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NBC, Rod, Clammy, Mgmine, Paul48 and others,
thanks for all the advice along the way. Changes in venting, pitches, insulation, skimming, and repacking of supply valves have all but eliminated most of my problems from an otherwise mess of a steam heat system. I was able to break free the skim port plug this weekend after getting the right tool for the job and a 3 additional feet of "persuasion". I slowly skimmed about 15 gallons of water over the course of about 60 to 90 mins. Not sure that was enough, but it was a start and made noticeable improvement to the noises heard throughout the house. I still have symptoms of wet steam, though to a much lesser extent, and I am going to try one more thing that i wanted to bounce off people.
So as i have mentioned before, my problem radiator on my 1 pipe system, (which no longer hammers or spews 10 ounces of water per cycle thanks to all the help) has an 8 foot horizontal run in the floor joists of the second floor, a 10-12 foot drop to the basement, a 6 ft horizontal run in the basement before making a turn, going a 2 more feet, and tying into the header. it is all pitched back to the header. Problem is that my header is pitched the wrong way - back to the boiler. My non-expert opinion is that I still have symptoms of wet steam based on the fact that all of the condensate from all the piping and radiator itself on that particular run all drain back to the header. All other piping for the entire system runs away from header to the wet returns. If i change the pitch of the header, it will no doubt take the condensate to the wet return, but it will be a difficult change to make, and furthermore, I will still have the issue of needlessly sending the condensate through the header area in order to return to the wet return side. I can avoid having the condensate pass through that area altogether I believe but wanted to run this by some others.
in terms of DIY home repair, the easier fix for me to make is to cut and thread the horizontal run of this problem radiator in the basement and add a vertical drop which would take all condensate from that run back to the wet return instead of back to the header. I am somewhat limited in what i can do to the header because i don't have a way to cut threads into the larger diameter pipe, plus i don't have any room to raise the left side, so I would actually need to raise the left side and lower the right side of the header at the same time and I am not sure if the net effect would be good since I may end up taking pitch out of the mains and cause other problems. So back to my idea about the condensate drop in that horizontal problem radiator piping that runs along that back wall behind all that near boiler piping...........
Question is, Do i need to be conscious of any dimensions or keeping the vertical drop of the new piping to at least 28 inches or anything else that I wouldnt otherwise think of? My preference would be to tie in this new condensate drop to the wet return above the current waterline so i don't have to drain the system of its water to work on it? (assuming of course that i pitch my piping the way the water needs to go).
I mocked up what i am thinking on a picture of my near boiler piping. the tee at the top is nearly against that back wall and is into the horizontal run of the problem radiator. The tee in the foreground would be threaded into the wet return piping on the right side of the boiler.
The right answer may be to change the pitch of the header, but i think this accomplishes nearly the same thing and is far, far easier for me to do as a "hey, lets try this first" type of thing.
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