Steam Pipe Sizing

Steam piping is critical for any steam system, both near boiler piping and piping to the system will affect the efficiency of the system and the steam quality. Fulton’s primary goal when designing our steam engineered systems is to give the customer an efficient, rugged, and reliable system. With this goal in mind, an important piece of the puzzle is the sizing of the near boiler steam piping, including the steam header. The calculator below is used by our engineers to design the ideal steam header for each system and now it is available to you to help with your design needs.

Please input the total system HP (sum of all Boilers that could operate at the same time in the system) and the operating pressure of the system.

The pipe velocity is noted at 4,500 ft/min, this field is changeable however, we suggest for near boiler steam piping you use this 4,500 ft/min value.

  • 4,500 ft/min is the ideal top end velocity to provide efficient and dry steam while also allowing for some upset water conditions
  • 5,000 ft/min is a good velocty to use as long as the boiler is maintianed often, the water chemistry is within the manufacturers guidelines and the steam has been piped per good practice
  • 5,500 ft/min could cause some bouncing along the water line even with a well mantained and well piped system.
  • 6,000 ft/min will cause the water line will bounce and be unstable, causing water to discharge through the steam outlet along with the steam. This could cause low water cut out alarms on the boiler resulting in loss of operation as well as possible water hammer in the steam lines.

Calculate Steam Header Sizing


PSIG
ft/min