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They replace the same steam pipe every year.

JStar Member Posts: 2,752
I was on a service call the other day for a leaking steam main. The customers said they change the same piece of pipe every year and it keeps leaking, not at a joint, but the actual pipe (about 6 inches from the closest fitting). I am not a big believer in coincidences like this. I didn't ask too many details while I was there (we rescheduled to go back and replace the pipe).

Could this be caused by water hammer? Water settling near the closest fitting? Is the homeowner lying? I even considered the pipe being marred up by the tech's pipe wrench, creating a weak spot on the pipe (it was clamped overnight, so I couldn't see the actual leak).

The steam main leaves the boiler room, makes one turn, and the leaking pipe is about 3 feet after the turn with a riser tee 6 inches past the leak.


  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,667

    Most of the rotted or leaking steam mains i have ran into had more then 1 promblem here's a short list that i atrubute it to,No  insulation on the mains in unheated or un insulated basements ,improper near boiler piping produing wet steam and causing excess condensate in the steam mains leading to condensate groving in the pipe usually leading to leaks at or near fittings,improper pitch and sags in the mains ,acidic ph water,to much make up water due to either steam leaks or buried wet returns and last but not least improper vent of the mains whih i have read will lead to carbonic aids forming which may sit in slagging mains and cause pipes to rot .Most that i see i would believe where caused by cold basements and no insulation and time and exessive condensate flow and bad piping practices besides the near boiler piping.Hope some of this helped peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • you hit the nail on the head!

    maybe condensate grooving is public enemy no 4!

    no insulation + inadequate main venting + over pressure + cheap schedule 40 black imported pipe from the big box store, and presto............leaks!--nbc
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