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Return Line Blow Out Valve
Bossy13 Member Posts: 5
Does anyone know if and how often I should open up the valve on my return line to remove corrosion and gunk? It is a one pipe steam set up, and it has a valve at the end of the return pipe just before going up into the boiler. I tried to open this valve but it only turned about an inch. I inserted a small wire into the valve to see if it was clogged and it apparently is not opening. Maybe the heat and corrosion welded it closed. Thanks for you expert advice.
Return Line problems.
Hi- You may want to get a pro out there to check it out for you. If you could post some pictures of the valve and pipe we might have a better idea of how to advise you.
Bossy13 Member Posts: 5Thanks Rod,
That's ok, I used a little helper to open the valve and a little dark water came out. I cant' call a "pro" to figure out something so nominal.0
Return Line Valve.
The return pipe is usually the lowest in the system and therefore collects all the dirt and crud. If the valve is plugged up and poking a wire in doesn't help, then the only way then to unplug the valve is to remove it and if you do that, be prepared to deal with a flood of dirty water coming out of the return pipe. If you do remove the valve and quickly insert a plug you can do it with a minimum of spill. You can then clean the removed valve and when ready, go through the reverse process on reinstalling it on the return pipe. If the stuck valve is the garden tap variety I would replace it with a full port ball valve as these are less likely to plug up. You, of course, want to do this operation when the boiler is cold. If you replace the valve with a ball valve, it also isn't a bad idea to use a pie plug in the end of the ball valve as an extra precaution against accidental opening. I think this is especially important if you have young children. In my case I plug the valve and also then remove the valve handle and store it on a nail in the wall near the boiler.
Black pipe returns seem to plug up more easily than copper. Copper is more easy to clean out. If the wet return is black pipe and plugged, sometimes it's easier to just replace it than try to clean it out. If you need to get it replaced this is usually a job for a pro as they have he equipment to thread / solder large diameter pipe. If you clean the wet return annually you are less likely to have problems with it.
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