Raising those radiators supply pipes
I want to make some family space in my basement. The problem is even though I have a very nice basement to work with, the supply and return pipes hang low that come from my boiler and feed my cast iron radiators.I'd like to know if anyone out ther has ever dealt with that problem and how they might have corrected it? I know that the old boilers such as mine depended on the pitch of the pipes to return water to the boiler.Can I raise the pipes, change the material of the pipes,steel to copper, change the pipe size, add an extra or larger pump to increase flow to make up for the pitch? Does anyone have any answers? I asked this old house the question but still have'nt gotten a response.Has anyone ever encountered this. I am a maintenance mechanic and can implement any solutions you may have but I've never encountered this before.
Re: Raising those radiators supply pipes
From the description in your post I assume you have a forced hot water heating system.
It sound like an old timer that may have been converted from coal to an oil-fired or gas-fired forced hot water system.
Or it may have beeen a gravity-type hot water system that is now using a pump.
Can you post some photos of the near boiler piping, as well as the piping that has to be moved to get more headroom in the basement.
What is the diameter in inches of the largest piping?
What is the heat output rating of the boiler (nametag on the boiler, or brand name & model #)??
What is the rating on the pump (hp rating/gpm)??
How old would you say is the boiler??
Could you provide the total sq.footage of the house & your general location??
Often, the least expensive way to repipe is to simply shut off the boiler, drain the system (when it gets warmer) and reposition the existing piping in between the floor joists--since you're using the same piping the only cost is additional nipples and some additional pipe & fittings.
A more substantial revamp would involve removing most of the large steel piping & replacing it with 1" or 1 1/4" copper tubing.
Are you able to solder copper tubing??
The pitch of the piping is much less important now that you have a pumped system---a very slight pitch is often included for those rare instances when the system has to be drained when the house will be unoccupied for a while.
The brackets holding the new piping (if copper) have to allow for 1/2" expansion of the copper in 20' runs, thus to allow the pipe to "slide" a little in the bracket to avoid banging noise in the mains & risers.
The pump is almost always reduced to a wet rotor 1/10 or 1/15 horsepower in output to take advantage of the smaller piping---this is much smaller than what you have on there now & saves a lot of elec.
The smaller piping would eliminate lots of water from the system & save fuel by not having to heat up all that extra water.
Could you check the diagrams at the site below (heating help) & advise if you have a loop piping system, diverter tee piping system (monoflo tee valve piping system), two-pipe heating system, etc.??
Last edited by JacktheShack; 03-15-2008 at 05:57 PM.