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steam system leaking steam at hoffman condensate pump

and I do believe the instructions recommend a trap before the tank . I'm guessing to protect the float and pump from this exact situation - live steam from leaking radiator traps .

I have a few questions about the piping of the tank . The instructions show a small diampeter pipe that tees from the incoming return pipe to the bottom of the receiver tank ( I was told not to pipe this in ) . What is the purpose of the extra pipe ?

And there's 2 extra return ports . One is shown to be piped striaght up to atmosphere and the other needs to be trapped , then teed for a drain , then piped up above the tank . What's the purpose of this setup ? The instructiona are severly lacking about the purpose of this stuff .........

We're going back to put vent caps on the pipes when we get a chance .


  • Vic Plank_2
    Vic Plank_2 Member Posts: 2
    steam leaking from Hoffman Condensate Pump

    Just inherited a large steam system from another contractor.

    Steam is dumping from the vent and overflow on the hoffman condensate pump receiver tank. If it mattters the hoffman pumps the condensate to another tank that has 2 boiler feedpumps

    Customer is wasting so much steam that the make up on the 2nd tank has been sweating and leaving a trail in the boiler room.

    Is it possible to install a 2" F&T trap on the inlet to the hoffman condensate receiver as a temporary measure to stop the loss of steam. this is a two zone system with about 100 traps installed including radiator traps and convector traps and main traps.

    Over the last weekend I have babysat this system ...neither of the two zone valves have changed position.

    Having just started to work on this system I havent even found all of the traps.

    I am looking for an easy fix that will stop the steam leaking and cut down on make up water...but I am not sure that the F&T trap at the inlet to the Hoffman receiver is a good idea!

    Thanks for Your Help
    Lancaster, PA
  • Brad White_191
    Brad White_191 Member Posts: 252
    Rather than

    add another trap at the receiver inlet, (NOT recommended as Steamhead notes), find the trap or traps in the system and fix them. Think of this as treating the disease, not the symptoms.

    Get a good IR thermometer gun and look for traps with little or no delta-T between inlet and outlet.

    A working F&T usually has at least ten degrees difference. A passing trap has one degree if that.

    The "hand" method works sometimes but after a palm full of blisters, one likes to be more careful. :)

    Most traps can be re-built. Tunstall among others, have replacement kits for most trap brands, current and old.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Don't do it!

    a master trap will only cause more problems, such as interfering with returning condensate.

    The first thing to do is crank the steam pressure DOWN. If the pressure is more than 2 pounds or so, the traps might be fine- but the returning condensate may be "flashing" back to steam in the returns. This is especially true if F&T traps are used.

    Then go back along the dry returns and find the runouts that have steam coming back. Fix the traps on those runouts.

    Here's a similar system that we de-knuckleheaded:


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  • Vic Plank_2
    Vic Plank_2 Member Posts: 2

    Thanks to both Brad and Steamhead

    i wiil not add a trap and will lower the steam pressure and see what happens

    I know about measuring temps on inlet and outlet of traps
    have blistered hands to prove it,,,just looking for a quicj and dirty way to semi solve problem until all defective traps could be replaced

    Building is about 150 year old Catholic School

    Thanks again Brad and Steamhead for your input and help
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Ron, that probably refers to

    adding a receiver tank to a one-pipe system. In that case there's nothing to keep the steam out of the tank. But in that case, the trap must be on the drip from the steam main. Otherwise, the steam will get into the return and bang.

    In a two-pipe system, the required traps are out in the system. As long as these are working, and the pressure is not too high, you won't get steam in the tank.

    Master trapping NEVER works properly. If you're worried about steam getting into the tank, a far better solution is to put a strap-on aquastat on the return line before the tank, set it to 150 degrees or so, and wire it to stop the burner on high temperature. When piping-in a new tank, you can also include a tee and use a standard aquastat with a well.

    The trap in the tank overflow keeps steam from shooting out of it, if steam ever reaches the tank. The vent pipe should be carried up several feet, then down to near floor level, so if steam ever gets in the tank it won't be released where it can hurt someone. Not sure why they wanted that small pipe from the return inlet to the bottom of the tank

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  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,040

    Might the small pipe be for an optional LWCO feed? The Hoffman unit I replaced showed it, and my LWCO feeds into the return, then into the box.

    Just a guy running some pipes.
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