Moving steam pipes

Old 02-10-09, 12:55 PM
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Moving steam pipes

I am considering purchasing an old home that has a huge old steam boiler in it with one-pipe cast iron radiators. The steam pipes in the basement all appear galvanized. My first question is do the galvanized pipes often get clogged in a steam system the way they do in a household water supply system? I live in NY and anyone who has galvanized pipes as part of a water supply system always ends up tearing out ceiling and floors when the internal diameter of the pipes shrinks due to corrosion from minerals in the water and they then get no water pressure.

My second question is can the steam pipes in the basement be rerouted so they are more along the outside walls rather than diagonally across the rooms to make better use of the space?

Old 02-11-09, 06:07 AM
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The general consensus is that steam carrying piping is not likely to clog. The part of the piping in a one-pipe system that usually clogs are the return pipes that are below the water line.

I suppose that it's possible to reroute piping runs, however you'll have to maintain the existing pitch. One pipe steam mains are not level - they are pitched from a high point (at the boiler) to a low point (just before the main drops vertically and becomes a "wet return") so that the condensate can return to the boiler without creating water seals that would block delivery of steam.

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