Redirected: How to remove/reinstall boiler pipes.

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Old 03-04-11, 11:43 AM
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Redirected: How to remove/reinstall boiler pipes.

You may have read my other posts about finishing my basement. I am near the end of researching the best way to do this.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG0031.jpg

I think I need to either move the existing pipes up and between the floor joists or cut and splice with pex, assuming this might be a little easier. Can this be a do-it-your-self-er?

Basement forum said, "the pipes have to be sloped so I can't do it". Maybe it's now out of the diy'er category.
 
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Old 03-04-11, 12:28 PM
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Whether or not you can move the pipes or replace with PEX depends entirely on if you have a steam heat system or a forced hot water system. If steam then you cannot move the pipes but if hot water you can move the existing piping or use the PEX.

Some pictures of the boiler and nearby piping will help someone to better advise you.
 
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Old 03-04-11, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
Whether or not you can move the pipes or replace with PEX depends entirely on if you have a steam heat system or a forced hot water system. If steam then you cannot move the pipes but if hot water you can move the existing piping or use the PEX.

Some pictures of the boiler and nearby piping will help someone to better advise you.
Pretty sure its a hot water system. Does a steam system have little "canisters" next to radiators for relieving pressure? Also, this boiler has a pump.

I'm really relieved to here it can use pex... I've seen radiant floors use pex and figured why not radiators too. I'm thinking of just doing those two(2) long pipes and finishing(with insulation, studs, drywall, etc.) one corner of the basement for now.

Sort of what the arrangement will be like:http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...asement3-3.jpg

And these are boiler, long pipes I want to change and connections above the boiler.http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG0035.jpg
http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG0034.jpg

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG0033.jpg
 

Last edited by Mr Obvious; 03-04-11 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 03-04-11, 11:11 PM
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I really wanted pictures of all sides of the boiler. Also show where the pipes leaving the boiler reach the ceiling and connect to the horizontal piping.

Does a steam system have little "canisters" next to radiators for relieving pressure?
A steam system will have air vents on each radiator, not for relieving pressure but for releasing air. Please post a picture of the "canisters" that you are referring to.

I still don't know if you have a steam or hot water system. The piping you have shown could be steam and if you have a steam system you are most likely stuck with the piping as it is.
 
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Old 03-04-11, 11:27 PM
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Not steam furd. There is a fill valve, a steel expansion tank, and flow controls in this pic.

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG0034.jpg

Mike NJ
 
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Old 03-04-11, 11:57 PM
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Possibly, the picture is really too dark for me to discern details. The piping in that picture sure looks more like hot water than steam but I want to see more to be completely sure.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
I really wanted pictures of all sides of the boiler. Also show where the pipes leaving the boiler reach the ceiling and connect to the horizontal piping.


A steam system will have air vents on each radiator, not for relieving pressure but for releasing air. Please post a picture of the "canisters" that you are referring to.

I still don't know if you have a steam or hot water system. The piping you have shown could be steam and if you have a steam system you are most likely stuck with the piping as it is.

Here are some more photos:

http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG0037.jpg
http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG0038.jpg
http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG0036.jpg
 
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Old 03-05-11, 09:36 AM
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Much better.

Yes, you have a hot water system and yes, you may re-pipe with PEX piping as long as you use PEX with an oxygen barrier. Others may want to add details.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 10:12 AM
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You can move them up. Be sure to match the diameter of the existing piping. If you use PEX, you MUST use one with an oxygen barrier, such as PEX-AL-PEX.

Also be sure to not enclose the boiler in a small space when you remodel. It needs adequate combustion air.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by xiphias View Post
You can move them up. Be sure to match the diameter of the existing piping. If you use PEX, you MUST use one with an oxygen barrier, such as PEX-AL-PEX.

Also be sure to not enclose the boiler in a small space when you remodel. It needs adequate combustion air.
I googled PEX-AL-PEX. This is aluminum wrap sandwiched with PEX. The aluminum prevents oxygen from entering the system.

I think the basement forum said changing to PEX from the gravity-fed sloped "steel pipes" will require a pump in line. I wonder why there is a pump on the system now? Will it require another pump?

Using PEX seems to have transformed this to a diy'er. If I figure I can do this, then I can begin finishing my basement. I'm thinking I should start with preparing the ceiling (rerouting boiler lines) for drywall.

I am excited about this as I have been slowly getting info on finishing the basement the right way for the last couple years and it's really at a point of doing another phase. I look forward to your replies and appreciate your posts. I am amazed with the PEX-AL-PEX info; I knew there had to be a way to erase the pipes and searched, in my little free time, the WEB for probably years. Your forum just gave me a more finished look for my remodel. Thank you.

Oh, forgot to say, my steel pipes are mainly 1 7/8" O.D. The steel lines that branch off to the radiators are 1 1/4" O.D. The copper pipes connecting between steel lines and the boiler (in photos) are 1 1/4" O.D. I looked at PEX-AL-PEX on the internet and I only see 3/4" max. Can you clarify?
 

Last edited by Mr Obvious; 03-05-11 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 03-05-11, 07:16 PM
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If it has anything to do with PEX, these guys have it & are quite knowledgeable, or so I hear. PEX - Radiant Heat - Radiant Heating - Plumbing Supplies - PexSupply.com
 
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Old 03-05-11, 08:29 PM
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Piping is measured by the "nominal" inside diameter. Your steel pipes of 1-7/8 inch OD correspond to 1-1/2 inch nominal; the 1-1/4 inch OD corresponds to 1 inch nominal and the copper doesn't compute. 1 inch nominal copper is 1-1/8 inch OD, 1-1/4 inch nominal is 1-3/8 inch OD and 1-1/2 inch nominal is 1-5/8 inch OD.

At any rate the steel piping is most likely quite a bit oversize but even so I would use the 1 inch PEX-AL-PEX for the main lines and the 3/4 for the branch lines to the individual heat emitters (baseboards or radiators). The tubing needs to be installed with no "humps" or "valleys" that could impede the removal of air. The ideal connection method is the Wirsbo-Upanor expansion tool but it is rather pricey. Shark-Bite fittings could also be used but they are also fairly pricey so you would probably have to use the crimp ring procedure. I think that rent-a-tool stores in larger cities might have the proper crimp ring tool but I don't know. I can't really offer any more advice on the PEX as my only personal experience with the product is the water inlet hose on my washing machine.

Your system may have originally been a "gravity" system without a pump but when the original boiler was replaced it was changed to a "forced" system. You should not need either an additional or different pump but you may want to change the location of the pump and expansion tank to what is called "pumping away" (Google that term with the quotation marks for some interesting reading) to make your system conform to current design specifications.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 04:16 AM
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What if anything is written on the tees of the piping? It is possible that this is a monoflow-tee (aka diverter-tee) system. Doesn't totally look like it, but maybe.

Can you also draw out a piping diagram showing how the main pipes and branch pipes connect to and from the radiators?

Can you also provide description of the size and type of the radiators? Need to know output potential to assist in evaluating tubing size options. See recent thread on EDR calculations for guidance
http://forum.doityourself.com/boiler...culations.html
 
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Old 03-17-11, 03:39 PM
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I'd use copper. It doesn't take but a couple of tries to learn to solder. IMO PEX has no advantage over copper.
 
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