Re: Rerouting (black?) heating pipes
Posted by dick on June 27, 19100 at 09:18:10:
In response to Re: Rerouting (black?) heating pipes
: : I'm planning to reroute heating pipes in my basement. (I'm not a plumber). They are rather low and to make the area more useful I want to cut a section of the pipes, raise the whole thing and rejoin them with compression fittings, elbows, or whatever.

: : The system (old gravity, now pumped) has mainly 2 inch pipes, plus a couple of other sizes but I'll be darned if they don't look like black pipes, not galvanized.

: : How could black pipes have lasted so long with hot water running through them? House was built in 1932. I've been here for 21 years.

: : Can I use black pipes? Can I join them to galvanized without corrosion problems? Can I use narrower pipes since it is now pumped?

: : Thanks for any answers.

: BEEE CAREFUL, ORLANDO. If you admit you aren't a plumber you are exposing yourself to some headaches you might not be ready for. The piping is heat pipe? Is this a steam system? Steam Boilers generate a higher pressure product and a much hotter exposure. The reason steam piping is held away from wood frame house structural members is for fire protection. Gravity steam piping on the return side of the system needs to be lower than the supply side, all the way back to the condensate return pump. If you raise this piping up to say two inches from the subfloor and the floor joists, and in winter these lines get to 460 degrees, you are creating a potential fire trap. The age of the wood in the house is exactly like adding seasoned kindling wood to a fire to get it started. The condensate return needs to gravity fall back to the condensate return pump as an assist to relieve steam pressure in the event a pressure relief valve opens up. If you raise the gravity lines and create a condensate trap, you create a pressure cooker, as well as create a hard water condensate waste trap that is extremely ionized and corrosive to the pipe and fittings. The boiler cooks the water so hot that the oxygen molecules leave the normally 7 ph water and depending on the system, could attack the different fittings you might want to use.
: Try a a LICENSED plumber for an estimate.

There is no way that a residential steam boiler could generate steam hot enough to ignite a piece of newspaper much less wood framing.
Steam pipes should be held away from the wood framing for several reasons, but fire danger is not one of them.

galvanized pipes can generaly be added to black iron pipes because they are the same material. The zinc coating on the galvanized pipe will make it last longer and to a slight extent will also help the adjacent uncoated pipe.

Black iron pipe lasting 68 years????? Not likely.
20 to 30 years??? not likely either but possible.
Your chances of disassembling 20+ year old black iron plumbing without breaking fittings and ending up with 3 times the work you planned on...Just about zero.

Spend some time tracing the lines and make sure you have the system figured out before you do anything. This just doesn't sound right.

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