commercial plumbing installation

Commercial Plumbing Installation: Piping Principles FAQ – Part 2

Commercial Plumbing Installation

Piping Principles – FAQ; Part 2

We get asked a lot of questions around the topic of commercial plumbing installation, and have put together this article as a follow up to our Part 1 article (Commercial Plumbing Installation: Piping Principles FAQ) to address the top questions posed. Following are answers to additional frequently asked questions about the principles of piping.

  • When syphon drainage is necessary during commercial plumbing installation, should the syphon pipe be sized one size smaller than the nominal size for the trap? 
    • Yes, but never less than 1/2″ (15 mm).
  • Whenever possible, should condensate be pumped versus gravity drainage?
    • No.
  • What might result when two steam-consuming units are drained by a single trap?
    • Short circuiting.
  • When condensate is returned overhead, can a check valve sometimes be used during commercial plumbing installation?
    • Yes.
  • Does every 2 feet (0.6 m) of lift in syphon drainage increase pressure differential by 1 PSI (0.68 bar)?
    • No.
  • Is it safe to say for any commercial plumbing installation that a steam trap be located as close to the drip point as possible?
    • Yes.
  • If a safety drain trap is used, should it be located below the primary trap?
    • No, it is not necessary for all commercial plumbing installation projects.
  • What is recommended when installing steam systems in freezing environments?
    • Keep trap discharge lines as short as possible, insulate all supply, discharge and return lines; and be sure there are no low points in the system that aren’t drained.
  • Is it best to locate a steam trap below the drip point?
    • Yes.
  • If unions are used on both sides of the steam trap, should they be in-line?
    • No.
  • Does trapping by the letters apply only to IB traps?
    • No.
  • Can there be a problem draining two heat exchangers with a single trap?
    • Yes.
  • Should the diameter of the piping on the outlet of the heat exchanger always be reduced?
    • No.
  • What is a good way to provide an area where dirt and scale can fall out?
    • An extended drip leg below the takeoff to the trap.
  • Is syphon drainage when the trap must be installed above the drip point?
    • Yes.
  • What should I do when I have an elevated return line or modulating pressure service with insufficient positive pressure to evacuate the condensate?
    • For the purposes of commercial plumbing installation, install a safety drain upstream of the primary trap, install a pumping trap downstream of the primary trap, and install a vented receiver and pump downstream of the primary trap.

Commercial Plumbing Installation Information

For more commercial plumbing installation and piping principles tips, watch for part 2 of this article. Check out the rest of the articles on this site for even more professional and commercial plumbing information!

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