The Wall
Forum / Strictly Steam / steam copper piping?
  • Post a Reply to this Thread

    steam copper piping? (3 Posts)

  • __________ __________ @ 2:51 PM
    Contact this user

    steam copper piping?

    My plumber is replacing a leaking steam boiler with a new (gas fired) one. I have a two pipe steam vacuum heating system. My plumber is inserting a valve into the bottom of the condensate return line ( a near horizontal section) to enable it to be flushed from time to time. But he's also replacing that part of the line (a straight piece about 8 feet long) with copper repeat copper line that is threaded to allow connection to the existing piping which will remain. The existing piping is all iron/steel.

    I asked him why he's using copper not iron or steel as surely it will expand at a different rate to the iron/steel? His response is that copper will last much longer for this application than steel/iron and as the condensate line doesn't get that hot there's not an issue regarding different metals. He acknowledges that you should never use copper for steam piping, especially close to the boiler. He also says the copper line has threaded connections.

    So my question is: Is he correct that it's better to use copper pipe at this location or is he completely wrong? I'd appreciate earliest response given that the plumber is installing pipe as I write.


  • Steam_Starter Steam_Starter @ 3:00 PM
    Contact this user

    Copper is OK....(GASP!)

    If is below the waterline.

    In a perfect world though, he would be using a dielectric connection between black pipe and copper but its not a killer if its below waterline.

  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 4:26 PM
    Contact this user

    I'd do the same thing

    wet returns are the only place in a steam system where copper makes sense. 
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
Post a Reply to this Thread