Return Piping

Return Piping

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:28 pm

Setting up the EFM high boy..

Question on piping to the returns on the bottom rear of the boiler. The one on my boiler is plugged and quite probably has been since installed in 1953. Tried to unplug and it wouldn't Budge... Thus I am left to ask is it OK to continue and only use the one return side on this boiler? instead of teeing and going into both returns? Please let me know! Thanks.
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: billw On: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:44 pm

I have a 1959 EFM. Both returns and the outlet were choked down to 3/4". They wouldn't budge either. I finally had to drill, cut and bust the three of them out. It was time consuming and basically a nasty job. I connected the returns as recommended by EFM. I figured if the designers recommended it be connected that way I better do it. Not sure why but I'm not taking any chances.
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: e.alleg On: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:29 pm

Using both is technically the best thing to do, but I've seen a ton of boilers using just one that have heated houses for a long long time with no problems.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: Freddy On: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:54 pm

I always believed the reason for two returns was simply to make it easier on the plumber. Use the one that's easy to get to and plug the other. As long as the one you're using is the proper size for the BTU's you'r using you should be all set.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:17 pm

I thought the two ports were to get proper flow of the return water across more surface of the boiler to transfer more heat.
cArNaGe
 

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:31 pm

No one designs - or adds ports for the ease of the installer.

they are there for a reason :)

--or left out of the plan :roll:
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: stoker-man On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:56 am

Two returns even out the water temperature inside better than one return. Notice the use of valves and the balancing line to the feed side to prevent shocking the boiler and moderating the feed water.
stoker-man
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:40 am

OK so can anyone give me any ideas on how to get it out? at this point in time the ends have already broken off the square nut on there. We were using the correct size pipe wrench with a 4' extension breaker bar and it still wouldn't budge....

So is there anything I could try? Maybe heating it with a torch some? please help!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:42 am

Stokerman

what do you mean by "notice the use of valves.... etc" where am I to be looking to see what you are trying to show me... is it in the manual? My boiler is the old style, round door, from 1953. let me know please!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: billw On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:51 am

I was just in that same position last week. I also used an oxy/acetelene torch to try to heat them without any luck.
If there is still enough of the fitting sticking out above the vessel cut the top off with a sawzall. That should bare the sides of the fitting. Then I took a hacksaw and cut into the sides of the fitting making sure not to damage the threads on the vessel. I made cuts about every 1/2 inch about half way around the fitting. Then break the pieces out with a chisel and hammer. If you can't cut the top off the fitting drill 4 -5 holes into the top of the fitting and do the same thing with the hacksaw.

This is a real time consuming deal. I'm sure plumbers might have an easier way but that was the best I could come up with. I got 3 fittings out that way but I spent about 5 hours on each one. Be real careful not to damage the threads on the vessel. I wouldn't have any idea how to fix that.
billw
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 520
Stove/Furnace Model: GOODBYE OIL COMPANY

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:42 pm

You could weld a new end on it & try that, but I'll bet without drilling and sawing, it's not going to come out. Drill a one inch hole through it. Use a sawsall to cut it into 5 or 6 pie shaped pieces. Cut down to the threads, but don't go into the threads. Now you can use a drift pin and two pound ball pean hammer and break out the pieces.
But... I'd just run one return. While it's a nice idea to balance the flow for better heat distribution in the boiler, I'll bet in 99% of the cases, it's not truly balanced. Water takes the path of least resistance. Unless you put pressure gauges on both returns so you really know, you just don't know! Just my opinion, but it's not going to hurt a steel boiler to have a differential in temps from one side to the other or from the top to the bottom. A cast iron boiler might have regulations on temperature differential between top & bottom, but a steel boiler just isn't going to get hurt. I'd leave that one plugged, use the one that's working, and have no worries. If you're really worried you can add a by pass valve that makes some water spin in circles from supply to return. That'll keep the temps inside the boiler similar.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: mozz On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:39 pm

[quote=" at this point in time the ends have already broken off the square nut on there. We were using the correct size pipe wrench with a 4' extension breaker bar and it still wouldn't budge....
[/quote]
Same thing happened to me on my AA130 install, the plug was there for 26 years. I broke off the square ends trying to get it out, even heated with a propane torch to no avail. Hammer and chisel, it is cast, it will break off in small pieces, takes a bit of time but i got it out, without damaging the threads.
mozz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 1982 AA-130 Steam

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: Cap On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:47 pm

Folks!

There are pipe wrenches and there are large union wrenches/adjustable wrenches.
Pipe wrenches are for round fittings. Square wrenches for square fittings. Pipe wrench puts an uneven pull on a square fitting. Usually not a problem when tightening a new clean fitting. But I always made a habit of using the proper tool. Use the proper tool when possible.

Mark, you will need to use a oxy/ace torch. Not much of a choice. You need to burn out the old rust, corrosion & pipe dope. If your plug is rounded, you have no choice but to use a pipe wrench. I wouldn't recommend using such a large cheater. Too much torque is not always smart and can get you in trouble.
Cap
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:51 pm

Thanks for all the tips guys... we'll see what happens..

I know Freddy is outnumbered here with the "leave it in" suggestion but I almost am inclined to go with that.

Water will go with the least resistance and although it would more than likely be SOMEWHAT more balanced I still don't know that its worth it. The boiler is a 1953 and someone out there had a nice warm house for 55 years without issue...

maybe i'll try the same.
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: Return Piping

PostBy: Sting On: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:41 pm

?????
What does you heat loss calculation say?

How many GPM do you need to circulate about these choke points?

If the flow doesn't need to be to the potential of the boiler - your fine. under fire the appliance - Could that be why it did its job in the past?

I know - my questions do not answer your question... but whats a figment of the public internet to do?

My clairvoyance and human interaction skills suck - so I ask. ;)
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG