very rusted steam boiler pipes

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Old 02-12-14, 09:32 PM
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very rusted steam boiler pipes

My basement heater pipe is rusted badly and needs to be replaced. They're metal pipes. I'm thinking of using copper pipes so its easier to work with, cut it, then use couplings and lead soldering


I've patched up the leaks with steel putty but its temporary to maintain heat in this crazy weather, not a permanent solution.

My pops was a plumber but long retired and would like to tackle this myself with his guidance.

Any advice, thanks in advance.
 
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Old 02-12-14, 09:45 PM
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Copper is not recommended for use above the water line of a steam boiler.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 06:20 AM
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Thanks, is it because of pressure issues or future rust prevention to not use copper?
 
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Old 02-13-14, 07:56 AM
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One of the actual 'steam heads' will be by to explain all the reasons... there are several as I understand it.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 08:19 AM
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Soldered copper pipe is a no-no with steam. Brazed joints can be used, but that is often outside the realm of DIYers.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 08:52 AM
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Copper is not nearly as durable as black pipe. As time goes on, leaks at joints are more than likely to appear, sags in the piping may also happen over time causing bellies of water and copper isn't going to handle any type of water hammer like iron pipe would to a degree. Better to replace it with black pipe. Some supply house offer a cutting and threading service for your convenience. Just need one long piece a union and a run of nipples. Make sure the pitch is proper and the hangers are in place to support the line.
 
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Old 02-13-14, 10:10 AM
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Some supply house offer a cutting and threading service for your convenience.
My local Ace Hardware cuts and threads new steel pipe that I buy from them. They won't thread used pipe. They stock an assortment of black nipples and fittings.
 
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Old 02-14-14, 09:18 AM
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thank you. that makes a lot of sense. I was just worried how the union would work since both sides are screwed in. There must be a special union for that.
 
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Old 02-14-14, 09:23 AM
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The union has a nut in the middle to tighten up but ends once everything else is installed.
 
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Old 02-14-14, 01:21 PM
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This one is brass, but shows you how they work...


image courtesy gardenweb.com
 
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Old 02-15-14, 07:46 AM
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The image only shows garden web.
 
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Old 02-15-14, 08:47 AM
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Shows up on my browser but maybe the site doesn't allow 'linking' and the image I see is in my 'cache'...

Try pasting this link into a new browser window, or maybe just click it:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/plum...0939031320.jpg
 
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Old 02-15-14, 03:21 PM
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A bigger problem using copper as a steam carrying pipe is thee steam leaches copper from the pipe which ends up back in the cast iron boiler causing galvanic reaction and future boiler leaks.
 
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