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Joined on May 5, 2011

Last Post on August 31, 2014

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@ August 31, 2014 11:47 PM in two different metals

You're going to get many different opinions on this subject.

My understanding is when you connect dissimilar metals together and fill them with a liquid you essentially make a battery. One side being the anode and the other being the cathode. basically when you connect steel and copper together over time the iron will slowly be pulled over to the copper side, accumulating on the copper surface while the iron will slowly disappear and rust until you have a leak.

Now that said, I have 80+ year old refrigerators which have copper and steel brazed together as well as dissimilar aluminum screws screwed into steel nuts. They lasted over 80 years with zero problems.

I used some copper around my steam boiler, mainly below the water line because I feel the positives of it out weight the negatives in those locations. Will this cause the cast iron fitting I have the copper screwed into to rott out? I believe there is no doubt that it will but due to the thickness of the cast iron fitting there is a good chance it will not be in my life time. It is my understanding the reaction takes place very close to the joint so something a foot or two away shouldn't be effected.

It's typically a good idea to transition from steel to copper using a brass connector of sorts. If you can use a brass nipple or fitting they say it helps because brass is in between copper and steel so it's not as dissimilar.

Here is a good Wiki page on the subject.


@ August 31, 2014 11:20 PM in How much flex in piping?

I ended up cutting the floor more behind the pipe. Will just patch in with some plywood before putting the new floor down.

The pipe is still rubbing a little on the floor, but it shouldn't be enough to matter. If it does cause any noise I'll use the plastic milk carton trick.

This was actually related to my closet thread but I wanted to start a separate thread as it was a separate problem.

Where to set it to?

@ August 31, 2014 11:15 PM in Cut In on New Steam Boiler??

For the most part, the lower the better as long as you get enough heat to all parts of the building.

My system is currently set to trip at 4 ounces and wait for 10 minutes but this cannot be done with the typical pressuretrol. My Pressuretrol which is a backup is set to trip at 1.5PSI via my 3PSI gauge.

Most of the time my system sees very little pressure, in fact my 3.0 PSI Wika gauge never even moves. I'm planning on replacing it with a more useful gauge this fall.

threader type

@ August 31, 2014 11:05 AM in Is buying a used threader risky?


The type of threader I'm looking at doesn't hold the pipe so that may not be a concern.

Best I can tell, you clamp the pipe in a vice or a holder and after cutting and reaming you use this to thread it by hand. A long handle slides into the hole shown at the bottom.

My concern is they seem to cost $900-1K new yet are on ebay $150-200 used. Usually tools don't drop in value like that.

Is buying a used threader risky?

@ August 31, 2014 9:15 AM in Is buying a used threader risky?

I'm considering buying a used threader like a Ridgid 65R-TC. 90% of my needs are 1" 1 1/4" and 2" .

My assumption is if I buy a used one worst case I'll need to spend $70 on new dies. Is this correct, or do these tools often end up with other problems? I realize I'll still need a reamer and cutter etc but that's another story.


@ August 31, 2014 8:22 AM in weil mclain v efm boiler

The brand of the boiler isn't very important. What is important is that the boiler is properly matched to the radiation in the home and most of the time they are not. Do not go by the boiler that is already installed.

The next thing that is equally important is that the boiler is piped correctly. The hard part is finding someone who actually knows steam systems well because it seems like most boilers get piped incorrectly. Once you find someone that really knows what they are doing just go with whatever boiler brand they install.

If possible I recommend asking questions on here after you get some recommendations just to make sure they are acceptable. It's much harder to get things fixed after the job is complete.

Unfortunately you will not be able to keep your self-powered system as they are no longer manufactured and I believe are against code as far as new installations.

Thank you

@ August 30, 2014 1:49 PM in Going around obsticals

Thank you for all of the replies.

It's sounding like a drip leg will not only be easier, but may be necessary due to limited amount of space. As Fred said I have almost no room to work with.

My question about a drip leg is because it's primarily below the water line can I use copper? I'm sure there will be many opinions on this and I'd like to hear all of them.

Drip leg

@ August 29, 2014 5:41 PM in Going around obsticals

I've considered a drip leg as well.

