old home - radiated heat - move pipe

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by worthspending, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. worthspending

    worthspending New Member

    Jul 24, 2008

    - I have volunteered my time and labor for someone that really needs it.
    - I grew up in a garage and worked construction for a couple of years.
    - My knowledge of plumbing is limited, however, I have been lucky in the past.

    The job:
    - We are rebuilding an old staircase. Bigger, wider, better.
    - The house was built in 1901.
    - Located in North West Indiana
    - The house has radiated heat.
    - I need to move a pipe.
    - The pipe is steel, 1 1/2 in diameter, and is the source that feeds all of the radiators.
    - The pipe is in the basement (full basement) and runs under the floor joists and thru a brick wall.
    - The need is to move the pipe flush against one of the outer basement walls near the sill plane.

    1. What are the downsides to moving a pipe against the wall?
    2. Will I be violating any rules?
    3. I am in the research stage and have no idea what I am doing. Any tips would be very helpful.

    My initial thoughts were something like:
    - De-energize the lines.
    - Drain the lines.
    - Remove the pipe. A thought was to cut the pipe one foot from the threads and break it loose with pipe wrenches. Um, ??
    - Make room for the new pipe.
    - Install new pipe. I'm going to need to re-route, so, I was thinking elbos and at a least one union.
    - Pipe dope/tape on the threads?? Or nothing on the threads??
    - Re-energize the system.

    Again, this is a volunteer situation. I would deeply appreciate any tips and advise.


  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Threaded pipe systems are built from the bottom up. Taking a section out of the middle requires some special considerations. Depending on how old the pipe is, taking it apart might create problems...the weakest point may break.

    You'd need to cut out a section of the pipe, then unscrew the stub from the joint. To keep stresses down, you MUST use two wrenches - one to hold the part you are keeping stationary so it can't turn or twist, then the other one to actually unscrew the stub.

    Since when you install new stuff you can't screw into both ends, you'd need a union that would require threading both ends of the pipe, one with right-hand threads the other with left-hand threads, so when you tighten it up, both sides come together.

    I'd think a good pipe dope would be better for you instead of teflon tape.

    Unscrewing old pipe might be a major pain, things could break. It could be fairly easy, or it could be a major pain and you'd end up replacing more pipe than you want or plan to. Any disturbed joint could break or leak.

    See what the pros have to say...
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  4. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Jul 3, 2007
    Retired energy systems engineer
    Wet side of Washington State
    If this is a steam system you may be opening up a can of cobras. The piping in steam systems is VERY particular about how it is run and it MUST have a gentle slope back to the boiler.

    Some pictures may help.
  5. worthspending

    worthspending New Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    radidated heat - move pipe

    Well, it has taken forever, but, I have all of the work done. Moving the pipe was easy. Building the new staircase and related stuff took a while. Now, I need to get the system back up and running. The current state of the system is:

    - Lines are drained
    - Pipes has been moved and re-connected
    - Gas / Electric / Water Source - OFF

    I assume I have to fill this system slowly and possibly keep a couple of bleeders open. A list of steps to follow would be very, very helpful.

    Again, thanks for all of your help!
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