Cleaning/clearing a condesate return on a steam system


Old 12-29-13, 01:29 PM
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Cleaning/clearing a condesate return on a steam system

I've determined that because my steam boiler overfills when its extremely cold out, the return on my one pipe steam heating system (8 unit apt bldg ) must be partially blocked. The auto fill valve was just rebuilt and isn't leaking. Any suggestions on how to be sure its a blockage and how I might tackle unblocking it would really help. Thanks !
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Old 12-29-13, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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With one pipe steam your steam and condensate travel in the same pipe. A blockage would create the banging of pipes and if bad enough would stop the steam from getting to the rads. With a blockage I would think you would use less water because without the steam being able to travel the boiler would shut down on pressure, hence less steam used less water required.

You may have very slow returns due to wrongly pitched pipes and bad mainline vents, but I doubt you have actual blockages. If you have dirty water and it surges when it starts to steam you could be syphoning water up through the mains which would activate your feeder causing the boiler to overfill when the the condensate returns.

The new feeders have a delay on them to compensate for that.
With a building I'm guessing you a McDonnell Miller combination mechanical with no delay.

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