Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Tools for Cleaning Out Steam Piping

Brad White
Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
If the material has solidified, a plumber's snake may be a better choice. You can get boiler brushes (and a plumber's snake for that matter) at any good plumbing supply house.

About the brushes- they are relatively short, not the kind you could pull through end to end. OK for short reaches but then if you can brush it out a shop vac or rinsing would work as well.

Try the snake first then a good flushing with hot TSP solution. Let it sit overnight or at least an hour or two (if system operation allows) then rinse clean.
"If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



-Ernie White, my Dad

Comments

  • Tools for Cleaning Out Steam Pipes

    Does anyone know where I can buy any brushes on long, flexible wires (or any other tool) to brush (ream) out the steam pipes? Some of the goop has solidified in the wet returns and I would like to get at least some of it out.
    I live in the Boston, MA area in Walpole, next to Foxboro, where the Patriots play their home games. This is for a residential steam system, circa 1926. Thanks. Richard
  • Be very gentle

    as you clean out those return lines. That "goop" you see might be the glue that is holding them together.


  • Thank a bunch, gents, I appreciate the advice.

    Richard
  • cleaning steam pipes.

    I'm curious to know if there is any chance of the material dislodged during cleaning out steam pipes could in some way bcome stuck in the steam traps?
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Yes,

    of course. Especially if the muck is above them.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Great...

    Can I assume that this would affect the amount of steam that is going through my radiator? Thanks
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    You are

    joking, right?
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,719
    Snake...

    Just be careful.....those carbuncles may be holding the pipe together. Mad Dog

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Cosmo_3
    Cosmo_3 Member Posts: 845
    we all had this happen

    Listen to what we say... circa 1926?

    That's 81 years of corrosion. I would be very weary of snaking anything that old unless I have a plan to replace it. I remember snaking an old return and the snake popped out and I didn't know it until I heard it flapping around like a freshly landed bluefish.

    Cosmo
  • To Mad Dog & Cosmo

    I plan to be very careful! I will be doing this in June and have a friend, Gene, who is a heating pro in case I run into trouble then. He just finished flushing the system and installed some "Ts" in order to make it easier to do it annually. I bought the house and it has a hot water zone using the boiler water drawing from the low or condensate side as the supply for the zone. Therefore, is was (is)sucking up all the goop and wouldn't heat up the zone.
    Richard
This discussion has been closed.