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Thread: boiler pipe

  1. #1

    boiler pipe

    i want to know what type of pipe is best for the contractor to install for when i hire one. there is type l copper, black pipe or ductile iron pipe. is ductile or or black pipe the cheapest?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    North East Ohio
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    It's all expensive these days. Black and ductile are cheaper, but copper is the right choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    St Paul, minnesota
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    if you're talking about the water side copper has the highest heat transfer rate of the 3

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCHeat View Post
    but copper is the right choice.
    I'd like to hear an explination of why.
    Especially on a steam boiler.

    Boiler obsession:
    I prefer BI. Unless I'm connecting to existing copper lines on a water boiler, or feeding infloor. Then I prefer copper.

    BI might be "cheaper" in straight material cost, but it's alot more labor intensive.

    Let me run this by you.
    I've uninstalled boilers from the early 20's. boiler piping was still in good shape.
    Do you want your boiler piping to last that long?
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  5. #5
    so basically black pipe holds heat in better than copper pipe? i have seen photos where the main loop was black iron pipe and the zones were type L copper. and does black iron lasts longer than copper?

  6. #6
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    North East Ohio
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    [QUOTE=hvacvegas;13742331]I'd like to hear an explination of why.
    Especially on a steam boiler.QUOTE]

    One would assume that a new install would be a water boiler. I agree black is a btter choice for steam, but for a water system the copper will transfer heat better.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    God's country - Shenandoah Valley, VA
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    Transfer Heat?

    [QUOTE=NCHeat;13744581]
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacvegas View Post
    I'd like to hear an explination of why.
    Especially on a steam boiler.QUOTE]

    One would assume that a new install would be a water boiler. I agree black is a btter choice for steam, but for a water system the copper will transfer heat better.
    Where does heat transfer come into play with distribution piping? That's the job of the heat emitters.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2011
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    Houston area
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    I've drained some black iron systems where the rust was incredible. The water looked like thick orange soup. And one of these was in a hydronic test room at a Carrier factory that I helped build. I was young and dumb but the senior engineer who thought he was God's gift to mankind overrode my spec for copper.

    Now, having said that, it was a recirc system and sometimes the thing would sit for a month without being used. In the long run it cost Carrier a hundred grand to tear it all out and replace.

    I would use Durapex but then again Im not a boiler guy.
    Just my opinion.
    The picture in my avatar is of the Houston Ship Channel and was taken from my backyard. I like to sit outside and slap mosquitos while watching countless supertankers, barges and cargo ships of every shape and size carry all sorts of deadly toxins to and fro. It's really beautiful at times.....just don't eat the three eyed fish....

    ¯`·.¸¸ .·´¯`· .¸>÷÷(((°>

    `·.¸¸..· ´¯`·.¸ ¸.·´¯` ·.¸>÷÷(((°>

    .·´¯`· .¸>÷÷(((°>

    LMAOSHMSFOAIDMT

  9. #9
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    Dec 2005
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    Cincinnati, Oh
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    [QUOTE=NCHeat;13744581]
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacvegas View Post
    I'd like to hear an explination of why.
    Especially on a steam boiler.QUOTE]

    One would assume that a new install would be a water boiler. I agree black is a btter choice for steam, but for a water system the copper will transfer heat better.
    Which is a great reason not to use copper.

    Why do I want to lose all that heat into the boiler room?
    Your making a case, for me!
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    725
    We install boilers nearly exclusively. We use all types of "pipe" depending on the application. If it is approved, it is good enough for residential work (will likely last longer than the house stands or owner lives.

    As for heat transfer, the question is where you want the heat to go. Unlike forced air, little must be done to keep the heat in the pipe depending on the application.

    All hydronic system pipe or tubing can be insulated but rarely is because the cost is dear and the return low. Though malleable pipe has roughly half the conductivity of copper, the small area and relatively low temperature differentials in a typical residential application are so low as to make the heat loss mute.

    We us copper most often because it is fast. In fact so fast that we would rather insulate the copper for free than cut and thread pipe. Much of our work is low temperature radiant and PEX is our friend.

    Rather than "researching" the minutia of boiler room details, most would be better served by researching a trustworthy contractor with experience in hydronic design and installation. One of the best qualifiers is a contractor's ability to perform an ACCA approved heat load and size a boiler properly devoid of personal prejudice and irrelevant opinion.

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