Unsure of what the smallest size I could safely use is though as I'd need to drill through a stone foundation to make it happen. I'm guessing 1/2" would be the smallest recommended?

The radiator is a small 15sqft unit.


@ August 29, 2014 5:03 PM in Going around obsticals


As I said previously,

The current straight pipe is pushed against a pvc pipe going to a toilet. Instead of shimming the radiator I would just install a shorter nipple connecting it if need be. It's not possible.

it is also not possible to move the pvc pipe for the toilet.

I'm curious, why would it pound?

Going around obsticals

@ August 29, 2014 3:59 PM in Going around obsticals

I'm considering doing something smiliar to the attached diagram to get better pitch on a runout to one of my radiators.

The current straight pipe is pushed against a pvc pipe going to a toilet. I barely have enough pitch on the pipe to prevent hammering but right now it's been quiet. If it drops even a 1/16th it'll hammer on startup.

I'm assuming if I do something like this it's fine even if I have 45's or something to keep the steam pipe off to the side rather than directly above the bottom trap / drain as long as the bottom run is always completely filled and the top section empty?


@ August 29, 2014 3:07 PM in What is the solution?

I bought all of my pipe insulation and covers from this website.

I still have some I need to do, though I've got most of it done.

Try to buy everything you need at once because shipping cost is a killer.

EDIT: Wanted to add 1" thick is by far the best bang for the buck. If I had it to do over I would go with 2" in some areas like my crawl space where it gets really cold but I'd still do the majority in 1".


@ August 29, 2014 2:35 PM in What is the solution?

I'm not a pro either. I've done similar work to my own system though.

I'd recommend calling Jstar as I think he services Brooklyn.


@ August 29, 2014 2:22 PM in What is the solution?

If the last take off isn't exposed anywhere convenient what about drilling and tapping the side of the tee for it?

Keep it up as high as you can without risking drilling into the pipe threading and then you can vent from there.


@ August 28, 2014 2:32 PM in What is the solution?

Where does the takeoff on the far right go and is there anyway you could use that? If there is a fitting in that pipe up above you could drill and tap for 1/2" that would be perfect in my opinion.

Another option would be to vent the return if possible.


@ August 27, 2014 10:17 AM in Antique something??

Yep, no plugs in the first two ports, the second two have plugs. Looks like probably 3/4" NPT.

I was surprised I couldn't find anything at all on this. Usually when I find an old name on an item like this I can find something, but not this time.

Antique something??

@ August 26, 2014 9:38 PM in Antique something??

I found this in one of my crawl spaces mixed in with a pile of galvanized pipe and the big inserts that came from a converted coal boiler I assume. You know, the big iron ones that slide into the large passages.

Anyway, it appears to say Rich Fin and 30 gallons. There is some number before that but I can't make it out.

Does anyone know what this is?


@ August 26, 2014 10:16 AM in Swing joints. How do they work?

I tried that, I couldn't really find anything that talked about whether or not threaded pipes actually twist and move inside the threaded fittings.


@ August 26, 2014 10:04 AM in puchasing a new ammeter, recommendations?


I'm curious what type of digital meters you have used? As I said earlier in the thread cheap ones annoy me because of how slow they are.

A good quality digital meter is often faster than an analog meter movement and usually has a bar graph to indicate movement.


@ August 26, 2014 8:33 AM in Steam versus Hot Air

Hi Terry,

Please feel free to use the image anyway you wish.


@ August 25, 2014 11:12 PM in Swing joints. How do they work?

So if I'm understanding correctly "swing joint" is a standard piping term in regards to when you use an elbow  so the pipe can "swing" to a different angle?

My assumption was it was a term only used in steam piping.

Swing joints. How do they work?

@ August 25, 2014 10:47 PM in Swing joints. How do they work?

I'm sorry if this is a dumb question but I'm trying to understand swing joints better.
Does the piping actually turn inside the fittings or is it to align piping in a way that it can flex and the actual threading inside the fitting doesn't move?

I'm having a hard time understanding if the piping actually turns inside the fitting how doesn't this create leaks?

Painting and teflon tape?

@ August 25, 2014 5:53 PM in Oh look what I found in my closet

Hi KC. Thanks! I'm happy it came out as well as it did but will feel a lot better once the whole room is painted and the new floor is down.
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