Steam system piping and corrosion


Old 02-02-04, 08:13 AM
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Question metalurgy basic question

Recently purchased an older house and notice a varied mix of pipe fittings on steam condensate piping. There is a mixture of galvanized, black, and brass fittings all in same runs. These appear to have been added when a hot water system was integrated in with the steam system. What types of fittings are allowed to be integrated in runs without causing future problems and if identifed, should I arrange to have them replaced to prevent any future damage?

There was a blockage in the feed from the boiler to circulating pump and while I was replaceing observed both galvanized and brass T's, along with black iron fittings in this run, plus some brass ball valves. There was substantial crusting inside all the fittings and the boiler itself was very dirty. Flushed system many times...added boiler cleaner and flushed many more times and water is now clean. Want to repalce all the fittings, but not sure which type to use.
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Old 02-02-04, 08:59 AM
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black pipe will rust shut anytime it is near water or steam
Old 02-02-04, 09:39 AM
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Not sure just what you have here. Steam or hot water boiler???
We pipe all boilers in black pipe and or copper. Do you have a steam boiler with a hot water coil for the home use here ??
you said circulating pump then is this a hot water boiler??
INFO INFO will help here. ED
Old 02-02-04, 03:51 PM
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Common usage for black iron on hot water systems and steam. Hot water over 180 degrees drives off oxygen so oxidation doesn't occur from inside out. Steam uses oxygen scrubbers to eliminate problem.

Black iron to brass no problem. BI to copper, need dielectric unions or nipples for transition.

Hope this helps...
Old 02-03-04, 07:42 AM
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Make sure that all steam vents are working properly and that there is one at the end of each main run. Also try to determine how much water gets added to the system each day, week, or whatever. If you have an automatic water feed, turn it off for a few days and be sure the water level stays where it should. If you have a leak in a condensate pipe that is not visible and new water gets added frequently, it will cause a problem like you have. Just use black pipe for all steam work and copper for all hot water piping. Make sure the pump is drawing as high up as possible for the hot water loop and pushing away from the boiler. The return water from the hot water loop should come in after the hartford loop and go to the bottom of the boiler. Is this the way you have it now? If not, how is it different?
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