Long-time debate. Malleable is more widely available and is tougher. Cast has the characteristic that you can score and break it with a hammer when it comes time to re-work things. The elbow I see in the photo seems to be cast (thicker socket rims) but I could be wrong. Side by side, cast iron has thicker socket rims than malleable. Rather than run 45's to the existing header, is it possible to install a dropped header to regain some of the room? Others I am sure will have much more valid comments than I, but one other thing is the equalizer running from a tee in the opposite direction from the header feed direction. I believe that the equalizer wants to be at the end of the header past the feed take-off. My $0.02 Brad
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 11:51 PM
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    What I'd do

    first, get rid of all the copper steam piping. Remove the cap from the right-hand end of the old header. Put a level on the old header to see which way it is pitched. Run the 2-1/2" black steel steam line out of the Galaxy boiler into the high end of the header (as determined by the level). The header piping appears to be the same size as the steam outlet on the Galaxy, and its height above the boiler appears OK- if this is so (or if the header is larger) it will work fine. At the low end of the old header, install an appropriate reducing ell and run a new equalizer to the Hartford Loop. This will dry out the steam. Then, make sure the mains are properly vented and the pipes are properly insulated, and watch how well it works. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • N/A @ 9:48 PM

    oh geezz

    What a totaly half assed job they did on the boiler.... Best to repiped it properly with balck pipe and fittings, properly repipes the main air vent(s).. Etc etc get a real steam boiler pros, not just some plumbing outfits that think pipes are just pipes...
  • gerry gill gerry gill @ 10:03 PM
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    people that use copper anywhere

    in a steam system, supply or return have no conception of what an anode or a cathode is...repipe it in steel pipe and cast or mallable iron fittings..download off the web the manufacturers installation manual and follow what it says to do..were here to help if you have questions..don't use copper as it expands to much..its also a cathode and will cause the anode (the ferrous metal of the system) to decay prematurely.. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
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  • Jerry Jerry @ 12:06 AM
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    So you're saying that the copper in the system will last forever, while the cast iron boiler will crumble into dust, and all these boilers I've been looking at for the last 30 years (some of them 80 yrs old or more) have been running on faith. Somebody please shoot me before I mess up another customer, and try not to dent your halo getting in and out of the truck.
  • Tom Tom @ 11:20 PM
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    More questions

    Thanks for the pointers and convincing me whats wrong is wrong. If I move the boiler to the left and back towards that block wall, I can almost line up the boiler outlet and the header, but would need to use 2 45's to get it connected. Is this a real no-no ? I can use a 3" pipe to run to the header; the boiler outlet is 2 1/2. I can not get a straight run because I would need to put the boiler through the chimney! Would prefer to leave the header alone( asbestos) Also the boiler is up on 1 cinder block, any problem if I put it down on the floor? Increases the "B" dimension and give me a longer header for drier steam,?
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 10:23 AM
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    A couple of elbows

    will be fine, Tom. And as long as the header is 24 inches or more above the boiler's maximum waterline, the boiler can stay on the blocks. I like blocks, they keep the boiler above any small accumulations of water in the boiler room. To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Keith M Keith M @ 2:56 PM
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    instructions for steam boiler piping

    For Galaxy steam boiler piping go to the following link. Next to Galaxy pick GG-40, this is installation instructions for Galaxy boilers. Near boiler piping for steam is on pages 6 and 7. Please follow these instructions. If you have any questions call Slant/Fin technical services and speak with John, Noel or Larry. Phone number 800 873 4346 www.slantfin.com/boilerpdf/index.html Keith Muhlmeister Slant/Fin
  • Jerry Jerry @ 2:15 PM
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    Earth to Gerry - There's 8 million miles of copper pipe installed on steam rads, and they're doin just fine. There isn't an electrolysis issue on oxygen dead stuff, (hydronic), or steam, with copper right to black. I am speaking only from experience, of course. Having said that, using copper on near boiler supply piping creates a danger from melt-down due to high temp failures. control failures A perfect storm. Copper on the returns and rad piping seems to hold up pretty well. Galvanized fittings and pipe are the only ones that seem to be incompatible with, well, anything.
  • Steamhead (in transit) Steamhead (in transit) @ 2:47 PM
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    Not melt-down, Jerry

    expansion & contraction. Copper expands and contracts more and faster than black steel or cast iron. Since there are no threads that will turn and take up the slack, the soldered joints break. The problem is much worse on boilers that require two or more risers to the header. In my experience, copper headers usually leak by about the fifth year they're in place. Then the feeder has to make up the water lost thru the leaks. Pretty soon all the fresh water rots out the boiler sections. Treating a boiler this way is a cardinal sin. Oh, BTW, Gerry's feet are firmly planted on the ground. Check out the e-book he and Steve Pajek wrote on air vent and trap capacities. He couldn't have done this so well if he were airborne.... To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Jerry Jerry @ 4:15 PM
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    Steamy - wether by frost or fire I didn't say cop near boiler piping is ok. What I tried to say is that copper is ok in a steam system and electrolysis is not an issue, otherwise there's a lot of real big buildings that need to be torn dowm. Copper wet returns below the loop seem to hold up very well from what I have witnessed, as long as there's no dialectric union of course. Copper has no place on the header, but I said that the first time.
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