View Full Version : Replacing steam boiler
12-09-2009, 03:31 PM
I have to change out this boiler and i have a few questions.
1) why is there a u bend in the 2" pipe? Is the supply and return in the same piping?
2) do i need to add a circulator pump, extrol tank, air scoop to the new system?
i have installed boilers but steam is all new to me.
any help would be great! thanks
12-09-2009, 04:09 PM
I am about to give you some advice that you probably will not want to hear but believe me, if you don't know what those U bend pipes are and are asking if you need an expansion tank ect, you really really should not be doing this change out. Steam boilers and piping are a science and getting it right requires a skilled installer that knows steam and steam systems. I refer you to the following web site
12-09-2009, 04:24 PM
I agree with Peter, but to answer your questions:
1) the U-bend pipe is comprised of the riser, header (top of the U), and equalizer. The steam that is created has equal pressure on both sides, so the water is not pushed out of the boiler. I can't tell from your picture but where the equalizer enters the boiler below the water line there should be a nipple connecting to the wet return with a Hartford loop. Get this step wrong and you'll never pass inspection, and the boiler will be dangerous. Do the other piping wrong and you'll have wet steam, water hammer, or worse.
12-09-2009, 04:37 PM
Peter is right. get a qualified contractor to do the replacement. What it looks like you have is a one pipe steam system. The loop is used to prevent surging in the boiler. It also should be piped with iron pipe.
12-09-2009, 05:53 PM
based on the current configurations, does this setup seem correct?
Also looking at the new boiler configurations, it doesnt seem exactly the same.
should i just go by the new boiler configurations?
i shouldnt have a problem going black pipe to copper tie in?
12-09-2009, 06:30 PM
Just curious why it's being replaced? From the pics it doesn't seem too old in boiler years. I've seen units that are the size of a small car..now those are old!
12-09-2009, 06:33 PM
flame rollout, burners fell apart
12-09-2009, 06:41 PM
You don't take advice well do you? So at this point the best thing is to have at it and end up spending money twice when you have to get a professional to come in and straighten things out. You don't even know how to properly size the new boiler do you? You just have no clue what headaches you are getting yourself into. I'm not being a prick here. I'm trying to explain to you that a proper steam boiler install is not anything a diy'er shoud even begin to contemplate. It would take several pages of explanation of the proper installation methods and sizing.
12-09-2009, 06:53 PM
Listen to the pros....good to be informed bad to be dead or poor.
Two possibilities if you try and tackle this yourself.
12-09-2009, 09:56 PM
If you follow the manufacturer's diagram for near boiler piping to the letter, and you do it in iron instead of copper, you might come out alright. But there are other aspects of a steam system besides installing the boiler. Do you have the right size boiler? You need to measure the total EDR. Are the mains vented and insulated? It looks like there's no skim port on that boiler; do you know to add one to the new boiler? There are lots of pitfalls.
12-10-2009, 05:16 AM
OK...i might not be a "master plumber" but i am fully capable of installing a steam boiler, i do have a plumber who is working with me, its size correctly, etc, and yes i do know how to skim. My only questions were and maybe i didnt make myself clear, 1) why did they use copper not black pipe. 2) why have i seen guys install extrol tanks on other setups.
12-10-2009, 05:30 AM
You do not use a Extrol tank on steam, they are used on hot water systems. Asking a question like that gives the impression that you have no knowledge of working with steam. Good luck on your installation, I hope the plumber your working with has a background in steam.
12-10-2009, 07:31 AM
They probably used copper because it's easier and quicker. Iron is better. I don't think you need to be a "master plumber" to install a steam boiler but you do need to know a few things. If you saw a tank or pump in a steam system it may have been a condensate return system. You wouldn't see something like that in a typical residence.
12-10-2009, 02:19 PM
This thread represents the worse possible diy scenario.
12-10-2009, 09:32 PM
flame rollout, burners fell apart
Get a new set of burners and clean the heat exchanger.
As long as the heat exchanger is in good condition I would just rebuild the parts of the boiler that need rebuilding.