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shutting down steam to a commercial building

curious_9 Member Posts: 2
Is it a bad idea to shut down the steam to a building that is not occupied over the summer? I was told the pipes would rot from the inside because of the high acidic condensate in the pipes. The water is treated at the boiler plant,and if the traps are working the condensate should leave the piping. Am i correct on this not being any different than no demand on the system, or am i missing something? Any input would be appreciated.


  • Kevinj_3
    Kevinj_3 Member Posts: 27

    Around here the district shuts the lines off in the street, folks have no choice. Only selected mains are left on where steam is needed year round.
  • Tony Conner_2
    Tony Conner_2 Member Posts: 443
    Your Steam Lines Will...

    ... rot from the outside in. Steam lines left cold in the ground for any period of time very much tend to die early, ugly deaths.
  • Rich L.
    Rich L. Member Posts: 414
    My Customer Does It

    I have a customer that does it every summer, has for years, in his 5 story office building. We put in a couple of electric water heaters for summer use only. He say's he saves a fortune in steam costs. We haven't seen any ill effects of it to this point. The steam gets shut off in the basement at the point of entry. These pipes are all inside the building.
  • Tony Conner_2
    Tony Conner_2 Member Posts: 443
    The Difference Is...

    ... that your customer is shutting the steam off in the building, after it comes through the basement wall. That's no problem. The way I read the initial question though, was that the steam would be shut off outside of the building, with the line left cold in the ground for months on end. I've seen people do that to save money over the summer. And they do - for a few years. Then, the leaks start showing-up. It doesn't take more than a couple of repairs involving a crew with jackhammers, a backhoe and welder - not to mention restoration - to total more than whatever the perceived savings were. Ask me how I know this...
  • Rich L.
    Rich L. Member Posts: 414
    Re-reading the post

    Tony I don't see anything mentioned about the shut off point being inside or outside the building. I'm just relating my experiences, same as you. :)

    Edit: That is why I made it clear I was shutting the steam off inside. If Curious's shut off point is different he can disregard my shared example. Your point is very well taken, expensive repairs can quickly outweigh energy dollars saved.
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